Church's views on smoking

edited December 1969 in Faith Issues
I once tried shisha, and enjoyed it in a social setting (someone merely shared it with me). I'm not quite sure though what our church's beliefs are on smoking. I'm not addicted or anything like that, but just tried it as a sort of experimentation. So my main question is: is smoking *a puff* of a cigarette or shisha a sin just to see what it's like? That's what I'm basically concerned about because I'm wondering if what I did was a sin.

I only have this quote to justify non-habitual 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 6:12

Also I have 2 other questions out of curiosity: is habitual smoking a sin? And is doing drugs and getting high a sin?

Thanks.
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Comments

  • I am pretty sure drugs are not acceptable. I used to do Kava Kava, more of a self medicating thing, and it gave me a nice buzz relaxed me and such, but I was not a different person ya know, I was very aware. Smoking is definetly bad, I love smoking, I dont do it anymore but when I get down like I am now, I want to smoke. I am interested to hear Fr peters take.
  • From what my priest/teachers have always taught me, smoking is considered wrong because of it's harmful effects on the human body.

    Our body is a gift from God, doing anything to harm it, is considered a sin.  And since medical evidence has linked smoking to certain diseases, we consider it a sin.

    One of course can make the same argument for unhealthy foods, sodas, etc.
  • I have heard it is healthier, if that makes any sense, to smoke sheesh from a hookah. In that case I am buying a hookah.
  • [quote author=gregorytheSinner link=topic=9406.msg116029#msg116029 date=1277694927]
    From what my priest/teachers have always taught me, smoking is considered wrong because of it's harmful effects on the human body.

    Our body is a gift from God, doing anything to harm it, is considered a sin.  And since medical evidence has linked smoking to certain diseases, we consider it a sin.
    So what about back in the days where the harmful effects of smoking weren't yet recognized? Was it still a sin then? What if someone enjoyed chewing bubblegum everyday, but it was latter found to be harmful.. is that a sin?

    I think people can't differentiate between a taboo and a sin. Jesus said it's not what goes in a man (food), but does it really matter if what we put in our mouths enters the stomach or the lungs?
  • ^ what came to mind was "those sins which we have committed knowingly & those committed unknowingly"
  • I knew this priest that whenever he'd see someone smoking, he'd joke with them lightly and say: "Oh, you are raising incense" - but I know this is no laughing matter at all. Smoking destroys your health. We talked about talents and what we have, and your health is a gift from God. It is a talent, that we should use for God's glory, and we do not do this by smoking.

    The difference between a Sheisha and smoking a cigarette, is that one destroys your health but at a slower rate than the other.

  • One of my old servants for sunday school that I have known for so long would always answer questions like "is this a sin?" in the same way.  He would always answer saying "what will you benefit from it?"

    I personally never smoked nor am I planning to but all I know is that smoking clogs your lungs and blood vessels with harmful chemicals which leads to many other heart problems.

    Smoking in my opinion is just a quicker way to die.  You are ingesting tar and horrible chemicals into your lungs and spreading throughout the rest of your body slowly killing you. It has a horrible stench and just looks disgusting.

    Now think...every week we partake the body and blood of Christ. How can the King of Kings enter into a body that is filled with tar and into a nasty smelling person?  Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. How can we destroy it by throwing garbage into it?? Would a King enter into his palace if there is garbage and smoke inside it? No he would not.

    This is just my opinion.

    Also, shisha is worse than a cigarette.
  • Just from a human point of view smoking is a BAD idea.

    I could never recommend it to anyone and would always recommend to anyone who smokes that they STOP.

    If it is a habitual behaviour then it seems to me that it is a sin. It is a sin not in that case because of what it is, but because we are allowing ourselves to be dominated by a desire for something other than God.

    But what it is is also harmful to our health, disgusting to others, a waste of money that could be used on something better or given to the poor, and has nothing good to commend it.

    I have seen too many people grow ill because of smoking, be dominated by addiction to smoking, waste hundreds and hundreds of pounds on smoking, and even die early because of smoking.

    I urge those who smoke to offer this addiction to God and seek to be set free from it. A habit of 10 cigarettes a day in the UK, not excessive by any means, costs over £1000 a year to support. Think of the good that could be done with such money. Those who smoke to such an extent, or to an even greater extent, are stealing from God who has made the stewards of the money they are literally burning.

