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Smoking

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Mark Osgatharp, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. Brother Ian

    Brother Ian Active Member

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    Smoking, at the very least, displays poor judgement.

    The Bible does not say, "Thou shalt not smoke." However, there are many biblical principles that are violated when one chooses to smoke. Several have already been listed.

    Many preachers point out smoking because it is easy to observe. It's easy to hammer the smoker. I would imagine few of these same preachers lament the sin of gluttony.

    Your chance of picking up the habit center around your upbringing. When I was growing up, most of the adults I knew smoked, as a result many of the kids I hung with smoked. The detrimental affects of smoking were only beginning to be discovered. Now we have a greater idea of the damage smoking causes, not only to the smoker, but to those around him.

    I've got a friend from North Carolina that jokingly told me, "When you turn 12 here, they hand you a pack of cigarettes."

    I just returned from Europe where nearly everyone smokes. It's a whole different ballgame there.

    By the way, I am a non-smoker...now. I quit in 1983.
     
  2. Ulsterman

    Ulsterman New Member

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    As we are well aware, tobacco (like many other drugs) is addictive. Smoking (and other harmful drugs) should be absent from the Christian’s life for four basic reasons.

    1. For PHYSICAL reasons.
    2. For EMOTIONAL reasons
    3. For FINANCIAL reasons.
    4. For SPIRITUAL reasons.

    Cigarette smoke contains more than 3000 chemical substances, several of which have been linked to the development of diseases. Here are the medical facts; 100 000 people die in the UK each year as a result of smoking. About 275 graves will be filled with the bodies of British smokers today and will be again tomorrow and the day after that!! Smoking accounts for 30% of all cancer deaths! People who smoke 20 cigarettes a day are twice as likely to have a heart attack, 3 times as likely to have a stroke and 10 times as likely to contract lung cancer than their non smoking neighbours. Pregnant women who smoke are more likely to miscarry or give birth prematurely. So physically smoking is a root cause of all kinds of cancer, heart disease, strokes, respiratory problems, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, miscarriage and a host of other lesser diseases.

    The question for the Christian then, is how does this practice glorify God? “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.” (2 Timothy 2:19-21). In this passage the vessel refers to one’s body Further more 1 Thess 4:4 teaches “That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour" (1 Thessalonians 4:1-4).

    Paul tells us that some people possess a body which brings honour to God and some dishonour and whether the body honours or dishonours depends upon its purity and use. A body filled with the poisons of tobacco use is far from pure. God is not honoured when our body, which is His possession and purchase, is so abused.

    Then, many people take up smoking seriously because of under lying emotional causes - insecurity, anxiety etc. It becomes a deadly crutch. Rather than depending on tobacco to see us through life’s crisis’ the Christian is to depend upon Christ.

    As Christians we are to be good stewards of our finances and resources - smokers are not. Smoking is simply burning your money.

    A smoking Christian is a poor testimony because, rightly, or wrongly, the world perceives the Christian should be clean in his habits. Smoking can hardly be described as a clean habit. Yellow finger tips, a nagging catarrhal cough, clothes, breath and body smelling of stale smoke do not express to others the purity of Christ, or a truly cleansed life.

    Just because smoking isn’t specifically mentioned in Scripture as a sin doesn’t mean it isn’t a sin.
     
  3. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    The concepts are there...

    KJV 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

    KJV Romans 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

    KJV Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

    Can you thank God for the cigarette before you light up and then smoke it "by faith" to the glory of God?

    If you do smoke, do you consider it a good thing to be able to quit?

    KJV James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.


    HankD
     
  4. cojosh

    cojosh New Member

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    Is smoking a form of suicide???
     
  5. Brother Ian

    Brother Ian Active Member

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    I wouldn't consider it suicide. Suicide implies an immediate end to life. Unless a person got hit by a bus crossing the street to buy cigarettes. [​IMG]
     
  6. chipsgirl

    chipsgirl New Member

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    Smoking isn't a sin but the addiction of it is.

    And in response the question of "is smoking a form of suicide"....I would say no. I don't know anyone who smokes to intentionally kill themselves. It CAN lead to sickness which can lead to death but the actual cigarette doesn't kill.
     
  7. bapmom

    bapmom New Member

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    Ok, you can use the buzzword addiction and say that smokers are sinners if you want.
    But you cannot find any example of cigarette smokers robbing and stealing to support the habit. No one ever came in late from a night of smoking and beat up their wife or kids. No one ever had too many cigarettes and killed somebody on the highway because they were impaired. No one ever had one smoke too many and pulled a gun or got into a fight.
    Tobacco has become a social taboo among many groups of people, simple as that.
    </font>[/QUOTE]I wasn't using "addiction" as a buzzword. An addiction controls you.....the addicted person can't hardly think of anything else except for that next "whatever".

