Is Smoking a Sin?
The Bible’s answer
The Bible does not mention smoking * or other means of using tobacco. However, it contains principles showing that God does not approve of unhealthy and unclean habits and thus views smoking as a sin.
Respect for life. “God . . . gives to all people life and breath.” (Acts 17:24, 25) Since life is a gift from God, we should not do anything that would shorten our life, such as smoking. Smoking is one of the main causes of preventable death worldwide.
Love of neighbor. “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39) Smoking around others does not show love. Those who are routinely subjected to secondhand smoke are at higher risk of some of the same diseases that smokers often suffer from.
The need to be holy. “Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.” (Romans 12:1) “Let us cleanse ourselves of every defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1) Smoking is unnatural and incompatible with being holy—that is, clean and pure—because tobacco users intentionally consume toxins that seriously damage their body.
Does the Bible say anything about the recreational use of marijuana or other drugs?
The Bible does not mention marijuana (also known as weed or pot) or similar drugs by name. But it contains principles that rule out the recreational use of such addictive substances. In addition to the foregoing principles, the following also apply:
The need to control our mental faculties. “You must love Jehovah your God . . . with your whole mind.” (Matthew 22:37, 38) “Keep your senses completely.” (1 Peter 1:13) A person cannot fully control his mind when abusing drugs, and many people even become addicted to them. Their minds focus on obtaining and using drugs rather than on upbuilding thoughts.—Philippians 4:8.
Obedience to secular laws. “Be obedient to governments and authorities.” (Titus 3:1) In many lands, the law strictly controls the use of some drugs. If we want to please God, we should obey secular authorities.—Romans 13:1.
Tobacco and Your Health
The World Health Organization estimates that every year, about six million people die of diseases related to the use of tobacco, including over 600,000 nonsmokers affected by secondhand smoke. Consider how tobacco affects the health of those who use it and the health of others around them.
Cancer. Tobacco smoke contains over 50 carcinogenic chemicals. The Encyclopædia Britannica states that tobacco smoke is “believed to account for 90 percent of all cases of lung cancer.” Tobacco smoke can cause cancer in other organs, including the mouth, trachea, esophagus, throat, larynx, liver, pancreas, and bladder.
Respiratory diseases. Tobacco smoke increases the chances of respiratory ailments such as pneumonia and influenza. Children who regularly inhale secondhand smoke are more prone to suffer from asthma, chronic cough, and reduced lung growth and function.
Heart disease. Smokers are at greater risk of suffering a stroke or developing heart disease. Carbon monoxide present in tobacco smoke easily passes from the lungs to the bloodstream, where it displaces oxygen. With less oxygen available in the blood, the heart has to work harder to deliver oxygen to the body.
Effects on pregnancy. Women who smoke while pregnant increase the risk of their babies being born prematurely, with low birth weight, or with certain birth defects such as a cleft lip. Such babies could also develop respiratory problems or suffer sudden infant death syndrome.
^ par. 1 Smoking here refers to deliberately inhaling tobacco smoke from cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or water pipes. However, the principles discussed apply equally to the use of chewing tobacco, snuff, electronic cigarettes that contain nicotine, and similar products.
Sin is defined by God’s standard of right and wrong. Bible principles can thus be useful to decide on smoking cigarettes, cigars, marijuana (weed). What the Bible says even applies to chewing tobacco.
Does the Bible Talk About Weed?
Every Moving Thing That Lives Shall Be Food For You. And As I Give You the Green Plants, I give You Everything – Genesis 9:3
If you were to ask ten people about their opinion on marijuana, you would likely get ten different answers. With cannabis constantly in the limelight, and gaining more traction as it becomes more widely accepted, it seems that more diverse groups are starting to discuss the plant.
With the history of the marijuana plant dating back many thousands of years , it seems that people are now debating the plant’s role in the Bible. But did Jesus smoke weed? Opinions amongst religious groups are pretty split on this one, and to be clear, there’s no real way to know for sure!
