Growing together in His light ~Eph 5:8

Israeli police trainers welcome to Belize—press release

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Israeli police trainers welcome

Palestinian terrorists blamed baby Layla Ghandour’s death on Israeli tear gas. Later a relative revealed she died of a long-term blood disorder (photo from EuroNews).

Israeli police trainers welcome to Belize. NEAB notes with deep concern today’s public protest against the Israelis here to train police in Belize. Palestinians funded and backed by terrorists recently attempted a massive attack on Israel and met firm Israeli resistance, thus the protests. 

Israel warns nearby civilians before it makes military strikes. Its security forces are known to practice a defense which is firm, restrained, compassionate and effective. That is why Belize police have been trained by them for years. As long as that training follows Israel’s policy of effective restraint, we should be thankful for it.

The Bible says that whoever blesses Israel will be blessed, and whoever curses them will be cursed. We celebrate Jerusalem as Israel’s historical capital for over 3000 years. And together with a great multitude of Belizean biblical Christians, we bless Israel and welcome them to Belize. 

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Note on photo: Too often when Palestinian terrorists mount attacks on Israel, they put their own civilians in harm’s way. Yet the mass media blames Israel for every injury and death. That includes the death of the eight-month-old baby Layla Ghandour. Her mother blamed it on Israel’s use of tear gas at the border fence. Palestinian militants were trying to break the fence down. So networks around the world broadcast Layla’s funeral as evidence of Israel’s cruelty. However, one of her relatives later revealed the truth. Terrorists had paid her parents US $2,200 to blame Israel for her death. Actually, Layla had died from a long-term blood disorder. Moreover, the same disorder had claimed her brother’s life months earlier.

Catholic Bishop withdraws from sodomy appeal—press release

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Catholic bishop withdraws

Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin legalized sodomy single-handedly in August 2016.

PRESS RELEASE on Catholic Bishop withdraws. The National Evangelical Association of Belize is saddened at the Roman Catholic Bishop’s decision to withdraw from the Sodomy Lawsuit Appeal.

It is our firm belief that Godly Values must be actively guarded & nurtured, and that the Church is tasked with the responsibility as guardians of those Godly values. We as NEAB are resolute to stand for what’s right in God’s eyes & urge all Belizeans to do the same. God will make a way where there seems to be no way…

Rev. Lance Lewis, Cell 601-2381.

And The NEAB National Executive Team.

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Catholics Officially Out of UNIBAM Appeal.

It’s now official. The Government of Belize is going at it alone in the upcoming appeal of the August tenth, 2016 judgment of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin regarding the amendment of Section fifty-three of the Criminal Code. Following the withdrawals of the Belize Council of Churches, Association of Evangelical Churches and Anglican Diocese from the case, only the Roman Catholic Diocese and the Attorney General in part were left. The National Evangelical Association of Belize was denied entry into the case in October, 2016. Now, the Catholics have exited as well. According to a letter, dated February twenty-eighth, Catholic Bishop Reverend Lawrence Nicasio stated that after consultations with the diocese and other competent authorities, they are withdrawing their name from the case. The letter gives no justification for the decision. But it states ‘In the midst of legal and moral issues in our country, there is still a good sense of public morality and the desire to preserve the moral fabric of our people.’ They added that they hope that, ‘the Government and future administrations will not compromise nor be persuaded or imposed into believing, teaching or maintaining that which is contrary to our cultures and beliefs regarding our family, social welfare and moral fabric.’ A session for the continuation of the case is scheduled for Tuesday.”

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No church group left to legally appeal as Catholic Bishop withdraws.

 

Baby Alyssa raped, killed—NEAB press release

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Baby Alyssa rapedPRESS RELEASE on Baby Alyssa raped. The National Evangelical Association of Belize expresses its shock & horror at the rape, sodomy, beating & murder of 17 month old baby Alyssa Nunez. Our prayers & condolences go to the family & loved ones. We condemn any and all sexual abuse. It is far too rampant in our nation.

