Is it OK for a Christian to be Cremated?

A lot of people say that since the body will be raised rather than being destroyed by fire why should we burn the body now?

The body disintegrates gradually anyway and turns to dust, so are dust and ashes really different? In any case, God is going to raise the same body to life immortal by his miraculous power and pagan rites have been associated with traditional burial too. A lot of people have been buried in the ground, their whole bodies and in caskets, with pagan rites. So the method of burial doesn’t really make it pagan or Christian.

 

Many Christians oppose cremation because they believe it devalues the body that will be raised on the last day. Of course, they agree that God can raise the body in whatever form it has been cast into the ground or the water or the mountainside. But a lot of people say that since the body will be raised rather than being destroyed by fire why should we burn the body now?

Furthermore, cremation has often been practiced in non-Christian cultures associated with all sorts of pagan rites to go against our biblical understanding of death and the resurrection. I was in India, Varanasi, the spiritual center of Hinduism, and just sat there marveling at the rituals and the demon possession of priests as they whirled around and chanted and then burned the bodies and sent them out into the water. So a lot of people say “we don’t like those associations” will have nothing to do with it. Other believers say cremation is okay because it preserves the body as much, maybe even more than, burial in a casket.

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