While there are a growing number of religions that openly embrace cannabis – the Rastafarian religion being perhaps the best known of the lot – it is interesting to know what the Bible says about our favorite plant. In this article, we are going to take a look at what the most famous book in the world has to say about the most controversial plant in history, and if in fact, marijuana was ever mentioned explicitly in the bible.
Cannabis and Other Religions
Before we jump right into the scriptures of Christianity, it seems only right first to take a look at how cannabis is received amongst other religious groups as a whole.
Along with many well-known religions such as the aforementioned Rastafarian religion (who make a point of incorporating cannabis into most of their religious rituals), there are now a number of religions that center massively on marijuana. These modern faith groups have come together to celebrate religion and cannabis!
Groups such as; THC Ministries, Cantheism, The Cannabis Assembly, The Church of the Universe, The Free Marijuana Church of Honolulu, and The First Church of Cannabis concentrate on cannabis, just to name a few!
Among these are also other well-known religions that date back centuries who benefit from cannabis as part of their spiritual healing. Taoism, which originates back to 4th century China, uses cannabis incense as a cleansing tool while in Norse mythology the cannabis plant relates to beauty, fertility, and love.
These are merely a few examples of cannabis being implemented into the holy and ancient rituals of religion. But where does it fall with Christianity and the Bible?
Cannabis and Christianity
When it comes to Christianity, cannabis has caused a rift over the years between Christians who believe marijuana use is a sin, and those who believe God created marijuana for us to benefit from. Of course, opinions differ across the different Christian sects that are around, with many finding evidence from the Bible to argue their case.
It is interesting to note from the Bible does not clearly reference the word ‘cannabis’ at any point, and that the only openly referenced substance is in fact alcohol. However messages about intoxication can be at times conflicting in the various readings, the overall message being that any kind of intoxicating substance is sinful.
This confusion amongst the interpretation of the Bible has seen many split opinions over the years and with more and more acceptance of cannabis emerging, it is becoming a greater focus as much of the U.S. population is Christian.
While marijuana may not be openly referenced in the Bible, ‘hemp’ is frequently mentioned! What is even more interesting is that the well -known Kaneh-bosm, which was a key ingredient in the anointing oil that Jesus used to heal the masses, was supposedly the first known term for cannabis; The word ‘kan’ meaning reed or hemp, and ‘bosm’ meaning aromatic.
But what is the likelihood of cannabis being used in biblical times? Well realistically, very likely indeed! When we consider that weed has been around and utilized for thousands of years , it makes sense that those who wrote the Bible would be well aware of the plant and its effects . So when we see the frequency of the word hemp across the Bible, it makes perfect sense why so many would come to the conclusion that marijuana was condoned and created by God himself. Also, plants and their cultivation for human use is specifically referenced in all of the following passages: Genesis (1:12, 29-31), Ezekiel (34:29) and Revelation (22:1-2).
Alongside these convincing arguments in favor of marijuana as a holy flower, there are equally some strong arguments against it! Many Christians are of the opinion that just like cannabis, the harmful drugs of the world where also made by God. But that does not mean they are the wish of God for us to consume them. Throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament, it is made clear that drunkenness and intoxication are simply not acceptable, reaffirming the idea that marijuana also would be highly frowned upon.
There are claims that spiritual texts show that Jesus did, in fact, use cannabis and was even seen to be the first ever marijuana activist spreading knowledge of the herb with his healing oil . However, at the end of the day, these will never be more than just that — claims without clear, hard evidence.
Final Thoughts on Marijuana and the Bible
When it comes to cannabis and the Bible, there really is no right answer. The ancient scriptures are completely open to interpretation. However, there does seem to be a strong argument for cannabis and its use in biblical times.
Just like the apostle Mark wrote in Mark 6:13, to be rubbed with the Holy Plant was to “receive divine knowledge.” We couldn’t agree more!
Many religions believe that marijuana is God's natural gift to humans. Is there anything in the Bible that mentions weed clearly? Find out here.