"MORAL ISSUES CONFRONTING CHRISTIANS" Tobacco INTRODUCTION 1. Another moral issue confronting Christians is the consumption of tobacco... a. In the form of smoking(cigarettes, cigars, pipes) b. Also smokeless tobacco (chew, snuff) 2. In the past, the dangers of tobacco may have not been known... a. Prompting many (including Christians) to consider a harmless habit b. Even today some take it lightly [But the evidence for the harmful effects of tobacco is now overwhelming...] I. STATISTICS ON TOBACCO A. OVERALL MORTALITY... 1. Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States 2. Cigarette smoking causes an estimated 438,000 deaths, about 1 of every 5 deaths, each year 3. More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined 4. On average, adults who smoke cigarettes die 14 years earlier than nonsmokers -- Centers For Disease Control Prevention (updated September 2006) B. MORTALITY FROM SPECIFIC DISEASES... 1. Lung cancer: 123,800 deaths; other cancers: 34,700 deaths 2. Chronic lung disease: 90,600 deaths; coronary heart disease: 86,800 deaths 3. Stroke: 17,400 deaths; other diagnoses: 84,600 deaths -- These figures are per year - Ibid. C. EFFECTS OF SECOND HAND SMOKE... 1. Secondhand smoke exposure causes heart disease and lung cancer in nonsmoking adults 2. It causes approximately 3,400 lung cancer deaths and 22,700- 69,600 heart disease deaths annually among adult nonsmokers in the United States 3. It causes respiratory symptoms in children and slows their lung growth 4. It causes sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), acute respiratory infections, ear problems, and more frequent and severe asthma attacks in children 5. Almost 60% of U.S. children aged 3-11 years-or almost 22 million children-are exposed to secondhand smoke 6. There is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure - even brief exposure can be dangerous -- Ibid. D. OTHER FORMS OF TOBACCO USE... 1. Pipe smoking and cigar smoking increase the risk of dying from cancers of the lung, esophagus, larynx, and oral cavity 2. Smokeless tobacco contains 28 cancer-causing agents (carcinogens) 3. Smokeless tobacco use increases the risk for developing oral cancer 4. Adolescents who use smokeless tobacco are more likely to become cigarette smokers -- Ibid. [In view of such evidence of the harmful effects of tobacco use, there are very good reasons...] II. WHY CHRISTIANS SHOULD ABSTAIN A. THE EFFECT ON OUR BODIES... 1. Remember what the Bible teaches a. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit - 1Co 6:19 b. Our bodies have been bought, and are not our own
- 1Co 6:19-20 c. Our bodies are to glorify God - 1Co 6:20 d. Our bodies are instruments by which we serve God
- Ro 12:1-2; 6:13,19 2. Thus our bodies are a reflection of our stewardship a. We are all stewards of God's manifold grace - 1Pe 4:10 b. Our duty is to be faithful in what has been given us
- 1Co 4:2 c. We shall be judged by how we used what has been given us - Lk 16:10-12 d. What if someone borrowed what is yours and misused it (e.g., your car)? -- Years cut short by tobacco are lost opportunities to serve and glorify God B. THE EFFECT ON OTHERS... 1. Hurting, even killing them through second-hand smoke 2. Burdening family financially with hospital bills left behind 3. Depriving family of your presence as spouse, parent, grand-parent 4. Impoverishing the church and society of our talents and service -- Is slowly killing yourself and harming others showing love, or selfishness? C. THE EFFECT ON OUR INFLUENCE... 1. We are role models, for our faith is spoken of by others - cf. Ro 1:8; 16:19 2. We influence others for good or ill 3. Can we say what Paul did about following one's example? - cf. Php 3:17 4. Do we consider the effect it has on saving others?
- cf. 1Co 10:31-33 -- Does tobacco help or hinder our efforts to share Christ with others? CONCLUSION 1. The harmful effects of tobacco have been clearly established... a. The scientific evidence is overwhelming b. Even our bodies tell us by the way they react to smoke 2. Christians have ample reason to abstain... a. For health reasons b. For spiritual reasons For those addicted to nicotine, stopping may not be easy. But I trust we have seen that one should make every effort to rid themselves of this habit that can destroy both body and soul...