Defiling the Temple

What substances-legal or illegal- should Christians be avoiding?

Your body is a temple.

I’ve often wondered what that means.

So, what does it mean?

I read a comment online once that read: “Your body is a temple, so do with it whatever you please.”

I was a little uneasy about that response.

Is that how we are to look at our bodies, as something we can use, abuse, and do whatever we want with?

Many people will say, yes, that is exactly what it’s for.

On the contrary, I believe something different.

With recent stories I’ve heard of people and their substance addictions, it makes me think that the “freedom” we feel we have over our bodies is really more like bondage.

Addiction, whatever it may be over, is not freedom.

And how does one get addicted? It starts with just one moment, one decision to indulge…

I believe my body belongs to God, and is not mine to do whatever I want with.

“For you (we) are the temple of the living God” (2 Cor. 6:16).

“If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are” (1 Cor. 3:17).

Now, I already know some people are thinking, “Well, this doesn’t apply to me. I’m not a believer of anything the Bible has to say. I don’t believe my body belongs to anyone but me, and I’m also not an addict.”

Well, I believe it does apply to those people too, but we won’t get into that right now.

The main thing I want to get to is this:

How do we determine which things defile our bodies?

After reading 1 Cor. 3:17, I thought, well this clearly says we are not to defile our bodies, which is the holy temple of God, so clearly I know not to indulge in drugs, alcohol, premarital/extra-marital sex, etc.


I really don’t think it is clear to a lot of people.

In fact, I heard a debate between several Christians over why it is or is not okay to drink alcoholic beverages or smoke marijuana.

And the flood gates were opened.

Now, even though those debating folks are Christians, and I’ll tell you what, they had differing opinions as far apart as the east is from the west.

It made me think that this issue really is difficult to address because it’s such a sticky topic.

How do you answer from the Bible? How do I give an answer that is more than just a personal story or personal experience?

Then there are those people who ask, “Well golly, Em, don’t you think if you’re abstaining from alcohol and drugs, then you should abstain from things like pain relievers and sugar?”

I just want to shake my fists at those folks. Other than responding (quite fervently) that those things are very different, I kind of feel like my responses are lacking.

Are they different? Should I avoid sugar the way I avoid alcohol?

So you have people who avoid alcohol and drugs, but those same people are indulging in soda, coffee, processed foods, and over the counter pain meds.

Sticky topic, right?

So, what do you do? If you are a follower of Christ, how would you respond in way that isn’t just personal or anecdotal? What’s the right thing to do?

Until next controversial topic,