"Is Cremation Christian"?

The article, "Is Cremation Christian?" is an excellent article that treats why the pagan practice of cremation is not Christian.

Cremation is not legitimate for Christians.
8% (1 vote)
Cremation is legitimate for Christians.
92% (12 votes)
Total votes: 13
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Bert Perry's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Bert Perry wrote:

 

Rajesh, looked through your sources, and it was very interesting that . . . another coming from the Jehovah's Witnesses.  (Glad to see that you're doing so well keeping yourself pure from non-Christian influences, by the way!)

 

Ha ha. I anticipated you using this kind of nonsense tactic and put a huge disclaimer on that comment:
 

(Obviously, my citing these sources does not mean that I endorse all that the authors say in their articles or all the views that they hold in other matters. Nor does it mean that I hold that everything that they say in their articles is necessarily true.) 

Nonsense tactic? Wasn't what you were saying with your guilt by association claims regarding modern music vis-a-vis Exodus 32.  A hypothetical connection of modern music to idolatry is more significant than a very real connection to a denial of the deity of Christ, then, in your mind?

Or is it that your principles only hold until they're inconvenient to you?  At any rate, citing a JW source, given what they do to the first chapter of John, shows a general lack of discernment on your part.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

RajeshG's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Bert Perry wrote:

 

Rajesh, looked through your sources, and it was very interesting that . . . another coming from the Jehovah's Witnesses.  (Glad to see that you're doing so well keeping yourself pure from non-Christian influences, by the way!)

 

Ha ha. I anticipated you using this kind of nonsense tactic and put a huge disclaimer on that comment:
 

(Obviously, my citing these sources does not mean that I endorse all that the authors say in their articles or all the views that they hold in other matters. Nor does it mean that I hold that everything that they say in their articles is necessarily true.) 

 

 

Nonsense tactic? Wasn't what you were saying with your guilt by association claims regarding modern music vis-a-vis Exodus 32.  A hypothetical connection of modern music to idolatry is more significant than a very real connection to a denial of the deity of Christ, then, in your mind?

Or is it that your principles only hold until they're inconvenient to you?  At any rate, citing a JW source, given what they do to the first chapter of John, shows a general lack of discernment on your part.

I have already refuted you in detail about your blatant misrepresentation of my views about Exodus 32 in relation to modern music.

RajeshG's picture

From a Jerusalem Post article by a Jewish presidential scholar:

Ask the Rabbi: Why does Jewish law prohibit cremation?

Recognizing the divine image found in all human beings, the Torah prohibits leaving a body (or body part) unburied. . . .

Recognizing the divine image found in all human beings, the Torah prohibits leaving a body (or body part) unburied and even demands interring the bodies of criminals who receive the death penalty. Several ancillary laws derive from this commandment, including the prohibitions of mutilating the corpse, deriving benefit from it or delaying its burial. The Torah further demands that one take responsibility for a “met mitzvah,” a corpse that does not have a caretaker, even if this entails financial expense or requires a kohen (priest) to become impure. As such, even if a person desires not to be buried, Jewish law mandates ignoring that request. This is because lack of burial is considered to be an affront not only to the deceased’s family but also to humanity, which is created in God’s image.

The Torah, however, also records the embalmment of Jacob and Joseph, which was necessitated both by their Egyptian environs and their desire to be ultimately buried in the Land of Israel. Contemporary scholars generally assert that any form of embalmment constitutes a forbidden tampering with a corpse unless absolutely necessary to preserve its body for burial. This includes freeze-storage of the body and above-ground burial crypts in which the body is not buried within the earth itself. Similarly, Jewish law opposes cryonics and all other attempts to preserve a physical body for later rejuvenation.

Humans, according to the Bible, were created from the earth, and in death we return to our source. This reminds us during our lifetime of our modest origins, while further encouraging us to utilize our time on earth to merit the eternal life in the world to come alongside the resurrection of the dead, which will be granted only through God’s grace.

It was precisely out of a rejection of these notions that many Westerners favored cremation, when new technologies developed for efficient incineration in the 1870s. In modern cremations, bodies are incinerated at four-digit temperatures for two to three hours. Bone fragments and other residue are further pulverized before they are collected and returned.

A basically unanimous consensus of 19th-century rabbinic decisors firmly banned this practice. They argued that the body’s incineration is its ultimate desecration, citing a Talmudic story that viewed the burning of King Yehoyakim’s remains as an ultimate punishment. The Jerusalem Talmud already indicates that Jews prohibited this practice in antiquity, a point that was testified to by the 1st-century Roman historian Tacitus.

It is true that a few other kings were burned after their deaths, including kings Saul and Asa. In the former case, however, this was clearly done so that his bones could be transported and buried in an appropriate place. In the latter case, it was understood to indicate a ceremonial burning of clothing and other objects, in line with many pyrrhic rites in antiquity, since once again the verses indicate that the king was ultimately buried.

In any case, these decisors understood that the irreligious motivations of many who chose cremation reflected their heretical denial of either the world to come or physical resurrection. Some even asserted that the ashes from cremated bodies were not entitled to burial within Jewish cemeteries, since it represents the ultimate rejection of Jewish beliefs that underlie traditional burial practices.

Interestingly, in some Eastern religions, cremation is utilized precisely because of their belief in the continued (and primary) existence of the soul, with the body’s destruction indicating its inconsequence.

Yet, as we’ve seen, Jewish law rejects this attitude toward the physical body. While the soul and its eternal life may have primary importance, the body is still seen as a holy vessel that allows us to manifest our inner spirit. A Torah scroll that has become blemished must still be treated with sanctity and properly interred. All the more so with the human body, which was created in God’s image and allows us to bring the divine word into the world.

It is precisely out of these beliefs in the eternity of the soul and the sanctity of the body that Jewish law has demanded interment and rejected both embalmment and cremation.