We also mourn the fact that rape, carnal knowledge, or sodomy had not been included in the charges levied last week despite the glaring evidence in this case. And all this within the same week of two near death shootings of children!! What is our nation coming to? Is this the Belize we want? Is this the Belize God wants? Clearly, the answer is NO!

The sad truth is 97% of these kinds of cases go unconvicted in our nation! We call for a full and proper investigation into the death of Baby Alyssa Nunez, for proper charges to be laid and for the accused to stand trial and receive punishment fit for the crime. We call upon our leaders, Government, Prosecution, Lawmakers, Police and all relevant authorities, that more can be done, more MUST be done, to change prosecutorial laws and practices to usher in greater enforcement & conviction of crimes. Our system is broken & not working.

And we call upon all citizens in our challenged beloved Jewel, that we need to cry out to God! He alone is our answer, He alone can change hearts through repentance, and change lives & nations. Let us pray & fast to take back our nation!

 

PRAY WITH US. Father God, we cry out to You for Baby Alyssa. We know she now enjoys Your great Fatherly love and care in heaven. We trust that You have completely healed her of the horrific damage done to her body and soul. But here on earth we are sick with grief and horror. We cannot comprehend the utter depravity of the evil committed against her. We shudder at the thought of what her family is going through. We mourn for a country where such a thing can happen. Only You can help us through this.

 

So we turn to the cross, where Jesus suffered to the uttermost for all the sins of the world. Where sin increased, grace increased all the more. We need Your great grace, that Belize not be overwhelmed with sin, guilt and shame. You say not to be overcome with evil, but to overcome evil with good. So make us all the more resolved to repent of sin, that it not lead to worse sin. Make us all the more resolved to punish such crimes, that others may take warning.

Do not let criminals get away with murder, rape and other crimes against You and humanity. Through the sacrifice of Jesus cleanse Belize of this bloodguilt. And through the power of His resurrection, turn our nation toward Your righteous ways. In Jesus’ name, amen.

DailyInsight. The more we see the sin of man, the more we realize that the cross of Christ is the only answer (See Isa. 53:5).

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God given boundaries must not be crossed -NEAB AGM 2018

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God given boundaries

NEAB President Lance Lewis speaks on our need for spiritual armor for our homes.

NEAB AGM PT.1 on God given boundaries. At NEAB’s third Annual General Meeting, a consistent theme ran through most of the messages. God has given boundaries to Belize—for marriage, family and nation—that we cross at our own dire peril. He has given boundaries to our home and family life. President Lance Lewis opened by exhorting parents to take responsibility for their children. Too many parents have let Satan into their homes. Lack of boundaries and parental monitoring and prayer means lack of spiritual armor (Eph. 6:12-18). As a result, parent leave their kids open to demonic attacks of rage, fear and suicidal thoughts. No wonder the murder and suicide rate has risen so high.

NEAB VP Scott Stirm shared how we’ve sought to reconstruct the boundaries that the 2016 legalization of sodomy tore down. Catholics and evangelicals—which together represent 68 percent of Belize’s population—have worked together for seven years to shut Belize’s doors to the foreign LGBT agenda. After the Chief Justice singlehandedly opened those doors, we won the right to appeal his verdict through the Catholic Church’s status as an interested party.

We also sought to use the Church-State Commission to set moral boundaries to the government’s initially pro-LGBT gender policy. But two of the six church groups—Anglicans and Council of Churches—broke away from the Commission, contradicting their own previous morally conservative position papers. The Catholics remained on the Commission with three evangelical groups.

Those four groups issued strong new pro-family position papers on a wide array of sex-and-marriage related issues. But the government ignored them. And the Catholics’ efforts to appeal the sodomy ruling suffered during the strain of its transition to a new bishop, Lawrence Nicasio. We must redouble our prayers for them. And we must get ready to jump back in to support the Catholics when they renew their appeal of the sodomy ruling.

Louis Wade relates Belizean-Guatemalan history.

