There is a lot of talk today about “missional” vs. “attractional” church. This short video gives a bit of a synopsis as to the difference. Not that attractional ministry is wrong or ineffective overall, but evidence does seem to indicate that, the attractional model is struggling amongst younger generations who are looking for something authentic and relational. If anything it demonstrates that attractional event driven ministry is not the only way to do church.
If that wasn’t controversial enough, we’ve chosen one of the more polarizing topics facing the Church presently for next month’s discussion:
Or maybe a better question is, “should a Christian smoke pot?”
Many Christians will immediately declare, “absolutely not, it’s illegal!” Which is a great point, for the Bible is clear that we should honor the governing authorities because those authorities have been placed there by God (Romans 13:1).
But what about the 13 states (including Colorado) that have now legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes? What about cities like Breckenridge, CO. that have legalized the use and possession of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use?
In those cases, which will quickly become the norm rather than exception, it’s not illegal and therefore the only grounds for prohibition would be the mind altering effects that follow marijuana consumption – God’s Word commands us to be sober minded (1 Peter 1:13) and to abstain from drunkeness (Ephesians 5:18) which would certainly apply to the use of drugs. But what about marijuana use in the case of treating various illnesses and chronic pain? How is that treatment any different than mainstream prescription medications like Vicodin and Oxy-Contin? Certainly those drugs produce serious mind altering effects and carry with them debilitating side effects and result in tragic addictions, as was the case for famous radio talk show personality Rush Limbaugh.
The Church (at least in large part) does not prohibit the use of prescription pain killers, but without blinking an eye Christians forbid the use of marijuana in any instance.
Is it really that cut and dry?
It’s our desire at Missio Dei to think through difficult issues like this from a Biblical perspective, divorcing ourselves from tradition or preconceived notions.
As people who view life through a Christian worldview and a gospel grid – what should our position be on this topic?
“When people have an experience that’s very powerful in the movie theatre, they want to go share it. They want to grab their friend and bring them, so that they can enjoy it. They want to be the person to bring them the news that this is something worth having in their life.” (Quote is via Luke Simmons of Second Mile Church in Gilbert, AZ.)
This tells me a few things…
1. We are passionate about things that capture our heart. Has Jesus truly captured our hearts? Why do movies and fiction books move us in a way that the gospel and the Bible rarely do?
2. We talk about what we’re passionate about. I’m not trying to be legalistic here, just simply stating a fact. If I’m passionate about football, I talk about it, If I’m passionate about the environment, I talk about it…you get the point. And we don’t just talk to others who share our passions, we find ways to weave those things into everyday conversations. Shouldn’t this be equally true of Jesus and gospel?
The Avatar movie has taken our world by storm – I actually haven’t seen the movie yet so I’m clueless as to what all the hype is about. However I do know this. No movie, or book, or experience of any kind is greater than Jesus, and so my reluctance to to speak of Him at every opportunity only further reveals my idolatrous heart.