Cremation or Direct Burial

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Jocund

Well-known member
Jan 14, 2021
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#21
How is this a Bible Discussion topic?
Precedence for cremation based on interpretations of Ecc 3:20 (the larger part of Ecc 3 is commonly read for funeral sermons).

But, in the history of the church, burial was seen as the correct way to honour the dead.

The topic basically circles around to "it doesn't matter" but it would be interesting to see an interpretation from scripture that sets a preference one way or the other.
 

SomeDisciple

Active member
Jul 4, 2021
449
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#22
I don't think there's a bible reason, but I'm more for "natural burial". I don't see why we should pump the body full of preservatives and put it in a box that will last practically forever (the only exception is where maybe there was someone that died on "unsolved mysteries" and exhuming the body later on helped solve the mystery.) Other than that, there's no reason for dead bodies to be taking up a ton of space. But apparently the modern way of thinking isn't much more advanced than the ancient Egyptians "we need to preserve the body for the afterlife" mentality.
 

Omegatime

Active member
Jul 13, 2021
416
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#23
I don't think there's a bible reason, but I'm more for "natural burial". I don't see why we should pump the body full of preservatives and put it in a box that will last practically forever (the only exception is where maybe there was someone that died on "unsolved mysteries" and exhuming the body later on helped solve the mystery.) Other than that, there's no reason for dead bodies to be taking up a ton of space. But apparently the modern way of thinking isn't much more advanced than the ancient Egyptians "we need to preserve the body for the afterlife" mentality.
Bodies are embalmed because the body deteriorates so quickly and if the family wants a viewing for relatives to come from a distance, it is the only choice.
 

2ndTimothyGroup

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2021
2,912
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#24
My grandfather, father and brother were all funeral directors ( undertakers). The creamation process with the new retort chamber is not near a dirty process as it once was. All the smoke is filtered but depending on the size of a person does have visual effect on the amount of smoke. Sounds creepy but a large person has much more fat on them.

Just like in the those taken alive in the resurrection: those vultures mentioned in Luke 17 are there for a reason for flesh and blood cannot enter the Kingdom of God.
Yes. The "large" deceased take much less time to cremate while the "thin" deceased take about an hour longer . . . nearly half as long. Pretty wild.
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
16,986
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#25
The topic basically circles around to "it doesn't matter" but it would be interesting to see an interpretation from scripture that sets a preference one way or the other.
The word "grave" occurs 67 times in 64 verses of the Bible (although it has been misapplied a few times to Sheol/Hades). But there is not A SINGLE MENTION of cremation among God's people. Is that not sufficient evidence to show that cremation is not for Christians? Furthermore the entire 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians is devoted to resurrection, and resurrection is connected to burial. So is water baptism.

In a Hindu country like India which practices cremation, Christians make sure that they are distinct from the heathen by burying their dead (as taught in Scripture).
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
19,667
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#26
It is a Bible discussion topic since it contrasts pagan customs with Christian customs. So Christians must decide whether they will follow the abominations of the heathen or not.
Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain... (Jer 10:1-3)
I suggest you re-read the OP; the topic was not framed as a contrast of pagan versus Christian practices.
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
16,986
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#27
I suggest you re-read the OP; the topic was not framed as a contrast of pagan versus Christian practices.
Perhaps the OP does not realize the underlying paganism of cremation. Cremation is definitely not for Christians.

HINDU CREMATION AND PRAYING TO FALSE GODS
"To enable mankind to get closer to God through the medium of various events that occur from birth to death, Hindu Dharma has formulated various religious sanskārs. Among them, the post-death rite is the final sanskār. If post-death rites are performed with faith and as prescribed by our Scriptures, then the linga-dēha (subtle body) of the deceased person, without getting trapped in Bhulok (Earth region) or Martyalok (The region of the dead), acquires a positive momentum and moves on to higher regions. Consequently, the possibility of the deceased person tormenting the family members reduces. The possibility of such a linga-dēha being enslaved by negative energies [evil spirits] reduces too.... The household members should pray intermittently to Deity Dattātrēya [a Hindu god] for protection of the subtle-body of the deceased from the attacks of negative energies thus -‘O Dattātrēya, let your protective sheath be present around the linga-dēha of … (mention the name of the deceased) always. We pray unto your Holy feet to impart progressively higher momentum to the deceased.’ Perform all subsequent rites accompanied while chanting ‘Shrī Gurudēv Datta’. Before placing the dead body on the floor, smear the floor with cowdung. The dead body should then be taken to the front yard of the house and placed in an east-west direction with the feet facing the west. The kartā should then bathe the corpse amidst loud chanting of Deity Dattātrēya’s Name – ‘Shrī Gurudēv Datta’.
https://www.hindujagruti.org/hindui...-prior-to-and-during-cremation-of-a-dead-body
 

Moses_Young

Well-known member
Sep 15, 2019
2,525
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#28
Perhaps the OP does not realize the underlying paganism of cremation. Cremation is definitely not for Christians.
I agree. I once didn't understand the difference. But just as it is disrespectful (illegal in some countries) to burn the national flag, it is inappropriate to burn the bodies of those who were created in God's image. Burial is the respectful way to dispose of the image bearers of God, unless God explicitly states otherwise.
 

