My husband and sons enjoy fly fishing. Several years ago, when our youngest son was about 9yrs old, they were fishing in a stream with a family friend. Unbeknownst to my husband, the family friend gave our youngest a cigar to take a few puffs on. Husband glances downstream and sees 9-yo mid stream in hip waders, casting away. He has big blue eyes and blonde hair and there he was, with a cigar clenched between his teeth.
Remember the Baby Faced gangster on Looney Tunes?
I’m one of those strange women who doesn’t mind a small cigar every once in awhile, especially on a beautiful summer evening.
I’ve introduced my husband to cigars, and recently he’s taken up a pipe. As far as entertainments go, it’s quite affordable, and some of our best conversations have been out on the porch enjoying a smoke and a good beer together.
And my man just looks so good sitting back with pipe in hand! 🙂
Actually, the frequent use of the title “Bishop” by Bethany’s Cantor on the other boards of this site is starting to irritate me. That, and the elevation of cigar-smoking and wasting of money on luxurious activities (both designated here as anti-pietism) as a “steadfast Lutheran” thing.
Lutherans not wanting to have fun wasn’t because of pietism. It was because most of the laymen of the early Missouri Synod were dirt poor farmers who couldn’t afford fancy cigars, expensive liquors and afternoons full of golf, yet were still able to contribute to their church each week.
I’m all for high church historic liturgy, upholding the office of holy ministry, confessional lutheranism and having a beer now and then, but what is the whole point of this “carousing” category as a mark of confessional lutheranism?
(That was … using the title “Bishop” for Missouri Synod District Presidents).
Timothy C. Schenks,
I will not respond for Cantor Magness but will say this myself to your excellent points and questions.
I personally use the terms “bishop” and “district president” inerchangeably to remind us that the the latter is an unbiblical, even corporate term that comes out of the American “experience.” The former is a biblical term and reminds us that the primary work of a DP is to use the word of God to uphold the pure Gospel in the region he serves and to use that same word of God to rebuke false teaching.
Concerning your good point about our “No Pietiests Allowed” section, I invite you to take it as we intend it, with mostly tongue inside cheek (a cheek filled with cancer no doubt from those cigars and heaven forbid, chewing tobacco). We do not mean it to be a mark of confessionalism but I can see how it might come off that way. It is a satirical way to highlight the soul-killing disease of false pietism. (There is of course a proper piety which includes good liturgical practice and rebuke of the abuse of our freedoms in the Gospel.)
Thanks again for your critique. Yours and all other critiques are taken seriously here at BJS and will help us as we move forward in undrestanding what it means to be steadfast in teh Lord.
I am all for having a few beers with friends like you. Though, I wonder about the whole cigar thing. As cigars are known to cause cancer, why would anybody want to smoke even one. They are inherently hazardous to health and life. I guess your faith is stronger than mine, but I don’t touch the cancer sticks. Also, secondhand smoke contributes to asthma in children. Why do it? If not for yourselve, don’t smoke it for the benefit of your neighbor. Now let’s have another beer.
“Lutherans not wanting to have fun wasnâ€™t because of pietism. It was because most of the laymen of the early Missouri Synod were dirt poor farmers who couldnâ€™t afford fancy cigars, expensive liquors and afternoons full of golf, yet were still able to contribute to their church each week.”
I agree with Timothy. It wasnâ€™t so much anti pleasure but pro work. If you had any problems, itâ€™s because you werenâ€™t working enough.
As a newly returned believer ( you know the kind, confirmed, goes to a liberal university, finds his education useful but emotionally, philosophically and spiritually empty, God calls him back home through His Word and apologetics)I was enjoying the sharing of Christ and handling the objections of unbelievers using christian apologetics. I had a great following among those who thought what I believed was nuts but liked me anyway. Some of us went to a bar as my Calvinist’s friend looked on in disgust. There I had a few Augsburger Bocks and a couple Padron 3000s that my Canadian great uncles had introduced me to. ‘”Just like pre castros” they said and they were right. I shared my Padrons with the group and enjoyed a rather robust evening. The next day I was at work and my Calvinist friend (double by the way, ouch!)started asking me what I had said to one of our friends at the bar. I said “a lot of things why”? “Becasue he is talking to me about Chist asking all kinds of questionss and he told me I did not know what I was talking about that you knew your Bible”. Just then the friend walked up and said, “Mike, why don’t you teach your Christian buddy there how to enjoy the God he is so in love with. Thanks for the Padrons, by the way where is it you go to church?” You see my Calvinist buddy was using the confrontational approach and had the disposisition of a lemon as he “honored” God with his pietistic life. He meant well.
That day I learned both in head and heart to just be me, warts and all and let my enjoyment of God’s gifts and His Word speak for itself. Yes, my fiend became a Christian. It doesn’t get any better than that and I didn’t do a thing but enjoy myself and share the Good News.
