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 Smokin' Church

Just wanted to see how people felt about this...

A friend of ours asked if our two older boys could come to their church's VBS. I said we'd check it out. So since our house church was not meeting this weekend, we visited their Sunday morning service. Good fundamental KJV church... everything was cool. The music was fantastic... the sermon was hard and convicting. Everything seemed great.... until we went outside about about half the church lit up.

We have a couple people in our house churches that havent kicked the habit yet... and thats ok. You can be saved and smoke. I dont recommend it, and I think a Christian ought to quit smoking because of the destructiveness of it.

But even Charles Spurgeon smoked cigars now and then. I have been known to smoke a cigar when I'm camping... but what I am referring to here is habitual 2 pack a day smoking... which is what I witness at this church.

So my friend dropped by later in the afternoon and asked what we thought. I said everything was great, but man... there are a lot of smokers there... that caught me a little off guard. He said "Oh yea, the preachers chews tobacco too."

Ive been praying about this, asking God "What am I supposed to be seeing here? What are You trying to teach me?"

I went last night to the VBS, and while the kids were in classes, my friend and I hung out on the front porch of the fellowship hall. Eventually, because of the rain, there were about 20 adults out there hanging out... and my friend and I were the only ones not smoking. Then here comes the pastor... he sticks a big hunk of RedMan in his mouth and begins chewin' and spittin'.

What really saddened my heart was there was a woman there who was probably 5 months pregnant with a 2 yr old on her lap... and the mom was just a puffin away... literally chain smoking.

What do you all think of this? Biblical doctrine, preaching salvation, hell is hot, people on their faces at the alter at the end, preacher obviously had a burden on his soul when he was preaching... but major major tobacco addiction going on there.

I'm not judging anyone there... I'm just very confused by all of it, not knowing what to think.

Any thoughts?

Krispy

 2005/7/12 6:44
Joshua99
Member



Joined: 2005/5/19
Posts: 118
Austin Tx.

 Re: Smokin' Church

Grace, Grace, and the need of prayer, for in that situation, only the Holy Spirit can deal with the hearts of each person. I used to smoke cigars while working, most of the time,only when I worked. Then as I became more on fire for Jesus, loving Him and His Spirit purifying my heart with the Word of God. Smoking then was placed on the altar, not because brothers and sisters got in my face. I needed Christ to replace what was lacking in my heart-causing me to desire a fix, smoking. I have been free now 8 months, because of the Grace of God. I'm saying I don't even think about it..PERIOD! Now this is freedom. Yes, I prayed for years to quit, BUT I wasn't serious until an event took place last November, when the Lord got my attention.

As a teacher of God's Word, I rather teach And lift up Jesus before all men and let The Holy Spirit do His work, to release and restore His people, this way it lasts for eternity! :-)


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Bryan

 2005/7/12 8:44Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re: Smokin' Church

This is a verse from a Weslye hymn we often sing..In darkness willingly I strayed,
I sought Thee, yet from Thee I roved;
Far wide my wandering thoughts were spread,
Thy creatures more than Thee I loved;
And now [u]if more at length I see,
’Tis through Thy light and comes from Thee.[/u]

You can't rush revelation. Pray for them.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/7/12 8:44Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
You can't rush revelation. Pray for them.



Amen. Smoking is a real pet-peeve 'sin' in our camp. It gets hit more than any other. Yet, it was not a cigarette that has split our church more than once. It was rife immorality.

I have also pondered this question. I think the closest to smoking I ever came was once I though I would try to light a cigarette- it never made it any farther than a few sparks. I don't feel more spiritual because of it. I have my own weaknesses to deal with. In reality I believe that much of the concern comes because we are wanting to project an image to the world that Christians don't smoke- because we were raised to believe that.

Finney talked about going into meeting houses and men spitting on the floors and even in the seats! This was before it was preached against as a sin. In later writings he starts coming down on the habit as a "waste of the Lord's money." maybe he was sick of trying to wipe down seats in the church house or getting stools for the ladies to stand on so they didn't have to stand in the spit. He was especially upset about people trying to kneel in prayer and not being able to focus on God for the mess under their legs (I think this is in Lecture XIII).

Well, in time tobacco use became a favorite sin to preach against. It is a pet peeve that I believe people who 'quit' smoking when they got 'saved' want to impose on everyone because they gave up something well beloved and by George everyone else better also. I never saw that preaching do anything other than make the people feel unworthy to be in among believers.

I watched smoking kill several of my family members. I have a family member that smokes 4-5 packs a day at 63 years old. We have all seen it. Then again, if you listen to Lester Roloff you will find that a lot of things we are doing are also killing us. The foods we eat. The drugs we take for sickness. Laziness- lack of "sweating" and the whole nine yards. I guess I'll preach against smoking when I start eating right and working till I'm worthy of a full nights rest. how hypocritical it would be for me to condemn the guy outside the restraunt smoking while I'm sitting down to my 4th plate at the buffet. Finney thought eating pleasant food was a sin. What would he say to some of our pot luck dinners?


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2005/7/12 9:25Profile









 Re:

Joshua... thank you for your testimony. It hasnt even crossed my mind to confront anyone there about this because thats not my church, I dont know the people, and I'm certainly not in any leadership there. It's not my place. I'm simply an observer. I used to smoke a pack and half of cigarettes a day... so I understand the struggle of giving them up. I gave them up before coming to Christ because I got real serious about fitness and body building... but your testimony is great, and I know many who share the same story.