One hopes that Jews off all stripes will continue to affirm these beliefs by maintaining traditional burial practices.

Obviously, I am not posting this lengthy excerpt from this article because I hold that this Jewish authority is right in everything that he says or believes, etc. (In fact, I completely reject as unbiblical and untrue whatever he says that contradicts anything that the Bible actually teaches, especially about our salvation, etc.)

The purpose of my doing so, rather, is to show what a Jewish scholar has to say about the subject, especially because there is no mention that a shortage of wood was/is the primary or a leading reason for Jews' burying.

It is telling that I have yet to see a single source that has made that argument or even mentioned it as any consideration at all.

RajeshG's picture

Genesis 23 provides the earliest recorded burial in Scripture. In the 18 verses in Gen. 23:3-20, four words pertaining to burial occur a combined total of 13x in 9 verses:

buryingplace 23:3, 9, 20

bury 23:4; 6 (2x); 8, 11, 13, 15

sepulchre(s) 23:6 (2x)

buried 23:19

By my count, Genesis 23 has more total occurrences for words pertaining to burial than any other chapter in Scripture. It is clear, therefore, that the Spirit has emphasized what Abraham did after Sarah died to secure “a possession of a buryingplace” in which he buried her.

Abraham purchased a field in which there was a cave and trees in the field ("all the trees that were in the field" [Gen. 23:17]). Had Abraham wanted to do so, he could have used the wood from one of those trees to cremate her.

Alternatively, as “a mighty prince” (Gen. 23:6), he undoubtedly had everything he needed to secure wood from elsewhere had he wished to do so in order to cremate her.

In support of that understanding, we must note that the chapter that emphasizes all that was done so that Sarah could be buried comes right after a chapter in which Abraham had cleaved wood that he needed in order to offer Isaac as a burnt offering in obedience to God’s command to him to do so (Gen. 22:2-3). We, therefore, by the Spirit’s design have more than enough basis to infer that Abraham certainly would have had enough wood on hand (or would have been able to obtain it if he did not have it on hand) to cremate Sarah had he wanted to do so.

Abraham, however, did not do so—he buried her, and the Spirit’s emphasis on her burial and the obtaining of that buryingplace instructs us that burying her and providing a buryingplace for her (Gen. 23:19; 49:31), Abraham (Gen. 25:9-10; 49:31), and others of their family (cf. Gen. 49:29-31; 50:13) was an important matter.

The notion that there is not anything important for Christians to see here but that the passage is merely a narrative of a cultural preference being fulfilled and highlighted is absurd. Abraham the father of all believers (Rom. 4:16) went to great lengths to obtain a place to be buried himself and to have his loved ones buried there as well.

God wants us to learn from this passage (Rom. 15:4), learn from Abraham’s exemplary actions (cf. 1 Cor. 10:6, 11), and profit from the inspired, emphatic earliest record of burial so that we will be equipped by it to do the good works that He wants us to do (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

God does not want His own to be cremated—He wants them to be buried!

Mark_Smith's picture

it is illegal to dig a hole a place a dead human in it. To bury a person costs $$$$ in the USA. You pump them full of toxic chemicals, while being charged $5000 or more. Is there any consideration of that?

RajeshG's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

it is illegal to dig a hole a place a dead human in it. To bury a person costs $$$$ in the USA. You pump them full of toxic chemicals, while being charged $5000 or more. Is there any consideration of that?

Embalming is not required by law except in certain situations: Is Embalming Required? Laws and Scenarios | LoveToKnow

Many Christians spend $5000 or more on vacations or other things. They can choose rather to save for burials.

Insurance policies are available to cover final costs.

Burial costs can be greatly reduced by choosing direct burial (Direct Burials: The No-Funeral Option | The Postage) or other options that do not cost as much.

Churches can and should help their own so that no one chooses cremation.

Ron Bean's picture

Dead bodies, even if embalmed, get pretty disgusting after time.

Cremation seldom reduces the entire body to ashes. 

There is nothing in the Bible DIRECTLY forbidding cremation.

If someone is cremated, who commits the sin? The deceased who requested it? The family? The funeral director?

Is burial of cremains OK? I mean, after all, that's what our bodies wind up being.

Genesis 3:19, 18:31, Ecclesiastes 3:20

I'll go back to my seat with my popcorn, : )

 

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Ron Bean's picture

The text should be Genesis 18:27 Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.”

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

JD Miller's picture

I don't think the lack of wood argument holds much sway.  There was plenty of wood for sacrifices, so I do not assume there was not enough for cremation.  At the same time I do not see a clear passage forbidding cremation.  What we do see are many examples of burial in scripture.  Although I do not see these examples as prescriptive, my personal preference would be to bury ashes after cremation.

 

RajeshG's picture

JD Miller wrote:

I don't think the lack of wood argument holds much sway.  There was plenty of wood for sacrifices, so I do not assume there was not enough for cremation.  At the same time I do not see a clear passage forbidding cremation.  What we do see are many examples of burial in scripture.  Although I do not see these examples as prescriptive, my personal preference would be to bury ashes after cremation.

I do not think that you are doing justice to what Scripture reveals. We do not just see many examples of burial in Scripture.

God promised Abraham that he would be buried in a good old age. Why did the Spirit reveal that to us? What does that teach us about the will of God for Abraham's body after he died? Why was that God's will for Abraham?

God commanded His people that they had to bury those who had been hanged. This was not an example--it was divine command. Why did God command them to do that? What are the implications of that command for what God's people were supposed to do with the dead bodies of righteous people?

God revealed that He buried Moses. Why did God reveal that He did so? Why did God reveal that there was a conflict between the devil and Michael the archangel over the body of Moses?

When God used His fire to kill Nadab and Abihu, He did not turn their bodies to ashes, powder, or dust. What does that teach us about humans using fire to destroy the bodies of God's people?