Pastor and TV journalist Louis Wade emphasized asserting our national boundaries. Our internal struggles for political and denominational turf must not distract us from the greater task of defending our external borders. The following shows that the Bible itself supports Belize’s claim. Acts 17:22 says,

From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth. And He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.”

God determined the times set for every nation. Louis declared that God set apart the New World for evangelism. In contrast, the Old World had become divided up mostly between Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Jew and Christian. The New World nations are predominantly Christian. The Pope in 1493 assigned the whole of the New World to Catholic Spain except for what is now Brazil, which he assigned to Catholic Portugal. But God Himself determined “the exact places where they should live.

British pirates settled what is now Belize from the Caribbean side of Central America. Spaniards settled what is now Guatemala from Mexico on the Pacific side. Even today Guatemala’s population abounds near the Pacific Ocean, but thins out from west to east. Likewise, Belize’s population decreases from east to west. The Maya stood in the way of both of them expanding further. Therefore an 1859 treaty confirmed Belize’s still-enduring border with Guatemala. Also, God arranged for a reef to protect Belize on the east.

Spain has never exercised any authority over Belize. As proof, Louis pointed out that you cannot find any Spanish ruins in Belize, only Maya ruins. So Guatemala did not inherit Belize from Catholic Spain. On the contrary, God has preserved Belize for us as heirs to the mostly non-Catholic Christian British. But if Belizean churches don’t exercise our God-given spiritual authority over our claim, we may lose it.

NEAB Secretary George Ferrar illustrated the most recent contacts between Guatemalan and Belizean church leaders using a PowerPoint show. George himself met leaders of the evangelical association of Peten, Guatemala in March 2016. Two months later, the border conflict heightened when an exchange of gunfire at night on the Belize side killed a 13-year-old Guatemalan boy. The newly elected President Jimmy Morales rushed 1000 troops to the border.

In response, NEAB leaders arranged to meet with Peten evangelical leaders to make peace at the border. We worshiped in both English & Spanish, took communion, embraced, and prayed. Then God quickly defused the crisis. In fact, the Peten evangelicals invited us to participate as they hosted a July 2016 conference for evangelicals nationwide. Accordingly five of us went. They welcomed us warmly. And our hosts interrupted their program to engage in repentance for Guatemala’s sins against Belize. In turn we repented for Belize’s sins against Guatemala. Then we blessed each other and vowed to stay in touch.

But the upcoming border referendum threatens to strain our newfound friendships. Six of us went to Guatemala City on January 25 for a conference of the Association of Guatemalan Evangelical Ministries (Spanish acronym AMEG). Again they welcomed and honored us and exchanged blessings with us. But before we left, we felt compelled to seek better understanding on the border issue.

President Lance shared about our meeting after the AMEG conference with Otilio Lopez Cabrera. He is Guatemala’s former Personality of the Year. He is also the outgoing AMEG President. AMEG consists of more than 47,000 churches and 500 denominations. After cordial introductions, Lance stated the basic case for Belize’s sovereignty and asked President Lopez to help us convey our case to other Guatemalans of influence. Accordingly, President Lopez received this well. He said he would not only help us on this sensitive topic, he would also seek to visit Belize soon and learn more.

Due to their traditional education, most Guatemalan evangelicals believe Belize forms part of Guatemala. They support President Jimmy Morales, nominally a Baptist, whose platform included renewing the claim on Belize. For that reason we must make the most of our contacts with Guatemalan evangelicals as the ICJ referendum approaches. Together with them and with God we can influence the outcome, in the belief that God wants us to be good neighbors but also distinct neighbors.

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Evangelicals focus outreach on homes & schools

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Evangelicals focus outreach

Derrick Pitts of Every Home for Christ.

