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Is Cremation Okay, or Not?

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Is Cremation Okay, or Not?

Postby Soulsnaxx » Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:44 pm

Is cremation a violation of Scripture? A caller asks Bible teacher Steve Gregg (host of The Narrow Path radio program) for his thoughts concerning cremation.
Here's the link https://youtu.be/ahtwV0IRklg


What are your thoughts?
Last edited by Soulsnaxx on Sun Dec 18, 2016 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is Cremation Okay, or Not?

Postby Paidion » Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:16 pm

I haven't looked at Steve's answer yet. But in my opinion it doesn't matter what happens to the body. Your dead body is not you; it is but physical flesh, bones, and innards. Some bodies are consumed by fire; some are blown apart by explosives; others rot in the ground. The person will be resurrected when Jesus returns regardless of what happened to their dead, physical body.
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Re: Is Cremation Okay, or Not?

Postby steve7150 » Sat Dec 17, 2016 8:29 pm

I haven't looked at Steve's answer yet. But in my opinion it doesn't matter what happens to the body. Your dead body is not you; it is but physical flesh, bones, and innards. Some bodies are consumed by fire; some are blown apart by explosives; others rot in the ground. The person will be resurrected when Jesus returns regardless of what happened to their dead, physical body.








Religious Jews don't donate their organs because they believe in the resurrection, God renews the original body along with it's parts, so they don't want any missing parts!
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Re: Is Cremation Okay, or Not?

Postby Paidion » Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:44 pm

Where did you learn that? So if they were blown to bits by a huge bomb, do they think they will not be raised to life?
Also, sometimes part of the body is eaten by animals such as dogs or wolves, and some people eat dogs and wolves. So to which person will those parts belong in the resurrection, according to Jewish thought? To the person whose body was eaten by wolves or to the person or persons who ate the wolves?
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Re: Is Cremation Okay, or Not?

Postby TK » Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:12 pm

I have a very good friend and dear Christian brother who runs a crematory as part of his job. He has some really good stories. Its pretty morbid but also pretty interesting. I always joke with him and tell him I am going to get him an apron that says "kiss the cook."
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Re: Is Cremation Okay, or Not?

Postby steve7150 » Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:34 pm

Where did you learn that? So if they were blown to bits by a huge bomb, do they think they will not be raised to life?
Also, sometimes part of the body is eaten by animals such as dogs or wolves, and some people eat dogs and wolves. So to which person will those parts belong in the resurrection, according to Jewish thought? To the person whose body was eaten by wolves or to the person or persons who ate the wolves?








I think the thought is like baptism in that if you can do it, you should do it a certain way. In the OT unless someone couldn't it appears that everyone was buried intact. But there is no specific command that i know of.
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Re: Is Cremation Okay, or Not?

Postby Jim » Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:25 am

Paidion wrote:I haven't looked at Steve's answer yet. But in my opinion it doesn't matter what happens to the body. Your dead body is not you; it is but physical flesh, bones, and innards. Some bodies are consumed by fire; some are blown apart by explosives; others rot in the ground. The person will be resurrected when Jesus returns regardless of what happened to their dead, physical body.


I will have respectively disagree that your body is not you. Our bodies are every bit as much part of us as is our souls, we are a holistic unit. As it stands, the resurrection is strongly defended by St. Paul in his epistles. The question of God can do this or that is not the point of standing against cremation, but has to do with how we respect, honor and hold dear what God has created. From the beginning we see Christians (see Polycarp) guarding, protecting, preserving the bodies of the saints for the anticipated day of the resurrection. We have numerous relics that reveal the presence of the energies of God in the very flesh of the Saints still present. If, everything we do becomes an expression of reality then cremation also represents a very frightful fate of the furnace, hell, hopelessness and death eternal. Burial on the other hand expresses hope eternal, respect, anticipation and faith that God will resurrect not just our souls, but our bodies as a whole unit as promised and shown in the risen Lord. (For us Orthodox, we also believe that after the death of the Theotokos, she was taken bodily to heaven, having been raised from the dead and a revelation of the fullness of Theosis and what we to will become in Christ Jesus) Well, that is just some of my thoughts for now.
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Re: Is Cremation Okay, or Not?

Postby Jim » Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:50 pm

Jim wrote:
Paidion wrote:I haven't looked at Steve's answer yet. But in my opinion it doesn't matter what happens to the body. Your dead body is not you; it is but physical flesh, bones, and innards. Some bodies are consumed by fire; some are blown apart by explosives; others rot in the ground. The person will be resurrected when Jesus returns regardless of what happened to their dead, physical body.


