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This is a question many Christians struggle with because they feel convicted that by working in a store that sells alcohol and tobacco, they are in some way encouraging or enabling others to sin by...
Obviously you have in mind Ephesians 5:18 wherefrom one can perhaps infer that only excessive drinking is prohibited! Let me begin with a few Bible verses about liquor. "Wine is a mocker, intoxicating drink arouses brawling and whoever is led astray by it is not wise" (Prov 20:1). "Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; at the last it bites like a snake, and stings like a viper" (Prov 23:31,32). It's true wine is served alongwith regular meals in certain countries. But we also know where it has led to. In most of the cases it is occasional drinking that has led to addiction. We are to avoid even the very form or any appearance of evil (1 Thess 5:22). Beware of dangerous beginnings! First it will be just "walking" there, then it will be "standing" there a while, and finally you will be "sitting" there! (Psa 1:1). We must be like Timothy. He abstained from wine totally, so much so Paul had to ask him add a little wine for his illness (1 Tim 5:23). Another question can be, "Can I smoke occasionally?" The answer is the same. Don't! Every cigarette pack contains the statutory warning: Smoking is injurious to health. Smoking and drinking injure us and others as well. These are both social and spiritual evils. Steer clear of them. A Christian who asked me if a Christian can run an underground business like international prostitution ring. Another asked if Christian should stay away from any business that relates to liquors and tobaccos. Here is Paul's doctrine: "I am allowed to anything but not everything is good for me. Even though I am allowed to do anything, I must not become a slave to anything" (1 Cor 6:12; 10:23).
Paul said the leaders in the church should not be drinkers of MUCH wine. Not NO wine. I have christian friends that have been drinking a little for years with no problems. I am not about to tell them that they are living in great sin. The same with tobacco. I also have christian friends that eat far to much of not so good food. I figure it is between them and the Lord. I do not know what they have been through and since I have not walked in their shoes it is not my place to judge them. I also have christian friends that abstain from everything and look down their noses at every one else much like the pharasees with selfrighteous indignation. They are also the ones that treat people like dirt. The bible says if we say we have no sin we are a liar and the truth is not in us. We are to love one another and not put everyone in our mold. Where there are no hard and fast rules we are not to add any. Lets not twist scripture for our own use. Just my 2 cents.
Formally and biblically is the excessiveness of alcohol and smoking is attached. No reasonable consumer of the above substances you can easily convinces that selling or handing out alcohol and tobacco is a sin, The will of individual experiences is the best teacher. Nothing outside like job can defile us, rather in wards spiritual inclinations. Mark 7:15 There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man.
In old testament times God had permitted the children of Israel to drink wine even strong drink once a year as we read Deuteronomy 14:26. But the priests were strictly forbidden to consume any form of alcoholic beverage while they were performing the temple service as we read in Leviticus 10:9. In Old Testament times use of wine was perhaps permitted during special occasions like marriages and that is why our Lord turned water into wine as we read John chapter 2. Paul instructed Timothy to use a little wine for medicinal purposes, yet it cannot be taken as a general approval for consumption of alcoholic drinks for the purpose of intoxication. We see right from the time of Noah use of alcohol has brought misfortune to people. Noah, Lot and many other characters were tarnished because of alcohol consumption. In Proverbs we find warnings after warnings not to use alcohol. Today believers are not only priests but their bodies are the temple of The Holy Spirit. As such, in a way, we are always in the holy place as priests. Therefore drinking alcohol in any form other that for medical purpose and under strict medical supervision would be improper in my opinion as we further read about this in Proverbs 30:6-7. Here use of alcohol would give emotional and physical relief, but no normal person should drink alcohol to defile the temple of God which is the body of believers. I would like to add that I was an alcoholic before my conversion but after my conversion I prayed to God and He took away my desire to consume alcohol. Today I am free. Today The Lord has given us the Holy Spirit who is willing to give us lasting pleasure and joy as read in Ephesians 5:18 which will not only you but the household of faith. Please remember you a priest and you are also the temple of God and you are always in the temple service. So do not defile the temple of God as it is a dangerous thing and would invite judgement as we read in 1 Cor 3:17. From the it is obvious that a christian should not be involved in selling of alcohol.
