Spurgeon on smoking

spurgeon smoking

I don’t like smoking, but Charles Spurgeon is just plain cool. Once upon a time a visiting preacher at Surgeons church spoke out against the “sin” of smoking. This is what happened as reported by a church magazine, Christian World, on September 25, 1874:

Mr. Spurgeon, whose smoking propensities are pretty well known, instantly rose at the conclusion of Mr. Pentecost’s address, and, with a somewhat playful smile, said,


“Well, dear friends, you know that some men can do to the glory of God what to other men would be sin. And notwithstanding what brother Pentecost has said, I intend to smoke a good cigar to the glory of God before I go to bed to-night. “If anybody can show me in the Bible the command, ‘Thou shalt not smoke,’ I am ready to keep it; but I haven’t found it yet. I find ten commandments, and it’s as much as I can do to keep them; and I’ve no desire to make them into eleven or twelve. “The fact is, I have been speaking to you about real sins, not about listening to mere quibbles and scruples. At the same time, I know that what a man believes to be sin becomes a sin to him, and he must give it up. ‘Whatsoever is not of faith is sin’ [Rom. 14:23], and that is the real point of what my brother Pentecost has been saying. “Why, a man may think it a sin to have his boots blacked. Well, then, let him give it up, and have them whitewashed. I wish to say that I’m not ashamed of anything whatever that I do, and I don’t feel that smoking makes me ashamed, and therefore I mean to smoke to the glory of God.”


4 responses

  1. There may not be a particular verse on smoking, but I think it falls under the category of harming one’s body and 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 kind of covers that issue: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” I’m not saying it’s necessarily a sin, but I’m not sure how it could be done for God’s glory. Just because you say it’s for God’s glory, aren’t you really just doing it for your own pleasure? Why would God want to accept your ‘gift’? I think he woud rather just have you not doing yourself harm. There’s other things you could do for God’s glory; ya know what I’m sayin?

    • I totally understand you. But to counter, I would state that processed foods, and that high in sugar and fat, is actually a greater cause of death and destruction to our physical temples. Yet we gladly thank God for eating a meal that will ultimately destroy our body and give us a heart attack.

      I think in all things we should be healthy, and in all things that we derive pleasure from, be thankful. For God is the source of all good pleasure.

      • Thats an very good point about the food but we kind of have to eat in order to survive, whereas we dont need to smoke to survive. I never really thought about it before, but I guess we should watch what we eat. what do you mean when you say God is the source of all good pleasure though? Do you mean that God is standing behind anything we find pleasure in? Because I dont think that’s necessarily true..

        • Any good pleasure, yes. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” James 1:17

          Sin and wickedness that give our corrupt selves pleasure, no.

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