NEAB AGM PT.2 on evangelicals focus outreach. NEAB has made many appeals to the government to uphold family values as opposed to legalizing sodomy and decriminalizing marijuana. But we are finding much greater receptivity in homes and schools. At our Annual General Meeting Evangelist Derrick Pitts stressed going on the offensive with the Every Home for Christ campaign. In Ephesians Six our offensive weapons are prayer and Scripture. Derrick promoted interactive prayer maps for the whole Caribbean region. Each map makes room for local prayer commitments too. He displayed lots of free Scripture-packed tracts in both English and Spanish. These equip families to engage in discipleship in their homes, churches, and communities. With his van-load of tracts Derrick is providing enough to reach every home in the nation.

George Ferrar spoke on our new campaign to reach the schools of Belize with messages on issues relevant to youth. Though our government is not listening to our warnings about the drug and LGBT agendas, the schools are. Furthermore, youth are the prime targets of both agendas. They have many questions about their sexual identity and the pervasive drug culture. They are hungry to hear God’s answers.

Evangelicals focus outreach

Scott Stirm promotes campaign for taking relevant messages to schools.

Vice-President Scott Stirm reminded us that 50% of our nation is age 17 or under. As the youth go, so our nation goes. Thankfully, schools are eager for the biblical answers that preachers are already providing. Scott and youth leader John George so impacted one school that they invited them to take over all their Life Skills classes. Therefore NEAB is calling on every chapter to develop a team of motivated speakers to reach as many schools as possible in their district.

Harvest Aviation shared how we can receive supplies from US sources for only BZE $4 per pound for shipping. We simply have them delivered to Harvest Aviation’s address in Wauchula FL. Then we can pick them up at Belize International airport within one month. Also, Harvest Aviation wants to develop further relationships with church leaders in Belize and help in any way they can.

Finally, Lisa Gotz spoke on two upcoming workshops offered by IRIS Ministries July 30-August 10. First, Restoring the Foundations teaches how to close doors to the demonic and be forever set free. Second, Disaster Response Training equips & certifies leaders in crisis intervention in Belize and other nations. We must respond rapidly because human traffickers aim to arrive first and steal away children during disasters. We must arise and shine in such crises, for deep darkness is covering the earth.

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Border vote poses challenge to evangelicals

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border vote poses challenge

Communion between Guatemalan and Belizean evangelicals at the border,  28 May 2016.

Border vote poses challenge to evangelicals. The thorniest foreign issue for both Belize and Guatemala will come to a head on April 18. On that date Guatemala will vote on whether to take its claim on the land of Belize to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Belize will vote on a later date.

NEAB has been reaching out to our evangelical friends in Guatemala to seek a better understanding about our national identities. Our relationship began when we prayed and took communion with them at the border on 28 May 2016, after the conflict flared up again due to a shooting at the border. The more we learn to appreciate and pray for each other, the more we can avert fresh hostilities as the border referendum approaches.

NEAB President Lance Lewis speaks at the AMEG conference in Guatemala City.

On January 25th, six of us attended a big evangelical conference in Guatemala City hosted by the Association of Evangelical Ministers of Guatemala (or AMEG, Asociación de ministros evangélicos de Guatemala). AMEG consists of more than 500 denominations and 47,000 churches in Guatemala. They welcomed us enthusiastically and honored us. We exchanged blessings with each other. NEAB President Lance Lewis spoke of our growing relationships with Guatemalan evangelicals. He commended Guatemala for supporting Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, just as NEAB does publicly. Afterward, Lance was presented with an honorary AMEG sash.

Dr. Otilio Lopez of the Association of Guatemalan Evangelical Ministries (Spanish acronym AMEG).

Before we left, we felt compelled to share the Belizean perspective on the border issue, a perspective that Guatemalans rarely hear. We spoke with Dr. Otilio Lopez, outgoing president of AMEG. NEAB President Lance stated the basic case for Belize’s sovereignty and asked for help to convey our case to other Guatemalans of influence. Dr. Lopez said he would not only help us on this sensitive topic, he would also seek to visit Belize soon and learn more.

In the meantime, we are seeking another prayer encounter between evangelicals from both nations near our sensitive southern border. God has begun a good work in bringing evangelicals of both nations together. Let’s keep praying and believing that He will guide the referendum process, establish our border, and show us how to become good neighbors.

