Is It Okay for a Christian to Be Cremated?

Question:  I can not find anything in my bible study relating what is proper in burial of the believer.  Would cremation be allowed bibically?  Is there anything in the Bible that would forbid it?  This is a question that weighs heavy on my heart.

 

Answer:  You are right that the Bible does not say anything for or against cremation.  Because in the time of the early church it was a common pagan custom to cremate, the church at first only buried the dead.  Because we believe the body is important, and will be resurrected because it is so important, we believe it should not be viewed as a useless appendage to be done away with at death. 

But both burial and cremation can be done with this perspective in mind.  Based upon how long a body remains in a grave, it will be reduced to basic elements.  Those who have been buried at sea have perhaps eventually become food for marine animals and their DNA spread all over creation.   Neither burial nor cremation really preserves the body in any permanent way.

So a respectful ceremony acknowledging the meaning of death and the hope of resurrection can be done for a burial and for a cremation and God will be honored.  I am personally planning on being cremated as a way of saving expense for my family and with a full acknowledgement that it will take just as much of a miracle to resurrect my body as it will for the person buried at sea.  God is able to accomplish this.

Related Articles:

Good Question: Cremation Confusion

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3 thoughts on “Is It Okay for a Christian to Be Cremated?

  1. Pingback: Cremation and Christianity « Thinking Out Loud

  2. That is my thought on cremation saving expense for my family. I talked at length with a cousin who is a pentecostal minister and she would not say either way. I also dont think that a person who smokes will be denied entry into heaven. One thing I wonder about is….can a person kneel by his or her bed and ask for forgiveness for their sins alone. do they have to talk to the clergy. some find it hard to confess and then live the christian life. what are your thoughts?

    • The Scriptures nowhere remotely suggest that confession must be made to and through someone clergy-like. There is actually some restriction on certain believers being elevated above their brothers and sisters (“But as for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi,’ because you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father, because you have one Father, who is in heaven. And do not be called masters either, because you have one Master, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Matthew 23:8-12). It is always supposed that you can make confession directly to God (Psalm 51; 1 John 1:9). When we confess we are in effect asking the Lord to help us become what He wants us to become. Confession alone will not transform you, however. You must follow the directives of Scripture, staying in intimate relationship with the Lord, acknowledging your sins to other believers (James 5:16, this is not confession to a clergy member but to fellow believers who will hold you accountable and enable your sin to be brought into the light where it holds less power over you), and growing in your faith as you study the Scriptures.

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