[Drugs which create a sensation of being closer to divinity (“entheogens”) figure in many religions, and naturally bring one to wonder what the place of such entheogens might be in the formation of Judaism and Christianity – a use that was forgotten or suppressed. While many Christian denominations disapprove of the use of most psychoactive drugs, people still study the Bible trying to see if other interpretations and translations might reveal such a use.

This is just one symptom of many people’s intuition that secrets are hidden in the Bible, waiting to be recognized, and that a true Christian faith has been lost. Some study the Bible looking for coded secrets, and it doesn’t help that the Gospel suggests that the true religion was known only to the closest confidants of Jesus, and that what Jesus taught to the masses was simple and limited.[1]

Protestantism itself was an effort to shake off centuries of accretions of religious tradition to return to the “fundamental” religion practiced by the early Christians. As a ritual done incorrectly can hardly be expected to have its proper effect, a religion done improperly can hardly be expected to work. The failure of Jesus to return as expected suggests that traditional Christianity has deviated from the true path.]

From Wikipedia on Religion and Drugs:

“The primary advocate of a religious use of cannabis plant in early Judaism was Sula Benet also called Sara Benetowa a Polish anthropologist, (1903–1982), who claimed (1967) that the plant kaneh bosm קְנֵה-בֹשֶׂם mentioned five times in the Hebrew Bible, and used in the holy anointing oil of the Book of Exodus, was in fact cannabis. The Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church confirmed it as a possible valid interpretation. The lexicons of Hebrew and dictionaries of plants of the Bible such as by Michael Zohary (1985), Hans Arne Jensen (2004) and James A. Duke (2010) and others identify the plant in question as either Acorus calamus or Cymbopogon citratus. Kaneh-bosm is listed as an incense in the Old Testament.

It is generally held by academics specializing in the archaeology and paleobotany of Ancient Israel, and those specializing in the lexicography of the Hebrew Bible that cannabis is not documented or mentioned in early Judaism. Against this some popular writers have argued that there is evidence for religious use of cannabis in the Hebrew Bible, although this hypothesis and some of the specific case studies (e.g., John Allegro in relation to Qumran, 1970) have been “widely dismissed as erroneous” (Merlin, 2003).

Many Christian denominations permit the moderate use of socially and legally acceptable drugs like alcohol, caffeine and tobacco. Some Christian denominations permit smoking tobacco, while others disapprove of it. Many denominations do not have any official stance on drug use, some more-recent Christian denominations (e.g. Mormons, Seventh-day Adventists and Jehovah’s Witnesses) discourage or prohibit the use of any of these substances.

Because Jesus and many Biblical figures drank wine, most Christian denominations do not require teetotalism. In the Eucharist, wine represents (or among Christians who believe in some form of Real Presence, like the Catholic, Lutheran and Orthodox churches, actually is) the blood of Christ. Lutherans believe in the real presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist, that the body and blood of Christ are “truly and substantially present in, with and under the forms” of the consecrated bread and wine (the elements), so that communicants orally eat and drink the holy body and blood of Christ Himself as well as the bread and wine (cf. Augsburg Confession, Article 10) in this Sacrament. The Lutheran doctrine of the Real Presence is more accurately and formally known as “the Sacramental Union.” It has been inaccurately called “consubstantiation”, a term which is specifically rejected by most Lutheran churches and theologians.

On the other hand, some Protestant Christian denominations, such as Baptists and Methodists associated with the temperance movement, encourage or require teetotalism. In some Protestant denomination, grape juice or non-alcoholic wine is used in place of wine to represent the blood of Christ.”

Pasted from <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_and_drugs>

Footnotes

  1. for example, see Mark 4:10-11 (‘When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables’), but also see John 18:1920 (‘ “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret.”‘) []