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# 01360 :  DEAD BODY:BURIAL OR CREMATION
HI BRETHREN
GREETING IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST.
NOW A DAYS HOT DISCUSSION IS GOING ON IN MALAYALA MANORAMA DAILY ON THE SUBJECT "IS CREMATION (SAVA DHAHAM/BURNIG OF DEAD BODIES) OF A CHRISTIAN BELIEVER IS ALLOWED"
I REQUEST VIEWS AND COMMENDS FROM BELIVERS ON THIS SUBJECT BASED ON THE WORD OF GOD.
GOD BLESS
Post by : jojialackal  View Profile    since : 25 Aug 2007


Reply by : keralabrethren1   View Profile   Since : 25 Aug 2007 6:11:07 AM Close
The old Testament custom of burial is referred in Gen 50:26; "So Joseph died, [being] an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt."

At the time of Christ also this method has been followed: Ref: Lazarus, Jesus.

But as far as a believer is concerned, burial or cremation is immaterial.

We read in 1 Thess 4: 16; "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first"

Please note, it is mentioned as, dead in Christ - not as buried/cremated.

Regarding unbelievers, the Lord gathers them in the following way, the reference is only relating death and not cremation/burial.

Rev: 20:13; "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works."

So cremation/burial is immaterial. The material thing is in which of the above category one falls.

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 26 Aug 2007 2:13:52 AM Close
Dearbrothers and sisters,

The origin of cremation is in paganism. It is a human effort to state boldly that there is nothing after death. If the body has been completely destroyed by fire there is nothing left to resurrect. This is the theory, which of course is utterly false. As far as God is concerned cremation is no barrier to resurrection. Over centuries a body will be returned to dust in any case.

However I do not believe that it is immaterial to us whether we are cremated or buried. Burial is scriptural and we are therefore following scriptural practise when we bury a body. Surely this is the right thing to do. We bury the body of a believer and commit it to the Lord in the faith that He will raise it. That is the Christian custom based on God's word.

I would not burn the body of someone that Christ loved, that the Holy Spirit indwelt and that I had cherished and loved.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : nelnob1   View Profile   Since : 26 Aug 2007 2:36:14 AM Close
Dear br.John miller in Christ,

Just for a smile, in our place of kerala, there is no land available for cemetry, as there are great land deals going on here and there, and nowaday there are family chambers, a burial pit with one door,suppose a person of a family dies today, the door is opened coffin put inside and pushed, and after a year or two some other member of he family dies, the same door is opened the coffin is kept inside and pushed and the new coffin lands up in top of the bones and the termite eaten coffin , so we dont have place, and there are many electric crematorium, which give back ashes within a couple of minutes.

A matter of concern for born again believers.


Yours in Christ

Samuel.V.J

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Reply by : joyboy   View Profile   Since : 4 Sep 2007 9:03:30 PM Close
Just a few questions:

Bro. Miller asserts that the origins of cremation are pagan. If so (assuming this is correct), is that enough to make cremation wrong for Christians? Why? Shouldn't we only prohibit those behaviours and actions explicitly prohibited by the Bible, or those behaviours and actions that can be prohibited by biblical principles?

Secondly, just because it's done in scripture one way, is that the only way? Baptism, in all cases is done immediately after salvation,with the exception of paul, who waited for a few days. Does that mean that any wait longer than 2 or 3 days between salvation and baptism is wrong? The point I'm making, is that we can get very legalistic very quickly if we follow this pattern.

Let us be careful before making arbitrary rules.

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 5 Sep 2007 3:06:14 AM Close
Dear "joyboy",

May I ask simple questions? Is the pattern shown in the word of God not the best one? As a child of God should I not seek to follow that pattern? Am I being legalistic in doing so?

The world offers many other options to God's word in every circumstance of life and the child of God has a choice. Is it not safest to make the best choice?

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 5 Sep 2007 3:13:46 AM Close
Dear "joyboy",

May I also very respectfully point out that I did not seek to prohibit you cremating the dead body of a relative or leaving such an instruction for your own remains. If that is your intention or desire you are not answerable to me. There is One to whom you must answer for every deed. I simply gave my thoughts based on the scriptural pattern as I see it.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 5 Sep 2007 9:01:38 AM Close
Dear jojialackal,

I have been reflecting on your enquiry and looking at a number of scriptures. These scriptural incidents may help us to decide what is right.

Abraham, that man of outstanding faith, purchased a burial plot. God himself buried Moses. The human remains of Joseph were carefully preserved for burial. The Lord Jesus was buried. Lazarus was buried and his body had already started to decompose. Ezeliel's vision speaks of bones, not ashes from cremation. Ruth speaks of being buried in her statement of commitment. Nowhere in scripture is cremation spoken of except perhaps as a barbaric, living sacrifice to Molloch, a pagan god.

