Psychedelic mushrooms, commonly known as “shrooms,” have become an increasingly popular recreational drug in recent years. However, many Christians are unsure about the morality of using these substances. What does the Bible have to say about magic mushrooms? In this comprehensive blog post, we will examine the scriptural evidence regarding shrooms and other psychedelics.
The Bible does not directly mention psilocybin mushrooms or other modern hallucinogens. These substances were unknown in ancient Israelite culture. However, the Bible contains principles that can guide believers in evaluating shrooms from a Christian perspective.
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- The Bible condemns sorcery, witchcraft, and illicit drug use
- Christians should avoid mind-altering substances that impede sobriety and self-control
- Civic laws against controlled substances should be respected
- Psychedelics can open the mind to demonic influences
- God created plants for our benefit; shrooms are abused, not used
- Experiences while “tripping” often contradict Biblical truth
- The joy, peace and purpose found in Christ eclipse any “high”
Let’s explore each of these concepts in more detail throughout this article. We will consider relevant Biblical passages while evaluating common arguments regarding shrooms. My aim is to present clear ethical guidance for Christians.
Sorcery, Witchcraft and Drug Use
Several verses in Scripture condemn the use of illicit substances for the purpose of inducing altered states of consciousness. These warn against practices like divination, sorcery, and witchcraft.
“Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:31)
“There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)
“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)
These texts condemn mystical practices aimed at inducing spiritual or prophetic experiences. By extension, they imply that purposefully ingesting psychoactive substances for “mind expansion” would be sinful. The peyote cactus, psilocybin mushrooms, and other hallucinogens have long been used in shamanic rituals and pagan religions across the world. Seeking visions, mystical insight, or “cosmic consciousness” through such methods would be spiritual unfaithfulness to God.
Sobriety and Self-Control
Another relevant Biblical principle is the expectation that believers exercise sobriety and self-control over their minds and bodies. Passages like the following emphasize God’s call to intentional living through the Spirit’s guidance:
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8 NIV)
“So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.” (1 Thessalonians 5:6)
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
Psychedelic intoxication results in a complete loss of self-control. Sensory perception, cognition, and emotions are dramatically altered. Out-of-body sensations, euphoria, vivid hallucinations, time distortion, and panic attacks may be experienced. Using shrooms could open one to dangerous spiritual influences without the rational discretion to resist them.
Therefore, recreational use of shrooms seems to contradict the Biblical virtue of sobriety. It compromises the clear-headed alertness that Scripture commands believers to cultivate through walking by the Spirit.
Respecting Civil Law
Currently, psilocybin mushrooms are classified as an illegal Schedule I drug under federal law. Medical and therapeutic usage in clinical settings requires special legal permissions. Christians are generally expected to obey civil laws and authorities unless they directly violate God’s moral will (Acts 5:29). While advocating for policy changes may be appropriate, disregarding laws merely for self-gratification fails to uphold the Biblical standard of civil obedience and a good witness.
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” (Romans 13:1-2)
“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him… Live as free people, yet without using your freedom as a pretext for evil. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” (1 Peter 2:13-14, 16-17)
The principle we can derive is that the current illegal status of shrooms itself should give Christians pause in considering whether to use them recreationally. While medical applications may be warranted down the road, respect for the law discourages casual use solely for one’s own pleasure or interest.
Tripping on psychedelics often includes paranormal or spiritual sensations like entities or mystical experiences. In a vulnerable altered state, without rational discretion, users can readily be deceived by demonic influences masquerading as angels or gods. Consumed in large doses, shrooms have triggered temporary psychosis and terrifying visions.
“No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15)
“You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” (James 2:19)
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)
The apostle Paul also warns of deception from “doctrines of demons” promoting godless asceticism and mystical experiences (1 Timothy 4:1-5). Christians should exercise extreme care with any activity that opens one’s mind to influence by deceitful spirits. Anything promoting real or perceived encounters with spiritual entities other than the triune God should be rejected as dangerous demonic counterfeits.
Plants for Benefit, Not Abuse
Occasionally people argue that because God created psychedelic mushrooms, he approves of us using them. But this ignores how the Fall has corrupted his perfect creation with harmful potential.
