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Razor
02-02-19, 04:44 AM
These are a known theologian's words and directed at me, this week, via email to my son in law.

Why?

Because I am a smoker and have been for about 10 years now.

Apparently, a man can not be a Christian and a smoker at the same time.

But apparently, a man can be a legalist and a Christian at the same time.

Glenn

Edit: I removed the name as I have not been provided with all of the communications between them.

Brandan
02-02-19, 08:34 AM
Jesus saved all kinds of people, even smokers! I'm reminded of this article written years ago on "regional sanctification": https://www.pristinegrace.org/media.php?id=296

Greg
02-02-19, 08:56 AM
Maybe you should ask him "if I were to quit smoking, then what must I do to earn Christ's grace?"

Then read him this:


Gal 3:1You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?
2This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?
3Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

After that you can exercise your liberty and call him an idiot if you wish ;)

alt731
02-02-19, 12:37 PM
Hi Razor,

I agree with everybody else here..... this pastor seems to be off his rocker....

But, I have to say, I don't agree with smoking. The evidence is pretty much in on smoking: its bad for you. And, its bad for others. My boss at work just lost his wife to lung cancer. She never smoked in her life. He, on the other hand, was a prolific smoker. She basically died through his second-hand smoke, which is meant to be worse for you than first hand smoke. He just didn't consider her. And, had he died from lung cancer, what about making his wife and family have to suffer through all that, while he had cancer? Smoking is just not loving.

Now, it seems to me that you basically have three options: 1) you can either deny the truth that smoking is bad for you (I'd say this is the worst option, and a very bad idea, since our allegiance should always be to the truth above everything), or, 2) you can recognize that smoking is bad for you (and others) but continue doing it. This is surely wrong, because God has given us these bodies and so we should take good care of them, and for the reasons stated above, or, 3) you can recognize that smoking is bad for you and seek to take appropriate measures to stop, first by cutting down and then moving towards cutting it out altogether. If addiction to nicotine is the issue preventing you then those vape thingys are probably better for you (as they have no tar) and you can move towards cutting out the addiction later.

Paul said, "all things are lawful, but not all things are helpful" - and that means not all things are loving.

John

Brandan
02-02-19, 01:01 PM
Eating hamburgers is bad also especially if the meat is charred (known carcinogen). Smoking a cigarette, cigar, or occasional pipe isn’t going to kill anyone.

alt731
02-02-19, 02:22 PM
Eating hamburgers is bad also especially if the meat is charred (known carcinogen). Smoking a cigarette, cigar, or occasional pipe isn’t going to kill anyone.

Right, I was assuming that it was a bit more than the occasional pipe.

But, even with your own analogy, Brandan, you'd have to admit that eating too many hamburgers can be bad for you. Gluttony is a terrible sin, despite how much Calvinisticly minded Christians choose to ignore this one.

Razor
02-02-19, 04:00 PM
Jesus saved all kinds of people, even smokers! I'm reminded of this article written years ago on "regional sanctification": https://www.pristinegrace.org/media.php?id=296
I thoroughly enjoyed the article Brandan. Thank you!

Razor
02-02-19, 04:06 PM
Right, I was assuming that it was a bit more than the occasional pipe.

But, even with your own analogy, Brandan, you'd have to admit that eating too many hamburgers can be bad for you. Gluttony is a terrible sin, despite how much Calvinisticly minded Christians choose to ignore this one.
I was taught that a glutton is one who gorges and then forces a throwing up in order to continue eating. I have never met one.

Razor
02-02-19, 04:09 PM
Eating hamburgers is bad also especially if the meat is charred (known carcinogen). Smoking a cigarette, cigar, or occasional pipe isn’t going to kill anyone.
We know who kills and makes alive.

alt731
02-02-19, 06:31 PM
Gluttony just means eating to excess. We should keep our eating in moderation. We shouldn't make food an idol.

Brandan
02-02-19, 06:59 PM
Guess that means no dessert for me!

alt731
02-03-19, 07:57 AM
Guess that means no dessert for me!