Resurrection envisages graves, even watery ones, being opened and releasing their captives. This seems to me to show what God envisages as the proper way to take care of the human body after death. At the burial of a christian it is profoundly moving when the body is committed to the Lord Jesus in the certain hope of resurrection. To destroy it like discarded rubbish would seem to me to be a mockery of such a solemn and yet uplifting act.

Since you raised the query perhaps you would like to give us your own thoughts on the matter.

Yours in Christ,

John

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Reply by : kumbanadan   View Profile   Since : 5 Sep 2007 10:18:05 AM Close
Brethren,
Cremation is totally pagan and unscriptural. Through cremation, gentiles are committing the body back to the five elemnts of universe - agni (fire), prithvi (earth), aakash(sky), jal (water). There is no hope behind this. And it is a pity to see the act of burning a body.
Bible tells about few cases of cursed death where the body was burned like that of king Saul.

There is great hope in burial. Read 1 Cor ch 15. Paul compares the resurrection to a seed that is sown and then raised. The seed is burried and it comes to life.

There is an open grave in palestine and not a crematorium!!!

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Reply by : trds   View Profile   Since : 5 Sep 2007 10:44:08 AM Close

Cremation is choice of men and it is not at all supported in Scriptures for a believer.

Please look at the following Scriptures and read for yourself, who or what was cremated.

Genesis 38:24, Deuteronomy 7:25, Acts 19:19, Revelation 20:15, Judges 15:6

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Reply by : joyboy   View Profile   Since : 5 Sep 2007 12:23:14 PM Close
As I mentioned above, I have great problems with prohibiting something because of its pagan origins or because it is not "in scripture".

The first thing, the pagan origin, is never enough to ban a practice. Take the sport of basketball, it has horrible pagan origins in the mayan (or incan) cultures of central and south america. We don't prohibit it, do we? If I did some research, I'm sure that we can find other examples like this.

Secondly, people often try to ban a practice because a) it's not done in scripture, or b) it's done incorrectly in scripture. Like I described above, by this logic, all baptisms should be within days of salvation. Why? That's the way it was done in scripture. Weddings should have wine. Why? The wedding Jesus went to had wine. You see the bad logic here?

We should only ban something if a) Scripture has an explicit and clear prohibition. or b) It violates a related scriptural principle.

An example of (a) would be murder. It's explicitly prohibited. an example of (b) is that we should not overspeed while driving. Why? Driving is not in scripture, but following the law of the land is. So we must drive at the posted speed limit.

Anything more is legalistic.

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Reply by : nelnob1   View Profile   Since : 6 Sep 2007 6:07:21 AM Close
Dear brethren in Christ,


As per scriptures, it is clearly mentioned about burial all throughout, which should be for all who believe in Christ, and I too believe the same.


But, if you dont have enough place for cemetry .What are the alternatives.
I will just mention a simple example, there was case bieng submitted in the court of Kerala, where a owner of a house near our place complained the fats of the dead bodies being seeped into the well water being a cemetry just a boundary wall after. As lack of space for cemetries as mentioned before dead bodies and coffins are dumped as group chambers earmarked for a family, and very often it is a plot adjacent to the churches and mosques inbetween residential areas. It has become an environmental issue, some time dead bodies are buried one above the other, and many a times bones of other dead bodies come out while digging the new graves. This are practical complications, If a born again believer looses his life in flight crash and burnt into ashes , what will be the answer.


Yours in Christ
Samuel.V.J


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Reply by : George P. Koshy   View Profile   Since : 6 Sep 2007 12:57:16 PM Close
Dear 'Joyboy,'

You wrote, "The first thing, the pagan origin, is never enough to ban a practice. Take the sport of basketball, it has horrible pagan origins in the mayan (or incan) cultures of central and south america."

As I understand the basketball game had it's origin in the US defense force. One cold winter night one soldier got the idea of nailing an apple cart on a post and shoot what ever he had into it. It is not as you wrote.

Shalom Malekim!!!

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Reply by : josbr   View Profile   Since : 7 Sep 2007 1:24:39 AM Close
In life, our bodies belong to the Lord. (1 Corinthians 6:13)
What about in death?

“Thy dead shall live, my dead bodies shall arise. Awake and sing in triumph, ye that dwell in dust; for thy dew is the dew of the morning, and the earth shall cast forth the dead” (Isaiah 26:19 – DBY)

What do we understand by “my dead bodies”.

By the implications of God’s word I believe that the bodies of God’s people at death are to be honorably buried.

We may also refer to Jude 1:9 and Deuteronomy 34:6, regarding the dispute as to who should have the body of Moses. God wanted the body of his faithful servant, the meekest, to be buried honorably.

In death, God has a definite purpose with the bodies of our dear ones. We acknowledge and hope for it in burial. We say – Amen.

