Cigarette smoking results in nicotine reaching the brain within just 10 seconds of inhalation. [Source: Psychology Today]
I read this as a recovering addict and I get why Christians smoke.
When you are stressed, light up and your calm again.
It’s on que. No waiting. Always available.
Prayer and the Word of God, though powerful and cutting, often don’t deliver fleshly satisfaction in this easy-peasy way.
God’s not our genie in a bottle. God doesn’t always answer the way we want. He doesn’t always make our cravings magically go away just because we sit down with our Bible. Sometimes he makes us struggle through it, sacrifice our fleshly desires and carry this cross.
When he hung on the cross, Jesus’ pain wasn’t less because God loved him. He had to stumble and fall under His cross. He had to cry out in agony.
We often try to sell the lie as Christians just because we have Jesus; life is easy.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes God DOES heal immediately, but he doesn’t follow any known protocol that I know of.
People are still in wheelchairs, Christians still die of cancer, and sin still wreaks havoc on the Christians everywhere; cigarettes, chewing tobacco and e-cigs not excluded.
When I became a Christian, I stopped using heroine, cocaine, LSD, and marijuana immediately, but my addiction to cigarettes lingered.
While there were many things that helped me quit, it was a lot of seeking God, self-control and prayer.
Many wonder can a Christian smoke cigarettes, chew tobacco, or vape?
Here are some question to ask if you are wondering this.
Can a Christian Smoke Cigarettes? Some Questions to Consider
Who is Your Master?
I recently listened to a podcast on Christians and Smoking and he made some great points on why he gave up smoking.
His decision was based on the verse that many Christians often use to argue FOR smoking.
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 1 Corinthians 6:13
Yes, in Christ, we have freedom. But this podcaster argues that he was not a master over smoking, but quite the opposite because he:
- had to have a cigarette after eating.
- desired a cigarette upon waking.
- craved cigarettes if he ran out.
- would only hang out with other Christians that were smokers.
If you, at any point, cannot deny yourself a cigarette, I would argue that its your master and not the other way around.
Who are You Comparing Yourself to?
It doesn’t help that great theologians were smokers, like Charles Spurgeon and CS Lewis.
But another Christian smoking, doesn’t justify smoking. We can’t compare ourselves to each other, but only to Christ.
Unlike the occasional glass of wine, there is no where in the Bible that suggests Christ or any of His disciples smoked.
Becoming holy, like God is holy, is what we should aspire to.
What Kind of Faith Do You Want?
One of the most convicting questions I ask myself is, “Does this thing lead to living a life of fullness in Christ?”
Does smoking cause you to experience Christ more deeply?
Do you feel like your actions are aligned with Scriptures?
Depending on the type of faith you want will help you answer whether or not you want to smoke.
Personally, I want a faith that includes everything the Bible talks about and excludes everything that opposes Spirit-filled living.
Does Smoking Increase Your Christian Witness?
Does smoking enhance your witness?
Some people might answer ‘yes’ to these questions saying that smoking leads them to talk about faith because they are exposed to people they wouldn’t otherwise be in contact with, but I would question what “Christ” are you preaching?
The Christ we are supposed to be preaching is one who frees us from addiction, sin and brokenness, not condones it in the name of Christian freedom. The gospel we preach is one of repentance and sacrifice, not indulgence of fleshly living.
If you are using your addictions to preach the gospel, you are preaching a watered-down gospel that will create lukewarm disciples that God will spit out of His mouth at the end of time.
In reality, the type of person who wants to become a Christian because they can continue to live whatever lifestyle they please has failed to fully grasp the concept of dying to self — which is at the core of Christian living.
You Can Justify Anything
If you are dead set on smoking, of course, you can justify anything.
And many do.
Many people use one or two scriptures to justify smoking, but I would contend justification is the weaker argument and more scriptures point in the opposite direction.
So, compare to how many scriptures call us to holy living, the body being a temple of the Holy Spirit and giving up our rights for the sake of the weak Christian versus how many speak about freedom to live in the flesh.
Does Smoking Keep a Christian Out of Heaven?
Many people will say that smoking isn’t such a great sin that will keep you out of heaven.
But if you cannot give up smoking for Jesus, why is this not the same as worshipping a false god? Anything can become an idol, even cigarettes.
This verse in the Bible is what Jesus says about sin.
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 1 Co. 6:9
I know many Christians out there are struggling and desire to quit, but haven’t quite gotten there, whereas others have no intention of quitting.
I’m not saying it will keep you out of Heaven, but I am also refusing to say it won’t.
How to Quit Smoking
I’m not going to say quitting is easy.
But here are some things that helped me when I was quitting smoking:
- Deep breathing
- Filling my time with other activities
- Staying away from people who smoked
- Speaking in tongues
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Head covering Christian woman who loves good wine, coffee, stinky cheese and missionary books. My favorite dessert is Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake. I am a Christian author, blogger, and speaker. I fell in love with my husband because he had rain drops on his glasses (true story). In my spare time I homeschool my six children (5 girls, 2 boys).