My Pastor Smokes

 by Chuck Snyder
 co-chaplain for the Seattle Mariners


Dear Chuck
I have a dilemma. I am active in a church I just started to attend a year ago. At this church I am encouraged to use the gifts that God has given me, plus I am finding that I am cultivating new gifts I had never thought of using. But I just found out that my pastor smokes. I know there are no scriptures that come right out and say smoking is sin, but I'm also not so sure that it isn't sin. Can you give me any advice? Thanks.

Chuck's Response
Thanks for the note about about your pastor's smoking habit. You're right, it isn't a sin as such, but its surely a bad example for young people. The evidence is in -- smoking causes cancer, heart attacks, emphysema, and many other things that harm the body. The Bible says that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, and we are to take care of them. The same, however, could be true of being 30 pounds overweight or working too much, so we have to be a little bit careful throwing stones. I doubt whether he would be teachable on his habit, so I guess you'll just have to focus on your own ministry and let God take care of him. Smoking is not sin but it is not wise. Not much you can do - sorry. Let me know if you want to talk further.

Chuck Snyder



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Updated 05/24/2005