To Love one another is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, even if it means ringing up there purchase of alcohol and ciggerettes and telling them the Gospel.
When Jesus was asked "Why do you dine with sinners and tax collectors?" He replied, the well do not need a physician but the sick. Meaning that He associated with those who needed his teaching, basically everyone. Where ever we are, we can let our light shine wherever it is needed most. It is not so important where you work, rather how those who see you there see you.
There are two sides to this matter. First, realize that alcohol and tobacco themselves are not wrong. Drinking alcohol and smoking (the actions) are wrong. When you work at a place that sells alcohol and tobacco, you are not actually drinking the alcohol or smoking the tobacco, right? However, you are helping other people get access to the alcohol and tobacco. You are letting them drink and smoke. You're giving them access to it. You are selling them in exchange for money. It's like you don't care about the people, and all you care about is the money you get. The Bible clearly tells us to love and care for one another. Even if the person you are selling the beer and tobacco to is not a Christian, you should still love and care for that person. Selling that person tobacco or beer is not what I call love. John 13:34-35 1 Corinthians 16:14 1 John 4:8 Colossians 3:14 1 John 4:7 Mark 12:31 Ephesians 4:2 Luke 6:35 Hebrews 12:14
The short answer is no, a Christian should not profit or be associated in any way with the use or sale of alcohol or tobacco. Among Christians, there are two major camps when talking about wine: one argues that in the Bible lots of people drank wine, and in moderation is harmless. The others insist that alcohol is addictive and destructive and no sincere Christian should use it to any degree. Though the Scripture is clearly and adamantly against alcohol consumption, many have used ambiguous texts as a loophole to justify drinking alcohol. First, let’s look at one grim statistics: only in US, annually nearly 88,000 people die from alcohol related causes. Even in moderation, alcohol causes behavioral changes, impairment of vision and judgment, and for many, inebriation can occur even with small quantities consumed. Although the translators never used the term “grape juice,” the Bible sometimes refers to new wine (grape juice), and other times talks about fermented wine (old wine). In the Hebrew texts, the word tîyrôsh is used for unfermented wine, and yayin for fermented wine. In the NT, however, only one Greek word is used for both fermented and grape juice: oinis. But this shouldn't confuse anyone because the context will tell us what kind of wine is being described, as in Luke 5:37–39. One example frequently used to justify alcohol indulgence, is the wedding in Cana, where Jesus turned water into wine. (John 2:9, 10). Some suggested that this must have been alcoholic wine. But let’s consider the implications. There were six pots for Jesus to fill, and each of those would hold 20 to 30 gallons. Are we to believe that Jesus made 180 gallons of a alcoholic wine enough to get every guest drunk? Jesus would have been acting against His own Word: (Habakkuk 2:15; Luke 12:46; Ephesians 5:18). It would make sense to think that Jesus made unfermented wine, and the governor of the feast complimented the groom on its pure quality. It was also argued that Jesus partook of wine at the Last Supper, and even employed it as a symbol of His purifying blood, and that should be a license to occasionally enjoy a little wine. We know that the Passover meal was to be free from all forms of leaven (Exodus 12:19), and fermentation is the process of leavening. So, if the bread was to be free from leaven, (a type of sin), then we can be sure that the wine, a symbol of Jesus blood, used at the Last Supper would also be free of alcohol. The perfect, sinless blood of Jesus would never be symbolized by the corrupt and putrefying old wine. How about smoking? Tobacco is not mentioned in the Bible for a very good reason; it was not known or used in Bible times. In Western Europe was introduced from the Americas only in the sixteen century. I hope that everyone is clear on the evil of tobacco products. But just in case, here are a few statistics: Cigarette smoking in US alone annually kills 480,000 people. Smoking related illness in US costs more than $289 billion a year, including $133 billion in direct medical care. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 tells that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and we should keep them clean, healthy and free of any pollution. We should not encourage, participate or associate in any form with the production, sale or distribution of any tobacco products or alcohol.
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