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Author Topic: Smoking and Drinking?  (Read 14917 times) Average Rating: 0
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Sophia3
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« on: December 19, 2008, 11:52:45 PM »

Hey - I searched for this but no results came up. What are the Orthodox positions on smoking and drinking?
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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2008, 12:08:31 AM »

Hey - I searched for this but no results came up. What are the Orthodox positions on smoking and drinking?

Welcome to the forum! Smiley

Smoking is always seen as a sin in Orthodoxy.  As for drinking, as long as it is done in moderation, it is fine.   
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2008, 12:09:49 AM »

Ok thanks for the answer!
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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2008, 12:12:12 AM »

Regarding drink, I'd agree that moderation is the key. Regarding tobacco, I think St. Ignatius Brianchaninov had a good outlook (in his work The Arena). He was writing to monks, but I think it's applicable to lay people as well. He basically said that it was good not to use it, but that if you had to use it, that it was best to do so in such a way that you would not tempt others with it.
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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2008, 12:18:38 AM »

I have seen plenty of clergy smoke a pipe or cigar.

And we have a bartender for Pascha each year. Everyone buys bottles of various alcohol and the bartender is there to mix drinks and monitor how much people get. No one knows better how to tell when someone has had "too much" than an experienced bartender.
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« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2008, 12:20:01 AM »

Hey - I searched for this but no results came up. What are the Orthodox positions on smoking and drinking?
Smoking?
  • Some oppose it altogether.
  • Some are okay with a cigar or pipe once in a while.
  • All things in moderation, however.  Medical science has shown that the habit of smoking several cigarettes/cigars/bowls of pipe tobacco per day is destructive to the body, so I imagine that for this reason the Church would not look favorably upon habitual smoking.

Drinking?
  • Jesus' miracle at the wedding feast of Cana was to change water into wine--grape juice was impossible at the time.
  • Wine, not grape juice, is offered in Communion, to the sides of the naves of many churches for washing down Communion, and in most church social functions.  (After all, there is the verse in our Creation Psalm (Ps. 103(104)), read at the start of every Vespers service--"wine to make glad the heart of man" (vs. 15).)
  • Beer is also quite common in church functions and in Orthodox Christian homes.
  • Distilled liquors are generally permitted.
  • All things in moderation, however.  Drunkenness is never condoned, and alcoholism is seen as a very destructive disorder/illness that needs to be treated both within and outside the Church.
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« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2008, 12:22:58 AM »

Smoking cigarettes is pretty unhealthy. They add all sorts of things to those little cancer sticks. Tobacco (as in the pure stuff without all the additives) smoked in moderation is not unhealthy. And not suprisingly straight tobacco is not particularly addictive Wink Wonder why that add all that junk to it in cigs?
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« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2008, 12:24:41 AM »

All that said; I used to smoke, I don't any longer for good reason. Physical addiction wasn't my problem, it was emotional.
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« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2008, 07:28:51 PM »

As a former Nazarene, I would certainly feel very comfortable with smoking being considered a sin.  But I was not aware the Orthodox church had a position on it.
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« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2008, 11:14:43 PM »

I believe moderation is the key when it comes to drinking and smoking.

In my observation, within "Christiandom" Orthodox and Roman Catholics tend to have a more balanced view on these issues than evangelicals. For whatever reason, most evangelicals treat smoking and drinking as a terrible sin while gluttony is virtually unaddressed. Since becoming Orthodox, all of this has come into proper prospective. This is just my 2 cents.
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« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2008, 11:25:37 PM »

PtA, I'm rather surprised to hear that beer is common at church functions. Folks from our parish would drink it at a social function, but I can't imagine it being served at a church function in the parish hall, that is. We also usually do not serve alcohol at our Sunday trapeza-only tea and fruit juices. I've had wine at a wedding reception once which was held in the church basement. But no one drank in excess, it was more symbolic. And my parish is heavily Russian.

Smoking is not viewed very favourably at all, but there are several men I know who do smoke on occasion.

