How Can Smoking Not Be A Sin?

Q. This isn’t the first thing I have read from your Q&A forum, but this one is the most disturbing. Sin is missing the mark, and if our body is the temple of the HS, isn’t smoking, overeating and basic abuse of our own bodies a Sin? Do you smoke? Why or why not? Please elaborate.

A. I used to smoke but quit over 40 years ago because I came to believe it’s a nasty habit with potentially serious health consequences. But that doesn’t make it a sin. When I was growing up, nearly every body smoked, including many of the most devout Christians I knew. Nobody gave it a 2nd thought. Just because we now know how dangerous it is doesn’t suddenly make it a sin. I happen to believe that ingesting meat and/or dairy products is every bit as hazardous to our health. Does that make all carnivores sinners? Over eating is not a sin unless food becomes your god, as in gluttony, and drinking is not a sin unless you become a habitual drunk. The same can be said of other obsessions, like money, power, or personal possessions. It’s making things like this your god that makes them sins.

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