    Father Peter
  • [quote author=copticuser20 link=topic=9406.msg116040#msg116040 date=1277748635]
    One of my old servants for sunday school that I have known for so long would always answer questions like "is this a sin?" in the same way.  He would always answer saying "what will you benefit from it?"

    I personally never smoked nor am I planning to but all I know is that smoking clogs your lungs and blood vessels with harmful chemicals which leads to many other heart problems.

    Smoking in my opinion is just a quicker way to die.  You are ingesting tar and horrible chemicals into your lungs and spreading throughout the rest of your body slowly killing you. It has a horrible stench and just looks disgusting.

    Now think...every week we partake the body and blood of Christ. How can the King of Kings enter into a body that is filled with tar and into a nasty smelling person?  Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. How can we destroy it by throwing garbage into it?? Would a King enter into his palace if there is garbage and smoke inside it? No he would not.

    This is just my opinion.

    Also, shisha is worse than a cigarette.


    All that being said, do you realize what is in your food? Monsodium Glutimate is horrible for the body. Its in almost everything. High Fructose Corn Syrup IS in everything, that clogs our arteries and is terrible for the stomach. This is just the tip of the iceberg. For instance most everyone gets vaccinations for their child, yet at the same time would not inject their child with Thimerisol (mercury) which soviet russia banned, or formaldehyde, or even MSG. Yet you do when you vaccinate your child.
  • Ioannes,

    I do agree that we should be much more cautious and concerned about the food we are being fed.

    But it seems to me that smoking is a deliberate choice to cause harm to the body, just as bad as choosing to eat McDonalds every day certainly. I would not recommend that either.

    Father Peter
  • In the early 70's in the infancy of the Papacy of the Righteous Pope Shenouda III, it was declared a sin.  Moreover, priests were banned from smoking.

    Believe it or not, there were priests that smoked.  After this declaration, all priests were required to cease and that no one would be accepted into the clerical ranks that smoked.
  • hey i have a few points..i hope no one said any of these lol
    1. dont follow the crowd. being christian is carrying your cross & being different from the world.
    Romans 12:2: "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
    Mark 8:34: "When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me."
    2. Quotes from syedna :
    "Suffering and sin usually go hand in hand. It can be caused by our own sin as we engage in destructive behaviors such as smoking"

    "Health. Our health is a God-given resource and a talent that we have to take care of and serve Him with. Without health, man would be miserable, debilitated, and crippled. Bad habits such as smoking, drugs, and overeating could lead to ruin or loss of health. Health is a talent God has entrusted us with and expects us to respect and take care of. "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and [that] the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which [temple] you are" (1 Corinthians 3:16,17)."

    "I Corinthians 6:19-20 states that our body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit, thereby damaging this Temple is a sin. Broadly applied, anything that damages this Temple, smoking, drinking, and suicide, all are considered sinful. Galatians 6:7-8 states "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.""

    3. here is a powerpoint from suscopts.org on smoking =]
    http://www.suscopts.org/messages/presentations/smoking.pps
    God bless you
  • The body being a Temple of the Holy Spirit, was said by St Paul when others were using their bodies for sexual immorality. I really doubt that that verse can really be applicable to a body crippled by the effects of smoking. I think presumes a sin, and shows how our body cannot be instruments of sin. I don't think the verse can logically demonstrate something as a sin. Further, one can claim ascetism is sinful by the same logic (which some people have). Perhaps, ascitism without the right aim or spirit may be in fact sinful, but I think it is an irrelevant verse when discussing the sin of smoking.

    Plus, the powerpoint included in Abounasarecool's post, I think, could be improved- I mean it wasn't hard-hitting. For instance, "breathing problems"- when you see in emergency every day (and I mean every single day), people literally suffocating and air-hungry from emphysema, breathing problems take a whole new meaning.
  • [quote author=Ioannes link=topic=9406.msg116031#msg116031 date=1277697460]
    I have heard it is healthier, if that makes any sense, to smoke sheesh from a hookah. In that case I am buying a hookah.


    unfortunately that is very incorrect. smoking hookah is actually more harmful than cigarettes. usually when you have a hookah session, you smoke for at least an hour. This is equivalent to smoking an entire pack of cigarettes.
    remember, quitting smoking and staying away from it is only done by the grace of God. without His grace, we would not be able to overcome any sin.

    pray for me

  • I really like the part in the original question “is just a puff a sin”. We can draw a parallel with a different sin, say sexual immorality. One can say “is kissing a sin?” But Christ says he who lusts in his heart commits adultery. This shows as christians we are called to a much higher standard. In the same manner if we have gone past the lusting for cigarette and taken a puff, we clearly have passed the border.   

