Are There Scriptures Denouncing Cremation?

William Arnold III


Are there scriptures denouncing cremation?


I know of none. Possibly it wasn't around in Biblical times or was not as common as it is today. Some Christians have taken a stand against cremation because of the high value the Bible puts on the body. For example, when Joseph was about to die, he made his family promise to take his bones with them when they left Egypt. Today when we die, our spirit goes directly to the presence of the Lord (2 Cor. 5:6-8; Ppns. 1:23; Rev. 6:9). The whole purpose then for the resurrection is for us to be reunited with our bodies. The Bible speaks negatively about neglecting the body (Col. 2:23). It also tells us that our bodies are the temple of God (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19-20). And so we are told to glorify God in our body as well as our spirit (1 Cor. 6:20). The resurrection of Christ gets a very high profile in scripture and it is central to the gospel. The point being that it was important that Jesus did not remain a dis-embodied spirit, but he returned to his tomb to revive his body.
Having said that, it is also true that many Christians (especially in the early church) have lost their lives by being burned to death. Of course we believe that God is able to "put the peices back together" or whatever it is that he is going to do to resurrect these people. But the issue is, should we do this intentionally? Well, these types of issues that the Bible does not speak to are left to the individual and his or her conscience. Some have made a good case for cremation because of the high cost of funerals which they believe is wasteful. I think we should take a "Romans 14" on all debatable issues like these: "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind" (Rom. 14:5).

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