When God fiercely judged the Moabites (who were not His people) for burning the bones of the king of Edom to lime, what does that teach us about any humans intentionally using any means to turn the bones of people who have died to powder?

Mark_Smith's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Mark_Smith wrote:

 

it is illegal to dig a hole a place a dead human in it. To bury a person costs $$$$ in the USA. You pump them full of toxic chemicals, while being charged $5000 or more. Is there any consideration of that?

 

 

Embalming is not required by law except in certain situations: Is Embalming Required? Laws and Scenarios | LoveToKnow

Many Christians spend $5000 or more on vacations or other things. They can choose rather to save for burials.

Insurance policies are available to cover final costs.

Burial costs can be greatly reduced by choosing direct burial (Direct Burials: The No-Funeral Option | The Postage) or other options that do not cost as much.

Churches can and should help their own so that no one chooses cremation.

In my state embalming is required unless you use a high dollar sealed casket.

I don't take $5000 vacations...

So now insurance is needed to follow God?

Direct Burials? Your direct burial is referred to not needing embalming, but this depends upon the cemetary. The cemetaries in my city all require embalming or sealed caskets... so that makes your claim impractical to many.

Church offerings to bury people...

RajeshG's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

In my state embalming is required unless you use a high dollar sealed casket.

I don't take $5000 vacations...

So now insurance is needed to follow God?

Direct Burials? Your direct burial is referred to not needing embalming, but this depends upon the cemetary. The cemetaries in my city all require embalming or sealed caskets... so that makes your claim impractical to many.

Church offerings to bury people...

What state are you in?

RajeshG's picture

Even before God's people entered the Promised Land, He fiercely warned them of the judgments that they would experience if they would not obey Him to do all that He had commanded them (Deut. 28:15-68). They would be cursed profoundly by God, including their dead bodies not being buried but rather consumed by birds and beasts:

Deuteronomy 28:25 The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.

26 And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away.

Comparing Scripture with Scripture makes clear that this curse was a denial of their dead bodies being buried:

Psalm 79:1 O god, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps.

2 The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth.

3 Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; and there was none to bury them.
 

Jeremiah 14:16 And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them, them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them.

These verses plainly imply that being buried by having people to bury them was the will of God not just for those who had been hanged (Deut. 21:23) but also for all His people.

By profoundly warning them that they would be denied burial if they were persistently wicked, God taught all His people even before they entered the Promised Land that burial of their bodies after death was His will for all of them.

The reason that we see the uniform record of God's people being buried in both Testaments is because God in many different ways taught them all from the very beginning of their being His unique people that it was His will for all of them that their bodies were to be buried after death. The only exceptions would be and were those whom He judged by denying them burial for their wickedness or those whom He in His inscrutable Providence allowed to die in other circumstances that prevented them from being buried whether they had been wicked or not.

Dave White's picture

RajeshG wrote:

Burial is a gospel issue according to the direct statements of God: The gospel message explicitly includes the truth that "Christ . . . was buried" (1 Cor. 15:3-4). Jesus has commanded that truth must be given to every human being in the world (Mark 16:15).

Holding that burial is a gospel issue in that sense is undeniably true!

Please define "is a gospel issue" (it's a given that Christ was buried ... I affirm (we all do (S/I doctrinal statement)). How does one's cremation choice (or whoever makes that decision for the deceased) undermine or threaten 'the gospel"?

Thanks

(Please do not 'blow this question' off ... like "I don't need to answer this becuase ... ")

RajeshG's picture

Dave White wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

Burial is a gospel issue according to the direct statements of God: The gospel message explicitly includes the truth that "Christ . . . was buried" (1 Cor. 15:3-4). Jesus has commanded that truth must be given to every human being in the world (Mark 16:15).

Holding that burial is a gospel issue in that sense is undeniably true!

Please define "is a gospel issue" (it's a given that Christ was buried ... I affirm (we all do (S/I doctrinal statement)). How does one's cremation choice (or whoever makes that decision for the deceased) undermine or threaten 'the gospel"?

Thanks

(Please do not 'blow this question' off ... like "I don't need to answer this becuase ... ")

I already said what I have to say about burial being a gospel issue. Proclaiming that Christ was buried is an essential part of the gospel message that must be proclaimed to every person in the world.

I have not made any comments to any other effect concerning what people choose to do about being buried themselves or about burying others as being gospel issues.

RajeshG's picture

1 Ki 14:13 And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.

Of all of Jeroboam’s children, only one would be buried because God judged him to be someone in whom there was found some good thing toward God. No one else of Jeroboam would be favored with the privilege of being buried.

This statement was part of direct divine discourse in a prophetic declaration to the wife of the exceedingly wicked king Jeroboam: 

1 Kings 14: 5 And the Lord said unto Ahijah, Behold, the wife of Jeroboam cometh to ask a thing of thee for her son;  . . . thus and thus shalt thou say unto her . . . 6 And it was so, when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet . . . that he said, Come in, thou wife of Jeroboam; why feignest thou thyself to be another? for I am sent to thee with heavy tidings. 7 Go, tell Jeroboam, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel . . .

11 Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat: for the Lord hath spoken it. . . . 13 And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.

This passage directly accords with my previous treatment of Deut. 28 and other passages that speak of the divine judgment of burial denied. Moreover, it explicitly specifies that one son of Jeroboam would receive the divine favor of being buried because there was found in him something good toward God.

This passage explicitly teaches that God Himself made known in a prophetic declaration that He favored someone who had something good in him toward God with that person's being buried.

How much more does God desire that His people today be favored with their dead bodies being buried at the end of their lives because they are people who through their faith in Christ have been divinely declared to be entirely righteous in Christ!

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

1 Ki 14:13 And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.

Of all of Jeroboam’s children, only one would be buried because God judged him to be someone in whom there was found some good thing toward God. No one else of Jeroboam would be favored with the privilege of being buried.