    Again, an addiction is different then just something you like alot, and Id say its also different than just a habit. Especially smoking and drinking, they are physical addictions that most people have to be weaned off of.

    Please don't take my comments as meaning more than they do. Im actually trying to point out that we need to be more willing to help them. They very often need more than to be told not to, and they most certainly need more than to be told its no big deal. Either end isn't helpful.
     
  8. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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  9. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory New Member

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    How very true. Sadly, many churches turn to New Age methods to "help" them, instead of using Christian methods. When I quit, it was many, many years ago before I had turned my life over to Christ (although I was saved at the time). I simply decided to quit, so I quit. The churches should be helping the people to turn to God in order to quit, instead, many of them turn to 12 step programs, meditation, etc.
     
  10. bapmom

    bapmom New Member

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    I agree with you, Hope of Glory.

    Thats why I mentioned our program is not a 12-stepper. We even hesitate to call it a "program."

    Its all about introducing people to Christ, and helping them live a stronger, real Christian life.

    It applies to all areas of any person's life, really going beyond addiction, as well. But since its outreach to our community, and not mainly for people already in church, it has a different "feel" to it.
     
  11. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory New Member

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    Sounds like a good "program" [​IMG]
     
  12. chipsgirl

    chipsgirl New Member

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    I agree. I had a problem myself and needed help. Instead of going the traditional route and going to a clinic for my disorder I instead enlisted the assistance of the associate pastor at my old church. It was a good fit for me and helped me to see how God can help me through anything.
     
  13. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp New Member

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    You people are up to your eyeballs in Pharisaism!

    All of your arguments either assume that smoking is sinful, assume that addictions are sinful, or assume that doing things that hurt your body are sinful - none of which can be proven by the Bible.

    Is smoking stupid? Obviously! I don't think there are many smokers who would deny that. But to stigmatize someone as sinful for doing something stupid is slander and misuse of the Scriptures.

    Don't tell me that people don't do this because I've heard them do it. I've heard people say, "the smokers and the drinkers." Now are you prepared to stand before God and accuse some godly old man who happens to smoke cigars as being the same class of man as a drunkard?

    I knew a man who every so often would say, in church, that "when I was a kid women who smoked were considered trashy." We had women in our church who smoked and that was his way of saying they were trashy.

    Well let me tell all you Bapticostals something - if you are going to accuse someone of being "trashy" you better have some pretty clear Scripture to back it up. So far I've yet to see anyone produce a Scripture that casts the least bit of moral condemnation on someone who smokes.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  14. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp New Member

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    Here are some desultory observations on this discussion:

    1. I Corinthians chapter 6 explicitly says that the ONLY sin which is against the body is fornication. Anyone who uses this Scripture to justify their prejudice against smoking:

    a. Flatly denies Paul's assertion that every sin than man commits, with the exception of fornication, is without the body.

    b. Accuses people who smoke of being on a moral par with whores and whoremongers. Again I ask, are you prepared to stand before God and accuse your brother who smokes of being the moral equivalent of a whoremonger?

    2. It is no less abusive of God's word to pull the "if it offends someone" defence of your anti-smoking rhetoric. To start with, the Bible does not say we should not do something simply because it offends someone. It says we should not do things which might cause our brother to stumble.

    What Paul taught is that if we do something that encourages someone else to do something which is actually sinful, we have abused our liberty. To use Paul's teaching to justify our prejudices is a horrid perversion of God's Holy Bible.

    3. Jesus' most violent tirade against Pharisaism was occasioned by His abstinance from washing His hands before eating and their amazement over it. The Pharisees judged other people for not observing their traditions and thus exalted their traditions to the level of God's commandments.

    Now tell me, is it unhealthy to eat with unwashed hands? So the scientists tell us and I suppose they are right. This being so, Jesus certainly knew such was the case and therefore, according to the "if it's bad for your body it is sinful" philosophy He should have washed His hands before eating.

    Furthermore, if we follow the "if it offends someone" then you shouldn't do it philosophy, Jesus should have washed His hands simply to keep from offending the Pharisees. But He didn't!

    To the contrary, He intentionally did not wash His hands and then flew into the Pharisees with vehement derision when they questioned Him over it. Ditto when thet found fault with His disciples over it.

    4. The "if you smoke you are wicked" heresy has become so popular among the churches that it is getting to the point where people who smoke are ostracized from Christian company. There are doubtless many otherwise decent people who don't go to church because they smoke and know they will be looked down on by church people for doing so.

    How dare we make such judgements on men! Let this Holy Roller shibboleth forever be banished from the Baptist ranks!

