Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What do you make of smoking?

I have been reading these few blog posts and it does raise some interesting opinions on smoking. Here are the links:

Towards a Theology of Smoking
Tying Up Some Loose Ends On Smoking
Responding to R.A. Torrey On Smoking
Is Smoking Sinful?

Although the opinions take neutral ground on smoking and that it can be done for the glory of God (please bear in mind, I'm just quoting this one) the only price to pay when smoking seems to be it's effect on our health. See here.

But with that, most Christians do have their biased attitude to smoking. I know, because in my context smoking is perceived to be sinful and the quote would always be "our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit" kind of argument. But I found what Tim Challies (in the link 'Is Smoking Sinful') said to be more enlightening in him mentioning that there are many other health risk things out there other then smoking which we don't hit on for example fast food. I don't think there had been any sermon incorporating abstinence towards fast foods.

I also have a post on smoking as well which I posted here. Anyway if you have any opinions or thoughts on this I would be glad to hear them out (or rather listen to them).


Mason said...

“most Christians do have their biased attitude to smoking…the quote would always be "our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit"”

Many in the tradition I was raised in view smoking the same way, a terrible sinful thing which the pastor condemns as an ‘addiction’ while sipping his fifth cup of coffee that day.

I don’t like smoking personally, the smell (well the smell of the normal cigs, cigars smell good though) and the health effects, but I have no real problem with it on a sin level.
If someday I have kids and they wanted to smoke I would not be happy, but that’s because I’d be concerned about the way it would damage their lunges, not because I’d think they were terrible sinners if they smoked.

Yes it’s terribly unhealthy, but if people had any idea what sort of chemicals and unhealthy ingredients are in a lot of the food they gorge themselves on they would feel the same way about a number of other things they are putting in their bodies as well.

Now, moderation is important, and a three pack a day smoker is probably sinning on the same level as someone who is a chronic overeater is, as well as misusing money that their family needs, but I notice we don’t tend to treat those issues as equivalent.

Anonymous said...

if we were as diligent in opposing gluttony as we are in opposing vices such as cigarettes and alcohol perhaps there would be fewer obese christians dying from weight related health issues.

Dan Martin said...

I wouldn't go so far as to call it sin. One of my favorite brothers at a church I attended some years back, smoked fairly heavily and I refused then (and would refuse now) to make an issue of it.

I would say that anybody who inflicts the discomfort on bystanders that SOME smokers do--by being careless with the direction and intensity of the secondhand smoke they put off--may be compromising their witness just by being unnecessarily unpleasant rather in the same way a loudmouthed, boorish Christian can be compromising their witness, and in the same way driving like a fool while sporting a fish on your car can compromise your witness.

So it's not a neutral thing, for sure. But to beat people over the head with it is not right either.

Ray said...

I would have a hard time calling it sin. Every once in a while I enjoy a good cigar, and think that is ok. While I do not think that chain smoking is sin, I do think it is dumb with the health risks involved, as I have seen first hand in my family and friends what emphysema can do.

Tremonti said...

Mason, holywild, Dan, Ray,

I see we all share the same views on this. Thanks for your input and views on the subject of smoking.

Hopeful Theo

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