“And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.” (Genesis 1:29)
God did create all plants, including shrooms, and declared them originally “good” (Genesis 1:12). However, yeast, grapes, poppies, tobacco, and many other natural substances can also be abused to sinful ends. We must use discernment, recognizing our fallen tendencies toward idolatry, addiction, and excess. As 1 Corinthians 10:23 states, “All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful.” Just because God created it does not necessarily mean he condones its use for intoxication.
Scripture actually warns of the dangers from drug abuse, not recreational benefits:
“Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.” (Proverbs 20:1)
“Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery.” (Ephesians 5:18)
In appropriate doses and contexts, God created plants and fungi for medicinal purposes and wholesome enjoyment. But seeking escape, “enlightenment” or hedonistic thrills through intoxication crosses into sinful abuse. Shrooms should be avoided for such ends.
Contradicting God’s Truth
Trips on psychedelics often include profound sensations of cosmic oneness, mystical visions, and spiritual epiphanies. But these experiences fail to align with revealed Scriptural truths in many ways. Visions may complement new age philosophy or Eastern mysticism, but contradict Biblical teaching.
For instance, a universal cosmic oneness ignores the Christian doctrine of God as a trinitarian being of three distinct persons. Mystical enlightenment disregards Christ’s unique role as the only mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). And supernatural visions should always be tested, since even Satan can appear as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).
The doctrine of Genesis 1-2 teaches that natural hallucinogens did not exist in God’s perfect world before mankind’s fall into sin. Any insights gained from shrooms must be carefully evaluated against God’s authoritative Word, lest we be deceived.
“Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)
As believers, we have the mind of Christ by the Spirit and Scriptures (1 Corinthians 2:16). We must filter all experiences through Biblical truth, not the other way around. Shrooms have potential to dangerously undermine God’s revealed Word.
True Joy and Purpose in Christ
A final key Biblical truth is that union with Christ provides supreme joy, peace, and purpose that completely eclipse any temporary “high” from shrooms or other drugs.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17)
As Christians, we already have the Holy Spirit residing within us. Our finite minds cannot begin to fathom the infinite bliss, hope, meaning and adventure found in relationship with our Creator. No artificially-induced hallucination could ever compare with the genuine spiritual delights in Christ. It would be tragic to waste our fleeting mortal lives chasing after counterfeit experiences instead of fully embracing God’s love and grace by faith.
In summary, the overwhelming witness of Scripture is that shrooms are to be avoided for recreational use. While compounds like psilocybin may prove medically useful under professional supervision, general use for “tripping” or mystical insight opposes Biblical values of sobriety, self-control, discernment, and loving obedience to God and civil law. The joy and peace we long for is found in Christ alone.
The Bible does not directly prohibit shrooms, but its principles point strongly against recreational use by Christians. Seeking escape, thrill-seeking “highs,” or spiritual enlightenment through drug intoxication goes against God’s call to sober, intentional living by the Spirit’s guidance. Scripture repeatedly condemns the use of substances associated with divination, witchcraft, or pagan religion for the purpose of inducing altered states of consciousness. And the psychosis-like effects of large doses of shrooms could potentially open one to demonic influences.
Additionally, psychedelics like psilocybin mushrooms lack self-control, contradicting the Biblical virtue of sobriety. Their current illegal status also discourages casual use on grounds of conscience and Christian witness. And experiences or visions reported while tripping often conflict with Scriptural truth when wrongly viewed as authoritative.
Ultimately, the transcendent joy, purpose and communion with God attained through faith in Christ alone eclipses any thrill from recreational drug use. Scripture directs believers to find satisfaction in the presence of God, not chemical dependence.
In conclusion, the responsible Christian approach to shrooms seems to be complete avoidance. However, further medical research could clarify if these substances have legitimate therapeutic potential under professional supervision. Within medical contexts guided by wisdom and Biblical ethics, Christians can pray for breakthroughs that help relieve suffering. But seeking entertainment through recreational use of shrooms falls far short of God’s high calling for our lives.