Cremation and the Christian

I stopped at the home of one of my elders this afternoon and he brought up something I said in worship on Sunday. I was talking about the resurrection of the body and how this is what we believe as Christians. Because of this, we do not use cremation for our final burials. We believe in burying the body, in the hopes of the future resurrection. He thought I was saying that this is not something that we would do as a Christain and if you were cremated, then you would not be a Christian. I told him that the concept of cremation is not Christian. What makes us Christian is our faith in Christ, not how we are buried. (Read Timothy’s D’s account of the subject here.)

But that begs the question, why is what we do with our bodies so important?

It is important because all that we do should point back to Christ, even after we are dead. When we place our bodies into the ground, in a Christian burial, then we are saying to those still there that we believe in the future resurrection of the body. We don’t just believe in the resurrection of Christ, which is central to our beliefs, but we believe in the resurrection of our own bodies. When Christ returns, all the dead will be raised up from the grave. The earth will give up its dead, and the sea will give up its dead. Those who’s names are in the Lamb’s Book of Life, will be given eternal life and reward, while those whose names are missing from that book, will spend eternity in hell.

We are telling those that are left behind… at the gravesite, that we believe in this resurrection, that the body is still sacred and we will be physically raised from the dead.

Cremation is purely a pagan concept. It is a sign of judgment on those who use it, for it shows a lack of faith in THE resurrection. When we cremate our dead, we not identifying with Christ, who was buried along with all the OT saints, but with those who go after other gods, namely Hindus, pagans, etc. I, for one, don’t want to foster this belief any more that it is OK for Christians to be cremated. It is not… and all of life is to reflect our beliefs, even our death and funeral. Therefore why would we want to follow after the false gods of idolatry?