August 27, 2006 / Volume 10, Issue 35
Questions about smoking, drinking and the Sabbath

A recent visitor to www.lookinguntojesus.net had requested answer to a couple of questions. These, we will address in today's article.

Have the smoking and alcohol been condemned in any of the Bible verses?

There is no outright condemnation of smoking. I certainly encourage those who are Christians, if they do smoke to ‘kick the habit'. It is unhealthy. Though the Bible does not condemn smoking as a sin, it can be, if the smoker is addicted. Notice, in 1 Corinthians 6:12, Paul wrote, "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." That last statement has been translated various ways by different translators:
- "...but to nothing will I become a slave."
- "...I will not be under authority by any."
- "...I will not let myself come under the power of any."

If I am not mistaken, that is a reference to addiction. I suppose if one can be a smoker without being addicted to it (which is difficult, if not impossible with the ingredients in them), then they would not violate that principle Paul establishes.

Regarding alcohol, certainly drunkenness is condemned (Galatians 5:21, etc.) and will keep one from heaven. Social drinking is also condemned in the Bible (1 Peter 4:3), called in some translations "drinking parties". I believe a Christian must stay away from alcohol. Notice in your Bible, Proverbs 23:29-35. It reads, "Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, Those who go in search of mixed wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it swirls around smoothly; At the last it bites like a serpent, And stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, And your heart will utter perverse things. Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying: 'They have struck me, but I was not hurt; They have beaten me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?'"

In 1 Timothy 5:23, the fact that Paul had to command Timothy to take a little wine on account of his infirmities tells us that Timothy was not in the practice of taking ANY wine. It wasn't until the apostle commanded him, for medicinal purposes, that he would do so (and we're not even told if he did). You can visit HERE for an article on Christians and alcohol.

Whether it be drinking or smoking, I believe that we seriously damage our reputation. That may be dependent upon the society which we live in, but both smoking and drinking, at least in Canada, are consider by the general populace as evil in some respect. Our government even levies on these products what has been nicknamed a "sin tax". I could not picture myself going to the beer store to buy a case of beer, and at the same time inviting the clerk who sold it to me to a Bible study. It would just be very odd. Likewise, I can't see myself puffing away on a cigarette, and speaking with others about righteous living in Christ Jesus.

Kindly add my knowledge on ‘Christians keep the weekly Sabbath day'.

The Sabbath day was established as the day of worship for the Jews, who were subject to the Old Testament law (Exodus 20:7ff). Christians are not subject to the Sabbath, since the law of Moses has been nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14-17), and has been replaced with the law of Christ (Hebrews 8:1-13).

Today, Christians are commanded to assemble on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1-3), or what we more commonly refer to as Sunday. The Sabbath was the seventh day of the week, or as we would say, Saturday (Matthew 28:1.

We are under no compulsion to observe the Sabbath day, and those who command to do so are commanding what the New Testament Scriptures does not. You can read and hear a bit more on this topic by visiting our website, and specifically the following pages:
- article on pattern for the church
- Real Audio lesson, approx. 3 min on Sabbath or 1st day


Click here for this week's Answering The Atheist
Who put the robe on Jesus? Luke 23:11 says Herod's soldiers did, but the other gospels (Matthew 27:27-28; Mark 15:15-17; John 19:1-2) say that Pilate's soldiers did. Is there a contradiction?


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