at least one drunken brawl. Just to get order in such a group would take the efforts of Jehovah. On Wednesday it was just the opposite, it was the belief in Jehovah that made the difference. Perhaps this is the solution to everything.
“We three were all profoundly impressed by everything we saw and, although a few days have gone by since Wednesday, we find ourselves recalling to mind what we saw and heard and felt. Religion heretofore was something relegated to Saturday or Sunday, at a birth or a few words said at a funeral. It just wasn’t part of our everyday life. After all our years of schooling and independent thought, could we be completely wrong? Such a prospect is not very encouraging, but if the facts prove differently, and the truth is obvious, can logic refute it? . . .
“We wish to thank you for the privilege of visiting you and seeing religion at work.
Questions From Readers
● What is the attitude of Jehovah’s witnesses toward the use of tobacco?—J. G., U.S.A.
The Bible does not comment directly on the view that God’s servants should have concerning the use of tobacco. This is understandable, since, according to one encyclopedia, tobacco was not used in Biblical lands until more than fifteen centuries after the Bible was completed. Yet, from what we read in God’s Word, it is easy to see that the use of tobacco, whether one is smoking, chewing or snuffing it, is an unclean habit that goes contrary to Bible principles. So Jehovah’s witnesses strongly discourage its use, and they view as spiritually immature any Christians who continue to use tobacco.
The most common use of tobacco is in smoking, whether in cigarettes, cigars or pipes. That smoking contributes to cancer, heart disease and many other debilitating and fatal diseases, needs no documentation here. An abundance of evidence is public knowledge. In fact, the health hazard is so great that a number of major nations have put restrictions on cigarette advertising. Less information is available on the use of chewing tobacco and snuff. Yet, studies indicate that these habits contribute to a higher incidence of cancer than among nonusers and affect the nerves and the sense of smell.
It is, of course, only reasonable to avoid something that poses such a threat to one’s health and life. And this is especially important to the Christian, since his worship of God is involved. How? Well, Romans 12:1 mentions that a Christian must present his body as “a sacrifice living, holy, acceptable to God.” If he were to follow the harmful tobacco habit, he would be withdrawing some of what he dedicated to God by shortening his life and impairing his health. Do you think God would be pleased with that?
Additionally, mature Christians strive to apply the counsel: “Let us cleanse ourselves of every defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in God’s fear.” (2 Cor. 7:1) The use of tobacco plainly runs counter to that inspired advice. Think of the scars and stains on the hands and mouths of many of those who smoke or chew tobacco. What about the “defilement of flesh” in the nostrils and lungs resulting from smoking or using snuff? And the uncleanness from tobacco even spreads to one’s surroundings, including ashes, stains and burns. Do you think Jesus would have disregarded purity by following a practice as unclean as the tobacco habit? Remember, Christians are to follow his example.—1 Pet. 2:21.
Smoking is also contrary to the principle: “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” (Jas. 2:8) Why so? Commenting on this guiding principle for Christians, the apostle Paul wrote: “Love does not work evil to one’s neighbor; therefore love is the law’s fulfillment.” (Rom. 13:9, 10) Have you ever seen a smoker speaking with another person and at the same time enveloping both of them in noxious smoke, or someone smoking in a car, bus or train but completely oblivious to the discomfort he is causing those near him who have to breathe the unwanted irritant he is blowing out? Is that the course of neighbor love? To the contrary, Christians are urged: “Let each one keep seeking, not his own advantage, but that of the other person.”—1 Cor. 10:24.