Do Not Be Conformed To This World
Even if the reference to tattoos in Leviticus 19:28 is directed solely to the way pagans mourned for the dead , the above-noted scriptures make it clear that avoiding tattoos is the preferable choice for Christians. In order to please God, we must walklive our livesin faith that we are following His commands because whatever is not from faith is sin .
Rather than following the customs and practices of the society around us, we are to be representatives of the coming Kingdom of Godand of Christ Himself. And do not be conformed to this world . Therefore Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you .
Based upon the evidence from Gods Word and these principles, we believe a Christian should not get a tattoo. If a Christian already has one, it is his or her decision whether to leave it alone, cover it up or have it removed.
About the Author
Paul Luecke and his wife, Ronda, have three married children and have served congregations in Arizona, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Dakota, South Dakota, Canada, Pennsylvania, Kansas and Oklahoma, currently pastoring congregations in Alabama and Georgia.
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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.
Why People Choose Cremation
The main reason cremation is becoming more popular is because it is cheaper and more convenient. You would not need burial plots anymore. Moreover, you can bring with you the ashes anywhere you go.
Another reason for cremation is to ensure the dead body wont spread diseases. This is especially true in the COVID-19 pandemic when people who died of the coronavirus are cremated to prevent the virus from infecting other people.
Heres a quick look at some of the most common reasons why cremation is preferred by some people:
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Given Below Are A Few Bible Verses About Cremation
Genesis 3:19By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.1 Corinthians 13:3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.1 Samuel 31, verses 11-13And when the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead heard of that which the Philistines had done to Saul All the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Bethshan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there. And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.
Joshua 7:25And Joshua said, Why have you troubled us? The Lord will trouble you this day. And all Israel stoned them with stones and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones.
Why Are More People Choosing Cremation
A common reason why more people are choosing cremation is to avoid the expenses related to funeral services and burial. A traditional funeral can often cost around $8,000 to $10,000 while the average cost of cremation is $1,500 to $2,500. Theres also the cost of digging a grave and purchasing funeral plots as well. Both run around $1,000 each.
A new growing trend developed in Italy is the Capusla Mundi project. The cost of these biodegradable urns is around $500. Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel have developed an organic, biodegradable burial capsule that will turn the deceaseds body into nutrients for a tree that will grow out of their remains. After being encapsulated in the fetal position, the deceased is buried and either a tree or tree seed is planted above their capsule. As of right now, the project is waiting to gain clearance of burial laws. If it is approved, the goal is to create memorial parks full of trees instead of tombstones.
Trees hold great symbolism and meaning across many different cultures. In many ways, a trees life cycle mirrors the human experience. God starts us from a seed in the womb. We grow from young and small to strong, tall, and firmly rooted in the ground of his Word. Eventually, we grow old and pass from this earth to heaven.
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Can Christians Be Cremated
Funerals and memorials arent just about the body of the departed, or grieving. They are also a reminder of Christian beliefs about eternal life. Most Christians agree that a cremation combined with a Christian memorial service can still serve this purpose.
Burning The Body Is Not The Usual Practice For Burial
Throughout the scripture, we see that the usual practice of Gods people is to bury the dead. Even Jesus Christ said in Luke 9:60, Let the dead bury their dead.
So, burning corpses is something done unusually. That was the case in the body of King Saul.
Lets read again I Samuel 31:11-13:
11 Now when the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all the valiant men arose and traveled all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth Shan and they came to Jabesh and burned them there. 13 Then they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.
In the case of King Saul, we read that he was decapitated . Aside from that, it could be that he was also mutilated, and by the time he was found by the valiant men of Israel, his body could already be rotting or decaying.
Thus, instead of trying to put together the body of King Saul, they chose to burn the body and not go through the usual way of putting to rest the kings of Israel.
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Why Has Cremation Become So Popular
As more and more people seek to reduce expenses and costs from their lives, experiences and quality time have become more important. Life is expensive as it is and rising inflation, housing, and other life costs causes us all to take a closer look at our personal finances.
The cost of a cremation is a fraction of the cost of a traditional funeral and burial. In fact, the average cost of direct cremation costs between $1,000 and $2,500. A traditional funeral and burial cost $10,000 to $35,000 or more!
If you are looking for ways to make your familys dollar stretch farther, a direct cremation will be the best option.
Also, I dont believe it is just the costs that are driving people to move away from traditional funerals and burials. Funerals are typically so sad. When we have a loved one pass away, it should be a time of rejoicing and memory of the good times with the family. Alternatives to the traditional funeral are taking roots in our society.
Also, with cremation, the loved ones can choose to create their loved ones ashes into cremation jewelry and cremation diamonds. This can be a great way to commemorate a loved one.
Does The Bible Say A Cremated Body Cant Rise
No. God made our bodies from dust, and designed our bodies to be returned to dust . All Christian interpreters, theologians, and teachers agree that God is able to resurrect any body.
No matter how completely destroyed, or how long ago the person lived, God is capable of giving every believer a wholly perfected and renewed body at the resurrection.
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What Happens To The Body At Death
In Genesis, we know that man was formed from the dust of the ground. After Adam and Eve sinned, death entered the world. Because of their sin, we now face suffering and death. Here is what happens to our bodies after death:
By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground since from it you were taken for dust you are and to dust you will return .
The natural evolution of the body after death is that it will eventually return to dust. The length of this process can vary depending on how the body is treated after death, but regardless it is going to happen. You might even consider cremation as the express version of what is going to happen naturally.
