Originally published in Briefing #295 (April 2003).
Thank you for the stimulating essay by Joshua Ng on the Sabbath (Briefing #293). I especially appreciated the reminder that as Christians living under the law of Christ, the fourth commandment points us to the heavenly rest for which we were created.
I have a folder of articles on the benefits of smoking. It’s a thin folder. There are, however, a few noteworthy benefits: relaxation, settling effects for people with nervous disorders, increased concentration, suppression of appetite. You can’t say that smoking is all bad. Everything that God created is good and ought not be rejected but received with thanksgiving (1 Tim 4:4)—even nicotine. And yet, anyone taking up smoking today, in an age where it has been medically and legally demonstrated that smoking causes cancer and is likely to be the major cause of death by 2020, hasn’t done much work on the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’. The devastating biological damage which smokers experience outweighs any positive effects of smoking.