Kansas City, Missouri
How whole-heartedly I concur with you. For me, it is the height of hypocrisy to stand in judgment of a dear saint with a smoking habit while I shovel in Big Mac's, super size fry, and top it off with a smooth chocolate malt. All the while hardening my arteries to the place if I don't take heed I will check out early with work yet undone. Bad habit? for sure! And so are too many of my habits as well.
| 2005/1/30 16:31||Profile|
For me, it is the height of hypocrisy to stand in judgment of a dear saint with a smoking habit while I shovel in Big Mac's, super size fry, and top it off with a smooth chocolate malt. All the while hardening my arteries to the place if I don't take heed I will check out early with work yet undone. Bad habit? for sure! And so are too many of my habits as well.
It is not hypocrisy to call sin, sin. My judgement is concerning leadership. And to continue in habitual sin(let's differentiate), is different than our daily shortcomings. Habitual sin is a willful choice and a huge red flag of a life not in submission to Christ. That's my opinion. And honestly, I won't listen long to a fat preacher. Sincerely, Dian.
| 2005/1/30 16:58||Profile|
[b]Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. (Jam 4:17 KJV)[/b]
Did you ever notice how private this verse was? There's only one person in it.
[b]Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. (Psa 51:4 KJV)[/b]
Did you ever notice how private this verse was? There are only two people in it.
[b]The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. (Luk 18:11 KJV)[/b]
Did you ever notice how many people this verse has in it? One too many! ;-)
| 2005/1/30 18:07||Profile|
| Re: Smoking in the Ministry|
Charles Spurgeon smoked a pipe. Many men who were good, Godly smoked. I look at it this way, Matthew 7:1, " Judge not, that ye be not judged." (KJV) It should be between the individual and the Lord. I do not smoke and that is my conviction.
I desire your prayers for me and my family in the days ahead. God bless you.
| 2005/1/30 20:42||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
Liked a lot that advice from Ron, thanks sir. Ultimately it does come done to that, especially in these type's of things.
Also, am glad that Dian isn't backing down one iota here. Still can recall the conversations we had in this regard and to be even more honest about it all it is the last thing that I have yet to lay down that I know has to come to an end, surely there will be others, but of the remnants of on purpose stupidity deeply ingrained in the flesh...
But, I do believe it is a big deal and it reveals the true state of our hearts. Just ask yourself, why do you smoke? Isn't it for comfort? A relief from anxiety and pressure, right? Isn't that God's job? So when we turn to something else for it, isn't that idolatry?
Darn good question isn't it? Though it's somewhat vague, there was even more spelled out in prior conversation and I do need to revisit it again.
But to answer just these questions..sort of?
"[i]Isn't it for comfort?[/i]" To the flesh
"[i]A relief from anxiety and pressure, right?[/i]" Yes, sort of. It doesn't fix any of those or make them go away, just the opposite can produce cravings so....
"[i]Isn't that God's job? So when we turn to something else for it, isn't that idolatry?[/i]"
This is where I may differ. Another example that might raise a few eyebrows... I can be praying seriously on my face for long stretches at a time and get up go outside still carrying on in my prayers, sucking away on one of those things, starring up into the sky, praising God, musing, praying, thinking. I guess I just don't see a disconnect there or a 'replacement' for seeking God, not in the least. I guess I just don't see that it has anything to do with idolatry [i][b]in that sense[/b][/i]. It doesn't change my disposition in any way, give me a buzz, provide an escape or anything else in that sense. It's like food, you are hungry, you eat, you crave a smoke... It's an inbreed-ed habit reinforced through repetition and after 20 years it's pretty well ingrained. Sure that it differs for others, their reasons for doing so, many even for the reasons you mentioned.
Now it's coming back to me, discussing about how the commonality amongst for instance those that are in rehab for say alcohol or drug abuse often are smokers. Maybe you could flesh this out again for others, it made sense to me at the time.
It does seem to be different in that it doesn't alter your consciousness/mind in the way the others do.
But all that is just by way of explanation and isn't intended to be a rationalization. Ironically enough, this new job is pretty darn stressful at times with the pace and demands even with the Lords peace undergirding it all and despite that probably smoke half as much as before...Just no time :-?
But it still has to go, has to die, like the pride and unforgiveness and ways of the world and all the other things that the Lord requires of us individually. And I know this too He requires from me, in that sense maybe it is idolatry. I just keep putting it off because '[i]there are so many other things to deal with[/i]' a lame excuse that never flies, there will always be something to bump it into 'tomorrow'.
