Is marijuana a gateway drug… to a closer relationship to God? One pastor says yes, and he’s on a mission to get his fellow Christians really, really high.
Pastor Craig Gross is the founder of Christian Cannabis, which aims to convince hesitant Christians to give weed a shot. Or, more accurately, a puff.
Gross says he was once a skeptic too, and didn’t try marijuana until he was 36, desperate for help to alleviate health conditions as well as the mental anguish from the loss of his father. As an adolescent, he’d been taught that weed was bad, but he found it to be quite the opposite.
He found it to be downright spiritual.
A Very Spiritual High
“[Marijuana] is like a teacher,” Gross said. “I needed to slow down a bit. And when you slow down a bit, you start to see things a little bit more.” He found that not only did using marijuana help with both his physical and mental pain, but that it also brought him closer to God.
The Christian Cannabis website touts the spiritual benefits of consuming marijuana. “Cannabis is spiritual,” their website explains. “It has a place in your practice of prayer and worship. And that it can help you connect to God in a deep and profound way.”
In modern times, Christians have largely been opposed to marijuana. Convincing Christians of the spiritual and medicinal virtues of marijuana is a tough sell, and getting faith leadership on board might be a quixotic quest; Some 78 percent of pastors say that using marijuana is morally wrong.
Christian Cannabis apparently hopes to break this taboo with faith-inspired products such as cannabis “communion wafers” and a cannabis-infused “holy water” tincture.
Gross knows he’s up against a Christian culture that disapproves of marijuana use, but he hopes to destigmatize a product that he himself once viewed as “the devil’s lettuce.”
And he’s got history on his side.
Marijuana Used For Millennia
While many modern religions discourage followers from consuming marijuana recreationally, it's worth noting that marijuana has been used in faith rituals for thousands of years.
For decades, a burnt substance on an ancient religious altar nestled deep within the ruins of an ancient Canaanite city baffled scientists, as test after test came back inconclusive. Finally, last year, science proved what some already suspected: It’s ancient weed. And lots of it. Definitely enough, experts said, to get a lot of people really high.
That cannabis was used in ancient Jewish rituals isn’t terribly surprising. Cultures and faiths the world over have long used cannabis in faith rituals, and it’s only in modern times that churches have turned against marijuana.
Hindus, Taoists, and numerous pagan and shamanistic cultures have historically used cannabis for spiritual enlightenment, and now we know that Jews did too.
Many even believe that cannabis is in the Bible itself, arguing that ‘kaneh bosem’, the ancient Hebrew word for aromatic hemp used in healing oils, is, in fact, cannabis.
Despite Christian hesitance to get on board with marijuana, the tide may be shifting, slowly but surely. A few years ago, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said that medical marijuana was acceptable, and cannabis churches that use marijuana as sacrament are popping up all over.
What do you think? Will Craig Gross be successful in bringing the benefits of cannabis to skeptical Christians? Should Christians use marijuana? And considering numerous faiths have used it for thousands of years, should we legalize marijuana on a national scale?
Sorry, I have to wonder is God interested in connecting with those who get high? I grew up in the 60's. I tried lots of substances to get closer to God. Yes, marijuana can be a gateway drug. Unfortunately, the need to keep using it to get high is not a true path to enlightenment. As one powerful teacher of mine said...once you get through the door, why would you need to keep going back for more? My opinion is that drugs in general are not a path toward a closer connection to God/Goddess, Great Spirit, All that Is. That which is our highest I AM doesn't need anything temporary or outside what is already within. Our own light and love. Wellness and love to all, rhea
Indeed a very beautiful reflection filled with wisdom and truth!
This sounds wonderful, but the truth is that enlightenment is not a one-time deal. You don't get your certificate and you're done. It is something that you need to to always strive for. Those who think they are enlightened and no longer need to strive have basically givien up. 'I climbed the stairs once, why would I want to climb them again?'. Cannabis can be a tool to help you climb those stairs, again and again. "Enlightenment" gives you a glimpse, but that soon fades. you need to accomplist this again and again, just as all the Saints, Mystics, and Christs have always done. Yes, tools are just that, tools. This doesn't mean mena they have no value in helping you reach a goal.
Very well said. And I myself know how to invite God‘s presence into my home or car or anywhere that I am for that matter, and never needed marijuana to do that. I think he’s just looking for away to make himself some money on the side with this Christian cannabis he’s talking about. Lol I feel sad for that pastor if he doesn’t know how to tap into God‘s presence without cannabis. Maybe he’s in the wrong church if you can’t feel God’s presence without that.