My former church  was also very obsessed with the evils of drinking and smoking, and yet, apparently it wasn't a sin at all to eat excessively. Yet, they rather sneer at our Orthodox method of fasting, and claim we aren't really fasting-fasting is not eating anything at all...sigh...you just can't win.
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« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2008, 12:28:46 AM »

Welcome to the forum, Sophie3! Smiley

 As regards both smoking and drinking, I don't believe there is an official position per se; I've certainly not come across anything dogmatic.  However, I also believe that most Orthodox hierarchs are probably against cigarettes for obvious reasons.  Pipes and cigars tend to get a tacit approval, if only begrudgingly, for several reasons (pipe tobacco smells very good; almost like incense if I do say so.)  I like a cigar once in a while.  Both pipes and cigars are usually not inhaled and seem to be much less addictive (though I could be wrong about that).  In either case, cigarettes are becoming much less socially acceptable.  Personally, I abhor cigarettes and their use in any setting, public or private.  But that's just my outlook.  Yeah, yeah, I'm a tobacco nazi...yada yada yada.  Wink

 Drinking on the other hand is definitely an accepted vice within Orthodoxy to various degrees.  There are great arguments both for and against alcohol consumption, yet I think (as Bono Vox mentions) that moderation is key.  I have had beer at church after Pascha, but I have mixed feelings about alcohol inside a church.  Lately, I've come to think that it's antithetical to Christianity to consume it inside a church or at church functions.  No judgments towards anyone, just my opinion.  And although Christianity is not a teetotaling religion like Islam for example, but one thing St. Paul said stands out in my mind- try not to do anything that might cause your brother (or sister) to stumble. 

 Just my $0.02.  Forgive me if my thoughts have offended anyone.
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« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2008, 01:36:56 AM »

PtA, I'm rather surprised to hear that beer is common at church functions. Folks from our parish would drink it at a social function, but I can't imagine it being served at a church function in the parish hall, that is. We also usually do not serve alcohol at our Sunday trapeza-only tea and fruit juices. I've had wine at a wedding reception once which was held in the church basement. But no one drank in excess, it was more symbolic. And my parish is heavily Russian.
Well, it's actually not all that common at our parish social functions.  Liability issues (legal and insurance) over the years have forced us to tighten our rules a bit and not permit beer except for major functions, such as festal meals (e.g., the Pascha and Pentecost barbecues), but yes, we do permit the consumption of beer in the parish hall on occasion.  The same liability issues, and NOT any sense of sin, have also forced us to ban distilled liquor from all parish functions.  This ban has no jurisdiction over what a person does away from church, though, so one is totally free to drink a shot of vodka or Jack Daniels at home without any sense that we see it as a sin, because we don't.
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« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2008, 01:40:42 AM »

I have had beer at church after Pascha, but I have mixed feelings about alcohol inside a church.
My personal experience is that we generally don't permit anything to be eaten or drunk inside the church except for liturgical reasons.
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« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2008, 10:12:56 PM »

Smoking is always seen as a sin in Orthodoxy.
Do you have some evidence to back up this claim?

I have had beer at church after Pascha, but I have mixed feelings about alcohol inside a church.
My personal experience is that we generally don't permit anything to be eaten or drunk inside the church except for liturgical reasons.
Nor do we inside the church itself, but at Pascha many will eat and drink in the social hall or outside if the weather is good. Other than Nativity, Pascha, and our Greek Festival, I've never seen alcohol at church, and I've never seen it consumed inside the church except in the social hall.
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« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2008, 11:41:09 PM »

Smoking:

Not so much.  But then again, most people eat McDonalds on a constant basis, and that aint great either.  So, as long as you know the risk, and arent smoking to excess, it's not so bad.

Alchohol:

BEER IS GOOD!  BEER IS GOOD!  BEER IS GOOD....and stuff.

Also in Moderation.
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« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2008, 12:38:00 AM »

I would also like to know if Christians who are against drinking alcohol and smoking are also against drinking (or eating) caffeine. Caffeine is a drug and is addictive. It can make people edgy or irritable; moreover, most people who are addicted to it experience withdraws when they go for periods without it. 
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« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2008, 09:34:27 AM »

Hey - I searched for this but no results came up. What are the Orthodox positions on smoking and drinking?