    If you want to separate yourself from the company of smokers at least be honest about it and tell them it is simply because you think smoking stinks and really has nothing to do with godliness nor lack thereof!

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  15. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    I'll repeat my premise Mark

    KJV Romans 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

    Whether consumption of tobacco, alcohol or meat.

    So the use of tobacco can can be sin.

    HankD
     
  16. Alcott

    Alcott Well-Known Member
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    If it is, then life imprisonment without parole is a 'form' of the death penalty. It's in the eye of the beholder.

    One 'case' that sticks out in my mind about smoking to intentionally kill oneself is in Joni, the autobiographical book by Joni Eareckson (Tada), and referred to also in one of her later books. When she was first taken to Greenoaks Rehabilitation Hospital near Baltimore, she was put into a room with 3 other teenage girls, one of whom she identifies as "Anne," who smoked cigarettes by some kind of fixed holder (the girls all had paralysis to some extent). This was in the 60's, so being able to smoke was still considered a basic 'right' even if others couldn't always be assured of smoke-free air. So Joni, disliking the smoke and odor, told her, "You know, those things can kill you." Anne answered, "Why do you think I'm doing it?" In a state in which they have lost their ability to live 'normally,' and people can't even lift a knife to kill themselves instantly, smoking may be used as a suicide method.

    However, in Joni's later book that I referred to, she mentions Anne again, and after they first met as roommates they had gotten along better and Anne had become a Christian. But by the time she did, she in fact did have a fatal lung disease, and she still died young. So smoking as a method of suicide may be a slow method, but it might also be an irreversable method in case the person has a change of heart and mind. [Joni herself, of course, is still going strong at the age of 55 in her Joni and Friends ministry to the disabled.]
     
  17. m&m

    m&m New Member

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    Our church is also involved in Reformers Unanimous. When a trainer came to our church to teach us how to get it started up he made a good point. We are all addicted to something and that addiction is, like many stated, a sin. Some addictions are just worse for us than others. Some examples he gave of addictions: shopping, watching TV, anger, abusive behavious, drugs, alcohol, etc.

    Addictive behaviour is the sin. This program is great for Christians and the unsaved since we all do have addictions, this is part of our sin filled human nature.
     
  18. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp New Member

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    I knew a man who smoked from the time he was five years old and lived to be 83. Cause of death? Walked out in front of a semi and was killed. So I guess his sin was not being too careful about where he was walking.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  19. bapmom

    bapmom New Member

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    Mark,

    on the contrary,

    I thought this whole discussion was quite nice and thoughtful. Why are you calling us all Pharisees? That seems rather rude to me, and in this particular case, uncalled for.

    Smoking nicotene IS an addiction whether or not you want to admit it. I believe you said you are a non-smoker.....so if thats true, than maybe you should go get to know a person struggling with this addiction and ask THEM how easy it is to stop. None of us here said that we'd "disassociate" with a person who smokes. In fact, many of us have said that it needs to be put under a proper emphasis within our churches, instead of being one of the "pet" sins always talked about.

    How is this suffering from Pharisaism? Unless we look at how you're accusing us all of stuff we aren't saying?

    Come on......there's lots of things we have as strongholds in our lives, and we all need help getting rid of those. Smoking IS a problem for many people, and it IS more than just "something they like." I DO know people who've used food money to buy cigs instead. Not to mention the FACT that very often cigarettes are a stepping off point for other, "harder" drugs. They very well can open a door to worse things, if allowed to take hold.

    If its not such a big deal, than why is the industry of stop-smoking products booming, even among the secular world? Why are so many people trying to stop?

    And your one anecdote of a man who lived to be 83 doesn't mean much, anyway. No one said that smoking always causes death.....it just makes it more likely from certain problems.
     
  20. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    Or possibly the truck driver's sin.

    Mark I agree with you, the pharisaical approach is wrong.

    I know four people in my family who died untimely deaths of lung cancer, all were smokers, both my parents, a maternal aunt and my father-in-law.

    I smoked before I was saved. Kept on smoking for a while after I was saved while in the military.

    In fact I did it all. I smoked cigarettes during the day (which I had rolled myself). When I went back to the barracks in the evening I smoked a pipe and an occassional cigar.

    One day I was contemplating my existence and I looked at all my tobacco paraphernalia and said to myself "this is not good" and with His help I quite.

    Forty five years later and I am glad I did.
    I believe it was from the Lord.

    I'm far from perfect but for me, it would have been sin to continue on.

    KJV James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

    Yes, I occassionally smell the tobacco smoke on the saints but it's not contempt I feel for them remembering my parent's ordeal.

    HankD
     
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