Sorry but Pastor Cross ideas are anything but new; many cultures have used hallucinogens for religious or mystical experiences. Hindus consumed the juice of the hallucinogenic mushroom Amanita muscaria while Aztecs in pre-Columbian Mexico described the ceremonial use of teotlaqualli, a paste made from the hallucinogenic flower, ololiuqui. Rubbed on the skin of Aztec priests and soldiers, it was thought to eliminate fear and place the user in a proper mental state to serve the Aztec gods. Also in Mexico there’s a long history of using peyote, a mescaline-containing hallucinogen, in religious ceremonies. Ibogaine is a psychoactive drug derived from the bark of the Tabernanthe iboga plant in Africa and Ingesting the iboga plant can lead to euphoria, excitement, confusion, visual hallucinations, anxiety, and sensory synesthesia, or a blending of sensory experiences.The Babongo people of Africa worship the drug as a source of spiritual knowledge and use it as part of religious ceremonies.
I actually have noticed more spiritual revelation as a Christian minister with marijuana. I am a chronic pain patient as well.
Perhaps you could describe what “spiritual revelation” is, compared to drug induced feelings of wonder, or hallucinations of even harder drugs?
I'm not her but I will glady tell you... it starts with breathing which is a well-known calming, centerong and grounding device. Deep breathing is integral to inhaling marijuana, which brings you into a meditative state. You don't need weed for that part but you do need deep breathing to smoke herbs. As someone who struggles with complex PTSD, chronic pain and ensuing insomnia and sensory issues, I can tell you my experience: the medicinal qualities of the herb quiet the pain and inflammation in my body, calm my nerves and mind chatter and I am very easily connected to my core/spiritual self, as well as connected to the peace and beauty around me. The medicine is able to clear the types of mental blockages created by our environment and puts me in a more 'pure' state this way. It is very spiritual in that regard. I'm sorry that you're closed to experiencing this as a supposed spiritual person. Spirituality is an exploration of the unknown, so this stance is a confounding double standard to me. But hey so was my extremely close-minded pentecostal upbringing. Good luck to ya there.
Thank you for some type of explanation DubSpell, but in reality all you explained was a feeling, that you have decided to call a "spiritual" one. Drugs of many types can produce mind pleasing reactions, but because it was pleasant it basically means it was enjoyable that you have decided to call "spiritual". Am I closed to experiencing a drug induced state messing with my brains functions of wanting to feel high? Yes! I see many people living on the sidewalk in Los Angeles enjoying their own form of spiritual revelation, if that's what you mean. I think I'll give it a pass, but thanks.
I don't think giving my definition of spirituality is calling it a feeling at all. An exploration of the unknown is certainly an act and not a feeling but just keep sticking to what you call it no matter the info coming your way. Sounds like something you don't need or deserve to experience/enjoy given your degree of close mindedness. It is for those who want to learn, evolve, and grow... not so much stay in one stubborn place. Enjoy your version of Spirituality there haha ;)
Also coming from a rational place, it sounds like you may have your substances mixed up... but I've worked with patients recovering from addiction. So our education on substances is apprently quite different(your ignorance is shining through with that l.a. sidewalk comment hahaha😂).
100% of Christian ministers that say marijuana is "morally wrong", are wrong.
Does Getting High Bring Us Closer to God? Absolutely - That's why God created them for us. And remember, they are 100% natural.
Every time I read something like this I am reminded how the world is changing for the worse. It’s very disconcerting. To me the whole world is really nuts. Loyalty, moderation, abstinence, basic morality is all being Terrian out the window. Nothing is unacceptable anymore. And if one voices that opinion you pay the price for it. Good luck to all of you “liberals”. Knock yourself out. Have a great old time here on earth. Just be prepared to answer for all these things when it is time to meet your maker.
And that's if there is a maker to meet 🤔
It seems much safer than handling vipers.
No it doesn't fact my brother was on it for about 50 years and he's not A believer in god I have tried it myself over 20 years ago whilst in California and it didn't do anything for me apart from feeling rough and it was given to me in a vape as a joke and it was horrible never again.
With all the negative and sometimes destructive side effects pertaining to marijuana, I don't think it would draw anywhere closer to God. For our Creator is all out for Health, Mind, Body, and Soul and against elements that may harm the human as mentioned.
Destructive side effects? Been smoking 18 years and have yet to know what in hell you allude to here hahaha. Maybe if someone's allergic but that's actually pretty rare. Ignorant voices are usually the loudest!
