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Should Christians Smoke?
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Should Christians Smoke?
Radio Church of God  

Many say they can't find anything against tobacco in the BIBLE. Recently great controversy has arisen over the question whether cigarette smoking causes LUNG CANCER. Here is an eye-opening article, reporting the actual FACTS determined in recent tests, surveys and researches, and making PLAIN the Bible teaching about tobacco.

   Is TIME to learn the true facts! It's time we know the real TRUTH! MILLIONS are concerned even frightened by the shocking FACTS being revealed about smoking.
   Recent surveys and investigations into the health of 187,766 smokers and nonsmokers by the American Cancer Society have brought to light the definite danger of smoking! These findings directly affect MILLIONS of persons perhaps YOU!
   According to a recent nation-wide survey conducted by the American Institute of Public Opinion, 45 out of every 100 U.S. adults or some 46,000,000 smoke cigarettes. They average a pack a day. The younger the age groups, the higher the percentage who smoke. This shows the trend! More than half of all men and women between the ages of 21 to 29 light up cigarettes, whereas only a little more than one fifth of the people over 60 years of age are smokers.

Cigarette Claims

   The public is reminded daily in unescapable ads and commercials of cigarettes that are "much milder, smoother, rounder, fuller, freer on the draw, longer, cooler and safer, and that filter the smoke farther.''
   But leading manufacturers have become increasingly conscious of the public concern over recent investigations regarding heart disease, lung cancer, lip cancer and other ailments. Mounting evidence has shown these afflictions figure much more prominently in smokers than non-smokers.
   In the light of this public unrest, the cigarette manufacturers sponsored various doctors' reports. The "scientific results" of their own surveys, of course, minimized the danger in smoking.
   Then, to counteract dropping cigarette sales, the "filter" era was ushered in among the flurry of "medically tested" and "scientifically proven" claims in advertisements and commercials. Either by using counter-balancing additives, or by taking away the "harmful tars" or nicotine, the "healthful, safe, sanctioned-by-doctors cigarette" was on its way once more to a normal level on the manufacturers' sales graphs.
   Thus, the public's fears were being once more assuaged, and cigarette sales tended toward normal for a time.
   However, in the light of the latest findings of the American Cancer Society, besides other smaller-scale surveys, it may safely be predicted that the cigarette manufacturers either will find a new and entirely different method of making their products, or else introduce even "better" filters or additives, to smooth the worried brows of millions of perplexed purchasers of "pleasure."

Shocking Statistical Reports

   In the spotlight, rating front-page publicity in the July 2, 1954 issue of the U.S. News and World Report, were the statistics from the most recent investigations.
   The U.S. News and World Report interviewed Dr. E. Cuyler Hammond, who headed the Cancer Society's study group, and reported findings to the American Medical Association at San Francisco. The actual results of these findings are shown, together with numerous questions and answers foremost in the minds of most smokers.
   The actual statistics regarding the differences in the death rate between smokers and non-smokers cannot be denied! Death due to lung cancer is at least 200 % higher among AVERAGE cigarette smokers than among those who do not smoke! There are 106% more average smokers than nonsmokers who die from all other types of cancer.
   For heavy smokers (those who smoke a pack or more a day) the death rate is considerably higher! Death from lung cancer is shown to be more than 400% higher than that of non-smokers, while deaths from all other types of cancer are as high as 156%. Those suffering death from heart disease are 95% higher for heavy smokers than non-smokers.
   These are actual FACTS. These figures do not lie! They are the facts of case histories! No matter HOW much arguing, reasoning, cross-examining or sidestepping is done these facts reveal the alarming TRUTH!

Does Smoking Cause Lung Cancer?

   Before World War I, lung cancer was a rarity. But after 1920, doctors began to encounter it more and more frequently, and there was an abrupt uptrend in deaths due to lung cancer. Dr. Cuyler Hammond said in 1953: "The alarming fact is that the trend shows every indication of continuing."
   3400 persons died from cancer of the lung in 1933, 8800 in 1942, and the staggering number of 22,000 in 1952!
   Dr. Alton Ochsner, New Orleans surgeon, says: "Unless measures are instituted to stop the increase, I predict that by 1970... one out of every ten or 12 men living at that time will have cancer of the lung."
   Many smokers have attributed the rising trend in lung cancer, not to cigarettes, but to increasingly worse air pollution, especially in industrial cities. Of the particles contained in polluted air, breathed by millions of human beings the world over, smoke, soot, chemicals, and fumes from gasoline and other fuel oils may contain cancer-producing agents. But there is this one irrefutable fact to be considered! Men and women breathe the same polluted air about equally; yet lung cancer is at least eight times more prevalent among males than among females.
   According to facts revealed by the Gallup Poll, "Well over half, or 57%, of all male adults questioned in the survey are cigarette smokers, but only one woman in every three, or 32%, smokes."' "Not only do more men than women smoke, but men smoke more cigarettes than do women." (Los Angeles Times, June 30, 1954.)
   There is your answer! Obviously, air pollution is a contributing cause, but not the major cause of lung cancer.
   In the light of the foregoing the suspicion of cigarettes is inevitable! When researchers compared the sales figures for cigarettes and the statistics for lung cancer, they noticed a remarkable parallel. On the charts the rising lung cancer curve bears a striking resemblance to the curve which plots the cigarette sales. (Reader's Digest, July, 1954.)
   The conclusion, then, is absolutely apparent. Lung cancer does occur more frequently among smokers than nonsmokers. Smoking can be a direct contributing factor in cancer of the lung and in many other types of cancer!