Heaven_Bound

Active member
Dec 29, 2021
828
190
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#29
There is literally no mention of cremation equals Sin in the Word of God. Had there been an issue, it would have been found in the Law or when Christ was on Earth. To turn something not considered a sin into a sin over personal belief, has as much value to it as trying to carry a full water bucket with holes in the bottom and believing it will be full when you reach your destination.
 

Blain

The Word Weaver
Aug 28, 2012
17,744
1,982
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#30
The way I see it Jesus is our example in all things he was buried and then rose from the dead
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
16,986
8,487
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#31
...it is inappropriate to burn the bodies of those who were created in God's image
God was angry with the king of Moab for burning the bones of the King of Edom: Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime: But I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the palaces of Kerioth: and Moab shall die with tumult, with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet: (Amos 2:1,2)
 

Heaven_Bound

Active member
Dec 29, 2021
828
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#32
11 And the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead heard about him, that which the Philistines had done to Saul.

12 And all the brave men rose and went all night and took Saul's body and his sons' bodies from the wall of Beth-shan, and they came to Jabesh and burned (for) them there.

13 And they took their bones and buried them under the tree in Jabesh, and they fasted seven days.

The people of Jabesh Gilead
Jabesh-Gilead (Hebrew: יָבֵ֣שׁ גִּלְעָ֑ד Yāḇêš Gil'āḏ) is an ancient Israelite town

God had no issue when the Israelite's burned Saul and his sons bodies and buried them.
 

CS1

Well-known member
May 23, 2012
9,577
3,006
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#33
there are many reasons why people do what they do with dead loved ones. The body should be honored, however, when one is dead they have no say so without legal remedies. BUT God when HE calls that person HE knows where every single molecule is and it will obey when HE calls. No matter where they are. Jesus is the Resurrection and the life.
 

2ndTimothyGroup

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2021
2,912
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#34
Unbelievable story below. Power . . . it is about Power!

Ezekiel 37:1-14 NLT - "The LORD took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the LORD to a valley filled with bones. He led me all around among the bones that covered the valley floor. They were scattered everywhere across the ground and were completely dried out. Then he asked me, "Son of man, can these bones become living people again?" "O Sovereign LORD," I replied, "you alone know the answer to that." Then he said to me, "Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, 'Dry bones, listen to the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again! I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.'" So I spoke this message, just as he told me. Suddenly as I spoke, there was a rattling noise all across the valley. The bones of each body came together and attached themselves as complete skeletons. Then as I watched, muscles and flesh formed over the bones. Then skin formed to cover their bodies, but they still had no breath in them. Then he said to me, "Speak a prophetic message to the winds, son of man. Speak a prophetic message and say, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.'" So I spoke the message as he commanded me, and breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet--a great army. Then he said to me, "Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel. They are saying, 'We have become old, dry bones--all hope is gone. Our nation is finished.' Therefore, prophesy to them and say, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel. When this happens, O my people, you will know that I am the LORD. I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken, and I have done what I said. Yes, the LORD has spoken!'"
 

2ndTimothyGroup

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2021
2,912
1,122
113
#35
Matthew 27:51-54 NLT - "At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. They left the cemetery after Jesus' resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people. The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, "This man truly was the Son of God!"

Just like above in Ezekiel . . . "Then you will know that I am the Lord!"

The Roman officer said, "This man truly was the Son of God!"

Notice in Ezekiel above that "Son of Man" is referenced . . .

Matthew 12:40 NLT - "For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights."
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
19,667
10,828
113
#36
Perhaps the OP does not realize the underlying paganism of cremation. Cremation is definitely not for Christians.