You've got a strange god, Deacon. My god is a a stoned, Pagan hippie who lives in a nudist colony in the sky, called Cloud 9.
If you are referring to the Christian creator, if it’s real, I don’t see how it’s “all out for a healthy, mind, body, and soul” being as it was very quick to drown everyone, and kill little children, and condone slavery, and stoning people to death. That’s if you believe all those stories and tales in that book they use. 🤷🏼
I honestly can't remember how long it's been since I smoked any almost leg as l weed. A couple of years, I suppose. However, I smoked it thousands of times, starting when I was eleven years old, and it never made me closer to any of the gods, although I bet Bacchus got quite a laugh out of watching me. And I have absolutely nothing against it. I think everyone ought to try it. But I wouldn't do it in seeking a spiritual experience, but so imply a good buzz. And for those about to smoke, "I salute you"!
I bet Jesus w as s high on Mandrake when he said all that, Pedro (if he really existed). They were getting high on m as ndrake (which is a hallucinogen) as far back as the book of Genesis, as is stated in numerous places, in that deranged comic book. And with or without the addition of Marijuana that stuff will make you see all kinds of mytholo
The Enemy would like us to think that we get closer to God when we get high. I thought that for a long time and had all kinds of conversations with the Lord while getting stoned out in the woods not far from where I live. Then one day while good and high, I said to God, "Lead me the right way." And ten minutes later, I was laying on the road after being hit by a car! Like Saul on the road to Damascus. Weed is only an idol, and my practice of idolatry almost got me killed. So, after that, God lead me the right way all right. No more weed.
Interesting. It had exactly the opposite effect on me. I didn’t start using it in a party/social situation. Experimented on my own. Somewhat with a few others. Had just come to the conclusion that Christianity was a petrified pile of Bronze Age horse biscuits and spent a lot of time reading about religions, philosophy, evolution, anthropology, etc.
Yeah, you got high and walked in the road. That wasn’t god talking to you. That was evolution weeding out the stupid ones.
Just because you got high and wandered into traffic, means nothing more, than you deluded yourself.
Isn't cool how God knows what you need when you ask? You should ask God if all humans get treatment the same way. 🤓
The Native American Church uses peyote as a sacrament, and ayahuasca is brewed in a tea and used in religious rituals among the indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin. So often we assume that only one faith is the right one, and that it must not only be our faith, but our denomination, and our interpretation of it, as well. There is no spirituality to be found in narrow-mindedness.
I think all substances contribute to belief systems which probably led us to observing a higher power. When hypnosis was discovered along with politics and belief systems. The war was on for slaves. As we can see the medical, mass media,social media industries are seeking such. Branding and bragging about bagging people to one belief or other.
Shamans and religions the world over have used plants to get into the spiritual zone since time immemorial. So have all the indigenous cultures the world over. If they did not have any success, the practice would have withered on the vine or gone up in smoke. Like incense. Reading the biographies of today's celebrities, it is amazing to find how many actually smoked marijuana before they embarked on their endeavors. Did the marijuana open a metaphysical door? Or perhaps a window? Sure hallucinogenic compounds can be dangerous. so is fire but do we ban fire or use it ?
I am a pagan high priestess ordained minister I believe in marijuana I would rather do marijuana for pain then the prescription drugs so I have no problem with anybody that believes in marijuana if this Christian minister thinks that he's closer to the gods and the goddesses then that's great I don't see anything wrong with anybody smoking marijuana or even using marijuana as an edible or a pain relief or a mental medicine like I said I use it much better than using prescription drugs
Bhagavad Gita describes the use of Soma, as a religious practice, legitimate, but sadly temporary. Real Yoga does a lot better. Pot leads to Paranoia and Possible Psychosis.
I totally agree with your last sentence. The woke she/her/him/he/they/them liberal Democrat potheads are already there.
Oh man this is hilarious. 18 year weed smoker here and former addiction recovery coach. I have seen cannabis successfully pull people out of a mindless addictive state into their own presence and the reality of the world around them. Exact opposite of what you say here. Read more current science!
Kaneh bosm was in the oil and incense for the temple and it was a staple of ancient trade mentioned in the bible as "sweet cane". There is a passage where God is upset with the apathy of the people and it reads "For you have not bought me sweet cane with money, nor satisfied me with the fat of your sacrifices; but you have burdened me with your sin and wearied me with your iniquities"
if its wrong then why is it ok to use other herbs spices and burn them in church? jasmine and bay leaves are used as a calming agent in church when burned but most don't even know what is in ball that burns incenses and herbs. this could be classed as the same thing, burning herbs to alter your state funny its used at the alter.
