Lots of good Christians smoked (C.S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. H. Spurgeon). Smoking is not inherently bad - just like alcohol. It can be done excessively, but it can also be done moderately. As long as one avoids becoming addicted, there can be no sin involved.
Personally i don't smoke. It's bad for you. i have to disagree with my brother up above saying that smoking isn't bad like alcohol. smoking is inherently bad for your body. our bodies weren't design to breathe in that junk.
that being said however, I don't believe it necessarily a sin. Maybe the addiction part of it is but as an item no. However i did once hear someone say "Smoking won't send you to hell. but it'll get you there a heck of a lot faster!"
i will say... that as a Christian who enjoys a cigarette/cigar/hookah from time to time... I've never felt convicted of the activity. It's a social activity for me, and nothing more. It's something to enjoy with good friends over good conversation. I don't connect it at all with Jesus... (even if there is deep religious discussion late at night while sitting on the deck, smoking...)
I think that Christians take substances (and you can take that word as conservatively or liberally as you would like.) too... seriously, perhaps? I think that legal substances, used in moderation are... life enhancers. Cigarettes and alcohol can be used as social activities- or when abused, life ruiners, really.... It's up to the individual.
@MysteriumFidei@xanga - At first I couldn't decide what I would say, but I think you summed it up. Although I will say that back in the times of the great christians who smoked, there wasn't as much known about smoking. We now know how dangerous it is, and I think it is irresponsible for Christians to make it a practice to smoke often. We are God's temple and need to take care of that temple.
That being said, I don't smoke and I nearly puke when I smell it. And I'm really irritated at the guy who owned our car first -- the smoke smell is almost out, but not not quite.
But I think it has to do with all behaviors -- are you addicted? Probably not healthy. I also think we need to make a distinction between cigarettes and cigars and pipes. Most cigarette smokers are addicted and smoke multiple cigarettes a day. Most Pipe and cigar smokers (today) tend to smoke on occasion. I can't say whether smoking one thing is worse than another, but it's the behavior -- the addiction that makes a difference.
@Crazy_Jesus_Freak@xanga - Our bodies weren't designed to eat junk food and sweets either - but does that make those items inherently bad? Or should they just be avoided except for moderate use?
God created tobacco, just like He created the fruit of the vine. Both He said were good. In fact, I think our Lord said it best: "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man: but what cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man." St. Matthew XV:xi
i think smoking really is like a lot of other things... it's a grey area. some people feel really convicted about smoking, and others are fine with smoking. however, i don't think christians should allow themselves to become addicted to anything. but i don't think addictions preclude you from being a christian either.
Addiction is bad. Paul said that one should not be mastered by anything, even though all things are permissible. If one can smoke without becoming addicted (i.e. infrequently), then I don't see a problem.
Yes, our body is a temple--but why is it that so many people target smoking as bad for the "temple" yet ignore other unhealthy-but-socially-acceptable things, such as cheeseburgers or caffeine?
I think it's fine, in moderation. The problem is it can easily spiral into addiction, and then become an idol, which is something the Bible warns us against. As a smoker I know this is hard, but I think if you can balance it properly,it shouldn't be a problem.
I smoke. I'm a Christian. God doesn't look at me differently. It may be detrimental to my health, but God also told us to take care of the world and we screwed that one up. I'm not addicted, so I think I'm doing pretty well. It's just something to do at work where you can talk to other people about life. I'm all about meeting people where they are, and if they're outside around the corner having a smoke, that's most likely where you'll find me.
One can argue whether it's sinful or not, but I think there's little question that it's an incredibly stupid and unhealthy thing to do. At least some fatty-foods have nutritional value. Also, it's very easy to become addicted to tobacco-- more so than almost anything else you'll ever encounter. Smoking is linked to almost every type of cancer you can think of (not just lung, throat, and mouth cancers), in addition to heart problems and other health issues. It can make your skin, fingernails, and teeth look awful. It can leave awful smells in your house and car that are very hard to get out. Plus, there's the issue of second hand smoke as well. Even junk food doesn't present that type of problem.
While having only an occasional smoke is better than smoking a pack a day, it's still not healthy. And most people who smoke a pack a day (or more) didn't start out smoking that much. They started off with a little, and it kept increasing over time. At least with junk food and sweets, it's much easier to keep those things in moderation. Plus, with some exercise, many of the bad effects from certain junk foods can be kept to a minimum. That's not the case with tobacco. Trying to smoke, but only lightly, seems like playing a game of Russian Roulette. You may end up alright, never get addicted, and live a long life where you never see the consequences of smoking. However, that's not the case with most people, and it's usually just a train wreck waiting to happen.