Your story has truly hit the nail of pietism on the head. Furthermore, I cannot think of a better illustration of what it is to enjoy the gifts that God has given us, which sin and Satan have twisted toward evil. Thanks for sharing.
Moderation, moderation. A virtue I could never develop when it came to cigars….sooooo……….I just gave them up after inhaling around 15 of them a day.
I get the cigars.
(Romeo y Julieta, maybe twice a year.)
I get the hard liquor.
(Cuervo Black Medallion. Bang for your buck.)
I get the beer.
(Lakefront Brewery, East Side Dark. Many more times a year.)
I get the Confessions.
(I take mine norma normata, thank you. I’m learning that many LC-MSers take theirs norma normans.)
But I don’t get the liturgy. Not in a legalistic way. Don’t get me wrong — the historic Western Rite is my puro cubano, my tequila aÃ±ejo, my MÃ¼nchner Dunkel of choice. But this blog seems to make it a requirement of orthodoxy — which is something that Scripture doesn’t do (for obvious reasons). Why not make orthodoxy a requirement of worship settings rather than the liturgy a requirement of orthodoxy?
Just checking for any additional stories and did I read this right, John E.? You inhaled 15 cigars a day? One does not inhale a cigar, one puffs on them. If I inhaled them I would have stopped after the first half of the first cigar, turned white and sweaty and pulled off the road to throw up!
I ave only known one man who inhaled his cigars and he had the constitution of a Rocky Mountain pack mule. Give ’em another shot and don’t inhale this time! 🙂
Not braggin, but yea! Some of us just have a tough constitution. Also I’m going on 65 and the bod just doesn’t tolerate things like it used to.
Another shot? Nope it took to much will power to quit the first time.
Had some Cubans with some buddies after vicarage placement some time back. I propose a new translation, “let my prayer rise before you as Parataga smoke”
There seems to be some confusion about cigar (and pipe) smoking and its dangers. The Surgeon General’s study that found cigarettes to be harmful also found that, statistically speaking, cigars and pipes did not increase the risk of cancer in a measurable amount. In fact, the study found that cigar smokers lived about the same life expectancy as non-smokers — and pipe smokers actually lived LONGER!!!
My doctor cut me back to less than 200 a week. I especially enjoy theological discussion with my Pastor while puffing a Montecristo, or a Rocky Patel.
Any one enjoy an ACID brand cigar? Some say it is one of those infused cigars, but I say “who cares”; a good smoke and tasty.
@young blood #14
I’m in total agreement!!!
I enjoy a pipe more than a cigar!
I enjoy blending my own tobacco.
Here in South Africa cigars are very expensive.
We used to get a cheroot from Mocambique that was a reasonable tobacco wrapped in banana leaf, but you can’t get them anymore 🙁
I used to be a regular cigar smoker when I was younger and in the Navy. But now, I only smoke on special occasions. I smoked both pipe and cigar but I prefer cigars. My favorite pipe tobacco blend were English or Balkan blends.
My favorite Cuban’s are Cohiba’s. My favorite USA bought cigars are Padrons’ 1926 series and Opus X’s.
If I kept my humidor up and smoked on a more regular basis, I would stock it with Padron 3000’s. Padron’s aren’t as tight and thick as I like, but they are very good in my opinion.
I read this blog yesterday and tonight I broke out my Petersen and got some fresh tobacco. That and a couple cups of coffee while studying the AC for Bible study tomorrow morning made for a great time. What a treat!!!
I recenlty bought a pipe on eBay for one penny, so I had to buy a bag of Prince Albert. Fairly smooth and good tasting/smelling. Any suggestions on a good pipe tobacco?
I enjoy aromatic tobaccos. Others prefer English blends. Some even like Latakia! I started pipe smoking almost 35 years ago with Anniversary Cherry from the Tinder Box chain of stores. It was my preferred smoke for years. About 10 years ago I started trying other tobaccos and found I still prefer aromatics, especially those from McClelland. TasteMaster (chocolate), Town Topic (maple), and Best of Show (nouget) from the Premium Aromatic line. My current regular smoke for the past 5 years or so has been McClelland’s Georgian Cream (peach cobbler). Outwest Tobacco (on the internet, where I purchase most of my pipe tobacco — cheaper by far than trying to get it locally) has some of the tins of the Premium Aromatic for less than $9; the Georgian Cream in bulk is $37/pound (you can buy it in smaller quantities too). Good tobacco is not cheap, but then neither is bad tobacco (and the great thing is that each pipe smoker gets to decide which is good and which is bad!).
This music director at an LCMS congregation enjoys a few good cigars with his fellow staff member, our youth Pastor, and with his choir at a wonderful outside bar after rehearsal.
