What Does The Bible Say About Smoking
Is smoking a sin?
According to the CDC, an estimated 37.8 million adults in the Unites States currently smoke cigarettes and more than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease. If youre reading this right now, you likely know someone who smokes cigarettes or struggles with a smoking-related disease. While smoking is down, almost 38 million American adults still smoke cigarettes. While the Bible doesnt directly address smoking, there are principles that apply to smoking in Scripture that we should be mindful of.
Our health is so important to the Lord that in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, He calls our bodies temples of God: Do you not know that you are Gods temple and that Gods Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys Gods temple, God will destroy him. For God temple is holy and you are that temple. Remember, we are commanded not to take in things that will harm what is so precious to Him. While we will face temptation in our day-to-day lives, we are happier when we are doing right by our bodies. We are called to honor our personal temple in order to enter His. Cigarette smoking will damage major organs including the heart and lungs. This is in conflict with Gods desire for our bodies, for us to be serious about our health.
Smoking Harmful To Others
Some argue that as long as my smoking doesnt harm anyone else it is okay to continue the habit. Scientists now have proven that the secondary smoke produced by smokers is just as lethal for the non-smoker living in a smokers environment. It was reported in the Plain Truth magazine that Cast-off smoke contains twice as much tar and nicotine, three times as much of a certain kind of benozopyrene , five times as much carbon monoxide , and 46 times as much ammonia as the smoke the smoker inhales! .
Many countries and many U.S. states have passed laws banning smoking in public places for this reason. Smokers not only ruin their own health but the health of others as well. Smokers do harm to othersanother definite violation of the Sixth Commandment.
Cigar Smoking Can Be Sinful If One Is Mastered By It
Addiction is the troublesome loss of self-control, and sin is always involved. We should only have one Master, and everything else in our lives must serve our service to him. If you are ruled by food, work, recreation, or cigars repentance is needed. These are good things that can be turned into idols. Self-control is the mark of the Spirit-led disciple. Many have claimed Spurgeon eventually quit smoking. All the historical evidence suggests the opposite. He continued smoking cigars throughout his life. However, he could and did lay cigars aside for extended periods of time.
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Your Body Is A Temple
Many good and godly pastors have weighed in on the subject of smoking and concluded that it is a sin. I have argued that a health risk does not equal sin. Here I would like to address the passage of Scripture most commonly used against smoking, 1 Corinthians 6:19. Here it is in context.
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything. Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for foodand God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, The two will become one flesh. But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Smoking a cigar cannot defile the temple. It neither makes us unclean nor offends God.
How To Discern The Grey
While we might have the freedom to do these things that doesnt always mean we should.
Heres two questions to help you discern these grey areas:
Is this the wisest thing for me to do?
When you are trying to decide if you should or shouldnt do something ask yourself this: In this circumstance what is the wisest step for me to take? I think that is a much better question to ask. Life isnt all black and white, right and wrong theres a lot of grey. Rather than asking whether something is right or wrong, ask if its wise. It might be okay for you to have a few drinks. But if you struggle with addiction, thats probably not wise.
Heres the next question:
How will this affect those around me?
A hard lesson Ive had to learn is that while I may have the freedom to do something, it still has a consequence. I may lose influence because of the choices I make. On some level you cannot help it. If I choose to drink, some will discredit me. While if I choose not to drink, others will discredit me.
You cannot please everyone, nor should you try. But this question is still valid. There are people in your life that you have the opportunity to positively influence. There are relationships worth holding onto. How will your decision in these grey areas affect people in those circles?
Editors Note: This article was originally posted on July 18, 2016. It has been revamped and updated on January 23rd, 2019.
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What Does The Bible Say About Vaping
Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling an aerosol through an e-cigarette, vape pen, JUUL, or similar device. These aerosols may or may not contain nicotine or THC but usually contain flavorings of various kinds. Vaping is not exactly the same as smoking cigarettes because what is exhaled is not tobacco smoke but rather a mist of vaporized particles. This mist is often misunderstood as clean water vapor, but it’s actually filled with varying amounts of toxic chemicals and carries the same danger as secondhand smoke. In the U.S., the legal age for purchasing vape products is 18.