HINDU CREMATION AND PRAYING TO FALSE GODS
"To enable mankind to get closer to God through the medium of various events that occur from birth to death, Hindu Dharma has formulated various religious sanskārs. Among them, the post-death rite is the final sanskār. If post-death rites are performed with faith and as prescribed by our Scriptures, then the linga-dēha (subtle body) of the deceased person, without getting trapped in Bhulok (Earth region) or Martyalok (The region of the dead), acquires a positive momentum and moves on to higher regions. Consequently, the possibility of the deceased person tormenting the family members reduces. The possibility of such a linga-dēha being enslaved by negative energies [evil spirits] reduces too.... The household members should pray intermittently to Deity Dattātrēya [a Hindu god] for protection of the subtle-body of the deceased from the attacks of negative energies thus -‘O Dattātrēya, let your protective sheath be present around the linga-dēha of … (mention the name of the deceased) always. We pray unto your Holy feet to impart progressively higher momentum to the deceased.’ Perform all subsequent rites accompanied while chanting ‘Shrī Gurudēv Datta’. Before placing the dead body on the floor, smear the floor with cowdung. The dead body should then be taken to the front yard of the house and placed in an east-west direction with the feet facing the west. The kartā should then bathe the corpse amidst loud chanting of Deity Dattātrēya’s Name – ‘Shrī Gurudēv Datta’.
https://www.hindujagruti.org/hindui...-prior-to-and-during-cremation-of-a-dead-body
While this is informative, the fact that Hindus practice cremation does not, by itself, make it a "pagan practice" that Christians should avoid.
 

Moses_Young

Well-known member
Sep 15, 2019
2,525
1,546
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#37
11 And the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead heard about him, that which the Philistines had done to Saul.

12 And all the brave men rose and went all night and took Saul's body and his sons' bodies from the wall of Beth-shan, and they came to Jabesh and burned (for) them there.

13 And they took their bones and buried them under the tree in Jabesh, and they fasted seven days.

The people of Jabesh Gilead
Jabesh-Gilead (Hebrew: יָבֵ֣שׁ גִּלְעָ֑ד Yāḇêš Gil'āḏ) is an ancient Israelite town

God had no issue when the Israelite's burned Saul and his sons bodies and buried them.
Interesting passage. I hadn't thought of this.

However, first note that the Philistines had been abusing the bodies of Saul and his sons. Who knows what foul practices were carried out on them? Burning may have been one way to purge the Israelite bodies of the filth of the Philistines that had contaminated them. Note however what was done with the bones - they were buried.

This occasion may have been one of those, where the bodies first needed to be treated (burned), before they could be properly buried. But the bones were treated with respect and buried.
 

Omegatime

Active member
Jul 13, 2021
416
151
43
#38
Unbelievable story below. Power . . . it is about Power!

Ezekiel 37:1-14 NLT - "The LORD took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the LORD to a valley filled with bones. He led me all around among the bones that covered the valley floor. They were scattered everywhere across the ground and were completely dried out. Then he asked me, "Son of man, can these bones become living people again?" "O Sovereign LORD," I replied, "you alone know the answer to that." Then he said to me, "Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, 'Dry bones, listen to the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again! I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.'" So I spoke this message, just as he told me. Suddenly as I spoke, there was a rattling noise all across the valley. The bones of each body came together and attached themselves as complete skeletons. Then as I watched, muscles and flesh formed over the bones. Then skin formed to cover their bodies, but they still had no breath in them. Then he said to me, "Speak a prophetic message to the winds, son of man. Speak a prophetic message and say, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.'" So I spoke the message as he commanded me, and breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet--a great army. Then he said to me, "Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel. They are saying, 'We have become old, dry bones--all hope is gone. Our nation is finished.' Therefore, prophesy to them and say, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel. When this happens, O my people, you will know that I am the LORD. I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken, and I have done what I said. Yes, the LORD has spoken!'"
This is the story of the Resurrection
 

Jocund

Well-known member
Jan 14, 2021
799
259
63
#40
The word "grave" occurs 67 times in 64 verses of the Bible (although it has been misapplied a few times to Sheol/Hades). But there is not A SINGLE MENTION of cremation among God's people. Is that not sufficient evidence to show that cremation is not for Christians? Furthermore the entire 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians is devoted to resurrection, and resurrection is connected to burial. So is water baptism.

In a Hindu country like India which practices cremation, Christians make sure that they are distinct from the heathen by burying their dead (as taught in Scripture).
It would be an incorrect statement to say that cremation was never performed for one of God's people.

"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." - 1 Samuel 31:12 KJV

The bones were buried, but cremation took place.

"1 Cor 15"

I can't find a verse in that chapter that would indicate a prohibition of cremation.

"Distinct from heathen"

This comes back to Paul's discussion about idols vs idolatry. The ritual isn't the issue, but the intention behind the ritual is the area of concern.