I received a poorly argued apologetic from a group called “regulatemaine.com.” Curiously it turned out to be from a clergy group asking for my support on Question 1 — the legalization of marijuana — which will be on the ballot in the fall.

What surprised me was the following sentence: “Our faith traditions at their best do not seek to shape personal behavior by imposing prohibitions … current laws do not serve us well and, in fact, may actually undermine our efforts to promote responsible decision-making by our youth.”

This is disturbing, since it is clergy’s express purpose to try and help people see that changing their behaviors to reflect the purposes of the God who made them is not only healthy, it is the reason for their existence. The Apostle Paul writes the church at Corinth saying, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price.”

The immediate context is a prohibition of immoral sexual practices precisely because the Creator to whom we belong knows how we can prosper in this life and instructs us accordingly. As such, it is a major role of clergy to impose biblical guidelines explaining the logical and healthful reasons why God imposes such boundaries.

I adjure all clergy that we are warned, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.”

“Responsible decision-making” derives from God’s perfect counsel. A “faith tradition” that does not impose biblical prohibitions to shape one’s behavior is a worthless tradition and worse, it leads people astray.

Bill Cripe