What Do Doctors Say?

   Disturbed smokers demand the answer. They ask their doctors. Of the thousands seeking direct medical advice with regard to their own smoking, many are being comforted and reassured. How?
   The smoker asks: "Can cigarettes give pleasure to the person who does the smoking if the nicotine were removed completely?" Or: "Can't they find a way out?"
   And the doctors' answer is: "Oh, yes! I hope they do. I am not against cigarette smoking if it can be made safe. I hope the tobacco companies can find a solution."
   Doctor Cuyler Hammond, heading the research and investigations for the American Cancer Society, was asked: "What do you think a heavy smoker should do under all these circumstances? Is it wise to cut down on his smoking, or give it up altogether?" To which he replied: "Well? I can tell you what I've done I've switched to a pipe. What "scientific" medical "wisdom"!
   How similar to three young boys at the sea-coast. A cliff was nearby, with a sheer drop of some 200 feet directly to the surf-pounded rocks below. The three began wondering how close they could get to the edge of the cliff. Said the first: "I could stand without falling ONE FOOT from the edge." The second said: "I think I could stand with perfect safety ONE INCH from the edge." Replied the third: "I believe it's a bad risk. I'd rather keep CLEAR AWAY from it!"
   Dr. Wynder told the Cancer Prevention Committee: "Those physicians who were hardest set against believing that tobacco might play a role in lung cancer were heavy smokers themselves."
   Then, where can the smoker find the true answer?

Why Do People Smoke?

   Cigarette smoking has skyrocketed during the past decade. WHY?
   In this chaotic age of catastrophic world events, filled with cold wars, hot wars, international sore-spots and conference-table-disputes, the life of the individual has kept pace.
   In this world's helter-skelter search for happiness, the various media of entertainment have shown tremendous increases in sales. Human nature wants to be pleased! It is a search for the satisfaction of the senses that drives men on in a merry-go-round of sensual shocks and thrills that temporarily quench an insatiable thirst for self-gratification. Any smoker will admit he ENJOYS smoking. This enjoyment is directed toward the self. No one has claimed to smoke in order to benefit, uplift, or better please others!

What Is the Purpose of Our Lungs?

   The human body is the most intricately, marvelously made "machine" in existence! (Ps. 139:14) The human lungs have a two-fold purpose in the body: 1) to take in fresh air, thereby distributing life-giving oxygen to the blood and subsequently to the body cells; and 2) to ELIMINATE BODY IMPURITIES! Most people today are totally ignorant of this two-fold purpose!
   All the blood of the body circulates through the lungs, carrying certain impurities to it. The incoming fresh air is filled with oxygen. To perform its function it is "the breath of LIFE" to keep one healthily, vigorously alive, this air must be PURE! The oxygen is retained by the lungs, and the impurities are given off. It's that simple! But notice; the intended function of the lungs is to ELIMINATE, not to take in impurities. Let's see the result of filling the lungs with smoke regardless of nicotine content and see if we can find any real BENEFIT from smoking.
   First, the lungs are designed to be filled with fresh air. If the inhalation of breath is heavily laden with smoke, then the amount of fresh air is cut down. If the incoming air is already laden with impurities, then how can it successfully rid the body of impurities? Since the smokers' lungs do not contribute properly to the body's elimination of impurities, those impurities must be eliminated in other ways. Have you ever noticed that the smoker will have a greater problem with body odors? The answer is there is NO real benefit from smoking.

Does God Forbid Smoking?