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New Year exhortations, blessings, and statement on Israel

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New Year exhortationsNew Year exhortations, blessings, and statement on Israel.

The National Evangelical Association of Belize extends New Year blessings to all Belizeans, after a wonderful Christmas season. As our murder rate for 2017 has tied the 2012 highest ever record, we urge all Belizeans to live vigilant, sober lives guarding our children and families. Let us cry out for God to heal our nation.

We also wish to express our disappointment with the decision of Government and the Opposition in supporting the UN Resolution to condemn the recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel. This contradicts 3000+ years of recorded history. We stand with Israel. In addition, we recognize the need for amicable & respectful solutions for regional disputes. We will be reaching out to Israel to convey our support.

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NEAB condemns Belize’s recent vote at the United Nations.

5 January 2018. Today, the National Evangelical Association of Belize sent out a press release expressing disappointment over the Government of Belize’s position. Love News spoke with President of the NEAB, Pastor Lance Lewis.

Pastor Lance Lewis – President of NEAB.

Jerusalem has always been the capital, the historical center of Israel. America has now lined up with moving the embassy. It is a historical move based on history. We as Christians, for the most part, have that same sentiment that Jerusalem is undivided. There have been people that have different issues and we are concerned about their issues. But in the matter of the capital we still feel that it should be undivided. Jerusalem is the historic religious center for the world and for the Jews and we stand with them. It does not mean that we are not for the Palestinians but a matter that we are for Jerusalem being intact as the capital and the center of the Jewish nation.”

 

 

Evangelical Christmas message -President Lance Lewis

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evangelical Christmas message

Gerard van Honthorst: Adoration of the Shepherds (1622).

December 2017 Evangelical Christmas message. Christmas greeting to one and all.  We wish you the warmth of Christ love in these wonderful wintry days!

The birth of Jesus Christ is a miracle and a pivotal part of God’s Word. In the Gospel of Matthew chapter 1:18-25, we read the fascinating story of the birth of Jesus Christ.

True followers of Christ accept the Virgin Birth of Christ and the other miracles of Christ. In the passage a few things stand out for me.

First of all we see THE DIVINE INTERVENTION IN JOSEPH AND MARY’S WEDDING PLAN (Matt 1:18-19).

Here we see:

a) Pledge to be married.

Our modern society differs from the Jewish culture of Joseph and Mary’s time. They did things differently then in regards to getting married. We see three stages.

i) Engagement: began when the couple were young, even below teenage years. The parents made some arrangement for their children’s future marriage.

ii) Betrothal : This stage ratified the engagement done earlier by the parents. It could be broken off if the girl was unwilling to go forward with it. During this time the couple was in a sense man and wife without being involved intimately. No one could break this stage except through a divorce!

iiii) Marriage: This took place at the end of the betrothal stage (usually one year after). This was the norm in Jewish weddings.

b) Pregnant before marriage.

Mary ‘was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit’ (Matthew 1:18).

Joseph encountered a tough situation. His wife to be was pregnant and he was not involved at all in this situation.

This Virgin birth had never happened to anyone else, and never will. Mary became pregnant through the work of the Holy Spirit!

The Virgin birth of Christ fits into the pre-incarnate dignity and glory of Christ. Scripture supports this in passages such as John 1:1-9; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:15-17 and Hebrews 1:1-3.

The Holy Spirit originated Mary’s pregnancy. It was the move of God and not of man.

Whenever something powerful happens, the Holy Spirit plays a pivotal part as in the case of Creation, the Birth of the Church and the New birth.

Unlike Jesus, no other religious leader ever experienced the Virgin birth. Neither did any Scripture prophesy the coming of any other Religious leader, or when or where he would be born. Only Jesus!

c) Principled man.

Joseph was a principled man and a prince among men. Even although he did not understand at first, the situation with the pregnancy of his wife-to-be, he did not want her to be put away publicly. He was prepared to do so privately. Therefore, Joseph was indeed a righteous man, a just man.

