Cremation vs. Burial

April 26, 2016

Every now and then I get asked about what I think of cremation. You might have heard what I have to say. I think burial is best, however, I don’t think cremation is a sin. I prefer the symbolism of burial to the symbolism of cremation. Christians bury, pagans cremate. A burial is implicitly Christian. When bodies were burned in the Bible it was because they were cursed (think Achan). My view might surprise some given that I’m a tightwad. You can bury someone at Whiskeytown Cemetery for $500, and you don’t have to have the person embalmed. I’ve known people who had their caskets made by a loved one for the cost of the supplies. The bottomline is that the cost for a “Christian” burial isn’t that different from cremation. Cremation is usually cheaper than burial, I just don’t like what it says.

My sister, Pam, alerted me to this post by John Piper eloquently echoing what I’ve been saying.

3 Responses to “Cremation vs. Burial”

  1. phfs9 Says:

    Yes, it is a dilema for me. The cost of burial vs. cremation is a problem. I had asked you about it a long time ago and your response was pretty much the same as here in your article. And, I do agree that emotionally it can be more about the Bible stigma of the bad guys got burned and the good guys were buried. Sometimes I wonder what God would put in the Bible for the times we live in now vs. old and new Testament.

  2. phfs9 Says:

    Well I read the article post by John Piper and it surely does give strong reason not to creamate. But, what about donating your body to science where it is cut into many pieces. What about a Christian burned just for being a Christian. What about that some places in the world do actually have a problem with space to bury loved ones. And, there are some areas like in Africa where disease runs so rampid that creamation is actually necessary to help contain it. I thought I had learned from the Bible that we would all be given a new body when we reach Heaven. So, of what use is the old one. Now I am totally confused about cremeation vs burial.

    • Mark Says:

      I do not believe this is a sin issue. There are circumstances where cremation makes the most sense. I personally think that if possible it is more in line with the implicit message of scripture to bury. So, all I’m saying is that we ought to try to bury if at all possible.

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