Since the Bible doesn’t talk about smoking or vaping specifically by name, we need to take some biblical principles into account when deciding whether to vape. Our conviction is that the detrimental effects of vaping far outweigh any perceived positives and that vaping is sinful for young believers. Here are the biblical principles we use to back up that conviction:
Do Not Allow Anything To Master You
The apostle Paul talks about how we have freedom in Christ to do anything, but that doesn’t mean that we should do any given thing. We need to use discernment when making decisions like this, asking if what we desire is beneficial to our lives and our health .
Some things will, as 1 Corinthians 6:12 says, “master” us . Other translations use the words “dominate” or “become a slave to” . This verse refers to addiction, and it’s a well-documented fact that nicotine is an addictive chemical.
As Christians, we should not entertain addictive activities or substances because it damages our ability to exercise self-control. Rather than being the one in control of ourselves, we allow the addiction to drive our words and actions. Galatians 5:1 says, “For freedom Christ has set us free stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
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What Does The Bible Actually Say About Smoking Drinking And Getting Tattoos
Since starting this site in 2016 the most popular articles have been the ones that deal with the grey areas of Christianity. You know those topics, the ones people are always arguing about if its okay to do or not. At the top of that list is smoking, drinking, and tattoos.
So I thought we could go back and look at these three topics again. Well look at what the Bible says about drinking, smoking, and getting tattoos.
Cigar Smoking Can Be Sinful If One Smokes To Frustrate Others
I have never met this person, though some seem to think this is what drives many young Christians to smoke. It is believed they light up to blind others with their liberty, and use their freedom to bind others. So let’s just say that if one smokes to needlessly provoke others it is sin.
Yet, like Spurgeon, I will smoke a cigar tonight to the glory of God. What does that really mean? It means that in whatever lawful thing we do as God’s people we do with a clear conscience, with thankful and joyful hearts, to God for his good gifts.
whatever you do, do all to the glory of God
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Should Christians Avoid All Potentially Addictive Substances
1 Corinthians 6:12 tells us that were not to be enslaved by anything. Christ has freed us to live abundantly, no longer encumbered by sin, cravings, or temptations. Our bodies are members of Christ and how we choose to treat them reflects the heart.
And 1 Peter 1:13-16 admonishes us to not conform to the evil desires we had when we lived in ignorance. Instead, we must be holy in all we do, for it is written: Be holy, because I am holy.
Heres what we know about smoking:
1. Its not only unhealthy, its also deadly.
2. It selfishly invades the lungs of others and costs thousands of innocent bystanders their lives.
3. It does not treat the body as a temple of the Holy Spirit.
4. It is not used to bring God glory.
5. It is addictive, displacing Gods rightful place in our life.
6. It can become, as Lysa TerKeurst put it, a major stumbling block in our all-out pursuit of God, holding us back from our calling and commitment to Christ.
According to James 4:17, sin is knowing what we ought to do and not doing it. What is your conclusion as you read over what we know to be true of smoking?
What Does The Bible Say About Smoking In Kjv
Theres nothing in Scripture that quite matches the phenomenon of using tobacco that has dominated the past few centuries. Simply searching for the word smoking or related themes in the Bible will reveal that Scripture is seemingly silent on the issue.
However, when considering what the Bible has to say on the subject of tobacco use, the broader issues of its addictive qualities and detriment to a persons health are important.
While the Bible does not speak specifically to whether or not a person can smoke, the Bible does have something to say about not being controlled by anything and glorifying God with ones entire being.
In 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul responds to a thought among the Corinthian Christians that they could use their freedom in Christ, being no longer under the law but under grace, to do whatever they please with their bodies.
Paul responds to the Corinthians misunderstanding of Christian freedom by humbly showing them that the goal of Christian freedom is to bring glory to God. He says to them:
Later in the same passage, though at this point the topic had moved specifically to talking about sexual conduct, Paul says in
Pauls point here about fleeing sexual sin can be applied to the use of substances that harm the body:
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Tobacco And Your Health
The World Health Organization estimates that every year, about six million people die of diseases related to the use of tobacco, including over 600,000 nonsmokers affected by secondhand smoke. Consider how tobacco affects the health of those who use it and the health of others around them.
