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Does Bible Say Anything About Cremation

What Does It Mean To Be Chosen

BT Daily: Does the Bible Say Anything About Cremation?

Calvinists teach that only those who are chosen will be saved. Paul the Apostle seems to have been chosen. Can you explain this? Im not a Calvinist, but this has always been challenging to me.

This is the biblical idea of election. When we elect something, we choose it. I choose to hold this bottle of water in my hand you could say that I have elected to hold this bottle of water in my hand. The idea of election is a biblical idea. The Bible says that God has those whom He has chosen. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you may or may not know it, but Jesus Christ chose you. And in some sense, He chose you from all eternity, to love Him, to walk with Him, to believe in Him.

Now, of course, the great debate goes, How does Gods eternal choosing of the individual intersect with the individuals choice to believe upon Jesus Christ or not? The answer is that God just makes these things flow together perfectly. He does not violate our will. He does not force Himself upon us. Yet He works in us and through us to bring us to faith.

Theres a story that pastors like to tell to illustrate this concept you can take it for what its worth. But sometimes these illustrations can be helpful. Salvation is about far more than going to Heaven. Salvation has a real impact on this life right here and now, but it certainly includes the idea of going to Heaven. Lets speak about it in those terms at this moment.

Cremation & The Catholic Church

Its understandable that many people are confused about the Catholic Churchs views on cremation.

Anyone familiar with the religion knows it has changed its policies on a number of principles over the years, including cremation.

As mentioned, the church did not believe in the cremation procedure because they associated it to the Romans and Greeks who they considered to be Pagans.

These two cultures did not believe in the afterlife and used cremation when disposing of their dead.

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What The Bible Says About Keeping Ashes

Does the Bible say anything about cremation?
This is another area that I wrote a companion article. Its called What does the bible say about keeping ashes? Is it ok to keep the ashes of your loved ones in your home?. This category centers around the ashes themselves and whether its ok to keep them. The though posed suggests the ashes or cremains makes one unclean. This argument pulls mostly from Leviticus 5:2-5, Number 5:1, and Number 19:9-11.
Ashes making someone unclean is fraught with problems. Namely it seems to take the whole bible out of context and puts cleanliness or legalism ahead of relationship and mercy. As God declares, I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings . Read the article as it goes more in depth.

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Should You Choose Cremation

The underlying tone to this question and what you might really be asking is this, Is choosing cremation sinful? The answer takes us back to our original question: what does the Bible say about creation? In this case, there is no indication from Scripture that you are sinning if you choose cremation. With that being the case, whether you choose it or not is a personal decision.

I will tell you if you make this your decision, there will be people who may disagree with you. However, the case for their disagreement isnt really scriptural but personal. Since God has not made a definitive statement on this matter, you have the freedom to decide what you think is best for you.

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Cremation Or Burialhow To Decide

When deciding how to dispose of a dead body, consider the following factors.

  • The wishes of the deceased. The Bible records instances in which family members respected the instructions a person gave regarding treatment of his body after his death.Genesis 50:4, 5 Exodus 13:19.

  • Local customs. These often have a bearing on how dead bodies are treated. For instance, in Bible times, people customarily buried the dead. Likewise today, a person may choose to deal with the remains of the deceased according to local customs as long as such customs do not conflict with Bible principles.

  • Legal requirements. The Bible encourages obedience to secular authorities. In some areas, the authorities enact laws about the treatment of dead bodies. For instance, in the case of cremation, some authorities place restrictions on where the ashes may be disposed of.

  • The feelings of others. The Scriptures encourage us to look out for the interests of others. When deciding how to deal with a dead persons remains, we might consider these questions: How do other family members feel about cremation or burial of the deceased? How does the local community view such customs?

Cremation And The Catholic Church

Cremation And The Christian

What does the Catholic Church say about cremation?

For much of its history, the Catholic Church banned cremation for Catholics. Catholics were to believe that man, created in the likeness of God, could not experience resurrection at the end of time unless their bodies were intact. Cremation was also banned to counter Roman pagan beliefs, which involved burning deceased bodies.

But, along with other major changes in the Catholic Church, cremation was approved for use in 1963, and in 1997, allowed for cremated remains to be a part of the funeral mass, if these remains are treated with the same reverence as a body.

In todays Catholic practice, the body is a holy temple, and a persons soul will rise at the end of time if the body becomes cremains.

The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burying the bodies of the deceased be observed nevertheless, the Church does not prohibit cremation unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine.

Code of Canon Law Book IV Function of the Church Liber IV. De Ecclesiae munere sanctificandi

The acceptance of cremation within the Catholic Church has given Catholics the option of a more affordable, yet still dignified and holy, alternative to burial.

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What Does The Bible Say About Cremation

The Bible does not clearly define about cremation as a means to dispose of the dead. However, there is no scriptural prohibition of cremation in the New Testament. The Bible neither favors nor forbids the process of cremation.

Nevertheless, many Christians believe that their bodies would be ineligible for resurrection if they are cremated. This argument, though, is refuted by others on the basis of the fact that the body still decomposes over time after burial.

Moreover, as God is known to be all-powerful, it should not be impossible for Him to resurrect someone even after cremation.

Besides, there are individuals who do not bother about burial as well as cremation because it is the spiritual body that is allowed to enter Heaven, not the physical body.

1 Corinthians 15:35-55It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.

There have been examples of burning the body, like in the case of Saul and Jonathan. Their bodies had been mutilated by the Philistines. Thus, they were cremated and their bones were buried to protect them from ridicule from the enemy.