We find few principled men. We need men who will not get involved sexually until they are following the direction of the Spirit and following God’s Word. They wait for God’s time.

Secondly, we see “DIVINE APPEARANCE OF AN ANGEL TO JOSEPH (Matthew 1:20-23).

The angel appeared to Joseph before Christ was born and was a powerful means of assurance to him of what was happening in the case of Mary. We also see in this second section some interesting things.

a) The dream.

Dreams played a big part in guidance. As we saw with Joseph of The Old Testament, so we see with Joseph here in Matthews gospel.

Today we have the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit. So dreams are not as important to understand things today as they were then.

b) The message of the angel. “Don’t be afraid to take home Mary as your wife. That which is conceived in her is of The Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:20).

c) The Ministry and Mission of Jesus.

Thou shalt call his name Jesus for he shall save his people from their sins” (verse 21). The mission of Jesus is to save people from sins . Accordingly, our Christmas message must carry a message of salvation through Jesus Christ. He is God revealed. He is the source of light and life as Wesley’s powerful hymn tells us:

Hark the herald angels sing… light and life to all he brings , risen with healing in his wings..”

Therefore, no true Christmas celebration can take place without the message of salvation. “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10)

Thirdly, we see  DELIBERATE ACTION BY JOSEPH (Matthew 1:24-25)

Angels won’t do everything: Look at what Joseph did.

a) He woke up. (Life is real.)

b) He did what the angel of the Lord commanded him. This shows a principled man who obeyed God’s plan. When we get a revelation from God we need to act on it . We need to wake up!

c) Finally, he took Mary home to be his wife. Joseph had no union with her until after Christ birth. He was principled and patient because he knew God’s plan and God’s purpose. Suffice it to say Mary had other children so was only a virgin for the birth of Jesus.

Have a blessed Christmas and experience God’s guidance and power in your life!

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Evangelicals vs Rastafarians -the Bible on pot

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evangelicals vs rastafarians

“The Garden of Eden” by Thomas Cole (c.1828)

Evangelicals vs Rastafarians–the Bible on pot. On November 23rd CARICOM’s Regional Commission on Marijuana held a public consultation at the Belize Biltmore on the prospect of legalizing marijuana. There several Rastafarians claimed a biblical case for legalizing marijuana. Yet the panel did not allow NEAB to answer, though we represent 250+ churches. Directly afterward, the Commission asked NEAB to provide a special document addressing what the Bible says about marijuana.

The Rastafarians at the meeting contended that marijuana should be legalized because Genesis One declares all plants good. “‘Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind’…and God saw that it was good” (Gen. 1:11-12). But we see three types of plants in Genesis 1,2 and 3. In Chapter One we see the plants God planted. They are all good. That was when “no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not sent rain upon the earth; and there was no man to cultivate the ground” (Gen. 2:5).

In Chapter Two we see the second type of “plant of the field” which man began to plant and cultivate along with the plants God planted. “Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to cultivate and keep it” (Gen. 2:15). In Eden, man was free to eat of any tree in the garden, except for one tree. Because he “will surely die” if he ate of it (Gen. 2:16-17).

evangelicals vs rastafarians

“Expulsion from the Garden of Eden” by Thomas Cole (c. 1828)

In Chapter Three man chose to eat from the one tree which would cause him to surely die. This death meant a different, mortal life on ground that was cursed. There we see that a third kind of plant grew. “Cursed is the ground because of you… both thorns and thistles shall grow for you” (3:17-18). God sent man out of Eden to cultivate the dusty ground from which God formed him. “Therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken” (Gen. 3:23).

Since then man has had choices between many good plants and many bad plants (and between many other good and bad choices as well). The bad plants included not only thorns and thistles but poisonous plants and harmful addictive plants. For instance, some we know that mushrooms are edible, some are addictive, some poisonous, some even deadly, and some medicinal.