   Many say: "But there is no command not to smoke in the Bible." True, nowhere in the Bible is there the statement or command: "Thou shalt not smoke." But what if there were? Would people obey it?
   Is not the command "Thou shalt not kill" in the Bible? Do men kill?
   Let's suppose for a moment that the direct command, "Thou shalt not smoke," did appear in the Bible. Would mankind cease immediately to smoke? Of course not! Because the carnal mind is ENMITY against God is not subject to the law of God. (Rom. 8:7) Is it then a SIN TO SMOKE?
   What is sin?
   "Sin is the transgression of the LAW"! (I John 3:4) But there are different types of sin. While we may only break one point of the SPIRITUAL law and still be guilty of all (James 2:10), there is another kind of sin! When Jesus healed the crippled man at the pool called Bethesda in Jerusalem, He said: "SIN NO MORE" (John 5:14). So healing is the forgiveness of sin. (Matt. 9:2-7) But what kind of sin? PHYSICAL SIN!
   God not only instituted SPIRITUAL laws, but He also instituted PHYSICAL laws. God is the Supreme CREATOR-RULER of this universe! He created all physical laws, forces and energies, and He sustains those laws! We may break the law of gravity but we will reap the consequences. If we jump from a high place, there is an inexorably binding LAW that says we're going to get hurt! There are also laws that govern your human body.
   Because of total lack of understanding of these laws, we see this ENTIRE WORLD engulfed with a flood of sickness, disease, suffering and death! The loud cry that "man is getting better and better" has become a shameful whisper facing a mountain of human WOE and MISERY! Yes, there is a REASON for our infirmities. Christ called it a SIN to endanger your physical bodies. In man's helter-skelter search for happiness, he has constantly sought to please himself. In looking for this pleasure especially in smoking he has forgotten to "count the cost" by looking forward to the inevitable RESULTS of his actions. "Lust of the flesh" is one of the most wide-spread sins. Have you noticed how often, how severely, the New Testament condemns it? This is a physical sin which also is a CAPITAL SPIRITUAL SIN. It is a direct transgression of the command: "Thou shalt not covet!"

Directed Toward Self!

   The smoker can hardly claim he smokes to satisfy others. Since the smoking habit satisfies temporarily a thirst for SELF-gratification, it is, in plain Bible language, "Lust of the flesh" actually a capital SIN!
   It is the way of the world to satisfy the senses! The WRATH OF GOD is going to come on those who are living in conformance to the ways and lusts of this world! Men are lovers of their own selves and lovers of pleasures, MORE than lovers of God! (II Tim. 3:2-4).
   Paul, in his letter to the Hebrews, showed how Moses chose to suffer the affliction with God's people rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. (Heb. 11:25) WHY? Because Moses knew that by choosing to forsake the temporary pleasures that seemed so desirable he could obtain that longer-lasting satisfying HAPPINESS on beyond. Yes, those who seek after the temporary sensual PLEASURES are to howl for the miseries they reap! (James 5:1-5). Peter exhorted Christians NOT to go according to their former LUSTS in IGNORANCE, but to be as obedient children! (I Pet. 1:14) The Christian is commanded to turn away from the pleasure-seeking world! (Rev. 18:4)

Forsake All Pleasure?

   Does this mean that God has designed that all Christians shall live unhappy, uneventful and devoid-of-pleasure lives? Of course not! Christ said He came not only to bring us life but LIFE MORE ABUNDANTLY! (John 10:10)
   We were intended by the RULER of this universe to live happy, eventful, fruitful lives! There are many things which we may ENJOY through our senses. The proper enjoyment of the senses is not wrong but right! But proper enjoyment builds up it never dissipates! We derive pleasure from delicious healthful foods we enjoy seeing beautiful things, we enjoy hearing beautiful music. We were intended to CULTIVATE and use our senses, but for the constructive purposes not destructive! It is the UPBUILDING of our health and character for which we seek, not the tearing down the destruction. God wants us to be happy and healthy.'

Can We Smoke?

   The converted child of God has absolutely FORSAKEN his own way (Isa. 55:6) and has come to realize that the WAY of man is WRONG. (Prov. 16:25). Then, after conforming with the conditions, the repentant sinner is PROMISED the Holy Spirit which is the very nature of God. (Acts 2:38; II Pet. 1:4) If we call ourselves Christians, we're to GROW DAILY more like God! (Matt. 5:48). Then, instead of seeking to please ourselves by temporary sensual pleasures which dissipate and injure, we are to forsake the degenerating habits, and give our lives over to God! (Rom. 12:1) We are bought with a price (I Cor. 6:20), and are commanded to GLORIFY God in our physical bodies! Are you glorifying God with a cigarette in your mouth?
   We should live in HARMONY with the laws God has set in motion not go contrary to them. Physical as well as spiritual laws are included. After God has implanted within us that gift which we LACK to start us toward eternal life, (Luke 11:13)' He tells us WE ARE HIS TEMPLE! We have His Holy Spirit abiding within us are bought with a price, and we literally BELONG to God!
   Can we do what we please with His property? No! God says if we defile His temple He will DESTROY us! (I Cor. 3:16). How PLAIN!
   You should be constantly WEEDING OUT the habits like smoking which stand proven to be degenerating, harmful DANGEROUS! Instead, you should be cultivating GOOD habits in their place. God give you wisdom and understanding to OBEY the unchangeable LAWS He has given us for our GOOD!

Publication Date: 1954
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