Thursday, February 24, 2011

Smoking, Tattoos and Piercings 2/23/11

Tonight in random all three of these came up and the question was whether or not they are a sin.  So let’s take a look.

Smoking:  Is it a sin to smoke?  Of course one of the students brought up the fact that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and we need to take care of it. (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19)  In the first reference Paul is talking about false doctrine (teaching about God).  If you mess up the teachings about God, then you are destroying the temple of God.  In the second reference Paul was talking here about sexual sins and what we do with our body.  Although I think you could still apply the principal it’s probably not really getting to the heart of the matter.  The heart of the matter with smoking is an addiction issue.  We need to ask ourselves if we are allowing anything to control us.  Whether it be smoking or any other type of addiction this can become a form of idolatry.  When we allow something to control our lives rather than submit ourselves to God then we have allowed an idol into our lives.  So here is the proper “body as the temple” scripture to apply here – 2 Corinthians 6:15 – 17.  This is something we need to surrender to God.  Anything that we cannot surrender to God is sin.

Tattoos and Piercings:  Everyone likes to quote Leviticus 19:28 and say that the Bible says not to mark your body.  Therefore tattoos and piercings are a sin.  You can’t just make that blanket statement.  You have to look at why Leviticus gives this warning.  This scripture is condemning a practice that the heathen people used to worship their idols.  In essence the verse is saying don’t try to look like the world and the way that they worship their false gods.  Ironically this is yet again an idolatry issue.  The heart of the matter is the motive of the marking.  If you want a tattoo as some kind of status symbol or because you think it will get you acceptance with some group or it is some kind of symbol of a false god then yes that would be a sin.  If you want a tattoo cause  you think it looks nice.  Maybe you want it to be a symbol of your faith in Christ.  Possibly you want it as a reminder of something special.  These reasons are not in themselves sinful.  This is a matter of the heart that you need to take up between you and God.  There is not a blanket answer for this one.  Something else to consider is trying not to offend others or give an appearance of evil.  You need to make it a matter of prayer if you are considering a tattoo.

Just Joking?  Finally, as we were closing someone asked about yo mamma jokes and why people say them.  I’m not sure of everyone’s motives on things, but let’s remember this when it comes to things like this.  We need to be careful that our joking doesn’t go too far and hurt or offend someone (Eph 5:4; Prov 28:18-19).  The other thing to consider is when we are on the receiving end of insults that most people hurt others because they themselves are hurting.  See past the insult to the need.  Maybe that person just needs someone to reach out with the love of Christ.  See them like Jesus sees them.

1 comment:

  1. Great night of discussion...I loved it! I was a little afraid you were going to start preaching my sermon for was close.