"Thou hast made us a strife unto our neighbours, and our enemies mock among themselves" (Psalm 80:6)

Please don't make fun Brandan. Its not kind.

Brandan
02-03-19, 09:10 AM
John, I wasn't making fun of you. But I was simply pointing out the absurdity of defining gluttony as "eating to excess". This is no way meant to be an attack upon you, so please don't take it that way. What does that exactly mean? Does it mean taking one more bite than you actually need? (how does one KNOW how much they actually need?) Does eating dessert count as gluttony? Does it mean eating anything for the ENJOYMENT of eating? The law of Christ is written on the heart of every regenerate believer. Glenn, go ahead and smoke, but if you do, do it unto the Glory of God! Believe in God and do as you please. :)

alt731
02-03-19, 09:35 AM
John, I wasn't making fun of you. But I was simply pointing out the absurdity of defining gluttony as "eating to excess". This is no way meant to be an attack upon you, so please don't take it that way. What does that exactly mean? Does it mean taking one more bite than you actually need? (how does one KNOW how much they actually need?) Does eating dessert count as gluttony? Does it mean eating anything for the ENJOYMENT of eating? The law of Christ is written on the heart of every regenerate believer. Glenn, go ahead and smoke, but if you do, do it unto the Glory of God! Believe in God and do as you please. :)

Ridiculous. That's like saying, "Glen, go ahead and commit adultery to the glory of God." Foolishness.

Smoking causes cancer. Anyone telling you to smoke is being very unloving indeed. It shows no respect for either Glen or those who live with him.

Gluttony is eating to excess, obviously. We're to enjoy our food, we're to enjoy a good desert. But as soon as our food eating becomes a problem for us, as it does with these weasing, panting, type-2 diabetes having, fat Americans, frankly, it's a sin. We're not to treat our bodies like that. They're temples of the Holy Spirit.

Brandan
02-03-19, 09:57 AM
Adultery and smoking is not the same thing. Smoking a cigar does not cause cancer. Glenn knows what to do if he’s a regenerate believer. Nobody needs to babysit him.

Greg
02-03-19, 10:20 AM
If the law of God is written on our hearts, aren't we capable of policing ourselves?

What is indicative of a so called leader ,pastor, clergy, deacon, etc. if they are preoccupied with me smoking or having a drink or some other such nonsense?

What does constitute a legalist?

What's the difference between these types of actions and those in Galatians?


Gal. 2:4 But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage.

Brandan
02-03-19, 10:37 AM
https://www.pristinegrace.org/media.php?id=562

From our former contributor and dearly departed sister Eileen:


Unbelieving belief!

It’s what you believe a believer is when you’re not a believer, everyone believes something. I can remember exactly how I thought and what I believed a Christian was. Let’s see…it was definitely, totally based on what ‘they’ did or didn’t do. You know, like not smoking, not drinking, not dancing, not saying those bad words, above all never, ever listening to rock and roll music, praying before a meal, going to church on Sunday and being looked down on because I didn’t ‘do’ the same things that they did or did those things that they ‘didn’t’ do. Wow, how to keep up with all the do’s and don’ts. That is truly what I thought and I know so many, even now, who think exactly the same way.

It’s a lie of course, and we know who the father of lies is, don’t we? Just the other day I had an opportunity to express this very thing to some family members, just as I was able to tell my mom the same before she died. It’s such a subtle, pious lie. It sounds so good, so holy, so right “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12 (https://www.pristinegrace.org/bible/bible.php?view=1&restrict=0&keywords=&startbook=0&endbook=0&references=0&andor=0&ascdesc=0&highlight=1&chaplinks=1&abrv=1&book=pro&chapter=14&verse1=12&verse2=&version=kjv)), but it isn’t right, it’s a lie!

The scriptures tell us that we have no righteousness of our own, we have nothing to offer to God that is acceptable to Him, nothing. So if in any way you rely upon your ‘works’ to be justified before God, you are believing and relying upon a false Gospel as the Galatians were doing. Paul told the Galatians “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Gal 2:21 (https://www.pristinegrace.org/bible/bible.php?view=1&restrict=0&keywords=&startbook=0&endbook=0&references=0&andor=0&ascdesc=0&highlight=1&chaplinks=1&abrv=1&book=gal&chapter=2&verse1=21&verse2=&version=kjv)).

