Ask the Pastor


I consider it a pleasure to answer your questions.  Send me an e-mail at and I'll do my best to get back to you as soon as I can.  Each month I'll post the most frequestly asked questions on the site so others can benefit from the answer -- If you'd like your question to be anonymous, using only your initials is a good idea. 

Keep the SON in your eyes,


Dear Pastor,

I would like to ask you a very personal and sincere question.  Is smoking a sin or just a bad addiction ?  The bible says sin is anything that separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2).  An addiction is anything that has so much power that we don't have the ability to freely choose or refuse it. (2 Peter 2:19)  speaks about being a slave to whatever has mastered him.  I fall in both of these categories…Separated and a Slave !!! 

There are plenty of "closet" smokers in our church who hide their addiction because of the disapproval they feel.  How do you get free from this addiction or any other addiction ?  I've heard from many congregants,  "Take it to the Lord and leave it there" and I done just that, took it to the lord and still smoking.

Thank you in advance for your prayer and your response.

I know without a shadow of doubt your response will help me and many others in your congregation.



Dear DaisySimonPeter,

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Believe me when I say that you are so right, there are many closet smokers in our congregation as well as others.  Your question is one that has plagued many Christians for many years.  The Bible does not expressly address the use of tobacco, which is why Christians tend to disagree. There are principles, however, that I believe definitely apply to smoking. As you alluded to, the Bible commands us not to allow our bodies to become "mastered" by anything. "Everything is permissible for me—but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me—but I will not be mastered by anything" (1 Corinthians 6:12).   Again you point out that smoking is undeniably strongly addictive. Later in the same passage we are told, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Smoking is undoubtedly very bad for your health. Smoking has been proven to damage the lungs and the heart.

I believe one must ask can smoking be considered "beneficial" (1 Corinthians 6:12)? Can it be said that smoking is truly honoring God with your body (1 Corinthians 6:20)? Can a person honestly smoke "for the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31)? I believe the answer to these three questions is a resounding "no."

Some Christians who smoke believe they are merely exercising their freedom in Christ to engage in a practice that brings them pleasure. The apostle Paul taught that some practices that we enjoy are liberties for which we should not be judged (Rom. 14:12-15:2). Christians who smoke might reason further that there are many things nonsmokers do or do not do that can be detrimental to their health. There are many nonsmokers, for instance, who fail to eat sensibly or get regular exercise, which doctors believe can contribute to heart disease and other ills.

Some Christians smoke even though they tend to believe it is against God’s will. Influential Christians may have led them to believe that smokers are second-class citizens in the church. Some Christians even go so far as to assert that someone cannot be a Christian and a smoker (at this point I would warn against Christian legalism). The Bible, on the other hand, affirms that believers are saved through trusting in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin (e.g., John 1:12;Rom. 10:9-10Eph. 2:8-9), and not on the basis that they abstain from smoking. It is sinful, however, to engage in practices, even if benign or approved by God, which violate one’s conscience (1 Cor. 8).
There are practical and arguably biblical reasons for abstinence. The health risks are no longer veiled, and years of medical research support the potentially serious consequences associated with smoking (e.g., lung cancer).  One of the stronger arguments for regulated smoking is the way in which cigarette smoke can negatively affect nonsmokers. Medical studies indicate that prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke can be harmful to non-smokers, such as to children who ride in cars with parents who smoke, and to service attendants who work in bars and restaurants that permit smoking. People who have certain preexisting medical conditions may be even more at risk.
Christians who habitually smoke might, in the interest of others, want to ask themselves questions such as: Do I want to continue engaging in a habit that many nonsmokers find repulsive? Is my habit possibly harming others as well as myself? Is my habit worth the increased risk of becoming ill or dying prematurely from a smoking-related disease? Does the expensive of my habit effect the financial wellbeing of my family? If my habit is possibly harmful or irritating to some, am I in conflict with the biblical teaching about loving others (e.g., Mark 12:28-31)? The apostle Paul wrote, “All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own good but the good of his neighbor” (1 Cor. 10:23-24, NASB).
Christians have freedom in Christ, and there is room for disagreement on smoking and many other issues; however, it seems more desirable for nonsmokers to abstain and for smokers to seriously consider quitting, both for their own benefit and for the benefit of others. Smokers who are trying to “kick the habit” might find Philippians 4:4-9, 13, encouraging.
It is my prayer that this long response has not clouded the issue but rather it has served as a springboard for you to reflect upon God’s WORD in an effort to assist you in making the decision to STOP smoking                   
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you always!
Let's keep our eyes on the SON
Pastor Green