I don't toke because I prefer to be in control. I would never let Jesus take the wheel because I think I am a better driver.
But as I recall, God gave all the plants for the use of except that one that Eve fed Adam. Why is Marijuana an exception, FCS even Jesus turned water into wine, I think that suggests that the big honcho doesn't have a real problem with boozing which is no better or worse than having a toke.
What was Moses burning bush? It made him see visions and hear voices after all.
I have been on medical marijuana for 2.5 years now and have lost 82 pounds....So yea, I don't think He minds us investing in our better selves.
Very tough subject because of different beliefs. I personally experienced some truth to this topic but when I decided to stop using marijuana I felt a even deeper connection with God, my most inner self. I feel as though it all depends on the individual. Everyone's opinion and experiences won't be the same.
Perhaps you can explain what actual “deeper connections with God” feelings you experienced? And how did you determine they were connections from a deity, and not just wellness feelings of euphoria having stopped taking marijuana?
GRASS or HASH, IN ALL PROBOBILITY it DOES, GOD MADE IT ?
….I doubt it. Hemlock, and Deadly Nightshade, are extremely poisonous plants. Is every plant for mankind?
Omg. Seriously. Apparently you haven't studied mysticism in the Christian faith in any of the four branches. Getting high on God is not necessary using drugs or mind altering substances. Meditation in its various forms can be done through the Benedictine, Franciscan, Eastern Orthodoxy. This using drugs is nothing more then an excuse to use drugs easily. Gotta be sick in the head. Grass leafs to.harder and more dangerous substances. You really need to stop smoking and believing in your s&%t.
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As nature, (via eternal recurrence, Nietzsche style) evolved to this point, on what we call the Earth — which spawned off human minds — which then created supernatural Gods, and the resultant mythologies;
Nature eventually stumbled in to what was first known as “weed” (when poor people used it) then became “grass” (when middle class white kids became the primary users) and then “medical marijuana” (for those who could afford the fees) then, then, legal marijuana for everyone of legal age (by State Legislatures seeking new sources of revenue).
If I were still able, to force myself to attend a superstition-based house of worship, I might be inclined to do so — but only if that was the only way I could get legal weed.
I attended a concert (which was as close to going to church as I cared to go) in Copenhagen, while I was stoned, and if could remember doing so, I would probably say that it was a remarkable experience,
I'm not convinced drugs, alcohol, sex or religion brings one "closer to god". Blake accurately described them as Doors of Perception". A 'devoutly religious' person who has consumed LSD would be an interesting person to share a conversation.
Never read that Jesus tell his disciples to get high on Wine, incense or repetitive prayer. Jesus told us to meditate on the Word, pray once and Fath on that prayer. To Peter, to have faith of a Mustard seed then fasting when difficult situations arise. Also that Righteous, OBEDIENCE on the word no mater how insignificant. To conclude God is Attentive to the RIGHTEOUS and to Their prayers he Hears.
With so many mythical gods that mankind has created, which one would yours be? I’d like to know what makes you think your God is attentive to anything being as it lets children die in horrific wars, catastrophes of nature, and illnesses in children's hospitals? Clearly, if there is a god, it’s not really bothered, or it would do something, I know I would if I was a god. Perhaps my feelings of love for mankind are greater than your god, or perhaps your god doesn’t exist, evidenced by its lack of showing up when it’s needed. 🤷🏼
Who really knows what Jesus ever really said, being as no one that wrote about him ever met him? That’s assuming of course if Jesus was real. 🤷🏼
As for any god being attentive to the righteous, it would be nice if any god set an example of what righteousness is. The Christian god was a very poor example, with most people being far more humane, with much better morals.
The only high you need is reading your Bible pray everyday.this makes a closer relationship with our God ,we don't need drugs to get in a closer relationship with the Almighty focus on the living words, prayer time , meditation these are what brings us in a beautiful relationship with the father in heaven.Gid given us steps how to be close to home,weed does not do this .I can understand if you have medical problems and you need weed to help manage the pain .
