As our culture turns away from God and the Christian system of living, we have a vast void that many people fill by turning to recreational drugs. Drug promoters try to convince people that they offer solutions to the negative human experience. For example, we now see “churches” that advertise a quick way to have a spiritual experience using a psychedelic brew known as ayahuasca. The promoters of ayahuasca drug use in churches claim it will give spiritual enlightenment and bring the user closer to God.
The government of New Mexico has allowed the ayahuasca church the right to use the drug as a sacrament even though the main ingredient is illegal under U.S. federal law. In Oregon, a U.S. District Court ruled that a church is free from prosecution for the use of ayahuasca because of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The Hummingbird Church, with locations in California and Utah, regularly conducts ayahuasca services.
Ayahuasca came to the U.S. from South America, where it has been used in religious rituals for many years. It is usually consumed as a tea. The active ingredient is N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), with harmala alkaloids added to prevent the hallucinogenic drug from breaking down in the digestive system.
The risk factor for ayahuasca is very high and similar to the LSD craze. It raises the heart rate and blood pressure. Many users experience seizures, and most lose muscle coordination resulting in falls. Respiratory arrests have happened, especially with people who have had the COVID virus. One complication is HPPD (hallucinogen persisting perception disorder), which, along with persistent psychosis, results in flashbacks long after discontinued use. New data also links serotonin syndrome disorder to the drug.
With ayahuasca drug use in churches in the United States, we can expect it to become more widely distributed. In addition, we can expect to see use among high school and college kids, especially those who have rejected their parent’s church and Christianity in general.
A person who throws God out of their life will desperately seek something to fill the void. Ayahuasca, like LSD, is a bad choice. The body of a Christian is the dwelling place for God’s Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16-17), and any attempt to find a substitute is destined to fail. Ayahuasca drug use in churches and on the street will bring pain and, ultimately, death to the user. Worse than death, eternal separation from God is the ultimate tragedy for any human being.
— John N. Clayton © 2023
Reference: AP News and wikipedia