| Re: Is cremation of the body after death un-Biblical?|
I do not have any scripture that says "donot burn a dead body." However, just as ginnyrose stated, no one in the Bible was burned IF they were buried according to God. Even the reference that the moderator gave aobut Paul stating "even if I give my body to be burned" he was not talking about after his death, but as a sort of sacrifice (which of course was condemned by God).
My husband and I discussed this long before he was even sick and we both felt in our Spirit that this was not a godly way to bury the dead. We in the West borrowed this way of handling our dead from demonic religions of Asia. If we would be hesitant and even appalled at borrowing any other of their practices, why do we simply accept this as ok?
Yes, there are those who have been burned at the stake, but that does not mean that the practice is ok for all of us. God has allowed others to die by decapitation, dismemberment, etc. Are we going to say that it is ok to cut up people's bodies before we bury them? I cannot fathom that!
One reason why this practice has grown so much in our nation is because it is so much cheaper than a burial in the ground. When I was trying to make arrangements for my husband, I was appalled at the cost of a funeral and the plot plus all the other things that they make you buy. Not having much money in savings I had the cheapest funeral I could, without a viewing, without any pastoral message, and at the cheapest cemetery in town. It still cost me $5400. I could have had his body cremated for under $1000 at a funeral home. Because he was on disability, the local medical examiner would have done it for $300. For many people, that is the critical issue. If I had not been so sure of what we believed about this, and my husband's direct wishes, I would have been tempted to save the money and had him cremated. In fact, some family members wondered why I did not do it.
| 2013/3/3 18:07||Profile|
| Re: Is cremation of the body after death un-Biblical?|
Jesus wasn't cremated.
| 2013/3/3 19:21||Profile|
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Even the reference that the moderator gave aobut Paul stating "even if I give my body to be burned" he was not talking about after his death, but as a sort of sacrifice (which of course was condemned by God).
Condemned by God how? Paul was talking about giving himself as a martyr if necessary, but there is no scripture in the New Testament which legislates the final disposition of a human body. This is a man-made "law" added by religionists who have a personal bias. If Jesus were born in India, he would have been cremated in accordance with that custom. And He would have been resurrected from His cremains. The point is that the outer shell makes no difference; it is the spirit that matters. Cremation is the custom in India and the Far East, and Christians in those areas are cremated with a pure conscience every day. We, from the Western hemisphere, heavily influenced by the primitive Roman and Orthodox churches somehow think that our way is the only true way when really it is not.
The Jews did not drain the blood of their dead through arterial embalming either (the wealthier Jews were anointed with spices and entombed above ground), and embalming, just as much as cremation is considered an act of desecration by orthodox Judaism today. The criminals and poor were buried in the sand, or taken to burning grounds of Gehenna to be disposed. But we in the West tend to overlook this, as some of the staunchest opponents to cremation (for religious reasons) opt for arterial embalming so they can have their sanitized and cosmetized period of viewing in a chapel. But a primitive Christian would have never had their blood drained and preservative chemicals injected into them. The paganistic Egyptians practiced this! But embalming is commonplace today for westernized Christians. So you can see the ignorance which often leads to hypocrisy when someone has a religious bias to enforce. As a funeral director I have labored to erase some of the legalistic stigma attached to cremation to ease the financial burden of certain families.
Paul Frederick West
| 2013/3/3 19:27||Profile|
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Sarah wasn't cremated. Sarah was buried in the Cave at Macpelah at significant expense to Abraham. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah were all reported to have been buried there. Great effort was given to give honor post mortem and to provide a place for remembrance of the dead. Abraham and the Patriarchs valued burial and the Scripture provides a record of it.
Israel and Joseph were not cremated. Neither were they buried in Egypt where they had died. Instead, their bodies were transported to Israel at significant inconvenience and expense. The bones of Joseph were removed from Egypt during the Exodus and carried for forty years until their burial in the promised land. Great care was taken to give them a good burial.
At great risk, David recovered body parts from Saul and his sons after their bodies had been burned by the Philistines. Although he had been persecuted severely by Saul, David gave honor and a burial to the bones of Saul. (2 Samuel 21:14)
There is a burial that you don't want to miss:
For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. (Colossians 2:12 NLT)
In India, Hindu practice promotes scattering of the ashes of the deceased in the Ganges River which makes the river less clean. Burial promotes public health.
