"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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There are 336 Comments

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

You are still not understanding properly the significance of of Heb. 11:22. Regardless of whether God regarded Joseph's embalming to be acceptable or not, God still explicitly commended him for what he did that concerned the preservation of his bones and led to their ultimate burial in the Promised Land even though his body was embalmed.

I'm not sure what "significance" you think I'm not properly understanding? I don't see any significance in the verse regarding embalming, so I'm really not sure why this verse affects your judgment about man arrogating God's authority in the natural deterioration of the body. There IS significance in what Joseph's actions say about his faith, which is what the verse is directly about. Joseph had faith that the Israelites would one day leave Egypt to return to the promised land, and thus he would be able to have a "family burial." So if burial itself is part of the significance, then this verse shows that it is "family burial" which is significant. After all, he already did have a burial in Egypt, but that wasn't good enough for him. It was very, very important for him to be buried with his family.

 

 

Regarding "family burial," I have already provided two explicit examples of people who were not buried with their families. Below are two more.

1. Rachel 

Genesis 35:19 And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.

Genesis 48:7 And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the way, when yet there was but a little way to come unto Ephrath: and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath; the same is Bethlehem.

The text does not say that she was buried with any family in any family burial location.

We know from later Scripture that Jacob was not buried where she was when he died:

Gen. 50:13 For his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field for a possession of a buryingplace of Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre.

2. Samuel

1 Samuel 25:1 And Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah. 

There is no evidence in Scripture that any of his family was also buried in his house at Ramah.

Exceptions to family burial do not diminish the significance that God places upon family burial in numerous other verses. They simply show that, while family burial is the most acceptable to God, other processes at the end of life are also acceptable. God doesn't insist on one singular end of life practice as being the only practice that can be done. If God were to make a command against burying someone at sea, then we would know that that particular end of life practice was wrong, but God hasn't specifically done that for burial at sea or for cremation. 

A command against offering someone as a burnt offering wouldn't apply to cremation, since most people today who cremate their loved ones are not offering those people in worship to false gods. If the cremation situation were to be an offering to a false god, then that of course would be evil, but cremating someone to save funeral expense does not count as worship to a false god.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

If the cremation situation were to be an offering to a false god, then that of course would be evil, but cremating someone to save funeral expense does not count as worship to a false god.

When Christians for the sake of money reject doing what God has made known with certainty pleases Him and instead do something for which they have no basis in Scripture to hold that it pleases God, they show that they do not value the Word of God supremely, as they should.

RajeshG's picture

Eccl. 6:3 If a man beget an hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also that he have no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he.

Solomon was the wisest man ever other than Christ. In this verse, he profoundly emphasizes the importance of having a burial as the fitting ending of one's life.

Comparing this passage with all the other passages in Scripture on the subject of burial shows conclusively that Solomon is not teaching that not having a funeral (whether one is buried, cremated, or whatever) is what would be a profoundly unfitting ending to one's life.

He is plainly teaching that if one is not buried at the end of his life, "an untimely birth is better than he." What Solomon says clearly teaches us that we should put the highest value on being buried at the end of our lives.

RajeshG's picture

Concerning whether the Spirit leaves the body of the believer at death, I currently understand John 14 to provide evidence against such a view:

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

So far in my study, I have not found any evidence that supports holding that the Spirit leaves the body of a believer when he dies. There may be such evidence, but I have not found it so far.

 

JD Miller's picture

Yes, the Holy Spirit is with us forever, but WE leave our bodies when our bodies die.  To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.  When we leave our bodies, the Holy Spirit stays with us.

Bert Perry's picture

Rajesh, 2 Corinthians 5:8, Matthew 27:50, and Luke 23:46 seem to indicate that yes, the spirit is separated from the body at death.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

RajeshG's picture

JD Miller wrote:

Yes, the Holy Spirit is with us forever, but WE leave our bodies when our bodies die.  To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.  When we leave our bodies, the Holy Spirit stays with us.

This understanding does not account for all the data that pertains.

1 Corinthians 15:6

After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

1 Corinthians 15:18

Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

1 Corinthians 15:51

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

1 Thessalonians 4:13

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

1 Thessalonians 4:14

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

1 Thessalonians 4:15

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

1 Thessalonians 4:16

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

RajeshG's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

Rajesh, 2 Corinthians 5:8, Matthew 27:50, and Luke 23:46 seem to indicate that yes, the spirit is separated from the body at death.  

Yes, the human spirit is separated from the body. That does not establish whether the Holy Spirit leaves the believer's body or not.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

If the cremation situation were to be an offering to a false god, then that of course would be evil, but cremating someone to save funeral expense does not count as worship to a false god.

 

 

When Christians for the sake of money reject doing what God has made known with certainty pleases Him and instead do something for which they have no basis in Scripture to hold that it pleases God, they show that they do not value the Word of God supremely, as they should.