In biblical times within the nation of Israel, cremation was not practiced burial was the tradition. We see this in both the Old and New testaments. Here are two examples:
1 Kings 2:10 Then David rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David.
Acts 8:2 Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him.
These are just two examples but there were plenty others including Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, Hezekiah, Lazarus, even Jesus himself. Burial was an important part of the process of mourning and respecting those who had died. In spite of this, the Bible doesnt make any mandate that the body at death has to be treated in this fashion. This could be seen very much as a cultural decision and not necessarily a spiritual one.
Is It A Sin To Get A Tattoo What Does The Bible Say About Tattoos
The short answer isâ¦nothing. At least nothing definitive. The Bible makes no specific reference to tattoos as we understand them in modern times. Some Christians condemn all tattooing as immoral because God clearly forbids them in Leviticus 19:28. Since the word tattoo does appear in this verse in some popular English translations, this argument seems straightforward. For example, the NIV reads, Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.
Other Christians say this passage no longer applies to us because it is Old Testament law, and not for Christians. If you go online to try to answer the tattoo question, youll see both approaches and contradictory conclusions. Both of these approaches, however, are misleading because, as we will see, the answer to the tattoo question is that the Bible has nothing clearly to say about the practice of injecting ink under the skin to form permanent pictures, patterns or messagesa.k.a. tattooing.
The background to this law was that Israel, after being rescued from slavery, was between Egypt and Canaan. Recent archeology indicates that, while Egypt did tattoo, it was limited to women. Evidence suggests that tattooing the body parts of women associated with fertility was believed to be a good luck charm to protect the birthing process. Women also frequently had imprints of the fertility goddess, Bes, which seems to support this theory.
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Sharing Your Faith With Grace And Purpose
You can confidently and lovingly share your faithyou just need to learn some new tactics to do so! In this Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast, apologist Greg Koukl outlines the Columbo tactic of asking questions, the self-defeating argument tactic to find holes in your opponents arguments, and other specific methods for engaging in faith-building conversations with others. Greg pulls from his over 30 years of experience debating atheists and agnostics to help you share your faith with grace and truth.
Burning Bodies Is Part Of Capital Punishment
In some instances, burning bodies isnt actually a burial rite, but rather a capital punishment. This was the case in Leviticus 20:14:
14 If a man marries a woman and her mother, it is wickedness. They shall be burned with fire, both he and they, that there may be no wickedness among you.
In Joshua 7:25, we read:
25 And Joshua said, Why have you troubled us? The LORD will trouble you this day. So all Israel stoned him with stones and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones.
You might have heard about Achan, the man who hid treasures in his tent after God forbade the Israelites not to do so.
As a result, Joshua and His men were defeated by the soldiers of Ai. Eventually, Joshua knew Achan caused the defeat of Israel by taking the accursed things.
Yahweh, Himself, commanded that the culprit, along with all that he has, would be burned .
We also read Jeremiah 49:2 :
Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will cause an alarm of war to be heard in Rabbah of the Ammonites and it shall be a desolate heap, and her daughters shall be burned with fire: then shall Israel be heir unto them that were his heirs, saith the LORD.
In some translations, the daughters in this verse are translated as villages. Whether this refers to actual people or the village, we can see that burning bodies is part of Gods punishment.
These are the three things the Bible says about cremation. Now, lets go to another important question.
Understanding The Root Of Your Child’s Misbehavior
Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their childs behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your childs temperament based on his birth order.
Does God Allow Tattoos If Our Heart And Motives Are Good
Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:28 NIV
Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, not print any Marks upon you: I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:28 KJV
Looking at these scriptures in the Bible, God could not make His stand on tattoos any clearer. Yes, God does look at our motives and our hearts but He also tells us the unsanctified heart is wicked and needs cleansing so we all can line up with His Word. Many times our outward appearance can reveal what is in our hearts.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9
With this in mind, we all do things that are sinful when we do not know God or when we are baby Christians who are ignorant of His Word. That is why we must study the Bible, as it is our standard for what God says is sin or is not sin. Certainly, when we are babes in the Lord and do not know the Word, we may be deceived and sin. Because God is very merciful and kind, He overlooks certain things, until we can come to the knowledge of truth about those things. However, if we are truly honest and want to put away our sin and we come to God with an open heart willing to change the areas in our lives that are sin, He will show us those things were we have been deceived.
In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes. Judges 21:25
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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.
What The Bible Says About Cremation I See Four Categories
First off, I personally do not hold a divinity degree or make my profession in ministry. I am just some guy making really nice wooden cremation urns that dug into the bible for himself. When Im curious about what the bible says about something, I like to see lots of scripture references.
I am going to show and cite all the verses that I come across, as I prefer to give authority to the Bible rather than myself. Let every matter be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses . Working from this premise, I like to evaluate scripture in this way and consider the author of a verse a witness. Therefor, its preferable to have a couple verses in agreement with each other.
Here is a compilation of many of the verses in the bible that talk about ashes or dust. I break them down into four general thoughts or categories.
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A Very Important Moral Law
As already stated, Christians are under the moral Law for Christian living. This means that youth are subject to the Law that requires they honor father and mother . This means that youth are under their parents authority and getting a tattoo without their parents permission is most definitely a sin. Jesus declared this Law of parental authority and Paul confirmed it:
Mark 10:19 You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother.
Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor yourfather and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.