Sophia,great question for the Convert Issues Forum!

In the past as in society, smoking of tobacco was seen as a personal choice for many clergy and laity.  Monastics in genreal were usually under the direction of their spiritual fathers advised to not do it for many reasons, also dependent upon the counsel their spiritual fathers gave them but most ften based upon it being a sign of being of the world, something most monastics are to avoid.

As for the use of alcohol, moderation is and has always been the expectation of the Orthodox Church dating back to the earliest Church fathers.
Today, wine and hard liquors are not consumed during great Lent, Nativity Lent or Fasting days, except when permitted on an "OIL" day. Beer is allowed in most jurisdictions during the fast by ancient tradition. As to alcohol being allowed during Church sponsored activities anfd on church premises, I have noted that it is usually more prevalent in the "ethnic or cradle" majority parishes and less prevalent in the "convert" majority parishes.  This is probably due to the beliefs each was raised with as a child. Those converts coming from evangelical protestant backgrounds tend to be uncomfortable with alcohol in general and do not think about having it at the activities at church, converts from the Episcopal and Roman Catholic churches are more comfortable with the idea and will plan activities that allow it.

In many Orthodox jurisdictions the  mother country traditions of the cradle Orthodox often expect alcohol to be served---slavic, especially Russians usually expect ice cold Vodka served after a child's baptism during a reception in the Church Hall. Most weddings in all jurisdictions have traditions of toasting newly weds in a reception usually held in the Parish hall. What Greek Dinner in the parish hall would be served without good Greek wine accompanying it?

Thomas

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« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2008, 08:05:59 PM »

For some odd reason, something is wrong with the 'quote' feature so I'll try to respond via general reply.

 Re: Caffeine.  I have never heard or read any mention of it whatsoever in any hierarchical/ekklesiastical context.  In addition, while caffeine is addictive, it doesn't seem to create an altered state in the same way that alcohol does.  In fact, it's almost indeterminable whether or not someone has consumed caffeine.  And while caffeine withdrawal symptoms can sometimes create irritability, it pales in comparison (and that's being generous) to alcohol abuse and/or withdrawal.  Other than plain 'ol common sense, I suppose I cannot substantiate any of this, but a few things come to mind that might suffice; Caffeine addiction does not ruin lives and families.  No one has ever served jail time for 'driving while caffeinated'.  You will not get 'carded' for purchasing caffeinated products.  There are no rehab programs or facilities for caffeine addicts.  There doesn't seem to be any caffeine awareness groups such as Mothers Against Caffeinated Drivers.  Aaaand- no one has ever donned a lamp shade and became the life of the party because of too much caffeine.

Re: Alcohol in Church.   Our kitchen is located just off our social hall; both are located just off the nave.  In fact, you must walk into the nave to enter either one.  Occasionally, during Pascha for example, the kitchen and social hall have become so crowded that sometimes parishoners are 'bumped' out into the nave.  Of course, most folks try to police themselves and be conscientious of where they are drinking, but it happens.  It's happened to me in fact. 
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« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2008, 08:52:06 PM »

For those who have issues with caffeine, Picky, picky, picky.   Roll Eyes

Maybe the next Ecumenical Council can ban all caffeinated products from all Church coffee hours.  Who wants to write the letter to Patriarch Bartholomew (whose staff will prepare Turkish coffee for guests) with the suggestion (hint, not me)?
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« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2008, 09:38:42 PM »

For those who have issues with caffeine, Picky, picky, picky.   Roll Eyes
Well, it IS a legit question.  Why would someone who condemns ALL consumption of alcohol and ALL use of tobacco not also condemn caffeine.  The question really doesn't apply to us who have no problem with moderate use of alcohol or tobacco, so we probably shouldn't answer the question, lest we confuse things. Wink
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« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2008, 09:52:40 PM »

Interesting topic on smoking. I never heard much about it in the Orthodox Church other than someone telling me once that the smoke of a cigarette is Satan's incense. Someone told him that at church once. I didn't know how widespread that idea might be.
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« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2008, 02:11:36 AM »

Considering I have witnessed both smoking and drinking at parish functions over the years, me guesses that neither are forbidden in the canons of the church.

