Religion can be used for many things on both sides of the table especially in discussing issues. One of the main issues on the table today is Marijuana use and the decriminalization of it in Belize, so let’s go with that.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,
21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
– Galatians 5:19-21
Looking at the Greek word pharmakeia which translates to witchcraft or sorcery and is the source of our English words like pharmacy, pharmaceutical, etc. in essence Drugs. In the beginning, pharmakeia had to do with the proper use of drugs. It later took on an entirely different meaning to denote the misuse of drugs, that is, the use of drugs to poison and not to cure. In the New Testament, pharmakeia carried with it the idea of sorcery, occultism, and black magic.
When Paul spoke of pharmakeia, he certainly did not have in mind witches on broomsticks, black cats, and silly superstitions. The Apostle was speaking of sorcery — the evil abuse of drugs. Narcotics and hallucinogenic drugs were not uncommon in NT times. For instance, the Oracles of Delphi apparently used Datura during their quests for visions. This is the scientific, Latin classification of Jimson weed. It contains powerful alkaloids (biochemical bases of vegetable origin which include many other drugs, quite a number of which have narcotic or hallucinogenic effects: e.g. mescaline, cocaine, morphine, etc.)
So I ask … If the original word was literally a medical term for the proper use of drugs, in today’s language that would mean medicinal herbs like Don Eligio Panti practiced healing with. Then that leaves us with what we would call today man-made medicine or drugs, which I personally think is what the translated word really is talking about.
I’d now like to point you here:
29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
Genesis 1:29-30 (KJV)
Notice it said meat, this means every herb bearing seed is good consumption.
This is just my opinion. What do you think? Share your opinion.