When we share the gospel with non-Christians, we usually crack down on smoking as sinful because of the effects it has on the body and its addictive nature. We expect them to quit smoking. While I agree that smoking is bad, it is not expressly forbidden in the Bible, but has been considered (in the past at least) a reason for not baptizing those who are studying the Bible to become Christians. However, we do not take the same attitude toward disciples who drink excessive amounts of coffee (or soda). We can agree that, while not as addictive as nicotine, caffeine is a drug that has a negative effect on the body. Shouldn't we take excessive consumption of caffeine seriously as well? -- Nestor Rivera
I think there is truth in your words (even as I drink my second -- and final -- cup of coffee for the day)… but soda and coffee are in a different league.
Smoking, as I understand, even in fairly small amounts, is damaging to the brain and nervous system, heart, etc. There is no clear evidence of which I am aware that caffeine in small amounts is a bad thing. It seems it may even be a good thing. See the helpful article in Wikipedia. In larger doses, it is certainly dangerous.
When smokers do not become Christians, it is usually because they lack willpower and conviction. They are truly enslaved. I would agree that though hardly a requirement for salvation, coffee "addicts" ought to cut back (or quit).
Christians who are dependent on caffeine for performance are not honoring the Lord with their bodies (1 Corinthians 6). This is my opinion. One could even say they are "enslaved," which is never a good thing (2 Peter 2:19). That is why I agree with you that we should cut caffeine out or cut it back. Yet I am not convinced it's wrong (the Mormon position).
Finally, failure to address other addictive behaviors (computer games come to mind!) is also inconsistent with the pursuit if holiness. In our Christian culture, we tend to view immorality almost exclusively in terms of a few select sins (lust, lying, laziness), rather than taking in everything the Bible has to say about holiness (worldliness, materialism, failure to serve the poor, etc). Thank you for your question.