Should Psychedelics Be Used to Obtain Spiritual Experiences?
The question has arisen about the use of psychedelic drugs to open spiritual doors. Some people believe the scriptures say nothing about the use of drugs to obtain spiritual experiences. This is not true.
The use of drugs to open spiritual doors has been done for centuries by pagan cultures. Using drugs to open spiritual doors can do just that, open spiritual doors, but which doors are opened is indiscriminate and unregulated.
God specifically forbade Israel in the use of drugs for spiritual experiences. We tend of think of witchcraft and recreational/spiritual drug use as two separate things in this world but they are not separate from each other.
“When you come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. 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. And because of these abominations the LORD your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God, for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do this.” Deut. 18:9-14, ESV, Italics Added.
Because we are so divorced from the culture of ancient peoples many of the words have been redefined, even though we perform the same acts and associated with idolatrous and forbidden behavior. The word sorcerer is given additional clarification in Galatians and in the Book of Revelation.
In Galatians 5:20, the word that is translated as witchcraft is the word used for drug-related sorcery. The ancient Greek word is pharmakeia, which means the use of drugs, medicines, potions, and/or spells, poisoning, and witchcraft. We musts consider the context in which the word is used. The first recorded use of the word pharmacy as a place where for the administration and dispensing of drugs was recorded in 1833.
In Revelation 18:23 the same word, pharmakeia, is used and translated as sorcery.
“Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, ‘So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence, and will be found no more; and the sound of harpists and musicians, of flute players and trumpeters, will be heard in you no more, and a craftsman of any craft will be found in you no more, and the sound of the mill will be heard in you no more, and the light of a lamp will shine in you no more, and the voice of bridegroom and bride will be heard in you no more, for your merchants were the great ones of the earth, and all nations were deceived by your sorcery.’” Rev 18:21-23, ESV
The use of witchcraft and drugs and/or potions goes hand-in-hand. Not all sorcerers cast or use spells. A person that sells drugs for recreational/spiritual use is a sorcerer.
Medications have their place and God has provided plants and roots for the use of healing of our bodies as Alma mentions in the Book of Mormon.
“And it came to pass that there were many who died, firmly believing that their souls were redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ; thus they went out of the world rejoicing. And there were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year were very frequent in the land—but not so much so with fevers, because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases, to which men were subject by the nature of the climate— But there were many who died with old age; and those who died in the faith of Christ are happy in him, as we must needs suppose.” (Alma 46:39–41)
Using drugs to have spiritual experiences will certainly open spiritual doors. There is no way to control which doors are opened. People have had some of the most horrible experiences taking drugs for recreational use and to obtain spiritual experiences. Use of sorcery opens the door to deception and should be not be used.
Use of drugs to obtain spiritual experiences is a selfish act because we are approaching God in a way that he has not appointed. We are using these substances for gain, to obtain for ourselves, for our own glory. These are not the attributes of a godly people.
Use drugs for spiritual experiences at your own peril. All manner of deceptive spirits await.