However considering that the body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, we should take caution to not participate in activities that are harmful to the body. (i.e. gluttony, excessive drinking, illicit drug use, running into heavy traffic, etc.)

If one has questions about their personal use of ciggarettes or alcohol, they should consult their spiritual father and medical physician for further inquiry about possible positive and negative ramifications of either product.
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« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2008, 03:19:43 AM »

Man! One of my favorite activities is running into heavy traffic! Cheesy Light traffic is just fine though! laugh


(Sorry, I couldn't resist!)
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« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2008, 12:27:56 PM »

LOL, good, I'm glad you saw the humor!!  Cheesy
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« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2008, 12:39:52 PM »

Interesting topic on smoking. I never heard much about it in the Orthodox Church other than someone telling me once that the smoke of a cigarette is Satan's incense. Someone told him that at church once. I didn't know how widespread that idea might be.

I have read this before. I believe it is a quote from Elder Porphyrios or perhaps the Gerontikon--can't remember which.
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« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2008, 01:03:21 PM »

I don't think that the Orthodox view on smoking is "sin, period." In his Journals, protopresbyter Fr. Alexander Schmemann regretfully confessed that he was a heavy smoker all his life. When he was in his 50-s, he smoked two packs of cigarettes per day (40 cigarettes - that an awful lot even for those who smoke much like my father did). Such a heavy smoking certainly did not do Fr. Alexander any good because he died of cancer when he was just a bit over 60. Yet, if the mere act of smoking would be regarded as something sinful (like fornication or adultery of theft or false testimony etc.), then I doubt that a respectful and devout Orthodox priest like Father Alexander would do it.

Also, in this regard, I think answers always depend on how do you define "sin." If sin is a gross, deliberate, malicious contradiction to God's direct commandments, then not that many things are sinful. If, however, sin is defined as coming short of fulfilling God's will, then pretty much anything we do is sinful. 
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« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2008, 01:35:49 PM »

if the mere act of smoking would be regarded as something sinful (like fornication or adultery of theft or false testimony etc.), then I doubt that a respectful and devout Orthodox priest like Father Alexander would do it.

I am not a huge fan of some of the teachings of Fr Alexander S.  He seems to veer from the tradition of the holy Fathers at times.  But that is only my opinion, so don't beat me up over it.

I smoked for 27 years. It was torture for me. My health was adversely affected.  My breathing was labored. I began to get chest pains and sometimes found blood in my sputum. The addiction was brutal.  I tried to quit hundreds of times to no avail. Finally, by the grace of God, I was able to stop. I had night sweats for a while--it was as if I had malaria.  I climbed the walls for weeks. It has been almost two years now since I had a cigarette. I feel good.

I am convinced it is a sin.  The addiction is evil.  It grips the mind and the soul. The chemicals slowly kill the body--like slow suicide--thou shalt not kill.

And so I am in agreement that it is the devil's incense.
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« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2008, 02:12:28 PM »

I smoked for 27 years. It was torture for me. My health was adversely affected.  My breathing was labored. I began to get chest pains and sometimes found blood in my sputum. The addiction was brutal.  I tried to quit hundreds of times to no avail. Finally, by the grace of God, I was able to stop. I had night sweats for a while--it was as if I had malaria.  I climbed the walls for weeks. It has been almost two years now since I had a cigarette. I feel good.

I am convinced it is a sin.  The addiction is evil.  It grips the mind and the soul. The chemicals slowly kill the body--like slow suicide--thou shalt not kill.