Looking forward to more thoughts from others, especially one that I will be expecting soon ...
And of course you too Dian. And you bet I know, I love you to sister. Let me have it, I know I am still wrong somewhere and a sneaky suspicion that this may be more of a spiritual issue than I know. Might just need some sense slapped into me.
| 2005/1/30 20:49||Profile|
Here's my perspective as an ex-smoker for close to three months.
About two years ago, the Lord asked me "Do you love that cigarette more than you love me?" This was when I was outside smoking a cigarette. I said, I don't really think that's God and I rebelled, although I got some Christian books on the topic. For a short time, I conversed with one of those authors via Email.
I began to spend a considerable amount of time praying about this and concluded that my behavior was a sin but I couldn't quit. It was a horrible time. I fasted. I cried out. No deliverance came. If we deliver ourselves, we tend to exalt ourselves.
I mentioned this at our prayer circle at church and the pastor asked if they could pray for me. They prayed for me and God delivered me through the power of the blood of Jesus. I didn't break the power of the cigarette. Jesus did it, so there's no room for boasting.
The power of the blood of Jesus is real and if we submit ourselves to Him, the victory is real as well. I believe that Jesus has the power to bind the strong man from any sin and break the power regardless of what the sin is.
Another brother asked to vow to the Lord that I wouldn't return and he asked me if I was willing or willing to be made willing (as R.A. Torrey would say). I said yes. We prayed together and he warned me that the Lord would discipline me quickly if I went back to smoking.
The next day I wanted a cigarette before I went home (around 3 p.m.) and I smoked that thing, my face turned green, and I just barely made it from the parking lot to the the elevator. I felt like I was going to pass out and all I could whisper on the elevator was "Thank you Jesus." That was the last cigarette.
Victory over any sin is real but it's only in the power of the blood.
I talked to my father about this a few weeks ago and he was glad that I finally got the "willpower." I told Dad no it wasn't my will power, it was the power of Jesus' blood over sin. He broke it. I couldn't do it. Victory over sin is not about trying harder because that's a flesh deal but it's submitting to Jesus and believing in faith in the power of His blood.
As the Lord has been showing me through the powerful preaching that smoking is simply an area where the strong man (Satan) was not bound.
Mat 12:29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man and then he will spoil his house.
The strong man is bound as we do specifically what the Lord requires in that area of our life. That's probably the topic for another thread at another time.
I see nothing wrong with calling sin for what it is as Dian did. What we have to be careful for is that we don't have the log in our own eye. Sin is always a manifestation of our rebellion to the Lord.
I have a dear brother of mine suffering from gluttony (which has become life threatening) and he's not been able to break this from his life. If He is willing to submit fully to Jesus, Jesus will set Him free. Because I can readily see this sin, it doesn't make it more sinful than another sin which is in the heart (bitterness of heart, gossip, sexual sin, etc.). I pray that I never judge someone else's heart. I've done it before and it's a very grevious sin before the Lord.
The power of the blood of Jesus is real folks. What we have to wary of is to compare ourselves to one another. The only people that did that were hypocrites, so we have to be very wary of drawing comparisons between ourselves.
I know that Jesus is going to deliver you Mike from this stronghold. I'm certainly being disciplined (a disciple literally means a "disciplined one") by the Lord as he is binding the strongman in different areas of my life as I yield to Jesus.
As far as frequenting this type of business, I'm not sure what I would do other than to pray. Then I would just do whatever Jesus told me to do, so I'm not quite certain what I would do in this instance.
| 2005/1/30 21:31||Profile|
Kansas City, Missouri
Thank you for your insight, not too very long ago I would have enjoyed sparring over such matters. I have found some of your previous posts, reading them in order that I might come to know your positions and heart a little. I see, and sense your desire to live a life of Holiness before Him, without which no man shall ever see God. And so I commend you in this.
I have bared my soul already today, in another thread, so endure my ramblings as I bare some more. Sadly for most of my Christian adult life I lived full of pride. Oh my how I had discernment, and loved to chat with others for the need for this Spiritual gift. Problem was, I had discernment that would find and expose everyone else's bad habits, bondages and sins but if any explanation was given at all concerning my own sins I referred to them as little more than shortcomings ect...
It took myself being found guilty of gross sin, It took God having a great controversy with me, it took the power of forgiveness and restoration for me to see just how wicked all my pride really was.