I'm really curious. Why is it that you choose to smoke? Is it really about being able to relate with people (perhaps I've misunderstood)? Can't you talk to your coworkers about life and not smoke (even if they do)? You may not be addicted now, but how do you know it won't happen if you continue doing it?
I've had friends who smoked, and it's not like I never stood with them outside and talked while they were having a smoke. But there was no reason for me to light up either.
I'm not trying to make you feel bad or anything, but it's just that smoking appears to be one of the most unhealthy things people do. And if you're not yet addicted, why take the chances when it seems that you don't need to?
I'm a Christian. I smoke. I realize that many people dislike it, so I'm generally quite courteous about it, and I can go long periods of time without a cigarette when need be. Also, I've actually used smoking as a witness tool many times. (There are few things better than talking about God while puffing away)
I realize I shouldn't be addicted to anything, but let's be honest, we all have addictions...maybe not to psychoactive drugs, but until you stop playing world of warcraft, or master your unnatural desire to read, or dependence on food then please don't tell me to crush my cigarette out. If you want to have a mutual agreement to help each other out, sure, but if you play holier-than-thou, I will blow smoke in your face (lovingly though).
I think this can be another case of justifying the action. Doing anything that has the potential to turn into an addiction or is deliberately harming your body is a sin. Overeating is a sin. Alcohol binging is a sin. Chain-smoking is a sin. All of those things can cause so much damage to your body - which is by the way the Holy Spirit's temple. I wonder if we forget that? If we truly believe that the Holy Spirit lives within us, why would we mistreat it? I think some of the other posters here are correct when they write that most people (notice I said most, not all) when they start smoking even socially, end up addicted. And ANY addiction is a sin because it becomes an idol. Not to mention that smoking in particular has so many very nasty ingredients. (whereas alcohol is just that ...alcohol ........overeating/junkfood is just sugar or fat). Neither of the last two have poisonous chemicals etc. Everything in moderation - yes, but if it's harmful I'm not sure that applies ..........marijuana in moderation too? how abou crack or heroin? what about porn in moderation? I believe we should be staying away from anything and everything that has potential to cause damage and lead us into further temptation. Just my humble .02 cents this morning.
@thechris38@xanga - You're missing the point of the social aspect of smoking.Yes, I could stand around smokers and have a chat even if I'm not smoking, but it's a very different dynamic. I wish I could describe it better than that, but the words aren't coming. When co-workers go out for a smoke break, it's very awkward to walk up and not smoke...do-able? yes, but it's not a very conversation-friendly dynamic. I know "it's only awkward if you make it," but someone almost always makes it, be it a smoker or a non-smoker. It's all about group dynamics.
and I know smoking is bad for me. have you ever stayed up too late and only gotten a few hours of sleep? that's bad for you. Have you ever gone outside on a cold day without a coat? That's bad for you, too. What's your point?
@ChrisRusso@xanga - it also (as does nicotine), increases awareness, improves cognition and cognitive abilities, increases attention span, etc. etc. in much the same way that ADHD drugs do.
Every abused drug has pros - legal drugs have socially beneficial pros (which is why they're legal). Just because Alcohol can cause liver disease doesn't make it evil. Just because caffeine can overwork the heart at times doesn't make it bad. This argument kinda falls through with cigarettes for several reasons, but still. Just because something is psychoactive doesn't mean it's bad. Heck, over the counter painkillers like Aspirin or Ibuprofen have some addictive potential, are terrible for your stomach, and, if taken chronically, can lead to internal bleeding (because it thins blood). But they have positive effects (analgesia), so no one complains that much about them.
if the smoking is an addiction then it would be bad because addiction just means what you are addicted to is better than Jesus... then it's an issue...
and while i'm not this health-nut... breathing enough toxins like that even as a Christian is just stupid i think... it's like you die early of Lung Cancer, face God, and be like, "Lord what happened???" and He's like, "Well you've been CHAIN SMOKING for 15 years AFTER you met Me... what do you think?!"
i have done come cigar smoking... but stopped it short... it got expensive and i just stopped...
addict yourself to Jesus over anything is the basic idea as Christian...