Marijuana contains a good medicinal chemical compound, CBD. But it also contains a harmful chemical compound, THC, which damages the part of the brain that we use for motivation and decision-making. THC has many other harmful effects that we have documented at length in the first paper we are submitting to the Regional Commission on Marijuana.

That is why we have strongly recommended that recreational use of marijuana not be decriminalized nor legalized. It’s a well-known maxim that reducing consequences on behavior increases that behavior. And the more THC is consumed, especially by youth, the more it damages the brain. Instead of decriminalization we must offer the kind of rehabilitation which educates offenders on how harmful it can be to their lives and future.

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Harmful marijuana effects on youth —the evidence

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harmful marijuana effects

Image by Pixabay.

Articles Against Decriminalizing Marijuana showing harmful marijuana effects on youth. Collected by the National Evangelical Association of Belize.

1.  CNN. Frequent teen marijuana use linked to issues later in life Sept. 2014. http://edition.cnn.com/2014/09/09/health/teen-marijuana-use/ 

Story highlights. Study:

Teens who use marijuana daily are less likely to get high school diploma.

·         Daily teen users 18 times more likely to become dependent on pot, study says.

·         Teens who use marijuana daily are less likely to get high school diploma

·         Study: Adolescents who frequently use marijuana also more likely to use other drugs;

·         Study fails to show that marijuana use causes these problems, advocate says.

1.     

2.    Time Magazine. Marijuana effects same area of brain as schizophrenia http://time.com/2032/why-its-still-a-big-deal-if-your-teen-smokes-pot/

Adolescence is a sensitive time for brain development,” says Matthew J. Smith, a research assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. “If a teen introduces the abuse of marijuana at that point in their life, it could have consequences for their ability to problem solve, for their memory and for critical thinking in general.”

The earlier the drug was taken up, the worse the effects on the brain.

Marijuana is the ideal compound to screw up everything for a kid,” says Hans Breiter, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, and a senior author of the study. “If you’re an athlete, a chess player, a debater or an artist, you need working memory, and marijuana hurts the brain circuitry.”

 

3.    Mental Health Treatment. New studies prove marijuana is a gateway drug leading to harder drugs. http://mentalhealthtreatment.net/marijuana-is-a-dangerous-gateway?utm_outbrain=contently&utm_campaign=ch&utm_term=171366

Early marijuana initiates’ increased vulnerability for drug abuse and addiction to other substances later in life has been reported by most epidemiological studies. It is also consistent with animal experiments showing THC’s ability to ‘prime’ the brain for enhanced responses to other drugs.” 

THC, the active ingredient in marijuana that produces the euphoria, is generally much higher in today’s varieties of weed.

 

4.    Teen Vogue magazine.  Effects of weed are worse than thought, affecting parts of brain related to IQ and motivation. http://www.teenvogue.com/story/marijuana-effects

 New research shows that the effects of pot are even worse for teens than we previously thought. Scientists now believe that marijuana causes developmental changes to the part of the brain that controls motivation and decision-making. The impact is long-lasting. Even scarier, studies have also shown that teens who are dependent on pot before the age of 18 and continue to use the drug lose an average of eight I.Q. points by the time they’re 38.

Recent studies show that almost 23 percent of high school seniors used marijuana in the past month, and nearly half of all teens have tried it—a staggering 21 percent increase from just five years ago. …One study from the University of Southern California found that 30 percent of sexual assault victims at rape treatment centers had marijuana in their systems.

5.    Society for Neuroscience. BRAIN CHANGES ARE ASSOCIATED WITH CASUAL MARIJUANA USE IN YOUNG ADULTS. https://www.sfn.org/Press-Room/News-Release-Archives/2014/Brain-Changes-Are-Associated-with-Casual-Marijuana-Use-in-Young-Adults  Light to moderate use of pot changes brain anatomy, says study by Harvard hospital using MRI technology comparing brains of weed smokers to non smokers.

The scientists found that the more the marijuana users reported consuming, the greater the abnormalities in the nucleus accumbens and amygdala. The shape and density of both of these regions also differed between marijuana users and non-users.”