This statement was part of direct divine discourse in a prophetic declaration to the wife of the exceedingly wicked king Jeroboam: 

1 Kings 14: 5 And the Lord said unto Ahijah, Behold, the wife of Jeroboam cometh to ask a thing of thee for her son;  . . . thus and thus shalt thou say unto her . . . 6 And it was so, when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet . . . that he said, Come in, thou wife of Jeroboam; why feignest thou thyself to be another? for I am sent to thee with heavy tidings. 7 Go, tell Jeroboam, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel . . .

11 Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat: for the Lord hath spoken it. . . . 13 And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.

This passage directly accords with my previous treatment of Deut. 28 and other passages that speak of the divine judgment of burial denied. Moreover, it explicitly specifies that one son of Jeroboam would receive the divine favor of being buried because there was found in him something good toward God.

This passage explicitly teaches that God Himself made known in a prophetic declaration that He favored someone who had something good in him toward God with that person's being buried.

How much more does God desire that His people today be favored with their dead bodies being buried at the end of their lives because they are people who through their faith in Christ have been divinely declared to be entirely righteous in Christ!

But does this passage actually show an exclusive favor to burial? It certainly shows the punishment involved in having one's body lie out for dogs and birds to eat. Someone who doesn't suffer that punishment is simply going to experience the body disposal method that was commonly practiced at the time, that of being buried  I don't see this passage ruling out other disposal methods as also potentially being acceptable to God.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

Deu 34:6 And he [God] buried him [Moses] in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.

God revealed what happened to Moses' body after He died. God was not under any obligation to reveal this information. Because He chose to reveal it, we know that His doing so was intended to profit the Israelites who first received it and to profit all of His people who have subsequently received this information, including us.

God did not bury the body of Moses to fulfill the preferences of the Hebrews or the cultural or traditional expectations that were prevalent at that time--God has never been subject to any such obligations or considerations. Moreover, there were no humans present on this occasion whose preferences could even possibly have been a consideration.

God could have dematerialized Moses’ body in an instant or He could have turned it into dust instantaneously.

He, however, chose to bury him instead in a sepulcher and then revealed to His people that He did so.

God's example of burying the dead body of one of His saints (and not burning it or cremating it in any manner)  and then revealing that He did so ought to be more than enough to teach His people what God desires of them. He has commanded us to be His followers (cf. Eph. 5:1), and all that He has revealed about the importance of a proper burial plainly teaches us that burying His own has always been and continues to be the will of God for His people.

Let's go back to this narrative passage in which God buried Moses. You are insisting in this post that the information that God buried Moses is intended by God as a lesson, not only for the Israelites, but also "to profit all of His people who have subsequently received this information, including us." I don't see how you come up with the lesson you presented, which was, from what I can tell, "that burying His own has always been and continues to be the will of God for His people." How can you possibly pull that particular lesson from the simple narrative of "And he [God] buried him [Moses] in a valley in the land of Moab." That's like me talking verses about Jesus walking or riding and saying that "walking and riding has always been and continues to be the will of God for His people." You can't derive some lesson about the will of God for all people from a verse that simply gives information about an action that God performed on one particular person.

Now we know this passage is referred to in Jude, but the Jude passage only mentions an unspecified dispute and does not give us any indication that we should be looking to this passage for lessons about proper body disposal.

You said in the post "God's example of burying the dead body of one of His saints (and not burning it or cremating it in any manner)  and then revealing that He did so ought to be more than enough to teach His people what God desires of them." How does the example actually do that? I don't get it. Can we see from this passage that burial is an acceptable method for body disposal? Sure, but the mention of burial doesn't rule out any other method of body disposal as also being acceptable by God. You're just making that up out of thin air, since the passage contains no mention whatsoever of burning or cremating, and that is a faulty way of getting doctrine from narrative.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

But does this passage actually show an exclusive favor to burial? It certainly shows the punishment involved in having one's body lie out for dogs and birds to eat. Someone who doesn't suffer that punishment is simply going to experience the body disposal method that was commonly practiced at the time, that of being buried  I don't see this passage ruling out other disposal methods as also potentially being acceptable to God.

The passage does not merely record what merely would happen to that one son of Jeroboam as a matter of normal practice. God specifically says that he would be the only one who would be buried because there was something good in him toward God. That son's being buried was not just people doing their own normal routine. God ordained that son would be buried because of divine favor toward him.

This passage explicitly shows that burial was divine favor and was what was acceptable to God as a manifestation of His favor. Moreover, there is zero evidence in Scripture for anyone's dead body being disposed of in any other way other than burial that was acceptable to God and a manifestation of His favor to a person who was righteous or good at least to some extent in the sight of God.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

Deu 34:6 And he [God] buried him [Moses] in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.

God revealed what happened to Moses' body after He died. God was not under any obligation to reveal this information. Because He chose to reveal it, we know that His doing so was intended to profit the Israelites who first received it and to profit all of His people who have subsequently received this information, including us.

God did not bury the body of Moses to fulfill the preferences of the Hebrews or the cultural or traditional expectations that were prevalent at that time--God has never been subject to any such obligations or considerations. Moreover, there were no humans present on this occasion whose preferences could even possibly have been a consideration.

God could have dematerialized Moses’ body in an instant or He could have turned it into dust instantaneously.

He, however, chose to bury him instead in a sepulcher and then revealed to His people that He did so.

God's example of burying the dead body of one of His saints (and not burning it or cremating it in any manner)  and then revealing that He did so ought to be more than enough to teach His people what God desires of them. He has commanded us to be His followers (cf. Eph. 5:1), and all that He has revealed about the importance of a proper burial plainly teaches us that burying His own has always been and continues to be the will of God for His people.