Glory to God that you were able to quit. Yes, of course, when it is such an addiction, it sure can kill you. But then, if you smoke and do not develop addiction - is it sinful, too? I am asking because I happen to be amazingly resistant to just this particular kind of temptation. In the past, I could smoke a cigarette or two, but I never got "hooked" so that I would want more. In 1997, my wife and I decided to quit smoking completely, and we did (even these occasional 1-2 cigarettes per day), and it never really bothered us. Right now, I don't have any cravings for tobacco. Some time back I allowed myself to smoke a marijuana joint (just to try, because some younger relatives were teasing me, how come I, a college teacher in my 50-s, never tried it while most of my students definitely do it!) - and, again, I don't want to try more of it. It did not give me any pleasure, just a very weird nauzeating feeling. Not my cup of tea. Sad
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« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2008, 03:14:54 PM »

Glory to God that you were able to quit. Yes, of course, when it is such an addiction, it sure can kill you. But then, if you smoke and do not develop addiction - is it sinful, too? I am asking because I happen to be amazingly resistant to just this particular kind of temptation. In the past, I could smoke a cigarette or two, but I never got "hooked" so that I would want more. In 1997, my wife and I decided to quit smoking completely, and we did (even these occasional 1-2 cigarettes per day), and it never really bothered us. Right now, I don't have any cravings for tobacco. Some time back I allowed myself to smoke a marijuana joint (just to try, because some younger relatives were teasing me, how come I, a college teacher in my 50-s, never tried it while most of my students definitely do it!) - and, again, I don't want to try more of it. It did not give me any pleasure, just a very weird nauzeating feeling. Not my cup of tea. Sad

I suppose everyone would need to search his/her own conscience for the answer to this.  Our bodies are a temple of the Lord. Is it sinful to inhale poison into our lungs? Is it sinful to be gluttonous? I say yes. It is a passion.

But of course, as a former cigarette addict, I cannot hide under the cover of moderation.  laugh
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« Reply #30 on: December 30, 2008, 03:35:48 PM »

St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco's deacon smoked, as did Tsar Nicholas II. I believe St. Nikolai Velimirovich did as well. Fr. Seraphim Rose advised smokers to refrain from smoking on the days they received communion.
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« Reply #31 on: December 30, 2008, 03:36:13 PM »

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Our bodies are a temple of the Lord. Is it sinful to inhale poison into our lungs? Is it sinful to be gluttonous? I say yes. It is a passion.

It's hard to know where to draw the line, though. Is caffeine also a sin? Is it a sin to drink a cup of coffee or a can of Mt. Dew? Caffeine can both change the body, and also be addictive. Or how about some of the medications that I take, they help cure one thing but increase the risk for complications in other areas. Is it wrong to take the pills because they increase my risk for, say, heart disease? Should I perhaps just trust God? Or should I obey Sirach 38 and use doctors and medicine, even if they harm me in the process? This isn't to defend cigarettes (fwiw, I've never had one), but I do wonder where the line is to be drawn in life.
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« Reply #32 on: December 30, 2008, 03:36:43 PM »

St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco's deacon smoked, as did Tsar Nicholas II. I believe St. Nikolai Velimirovich did as well.


And your point?
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« Reply #33 on: December 30, 2008, 03:41:15 PM »

St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco's deacon smoked, as did Tsar Nicholas II. I believe St. Nikolai Velimirovich did as well.


And your point?

That there seems to be latitude in these matters, even if the action isn't ideal.

Yours?
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« Reply #34 on: December 30, 2008, 03:42:17 PM »

It's hard to know where to draw the line, though. Is caffeine also a sin? Is it a sin to drink a cup of coffee or a can of Mt. Dew? Caffeine can both change the body, and also be addictive. Or how about some of the medications that I take, they help cure one thing but increase the risk for complications in other areas. Is it wrong to take the pills because they increase my risk for, say, heart disease? Should I perhaps just trust God? Or should I obey Sirach 38 and use doctors and medicine, even if they harm me in the process? This isn't to defend cigarettes (fwiw, I've never had one), but I do wonder where the line is to be drawn in life.

