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It may make a difference for the living. Cremation is historically a pagan practice. It was also pagans who burned the martyrs at the stake. Christians burned witches at the stake. When they died the Christians who burned them were likely buried. Judaism resisted cremation partly because it was the practice of idol worshippers and the godless. Roman Catholics through the centuries considered it a mortal sin and a desecration of the body. The practical purpose for either burial or cremation is to stop the decay and the spreading of disease. Who do we Christians follow? Jesus was buried. But is it that simple? The apostles were all killed violently, except John. Do we know how their bodies were disposed. Paul was beheaded. After such an atrocity is committed against the body, in eternal terms, does bodily disposition have any influence or association with your salvation or the resurrected body? NO. God buried Moses in the sand. Do we all need to be buried in the sand or in a tomb as Jesus was? Both are examples of disposition. What about sea burial. Is that the same as returning to the ground? Does cremation desecrate the body of the deceased or does it prevent God from resurrecting the deceased bodily? If that were the case then He would not be the pre-eminent, sovereign, omnipotent God. The bible is not specific about cremation nor does it say burial is the only appropriate action, but it certainly was a practice of those entrusted with the oracles of God. Egypt practiced burial and they were idol worshippers. Were they influenced by Joseph? The bottom line is the method of disposition only affects the living. Who are they worshipping when they cremate a loved one? Is it an act of worship at all? Suppose you have not declared your wishes and are not survived by anyone and the state decides. It seems to me, if you are concerned that a choice of cremation would offend God, then predetermine and document your wishes and choose burial. We know from scriptural example that God will approve of that method. Nevertheless, it is of no eternal consequence for those who are in Jesus Christ.
I see that Michael, Tom Howard, James Kraft, David Huffman, and N S all have mentioned cremation. My Mom was cremated, and after 9-11 my wife and I don't fly. So a memorial service was planned for her in our home state which we could attend, and her ashes were brought in an urn for burial. It was a glorious celebration on Memorial Day actually, of her going home to heaven as she was saved. My wife, P and I, both Christians have it in our will that we want to be cremated. It’s cheaper and thus less of a burden for the survivors. A loved one’s death and separation is enough of a burden on the survivors, as it is, I would think.
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