 

Let's go back to this narrative passage in which God buried Moses. You are insisting in this post that the information that God buried Moses is intended by God as a lesson, not only for the Israelites, but also "to profit all of His people who have subsequently received this information, including us." I don't see how you come up with the lesson you presented, which was, from what I can tell, "that burying His own has always been and continues to be the will of God for His people." How can you possibly pull that particular lesson from the simple narrative of "And he [God] buried him [Moses] in a valley in the land of Moab." That's like me talking verses about Jesus walking or riding and saying that "walking and riding has always been and continues to be the will of God for His people." You can't derive some lesson about the will of God for all people from a verse that simply gives information about an action that God performed on one particular person.

 

Now we know this passage is referred to in Jude, but the Jude passage only mentions an unspecified dispute and does not give us any indication that we should be looking to this passage for lessons about proper body disposal.

You said in the post "God's example of burying the dead body of one of His saints (and not burning it or cremating it in any manner)  and then revealing that He did so ought to be more than enough to teach His people what God desires of them." How does the example actually do that? I don't get it. Can we see from this passage that burial is an acceptable method for body disposal? Sure, but the mention of burial doesn't rule out any other method of body disposal as also being acceptable by God. You're just making that up out of thin air, since the passage contains no mention whatsoever of burning or cremating, and that is a faulty way of getting doctrine from narrative.

Applying 2 Tim. 3:16-17 to the account of God's burying Moses (Deut. 34) proves that account is profitable to us for doctrine and for equipping us in doing the good works that God wants us to do.

The account shows us that God did not choose to turn Moses' body to ashes, powder, or dust through any means--natural or supernatural. He could have done whatever He wanted to do with Moses' body--He chose to bury him.

Moreover, the account of God's burying Moses was not given in a vacuum as a separate book of the Bible. In its context in the entire book of Deuteronomy, God also made known that He commanded burial (Deut. 21) and that He would judge evil people by denying them burial (Deut. 28).

Furthermore, all 5 books of the Pentateuch were written by the same author; in the context of the Pentateuch, God also revealed that in His inaugurating the Abrahamic Covenant, He promised to Abraham many decades before he died that he would be buried in a good old age (Gen. 15). In addition, God revealed that He did not burn Nadab and Abihu to powder when He judged them with His fire (Lev. 10); they were carried out in their coats.

Any Israelite who paid attention to what God revealed through Moses in the Pentateuch would have plainly understood in many ways that burial was God's will for His people and that burning people's bodies to powder was not something that even God Himself did even to sinful people whom He directly and supernaturally judged.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

But does this passage actually show an exclusive favor to burial? It certainly shows the punishment involved in having one's body lie out for dogs and birds to eat. Someone who doesn't suffer that punishment is simply going to experience the body disposal method that was commonly practiced at the time, that of being buried  I don't see this passage ruling out other disposal methods as also potentially being acceptable to God.

 

 

The passage does not merely record what merely would happen to that one son of Jeroboam as a matter of normal practice.

Since burial was "normal practice" after death, then being buried certainly would be normal practice.

Quote:
God specifically says that he would be the only one who would be buried because there was something good in him toward God.
Actually, he wasn't going to get the punishment of being eaten by animals because there was something good in him toward God.

Quote:
That son's being buried was not just people doing their own normal routine.
Are you now saying there was some other body disposal practice that people normally did?

 

Quote:
God ordained that son would be buried because of divine favor toward him.
As I said, the lack of punishment was what was showing divine favor. Burial was the normal practice at the time.

Quote:
This passage explicitly shows that burial was divine favor and was what was acceptable to God as a manifestation of His favor.
Repeating it over and over using different words does not make your notion any more valid.

Quote:
Moreover, there is zero evidence in Scripture for anyone's dead body being disposed of in any other way other than burial that was acceptable to God and a manifestation of His favor to a person who was righteous or good in the sight of God.
Since you claim that burial is showing divine favor, are you claiming that everybody in Israel who got buried was "righteous or good in the sight of God"? I don't see how you can seriously hold that position. People didn't get disposed of any other way, so I don't see how you think it was a sign of God's favor to everyone. Were there no unrighteous people getting buried?

Also, saying that the only acceptable body disposal methods are the ones mentioned in the Bible is like saying that the only transportation methods that are acceptable are the ones mentioned in the Bible. A lack of mention in the Bible is not cause for declaring a prohibition.

 

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

Quote:
God specifically says that he would be the only one who would be buried because there was something good in him toward God.

Actually, he wasn't going to get the punishment of being eaten by animals because there was something good in him toward God.

Wrong. You are trying to make Scripture not say what it says.

1 Ki 14:13 And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.

The text explicitly specifies that he would come to the grave because . . .

The text does not say that "he only of Jeroboam shall [escape the punishment of being eaten by birds and beasts], because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD."

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

Applying 2 Tim. 3:16-17 to the account of God's burying Moses (Deut. 34) proves that account is profitable to us for doctrine and for equipping us in doing the good works that God wants us to do.

Isn't it true that some of the doctrine or teaching of the Bible is simply information that God wants us to understand and believe without it being actual instructions for everyone to follow? Look at Deut 34:8. "And the people of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days." Are we to take that verse as some sort of instruction regarding proper mourning periods for believers?

Quote:
The account shows us that God did not choose to turn Moses' body to ashes, powder, or dust through any means--natural or supernatural. He could have done whatever He wanted to do with Moses' body--He chose to bury him.
Yes, there are things God could have done, but didn't. What difference does that make? The fact that God didn't do something is not an indication that the thing God didn't do is unacceptable in any other situation.

Quote:
Moreover, the account of God's burying Moses was not given in a vacuum as a separate book of the Bible. In its context in the entire book of Deuteronomy, God also made known that He commanded burial (Deut. 21) and that He would judge evil people by denying them burial (Deut. 28).
We've already had the Mosaic Law discussion. The fact that an action was commanded for Israel does not automatically make that action a command to believers today.

