"The Lenses of Reformation Concerning Legalizing Marijuana"
by Dr. Patti Amsden
Throughout the scriptures and in many modern-day nations, the civil government overreaches it’s God-appointed jurisdiction into other realms or jurisdictions of society, such as the business, church, family, and even personal governments. Wherever civil becomes the prevailing voice of authority, tyranny occurs. Huge, pyramid-style, power from the top civil government systems are always guilty of some form of tyranny.
Reformation lens #1 – Tyranny can be defined as the arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power or despotic abuse of authority.
Illinois legislators passed legislation to permit the sale of recreational marijuana. Other states. which have legalized the sale of this substance, created the law only after the citizens spoke via the ballot box. Along with the other eleven states that have passed laws allowing recreational use of the drug, Illinois has violated the United States Controlled Substance Act. Illinois lawmakers have bypassed the will of the people and the law of the nation. Notwithstanding the right or wrong of the use of marijuana, the state employed tyrannical governing principles to enforce the will of those governing upon the people.
Reformation lens #2 – All people, including those who function in civil arenas, are accountable to God for their deeds; and all deeds that ignore God’s jurisdictional limitations invoke God’s negative sanctions upon both the action and the person or group taking the action.
The jurisdiction responsible for the production, distribution, and consumption of material goods and the methods by which men exchange those commodities in the context of society is the business or economic realm. Marijuana is a commodity and therefore should be subject to the principles by which the business realm functions. Illinois legislators have tyrannically overreached into the boundaries of the free market to engage in marketplace transactions. To ensure the economic goals the civil has set from the distribution and sales of their product, the legislators will employ the force of law with its penalties and punishments. To ensure the social goals the civil has set from their business of marijuana sales, the state will exercise strict control over licensing rather than using the free market.
Reformation lens #3 – When the civil government bends the market in the way they deem beneficial or expedient or in keeping with the ideologies of the legislators, the tyranny of economic engineering distorts the free market.
As reformers, we should consider the actions of the civil realm through a biblical worldview. Does God empower the civil to be the supreme voice in every arena of society? Reformers say “no.” Has God placed limitations upon the power of the civil? Reformers say “yes.” What are the responsibilities, the duties, and the limitations of the of the civil? Reformers must know that answer to that inquiry. Reformers affirm civil servants and obey the government within the context of their obedience to God’s jurisdictional authorization. Whether or not we, as individuals or as believers in Christ, think that the sale of recreational marijuana is morally right or wrong, we must be able to answer the question as to the civil jurisdiction’s actions in the creation of these laws. Put on your reformation lenses and see the civil tyranny.
In the next eblast, we will discuss the moral issue of the use and sales of recreational marijuana and the reformation lenses by which to look at the topic.