Vol.1 Smoking and Drinking

 It is troubling to see how smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol is such a stumbling block for so many people when they consider Christianity.
 I have friends that think that they are already disqualified from the possibility of ever becoming Christians just because they smoke and drink.
 To have to give up smoking and drinking in order to meet the requirements for becoming a Christian, is for most people, especially men, too difficult to do. I do believe that this presumption is probably one of the strongest reasons why so many people don't even consider Christianity as something they could call as their own faith.
 What is it that makes smoking and drinking to be looked upon with such severity? Does the Bible really say that smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol is a sin?
  No, the Bible doesn't say that. There are no scriptures that directly regard the two as sins at all. In fact, drinking wine was recommended by the Apostle Paul to Timothy to calm his nerves and stomach. Even Jesus blessed a wedding reception by miraculously turning large vessels of water into "good tasting" wine when the wine had run out. Drinking wine in the Bible days was just part of everyday life. So, the Bible doesn't say that drinking alcohol is a sin. Yet the scriptures do say that we should not drink it accessively nor get drunk. That is certainly understandable even from a secular perspective.
As for cigarettes, there is no mention of such a thing in the Bible. Either cigarettes weren't invented yet, or that it was available and smoked but was not considered bad. The Bible does encourage us to take good care of "God's temple", the human body. In other words, we are to maintain good health. So, from that perspective, smoking cigarettes is not good. This is just plain common sense. Yet, the scriptures do not say that it is a sin to not maintain good health.
 I have several close friends that are good, upstanding Christians who smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol. These indulgences do not hinder their faith at all. They are responsible people and sincerely love God.
  Let's not let erroneous misunderstandings of the smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol get in the way of knowing God. There are more important issues to deal with than these when it comes to the Christian faith.

  いや、聖書ではそんな事は言ってません。それどころか、少しも罪としてこのふたつを直視するみことば(聖書に書かれている言葉)はありません。実際にワインを飲むことは緊張を解き、そしてお腹を安定させると、使徒パウロとテモテによって薦められています。イエス様でさえも、婚礼の席で来客のためにワインが無くなってしまったとき、大きな水瓶にあった水を最上のワインに変えられる奇蹟をされました。ワインを飲むことは、まさにこの聖書の時代では日常的な事でした。  だから聖書はお酒を飲む事を罪だとは言ってません。けれども、必要以上にお酒を飲んだり、酔っ払う事はするべきではないと、みことばは語っています。その事は、この世の見解ですら明らかに分かるでしょう。
  タバコについても、聖書ではその事について一切触れていません。恐らくまだタバコ自体がその時代に作られていなかったので、良いか悪いかは分かりません。  聖書は「神の宮ー私たちの体」を良く管理するように奨励しています。言い替えれば、健全を保つ事でもあります。だからその観点からすれば、タバコを吸う事は体に良くないでしょう。これは、まさしく一般 常識です。
 どうか、この喫煙と飲酒についての誤解が、神様を知って行く事の妨げにならないように。クリスチャンの信仰を考えるとき、タバコやお酒の事よりも、もっと大事なことが あるのですから。