Monday, August 17, 2009

Smoking Policy

Are You Going Up in Smoke?
There's no good reason to keep smoking

I want to tell you a story, one like everyone has heard. My Uncle Jim, who was 3 years younger than my mother, died from lung cancer at the ripe old age of 57. He started smoking and drinking when he was 12 or 13. When he was young it didn't matter. He was extremely good looking and full of it. He was so addicted by the time he was 50 that he could not stand to come to my house or go anywhere he couldn't smoke. Dr. Ham operated on his lung near the end. He said it was the most delicate thing he had ever done, trying to sew the remaining tissue back together. Uncle had to quite smoking for a couple of months. Then the Knot Head started again.

150 years ago Ellen White had visions from God about the evils of tobacco. For more than 100 years after that people thought Adventists were some strange cult because we believed in Biblical temperance and other intolerable beliefs straight from the Book. (Some still do!) Drinking and smoking and other wicked vices were overcome through the power of conversion and a new heart. Or maybe just a wilderness experience. There are many stories of people all over the world that won the victory through faith and perseverance. Many quit cold turkey, laying in bed with cold sweats, tremors, and delirium. Willing to die rather than disobey God, in a time where doctors prescribed smoking for emphysema!

Now, society has become almost totally inhospitable to smokers. It's not cool anymore, it's not tolerated, and in a lot of places it's illegal. What happened? Medical science is beginning to catch up with the prophet. Not only has smoking been proven to be suicidal, it's been proven to be deadly to everyone around it. If you really study it out, you'll find that it breaks every one of God's commandments.

Besides this there are other implications. A no smoking policy helps to elude a host of other problems; health problems, drinking problems, financial problems, performance problems, attendance problems, learning problems, safety problems, etc. These are all essentially a result of a lack of self control. Which is how it all started in the first place.

We have to be careful though. How would God like us to treat poor slaves to tobacco? If we are not careful we end up breaking what He calls the second greatest commandment. That is the second tablet, the last six commandments. "Love your neighbor as yourself." The fact is we are all poor sinners in a hopeless situation. It's easier to sit here on my high horse and criticize than to help someone. Some things you have to draw the line though. How do you prevent people from smoking themselves to death? Everyone knows you can't help anyone who won't help themselves. What can we do? My motto is "There's always a way." Naturally there's a simple solution. It's called money!

Many companies now offer various different incentive plans for employees to quit. It makes sense and saves everyone's time and health and money and makes for cheaper insurance. What would you think if I said I was going to cut your pay to save your life? Not a bad deal, huh? What if I said, "When your ready to start living, I'll start paying you more money." That's an unbelievable deal, isn't it? In reality I'm paying you to quit, smoking that is. Actually I'm not going to cut your pay, I'm going to freeze it. No advances, no bonuses. If you continue to smoke on the job, then I'm going to cut you down. Not a pretty picture if you are afraid you can't quit.

This may sound hard core. However, if people are so much in love with their addiction that it means more to them than work, or life, or family, or friends - they are a liability waiting to happen. They can find some other company that likes to invest in foolishness (Lawlessness).I have to repeat myself. "This is not a suicide assistance facility!"

A few more quotes, "God accepts us as we are, but it's not acceptable to stay as we are." “When you quit learning, you quit living." And, "The greatest deception of the human mind is. I'm good, I'm fine, I belong to the right club, I have need of nothing." E.G. White (paraphrased). In other words they see no need to go through the wilderness. The reality is, that's where they are and that's where they stay.

I actually like people that smoke. They're good down to earth people for the most part. I like the common people. Of course I've always been "Criminally affectionate!" The last thing I want is to become any kind of a snob. (I think they will be the first into hell! No matter what they profess.) At the same time I see so many people, as the Bible says, "dying for lack of knowledge."

Don't give up! "I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in good health." 3 John 2.

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