Awaking out of my slumber I saw afresh Prov 6:16-19 "These six things doth the Lord hate, yea, seven are an abomination unto him. A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, and heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a flase witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren."
I know the thread concerns smoking in the Ministry, I believe these problems could be rectified if we could take seriously these passages I have quoted in Proverbs. So much would solve itself in some respects if we could find ourselves majoring in the majors.
I look forward to future correspondence with you and others,
| 2005/1/30 23:22||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
Yours was the one I was awaiting. Praise God three months! Will take this all to heart brother
| 2005/1/30 23:29||Profile|
We all know in reality that smoking is not good, with health, for kids, even second hand, etc. We also would not be so disrespectful to smoke in a Christian church. Jesus teaches us the body is also a temple, calling His own body a temple, and told people to tear it down and He would rebuild it in 3 days (He did).
Smoking ruins any testimony of Holiness, Righteousness, and Goodness, all things of God. It looks like hypocrisy for church people who call themselves christian and smoke cigarettes. Everyone knows cigarettes are very strongly linked with cancer and other horrible diseases, and to just not care about that seems very irresponsible. Loving christians need to be sensitive to their testimony of Christ and to others who may be looking for Christ. You don't know who is watching you as a christian, to see if you have something they don't or if you are just lying about Bible things, all talk and no action.
I am an ex-smoker also, everything from tobacco to crack cocaine, I know the fleshly struggle, but God can change this if you ask Him and seek to please Him more than your flesh. Start by confessing your sins, then ask His help, and get yourself out of tempting situations as much as possible.
All christians have to fight the flesh and fight this corrupt world, not just smokers.
Read testimonies from christians through Voice of the Martyrs, in India christians get kicked out of their house for changing religions, they have no where to live, no food, starving children, and you are spending money to smoke up? Why not sacrifice your cigarette money to give bibles to China? To give tracts to India? Our brothers and sisters in Christ don't have in abundance like we do, help them to grow and evangelize. We need to share our blessings with those with none, and there are those with none if you look. I find in many churches in my neighborhood people making so many excuses to stay sinful rather than pressing in to Holiness and Godly living. That is a sad state of disobedience among people calling themselves God's children. I hope we keep pressing in to change and be more like Christ, and to allow God to sanctify us, make us Holy, because that is His wish according to the bible. To be christlike is to be holy, press in to holiness, because if we know God more, we will be more Holy, because God is holy.
Crsschk, your openness is great, I hope you continue to be open, but also open up to God and allow Him to change this bad habit. If you are still smoking, I hope God will help you stop this. I will pray He will help you too, because for some, smoking ruins the Christian testimony, and we, as loving people, need to be concerned about Jesus Christ's testimony. For some things in my life, God has helped take them away from me as I confessed them to other people, either confessing my sins and asking for help and prayer, or by apologizing to those I've wronged. Recently, God has answered my long-requested prayer for me to stop watching gossip shows like Entertainment Tonight. I barely even did it, but I would be drawn in. Humbly, I confessed this to other brothers and sisters, and now I have not even looked at gossip since. I am so thankful! God has helped me not read trash magazines even when they were right in front of me. God has helped take away many sinful habits for me (in good time, but continually am being stripped of worldly things), as you continue in obedience to Jesus Christ's Holy Spirit and confess and forsake sins, He will take your bad habits and give you good ones. We need to fight the evil desires of the flesh.
Dear God, please help our brothers and sisters in Christ on sermonindex.net who smoke cigarettes to stop. Please help them confess their sins to you and to whoever you need them to admit, and to ask forgiveness, and to rely on You for deliverance. Please help us to draw closer to You more and more, and please take away our bad habits and give us good ones as we seek to obey and love Truth, Holiness, Righteousness, and Jesus Christ's Holy Spirit. Thank you for answering prayers in accordance with the will of the father in heaven. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.
I say give your cigarette money to Voice of the Martyrs, Gospel for Asia, or any brother, sister persecuted, starving, homeless. Give your cigarette money to God, use it for His glory. He can turn that money into evangelism tools if you let Him. I hope you do that. He promises some wonderful things in the New Testament, do your part in obeying Him, and He will help you.
| 2005/1/30 23:41||Profile|
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
| Re: Got knowledge...no life|
Just a thought, ever noticed that people who know the most aout how a christion should behave are normally those who do'nt go to church but 'tried' it once.
The weight of religion can crush the most well meaning soul. :-(
| 2005/1/31 0:16||Profile|