Smokin', Drinkin', Chewin'
There are two sets of people who are opposed to tobacco use these days. The first (and perhaps original), group is made up of fundamentalist Christians - all too often one and the same as the Feminized Christians (FCs). The other party is composed of liberal, leftist, feminist, wackos - known collectively as Godless Humanists (GHs)
It is "common knowledge" that smoking is bad for you, or so we are led to believe. We are told that smokers are the primary reasons for the national health care crisis. The fact that there is no health care crisis is not important, as long as smokers are singled out as "bad people" and blamed for the mass of sick and dying persons supposedly clogging the system. In order to punish the sickly smokers, taxes on tobacco are so high that a pack of cigarettes costs twice what it would otherwise. Tobacco companies are not allowed to advertise on television and the portrayal of smoking in movies and on TV is frowned upon. In some states it is illegal to light up in any enclosed area or even in outdoor stadiums. Incredibly, there is even a move afoot to ban smoking in private residences throughout the nation. Because GH has rejected the moral absolutes of almighty God, they search for activities that they might categorize as sins in order to fill out their own two tablets delineating right and wrong. The result is a progressive eradication of our personal freedom that will not end until every American citizen is under the heel of the Nanny State.
At the same time, the left leaning elite demonstrates their hypocrisy by enjoying tobacco while out of the public eye - so to speak; Bill Clinton in the Oval Office and the Governator in his tent pitched on the lawn of the State capital in Sacramento for instance.
Meanwhile FCs find themselves in substantial agreement with GHs. FCs claim that smoking is a sin because it harms the temple of the Holy Ghost (the truth is that moderate use of tobacco is not a health hazard; in fact there are a variety of health benefits in temperate tobacco usage). They say that tobacco use is wrong because it is a worldly and dirty habit. Early in my Christian life I was told that "you don't smoke, drink nor chew nor run with them that do" (there are variations to this such as "smoke, dance, nor chew," or, "smoke, belch nor chew," or "smoke, read Sunday comics except The Peanuts - which is not in the least bit funny so you won't be tempted to laugh - or chew" and so on). I can remember that smoking was associated with Congregationalism, Presbyterianism, Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism. I doubt that it's associated with these denominations today since most Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Anglicans and Roman Catholics are card carrying GHs. Therefore, they are adamantly opposed to tobacco use simply because it is currently out of fashion amongst the godless left. In any case, smoking and chewing are rejected in toto by much of the Church today.
Nevertheless, the Bible does not prohibit smoking or chewing. On the other hand, the Bible does teach the principle of self government under God: a Christian libertarian philosophy you might say. Thus, it is sad to see any portion of the Church join hands with GHs and take a stand against personal responsibility and liberty.
The truth is that "the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof" (Ps.24:1). And, "every creation of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving. For it is sanctified through the Word of God and prayer" (1 Tim. 4:4-5). Certainly there are created things such as marijuana that are not proper for a Christian to consume. This is because some created things cannot be used in moderation. Marijuana, psychedelic mushrooms and the like immediately place one in a state of drunkenness: an altered state of consciousness. This the Bible specifically prohibits. However, the majority of God's creation may be enjoyed in moderation, meaning that the use of the created realm cannot be allowed to master us (1 Cor. 6:12). Food is good, but if we misuse it, eating to excess, it becomes our master and a source of sin. Sex is good, but if we indulge our desire outside of the marriage covenant, then what is good causes us to sin. Wine is good, but if we drink until we are drunk then we have allowed it to control us and we are in sin. Tobacco is good, but if we cannot manage our use of it, we have allowed what is good to lead us into sin. In a net shell, the obese Christian has allowed food to master him and he is therefore cultivating sin ; the Brother who enjoys an after dinner cigar each day while giving thanks to the Lord is glorifying God.
Frankly I think more Christian men should take up smoking or chewing (not to mention alcohol consumption). They should exercise self control as they do so and show the world how tobacco is supposed to be used. Not only will they be enjoying a particular blessing of God's creation, they will also be standing against the erosion of individual liberty in this nation.
Right use of God's blessings brings glory to His name. Enjoying food, wine, sex, tobacco and so on - as God intended them to be enjoyed - is part of a good Christian witness. Indeed, all of life - including tobacco use - must be redeemed and brought under the lordship of Christ as part of the Christian life and worldview. Therefore whether you eat or drink - or smoke a handmade Mexican cigar with San Andres long filler and binder and beautiful, dark, double cured Jaltipec maduro wrapper - do it to the glory of God.
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