I will have respectively disagree that your body is not you. Our bodies are every bit as much part of us as is our souls, we are a holistic unit. As it stands, the resurrection is strongly defended by St. Paul in his epistles. The question of God can do this or that is not the point of standing against cremation, but has to do with how we respect, honor and hold dear what God has created. From the beginning we see Christians (see Polycarp) guarding, protecting, preserving the bodies of the saints for the anticipated day of the resurrection. We have numerous relics that reveal the presence of the energies of God in the very flesh of the Saints still present. If, everything we do becomes an expression of reality then cremation also represents a very frightful fate of the furnace, hell, hopelessness and death eternal. Burial on the other hand expresses hope eternal, respect, anticipation and faith that God will resurrect not just our souls, but our bodies as a whole unit as promised and shown in the risen Lord. (For us Orthodox, we also believe that after the death of the Theotokos, she was taken bodily to heaven, having been raised from the dead and a revelation of the fullness of Theosis and what we to will become in Christ Jesus) Well, that is just some of my thoughts for now.


.........Conclusion

Cremation is the denial and purposeful destruction of God’s human temple. As follower’s of Christ, we are not dualists or spiritualists who believe that the material world is inherently evil and to be despised. Rather, as Christians, we believe in the inherent goodness of the material world, especially our human bodies. Together, our body and soul, are created in God’s image and likeness. We are called to redeem and transfigure the creation to its original glory and beauty by continually resisting sin and temptation, repenting of our transgressions, and opening our hearts, minds and bodies to the indwelling presence of God’s divine grace through His only-begotten Son and live-giving Holy Spirit.

The only fire we should submit ourselves to is the fire of God’s love and holy presence. St. Paul also says in today’s reading, “13Each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done…15If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved but only through fire” (1Cor.3:14,15). Amen!

Because the Orthodox Faith affirms the funda¬mental goodness of creation, it understands the body to be an integral part of the human person and the temple of the Holy Spirit, and expects the resurrection of the dead. The Church consid¬ers cremation to be the deliberate desecration and destruction of what God has made and ordained for us. The Church instead insists that the body be buried so that the natural physical process of decomposition may take place. The Church does not grant funerals, either in the sanctuary, or at the funeral home, or at any other place, to persons who have chosen to be cremated. Additionally, memorial services with kolyva (boiled wheat) are not allowed in such instances, inasmuch as the similarity between the "kernel of wheat" and the "body" has been intentionally destroyed. (http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/artic ... le8083.asp)

Page number quotations from:
Dust to Dust or Ashes to Ashes? A Biblical and Christian Examination of Cremation
by Alvin J. Schmidt, Regina Orthodox Press 2005.
http://www.stgeorgegoc.org/pastors-corner/cremation
Remembering our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.
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Re: Is Cremation Okay, or Not?

Postby TK » Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:24 am

Jim- two inquiries:

1) what are you talking about when you wrote: "We have numerous relics that reveal the presence of the energies of God in the very flesh of the Saints still present."

2) your view suggests or implies that martyrs burned at the stake or Christians burned up in fires or blown up by bombs or drowned and consumed by fishes may be in trouble.

I won't speak for Paidion but my understanding is similar to his; of course I believe in a bodily resurrection but I also believe that God just might be powerful enough to reassemble my body should its various atoms be scattered to the four winds at the time of my death or soon thereafter. The actual physical components of every first century martyr who was burned or eaten by wild animals are still around somewhere. God can find them.
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Re: Is Cremation Okay, or Not?

Postby Jim » Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:54 pm

TK wrote:Jim- two inquiries:

2) your view suggests or implies that martyrs burned at the stake or Christians burned up in fires or blown up by bombs or drowned and consumed by fishes may be in trouble.

No. Not at all. It is expected that pagans, heretics and others who have rejected God and the resurrection would do all they can to destroy the creation of God as best they can. The point is not what can God do, but our actions in regards to his gifts and creation, this isn't about martyrs. One way is respectful, expectant, and joyful in the coming resurrection, the other leaves those watching a sense of dread and fear, a physical sign of doom and an physical act of denying the resurrection.

TK wrote:1) what are you talking about when you wrote: "We have numerous relics that reveal the presence of the energies of God in the very flesh of the Saints still present."


This would be diving into the Biblical understanding of the Essence and Energy of God. The presence of God e.g. the Grace of God, Grace being God is still present in the body/temple of the Saints.

This might help you to understand were I am coming from: http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/non-orthodox_ch2.pdf

or

http://www.oodegr.co/english/theos/ener ... geies1.htm

TK wrote:I won't speak for Paidion but my understanding is similar to his; of course I believe in a bodily resurrection but I also believe that God just might be powerful enough to reassemble my body should its various atoms be scattered to the four winds at the time of my death or soon thereafter. The actual physical components of every first century martyr who was burned or eaten by wild animals are still around somewhere. God can find them.


Again, as I said, it is not about what God can and cannot do. It is how we choose to honor, respect, give glory to that which God had created and that which He has entrusted to us to take care and protect.
Remembering our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.
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