I smoke cigars. Those who know me know this. It has long been something I enjoy and has never been something I hid out of view from people who know me. With the development of social media my cigars, like most other aspects of my life, have wound up online. Some people share photos of what they're eating, writing, reading (or pretending to read), and I often share a photo of the cigar I chose to smoke at a particular moment.
This has never been a matter of flaunting freedom, but of sharing a pleasure. Because I am a known cigar smoker I occasionally get questions from Christians about the habit. How do I feel about the health risks? Isn't smoking addictive, or even sinful? Most of the time I get questions from other believers who enjoy a good cigar and catch some grief over it from other Christians. They want to know how I respond. Honestly, these days I don't get any pushback from local Christians inside or outside of the church I pastor. But I have had a couple decades to think about it, and thought I would offer my thoughts on cigars, the christian, and the glory of God.
Before I dive into the series let me answer two basic questions.
Why blog about smoking cigars?
I'm not writing because this is a burden on my heart. Nor am I writing because I think others should smoke. This is simply the answer to many of the questions I get from others. It will allow me to point people here rather than repeating myself at length to my online friends.
Why do you smoke cigars?
This question feels like someone asking me why I watch TV or enjoy combat sports. The honest answer is, I like it. I don't smoke cigars because it's cool. I do not smoke to make a point. It's not to demonstrate my freedom in Christ. It's not about being missional. It's not about identifying with the great C.H. Spurgeon--though we will be talking about him in this series. I smoke cigars because I find it to be a pleasant experience. The ritual, aroma, and flavors are a delight.
Smoking a cigar slows a person down, giving them time to think, meditate, and enjoy one of God's many earthly gifts. I personally find that it helps me to write. Cigar smoking is also a wonderful shared experience that promotes conversation and friendship. But to keep it simple, I smoke because I like it. Of course enjoying something doesn't justify its use. So I will attempt to answer the common questions I get about smoking.
- Isn't cigar smoking dangerous and therefore an abuse of the body given you by God?
- Doesn't smoking defile the "temple" in which the Holy Spirit dwells?
- Plainly, isn't smoking a sin?
- Won't smoking be a bad witness to nonChristians?
- Isn't smoking a bad example for our (or perhaps more specifically, my) children?
- How can you honor God by smoking cigars?
So hang in there with me, and I'll do my best to answer these questions this week. If you have additional questions about cigar smoking you can hit me up via social media. Ask the question and use the hashtag #cigarQ4joe.