Biblical Culture v. Christian Culture Part 3

Posted: September 26, 2008 in Uncategorized

Why does the leadership team at Revolution not care if a person smokes?  Perhaps I should qualify this by stating that of course we care if you are addicted to anything especially tobacco products that lead to an early grave.  As a former cigarette smoker, I hope and pray that people leave the habit behind because it is a killer, it spikes health care costs for all and it makes a person smell like a foot!

So, in one sense, we do care if a person smokes but we do not believe the Bible clearly prohibits it and, therefore, we do not prohibit it.  We stand where the Bible stands and shrug our shoulders where Scripture is silent.

Now you may object that 1 Corinthians 6:19 teaches that your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit.  However, I would urge you to read the whole passage in context.  Paul is addressing sexual immorality and specifically the widespread and culturally acceptable practice of prostitution.  Paul’s argument is that our bodies belong to Christ and that sex unites two bodies and that uniting such a body with a prostitute seeks to unite Christ with something unholy; that is the point of the whole passage and to try to use it any other way is twisting the verse out of context.  As Professor D.A. Carson warns, “a verse without a context is nothing but a pretext for a proof text!” 

I occassionaly will puff on a cigar because I like them.  Notable Christian leaders like C.S. Lewis smoked a pipe.  Until his health went down hill, R.C. Sproul was a chainsmoker.  Pretty good company.  So, while habitiual smoking (or habitual anything) is unwise, the Bible simply is silent on it and, therefore, so are we.

Why don’t we care if you watch R-rated movies?  More on that later. Check back soon.

Grace and peace.

  1. Jake says:

    Although not from a biblical source, “Moderation in all things” might be a good rule to live by.

    Being a chain smoker wouldn’t just be bad for one’s personal health. It’s also a bad example to your children. In Sproul’s case it’s also a bad example to his congregation.

    I wonder how much of that chain smoking contributed to Sproul Jr’s youthful licentious that he later very proudly wrote about in Ligonier Tales?

  2. rivercityrevolution says:


    Thanks for the comment but as a prodigal whose parents did not drink or smoke I think I can say that there is not necessarily a direct link between such actions. There may, however, be a link between Sproul, Jr. ‘s actions and his father’s rather gruff demeanor. Anyway, that’s been my experience as a lapsed pagan and a pastor’s kid.

    Thanks so much. Grace and peace.

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