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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Is cremation of the body after death un-Biblical?

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Miccah
Member



Joined: 2007/9/13
Posts: 1752
Wisconsin

 Re:

Well said Chris. I agree fully.


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Christiaan

 2013/3/4 10:08Profile
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1999
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

I agree with Chris. The countless men and women who have died and have had their bodies reduced to ashes, eaten by beasts, etc. will not be hindered in the resurrection from being raised in a body.

I think there is something about Bible interpretation that can be drawn from this discussion. So many of us have had strongly held traditions that have been passed down. Some people thank God for their food and ask Him to bless it prior to their meal, but there are cultures where this is done after the meal is completed. Some cultures practice burial of the body. Others cremate and bury the ashes. But these are traditions.

We cannot base scriptural interpretation by arguing based on what is missing from scripture. As soon as we do, we begin to add our own theories as to why it is not there. I think this topic would be a good example of one such area of scripture. It is absolutely true that scripture never mentions cremation, but always mentions burial of the body. But the best statement of truth that can be made from this observation is that the Jewish cultural tradition has always been to bury the dead bodily. There is not prescriptive teaching on the topic in the Bible.

So, in cases such as this I think it is perfectly appropriate to hold to or depart from tradition as your own desire and conscience dictate. When I die, I realize that my body will be resurrected in a form incorruptible and glorified, regardless of the physical state of the matter from which my body was made. So do what you will with my body. However, my family will probably want to lay me in a casket, have a visitation, have a formal funeral, and bury my body. That is OK with me. But if they chose to cremate me, I am perfectly OK with that as well. The issue is the state of my spirit in my opinion.


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Travis

 2013/3/4 12:27Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7463
Mississippi

 Re:

Chris wrote:
"I told my wife and my parents that they can dig a deep hole in the ground and just place me there."


That is the method my husband used to bury a dead dog - and I would think a human being who is made in the image of God deserves better respect then one would give a dog unless you think you are an evolved species...


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Sandra Miller

 2013/3/4 14:35Profile
romanchog
Member



Joined: 2011/10/27
Posts: 323


 Re:

The issue to me is not what will happen at the end. God created Adam from the dirt, I am sure He can raise us from ashes.

And I also agree that no excess money should be spent in disposing of the body. But there are human laws that need to be followed, and that is why it costs.

There is also the issue of how do we honor God. Obviously, this is not an issue for the person who is dead but for those who are left behind. Is it what God would have us do with our loved ones bodies? This is still the body that God created. It has to be treated with that awe toward God, not toward the body.

It is surprising to me there are no ritual rules left by Moses regarding this. However, as I and others have noted, nowhere in all of scripture do we find that those who loved God voluntarily burned their loved ones' bodies. As someone already stated, sometimes they went to great pains to make sure they were buried properly.

I was just looking up some scriptural references to burial and found this in Amos 2:

1“For three transgressions of Moab,
and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,
because he burned to lime
the bones of the king of Edom.
2 So I will send a fire upon Moab,
and it shall devour the strongholds of Kerioth,
and Moab shall die amid uproar,
amid shouting and the sound of the trumpet;
3 I will cut off the ruler from its midst,
and will kill all its princes with him,”
says the Lord.

This sounds like a very serious punishment. And I will take the clear meaning of the text: Moab is being punished ONLY for cremating the bones of the King of Edom (no motives here are mentioned, only the act is being punished.) (And yes, I did read the commentaries.)

Again, I ask, why do we want to borrow practices from other demonic religions? Is not that what "come out" from them means? Is not that what is always preached here on SI?

In Christ, and in peace and grace:
Natalie


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Natalie

 2013/3/4 14:36Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7463
Mississippi

 Re:

____________________________________________________________
Chris wrote:
"I told my wife and my parents that they can dig a deep hole in the ground and just place me there."
____________________________________________________________


Chris,

Would you give your wife a burial like that??? I would be utterly humiliated if I knew this is what my husband would think of me!

There!

ginnyrose


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Sandra Miller

 2013/3/4 14:39Profile
MaryJane
Member



Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057


 Re:

I appreciate everyone's thoughts on this topic. I have shared my heart on the topic with my husband and after much prayer I honestly believe that the LORD is showing me something from this. The lesson for me actually has nothing to do with cremation or burial(although that still may come if HE so chooses to show me differently then I am seeing now) The lesson in this for me is to be in my WORD more and to be sure to know HIS heart on a topic before I speak to another. In this case as I mentioned, in the past I presented my thoughts to my mother as if I understood from GOD what HE was saying/showing me from the WORD when I see now I had really only been offering her my opinion. There is a huge difference and I want to be careful in my dealing/speaking with others how I speak on a matter. GOD has shown me much on this topic now and I feel I can offer my mother what I am seeing because I have taken the time to seek HIM, pray, and understand HIS heart not just go off what "I" think seems right...I am so grateful for this lesson and understanding from our LORD!

God bless
maryjane

 2013/3/4 14:49Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4499


 Re:

Hi sister ginnyrose,

Quote:

Chris,

Would you give your wife a burial like that??? I would be utterly humiliated if I knew this is what my husband would think of me!

There!

ginnyrose



My wife actually agreed with me and said that she doesn't want much "ado" over her own body/funeral either. She wasn't worried "what I think of her" -- because she knows that there is only One in this universe that I love more than her! It wouldn't be "humiliating" because there would be no pride found in her death and her death itself is not something that we weep at.

I think that believers are often looking through the issue of "burial" (if it is indeed an "issue") through the lens of modern society. What was a typical burial (for those of us who are not earthly kings or queens) like prior to the 20th Century?

How was a typical human being (including a spouse) buried at the time of Abraham, Isaac or Jacob? What about the time of the prophets? How about the time of Christ? What was a funeral like in the 19th Century frontier?

Yes, Jesus was laid in a BORROWED TOMB. We can argue that this is because he and his followers believed that our Lord would not "stay dead." However, the point that I am trying to make is that the tomb in which Jesus was laid was that of a rich man. The tomb itself was not "typical."

Most people at the time could not afford a nice tomb. Most people were just buried in the ground. No box. No casket. No fancy funeral homes. No wakes. No fancy plot of ground at a cemetery. No fake flowers. No tombstones.

I knew a woman who was spending a lot of money preparing for her funeral. She had the casket picked out, the plot was purchased, a guest list was prepared and even a list of songs selected. There is nothing wrong with such things (as long as they aren't motivated by pride). However, I remember thinking that it reminds me of young women who prepare for a "wedding" but not for a "marriage."

My sister-in-law had a little boy who died about a year before my wife and I were married. The little boy, Caleb, only lived for a few months before he passed away. My sister-in-law and her husband were both in college at the time and struggling financially.

At the time, all of the family members were struggling financially too. Thankfully, the funeral home was very understanding and provided their services at a low cost. Caleb's body was laid in a small wooden box that looked like it was built by a carpenter during the 18th Century and placed in an unmarked grave at a local cemetery.

The family didn't feel badly about the funeral. They held great love for this child and that love wasn't confined to the box or plot where the box was placed.

Personally, I just don't think that God is so worried about it. I certainly don't think that a "Christian burial" is an "essential" doctrine of the Church. The Word of God speaks much more about things like circumcision -- and believers aren't required (or prohibited) from being circumcised either.

I do understand the arguments in favor of burial. After all, God buried Moses at a secret location. However, that doesn't make it a prerequisite for a "Christian" burial or necessarily a prohibition to cremation. After all, many believers were martyred WITHOUT being allowed to "make preparations." Again, personally, I don't want to be cremated; however, I won't lose "sleep" over it either.

I just don't think that it is vitally important. Otherwise, there would be much more about it contained within the Word of God. For us, perhaps there is something worth remembering from the the words of Jesus when he said, "Let the dead bury the dead."


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Christopher

 2013/3/4 17:21Profile





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