The big thing with the “in” crowd today is psychedelic drugs. Young adults and teenagers particularly are using an increasing amount of these drugs, such as: Psilocybin (obtained from Mexican mushrooms), mescaline (obtained from the peyote cactus and used by American Indians in their religious rites), and dlysergic acid diethylamide (also called LSD and obtained from ergot fungus).
The urge for mind expanding drugs is old. We read already in Genesis 9:20-21: “And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.”
Now this was no mere accident that befell Noah. He did not just happen to drink some old grape juice. Rather, in his sin, he wanted to “get away from it all,” to relieve physical, spiritual, or mental tensions and pain.
Man has long felt the pain of his existence. The relief of this spiritual, psychological pain has long been a dream of man; and he has been trying to relieve it by endeavoring to change his mood, expand his vision, alter his inner existence or stupefy his awareness with such drugs as alcohol, opium or LSD.
The last one, LSD, has received by far the most publicity in the past few months. The usual effects of this drug are: Constriction of the peripheral arterioles, elevation of the systolic blood pressure, dilation of the pupils and a change in religious feeling. Note this last characteristic: A change in religious feeling. Drug consumption has even become an intimate part, if not a basic component of many religious sects. Drugs have been substituted for God and Christ. How foolish is man? How can he ever hope to relieve himself of the hopelessness and pain of sinful flesh in the evil world apart from Christ and His saving love?
It is natural for evil man to feel a hopelessness and despair. Man has always clung to something, some god, in order to survive. It is true that this god chosen by sinful man is not the God of Heaven, but something earthly, whether it be gods of wood or stone, or money or drugs. He seeks not the true God and for this reason he cannot find true peace of mind and soul.
The Christian also feels a desperate need to clutch at Something to keep him from the hopelessness, despair, pain and fear that characterizes the terrible existence of sinful, unregenerate man. We, by the grace of God, have been regenerated and know the saving grace of Christ by the work of the Spirit. But even our minds must be expanded. This expanding cannot be brought about by any mind-expanding drug; but can only be accomplished by another kind of LSD: Love, Study and Devotion.
Love the Lord thy God, and Love the truth He has given to us in His Holy Word. Show this Love in all that you do. Attend church in Love, study catechism in Love, and care for one another in Love. But above all Study God in His revelation in Love.
As God Himself has said:
Yea, if thou criest after knowledge and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. Prov. 2:3-5
Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing: therefore get wisdom and with all thy getting get understanding. Prov. 4:5-7
How can we know God? Only by searching for true knowledge, searching as if our life depended on our finding the object of our search, searching spiritually and mentally as we would want physically to search for hidden riches. Only by searching in the Word of God can we find this true knowledge: The knowledge of our sin, our damnation, our salvation in Christ. With such a knowledge we will be able to understand the history and future of the Church, the history of the world and the tensions and troubles of the world today. This knowledge, this inner security, will enable us to overcome the inner tensions, both physical and mental, brought upon us by our sinful flesh. But this knowledge cannot be obtained by just reading the Word of God. Rather, we must learn and STUDY our catechism, listen carefully in church, read the religious papers and magazines. Essentially, we must DEVOTE ourselves to the unlocking of God’s revelation.
This devotion, however, must not stop with studying God’s revelation. It must bear fruit exemplified by devotion to the well-being of the church, devotion to one another’s spiritual and physical well-being, devotion to our schools and devotion to the proclamation of God’s Word.
Dear Christian young people, we live in a very troubled world and the outlook for the future is not any too bright. Furthermore, the workings of the Devil and his dominion of the damned are increasingly subtle. We may well be tempted into trying drugs in order to relieve our tensions. The Devil will try to trick us into giving up our God and accepting some worldly substitute. Beware young people that ye be not overcome. Love the Lord thy God; Study His Word; and Devote your lives to His Kingdom, for this is the manifestation of the heaven-bound Church.
Originally Published in:
Vol. 29 No. 1 March 1969