I can see where some may find it difficult to draw the line.  It is not a difficult line for me to draw. Cigarettes are deadly and it is a trick of Satan to think that you can be a moderate smoker all (or some) of your life. The carcinogens (including cyanide and carbon monoxide ) are abundant.  People do not smoke to manage other illnesses (such as taking medications that may have side effects).  For me, it is a no-brainer.  

But I certainly understand the process of justification.  

I did it for 27 years.
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« Reply #35 on: December 30, 2008, 03:56:37 PM »

Yours?

That there is no latitude in matters of self-induced poisoning. And it makes no difference if various saints smoked cigarettes--they were human also.

Peace
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« Reply #36 on: December 30, 2008, 04:00:28 PM »

Yours?

That there is no latitude in matters of self-induced poisoning.

So eating fruits and vegetables grown with pesticides ("self-induced poisoning") is a gross sin?
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« Reply #37 on: December 30, 2008, 04:04:14 PM »

So eating fruits and vegetables grown with pesticides ("self-induced poisoning") is a gross sin?

Funny. I've heard that particular justification many times. People will try anything to justify the habit of inhaling dozens of deadly poisons directly into their lungs.

I buy organic!  laugh

But if it worries you that much--wash your fruits and vegetables REALLY good.  Wink
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« Reply #38 on: December 30, 2008, 04:24:45 PM »


I buy organic!  laugh


Me, too. All my pipe tobacco is addictive/pesticide free.  Wink
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« Reply #39 on: December 30, 2008, 04:29:47 PM »

Me, too. All my pipe tobacco is addictive/pesticide free.  Wink

That's a start!  Grin

Do you inhale?
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« Reply #40 on: December 30, 2008, 05:27:48 PM »

Me, too. All my pipe tobacco is addictive/pesticide free.  Wink

That's a start!  Grin

Do you inhale?
Inhale  Shocked  Certainly I do not.

My dad is 87 years old. When he "quit" smoking his pipes and cigars two years ago, his doctor asked him, "Why"?  Cheesy 
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« Reply #41 on: December 30, 2008, 09:07:59 PM »

Can I smoke a cigar while I am at the track?

need to know

Thanks
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« Reply #42 on: December 30, 2008, 09:19:00 PM »

^^Ask you Father Confessor.  Smiley

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« Reply #43 on: December 31, 2008, 12:07:09 AM »

I quit smoking over 6 years ago, but I always truly loved it. It was and remains my favorite vice!
I suppose if I could be granted unequivocal assurance that smoking wouldn't cause me to die early I would still smoke - except that I am kind of cheap (or, as one who is part Scottish - frugal) and now cigs are so expensive that I am not sure I could take it up again even if I had assurance it wouldn't kill me.

I drink cheap wine and cheap beer but I like a good whiskey or bourbon or scotch now and then.

I would encourage anyone NOT to smoke and to drink in moderation. However, having been a smoker I would never judge a person who smokes.I guess my view would be consistent with, not just the Orthodox view, but also that of Catholics, mainstream protestants, Reformed, and broad evangelicals and even the general secular culture. Only fundamentalists seem to outright condemn smoking and see any intake of alcoholid bevereges as sinful.
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« Reply #44 on: December 31, 2008, 12:23:30 AM »

Just my humble opinion, so please don't take it too seriously...

I personally would say that smoking is a sin.  The reason is this:  no matter how much one smokes, it is harmful to the body.  Even one cigarette is harmful.  The purpose of smoking is only for pleasure.  Doing something ONLY for pleasure that HARMS the temple of the Holy Spirit would, in my opinion, be a sin.  Now, I saw an episode of House (love that show!) where he prescribed one cigarette a day to a man for some ailment (I forget what).  If it were true that cigarettes actually help (as in the case of marijuana for cancer and glaucoma), then I would say that for that purpose, it is okay out of economia.  Kind of like birth control-- it's okay when it is for the purposes of medical treatment of an ailment or hormonal imbalance. 

As far as drinking alcohol, many people enjoy it for the taste, as a beverage.  In moderation and for this purpose, I would say that alcohol is perfectly fine.  But overindulging and abuse is, of course, a sin.

