A few days ago Derek Jeter came to a local college to speak to the student athletes and then do a public forum that evening. A friend of mine graciously gave me a pair of tickets. I took my youngest son. We waited over an hour in below freezing temps and it was well worth the wait. I don’t care if you hate the Yankees you have to respect Jeter. He played for the most demanding owner, in the most demanding city with the most demanding media coverage and he did more than survive he played a legendary career.
It was very interesting hearing him talk about his family, the final game, retirement plans. There was one thing that stood out to me and I have been thinking about it ever since he said it. Here is what he said:
We like to put things in boxes. We like tidy answers. Will you go to hell for smoking weed? No. Should you smoke weed? No. Many parents are going to have to start figuring out what they believe about marijuana. Most states that have legalized it have set the legal age at 21 which is wise.
Here is why I think legalizing marijuana is a bad idea.
- Wider use and acceptance. The legal age is 21 but so is alcohol and go to any High School party, college campus alcohol is everywhere. Is weed in these places now? Yes. But legalization will make it far worse believe me.
- People typically smoke it to get high to alter conscience
- I believe that the “drunk with alcohol” scriptures apply to “getting high on drugs”
I came across this info graphic on the website information is beautiful. It depicts what the most crops are the most lucrative. This info-graphic tells everyone state legislator they are missing out on massive tax revenue. We have successfully taxed tobacco into the dark ages. States will legalize weed and do the same to it.
So the question is not if your state will legalize it but when. Here is my question. As a parent what are you going to tell your kids? As a youth pastor what are you going to tell your kids and how are you equipping your parents with practical and spiritual implications of this new legalization of a “formally banned” substance.
As a parent we want to make the most of every season. Christmas time is no exception. I remember a few years back looking for ways to help my kids “get” the true meaning of Christmas. I’m not anti-santa just more of a Santa agnostic. We tried to teach our oldest that Santa wasn’t real for a while and a few years ago despite our best efforts he opened his gifts and said “Dad, Santa is so good to us.” Boom. Christian parent fail.
Kevin DeYoung in his fantastic devotional exposition of the Heidelberg Catechism explains the threefold outline of the Catechism in such a concise and profound way.
Question one of the Catechism shapes our whole existence. The first thing we need to know as a Christian is that we belong to Jesus and not to ourselves. But it doesn’t help much to know all about comfort and joy if we don’t know what is required to live and die in this comfort and joy. Belonging to Jesus and not ourselves means knowing three things: guilt, grace, and gratitude. The rest of the Catechism will follow this threefold outline.
First, we understand our sin. Then we understand salvation. And finally we understand how we are sanctified to serve. All three things are necessary. If we don’t know about our sin – which brings a true sense of guilt – we will be too confident in our abilities to do right and make the world a better place. We will ignore our most fundamental problem, which is not lack of education, or lack of opportunity, or lack of resources but sin and its attendant misery. But if we don’t know how we are set free from this sin and misery – which comes through God’s grace – we will try to fix ourselves in futility or give up altogether in despair. And if we don’t know how to thank God, showing gratitude for such deliverance, we will live in a self-centered, self-referential bubble, which is not why God saved us from our sin and misery in the first place. If Christians would hold all “three things” and not just one or two, we would be saved from a lot of poor theology and bad ideas. – Kevin DeYoung
As I am walking our own children through the Catechism I find myself convicted and moved to worship and the beauty and majesty of the truths it holds. If you are a parent looking for a great devotional check out “The Good News We Almost Forgot.” It is written to be read as a weekly devotional but can be read as frequently as you desire I read it all as quick as I could. Such a great book. Highly recommend it. If you are a fan of the Catechism this book will deepen your love for it. If you are skeptical or new to the Catechism it’s worth checking out.