Cremation: A Biblical Perspective

Does the Bible have anything to say about cremation? My spouse and I have been discussing our final will and testament, including our personal preferences regarding funeral arrangements. I feel strongly that cremation is the best way to go, but my husband says that it’s a “pagan” practice. He claims that the Bible condemns it. In particular, he says it’s sacrilegious to destroy the body by fire since as Christians we look forward to the hope of resurrection at the end of the age. What’s your perspective?

We dont like to take sides in disputes between husbands and wives. But we can give you our opinion from a purely objective point of view. And the first thing we want you to know is that youre not alone. More and more Americans have been opting for cremation over the past several decades. In fact, records show that the number of cremations doubled in the United States between 1980 and 1990, and this seems to be a continuing trend.

One reason for the growing popularity of cremation is financial. The cost is only about one-eighth that of a traditional burial. Cremation also offers more flexibility in planning memorial services. The funeral home can help with the cremation and death certificates, but the family can plan the service according to the schedule that works best for all concerned.

If you and your spouse need additional help working through these concepts together, please .

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Cremation Bible Verses: King James Version

Below are a few scriptures pertaining to the burning of a body after death:

  • 1 Corinthians 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed , and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
  • 2 Kings 23:20 All the priests of the high places who were there, he slaughtered on the altars, and burned human bones on them then he returned to Jerusalem.
  • Joshua 7:25 And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the Lord shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.

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Does the Bible Say Anything About Cremation?

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What Does The Bible Say About Scattering A Loved Ones Ashes

If youre wondering what religions cremate the dead, you might be surprised to learn that the Bible neither explicitly prohibits nor encourages the practice either way. However, Christian funerals are most often guided by the direction of scripture so its important to understand what the Bible does say about the practice.

Though not plentiful, you can find several examples in the Bible where individuals cremate the dead.

Saul and his sons

At one point in Israels history, King Saul and his sons went to battle and captured and killed by the opposing forces. When loyal citizens found out, they broke through enemy lines, took back the bodies of Saul and his sons, and cremated them. They then buried the ashes.

Capital punishment

Several examples in the Bible cite cremation as part of the process of carrying out capital punishment. Though not solely related to capital punishment, cremation was often used when someone was judged as deserving death according to their crime. You can find specific mentions in the books of Amos and Leviticus, among others.

Typical practice

Ancient Israelites buried their dead most of the time. However, the Bible mentions that the surrounding nations practiced cremation. Both the mention of burial and cremation in the Bible shares facts of life and society at the time. No mention specifically opposes or promotes one practice over the other.

Were People In Gods Disfavor Burned After Death

I came across this question on another website and I suppose they are referring to the passages in 2 Kings 22 and 23 as well as 2 Chronicles 34. I.e. the bones that Josiah had burned. 2 Kings talks about Gods disfavor of the people and said that because Josiah humbled himself he would not see the judgement in his lifetime. That judgement was the exile of the Hebrews to Babylon.

William Brassey Hole from Old Testament History

2 Chronicles gets a bit more specific and says that the bones of the idolatrous priests were the ones that were burned on the altars. 2 Kings talks about the asherah being burned and ground to dust then spread over the common graves near by. It is presumable to think that the common people rejected God and followed the pagan gods, see 2 Chronicles 34:4. The priests surely did and their fate was similar in 2 Chronicles 34:5.
So the answer is clear that yes, those people were in Gods disfavor for turning away from God and running to pagan gods. Does this have a connection with cremation? I dont really see one per say. If anything, I see the Josiahs account as an act of faith and a message to the living rather than a judgement of the dead. To God, its our faith and actions when living that matter, rather than the handling of bodies once passed.

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Does Cremation Prevent Resurrection

According to Christianity, cremation does not prevent Resurrection. Christians believe that God is all powerful and that all things are possible with God. Millions of people have perished in horrible ways that have destroyed their bodies, but that does not exclude them from Resurrection. Cremation is no different than if a body was destroyed in a fire. Look to the Bibles own understanding of a return to dust:

Ecclesiastes 12:7 – Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

Genesis 3:19 : In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

More On The Bible And Cremation Options

What Does the Bible Say About Cremation?

You can read more about the Bible and cremation history here in this article.

What Does the Bible Say about Cremation?Funerals are meant for the living as a chance to celebrate the life of their loved ones who have passed. It is a chance to remember, respect, and reminisce their lives. It is also a reminder that we are ultimately in Gods hands.

The FAQs: What Christians Should Know About CremationFor the first time in history, a majority of Americans have chosen cremation rather than burial.

Can You Still Go to Heaven If Youre Cremated?Does the Bible forbid cremation? This has been a controversial topic in our family recently, because an aunt of mine died not long ago and directed that her body be cremated. One of our cousins, however, claims the Bible says you cant go to heaven if youre cremated. Is he right?

If the question, What does the Bible say about cremation? has been answered for you, it is wise to begin making an end-of-life plan for yourself or a loved one now.

Advance planning helps clear minds to consider all the possibilities, especially when considering whatever faith is practiced by those involved.

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Burial Was Typical In Old Testament

Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried after their death . Also, mentioned in this scripture is Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried after death. These are some examples of how the prophets and their families were treated after death. These scriptures do not appear to require a burial in death but they seem to imply that burial was the most common means of caring for the deceased during the times of the Old Testament.

As a result, burial was the traditions during the Old Testament times.


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