Philologos... you're absolutely right. You cant rush or force revelation. As I mentioned, there are two smokers in our house churches that still smoke... and frankly I leave them alone about it, unless they ask me. The Holy Spirit will work on them.

One interesting observation is this... I think this situation says alot about the example a pastor sets. We all tend to justify our behavior when we see a leader doing something. Here is a pastor who uses tobacco... and so you see half a congregation using it. The associate pastor smokes unfiltered camels. I noticed two kids in the youth group smoking. There are ash trays everywhere around the outside of the church, and around the fellowship hall.

Again... not judging, just noticing the influence of the leaders. I think thats something we all need to think a little more about.

[b]1Co 8:9-13[/b] [i]But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.[/i]

Krispy

 2005/7/12 9:25









 Re:

Robert... excellent points. I have a hard time listening to a pastor preach who is weighing in at over 300 pounds... and it's not a gland problem... it's a bacon and cheese problem. I'm not saying everyone should be at the gym 5 times a week like I am... but the Bible says a lot about gluttony. When was the last time you heard a sermon on that topic?

Krispy

 2005/7/12 9:31
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
I'm not saying everyone should be at the gym 5 times a week like I am



I heard a sermon against this recently also. I wondered, are they saying I can't workout any more? Talked about how people in the gym only do it to look good and impress folk in the flesh. Said were too preoccupied with our appearance. It was inserted into a sermon against plastic surgery. There was some truth to what she was saying (it was a speech actually to a group of Christians). Yet, look at how crazy this can get? I think we may be too preoccupied with other people and need to really just focus on what God is telling us. God never convicted me for working out once He gave it back to me years ago. You simply have to let God be God. Like Ron said- it has to come by revelation. And if I might add- we all won't look the same and have the same personal convictions when its all over.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/7/12 9:38Profile









 Re:

Speaking only for myself... I was diagnosed with diabetes 5 years ago, even tho I was already in shape. It's a family history thing for me. So thats why I am there 5 times a week. Plus it's a small gym with mostly free weights, no machines... so there arent many women there. It's no meat market type of gym. Since I've been at that gym I've been blessed to lead 4 people (including the owner) to Christ... and we have Bible studies once a week. The now cranks Christian metal music now instead of the trash he used to play.

I'm an ex-Marine, and I just love being in shape... and with diabetes, it also ensures that I'll avoid physical ailments later in life.

Not defending... just explaining. I know you werent judging me, Robert.

Krispy

 2005/7/12 10:13
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

No judging either way here. I workout and nobody seems to care either way.

Something that sticks with me that really bolled me over once. I was in Las Vegas on an annual business trip and attended a store front Church. I could not help but ask why Las Vegas? Why come here to build a ministry? He said, they need Christ just like we do. I then asked- well, what about all the casinos and stuff? He said, there are actually people in this church that work in gaming. I was blown back. I said, what do you do about that? He said, "We allow the Holy Ghost to deal with the people." I wasn't trying to hear that at the time. I was a bit younger and greener. But one thing I must say is that I recognized the presence of God in the house. And when the minister called me out and spoke to a situation I was going through with an unction I laid my judgmentalism down. God is in control and when I get my hands on His work the whole Masterpiece can get messed up. A lot of stuff we emphasize in preaching against in 'our camp' is stuff that you do not find anywhere in the NT except in 'principal.' So called biblical principals get a lot of press. Its convenient because anyone can be God. Anyone can manipulate what they want their brother or sister to quit doing and offer a few proof texts. Oh how desperately we need God to show up!


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/7/12 11:01Profile
GaryE
Member



Joined: 2005/4/26
Posts: 376
Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania

 Re:



A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

Krispy, you mention that you can't listen to a preacher who has a bacon and cheese problem and not a gland problem. Isn't this maybe the biggest reason that chewing preacher or Christians in general should not smoke? Just as you won't listen to the preacher who is a glutton, people won't listen to preachers or Christians that look to them like they are missing the mark. This in fact keeps many people from ever coming to the Lord.

We need to kill the Agag in our lives like Samuel did and not let him survive like Saul did. We need to kill the priests of Baal like Elijah and go into Canaan land and kill all of the enemies of God and his people. When it comes to personal revival or cultural revival, we can be sure we won't get the victory until Achan is dead.

All hell comes against a Christian that is trying to get free from tobacco. When Satan comes in like a flood, God is able to put up a standard against him. God's grace isn't just about taking our sins away from us but his grace includes the ability to resist sin. With smoking there is a need to be as a watchman looking for the raving and roaring lion. When the lust spirit of smoking is identified, the person must immediately pray. God’s answer to our prayer will bring the standard that will stop Satan and bring freedom into our lives.

It is not God's will for any of us to be in bondage to this world. Addictions including the lust spirits of gambling, sexual sins, drug use, alcoholism are to be broken by the power of God so that God is glorified in our lives. We are more than conquerors through Jesus.

It is good to have elders pray for us for deliverance if we are in bondage of some sort, however, it is most important that we call out to God when facing the enemy in a confrontation. Pray. We boldly enter the throne room, with the blood, and present our petitions to the Lord. O’ Lord help me. O’ Lord help me. O’ Lord please help me.

In Christ,
GaryE


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Gary Eckenroth

 2005/7/12 11:28Profile





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