Is the use of a psychedelic drug a gray area?


I ask this unconvinced.

My father and mother, about a year ago, began using psilocybin (magic mushrooms), having not dabbled in it since they were teenagers.

Both of them claim they underwent a spiritual renewal after tripping. Now they believe they are truly "saved" for the first time and that God used the shrooms to completely transform their hearts.

Bear in mind, I am an adult with a family of my own. They're a little too old to be experimenting like this.

After crediting it for their newfangled faith, they declared they'd abstain from it, along with alcohol and any other mind-altering substances. But recently they started drinking and partying again and, from all accounts, haven't stopped drinking.

I think this whole situation is dubious. I'd caution them to test the spirits at work here (I John 4:1) but due to their recently adopted beliefs, they no longer believe that there is demonic influence in our world, despite telling me they saw freaky, devilish-looking creatures while tripping on psilocybin. My father supposedly told one of these devil things to leave him alone, it did and began looming over my little brother's head.

I heard this story from another family member. My dad hid it from me because he knew I would've started a theological debate with him.

My parents aren't a unique case. More and more, I'm seeing an acceptance of psychedelics in professing Christian sects, online and elsewhere. It worries me because I feel like it's yet another deception of the devil. The usual rebuttal is something like: "Drugs aren't mentioned in the Bible; therefore, it's fine." And the command of be ye sober only applies to alcohol.

How can I combat this line of thinking with Scripture? Or am I wrong and psychedelic use is a sort of permissable gray area?


In I Thessalonians 4:6-8. Notice the contrasts:

  • light - darkness,
  • awake - sleeping, and
  • sober - drunk.

It is apparent that Paul desires the Thessalonians to be alert, mentally watchful, and sober -- physically abstinent. We find that alertness is often connected with abstinence from intoxicating beverages (Luke 12:45). We understand that it is physical abstinence that is being considered since it is being contrasted with being drunk.

What applies to alcohol also applies to other mind-altering drugs. The same reason the use of alcohol is avoided by Christians because of its interference with being alert also can be applied to a large number of drugs.

"Instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age" (Titus 2:12). "To live soberly" (sophronos) means having a sound mind, being prudent, and being sensible. A Christian keeps his mind clear and reasonable. This is not possible under the influence of a mind-altering drug.

Thus, it is not a "grey area." Intoxication by alcohol or other drugs is forbidden to Christians except in rare medicinal situations.

A person is not saved by taking a drug. If that were so, mankind would be able to save itself -- which the Bible repeatedly states is not possible. See What Saves a Person?

Your parents don't have faith, at least not in God. "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ" (Romans 10:17). They are worshiping their emotional highs. Their trust is in themselves.

In regards to demons, see Demonology.


Thank you. I agree with everything you've said, and I appreciate you taking the time to give me resources to combat this nonsense.

Self-professing Christians are being very dishonest with themselves when they claim it's a gray area. Drunkenness is drunkenness; my parents are chasing "highs" rather than the truth. That's a problem with modern-day Christianity in general.

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