Cancer. Tobacco smoke contains over 50 carcinogenic chemicals. The Encyclopædia Britannica states that tobacco smoke is believed to account for 90 percent of all cases of lung cancer. Tobacco smoke can cause cancer in other organs, including the mouth, trachea, esophagus, throat, larynx, liver, pancreas, and bladder.
Respiratory diseases. Tobacco smoke increases the chances of respiratory ailments such as pneumonia and influenza. Children who regularly inhale secondhand smoke are more prone to suffer from asthma, chronic cough, and reduced lung growth and function.
Heart disease. Smokers are at greater risk of suffering a stroke or developing heart disease. Carbon monoxide present in tobacco smoke easily passes from the lungs to the bloodstream, where it displaces oxygen. With less oxygen available in the blood, the heart has to work harder to deliver oxygen to the body.
Effects on pregnancy. Women who smoke while pregnant increase the risk of their babies being born prematurely, with low birth weight, or with certain birth defects such as a cleft lip. Such babies could also develop respiratory problems or suffer sudden infant death syndrome.
Temple Of The Holy Spirit
Lets go one step further. Why did God create our bodies? Paul gives us the answer. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are Gods . God created our bodies to house His Holy Spirit. God created us physical human beings so that we can grow in His own character . Is there any justification to defile Gods temple with a destructive habit like smoking? Does the use of tobacco glorify God? Does smoking please God, honor God or serve Gods purpose? Paul also instructed the Corinthians, Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God . We should work hard to maintain good health so that Gods Spirit can work effectively in us.
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What Does The Bible Say About Taking Care Of Our Bodies
Aside from the King James Version translating Genesis 24:64 as lighted off the camel , Scripture does not mention smoking or tobacco. This makes sense as Scripture also does not address social media or television because these things were unknown in Bible times. Tobacco and its use for smoking and chewing was introduced to the West in the early 1600s by explorers from the Indians of the Caribbean and America. A distinction between the Law in the old covenant and grace in the new covenant is the shift from prohibitions to provisions. Instead of relating every possible vice, behavior, or practice we need to stop or avoid, like in the Law, we are instead given the Holy Spirit to write the law on our hearts , empowering us to live according to the new life and strength He provides, glorifying God in our bodies .
We need to shift our focus from emphasizing what we shouldnt do to what we should do, which is a much higher standard and is only achievable in the power of the Holy Spirit. Salvation is the death and burial of our old self and the resurrection with Christ to new life through the provision of the Holy Spirit . This new self/body no longer belongs to us but is now joined to Christ and His kingdom purposes having been purchased by His blood and intended to bring Him glory in all things . We take care of our bodies because we are stewards of the image and temple of God, intending its use to be for His glory and His purpose.
Help For Drug Addiction
Not only is smoking a sin and a detriment to your spiritual health, but it can also negatively impact your physical health, as well. Vaping can contribute to nicotine addiction and can be considered a gateway drug, as well. These substances open the door to more dangerous and addictive drugs, such as prescription pills, heroin, cocaine, and more.
If you or someone you know is currently struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, our faith-based inpatient rehab can help. We offer various levels of care for addiction, including medically monitored detox, treatment, therapy, and more.
Recovery is possible for everyone and anyone. To learn how you can begin your journey to an addiction-free life, call Faith in Recovery today at . Our team is here and waiting to help.
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Is Smoking A Sin
If what goes into our mouth does not defile us but only the evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander because they come from our heart, is smoking a sin? Yes, I believe that smoking is a sin because it contains nicotine, a highly addictive and poisonous drug that enslaves our desires and impairs our freedom to steward our bodies in service and glory to God through its negative health impacts. However, we must recognize that while all sin separates us from God, necessitating both ultimate forgiveness of our sinful state and regular forgiveness to maintain relationship while being sanctified, not all sin has the same consequences.
In the same way that cigarettes leave a telltale fragrance of their presence on us, Paul suggests that Christs presence in us and our knowledge and relationship with Him spreads as a fragrance of life to the world . What then will be the residual fragrance of our presence on others? Treating our bodies like a temple means more than just the avoidance of negative behaviors but is instead the infiltration of the fragrance of the Gospel to the world.