You know, some of the best ideas that we do in our ministry (Like our Bach Fest http://www.log.org/bachfest/ now in its 8th year) come from relaxing with friends over those beers and cigars.
Director of Music
Lamb of God Lutheran Church, LCMS
I, too, am a choir director (at 2 WELS churches) and I teach voice, as well as piano and guitar. A good cigar – and as often as not, a not so good cigar – has been a part of my day for longer than my good wife would care to have it.
As was stated earlier – moderation. I no longer drink – which, being a good German/Norse Lutheran is almost genetically required – so the cigar has become my vice.
My dad smoked cheap cigars most of his life, and I enjoy going to the local cigar shop with my son and son-in-law to smoke, watch the Packers, and solve the world’s problems.
Son Christian graduated from NYU law school in May. He took us to a Cuban restaurant to celebrate (G. Village area). I was the last to leave (had to pay the bill!), and my family was standing at the window looking back inside. My daughter said, “Papa, look what this guy is doing.”
Holy hand-rolled cigar……….he was hand-rolling ciagrs! Cubans! Went back in and bought four. No price. Donation only. Gave him a $20. Flew home the next day and smoked them with my brothers-in-law that Sunday night. Strongest cigar I’ve ever had. And yes, I will return!
I have learned well from Mark Twain that the best thing a cigar smoker can do is learn to enjoy exceptionally cheap cigars. I like to keep the bands from good cigars and put them on cheap ones and watch my connoisseurr freinds marvel at my selection all the while I know what they are really smoking. Now that is poor boy logic.
I agree with the position of this brotherhood. I am an MS Lutheran, and I enjoy a drink and a cigar from time to time. But I think as Christians, its all about the attitude. I will never party with the same sensuality as I did when I was far from God. There is a time for renunciation, Lent, or times in your life where you need to restore focus on the spiritual. Sometimes, I feel the need to abstain from alcohol and other fleshly pleasures for a time, not because God will love me any more for doing so, or to somehow merit salvation, but to allow me to refocus on what is real and important. If that renunciation starts becoming a badge of piety, then its time to have a drink and a cigar. Would my position earn your scornful label of pietism?
Aaaah, a good cigar. My younger brother is an LCMS pastor in Anchorage and I had traveled to spend some time with him. We were sitting outside his house enjoying a little Jack Daniels. I fired up an Illusione Holy Lance (my favorite go-to cigar) while he was puffing on his pipe. I was generally grousing about my new pastor and all the PLI stuff he was shoving down the congregation’s throat. My brother took a snort of Jack and drew thoughtfully on his pipe and then said “Boy, that new pastor of yours sure has been good for your faith, hasn’t he?” I was floored by the statement and wanted to immediately argue, but as I sat there and enjoyed the cuban-seed nicaraguan cigar, I reflected on his statement. He was RIGHT! Due to the PLI drivel I was madly searching our confessions, refuting “mission v. maintenance” dispelling notions of being “already connected to God” re-reading “On being a theologian of the cross” and discussing all these things with my head elder. He was great for my (true) faith! The dissagreements with him lead me to leave the congregation for a more confessional congregation with my family, but that too was good for my faith!
My favorite cigars are Illusione (Nicaraugan grown Cuban seed) Arturo Fuente (Dominican) Partagas, Romeo y Julieta, Montecristo (Cuban) Oliva (Nicaraguan) Nub (Nicaraguan) Ave Maria (Nicaraguan) and Padron (Nicaragua)
I get to enjoy 1-2 cigars a month but enjoy collecting and discussing cigars almost as much as smoking them.
THE VERY BEST CIGAR IN THE ENTIRE WORLD–BAR NONE!
…is the cigar that shuts the hole under your nose long enough to enjoy it.
I will tell you one thing, I will NOT SMOKE a CUBAN ever, not that I have. OK, one guy said, “hey, got some.” I tried it, JUNK!
I will stick to my Acids, unless CUBA starts to make them. Thanks to the President for that.
WHY ENJOY A CIGAR? Should that even be a question?
For many years of my adult life, I resisted trying a cigar “for health reasons.” My father was a cigarette smoker (Kool Super Long Menthol) and as a result had developed health problems from his 2-pack a day habit. I recall that in my childhood, I hated going places with my Dad in his truck because of the smoke. He seemed oblivious to the clouds of nasty smoke filling the cab of the truck. The blissful breeze that came in when he “cracked his window” to toss the butt was always a blessing. When I got a little older, I was able to ask him to open his window while smoking and I made sure to bring a jacket. I loved my father and wanted to go just about anywhere he was going…but the thought of the smoke was always at the back of my mind. It was those stifling trips with my father that made me vow to never be a smoker. After many attempts throughout my lifetime, he finally quit smoking a few short years before he passed. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done.