Both of these are addictive.  In the case of addiction, I would say that it is definitely a sin, as we should never be addicted to something.  It is an abuse of the body, and it makes an idol out of that substance, as we are constantly seeking it, rather than God.

This is just my opinion, though, and I am certainly not a priest.  I would echo the sentiments of HandmaidenofGod and say that, as always, a spiritual father should be consulted in these matters.

Christ is Born!  Glorify Him!
Presbytera Mari
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« Reply #45 on: December 31, 2008, 10:06:31 AM »

Just my humble opinion, so please don't take it too seriously...

I personally would say that smoking is a sin.  The reason is this:  no matter how much one smokes, it is harmful to the body.  Even one cigarette is harmful.  The purpose of smoking is only for pleasure.  Doing something ONLY for pleasure that HARMS the temple of the Holy Spirit would, in my opinion, be a sin.  Now, I saw an episode of House (love that show!) where he prescribed one cigarette a day to a man for some ailment (I forget what).  If it were true that cigarettes actually help (as in the case of marijuana for cancer and glaucoma), then I would say that for that purpose, it is okay out of economia.  Kind of like birth control-- it's okay when it is for the purposes of medical treatment of an ailment or hormonal imbalance. 

As far as drinking alcohol, many people enjoy it for the taste, as a beverage.  In moderation and for this purpose, I would say that alcohol is perfectly fine.  But overindulging and abuse is, of course, a sin.

Both of these are addictive.  In the case of addiction, I would say that it is definitely a sin, as we should never be addicted to something.  It is an abuse of the body, and it makes an idol out of that substance, as we are constantly seeking it, rather than God.

This is just my opinion, though, and I am certainly not a priest.  I would echo the sentiments of HandmaidenofGod and say that, as always, a spiritual father should be consulted in these matters.

Christ is Born!  Glorify Him!
Presbytera Mari

Dear Presbytera Mari,

Last night I spoke with my spiritual father and confessor about this issue, and he said practically the exact same thing you have said here. You are very wise!  Smiley

Christ is Born!  Glorify Him!
Mickey
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« Reply #46 on: December 31, 2008, 10:34:12 AM »

Just my humble opinion, so please don't take it too seriously...

I personally would say that smoking is a sin.  The reason is this:  no matter how much one smokes, it is harmful to the body.  Even one cigarette is harmful.  The purpose of smoking is only for pleasure.  Doing something ONLY for pleasure that HARMS the temple of the Holy Spirit would, in my opinion, be a sin.  Now, I saw an episode of House (love that show!) where he prescribed one cigarette a day to a man for some ailment (I forget what).  If it were true that cigarettes actually help (as in the case of marijuana for cancer and glaucoma), then I would say that for that purpose, it is okay out of economia.  Kind of like birth control-- it's okay when it is for the purposes of medical treatment of an ailment or hormonal imbalance. 

As far as drinking alcohol, many people enjoy it for the taste, as a beverage.  In moderation and for this purpose, I would say that alcohol is perfectly fine.  But overindulging and abuse is, of course, a sin.

Both of these are addictive.  In the case of addiction, I would say that it is definitely a sin, as we should never be addicted to something.  It is an abuse of the body, and it makes an idol out of that substance, as we are constantly seeking it, rather than God.

This is just my opinion, though, and I am certainly not a priest.  I would echo the sentiments of HandmaidenofGod and say that, as always, a spiritual father should be consulted in these matters.

Christ is Born!  Glorify Him!
Presbytera Mari

Dear Presbytera Mari,

Last night I spoke with my spiritual father and confessor about this issue, and he said practically the exact same thing you have said here. You are very wise!  Smiley

Christ is Born!  Glorify Him!
Mickey

Amen to you both! Very good summary. Glorify Him!
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« Reply #47 on: December 31, 2008, 12:28:31 PM »

Just my humble opinion, so please don't take it too seriously...