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Reply by : trds   View Profile   Since : 7 Sep 2007 11:11:47 AM Close
Dear Samuel,

I did not live in Kerala, yet I know that there is dearth of space for burying dead bodies in that State. Can't Religious leaders approach Government and make arrangements to transport dead bodies to nearby States, like Tamilnadu, or Karnataka where there is lot of space. Considering that Abraham desired that his dead body be taken far from the place he lived to the plot he bought for the specific purpose, our desire to take dead bodies to distant places should not be taken as wrong.

That's my view. I don't want to argue on that point.

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Reply by : joyboy   View Profile   Since : 12 Sep 2007 9:51:30 PM Close
Modern basketball has origins with JAmes Naismith (no, not the missionary!) in Massachusetts. But the origins were really with the mayan people, who had a variation of the sport with an elevated basket, where the people had to get teh ball without using hands or feet. Bro Koshy, before making statements such as yours, please do your research.

bro josbr has offered some implications of scriptural backing for burial. I don't think it is clear, nor is there a clear prohibition for cremation. Personally, I think it's more honorable to bury someone, but that's my opinion.

We can't make up rules and then go back to scripture looking for backing. We need explicit prohibitions, or violations of Biblical principles. I see nothing of either in this case.

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Reply by : tinka   View Profile   Since : 13 Sep 2007 4:23:12 AM Close
Dear beloved brethren in the Lord,
I beleive that cremation is a dishonour to the dead person. True that the body of the beleiver who has died will ressurect, irrespective of teh fact that he is buried or cremated, but we, (i thought) based our doctrines not only from teh direct instructions of teh Scriptures, but also on what we read the beleivers practiced.
sincerely in Him,
Tinka
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Reply by : kumbanadan   View Profile   Since : 13 Sep 2007 6:07:03 AM Close
Dear brethren
In various responses in the thread, i have found people saying kerala has a problem in terms of land space for burial. It is not true, kerala has enough space for funeral of a beliver in the most honoured way. even a big city like Mumbai has. Can anybody sight a single example where a believers burial was not done duw to space. Ocourse due to rivalry between brethren assemblies it might have happened.
Any body having problem in burying their beloved BELIEVERS in kerala due to lack of space can post your assembly details here (ofcourse with the full concurrence of the elders of the assembly). I will make arrangement.
No need to transport to other states as some one said.
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Reply by : trds   View Profile   Since : 13 Sep 2007 6:29:27 AM Close
True. I traveled via Wynad and Palghat Areas. There is lot of space. Because people want their relatives' dead bodies to be disposed off quickly or bury within their reach say within few kilometers, they resort to cremation or bury one upon another by sliding the coffins. Elders should take some interest to buy large areas to be used as Cemeteries. In USA burial places appear like Gardens in some areas! Some, who are interested in cremation or whose relatives are cremated keep justifying cremation. In Scriptures we do not find any child of God cremated.
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Reply by : trds   View Profile   Since : 13 Sep 2007 7:23:45 AM Close
You would loathe cremating your relatives' dead bodies if you know the truth that the furnace where the dead body is cremated is heated up to usually 1400 to 2100 degrees Fahrenheit. It is an ill-treatment of the body, even though it is dead. Cremated remains are reduced to 6 to 8 pounds fine particles and the entire process usually takes about five hours. Another loathsome fact is that the remains of the dead body cremated mixes up with the next dead body cremated. What an obnoxious treatment!
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Reply by : nelnob1   View Profile   Since : 15 Sep 2007 9:10:23 AM Close
Dear "Kumbanadan " in Christ,

{{In various responses in the thread, i have found people saying kerala has a problem in terms of land space for burial }}

Well if I am not mistaken I was the people who wrote about non availabilty of Land , and dear brother why are you so serious, read my first post {{Just for a smile, in our place of kerala, there is no land available for cemetry, as there are great land deals going on here and there,}}

Thank you for the great concern you have for the burial of the born again saints. I am also against cremation, which as "TRDS" mentioned is a ill-treatment of the body, even though it is dead, and it is not scriptural too. But what happens in the place of Kerala is entirely different, every assembly needs a cememtry, and most probably as a annexe with the assembly, and in residential areas, where residents usually dont prefer a graveyard near to thier plot or Land, would you agree with me or not , nowadays families book thier graves or built chambers to bury them and thier children , even thie grandchildren after thier death.


Yours in Christ
Samuel.V.J

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Reply by : kumbanadan   View Profile   Since : 15 Sep 2007 10:28:39 AM Close
Dear Br. Samuel VJ
I fully agree with you brother. Kerala Berthren has seggregated thinking of their own cemetary and so on.Mumbai has very beutiful cemetary in the heart of the city (at Sewry) for all christians. It is a very beutiful place. Once when attended a funeral there, i askedsome one - How is that such a big place is left un-encroached in the heart of the city. Some one humorously replied - since its cemetary, no one dare to encoach! Its true.
Believers in kerala can have common cemetaries at least for local assemblies in an area. It is good that some places have that.
When we can have general conventions, crusades and all that sorts, why not common cemetaries too, than looking for annexes of churches.
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