Is It Un-Christian to Choose Cremation Over Burial?

by | May 9, 2016 | Health & Healing

When deciding what to do with a human body after death, the number of people choosing cremation instead of burial is skyrocketing.

Nearly 60 years ago, less than 4 percent of the population chose cremation. Now it’s about 50 percent. One reason for the increase is that cremation is generally less expensive than burial.

However, evangelical pastor John Piper says Christians should choose burial, not cremation. He is quick to point out that he does not believe cremation is a sin, and therefore, Christians should not condemn or ostracize other Christians who choose cremation over burial.

But he does believe that burial is vastly preferable. In a recent blog, he offered Bible verses to support that view.

First, in teaching about the dignity of the human body, he says Scripture leads away from burning toward burying:

John 1:14 states Jesus “became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.”

Philippians 3:21 says Jesus will “transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body.”

1 Corinthians 6:20 says, “Glorify God in your body.”

Secondly, Piper says fire in the Bible symbolizes hell.

“In relation to the human body, it is a dreadful thing,” he writes. “It wounds and tortures and kills and destroys. This is the most prominent in relation to the body after death.”

“As a Christian who believes in the judgment of God after death (Hebrews 9:27) the last symbol we want to use, in connection with death, is fire!” he continues. “Hell (Gehenna) is a place of fire (Matthew 5:22, James 3:6). This fire is meant to be felt by the body.”

He cites more Scripture to support this view:

“It is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell” (Matthew 5:30)

“Fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).

“Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame” (Luke 16:24).

If and when Christians are persuaded to opt for burial rather than cremation, Piper suggests planning less-expensive burials. He further states church leaders should set the tone.

“I do believe that pastors should discourage expensive funerals,” he writes. “In a Bible-saturated, counter-cultural church, made up of kingdom-minded sojourners and exiles (1 Peter 2:11), no one should be pressured into the mindset that the more expensive the coffin, the more loved the deceased.”

“Pastors should lead the way in cultivating a church ethos where expensive funerals (and weddings!) are not the norm,” he said.

Piper goes even further by recommending individual churches set-up special funds for people who can’t afford a burial.

“My proposal in this article is that Christian churches be willing to help families financially with simple Christ-exalting funerals and burials, so that no Christian is drawn to cremation because it’s cheaper,” Piper blogged.

“I’m not thinking mainly of a line-item in the budget, but of a segregated compassion-fund that that church members may give to regularly or as the need arises,” he said. {eoa}

Reprinted with permission from cbn.com. © 2016 Christian Broadcasting Network. All rights reserved.

For the original article, visit cbnnews.com.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Why America Must Adopt the Battle Cry of Isaiah

Why America Must Adopt the Battle Cry of Isaiah

A battle cry is used to summon armies to war. A loud, unified shout could intimidate the strongest of enemies. Confidence in battle often tilts the scale toward victory, whereas timidity, fear and cowardliness will surely lead to defeat. In these dreadful times, don’t...

Intentionally Raising a Godly Generation

Intentionally Raising a Godly Generation

Debbie put her faith in Christ at age 11. In fact, her whole family met Jesus at just about the same time. As her parents began growing in their faith, they nurtured growth in their children as well. Family Bible reading, prayer and talking about God’s leading in...

Dream Big: How to Cultivate Divine Revelation While You Sleep

Dream Big: How to Cultivate Divine Revelation While You Sleep

Do you have any dreams from God that you have allowed to fall by the wayside? For some of you, it’s time to dream again. For some of you, it’s time to dust off your previous dreams. For some of you, it’s important to realize God is not late; He’s always on time. For...

Prophecy: God Is Bringing About Swift Turnarounds

Prophecy: God Is Bringing About Swift Turnarounds

In the month of August, God is bringing swift turnarounds so that your hard places will become a wide-open field. God is bringing about divine connections in order to strengthen the body of Christ. He is releasing faith for radical generosity, divine strategy to...

End-Times Truth: The Rapture Reveals a Split Church

End-Times Truth: The Rapture Reveals a Split Church

There are several resurrections and raptures in the Bible. I cannot understand those who argue that because there is no mention of the word "rapture" in the Bible they do not believe in it. They only believe in the Second Coming of the Lord. Some arguments are no...

Charisma Highlights: 7 Abilities for a New Agility in This Era

Charisma Highlights: 7 Abilities for a New Agility in This Era

Following are snippets of the top stories posted on charismamag.com over the past week. We encourage you to visit the links to read the stories in full. 7 Abilities for a New Agility in This Era The Lord first began speaking to me about the release of seven abilities...

As a Believer, Have You Been Hiding During This Culture War?

As a Believer, Have You Been Hiding During This Culture War?

Many years ago, Jesus went up on a mountain, sat down, and spoke to the group he was with: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all...

RECENT ARTICLES

10 Traits of Effective Churches During the Global Pandemic

In the past few years, the global pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of many local churches. Friends from around the world have told me that many churches have closed their doors for good. Although...
The Supernatural Secrets of Real Revival

The Supernatural Secrets of Real Revival

What does an authentic world-igniting revival look like? And, how are the seeds of revival planted? This we can learn from the life and work of William Joseph Seymour—God’s chosen vessel and apostle of the Azusa Street Revival.  Bishop William Joseph Seymour, was a...

Spiritually Speaking, How Healthy Is Your Heart?

Spiritually Speaking, How Healthy Is Your Heart?

Once a year, I go to the doctor and get a check-up. And every time, one of the things they do is check my heart. A good thorough exam will reveal if there are any problems that need to be addressed before a heart condition arises. I believe we need to do the same...

How You Can Begin to Heal From Unanswered Prayer

How You Can Begin to Heal From Unanswered Prayer

The best way to grow in the prophetic is to look at the past. As backwards as that sounds, Revelation 19:10 tells us, “For the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy.” In other translations, this is said, “For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness...

Living in the Tension of Two Distinct Worlds

Living in the Tension of Two Distinct Worlds

As a professional counselor, I have consoled hundreds of Christians through some of the most horrific life circumstances. Along with experiencing my own trials in life, it has caused me to deeply ponder the words of Scripture that refer to how we must learn to live in...

Kingdom Economics: Who Do You Trust?

Kingdom Economics: Who Do You Trust?

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its first of three estimates for second quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Second-quarter inflation-adjusted (real) GDP fell at an annual rate of 0.9%, compared to a drop of 1.6% in the first quarter, and pre-report...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]