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.
A Closer Look At Cremation & Religion
Scholars argue there are twelve major religions, but in this discussion of religion and cremation we’re going to limit ourselves to five: Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. Despite the fact this article can offer only a short overview of the primary religious perspective on cremation found within each; you’ll still see how religious views on cremation can affect the willingness of an individual to choose cremation over burial; as well as that of an entire community.
In the online article, “How Cremation Works”, author Michelle Kim details the viewpoints on cremation commonly held by Hindu, Christian, Judaic, and Islamic faiths . Many of the observations you’ll read here come directly from this insightful article; however there are additional sources and resources for your review in the concluding source sections.
What Religions Do Not Allow Cremation And Which Do
Sociologists, philosophers and other intellectuals often write of the value of religion in our lives. Certainly, our religious beliefs give us a moral framework for living in community; but how do religious views on cremation shape the way we care for ourselves at the end of life?
Certainly many individuals have strongly held beliefs about cremation. And sometimes these opinions are a reflection of their spiritual beliefs and their commitment to follow the guidance of their faith regarding cremation. If you are concerned about the relationship between religion and cremation we urge you to read further, or contact us to speak with one of our dedicated funeral staff.
Will Cremation Impact Your Soul
Cremation has no impact on your soul. The most important thing that will impact your soul is your relationship with Jesus Christ. If he is your Lord and Savior, then your soul is fine. Jesus said in John 11:25 I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die. You can rest confidently knowing that you are safe in Christ and cremation wont change that.
Remember Romans 8:38-39 that gives you assurance that there is nothing that can separate you from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. So, cremation will not separate you from Gods love and will not affect your eternal destiny.
Even though cremation does not impact your soul, you might be wondering if it will affect your resurrected body. Not to sound coy but some may think if I am cremated how can God resurrect my ashes? This thought may be even more prevalent in cases where people choose to spread their ashes.
It is important to remember that your resurrected body will not be anything like your natural body, it will be far superior. In 1 John 3:2 it says Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
The Dignity Of The Human Body
Two focuses of Scripture lead away from burning toward burying. One is the focus on the meaning and importance of the human body, now and in the life to come. The other is the meaning of fire as it relates to the human body, now and in the life to come.
First, biblical faith, unlike Greek religion, does not view the body as the prison of the soul. So the afterlife has never been viewed as the immortality of the soul finally liberated from its physical prison. Rather, Christianity has always viewed the body as essential to full humanity so that the life to come has primarily been seen as the resurrection of the body in glorious eternal life. Paul did not consider the intermediate bodiless state, between death and resurrection, as ideal .
The greatest thing that can be said about the human body is that the eternal Son of God was incarnate in a human body and will have one forever. He became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father . Today in heaven, Jesus has the body he had on earth, glorified. When he comes he will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself . This was an immeasurable elevation in history of the dignity and glory of the human body.
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Should You Cremate Or Bury The Dead
Now, we come to making decisions. When presented with two options, cremation or burial, how can you make the right choice?
The answer really would depend on the individual or family making the decision. In some cases, cremation is needed or imposed by the government. This is whats happening in some places in the world as we battle the pandemic COVID-19.
To help you decide, here are the factors you might want to consider:
- The preference of the dead
- The preference of the family
- Legal requirements
- Cultural customs/norm
However, under normal circumstances, most people would choose burial since it is the custom of many and it has always been the standard tradition.
Moreover, it is worth noting as well that cremation isnt only reserved for people who are on a tight budget. Some wealthy people also choose cremation as a personal preference.
So, it really comes down to personal choice.
Billy Grahams Perspective On Cremation
The well-known religious leader Billy Graham agrees that;there is no mention in the Bible that prohibits cremation. However, the Bible does teach that God has the ability to bring together whatever has been scattered according to scripture,
And He will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.
This is another excellent argument against the;assumption that a cremated body cannot be resurrected.
What Religions Do Not Allow Cremation
Islamic Cremation Beliefs
Followers of Islam disavow cremation. In fact, they are given strict guidelines for the treatment of the body after death; one of which is the proscription to bury the body “within the day of the death”.
Judaic Cremation Beliefs
Orthodox and Conservative Judaism, discredit cremation; but some followers of Liberal or Reform Judaism have been more willing to accept cremation as an alternative to traditional casketed burial.
What Are The Traditions Of Our Day
In the same way that Jesus was buried or entombed in a sepulchre and Abraham was buried, those were both the traditions of their time and their family. There are really two main traditions of our day being the burial or cremation of the body after death.
Cremation is becoming more and more popular around the world. Over the last twenty years, cremation has become a common practice. In fact, according to , since 2004 the average consumer is searching for cremation more than two times more often.
Cremations have even become equally as common as a traditional burial.
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Considering Cremation Vs Burial
There are a few other things to think about when youre choosing what happens to a deceased persons body. Most importantly, you should honor anything in your loved ones will.;
Many people choose to specify in their will whether theyd like to be buried or cremated.;
You should also consider the cost of cremation vs. burial. Cremation tends to be cheaper, but you can always contact a funeral home to find out which option is right for your budget.;
What About People Who Die In Fires Or Their Bodies Are Destroyed
One thing the Bible is very clear about is the fact that once a mans body dies the body itself will eventually return to dust regardless of how they die.; However, their spirits will go to either heaven or hell awaiting a day when they receive their resurrected bodies.