You see, Christianity is not about our behavior, it’s about Christ! It’s about life and death, light and darkness, sin and forgiveness, it’s about the Truth, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it’s not about what I do, it’s about what He has done. “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Phi 2:8 (https://www.pristinegrace.org/bible/bible.php?view=1&restrict=0&keywords=&startbook=0&endbook=0&references=0&andor=0&ascdesc=0&highlight=1&chaplinks=1&abrv=1&book=phi&chapter=2&verse1=8&verse2=&version=kjv))

“For by Grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:8-10 (https://www.pristinegrace.org/bible/bible.php?view=1&restrict=0&keywords=&startbook=0&endbook=0&references=0&andor=0&ascdesc=0&highlight=1&chaplinks=1&abrv=1&book=eph&chapter=2&verse1=8&verse2=10&version=kjv)). Christianity is all about the grace of God in Christ Jesus. We, as Christians, believe in the Gospel and we rejoice in it by the gift of faith given by the Holy Spirit. Every good and perfect gift is from above (James 1:17 (https://www.pristinegrace.org/bible/bible.php?view=1&restrict=0&keywords=&startbook=0&endbook=0&references=0&andor=0&ascdesc=0&highlight=1&chaplinks=1&abrv=1&book=jam&chapter=1&verse1=17&verse2=&version=kjv)), the Word, obedience, the blessings, the communion we have with Him and with one another are all gifts of Grace.

I wonder about the believers at Ephesus who were told by the Lord in Revelation that they had left their first love, namely Christ. I wonder if they had neglected to remember grace.

“And of His fullness we have all received and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1 (https://www.pristinegrace.org/bible/bible.php?view=1&restrict=0&keywords=&startbook=0&endbook=0&references=0&andor=0&ascdesc=0&highlight=1&chaplinks=1&abrv=1&book=joh&chapter=1&verse1=&verse2=&version=kjv) 16-17).

alt731
02-03-19, 11:04 AM
If the law of God is written on our hearts, aren't we capable of policing ourselves?

What is indicative of a so called leader ,pastor, clergy, deacon, etc. if they are preoccupied with me smoking or having a drink or some other such nonsense?

What does constitute a legalist?

What's the difference between these types of actions and those in Galatians?

The apostle Paul did occupy at least some of his time correcting the Corinthian church for their moral failings, and pastors are to reprove, rebuke and encourage with all long-suffering and doctrine.

As for the situation in Galatia, it seems there were some there either saying, or, at least, submitting to the idea that to be part of the people of God, you had to keep the ceremonial law of Moses. Since the outward ceremonies depicted inward realities, and were in that sense symbolical of the principle of the righteousness of the law—that the man who has practiced these things shall live by them—which is life by works, life by choices, life by "choosing life" Paul took their submission to the ceremonies as a violation of the gospel of grace itself. So a legalist is one who seeks to justify themselves by works and not by grace.

Nobody's doing that here. We're just having a disagreement about what is moral and what is immoral. If you think putting cancer-sticks in your mouth every day is a good and loving thing to do, then I think you're blinding yourself to overwhelming evidence linking smoking to lung cancer.

Razor
02-03-19, 11:28 AM
Ridiculous. That's like saying, "Glen, go ahead and commit adultery to the glory of God." Foolishness.
I appreciate your concern and input. When you move your argument from smoking to adultery, it exposes the the weakness in your argument against smoking. The author I mentioned in the OP did exactly the same thing. He somehow connected smoking to sorcery and what Paul says about sorcery. Interesting.


Smoking causes cancer. Anyone telling you to smoke is being very unloving indeed. It shows no respect for either Glen or those who live with him.
No it doesn't. Correlation is not causation. I have family members that lived to be in their late 80's and 90's. They started smoking at the age of 12 and 14. They smoked their entire lives.


