Apparently, I am way behind the times.
Last week Terry was talking to one of her associates, who during the course of the conversation mentioned something about 4/20. Terry was unfamiliar with the reference. The person informed her that “4/20” is a coded reference to the celebration of marijuana every April 20th. The person referred Terry to an online article entitled “What Parents Need to Know About 4/20.” Having read it, Terry showed it to me when I told her that I was not familiar with the term, too. I got online myself and discovered there are several sites with information about this 4/20 reference and the celebration of marijuana.
What I have read is that this coded reference and subsequent celebration of marijuana started about 1971, and is primarily promoted by certain companies these days on social media that makes countless connections with kids through advertising.
As things stand now marijuana usage is generally on the rise, but alarmingly so among kids. Social media “feeds” promote it with the kids. According to the authors of “What Parents Need to Know About 4/20,” Chen and Filucci, “…their feeds are filling up with references to 4/20. Consider these from last year: “It is high time for some Pizza Rolls” (Totino’s): Sometimes you need a huge bowl to get you through the day” (Chipotle): and “Secret stash” (Burger King)…Popular, mainstream brands, including Ben and Jerry’s and Denny’s tweet, snap, and ‘gram ads that subtly—-or not so subtly—-show support for 4/20.”
Chances are that, unlike me, you are already informed about this reference. Nonetheless, there are a some matters that people associated with the Church need to think about specifically during this era when efforts are being made to normalize the use of marijuana.
First, there are Bible-based moral and spiritual values pertinent for society at large the Church should be loud about in whatever ways available to countermand this current effort to legalize and normalize the use of marijuana in our country. For example, churches may want to use their websites for such purposes to address the issue with their youth.
Furthermore, we should proactively uplift the greater value of healthful living as God has intended and as the Bible describes rather than putting one’s self in position for the degenerative results of dis-sobering substances. God calls the shot, “Do not be drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit.” Obviously, the term “marijuana” is not employed in this verse, but it is clearly applicable, for both wine and marijuana are competitive forces that vie for the basis of personality. Personalities are changed and endangered when one imbibes either, and the devil is there to take advantage of it.
However, the more healthful way is to choose to allow God to fill a person’s life. After all, God works in our lives for good, not evil. God desires that we “may prosper and be in health.” Should we not pray that all experience the depth of God’s blessings?
Second, the Church should take notice that this process of normalizing the use of marijuana is clearly another step of the “spirit of anti-Christ” about which the Bible speaks. This spirit of anti-Christ is essentially that evil influence in the world that is preparing the population to accept the ascent and time of the actual Anti-Christ. The spirit of anti-Christ works to get people to turn away from the principles of God. People will be more adept to acknowledging the Anti-Christ in due time if the rudiments of Godliness are no longer an abiding influence. The de-sensitizing of Bible-based virtue and morality seem to be at the heart of an industry promoting the use of marijuana. The people associated with the church would do well to be educated about the manifestations of evil that work to more establish The Evil, and them selves conduct a deeper commitment to the principles and expectations of God.
In the mean time, I thought to call my boys to ask if they were familiar with the marijuana reference to 4/20. Each of them said that they were. Jeshua said, “Dad, you are certainly behind the times.” Yep—-I feel like an idiot for sure about it.
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio.