To Cremate or Not to Cremate...?

(Warner Joseph Miller) #1

Hey there, Connect community! So a dear friend and sister in the Lord’s father recently passed away. I just returned from the funeral, yesterday, which consequently, happened to be a Buddhist funeral. The father, unfortunately, was not a follower of Jesus Christ. According to Buddhist ceremonial tradition, cremation of the deceased is standard. I watched as the the casket containing the body entered the incinerator. The very audible sound of it igniting along with the increased wails of the family – specifically my friend and her sister – were heartbreaking. However, the scene…the sounds reminded me of when the casket in western Judeo-Christian, traditional funerals is lowered into the ground. They were similar if not identical. The whole picture provoked this question for the lovely Connect community:

Is it wrong for a Christian to elect to get cremated upon their death?

(Jimmy Sellers) #2

Not to be short, but I certainly hope not.

(Micah Bush) #3

I see no reason why it should be wrong. God is quite capable of bodily resurrecting us whether we are bones or ashes, and it makes little sense to argue that cremation is “pagan” while burial is “Christian” (numerous pagan cultures through the ages have buried their dead, even going to great lengths to preserve the bodies, as part of their religious practices). Then too, Christians throughout history (especially in Eastern Orthodoxy) have exhumed the body after the flesh has rotted and stored the bones in ossuaries, but both the bones and the flesh are ultimately perishable; why should we regard preservation of either as essential for resurrection?

(Ron) #4

Great question. My wife and I have gone back and forth over this for years. We both have the intention of getting cremated (some day :slight_smile: ). However, we do have our hesitations.

To our knowledge, the Bible doesn’t speak of cremation, either for or against.
Should the following verse be a concern:
The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised…Matt. 27:52 (ESV)
What if there is no body because of cremation?
Several martyrs have been burned at the stake for their faith.

I guess the bottom line is that bodies turn to dust anyway, so whether they “turn to dust” through cremation or over time in the grave, God is able to accomplish His purpose either way.

(Warner Joseph Miller) #5

Thank you guys for the great responses! You make good points. Much of the hesitation from Christians come possibly from readings of Matthew 27 (as was cited) and possible verses such that are found in the latter part of 1 Cor. 15 beginning in verse 35 where Paul is talking about the “resurrection body”. A great point is made here:

(LaTricia J.) #6

I’m pro-cremation. When my dad passed, I had his remains cremated. I made it clear to my ma that her remains would also be cremated when the times comes. And my final wishes are to also be cremated. I don’t see the point of anything elaborate, to me it’s a waste of money. I would prefer the extra money go towards something more noble than dirt and embalming fluid lol.

I’m of the mind that if God can create a whole entire complicated and intricate universe and create all manner of life forms, then surely He is capable of handling a bit of char (I know, bad joke, but I’m laughing).