In the second installment of this three-part series, Pastor Aaron Ritter addresses the nature of addiction and its ability to compete with God as the “ordering” factor in our lives. Click here to read the first installment.
We started this series asking whether it’s permissible or not for Christians to use marijuana now that it’s legal in Colorado. But we quickly saw how that question leads to much broader questions about the nature of addiction. Why are certain substances or experiences able to exercise such control over us, and why do potentially addictive substances or experiences challenge our consciences, even if they are legal? That’s what we’re going to try to look at here.
Before moving forward, we need to address an objection in the minds of some, namely that marijuana isn’t that addictive. It’s said that we can’t put marijuana in the same category as the more illicit drugs such as cocaine and heroin, and some argue it’s not even comparable to alcohol. In response, let me make a couple quick comments.
First, people who study these kinds of things claim that marijuana is indeed addictive
, especially given certain criteria such as age of initial use and frequency of use. But secondly, we should recognize that there is a spectrum of addictive power, ranging from heroin on one end to Pinterest
on the other. The higher end of the spectrum is usually associated with some very powerful chemistry that dramatically influences its users, but as I’ll argue below, addiction is typically much more than chemistry.