    In Christ
    Theophilus  :) 
  • So when a person gets lung cancer, is that their fault or God's fault?

    I have a feeling I know who will get blamed.
  • [quote author=Theophilus 1 link=topic=9406.msg116228#msg116228 date=1278388059]

    I really like the part in the original question “is just a puff a sin”. We can draw a parallel with a different sin, say sexual immorality. One can say “is kissing a sin?” But Christ says he who lusts in his heart commits adultery. This shows as christians we are called to a much higher standard. In the same manner if we have gone past the lusting for cigarette and taken a puff, we clearly have passed the border.   

    Thing is, kissing in itself is a sin, it's an act of lust. How is smoking once, to fit in, without any enjoyment from it (except for blowing it out your nose, which I doubt is a sin) can be considered a sin? What about inhaling Helium from a balloon, is that a sin as well?

    I think some people can't differentiate between a taboo and a sin.

    edit: A side question (off topic) that came up: is merely extending your middle finger a sin (not directed to anyone else of course)? Just merely beholding your middle finger. When I was young I never did this, but I think now it's just a taboo rather than a sin. It's funny because even now I can't even extend my middle finger because I get the feeling that it is a sin, even though I doubt it is.
  • The Bill Clinton School of Thought would not put as a sin:
    1.  Oral Sex
    2.  Flipping the Middle Finger (which is actually a very foul curse--thus making it a sin)
    3.  Smoking (but not inhaling--that would be inclusive of tobacco and marijuana).

    So if you are a follower of William Jefferson Clinton's ideology of what constitutes sin, it is okay.

    If you follow the Coptic Orthodox teachings, then it is most definitely a sin.

    There really is no need to circle around with these types of childish arguments and thoughts.

  • BTW:  Bill Clinton is Hillary Clinton's husband.

    They are Mr. & Mrs. Fake.

    Bill Clinton is the former President of the United States, and Hillary Clinton is the half-witted Secretary of State (currently).
  • No need to denegrate president Bill Clinton. He is a sinner- I don't think he believed it was not a sin. Otherwise he wouldn't have tried to cover it up. Sounds a bit judgmental to me.
  • ilovesaintmark, I'm getting a negative vibe from your post. There's no need to call my arguments childish. You're basically saying if I'm going to observe my middle finger, this is a serious offense against God? That sounds like nonsense to me. And I still haven't seen an answer about non-habitual smoking (if it's a sin or not).

    And, oral sex? ???
  • Do you know what flipping the middle finger means, before you down code the issue as being "trivial"?

    It is actually one of the foulest curses to be used.  It is even worse than the average "four letter word".

  • Clay,

    I do not have to denegrade Mr. Clinton, he does a fine job himself.

    How much did that stained dress go for at auction?


  • And if it sounded like I was being judgmental.  I was.

    It is a public issue with plenty of public ramifications.

    How many college students in the U.S. think it's okay to have oral sex, becauese Clinton did not constitute in his wording as being anything wrong or a sin?  Have you checked out that particular survey?
  • Dude....i don't think that is much to what they are trying to do now.

    Look at this:OBAMA SUPPORTS KINDERGARTEN SEX ED
  • That is by far the most disgusting and outrages thing i have ever seen. This is unbelievable.
  • this is dodgy. we have the same problem in the uk. less than 5-10% population is gay but they are putting loads of pressure on people to teach their kids that it's ok for the kids to grow up gay.
    lots of kids/ teenagers get feelings towards someone of the same sex as they are growing up. the same way u 'fancy' that person on tv  when u are a teenager, but would never join the fan club or seriously think you might meet them on the street and start a relationship. having same sex feelings when growing up certainly does not mean u are gay. these people would label me a 'closet' homosexual because i 'fancied' my female school teacher for a few weeks when i was 5 years old! it's a good thing for my husband of >10 years that i didn't get this education in kindergarten  ;)
  • Minagir,

    I'm with you all the way.  It all comes from people trivializing things and beginning the sentence of discussion with:  "What's the big deal..." or "I do not think it is a sin".

    The whole liberal thing is a veil for immorality.

    His Holiness says that even the strongest and bulkiest rock can be eroded by drips of water on a constant basis.

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