Gluttony is eating to excess, obviously. We're to enjoy our food, we're to enjoy a good desert. But as soon as our food eating becomes a problem for us, as it does with these weasing, panting, type-2 diabetes having, fat Americans, frankly, it's a sin. We're not to treat our bodies like that. They're temples of the Holy Spirit.
What is the proper BMI requirement of the Holy Spirit?

Again, I do understand your position. That is precisely why I can not hold to it.

alt731
02-03-19, 03:00 PM
Correlation is not causation, but it often indicates causation. Again, to deny that smoking significantly increases the risk of cancer, is willful ignorance on your part. Smoking is bad for you. It makes your lungs black. It darkens your teeth. It lessens your ability to enjoy food, as it somewhat numbs the taste buds. It gives you a terrible cough. And, all the evidence suggests it is a major cause of lung cancer. It was bad for that gluttonous lump, Spurgeon, when he defended it. And its bad for the people around you.

When you make fun of my position, saying, "how ridiculous that the Holy Spirit would have a proper BMI requirement!" the irony is, that the only reason BMI isn't the Holy Spirit's requirement, is that it isn't a very good indicator of general health. If there were a general health measure, then the Holy Spirit's requirement would certainly be "healthy." God commands us not to drink to excess, eat to excess, smoke to excess, etc.... that's all in the Bible, explicitly or implicitly, and what's more, its all obvious. The only people who don't accept it, are the people who think that God didn't create science. He did. God is the King of Body Mass Indexes. He is Sovereign over all. So obey him.

"For of him, and through him, and for him [are] all things: to him be glory for ever. Amen. Therefore, I beseech you brethren, by the compassions of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, [which is] your intelligent service" (Romans 11:36-12:1)

Razor
02-03-19, 07:43 PM
When you make fun of my position, saying, "how ridiculous that the Holy Spirit would have a proper BMI requirement!"

Did I forget how to write? This is dishonest and I am going to hold you to your signature.

Bob Higby
02-04-19, 12:09 AM
'Believe in Jesus and do as you please', for the regenerate person, simply means that what pleases me pleases God--minus the lusts of the flesh which are no longer primary, the fruit of the Spirit is primary in every believer regarding what pleases him/her.

It is wrong to despise regenerate smokers. I am not bothered by anyone else's smoking though I do not smoke myself. If having smoked a long time is truly damaging to a particular believer's health, and such believer needs to quit for the sake of other believers and family members who don't want him/her to experience painful bad health and early death, that person will quit when the Holy Spirit motivates him/her to do it and at that time will truly want to quit, perceiving life without tobacco as better than life with it at that juncture.

'Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch' is not a part of the gospel (Col. 2:21-23), we all know that. That even includes cannabis, if there is a good reason and purpose for using it medically. I am definitely bothered by recreational use of cannabis for a lot of reasons I could cite, however, if I know a believer that does this I will not express any disrespect and still embrace him/her as I embrace Christ Himself (as we are commanded to do).

I think it is right, however, to have a discussion with another believer regarding anything habitual that is truly ruining life in the near term (including whatever destructive habit can be imagined) and by all appearances will destroy their witness, mental wellness, purity of mind, health, and maybe lead to early death. I'm thinking of things like gambling, narcotic drugs, opiates, amphetamines, barbiturates, crack/cocaine, pornography, fornication/adultery, true alcoholism, obsession with anger, and we could create a very big list Iím sure.

Gluttony as historically defined does not mean eating too much on festive occasions or even a single meal, it means continuous very excessive eating of food day in and day out without remorse. That does not excuse overeating but I donít condemn believers I see doing this on any particular occasion. I will admit that I like my food too much and need to put consumption of Godís gifts in perspective.

Anyway, you have my thoughts. Bro. Bob

alt731
02-04-19, 06:14 AM
Did I forget how to write? This is dishonest and I am going to hold you to your signature.

Glenn, I honestly didn't intend to mis-represent your position. You said, "What is the proper BMI requirement of the Holy Spirit?" - I thought you were saying it was ridiculous for the Holy Spirit to have a BMI requirement. If that's not what you were saying, what were you saying? And, if I did get it wrong, I apologise for my mis-representation. But I wasn't being dishonest.

