Quick post here. I got a message from a friend who had a question about something that the bible CLEARLY doesn’t talk about: whether or not Christians can use anabolic steroids. Obviously, steroids weren’t around in the 1st century and Jesus never addressed the topic directly in the scriptures (much like he didn’t directly address time travel, or playing violent video games, or how much time someone spends on Facebook, etc.). My friend messaged several people, and the general consensus was that the Bible doesn’t address the issue (directly) so all a person has left is opinions on the matter.
I’ve gotta admit, that whole line of reasoning makes me curious as to whether or not people have really thought about it much, if at all. If the Bible doesn’t address the problems of life and God has left us at the mercy of public opinion, what good is he? Why worship a God who is silent about all the stuff that faces me in my life? What a useless God!
Okay. Back on topic. The Bible doesn’t directly address a lot of things, but God hasn’t left us grasping at straws with all the issues of life. Can a Christian take anabolic steroids?
What would your answer be?
Here’s mine (tossed out off the top of my head, mind you):
I’d say that the Bible definitely talks about anabolic steroid use, but not directly since steroids didn’t exist back then. Still, the Bible indirectly talks about steroids in that it gives several general principles that would apply to the question of steroid use:
***General Principle #1 = Christians should obey they law***
If steroids are illegal to possess or use, then the case is basically closed. Romans 13:1-7 talks about the duty of the Christian to follow the law of the land (in as much as the law of the land doesn’t command a Christian to sin), and if Canada says that steroid usage is illegal, then there’s not much debate there. If steroid USE is not illegal but purchasing/trafficking them is, then there’s still not much debate as it is illegal to produce the steroids that it’s legal to posses (if you follow?). Either way, if steroids production, purchase or possession is against the law, it’s something that the Christian needs to steer clear of.
***General Principle #2 = Christians should be controlled by the spirit***
The Bible talks in Ephesians 5:15-21 talks about how the normative pattern for the life of a believer should be one of living a life controlled by the spirit, not controlled by alcohol (or other substances that alter the mind). Many people make the objection that ALL substances alter the mind so “if you’re consistent, you shouldn’t drink coke or coffee”, but the mind-altering part isn’t the problem. The problem is sin, and when someone uses a mind altering substance to commit sin (or even if sin is a predictable side effect), that substance becomes something that they should stay away from.
***General Principle #3 = Christians should flee sin in thought and action***
Jumping off the last point, if someone uses heroine or cocaine in order to bludgeon their conscience and commit sexual immorality, the usage of the heroine/cocaine isn’t NECESSARILY sinful (and principle #2 still applies), but the sexual immorality most certainly is…and the stealing stuff to get the money for the cocaine…and the lying to family to cover up the cocaine habit…etc.
Not only that, but the willful entertaining of sinful desires is equally sinful to the acting out of those sinful desires…it’s just that the fantasizing about sin and the committing of sin are 2 separate sins (Matt. 5:27-28 talk about the fantasizing of sin as being a sin in and of itself). All that being said, by the time someone ends up having sex while laced on cocaine, there’s probably a whole yellow-brick road of sin leading up to that point.
Things get tricky from here on out, but mature believers need to understand mature issues in a mature way.
If a guy uses steroids WITHOUT fantasizing about sin, pursuing sin, or actually committing sin, then he can use steroids (if they’re not illegal – see point 1).
If a person can take steroids without a sinful motivation working towards a sinful outcome, then taking steroids then boils down to a matter of conscience…
…but I’d suggest that the ENTIRE body building culture is built upon the pursuit of sexual sin.
I know LOTS of guys who take steroids because they want girls to notice and then sleep with them (sinful motivation towards a sinful outcome).
I know LOTS of guys who take steroids because they want girls to lust after them (sinful motivation towards a sinful outcome).
I know LOTS of guys who take steroids because they want to win a bodybuilding contest…and in the process hope to have one of the previous 2 points occur (sinful motivation towards a sinful outcome).
I know SEVERAL guys who take steroids because it makes them feel unstoppable and they tend to be more confident in fist fights (again, sinful motivation towards a sinful outcome)
None of those reasons should ever be part of the thinking of a believer, and I’d suggest that basically sums up all the motivations that people I know have ever had for taking steroids (assuming of course that they claim something else and they’re simply lying to themselves).
I’ve NEVER, EVER met a guy/girl who takes steroids because they searched the scriptures, prayed, and came to the conclusion that taking anabolic steroids would, in any way, help them bring glory to God or fulfill the great commission.
There are actually a few other principles that I could think of that would also apply to steroid usage, but those 3 should be enough to give you some biblical parameters to think about steroid usage.
And there you have it.
That’s my “off the cuff” take on the subject. Now you can all point out where I was stretching or wrong and how I could have answered better!
Until Next Time,
Lyndon “The Armchair Roid Rager” Unger