Yes, many English martyrs were burned during the Reformation. Good point. This added to the indignity of how they were treated that their bodies were disposed in a disrespectful way.
Yes, cremation may save money. My personal view is that marked burial of the ashes in a box or urn is preferred over scattering. When last I knew, the RCC had changed their policies to allow cremation but did still forbid scattering. The closest approximation to that was burial of ashes in an urn at sea as was done for John Kennedy Jr.
Isaiah 53:9 has been viewed by many as prophecy of Jesus being buried in the rich man's tomb as was done.
If Jesus had been cremated, the story of the Resurrection would be different.
| 2013/3/3 20:14||Profile|
A friend of mine donated an acre of his land for a cemetery, he hand builds the caskets, and I believe he has done. if I remember correctly two burrials for something like under $200.
| 2013/3/3 20:25||Profile|
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Surly the reality of the Lord' manner of death and burial were expressly a matter of the fulfilment of prophecy. I think this sets the inevitable restraint on discussing the Lord' burial. However, if we can believe it, had Jesus been prophesied to die by another terrible means, and had been thereafter appointed to be burned on the altar, as were all the creatures sacrificed under the Law in part were burned on the altar unto God, then this would have become true as well. There cannot be a reasonable argument doctrinally to assert that burning the body to ashes after death removes some future benefit for the one so burned. Nor that it offends God Himself. Neither can it be possible that God is not able to raise from the dead, which is the realm of imprisonment, those who are burned. It is fear which keeps men from understanding that the body is nothing and whether it is cast into the ocean, burned or else rent asunder, it is of no consequence to God or the one whose body is so dealt with if they comprehend it.
| 2013/3/3 20:54|
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RE: ///If Jesus had been cremated, the story of the Resurrection would be different.///
It makes me think of Thomas 'John 20:25
The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.'
| 2013/3/3 21:05||Profile|
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Earlier in my lifetime, cremation was a much more rare practice in the USA.
In my youth, cremation was largely viewed as a practice typical of Hindus.
In my lifetime, culture has changed. Almighty God has not changed.
Orthodox Jews have forbidden cremation.
Eastern Orthodox churches still forbid cremation because it has been viewed as contradictory to faith in a general resurrection of the dead.
Every year in the spring, seed is sown into the ground.
1 Corinthians 15 tells us this about the human body and the resurrection to come. This passage is often read at funerals. Concerning the human body, it says:
It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption.
It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory.
It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.
The human body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Our bodies belong to God and not to ourselves. (1 Corinthians 6:13, 15, 19, 20).
In cremation, we willfully destroy something that belongs to God.
Job prophesied that worms would destroy his body and I'm sure that they did. The Creator made worms when He made the earth. We have no record that Job planned the destruction of his body before the worms could get to it. Job also prophesied that in his flesh he would see God (Job 19:26) because of his faith in a resurrection to come.
| 2013/3/3 21:34||Profile|
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RE:// The Jews did not drain the blood of their dead through arterial embalming either (the wealthier Jews were anointed with spices and entombed above ground), and embalming, just as much as cremation is considered an act of desecration by orthodox Judaism today. //
I do not know what the Jews believe, nor any other religious group, either. My husband and I did not study any commentaries. We based this on the reading of scripture and prayer.
I don't believe in embalming either. I didn't embalm my husband and don't understand why anyone would.
I read somewhere that if people really understood what happens to the body during the embalming process, they woul not do it to their loved ones. It has been so ingrained in Americans that embalming is necessary that they don't think twice about doing it.
I don't disagree with cremation because of some fear of what would happen in the future when the Lord comes. I know that God can do anything. It just seems to me that it is something the Lord would not have us do. I don't find it in scripture and I know its origin. I am surprised that here on SI we would be proposing that something that is of demonic origin (Hindu) is just "cultural." Is there really such a thing? All is either of God or not of God.
| 2013/3/3 22:58||Profile|
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Personally, I don't care WHAT happens to me after I am dead. I told my wife and my parents that they can dig a deep hole in the ground and just place me there. I don't need a monument, statue or fancy coffin. I don't even need a wooden box that, like my body, will disintegrate in a short matter of time.
This will have no effect on my spirit. If a believer was lost at sea a thousand years ago, their "body" will still be resurrected on that day. How? There is nothing too difficult for God.
| 2013/3/4 1:34||Profile|