Quote:
Furthermore, all 5 books of the Pentateuch were written by the same author; in the context of the Pentateuch, God also revealed that in His inaugurating the Abrahamic Covenant, He promised to Abraham many decades before he died that he would be buried in a good old age (Gen. 15).
Yes, Abraham would be buried, but a promise to Abraham is not a promise to all believers, and the mention of a burial for Abraham does not rule out other body disposal methods as being acceptable for believers.

Quote:
In addition, God revealed that He did not burn Nadab and Abihu to powder when He judged them with His fire (Lev. 10); they were carried out in their coats.
But the passage doesn't even say that Nadab and Abihu were buried, so this passage isn't a support for burial, and it's not a condemnation of cremation, since the passage is simply describing the cause of their deaths and isn't concerning itself with the actual body disposal process. I'm not even sure why you think this passage is relevent to the conversation.

Quote:
Any Israelite who paid attention to what God revealed through Moses in the Pentateuch would have plainly understood in many ways that burial was God's will for His people and that burning people's bodies to powder was not something that even God Himself did even to sinful people whom He directly and supernaturally judged.
Yes, if one reads the Pentateuch, one can see that burial is acceptable to God. That doesn't make other body disposal methods unacceptable. The fact that God didn't do something does not mean that the things God didn't do are unacceptable to God in other circumstances.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

Quote:
God specifically says that he would be the only one who would be buried because there was something good in him toward God.

Actually, he wasn't going to get the punishment of being eaten by animals because there was something good in him toward God.

 

 

Wrong. You are trying to make Scripture not say what it says.

1 Ki 14:13 And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.

The text explicitly specifies that he would come to the grave because . . .

The text does not say that "he only of Jeroboam shall [escape the punishment of being eaten by birds and beasts], because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD."

Um, it's rather obvious that if he's buried, he's going to escape the punishment of being eaten by birds and beasts. I don't see how you think I'm not saying what scripture says. Was Jeroboam going to suffer the punishment or wasn't he? Why wasn't he going to suffer the punishment of being eaten by birds and beasts? Is there a reason? I think it's pretty obvious that the reason he wouldn't be eaten was because there was some good in him.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

Quote:
God specifically says that he would be the only one who would be buried because there was something good in him toward God.

Actually, he wasn't going to get the punishment of being eaten by animals because there was something good in him toward God.

 

 

Wrong. You are trying to make Scripture not say what it says.

1 Ki 14:13 And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.

The text explicitly specifies that he would come to the grave because . . .

The text does not say that "he only of Jeroboam shall [escape the punishment of being eaten by birds and beasts], because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD."

 

Um, it's rather obvious that if he's buried, he's going to escape the punishment of being eaten by birds and beasts. I don't see how you think I'm not saying what scripture says. Was Jeroboam going to suffer the punishment or wasn't he? Why wasn't he going to suffer the punishment of being eaten by birds and beasts? Is there a reason? I think it's pretty obvious that the reason he wouldn't be eaten was because there was some good in him.

Um, that's not what God says in the passage. The information about being eaten by birds, etc. was given about Jeroboam and the rest of his unrighteous family.

What God explicitly says and highlights about Jeroboam's son is that he would be buried because there was something good in him toward God. No amount of trying to evade that fact is going to change what the text explicitly says.

JD Miller's picture

 As I read this discussion, it would be very helpful to me if someone could recommend a book, article, class, sermon, podcast, essay, or anything else that would help those of us who are skeptical of using narratives in a prescriptive manner to know when to use narratives in such a manner and when not to.  

josh p's picture

JD, I have asked Rajesh for this and nothing has been provided. Theological error is often supported by this method. In this case, Rajesh is using it to support a practice that is far less serious but it's still not something taught by any reputable scholar I'm aware of. 

RajeshG's picture

JD Miller wrote:

 As I read this discussion, it would be very helpful to me if someone could recommend a book, article, class, sermon, podcast, essay, or anything else that would help those of us who are skeptical of using narratives in a prescriptive manner to know when to use narratives in such a manner and when not to.  

I am treating the Bible itself in another thread, but no one has yet interacted with actual evidence from Scripture that I have provided about the use of narratives in a prescriptive manner. Those who complain of not being provided anything should engage in that thread with what has been provided already.

Bert Perry's picture

Rajesh, what you've done with your "actual evidence about the use of narratives in a prescriptive manner" is to assume that since all Scriptures is useful for a variety of purposes, that YOUR use of the Scriptures is in line with sound exegetical principles.  The simple fact of the matter is that the references you made tell us absolutely nothing about the way it ought to be used--with our without the knowledge of the culture and geography, etc..  What you've done, more or less, is equivalent to a person watching a TV show about cars deciding he can just walk out and drive. 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

RajeshG's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

Rajesh, what you've done with your "actual evidence about the use of narratives in a prescriptive manner" is to assume that since all Scriptures is useful for a variety of purposes, that YOUR use of the Scriptures is in line with sound exegetical principles.  The simple fact of the matter is that the references you made tell us absolutely nothing about the way it ought to be used--with our without the knowledge of the culture and geography, etc..  What you've done, more or less, is equivalent to a person watching a TV show about cars deciding he can just walk out and drive. 

Uh huh. And of course, your mere pronouncements establish what are and aren't sound exegetical principles, right? 

In addition, simple "Bertian" utterance of the words, "culture," "geography," etc. somehow establishes the validity of their use, right? Apparently, you think that you can just use those words in a discussion, and they magically infuse themselves with sound argumentation and thorough documentation and solid proof of your claims and assessments. That's not the way it works.

Mere pronouncements and assertions do not count for anything.

I have not assumed anything. You do not get to claim that your assessments are inherently valid. You have to prove everything that you claim.