Ecclesiastes 3:20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.;
Daniel 12:2 ;And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
The Bible does not have any commands or laws against cremation.; There are, however, biblical examples of how Christians were buried recorded in the Bible. ;Many of the heathen nations around the Israelites traditionally cremated their dead. The Israelites always buried their dead or put them in a tomb.; The Jews in Jesus day continued with the same tradition and so did the New Testament Christians.
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A Symbol For Sowing And Sleeping
All of this leads to a view of burial controlled by symbols which are true to the glory of the human body. Pauls understanding of burial is that this was a picture of being sown in the ground like a seed that will sprout with wildly superior beauty at the resurrection, when the graves are opened at the coming of Christ.
What you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. . . . So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 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. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
Burial sowing the seed of the body is the biblical picture of belief in the resurrection of the body.
Christians also have seen burial as the laying to rest of the body as though it is sleeping, waiting for the waking of the resurrection. We who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep . We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed . Early Christian gravesites were called coemeteria , which literally means sleeping places, reflecting belief in a future resurrection .
Cremation In Modern Times
Cremation is becoming an increasingly popular choice for the final disposition of the body at death.
Funeral arrangements for a cremated body are not that different from other options. The body may still be viewed prior to the service, and a service may be held with the deceased present in most cases. There are a number of options available as to the disposition of the cremated remains, including burial and scattering.
Be considerate in contemplating cremation and the other choices available, Christians will want to give thoughtful consideration to all who may be affected by the decision, such as loved ones who may have strong feelings on the subject of cremation. One certainly would not like to bring unnecessary distress to anyone.
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Does The Bible Frown On Cremation
In the online article What Does the Bible Say about Cremation?, Mary Fairchild tells readers, there is no specific teaching in the Bible about cremation, however the sacred text does include passages which promote the common belief that one day the bodies of those who have died in Christ, will be resurrected and
Christianity The Bible And Cremation
Ultimately, the decision of whether to have a ground burial or be cremated is deeply personal. The Bible does not address which method is mandated for Christians, and the decision is left to the individual and their loved ones. Many feel better after discussing the process with their religious leader, be it the family Priest, Reverend, Rabbi, Chaplain, or Minister.
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What Are The Bible Verses Associated With Cremation
If youre looking for specific Bible verses that support or condemn cremation, there arent many to point to. In general, when the Bible mentions cremation it is usually in reference to someone being punished or to mankinds humble beginnings. The Bible suggests that we are but dust in comparison to God. Here are some mentions of cremation in the Bible:
Genesis 3:19, NIV – “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.'”
Ecclesiastes 3:20 – All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.
Joshua 7:25 – 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.
1 Samuel 31:12-13 – All the valiant men rose and walked 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. They took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.
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.
The Faqs: What Christians Should Know About Cremation
For the first time in American history, a majority of Americans have chosen cremation rather than burial after their death. The National Funeral Directors Association expects the trend shifting from burial toward cremation to continue over the next 20 years, with the projected rate of cremation reaching 78.8 percent of deaths by 2035.
Here is what Christians should know about cremation:
What exactly is cremation?
Cremation is a funerary process in which intense heat is used to transform the human body back to its basic elements. Most of the body, such as tissue, is vaporized, leaving only the remains of bone. The remaining bone particles are commonly referred to as cremains or ashes.
What is the cremation process?
The cremation process occurs in the cremation chamber , a masonry-lined enclosure that can produce and withstand temperatures in the range of 1800°F to;2000°F.
The deceased body is placed in a casket made of wood or cardboard and placed in the chamber. Within a few hours the body is vaporized and;reduced to bone fragments. These fragments are removed from the cremation chamber and placed on a table where the crematory operator removes, by hand or with a magnet,;all metal debris such as screws, nails, surgical pins or titanium limbs/joints.
Does the Bible mention cremation?
The first mention of cremation in the Bible is 1 Samuel 31, where Saul and his sons are burned and then their bones buried:
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How Best To Proceed
Life and death are quite possibly the most complicated and emotional moments are each and every single life. I personally have felt the flow of emotions during the birth of a child. I have also felt the emptiness that results from losing our loved ones.
The most important item to consider in these moments is what are the wishes of the deceased and of the family. If the family has a Christian or belief in the Bible, it is likely that cremation could be a great option for you. But of course, if you want to have a more traditional funeral and burial that is absolutely a wonderful option as well.
The choice of whether to do a cremation or a traditional funeral and burial sometimes is decided upon the finances of the family or the individual who passed away. Funerals are extremely expensive and sometimes prohibit the family from even considering a traditional funeral. Given that cremation is quite simply a fraction of the cost, it will continue to be a popular option and will be growing for many years as a viable option.
Luckily, no matter your religious beliefs, cremation can be a wonderful solution for you or your family during this time of loss. And if you are considering cremation for you loved one, please be sure to consider these affordable cremation ideas.
Be sure to check out our other resources and articles on our;home page. If you have any questions or comments, please leave these below so we can get back to you. Thank you for visiting our site.
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.