    The nucleus accumbens “is at the core of motivation, the core of pleasure and pain, and every decision that you make,” explained Dr. Hans Brieter, professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at Northwestern’s medical school. Brieter also said, “If I were to design a substance that is bad for college students, it would be marijuana.”

 

6.    New York Times.This Is Your Brain on Drugs”  Oct 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/02/education/edlife/this-is-your-brain-on-drugs-marijuana-adults-teens.html?_r=1  MRI scans showing brains of weed smokers. Dangerous effects of new modern weed with higher % levels of THC.

DEA: “the concentration of THC, the drug’s psychoactive compound, rising from a mean of 3.75 percent in 1995 to 13 percent in 2013”—3.5 times higher. “High-THC marijuana is associated with paranoia and psychosis….Emergency room visits related to marijuana have nearly doubled, from 66,000 in 2004 to 129,000 in 2011.”

   “in casual users, THC can disrupt focus, working memory, decision making and motivation for about 24 hours.”

7.   The Guardian (UK).Teenagers using cannabis daily are 60% greater chance of not finishing high school: Daily users under 17 are seven times more likely to attempt suicide compared with non-users, Australian-led study finds http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/sep/10/teenagers-who-use-cannabis-every-day-60-less-likely-to-finish-school

Daily teenage users were seven times more likely to attempt suicide and eight times as likely to use other illicit drugs compared with non-users, the research published in journal the Lancet Psychiatry found.

8.    The Globe & Mail.Your kids brain on pot: The Real Effects of pot on teens” http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/your-kids-brain-on-pot-the-real-effects-of-marijuana-on-teens/article21127612/  Effects of marijuana on teen brains, leads to later loss of intelligence.

“ …quitting pot did not seem to restore intellectual functioning in those who had been chronic pot users as teenagers, the researchers found” from Duke University.

“…the risk in developing psychosis doubles from about 7 in 1000 for non-cannabis users to 14 in 1000 among regular users.”—Addiction Journal.

Compared to people who had never used cannabis, those who were daily users before age 17 had an 18-times greater chance of becoming cannabis dependent. They were eight times more likely to use other illicit drugs in adulthood, and seven times more likely to attempt suicide.” The Lancet Journal.

9.   ABC News Australia. Teen Cannabis Users More likely to quit school & suicide. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-10/daily-cannabis-smoking-puts-teenagers-at-serious-risk/5732272  Teen users were less likely to finish school, had later life problems, motivational issues, performed lower than non smokers.

Teenagers who regularly use cannabis before they turn 17 are much more likely to drop out of high school or university, or attempt suicide, than those who never smoked a new study has found.

Australian research by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at the University of New South Wales: “It found teenagers who were daily users of cannabis before age 17 were more than 60 per cent less likely to complete high school or obtain a degree compared to those who had never used the drug.

The large meta-analysis also indicated daily users of cannabis during adolescence were seven times more likely to attempt suicide.

In addition, those teenagers had a chance of cannabis dependence 18 times higher than others, and were eight times more likely to use other illicit drugs later in life.

 

10.        The Lancet Journal. The most probable adverse effects include a dependence syndrome, increased risk of motor vehicle crashes, impaired respiratory function, cardiovascular disease, and adverse effects of regular use on adolescent psychosocial development and mental health. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2809%2961037-0/abstract  (Synopsis only, full report for purchase.)

“ The most probable adverse effects include a dependence syndrome, increased risk of motor vehicle crashes, impaired respiratory function, cardiovascular disease, and adverse effects of regular use on adolescent psychosocial development and mental health.”

 

NEAB articles related to harmful marijuana effects on youth.

Evangelicals vs Rastafarians -the Bible on pot.

Decriminalizing marijuana: wrong move, wrong direction.

NEAB Statement on Decriminalizing Marijuana.

Related sources for harmful marijuana effects on youth. See above articles.

 

Keyword: harmful marijuana effects on youth.

Evidence for harmful marijuana effects on youth

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