Saturday, September 22, 2007

Camp On This:
Smoking In The Boy's Room

A recent post from Steve Camp's web site by the above title, followed by the following:

" it a sin, a bad habit, or has the church just been plain legalistic?"

Thought provoking, huh? And of course, it brought out a number of varied responses which were, shall we say, very opinionated.

And Steve had the temerity to admit he enjoys the occasional cigar or pipe. No, he doesn't smoke cigarettes.

The reason I post on this is that it finally forced me to look at what Paul said when he told us that our bodies "are the temple of the Holy Spirit". To be lazy, let me simply post what I said in the column at Camp's site (har har). The verse in question is in 1 Corinthians 6:

" 18Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19Do 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; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."

Here's my post at "Camp On This"...

"Personally, I'm more concerned about the poor hermeneutics that allows us to use the "your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit" as an argument against smoking.

That phrase is being lifted from its context. Read the whole paragraph.

Paul's reference has to do with a sin that is "against one's own body". He says that all other sins are "outside the body", but the one against one's own body is...Smoking? No. Sexual immorality.

Ok, I'm waiting for you like a motorcycle cop behind a billboard. Go ahead, and tell me "Well, it's still a sin to smoke".

According to whom? And please, don't use the "your body is the temple of Holy Spirit" argument. Paul said that doesn't apply.

Besides, If you want to do that, please include improper diet, lack of exercise (guilty here!) or any other number of "acceptable" sins against "the temple".

Let's face it. We see so much of an effort to say "of course it is your liberty and freedom to do thus and so, but you really can't ever do it because you might offend someone somewhere"...which is really turning "liberty" into a other words, you "have" it but you don't really have it...!

And no, I don't smoke. So don't go there, please."

In a second post, I responded to things done to relax one or relieve stress. As I mentioned there, for years I've had the nervous habit of messing with my cuticles and biting my nails (perhaps that is why my thumbnails grow out deformed...possible staph infection or damaged nail bed?). That's destructive, is it not? (of course, ignoring the body's ability to repair itself). And until recently I guzzled down maybe 12 cups of coffee per day, which is not good for my diabetic (oh oh, what caused that?) kidneys. Plus, it messes up your blood pressure and can lead to any number of health problems.. Coffee (caffeinated) is very addictive. I had headaches for a day or two when I quit cold turkey. That is an indicator of an addiction; something your body has come to "require" and "expect".

So, a couple of months ago I switched to Sanka. The reason I picked Sanka is because it brings back memories of my late father. When I was a kid, he'd go on business trips and bring back the coffee, creamer and sugar packets from the motel for me to drink. Oh oh. Now I'm addicted to childhood memories, or at least devoting part of my thought life to fleshly memories, not Christ and His Word alone. Is that now a new problem? Of course, some may even have a problem with my dad taking something from the motel room that wasn't for his own consumption. After all, I wasn't there, was I? Ok, now I'm pushing it.

Just to let you know, today I am drinking "real" coffee. I just happen to be out of Sanka and don't really care to go to the store and write a check just to get some. Besides, I have some of the old stuff left over which is essentially going to be wasted (stewardship?) if it doesn't get used at some time or another.

Of course, I'm not defending the ingestion of illegal substances. Illegality in itself would definitely make it a sin issue. We are to obey the laws of the land, provided they don't conflict with something God has said in His Word.

More later, I have a White Owl in the freezer that I got when my long lost son looked me up. I think I'll chew on it for a while.

Let it fly...

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