I Corinthians 15:29 against cremation?

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RJ Spencer

Puritan Board Freshman
My question isn't in regards to the meaning of I Corinthians 15:29, it is obvious to me that Paul is talking about the washing or preparing of a dead believer body.

I am curious though if this preparing of the body should still be practiced by believers today as a show of faith that the person will rise again? If so, what are the implications of that against the practice of cremation?
Surely God can do all things, it would be just as easy for Him to raise a cremated body as it would for Him to raise a buried one, but symbolism can be very important for young believers.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
It seems like the stronger argument for burial comes a few verses later, in 1 Corinthians 15:42-44. We are buried with the expectation that, like a planted seed, our bodies will come up from the ground in new life.

I stop short of insisting that cremation is always wrong. But I hope to be buried with a sense of expectation that my burial is but a planting, a prelude to new life. Such a burial can be a powerful expression of faith. Where practical, I would think it makes a good normal practice for Christians.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
I will be buried intact as much as possible as a testimony that God regards my body to be a significant part of me, sacred in His eye, and will be resurrected as He promised.
 

jfschultz

Puritan Board Junior
I have to wonder, our current burial process seems closer to Egypt than Israel, which is a cash cow for the funeral business.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Given enough time, there won't be anything left. Unless you intend to be mummified, of course.
I use to run a reuse tank for dialyzer filters. We used Formaldehyde to fill them after the osmosis process. That stuff is amazing. LOL. If the Lord didn't return before my bones turn to dust I imagine I am so ornery that I would just fossilize just to make everyone mad. LOL
 
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Chad Hutson

Puritan Board Freshman
I have to wonder, our current burial process seems closer to Egypt than Israel, which is a cash cow for the funeral business.
Come on, you're picking low-hanging fruit. The funeral business is just that: a business. We live in a capitalist economy where people pay others to do things that they used to do themselves. Is the grocery store immoral because it charges for that which people use to grow and produce for themselves in an agrarian economy?
My family is in the funeral business and have given more away to church and charities than most families ever will. Poor people are treated with dignity and respect and never turned away. Does anyone ever think what would happen if there were no funeral homes to dispose of dead bodies in an efficient and sanitary way? Would we rather the government do it for us?
If cost matters, and I deduce from your post that it does, a family should select the cheapest casket available and arrange for immediate burial and/or a graveside service as an alternative to cremation. Cremation isn't always wrong or avoidable, however, as Christians we MUST show the world that we have the answer for death! Gather the family, stand at the grave, look at the casket, and have the minister share why we have hope and victory over death.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
"Dust thou art, and to dust shalt thou return...." what matter if that process is accelerated by cremation? If I were squeamish, I'd prefer the idea of being reduced to cinders rather than consumed by maggots.
Much as I admire the imagery of burial in hope, and much as I appreciate graveyards (lovely places, some of them), I understand the necessity of cremation (it may be the only affordable choice), and am fully persuaded that reduction to ashes will not hinder God in the slightest on the last day, but He will raise us all up.
While we live is the time to have a good and faithful testimony--I'd rather spend my energy on that than on leaving a headstone reminding folk that I was a Christian. "By their works you shall know them" the dead work no more. Let's work while we're alive and leave the details of the resurrection to God.
 
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