27. “A Christian Response to Recreational Marijuana” – Dr. Barnabas Sprinkle – 12.4.2020

Gov. Phil Murphy campaigned in 2017 on the promise to legalize marijuana within his first 100 days in office. But lawmakers could not muster enough votes in the state Senate to pass legislation sponsored by Sen. Nick Scutari, D-Union, and eventually voted to put it on the ballot for the people to decide.

And they did so Tuesday in a victory that wasn’t a surprise (early polling showed some 60% of voters were likely to approve the referendum.) On Nov. 3, 2020, New Jersey voters approved a constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana, capping an effort launched by lawmakers three years ago and setting the stage for a big-money industry to do business in the Garden State. How should Christians respond to this new, ethical dilemma? Pastor Bob and Pastor Dave speak with Dr. Barnabas Sprinkle about this important subject.

Barnabas Sprinkle is the Pastor of Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church in Liberty Corner NJ.

Barnabas’ name means “son of encouragement,” and he strives to live up to it. His passion is helping people experience eternal and abundant life in Jesus Christ. He has lived out this passion at three churches before Liberty Corner, in Texas, Georgia, and most recently in Medford, Oregon where he has served for eight years. 

Barnabas earned degrees in physics and communication before getting a Master of Divinity degree and Spiritual Formation Certificate at Columbia Seminary as well as a Doctorate in Ministry from Fuller Seminary emphasizing missional leadership. He enjoys woodworking and has recently tried his hand at wood turning. 

His partner in marriage and ministry is Emi, a professional counselor who has started both counseling centers and wholeness ministries. She grew up in Romania (attending the Hungarian Reformed Church) and came to the U.S. as a political refugee before the fall of communism. She has two master’s degrees in counseling and public administration, and a spiritual formation certificate. Emi is the musical one, playing piano and hammered dulcimer. 

The Sprinkles have three children: Joshua, Matthew, and Hannah. All three enjoy scouts and piano. Together, the family enjoys camping and hiking in God’s creation.  Barnabas is the author of the new book, Jesus and Mary Jane: Navigating Marijuana in Light of Science and Scripture. You can buy the book on amazon.com here: