Believers Love World General Overseers and renowned Nigerian Televangelist, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome has caused uproar after he said Christian are free to smoke in his latest Question and Answer series.
The popular online programme which is tagged “Ask Pastor Chris”, has been attracting hundreds of questions worldwide.
In one of the episodes, a young man from the United States asked the following question, “Aside from being a health hazard and a dirty habit, is there anything scripturally wrong with cigarette smoking? In handling this question, please remember that some people smoke because of cold and there are other things we eat which are equally hazardous to our health like coffee etc.”
“I have looked through the Bible several times to find what it says about smoking. The Bible does not say anything perse. So, what’s the problem with smoking? I’ll tell you the problem with smoking.
In fact, I’ve been asked this question several times and I tried to study. There is one clear thing we must follow from the Bible, whenever there are issues that are not as clear as one would expect, when there is no particular scripture that tells you something specific about that very case. I always tell people to look at the pattern in the world and then look at the general sense of the scripture.
So the reason why I advise that a Christian should not smoke is based on two factors…
1. The people of the world generally see it as something dirty. Even the ones who are smoking it sees it as something dirty.
2. Christians don’t believe that anyone who is smoking is genuinely converted, because they believe smoking is a dirty habit.
Regardless, it’s not written in the Bible that a Christian should not smoke, but I’ll read to you Romans14v13-14, which says, “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way. As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that nothing is unclean in itself, but if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean.”
You can see that there is nothing wrong with cigarette in itself, but remember verse 15 and 16 says, “If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not let your eating destroy your brother whom Christ died. Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken as evil.”
So if someone smoke does it mean he’s going to hell? No! But he’s not living in the light of the Word of God, not because he’s smoking but because he’s doing something that is unjustifiable in the house of God before the brethren.”