I personally would say that smoking is a sin.  The reason is this:  no matter how much one smokes, it is harmful to the body.  Even one cigarette is harmful.  The purpose of smoking is only for pleasure.  Doing something ONLY for pleasure that HARMS the temple of the Holy Spirit would, in my opinion, be a sin.  Now, I saw an episode of House (love that show!) where he prescribed one cigarette a day to a man for some ailment (I forget what).  If it were true that cigarettes actually help (as in the case of marijuana for cancer and glaucoma), then I would say that for that purpose, it is okay out of economia.  Kind of like birth control-- it's okay when it is for the purposes of medical treatment of an ailment or hormonal imbalance. 

As far as drinking alcohol, many people enjoy it for the taste, as a beverage.  In moderation and for this purpose, I would say that alcohol is perfectly fine.  But overindulging and abuse is, of course, a sin.

Both of these are addictive.  In the case of addiction, I would say that it is definitely a sin, as we should never be addicted to something.  It is an abuse of the body, and it makes an idol out of that substance, as we are constantly seeking it, rather than God.

This is just my opinion, though, and I am certainly not a priest.  I would echo the sentiments of HandmaidenofGod and say that, as always, a spiritual father should be consulted in these matters.

Christ is Born!  Glorify Him!
Presbytera Mari

Dear Presbytera Mari,

Last night I spoke with my spiritual father and confessor about this issue, and he said practically the exact same thing you have said here. You are very wise!  Smiley

Christ is Born!  Glorify Him!
Mickey

I appreciate your kind words.  Please pray for me, as I am anything but wise. 

Christ is Born!  Glorify Him!
Presbytera Mari
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« Reply #48 on: December 31, 2008, 01:44:33 PM »

This topic, "Smoking and Drinking" has been moved to Other Boards Topics from the Convert Issues Board as it has ceased to be a convert issue discussion on what the Orthodox believe but rather a debate on smoking and other drugs.

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« Reply #49 on: January 08, 2009, 05:24:59 AM »

Honestly, I think it depends on the person.

If you thinks it's a sin, then refrain from it.  But don't condemn others that do.  Nothing more annoying or even encouraging than eating a Chicago Style pizza (ham, mushroom, bacon, pepperoni, Italian sausage, meatball, and seasoned beef), and having a nutjob break in that just by eating a slice I will find myself in the bowles of hell, after suffering a horrific heart attack that causes my internal organs to explode.  Honestly, it makes me want to eat more deliberately, letting the cheese stretch with every forkfull, and show a little "see food" to him gross him out enough to leave me alone (I never said I was a saint.  Trying to get there, but SLOWLY!  Grin)

Same goes with smoking and drinking.  I was raised in a home that taught me "Drink is urine for the last leper in hell!"  I don't drink to excess by any means, but I do enjoy the occasional Heffeweiser or tipple of Port now and again.

Now there is going overboard.  If you get drunk every few nights and have a blood achohol level of kerosine, or smoke enough cigs to make Oppenheimer wretch and you receive frequent visits from the fire department on long weekends just from what you call the norm, or even eat enough pizza in a week to make Friday night delivery routes avoid your house for fear of running out of food,  then you sir have a problem and need to seek counseling.  That is abuse, and needs to be dealt with. 

God's grace be upon everyone with a problem and may He help them to stop before it ruins them.

And keep away from my pie!  Friggin grass eaters!


Peace!   
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« Reply #50 on: January 09, 2009, 09:39:23 PM »

Smoking cigarettes is pretty unhealthy. They add all sorts of things to those little cancer sticks. Tobacco (as in the pure stuff without all the additives) smoked in moderation is not unhealthy. And not suprisingly straight tobacco is not particularly addictive Wink Wonder why that add all that junk to it in cigs?

I am a smoker (please no abuse, I get enough off random people in the street these days, everyone hates a smoker).

Anyway, thats not the point. THe point is its absolutely true what you say about cigarettes being more addictive than tabacco. I've just moved on to roll your own stuff that doesn't have all the chemicals in it and I get unbelievable cravings for a pre-made cigarette no-matter how much I smoke! The tabacco companies really try and get you hooked on their brand and whatever they say they must put something in their cigarettes because on normal tabacco I feel as if I'm not getting my fix at all!
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