How did I become a cigar aficionado? Slowly. I was offered cigars many times over the years (poker nights, golf courses, barbeques, hunting campfires and whatnot). I resisted, due to my “vow” to never be a smoker. It wasn’t until my mid-thirties that I gave in and accepted a Romeo y Julieta “Bully” at my friend’s cabin while enjoying cold beer around the campfire. My friend is a dentist and he explained to me that the occasional cigar is not detrimental to your health and you don’t smoke a cigar the same way you would a cigarette—you don’t inhale! Immediately thoughts of our former President Clinton filled my mind and as skeptical as I was, I tried it. My dentist friend gave me basic cigar 101: clipping the cigar, toasting the end, lighting the cigar and how to properly smoke it. Intrigued with the ritual, I thoroughly enjoyed my first cigar (and second) that night. Learning not to inhale was the hardest part, but since I had never even tried a cigarette, I had an easier time with that than most.
The next morning I woke up and climbed out of my tent and went into the cabin and started the coffee and began cooking bacon and eggs (I had breakfast duty). My buddy came in when the smell of coffee and cooking bacon woke him. I asked him “Where did your cat go?” He said “What cat?” I replied “The one that went to the bathroom in my mouth last night while I was sleeping.” He laughed at me and gave me a brief sermon on the importance of brushing and flossing before bed—especially after a cigar. From that day forward, cigars became a regular part of my life.
I smile when I look back on my first few years as an aficionado. I fell for every “can’t beat the price” advertisement and purchased all the gimmicks and cool tools available in the cigar world. I joined cigar forums on the internet and began learning the finer points of the cigar community. Cigars had become quite a hobby! I even had a monthly “cigar budget.” All of these things were aided by the fact that I was single, with no kids and owned my own home. (In 13 years in that house, I never once had a cigar inside—the garage was another matter!)
A turning point in my cigar education came from finding a cigar lounge about half-way home from work. This place was something else—leather couches and recliners, marble coffee tables, big screen televisions all over that showed sports. Not only that, but they had a HUGE cigar inventory. It was there I met the first true cigar connoisseur of my life. This guy seemed to know everything about cigars and was happy to impart that knowledge. He taught me to spot fake Cubans, the difference between tobacco regions, the more refined do’s and don’ts of the cigar community. His palate was so refined he could blindly taste a cigar and tell you which valley it was grown in and which country and most often, the specific cigar—all with his eyes closed. The most important thing he shared with me about the cigar community was generosity. He shared (gave) me expensive and hard-to-find and aged cigars to sample and taught me to refine my palate and to understand the type of cigar I preferred—and why. Along with understanding the cigar came lessons on food and beverage pairings.
People will give you all kinds of reasons for why they enjoy the cigars. Sure, the flavor, taste, the nicotine are all involved. For me, the community aspect of the cigar world is almost as important as the cigars. The primary thing, however, is taking the time to relax and reflect while enjoying the cigar trumps everything else. Enjoying a good cigar slows conversation, debate or even argument. One of my favorite cigar memories comes from visiting my younger brother on my 40th birthday at the Seminary in St. Louis. He was in on-campus housing and lived on an upper floor. After dinner we grabbed some chairs and a few beers and went out into the outside hallway and fired up some Cuban Partagas shorts. (Excellent little cigars!) We had to wear coats because this was November in St. Louis. It didn’t take long for the aroma to filter throughout the area and several of my brother’s fellow seminarians joined us and we spent half the night discussing whether baptizing converted Mormons was necessary. The cigars were the excuse for the gathering that may not have happened without them.
At age 42, I married and had an instant family. This takes up much of the old “free-time” I had as a single man to enjoy a good stogie. Much to my great fortune, my wife is cigar friendly and views my hobby similar to her knitting or crocheting. My monthly cigar budget is a thing of the past and I find myself with the opportunity to enjoy a cigar limited to approximately 1-3 times a month. My wife understands what I “get” out of cigars and is supportive. She makes sure I go to the cigar lounge at least once a month. It’s a happy day when she says “You haven’t been to Smokey Joe’s (Fife, WA—look it up!) this month, have you? When are you going?”
Recently, I introduced a young man I work with to the cigar community by taking him to my favorite cigar lounge and gave him tips valuable to beginners to the cigar world. He was entranced by the relaxed nature of the atmosphere and was trying to reconcile how excited he was about getting to relax. I explained there is something both physical (nicotine) and psychological about the experience and advised he just relax and enjoy it. After a few minutes, I puffed on my cigar and blew out a generous cloud of smoke and pointed it out to him and said “There’s a lot of deep thought in that smoke.” That, my friends is the bottom-line as to why I enjoy a good cigar–on occasion.
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