What About Cremation?
Not long ago, I was called upon to conduct the funeral of a person who had been killed in a freak auto accident. The choice was made that his body be cremated. Most of the family agreed; others did not.
We see more and more people using the option of cremation than in years gone by. Of course, there are those that believe the proper way to dispose of human remains is to put them in a casket and lower them into a grave. In our society, this method is acceptable and practiced by most people.
For centuries, cremation has been the method of disposing of human remains in other parts of the world. Recently, I learned that in some countries, such as in India and Trinidad, cremation has been the primary way of disposing of human remains. Therefore, in a culture where cremation is the norm, they find that what we do here in our culture is the abnormal, while we think of what they do in their culture as abnormal. We read about humans being sacrificed on altars in Bible times. Abraham’s offering his son Isaac is a good example; although God prevented his death from happening.
The Bible is silent as to how we bury our dead. The Egyptians mummified their royalty. Joseph was embalmed and put in a coffin in Egypt and later buried.
It is worthy to note that God does not have a problem as to how we dispose of our dead. If He can take a handful of dirt and make a man, there is no question about whether he can change a corruptible body into an incorruptible body. (1 Corinthians 15:51-57)
Many Christians have been burned up in fires. In fact, I know of a few who have been. However, no matter how we dispose of our dead, whether buried in a coffin or cremated and later the ashes be put in an Urn, it makes no difference to God. He knows how to resurrect every body from the earth, from the sea, or even outer space.
We are taught in the New Testament, largely by example, to exhibit proper respect for the dead and to deal with them in a dignified and respectful fashion. Cremation, as practiced today in our culture, in no way violates these premises; it violates no New Testament principle. -4898 Oroszy Ave., Lorain OH 44052. 1-440-233-5489 http://lorain.churchofchristwebs.com
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