Scripture reads be of a sober mind ,So to me that mean not to use any thing that alters your thinking or your ability of makeing a good decision ,I think that anything we do R say should be pleaseing an acceptable to our all mighty God .So remember that wen the next time U decide to get high ,Cause some day we all R going to hav to face Our all Mighty God in the end ,Keep doing what U R doing if U think it's right ,But remember that one day U will face him .So it's Your choice what U do while here in the life,Hav a great an Blessed day ,In Christ ,Don
are we reading our Bible? 2 Corinthians, cleanse ourselves.!!!! that means everything that is not Holy. come on now, SIMPLE
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Cannabis was used in the old days, they have found residue in old incense burners from the days of the bible. They would burn a pile of it and stand in the smoke, then enjoy their holy feelings. Cannabis can be a very spiritual experience, especially if you only use it once in a while, that makes it more intense.
Ever since I had Covid and Covid pneumonia followed by long term covid that damaged my lungs and heart, I began to use cannabis gummies to help me sleep...while I think that Marijuana is beneficial for pain and anxiety attacks and much safer than prescription drugs...I don't see how it helps you commune better with GOD, unless you are unable to concentrate clearly without help. A lot of us have ADHD and don't know it, or we have OCD and don't know it. So while not condemning your method of communing better with GOD...you need to be careful in suggesting others to use cannabis without knowing their medical history. My go to for a better connection to God is music...not church music...that does nothing for me, but Space Ambient Music...definitely does the job.
"...there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man. Mark 7:15
God blessed us with everything. Those who take a blessing and blast it are blasted by God. Humans are created by Gods systems like planets, plants and animals. All life belongs to God. Even the one you were given. Don't make yourself a God over someone else by telling them what to do or don't do. It is each ones individual responsibilitie to seek and find. Christians still live in Gods universe along with the rest of the Observers of the universe. That's all humans are. Observers of the universe. 🖖🏻🤓 live long and prosper. You were given everything for that purpose and to love life. All life forms. Cannabis is food for the soul, body and mind. Everything you consume should help you live a long prosperous life because we observed that being happy and healthy promotes long lifespans. God doesn't want humans extinct. Nor anything else. It's Gods choice for us to thrive under, in and with the glorious systems created to sustain life.
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No, drugs do not bring us closer to God. Drugs just make you think so. Pot is legal..Smoke...relax and be happy. I ran into someone years back who was talking to Jesus on the beach. Really? Or was it the mushrooms?
The Native American Church in northern Michigan, I am sure would not discourage ones right of choice. I believe that He put everything on this earth for a reason and we have soul he gave us to choose. Tom Dunn
Why doesn't all those that smoke this awful weed realise that they walk around stinking of burning rubber, that is what it smells like, totally disgusting. Also, all these excuses as to why they need it, stress etc, what about all those that served their country in the 2 wars, they did not go around all the time smoking weed and stinking of burning rubber. As for taking it to get closer to God, what rubbish! it is down to this awful substance in the first place that gives him those weird, off beat ideas. If one wants to truly get closer to God it is simple, lead a good clean life, help other and... pray! God gave us a gift of our lives, they are precious and God would expect us to return to Him having looked after our lives, not fill it with disgusting smelling drugs and all manner of excuses as to why we did.
Jesus is the only way the truth and the life and no one comes to the Heavenly Father other than through Jesus Christ of Nazareth. There is no other way to get to Heaven other than believing that Jesus Christ died for your sin and that we repent and ask YAHWEH for forgiveness .
No one comes unto the father other than through Jesus Christ of Nazareth you must believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins and ask God for forgiveness of those sins and when you believe in Jesus Christ and you will be saved. There is nothing in the holy Bible about marijuana causing you to be closer to God the only thing that causes you to be close to God is the belief in Jesus Christ of Nazareth the son of the living God. It says in John 3:16 for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son and that whomsoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life it did not say if you smoke weed you will become closer to God nor did it say if you smoke weed it will give you everlasting life that is not the true gospel of God that is a lie it says in the word of God to study and show yourself approved and also rebuke the devil and he shall flee some people are false prophets and they are not listening and nor are they reading
I don't indulge myself. It does nothing for me and for medical reasons I can't be around smoke anyways. But I got no problem with other people using it. Alcohol has proven more dangerous and IT'S legal. As for it being a gateway drug, well my grandfather used to say alcohol is a gateway drug to aspirin. Legalizing it will empty a third of the population from prisons saving taxpayers billions. Then regulate the quality and tax it. This will also reduce that tax burden as will the reduced use of law enforcement resources. It's a win-win-win-win. Then give charities the right to open up snack shops next door to cannabis stores so they can take in huge amounts of revenue. There's another win.
Ok so, as to the religious angle, Some cultures use cannabis in certain religious practices. That's not a new thing. If a religion wants to do that, it's their choice.