IT’S THE QUESTION OF THE WEEK.
It comes from Vivian Shoemaker, who gets a free book for her trouble.
Send in your question and if I select it for one of my Monday blogs, you get to pick a free book from this inventory.
Here’s Vivian’s question:
I am wondering if the Bible says anything about cremation as opposed to burial. My husband and I are planning to donate our bodies for medical study…. My cousin, a Mormon, insists if you are cremated you will “burn in hell” No pun intended!
Cooked twice, like refried beans?
I don’t think so.
Kindly tell your cousin that cremation is not forbidden in the Bible or in the Book of Mormon.
Though the official position of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormons) leans away from cremation, it allows it:
“The Church does not normally encourage cremation. However, in some countries, the law requires cremation. The family of the deceased must decide whether the body should be cremated, taking into account any laws governing burial or cremation” (LSD Handbook, volume 2).
If cremation were the shortcut to hell, my local church would be passing out free batteries for smoke alarms.
Imagine this. If, through no fault of my own I died in a house fire and got lost among the ashes of my books and my bills, do you really think God would punish me?
I’d expected him, more likely, to welcome me into heaven with a tube of burn salve and a bowl of ice cream.
One argument against cremation is that the Bible says God is going to reanimate us:
Someone may ask, “How are the dead raised? What kind of body will they have?” Foolish person! When you sow a seed, it must die in the ground before it can live and grow…. It is the same with the dead who are raised to life. The body that is “planted” will ruin and decay, but it is raised to a life that cannot be destroyed” (1 Corinthians 15:35-36; 42, NCV).
Paul wrote that as a metaphor, not a prescription.
You don’t have to get planted like a posy to bloom forever.
“The sea gave up the dead people who were in it, and death and its kingdom also gave up their dead” (Revelation 20:13, CEV).
Whatever it takes to reanimate us into celestial bodies, God has what it takes.
So go ahead and donate your body to science, burn the leftovers, and invite your Mormon cousin to do the same.
It’s cheaper. It’s greener. It’s Christian.