No, I’m not talking about the act of converting a solid into a cream; I’m talking about burning the body after the soul has left it. What are your views on cremation? Have you ever thought of it? Some people may say, “What’s the big deal? I mean who really cares anyway? When you’re dead, you’re dead!”
If you would rather opt for that route, then that’s fine. I’m wired to ask myself questions like, “What do you think about cremation, Daniel? If you were a pastor and someone asked you your opinion as they were making out their will, what would you tell them?” You think I’m crazy? That makes three of us! =)
Okay, back to the topic at hand. I’ll give you my thoughts, and hopefully you won’t disappoint me by not giving me yours.
I do not think if one chooses to be cremated that they have committed an abomination. To my knowledge the Scriptures do not condemn cremation as such. But I am against it for this reason – it does not declare the Christian’s hope of the resurrection. Burying the body eastward and face up all speak to the hope of the deceased being reunited with his/her body at the resurrection. To destroy the body via cremation, in my opinion, screams that the deceased is not looking forward to a bodily resurrection. I realize that God can just as easily piece a body back together from ashes that have been strewn in the Pacific as he can resurrect Lazarus from the grave. Let’s be honest, bringing a dead man back to life is no small task, but God is the Creator of all matter and the Giver of life. It is nothing for the Creator of all things to restore something He created ex nihilo; so I don’t believe for one moment that cremation destroys the body beyond God’s ability to restore it. I also realize there are people who died over five thousand years ago that are no longer in the grave where their loved ones laid them. The bodies have decomposed beyond that of ashes made in a crematorium. Decomposition happens and I’m not so foolish to think that everyone’s body is completely preserved in the coffin just as it was the day they died.
It is not about decomposition or the most economically savvy funeral. For me, it is about not only preaching the gospel with your last breath, but boldly preaching it after you have expelled that final breath. Cremation doesn’t display the hope we have in Jesus Who is the First born of the new creation, the Resurrection and the Life brought from the future into present history. But burying the body in a respectable way, facing East in anticipation of the bodily return of Jesus Christ – this makes it quite plain. I would say, if you believe in the resurrection then preach it from the grave.
What are your thoughts? Even if you think cremation is the way to go, I won’t call you pagan…. promise!