Is Cremation Okay for a Christian?

Reader Question Is there anything in the Bible that speaks against cremation?

Reasons for Hope Answer

The answer to this question is really very simple. No. There is nothing in the Bible that commands a body can only be buried. Nor is there anything that suggests today's practice of cremation is unacceptable.

We know that the soul and spirit depart the body at death, so disposal of the body (human remains) is really about dealing with the "vessel" (or tabernacle) in which a person's spiritual being was "housed" while they lived here on earth. We know that the "vessel" (the body) is earthly and perishable. We also know that God created man to have a perfect body that would never die, but that when sin entered the world it brought death.

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)

While Romans 6:23 speaks of death and contrasts it with spiritual life, there was both a spiritual death and a physical dying imposed when Adam and Eve sinned. In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve died spiritually and began dying physically. The spiritual death was conquered by Jesus on the cross and regeneration to spiritual life is available to all who trust in Him, but physical death of the body remains for all people.

In ancient biblical times, bodies were buried or placed in tombs as the method of disposing of human remains after death. Of course, they did not have cremation as we do today (burning someone to death or the burning of bones after decomposition is not the same thing as cremation), so we cannot answer this question from the Bible.

I personally believe that both burial and cremation are acceptable. I also believe that God cares more about respecting and honoring the deceased person than He does about the actual method of disposal of human remains. Whichever method is chosen, the body should be respectfully handled to honor the person who has died and our God who created the body and gave it life.

[Read the rest of the article at Reasons for Hope* Jesus. Click here.]