Bert Perry's picture

....I believe that's a beautiful example of the ad hominem fallacy, Rajesh.  Pro tip; try addressing the argument.

It is correct that mere assertions do not prove anything, and that's precisely my objection to your argument regarding 2 Tim. 3:16-17, 1 Corinthians 10, and the like.  The references simply state that it's profitable, for our edification, and the like.  It doesn't tell us how we are to go from narrative to doctrine.  That's the realm, rather, of sound exegesis, principles like those written by Fee in How to Read the Bible for All its Worth.  

Again, what you're doing with your arguments about the proper use of narrative is indeed akin to showing someone a TV show about cars and telling the person who watched he's ready to take that vehicle out on the highway.  You are skipping so many intermediate steps it's not even funny.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

RajeshG's picture

In his typical fashion, Bert Perry blatantly misrepresents what I have said and then congratulates himself on his brilliance. 

I never made the claim that the passages that I have cited in the other thread provide information about how we are to go from narrative to doctrine. The passages that I have cited prove biblically and irrefutably that God has given us all Scripture, including narratives for profiting us for doctrine, etc.

They also point to why nobody should accept as valid the claim that "it's extremely dangerous to try to derive doctrine from narrative passages."

Furthermore, I have provided one inspired example of legitimately using information from narrative passages to issue a prescriptive statement and plan to provide several more.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

Quote:
God specifically says that he would be the only one who would be buried because there was something good in him toward God.

Actually, he wasn't going to get the punishment of being eaten by animals because there was something good in him toward God.

 

 

Wrong. You are trying to make Scripture not say what it says.

1 Ki 14:13 And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.

The text explicitly specifies that he would come to the grave because . . .

The text does not say that "he only of Jeroboam shall [escape the punishment of being eaten by birds and beasts], because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD."

 

Um, it's rather obvious that if he's buried, he's going to escape the punishment of being eaten by birds and beasts. I don't see how you think I'm not saying what scripture says. Was Jeroboam going to suffer the punishment or wasn't he? Why wasn't he going to suffer the punishment of being eaten by birds and beasts? Is there a reason? I think it's pretty obvious that the reason he wouldn't be eaten was because there was some good in him.

 

 

Um, that's not what God says in the passage. The information about being eaten by birds, etc. was given about Jeroboam and the rest of his unrighteous family.

What God explicitly says and highlights about Jeroboam's son is that he would be buried because there was something good in him toward God. No amount of trying to evade that fact is going to change what the text explicitly says.

But my position specifically includes the context of the rest of Jeroboam's family. Let's not ignore that context. The description of the punishment to the family is the "big picture" that you seem to be ignoring as you hyper-focus on the word "grave." Everybody in Jeroboam's family was subject to the punishment of being eaten by birds and beast except for the one son. Why wasn't he going to get the punishment that his family was getting? The text explicitly tells us. It's because there was something good in him toward God. How can you read the entire context and not see that?

I guess I have to ask you the obvious question of whether burial was the common practice for everyone at the time. I know you don't care for these obvious question, but your position seems to ignore the blatantly obvious answer. Of course it was common for everyone, even for people who were being executed. Even for people who were in rebellion against God. Are those rebellious people experiencing God's divine favor?  Since burial was common for everyone, I don't see how you are reading "divine favor" into a burial itself. It's simply not there, no matter how often you make this assertion. The commonness of the practice of burial doesn't support that notion. Because something good was found in Jeroboam's son, he would not get the punishment inflicted on the rest of his family. THAT was God's expression of divine favor.

RajeshG's picture

Had there been an SI 50 years ago and someone had asked the same poll question and engaged in this same discussion, the results undoubtedly would have been very different.

Instead of being assailed by many as unsoundly handling the Scripture, the person who believed that cremation was wrong, unbiblical, and not Christian would have had widespread agreement with him. There likely would not have been anyone who would have charged him with being dangerous and divisive.

Apparently, sound exegesis of Scripture pertaining to this issue has dramatically changed in the last 50 years. Apparently, God's principles of handling the Bible correctly pertaining to this issue have only been correctly and fully understood in the last 50 years by those whose seemingly currently majority position now holds the notion that cremation is acceptable to God.

The Bible certainly has not changed. God's principles of sound handling of Scripture have not changed. God's view on the subject has not changed.

Pondering deeply what then has actually happened to God's people and how and why it has happened is instructive.

Bert Perry's picture

The pastor who did my wedding was a new Air Force Academy graduate stationed in the South, and every evangelical/fundamental church he and his wife visited was taking stands for segregation, often from the pulpit.  He ended up doing home church in response.  I've heard this same basic story from multiple people.  

When reminiscing about the good old days, Ecclesiastes 7:10 comes to mind.  Our ancestors got some things right, and they got others dead wrong.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

RajeshG's picture

Noting that in the history of God's people, they have been strongly against cremation until very recently is relevant and points to the reality that it has not been greater and better understanding of God's truth that has brought about this change.

Darrell McCarthy's picture

RajeshG wrote:

Noting that in the history of God's people, they have been strongly against cremation until very recently is relevant and points to the reality that it has not been greater and better understanding of God's truth that has brought about this change.

You are viewing this through a Western lens

RajeshG's picture

Darrell McCarthy wrote:

RajeshG wrote:

 

Noting that in the history of God's people, they have been strongly against cremation until very recently is relevant and points to the reality that it has not been greater and better understanding of God's truth that has brought about this change.

You are viewing this through a Western lens

What is your basis for this statement?

Darrell McCarthy's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Darrell McCarthy wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

Noting that in the history of God's people, they have been strongly against cremation until very recently is relevant and points to the reality that it has not been greater and better understanding of God's truth that has brought about this change.

You are viewing this through a Western lens

 

 

What is your basis for this statement?

