Tomorrow I hope to begin a series of posts on burial and cremation.
But before I do, there are three preliminary points I need to make.
1. God can put all of the pieces back together.
God can put all of the pieces back together regardless the condition of the corpse. That’s not the issue. Of course He can.
That includes Christian martyrs who were burned at the stake as well as believers lost at sea. God can and will use the same elements to put them back together—with upgrades!
We hope in a future resurrection. That means that we will live forever in a physical, incorruptible, immortal body patterned after Jesus’ resurrected body. And God will use the components of our existing bodies to fashion our future glorified bodies. After all, Jesus’ body was not discarded, but refashioned into his resurrection body.
The question is not a matter of God’s actions, but ours. Is active violence done to the body a biblical practice? That’s where we’ll go in this discussion.
2. The body is part of our human identity.
We are made of material and immaterial parts, and it’s not the immaterial that is alone human. We are body and soul. We are heart, soul, mind, and strength. We are physical and spiritual beings.
Your body is not a shell that you inhabit. It is part of you.
YOU have dignity–both your material and immaterial parts. YOU are fallen and tainted by sin–both your physical and non-physical parts. If you think your soul is pure and holy, and your body alone is tainted by sin, confess your heresy of Gnosticism. Then go and read Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
3. This will get personal.
That’s because death is a personal subject. You’ve buried loved ones. You probably have friends and relatives who were cremated. Maybe even a parent?
And you have to decide about your own mode of interment: will you be buried or cremated? I hope this series will help you make an informed decision.
I’d ask you to keep an open mind. Don’t allow the personal nature of this subject to crowd out your objectivity. I’m really not as concerned about our past as much as our present and future. I want you to make informed decisions today about your future.
Are you ready?