Contend Earnestly: Is Smoking a Sin?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Is Smoking a Sin?

Here is a question that I never even questioned when I was growing up in the Southern Baptist Convention. I never even thought to bring up this question and never even expected that there would be any other answer to this question than an unequivocal, "yes." But, wait, is it? Is smoking a sin?

Let's take a look at some of these facts of the following product:

Some health problems that are associated with the following product includes but not limited to sleep and anxiety disorders, elevated risks of Parkinson’s disease, elevated heart beat and stress, breathing problems in infants, and dependency syndrome

It is a diuretic it can cause people to become dehydrated; a lack of fluid in an individual’s body causes constipation

over an extended period of time can lead to an individual developing yellow teeth and cavities

contains acknowledged carcinogens and other chemicals such as creosote, pymdine, tars and hydrocarbons

Interferes with adenosine

Cortisol levels are raised which in turn results in contstriction of the blood vessels, harder pumping of the heart and higher blood pressure.

Has been assiciated with low birth rate, birth defects, miscarriages, premature birth, inability to conceive, sluggish sperm

These are all cons of, you guessed it...not smoking...but drinking coffee!

As far as smoking there is absolutely nothing mentioned of smoking in the Bible, so when people bring it up as a sin, they usually go to one place in the Bible:

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20

People actually use this verse for anything that they disagree with, whether it is smoking, tattoos, drinking alcohol, etc. What I find interesting is that if you sit down and exegete the text with them, the passage is speaking about prostitution and sexual immorality, not some dreamed up sin that people think is sin.

People love to point to the fact that smoking causes cancer and many other problems and that if your body is a temple you should definitely abstain. The problem? Well, look at what coffee does to you, look up what sugar does to the body, look at what too much of anything does to the body. Over consumption of anything is bad for you.

Now, do I advocate smoking? No, but to condemn people that do smoke is very wrong. It is setting up extra-biblical eisegesis that can put a load on someone's back that is ridiculous. Every once and a while I enjoy a cigar or a pipe. Recently my buddy had a baby and we had a good smoke together. Am I supposed to be afraid of condemnation because of it? Am I an antimonian because of it? Well maybe, because I had a cup of coffee right afterwards.

Are there dangers in smoking? Of course there are. But there are dangers in making money (greed), sex (lust or out of wedlock), alcohol (drunkenness), etc. but that doesn't make the thing itself sin, but the attitude and over concumption of it by the person can become sin.

I think what people do is see an end result and they decide that the factor that was behind it was the product and not the person behind the product.

Because if you consider smoking a sin because of health concerns, you should also think that money is a sin because it has destroyed many families and many churches.

And if we started to do this with other things it would get ridiculous. Such as. A man was murdered with a pencil...pencils are now sin because God says, do not murder.


Bob Hayton said...

Guns are sin too, Seth.....

Good post, and I agree with you.

You don't even have to delete my comment ;)



Anonymous said...

I have had close family members suffer many years because of their smoking. I have had close family members die because of their smoking. This topic strikes close to home. I don't know of anyone who had health problems because of coffee drinking. Using your logic I would assume that if smoking pot was legal you would be OK with people that do it. How about heroin or crack if it was legal? Also, what about the health of others you ruin with your smoking? Smoking is a waste of money that only leads to health problems of not only the smoker but the people around them. Many are in denial of this but it doesn't change the facts.

Anonymous said...

anonymous: thank you for arguing stringently a point that no one disputses and ignoring the issue...none of what you have said makes it a sin...just stupid. I wonder do you oppose Gum on the same grounds? Gum is a waste of money you know....What about Hot Dogs? One time my dad had a friend whose cousin died eating a hotdog. Are Hot Dogs a sin.

Honestly is called the bible, it is your friend, it is all about Jesus, and if you actually read it maybe your comments would not be so stuptarded. As it is you confuse your given church culture with Christlikeness and vice-versa and that to me is sad. I agree smoking is stupid..but with the way you use the Bible (or don't) to make arguments, so are some of you.


Seth McBee said...


I honestly am not trying to be cold towards your family or anyone that you have known that has had health problems because of smoking, but that doesn't make it a sin.

You say this, which will strike home to me...and I am being completely honest. You state:

I don't know of anyone who had health problems because of coffee drinking.

Guess what...I mom has had some major health issues because of coffee drinking and now has to completely abstain because of it. So, now what? Do we just go off of what has affected us the most and call it sin? Do we say, "this hasn't affected me so it is okay?"

Your logic...well isn't logic at all.

You then assume:

Using your logic I would assume that if smoking pot was legal you would be OK with people that do it. How about heroin or crack if it was legal?

I would not be okay with crack or heroin because they affect the mind and you can't control your emotions or decision making, which is the reason that drunkenness is a sin. Look at Proverbs 31.

We are to be sober for strong decision making so anything that affects the mind to where your decision making is taken hold of should be avoided.

You should really think before you make these comments and also you will notice that on this blog, we use something called the Bible to define sin, not our personal experience.

Because back in the day people used your same reasoning to have slaves and beat them like they were worthless.

Anonymous said...

Maybe not sin but as so clearly stated not particularly good for one's long term health. Gluttony - now there's a sin - even named as sin - a big daddy sin for big fat ozzies and yanks.... Put that in your pipe and smoke it brethren ;-)

Now where do you put overuse of world's resources, driving those huge cars, rampant consumerism etc etc - oh global warming? Is that sin? (I'd better get off my computer and become a luddite).

Stefan said...


It's been a while, but I've been catching up on your blog tonight...while smoking a cigar!


Seth McBee said...


Thought you wrote me off! :)

Hope all is well in Kirk Land...

What kind of cigar?

Stefan said...


Hadn't written you off, just got real busy with several projects, and with the wife being pregnant again. She's due in mid October.

It was an Olivia Serie O, Corona Gordo.

Send me an email and we'll get together soon.


Stefan said...

Oh, you going to the UW-Okla. game?

Related Posts with Thumbnails