Japan et al

Darrell McCarthy's picture

also way back on this thread, Paul chose to not teach on burial practices

RajeshG's picture

Darrell McCarthy wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Darrell McCarthy wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

Noting that in the history of God's people, they have been strongly against cremation until very recently is relevant and points to the reality that it has not been greater and better understanding of God's truth that has brought about this change.

You are viewing this through a Western lens

 

 

What is your basis for this statement?

Japan et al

That does not establish that I am looking at it through a Western lens. I am a first-generation believer and am originally from an Asian country where cremation is very prevalent. Historically, the Christians in that country have not practiced it. As current Western influence continues to corrupt them, some are starting to accept this vile practice.

I also have close friends who are from that country and have either done or are still doing missions work in that country who also detest the practice and believe that it is utterly unbiblical.

RajeshG's picture

Darrell McCarthy wrote:

also way back on this thread, Paul chose to not teach on burial practices

I have chosen not to address that issue so far because I am laying a fully biblical foundation to address it later.

Jim's picture

RajeshG wrote:

I have chosen not to address that issue so far because I am laying a fully biblical foundation to address it later.

Let's get to it. It's your toughist task

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:
 

I am a first-generation believer and am originally from an Asian country where cremation is very prevalent. Historically, the Christians in that country have not practiced it. As current Western influence continues to corrupt them, some are starting to accept this vile practice.

You started this thread with this statement:

The article, "Is Cremation Christian?" is an excellent article that treats why the pagan practice of cremation is not Christian.

Since the article describes cremation as a practice of "heathen religions," wouldn't it be pagan influence that is causing people to consider cremation, instead of, as you now say, current western influence that is causing it?

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:
 

 

I am a first-generation believer and am originally from an Asian country where cremation is very prevalent. Historically, the Christians in that country have not practiced it. As current Western influence continues to corrupt them, some are starting to accept this vile practice.

 

You started this thread with this statement:

 

The article, "Is Cremation Christian?" is an excellent article that treats why the pagan practice of cremation is not Christian.

Since the article describes cremation as a practice of "heathen religions," wouldn't it be pagan influence that is causing people to consider cremation, instead of, as you now say, current western influence that is causing it?

No, the Christians in that country are not succumbing to pagan influence; they reject that influence categorically. Not having talked to any of them personally, my thought is that they are buying into the views of Western Christian or Western secular sources to change their views and practices.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:
 

 

I am a first-generation believer and am originally from an Asian country where cremation is very prevalent. Historically, the Christians in that country have not practiced it. As current Western influence continues to corrupt them, some are starting to accept this vile practice.

 

You started this thread with this statement:

 

The article, "Is Cremation Christian?" is an excellent article that treats why the pagan practice of cremation is not Christian.

Since the article describes cremation as a practice of "heathen religions," wouldn't it be pagan influence that is causing people to consider cremation, instead of, as you now say, current western influence that is causing it?

 

 

No, the Christians in that country are not succumbing to pagan influence; they reject that influence categorically. Not having talked to any of them personally, my thought is that they are buying into the views of Western Christian or Western secular sources to change their views and practices.

So you admit you're just making assumptions about their views without having any first-hand knowledge.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:
 

 

I am a first-generation believer and am originally from an Asian country where cremation is very prevalent. Historically, the Christians in that country have not practiced it. As current Western influence continues to corrupt them, some are starting to accept this vile practice.

 

You started this thread with this statement:

 

The article, "Is Cremation Christian?" is an excellent article that treats why the pagan practice of cremation is not Christian.

Since the article describes cremation as a practice of "heathen religions," wouldn't it be pagan influence that is causing people to consider cremation, instead of, as you now say, current western influence that is causing it?

 

 

No, the Christians in that country are not succumbing to pagan influence; they reject that influence categorically. Not having talked to any of them personally, my thought is that they are buying into the views of Western Christian or Western secular sources to change their views and practices.

 

So you admit you're just making assumptions about their views without having any first-hand knowledge.

I have direct contact with missionary friends who are here in the US right now with whom I have discussed the subject. Based on the larger context of what I know from firsthand experience about what has happened even in rural ministries in that country because of corrupting Western Christian influence in another area of Christian ministry and life, I am confident that my perspective on what has happened and is happening is relevant.

There may be additional factors, but in any case, I can say that the change is not due to their conforming to the pagan influences in that country that have differing views about the value of the human body, what happens to people after death, etc. There is an immense amount of Western Christian influence on believers in that country so the changing teaching and practice among American Christians is undoubtedly a leading factor.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

There may be additional factors, but in any case, I can say that the change is not due to their conforming to the pagan influences in that country that have differing views about the value of the human body, what happens to people after death, etc. There is an immense amount of Western Christian influence on believers in that country so the changing teaching and practice among American Christians is undoubtedly a leading factor.

So for these people about whom you're talking, the ones for whom "the change is not due to their conforming to the pagan influences in that country that have differing views about the value of the human body, what happens to people after death, etc," what exactly is the vileness of cremation in their case? They're not doing it because of the corruption of paganism, so what would be the guilt?

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

There may be additional factors, but in any case, I can say that the change is not due to their conforming to the pagan influences in that country that have differing views about the value of the human body, what happens to people after death, etc. There is an immense amount of Western Christian influence on believers in that country so the changing teaching and practice among American Christians is undoubtedly a leading factor.

 

So for these people about whom you're talking, the ones for whom "the change is not due to their conforming to the pagan influences in that country that have differing views about the value of the human body, what happens to people after death, etc," what exactly is the vileness of cremation in their case? They're not doing it because of the corruption of paganism, so what would be the guilt?

The people in that country whose views have changed are Christians. They have come to hold the vile belief that burning the body of a believer after death does not matter to God. Their change in that belief is not due to their adopting pagan notions. It is due to the corrupting influences from Western sources who teach that it does not matter to God whether the dead bodies of His people are burned after death or they are buried.

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