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  #1  
Old 9th June 2010, 08:54 AM
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Alert Smoking is NOT a sin.

Let me start by saying that I am not and never have been a smoker. Recently I really began to ponder why smokers are so often looked down upon by the church as if they were committing some grave sin. I found that there is one primary bit of scripture that Christians use to condemn smoking, drinking, tattoos, and other things that could potentially harm the body. This bit of scripture is 1 Corinthians 6:19 and it states: "Or do you not know that you body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?..." Unfortunately, if you consider the entire context of the scripture instead of that single verse you will see that this seems to be speaking against sexual immorality in particular. It bothers me greatly to hear people so often quoting bits of scripture and leaving out all that goes with it.

Matthew 15:11 states that: "it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” Matthew 15:17-18 says: "17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person." Matthew 15:19-20 says: "19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.” Mark 7:15 states: "There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.”

Besides the verses above there are a couple of others but for the sake of time I will assume that you get the point and move on. All of these verses talk about how what you take into your body is not sinful, it's what comes from your heart that can be sinful. These verses are talking about food in particular, it seems, but they are still relevant to whether or not tobacco or smoking should be considered a sin. One reason we are told that it is sinful is because it could, but may not necessarily, cause harm to your body. Well, Matthew 15:20 states that eating with unwashed hands does not defile anyone. How could this be? We know the the Bible is perfect and does not contain contradictions so how could 1 Corinthians 6:19 talk about the importance of the Holy Spirit's temple, our bodies, while Matthew 15:20 says it's perfectly fine to eat with dirty hands that could be covered in deadly bacteria and other things that could potentially kill or seriously harm the person eating?

The same could be asked of the rest of the verses that I listed. All foods were declared to be clean and we were told that we could take them in to our bodies without committing sin. Well, we know that certain foods like pork and beef could be harmful to our health so why don't these things defile us? Drinking alcohol (taking it in to your body) is not sinful but becoming drunk (what comes out of you as a result of drinking too much) is indeed sinful. Another thing that I find interesting is the fact that incense was so commonly burned in the Bible (in the temples, at alters, etc.), often at God's command. Frankincense, an ingredient in incense that was commonly used in the Bible, produces smoke. According to a 2008 study done by Johns Hopkins University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, frankincense smoke is a psychoactive drug that relieves depression and anxiety. Many smokers will tell you that tobacco smoke relieves stress and nervousness in particular. So why would God have people burn incense that releases smoke that causes psychoactive reactions?

I have concluded that, considering the context of the verses above, the actual act of smoking is not what's sinful. What's sinful is what could, and probably will, result from smoking cigarettes: addiction and the possibility of damaging your witness. I also find that pipe smoking and perhaps cigar smoking are less likely to cause addiction and the greater negative health effects of cigarette smoking. This is typically true in the average pipe/cigar smoker who chooses to smoke occasionally as opposed to often as cigarette smokers do. Also consider that pipe and cigar tobacco does not usually contain all of the additives, preservatives, and chemicals found in cigarettes, and that pipe/cigar smokers typically do not inhale the smoke. Pipe/cigar smokers smoke as a sort of hobby whereas cigarette smokers smoke because they become addicted and end up feeling as if they must smoke.

I certainly do not advocate smoking and my hope is that you will not see this post as some kind of advertisement but that you will realize what I am trying to do. It simply bothers me when we, Christians, are told that something is wrong or sinful when we do not look at the whole picture. So personally I do not believe that the act of smoking is sinful. I also think that you are much less likely to sin if you are smoking the occasional pipe or cigar than you would be if you were smoking cigarettes. So what do you folks think?
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  #2  
Old 9th June 2010, 12:32 PM
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We have become 'lovers of self', Christians are now all about "health", "entertainment" and "wealth" more than lovers of HIM. If they loved HIM they wouldn't be condemning others for sins not unto death (spiritual).

We condemn people for becoming 'unhealthy' by smoking cigarettes as we drive around in vehicles that do more harm to our environment and others, yet do not see that if cigerette smoking is sin, so is our driving around in our cars.

Here is the scripture:

Leviticus 19:16 "'Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor's life." I am the LORD.

I too cannot advocate doing that which will harm your neighbors life, but that is not what it has become. It has become, our neighbor is harming our lives and lives of others and we simply cannot tolerate that.

While we must realize that what we do to our own bodies might indeed reap what we are sowing which is a less than longer life expectancy, we must not forget that GOD is the giver of life and knows exactly when we will be taken from this earth. I've known people who trusted in the Lord for healing of a disease and gone on to live long lives. I've also known others who seek man for healing and die shortly there after. I am convinced that nothing we do (other than prayer and supplication to HIM for our needs) can change what GOD has planned for us. This of course is a personal opinion.

