By Eddie B. Callendar, Jr.
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye hive 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 God’s.” The preceding quotation is taken from 1 Cor. 6:19-20. It is often used, and rightfully so, to teach that Christians should not participate in the use of alcoholic beverages.
A review of three articles published in Truth Magazine determined that, in view of 1 Cor. 6:19-20, a Christian should not participate in the use of alcoholic beverages because they: 1) create a bodily dependence unknown to man in his natural state; 2) are narcotic drugs used for; purposes other than medicinal; 3) are poisons; 4) cause certain diseases; and 5) are harmful to every form of life. I,: personally know of no member of the body of Christ who will dispute the above argument because the reasons given to substantiate it are obviously valid.
Some of the same brethren, however, that ever so forcefully endorse this argument will close their eyes and ears to it when it is applied to the use of tobacco. This they will do in spite of the fact that: 1) the use of tobacco is habit forming the same as alcohol; 2) doctors such as Dr. Norman Doorenbox (Professor of Medical Chemistry and Pharmocology at Ole Miss) reveal that “tobacco is the most dangerous of all popularly consumed drugs in the United States”; 3) the Encyclopedia Americana states that “Nicotine is extremely toxic . . .” (a poison); 4) the Encyclopedia of Family Health asserts that smoking causes many disorders of the human body such as respiratory infections, neuralgia, headache, inability to sleep, cancer, and others; 5) nicotine is harmful to all forms of life as it causes nerve paralysis and is even used as an insecticide. Dr. Doorenbox further stated that a pack of cigarettes takes six hours off a life..
Practically every reason why a Christian should not drink alcoholic beverages is also a reason why a Christian should not smoke tobacco. Why can brethren not see the parallel? Do we honestly try to see the parallel, or are we often blinded by our own emotions?
In addition to the reasons already stated, I must contend that the Christian who smokes is a detriment to the cause of Christ for I, in my few years on this earth, have actually seen the confidence of a prospective convert shaken by seeing members of the Lord’s body smoking because, “I thought ya’ll (members of the Church) were straight. I would never have expected to see any of ya’ll smoke.” As hard as it may be for some to swallow, smoking is naturally associated with drinking, gambling, and worldliness in general. And, good reader, it does make a difference what other people think about us (1 Peter 2:11-12, 1 Thess. 5:22).
The New Testament teaches that we, as Christians, are to be examples of righteousness and virtue to the lost (1 Tim. 4:12; 2 Peter 1:5). The Apostle Paul stressed that we should not be stumbling blocks (1 Cor. 8:9; Rom. 14:13, 21). Every act in which we engage is to be to God’s glory (I Cor. 10:31) and by His authority (Col. 3:17). Could you really, and without shame, stand before Jesus Christ and blow your dirty smoke in His face when He comes again, any more than you could shamelessly stand before Him with a whisky bottle in your hand? Please read 1 John 2:28.
In this article I have presented a minimum of seven valid reasons why a Christian should not smoke. I challenge anyone to come up with one good, justifiable reason why a child of God should smoke.
Truth Magazine XXI: 1, pp. 13-14
January 6, 1977