I can't believe we are 7 pages into this thread and you don't yet realize that God HASN'T made your position about cremation known with certainty.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

If the cremation situation were to be an offering to a false god, then that of course would be evil, but cremating someone to save funeral expense does not count as worship to a false god.

 

 

When Christians for the sake of money reject doing what God has made known with certainty pleases Him and instead do something for which they have no basis in Scripture to hold that it pleases God, they show that they do not value the Word of God supremely, as they should.

 

I can't believe we are 7 pages into this thread and you don't yet realize that God HASN'T made your position about cremation known with certainty.

You have misunderstood my statement.

What I have in mind with the first part of my statement is burial--I believe that God absolutely, categorically, and conclusively has made known with certainty that burial is what pleases Him.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

If the cremation situation were to be an offering to a false god, then that of course would be evil, but cremating someone to save funeral expense does not count as worship to a false god.

 

 

When Christians for the sake of money reject doing what God has made known with certainty pleases Him and instead do something for which they have no basis in Scripture to hold that it pleases God, they show that they do not value the Word of God supremely, as they should.

 

I can't believe we are 7 pages into this thread and you don't yet realize that God HASN'T made your position about cremation known with certainty.

 

 

You have misunderstood my statement.

What I have in mind with the first part of my statement is burial--I believe that God absolutely, categorically, and conclusively has made known with certainty that burial is what pleases Him.

I don't think I've misunderstood. When you make a statement about your position on burial regarding what God "has made known with certainty pleases him," aren't you saying that burial is the ONLY body disposal method that pleases God, and thus cremation would be off limits? Isn't that what you think God has made known with certainty? 

Or are you acknowledging with your comment that God has not made your position about cremation known with certainty?

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

JD Miller wrote:

 

Yes, the Holy Spirit is with us forever, but WE leave our bodies when our bodies die.  To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.  When we leave our bodies, the Holy Spirit stays with us.

 

 

This understanding does not account for all the data that pertains.

1 Corinthians 15:6

After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

1 Corinthians 15:18

Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

1 Corinthians 15:51

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

1 Thessalonians 4:13

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

1 Thessalonians 4:14

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

1 Thessalonians 4:15

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

1 Thessalonians 4:16

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

What is it about these verses that you think should be taken into account? Do you think that because the Bible uses the word "sleep," we should understand that to mean that the body doesn't actually die completely but stays animated by the Spirit in some way even when the body is put in the grave?

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

If the cremation situation were to be an offering to a false god, then that of course would be evil, but cremating someone to save funeral expense does not count as worship to a false god.

 

 

When Christians for the sake of money reject doing what God has made known with certainty pleases Him and instead do something for which they have no basis in Scripture to hold that it pleases God, they show that they do not value the Word of God supremely, as they should.

 

I can't believe we are 7 pages into this thread and you don't yet realize that God HASN'T made your position about cremation known with certainty.

 

 

You have misunderstood my statement.

What I have in mind with the first part of my statement is burial--I believe that God absolutely, categorically, and conclusively has made known with certainty that burial is what pleases Him.

 

I don't think I've misunderstood. When you make a statement about your position on burial regarding what God "has made known with certainty pleases him," aren't you saying that burial is the ONLY body disposal method that pleases God, and thus cremation would be off limits? Isn't that what you think God has made known with certainty? 

Or are you acknowledging with your comment that God has not made your position about cremation known with certainty?

Yes, I think that burial is the only thing that pleases God. Obviously, cremation is off limits and not acceptable to God. I have been saying that from the beginning of the thread.

There isn't anything in Scripture that supports holding that cremation pleases God.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

You have misunderstood my statement.

What I have in mind with the first part of my statement is burial--I believe that God absolutely, categorically, and conclusively has made known with certainty that burial is what pleases Him.

 

I don't think I've misunderstood. When you make a statement about your position on burial regarding what God "has made known with certainty pleases him," aren't you saying that burial is the ONLY body disposal method that pleases God, and thus cremation would be off limits? Isn't that what you think God has made known with certainty? 

Or are you acknowledging with your comment that God has not made your position about cremation known with certainty?

 

 

Yes, I think that burial is the only thing that pleases God. Obviously, cremation is off limits and not acceptable to God. I have been saying that from the beginning of the thread.

There isn't anything in Scripture that supports holding that cremation pleases God.

So why is it that you told me I misunderstood your statement? After all, we are 7 pages into this thread, and you still haven't realized that God HASN'T made your position known with certainty. There are multiple people on this thread who "value the Word of God supremely" and yet they have disagreed with your assessment of cremation. (The poll at the beginning of the thread shows that 12 people say cremation is legitimate and only one person says it isn't.)

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

You have misunderstood my statement.

What I have in mind with the first part of my statement is burial--I believe that God absolutely, categorically, and conclusively has made known with certainty that burial is what pleases Him.

