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Contemporary Issues - Smoking


The Bible does not say "thou shalt not smoke". That is sufficient excuse for some Christians to smoke!

Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill church in Seattle says that forbidding a cultural activity like smoking cigarettes and calling it sin is going too far!

Some facts (from Contemporary issues by Robert Bakss)

1. 30 people will die while we study this, from tobacco related disease.

2. Smoking has relatively recent origins.
1613 - John Rolfe - Virginia tobacco from Jamestown to England
Sir Water Raleigh - Island of Tobago (W Indies) - latter half of 1600's
The practice of smoking tobacco came from the native American Indians and the Caribbean
Indians of Tobago - a part of their heathen religious rites!

3. 1624 King James I, banned it, " a precious stink...... loathsome to the eyes, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs and resembling the bottomless pit" A good description!!

4. Smoking won't send you to hell, it will just make you smell like you've been there!

5. 19 different kinds of poisons in cigarettes- the nicotine from one packet if injected into a person's veins would kill them instantly!

6. God made tobacco plants! Yes! - there are useful chemical products made from tobacco which include those that kill insects and fungi.

Should a Christian smoke?

The answer is NO! and here are some reasons why:-

1. It will defile your body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit - ICor 6:19,20; ICor 3:16,17; Gal 6:7,8 - Read the warnings on the packets!

2. It will mean that we will not be good stewards with God's money (remember it comes from and belongs to God) - Luke 16:10,11

3. Our testimony will be damaged. It is interesting to note that one of the ways that the world defines a Christian is someone who does not smoke!
It is worldly, a lust of the flesh - IJohn 2:15-17
It is addictive

When you see all of the warnings on the cigarette packets you might wonder why they are still sold. The reason is because of the tax dollars which the government receive. I spoke to one of our local members of parliament about this one day and asked him when the government was going to ban the sale of tobacco products seeing that advertising of those products was banned. He replied that they couldn't do that. As I pointed out to him, they could but that they wouldn't because of the tax revenue! - to which there was no answer!

I read a book written by Francis Wheen, "How Mumbo Jumbo Conquered the World. A short history of modern delusions" which cited a story concerning Al Gore which highlighted the doublemindedness of the world and it's attitude to smoking.

At a meeting in the Chicago convention hall Al Gore told the story of his last moments with his sister (Nancy) who died from a smoking related cancer. just before she died he told her that he loved her. He finished his story this way; "Tomorrow morning, another thirteen-year-old will start smoking. I love her, too. Three thousand young people in America will start smoking tomorrow. One thousand of them will die a death not unlike my sister's, and that is why , until I draw my last breath, I will pour my heart and soul into the cause of protecting our children from the danger of smoking.".........

" In 1988, four years after his sister's death, Gore had spoken to an audience of tobacco farmers while on the stump in North Carolina. 'Throughout most of my life, I raised tobacco' he boasted, 'I want you to know that with my own hands, all of my life, I've put it in the plant beds and transferred it. I've hoed it. I've dug in it. I've sprayed it. I've chopped it. I've shredded it, spiked it, put it in the barn and stripped it and sold it' No mention there of his heart-and-soul struggle against the evil weed. "

1992 " During that year's election campaign, both Bill Clinton and Al Gore accepted financial contributions from the tobacco lobby. How could he reconcile all that with his supposedly sacred duty to Nancy's memory, and to all those thirteen-year-old girls whom he loved dearly and wished to save?" Pp 196,197

Now back to our question; Should a Christian smoke? Answer; NO, IT IS A SIN!

This is available in pdf format

pdf  Contemporary Issues - Smoking"

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Contemporary Issues - Gambling


The Bible does not say 'Thou shalt not gamble'. Does that mean that it is acceptable to God?

1. Consider Proverbs 28:22 - statistically it has been shown that one out of seven people become adidicted to gambling (ie it ruins their lives) - things such as lotteries, scratchies etc.

2. Consider Proverbs 21:20 - of those who win the big prizes, it has been found that 90% are in a worse position within two years of their winning!

3. Gambling involves getting gain by chance.
That is in conflict with the scriptures which teach us that the just are to live by faith - Heb 10:38
God's Word tells us that what is not of faith is sin - Rom 14:23
Here are some comments we hear - ' Someone has to win!' 'God could guide the results!' - He doesn't work contary to His Word!

The following is a quote from the book How Mumbo Jumbo conquered the World by Francis Wheen - it highlights the foolishness of gambling!

"Where was this rational world? It was clearly not the pace inhabited by the editor of The Times, or by millions of other people of Britain.
As if to prove the point, the same edition carried a leading article in praise of the National Lottery, that monument to irrationalism and imbecility, whose first winner was to be chosen that evening.

'The British puritanical heritage persists in finding a cloud before every silver lining,' it sighed, 'But for most of the nation tonight, a man is seldom as harmlessly employed as in fantasy about the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.' It described the inaugural draw as 'the greatset national collective experience' since the end of the Second World War; adding proudly that 'nearly every adult in the land - 40 million - has bought a ticket'. Echoing The Times, the minister responsible for the lottery scolded those few heretics who declined to participate for their 'prudish' and 'sanctimonious' refusal to enjoy (here comes that word again) the 'fun' of having a flutter. ..............p127

The objection to the National Lottery was not that it encouraged people to gamble but that it encouraged them to bet at such hopeless odds, heedless of Paulos's timely warning that there was an ominous and widening gap 'between scientists' assessment of various risks and the popular perception of those risks, a gap that threatens eventually to lead ... to unfounded and crippling anxieties'. .........p128

One didn't have to be a pro-faced puritan to find it rather depressing that 40 million British adults were innumerate enough to succumb to odds of 13 million to one. It may have been true, as The Times insisted, that 'of couse, you are adult and mathematically unchallenged, and know you are not going to win'. But most punters still cherished, however secretly and shamefacedly, a tingling hope which had been encouraged by TV commercials showing a huge finger of fate descending from the stars to point at a random, anonymous citizen: 'It could be you....' The official 'expert' recruited to advise the public on the chances of winning the jackpot was not a professor of statistics but Mystic Meg, a tabloid astrologer. Britain's bestselling paper, the Sun, invited readers to rub their lottery tickets 'on our psychically charged red dot' to shorten the odds. ..p128,129

Casinos have the odds stacked 80-90% in their favour; poker machines are programmed to pay out certain dividends

4. Gambling violates the work principle Proverbs 13:11 ; Eph 4:28 ; II Thes 3:10

5. Gamblers are guikty of the sin of covetousness Col 3:5 'If I won I would.........'

6. Gamblers are guilty of being discontented I Tim 6:6-11


This is available in pdf format

pdf  Contemporary Issues - Gambling"

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We are an independent Baptist Church located in Mount Gambier and use the King James Bible only in all our study.

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