Tobacco and Leading Men

Tobacco and Leading Men

Richard Hollerman

We know that the use of tobacco was much more extensive in America in the past. Even “sophisticated” women began to smoke cigarettes after World War I, considering tobacco use to be a way of emancipation. Through the 1950s, even doctors were known to smoke and the tobacco companies emphasized this fact—until the ill effects of using tobacco could no longer be hidden.

Since that time, however, more and more medical testing has shown the extreme danger of using tobacco. In fact, we are told that the use of tobacco (cigarettes, pipe, cigar, snuff, chewing tobacco) is connected with the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. We assume that this same point could be made of the use of tobacco worldwide—whether Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and elsewhere!

Probably most professing Christians in our day would rightly condemn the use of tobacco, especially those from an Evangelical or Fundamental background. The evidence for injury to one’s health is so overwhelming that most people would either say that tobacco use is foolish—or even sinful. Elsewhere in this site (www.Truediscipleship.com) you will find information that will show why we would roundly condemn using tobacco in any form and consider it an outright sin. It is a sin against our physical body, in addition to other aspects of sin (Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

But at the same time, we must acknowledge that a number of preachers and writers of the past used tobacco products. We’ve already dealt with one interesting personality—a contemporary preacher, radio speaker, and writer by the name of Steve Brown. (Note: “Smoking and the Christian: My Experience with Steve Brown, http://truediscipleship.com/smoking-christian-experience-steve-brown/). But what about others?

Probably many people are aware that C. H. Spurgeon enjoyed smoking cigars! Yet multiplied thousands look to Spurgeon as the epitome of Christianity! Was he, really? Then there was the Anglican pipe-smoking writer and speaker, C. S. Lewis. Is he really someone we should want to emulate? We’ve read that the writer J.R.R.Tolkien was also a pipe-smoker! Even Johann Sebastian Bach smoked! Let’s use these names to remind ourselves that we must not elevate men higher than we should. We wouldn’t want to be guilty of praising (without qualification) various preachers and writers when they have practiced public sin without repentance.

Instead of elevating men (or women), let’s praise our Lord Jesus Christ. We know that He alone was sinless and is worthy of emulation!

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