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What about tobacco use?

Submitted: 5/1/2007
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Question: Should a Sunday school teacher or song leader use tobacco in any form? (cigarettes or snuff) If they do should they be asked to step down until they quit?

Answer: We believe that committed Spirit-filled believers should not be using tobacco. It serves no worthwhile purpose and is basically a pleasure-providing substance. In the end it can greatly harm a person's health, which is to abuse the temple of the Lord. Since teachers and praise leaders are examples to the flock, we consider this to be a poor example. Having said this, we cannot say whether a person should be asked to step down because of his tobacco use. There are many considerations: 1) How did he get in those positions in the first place? 2) Did he start using tobacco after he accepted those positions? 3) Who would be affected if he were asked to step down? A decision of this sort must be made by the local leadership of the assembly. We don't believe anyone from outside the assembly would have enough knowledge of all the considerations to make a definitive recommendation.