Q. In these last days I’ve been trying to live according to God’s will, and I’ve been blessed because of it. I’m struggling with one thing though, and that’s dependence on pot. I smoke almost every day – especially this time of year when I am prone to bouts of severe depression and anxiety. It’s the only thing that helps. I asked a brother about it, and he said that we should live not only according to God’s law, but to that of society as well. He suggested that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and smoking may be harmful to to our health, thus sinful to God. I want to know how God feels about it. Is smoking pot a sin?
A. Smoking, whether tobacco or marijuana, is not mentioned in the Bible. Some people are fond of using the verse about our bodies being the Temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19) to claim that doing something to harm it is sinful. But lots of things we do are harmful to our bodies and yet the Bible does not condemn them as being sinful. Why single out smoking?
For example alcohol is not good for us, but God authorized the Israelites to use their tithe money to purchase wine or other fermented drink to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Deut.14:25-26). From that we can see it’s not drinking that God is against but habitually drinking to excess (1 Cor. 5:11).
Likewise a steady diet of red meat is thought to be harmful to us, especially when lots of fat is consumed with it. But after the flood God specifically added red meat to our diet (Genesis 9:3-4) and the so-called fatty portions were considered to be the most desirable. He also gave us sugar, salt, and other things that can harm us if used to excess.
Comparing these things to smoking, ideally the same limitations should apply. But then in Romans 13:5-6 Paul said it’s incumbent upon Christians to submit to legally constituted authorities. He said it’s a matter of conscience. So if you live in a state where pot smoking is against the law the Bible says you should obey the law.