You want to do what is right and be accountable for your actions, and you hope that fellow Christians do the same. This includes when others sin. But what happens when our society’s way of punishing those who sin is actually detrimental to everyone?
Punishment or Treatment?
As a Christian, you learn that using drugs is a sin. Many people believe that punishing a drug user with prison time is just. However, addiction is a disease and punishing someone who is sick just doesn’t seem right. In reality, sending an addict to prison and branding them a felon is counterproductive and damaging. If you are convicted of a felony, many doors close for you. Finding a job or a home and getting financial aid for school becomes difficult and you lose the right to vote. The consequences extend to the addict’s family members and children, as well. Currently, there is a new proposal in the Senate that would prevent convicted felons from receiving food stamps. The family of the felon would have to try to make ends meet without this much-needed resource.
Speaking for Those Who Can’t
Reverend Edwin Sanders, pastor of the Metropolitan Interdenominational Church in Nashville, is advocating decriminalizing drug use. He believes that we should treat and care for these addicts. Galatians 6:2 tells us “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” It is our duty as Christians to help those who need it. Addicts need treatment in drug rehab to break free from addiction. In doing so, their lives and the lives of the families improve and their faith restored.