Brandan
02-04-19, 08:24 AM
'Believe in Jesus and do as you please', for the regenerate person, simply means that what pleases me pleases God--minus the lusts of the flesh which are no longer primary, the fruit of the Spirit is primary in every believer regarding what pleases him/her.

It is wrong to despise regenerate smokers. I am not bothered by anyone else's smoking though I do not smoke myself. If having smoked a long time is truly damaging to a particular believer's health, and such believer needs to quit for the sake of other believers and family members who don't want him/her to experience painful bad health and early death, that person will quit when the Holy Spirit motivates him/her to do it and at that time will truly want to quit, perceiving life without tobacco as better than life with it at that juncture.My thoughts exactly. I donít smoke - my wife and son just wouldnít like it! I donít chew tobacco either - I like having teeth. But I cannot condemn anyone who engages in these practices. Smoking the occasional cigar or pipe or even occasionally chewing tobacco is not harmful in my opinion. Habitual use probably isnít a good idea - especially when it begins to affect oneís health.

VoxVeritas90
03-13-19, 08:09 PM
If I may, I'd like to make a brief comment. As a smoker myself, and one who plans to quit, I must say that I'm surprised by some of the responses.

First, I don't think it is fair to say that one can simply do as they please now that we are regenerate. Yes scripture makes clear we have a new nature, but Bob, we all know that not all our pleasures are godly. We will not shed sin until we see the other side of the veil. We ought to use the law as a guide to what God desires. He gave it to us to show us our sin, but it is how we ought to behave to be righteous. Though we may never achieve even a shell of true righteousness, we are followers and lovers of Christ. Let's try to live like our big Brother.

Second, smoking is not a sin. Nothing we put in our bodies is totally good for us, some medicines are incredibly dangerous. But we have some liberty in the lives that we lead. If one is moved to quit, it would be better for his health than to continue, but if not then that may well he how God takes him home. It isn't fatalism or hedonosm to live life as you enjoy until it's time to go home.

The point is that we cannot be perfectly healthy no matter how hard we try. Some are moved to try harder than others. Let God be the judge.

ugly_gaunt_cow
03-14-19, 11:50 AM
These are a known theologian's words and directed at me, this week, via email to my son in law.

Why?

Because I am a smoker and have been for about 10 years now.

Apparently, a man can not be a Christian and a smoker at the same time.

But apparently, a man can be a legalist and a Christian at the same time.

Glenn

Edit: I removed the name as I have not been provided with all of the communications between them.

A man can be a smoker and a Christian at the same time. I recently quit smoking in December (switched to vaping - working towards becoming nicotine free for good), so I know for a fact that both things can exist simultaneously.

With that said, it is foolish.

Now, seeing how even the thought of foolishness is sin, it needs to be repented of - and this will happen in the Lord's timing, Lord willing.

Or it won't. It might kill you.

Or, it won't and you will die some other way.

Who knows...

What I do know is that Christians struggle with sin - just a simple fact. Far be it from any of us to judge a man's union with Christ because of His struggles. And, considering the plethora of sin in our lives, I think a nicotine addiction is the least of our worries. For me personally, I struggle with not loving God as I ought considering the great love with which He's loved me - which for me a is far greater trethcery than smoking cigarettes.

VoxVeritas90
03-14-19, 04:54 PM
I still have to make the comment that no person has made the case that smoking tobacco is sinful (or smoking any substance for that matter). The "our body is a temple" argument holds no water. First of all, that is not the context of those words, it has nothing to do with smoking or any similar thing. Second, as I stated above, there is no way to be perfectly healthy in this life no matter what you eat, drink, smoke, or do. We are cursed with death and death will claim our bodies at some point. Our hope is as much in Christ for the redemption of our bodies as our souls.

Again, I'm not saying smoking is good for you, or that it isnt harmful, or that it is righteous and everyone should do it. But I still have heard no reason to believe it is a sin. Take that as you will.

May God be the Judge