PS - I too have had thoughts as you do. Have you ever barbequed and had smoke come up into your face and eyes? Imagine the Levites who were in charge of cooking the sacrifices. Why would GOD endanger their lives if HE thought that smoke would harm them?

Last edited by NatalieJan777; 9th June 2010 at 12:40 PM. Reason: added PS
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Old 9th June 2010, 12:36 PM
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Smoking, eating, and drinking are not sin themselves, no

However, addiction and dependancy ARE, so a tobacco habit would be the same as drunkeness because you are not in control of your life as you should be because you are dedicating money to something that is among the hardest things to stop doing. It also damages your health and body, which applies to your body being a temple.
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Old 9th June 2010, 04:49 PM
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1Co 6:12 "Everything is permissible for me"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"—but I will not be mastered by anything.

Smoking is not a sin, unless God tells you to stop. Eating apples is not a sin, unless God says don't eat them.
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Old 9th June 2010, 06:24 PM
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I totally agree with you guys, and thanks for the responses. It's not the act itself that should be considered sin. The sin comes in when we allow that act, smoking, to control us or when it causes us to hurt others physically or spiritually. C.S. Lewis was a great Christian apologist who loved the Lord dearly and as many of you know he greatly enjoyed smoking his pipe. Pipe tobacco does not contain the same chemicals and additives found in cigarettes that cause the nicotine to be absorbed more easily by the body. Pipe smokers are almost never addicted and they smoke to enjoy the flavors and the art, not because they have to because of the nicotine. Still though if a pipe smoker were to become addicted it would then become sin, in my opinion.
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Old 10th June 2010, 11:12 AM
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Who are we to break the vessel?
Unknown damage (ignorance) to one’s self is not a sin unless there is a complete disregard concerning intellectual investigation into the consequences of your action.
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Old 10th June 2010, 12:54 PM
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I am always troubled by these "x is a sin" or x is not a sin" or "is x a sin"? It all seems so legalistic to me, as though we are governed by a list of actions that are sinful and another list of actions that are not. It is as though people believe that you are okay as long as you don't do anything on the "sin list". This attitude towards morality defeats everything that Jesus was about.

Jesus was not about bringing your actions into compliance with some moral standard (i.e., the Law). Rather, He wants us to bring our hearts in line with God's. When one's heart is aligned with the heart of God, the question is no longer "is x a sin?" which really means "is x something I can get away with?". Rather, the question is what is best and most glorifying to God and most loving to myself and my fellow human. (Yes, it is implicit in the Great Commandment that we love ourselves). Knowing what I know about smoking, the damage that it causes to my own body and the harm and inconvenience that it causes those around me, I have concluded that it is not what is best, and so I choose not to do it.

If another person comes to a different conclusion more power to them. I am not in a position to judge another for their actions. However, we are called to teach and admonish one another. And, I am compelled to share my belief that smoking falls short of the ideal (which is, by definition, sin). However, we all fall short of the ideal, and so we have no room to judge or to look down on another person whose sin manifests itself differently than our own.
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Old 10th June 2010, 01:19 PM
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I am a smoker and I have been smoking for over 10 years and my brother it is a sin.

Romans 6
11Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
14For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
19I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
20For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
21What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
22But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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Old 20th October 2010, 11:04 AM
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I agree with you that smoking is not a sin. I am a young man, I smoke Marlboro Red Filter Kings. I started smoking during college, and although I am addicted to nicotine, I enjoy smoking and satisfying my strong cravings. As a Baptist, some members of the Church look down on me. What's interesting is other guys in our church smoke as well yet people judge other Christians based on their opinions.
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Old 20th October 2010, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by HisW0rd View Post
I am a smoker and I have been smoking for over 10 years and my brother it is a sin.

Romans 6
11Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
14For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
19I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
20For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
21What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
22But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Perhaps you could highlight what in your quotation defines smoking as a sin?


I started smoking cigars about 10 years ago. I smoke maybe once or twice a month - sometimes more if I'm on a business trip, sometimes less when I'm at home. I've never considered my smoking to be sinful, although some others have told me it was. I've heard three reasons that people consider smoking to be a sin:

1. Your body is a temple and you shouldn't desecrate it
-- This is a valid point, but by that token, overeating, not exercising, not burshing your teeth three times a day, etc. should also be considered sins. Judging by the number of fat (not even gonna say overweight, just plain fat) pastors and pastor's wives I've known over the years, it's not really considered a sin.

2. Nothing should hold sway over you except the Spirit
-- If you are addicted to smoking, then yes, this may be considered sinful. Of course, there are many addictions possible.

3. Appearance of evil
-- I've never bought this one - it only appears evil because people for some reason have decided it is. Circular reasoning
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