 

I don't think I've misunderstood. When you make a statement about your position on burial regarding what God "has made known with certainty pleases him," aren't you saying that burial is the ONLY body disposal method that pleases God, and thus cremation would be off limits? Isn't that what you think God has made known with certainty? 

Or are you acknowledging with your comment that God has not made your position about cremation known with certainty?

 

 

Yes, I think that burial is the only thing that pleases God. Obviously, cremation is off limits and not acceptable to God. I have been saying that from the beginning of the thread.

There isn't anything in Scripture that supports holding that cremation pleases God.

 

So why is it that you told me I misunderstood your statement? After all, we are 7 pages into this thread, and you still haven't realized that God HASN'T made your position known with certainty. There are multiple people on this thread who "value the Word of God supremely" and yet they have disagreed with your assessment of cremation. (The poll at the beginning of the thread shows that 12 people say cremation is legitimate and only one person says it isn't.)

Because I did not state that it was burial that I had in mind in that first part of my statement. Based on your initial comment, I did not think that you really understood that what I was saying in the first part of my statement was about burial.

In any case, I disagree with what you assert. He absolutely has made it certain.

You know that burial is pleasing to God and that there is nothing in Scripture that shows that cremation pleases God yet you continue to assert that somehow it possibly is because it will save some people money if they choose it.

That was the whole point of my statement. Rejecting what you know pleases God and choosing what you have no basis in Scripture to hold as pleasing to God means that you are not basing your views on what God has said in His Word . . .

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

JD Miller wrote:

 

Yes, the Holy Spirit is with us forever, but WE leave our bodies when our bodies die.  To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.  When we leave our bodies, the Holy Spirit stays with us.

 

 

This understanding does not account for all the data that pertains.

1 Corinthians 15:6

After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

1 Corinthians 15:18

Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

1 Corinthians 15:51

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

1 Thessalonians 4:13

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

1 Thessalonians 4:14

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

1 Thessalonians 4:15

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

1 Thessalonians 4:16

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

 

What is it about these verses that you think should be taken into account? Do you think that because the Bible uses the word "sleep," we should understand that to mean that the body doesn't actually die completely but stays animated by the Spirit in some way even when the body is put in the grave?

No, of course, the body dies "completely."

One key point of these verses is that God speaks of believers who have died as sleeping in Jesus. We know with certainty that their spirits/souls are not asleep. It is their dead bodies that sleep in Jesus.

What these verses show is that the dead body of a believer is still in union with Christ and in Christ even though his human spirit has departed to be with the Lord.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

JD Miller wrote:

 

Yes, the Holy Spirit is with us forever, but WE leave our bodies when our bodies die.  To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.  When we leave our bodies, the Holy Spirit stays with us.

 

 

This understanding does not account for all the data that pertains.

1 Corinthians 15:6

After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

1 Corinthians 15:18

Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

1 Corinthians 15:51

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

1 Thessalonians 4:13

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

1 Thessalonians 4:14

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

1 Thessalonians 4:15

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

1 Thessalonians 4:16

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

 

What is it about these verses that you think should be taken into account? Do you think that because the Bible uses the word "sleep," we should understand that to mean that the body doesn't actually die completely but stays animated by the Spirit in some way even when the body is put in the grave?

 

 

No, of course, the body dies "completely."

One key point of these verses is that God speaks of believers who have died as sleeping in Jesus. We know with certainty that their spirits/souls are not asleep. It is their dead bodies that sleep in Jesus.

What these verses show is that the dead body of a believer is still in union with Christ and in Christ even though his human spirit has departed to be with the Lord.

How can the Holy Spirit, Who gives life, be in union with something that is "completely" dead without giving it life? We have no evidence in Scripture that the Holy Spirit can be in union with something and not give it life.

RajeshG's picture

RajeshG wrote:

Kevin Miller wrote:

RajeshG wrote:

This understanding does not account for all the data that pertains.

1 Corinthians 15:6

After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

1 Corinthians 15:18

Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

1 Corinthians 15:51

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

1 Thessalonians 4:13

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

1 Thessalonians 4:14

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

1 Thessalonians 4:15

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

1 Thessalonians 4:16

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

What is it about these verses that you think should be taken into account? Do you think that because the Bible uses the word "sleep," we should understand that to mean that the body doesn't actually die completely but stays animated by the Spirit in some way even when the body is put in the grave?

No, of course, the body dies "completely."

One key point of these verses is that God speaks of believers who have died as sleeping in Jesus. We know with certainty that their spirits/souls are not asleep. It is their dead bodies that sleep in Jesus.

What these verses show is that the dead body of a believer is still in union with Christ and in Christ even though his human spirit has departed to be with the Lord.

I need to give credit to my pastor, Dr. Mark Minnick, for his directing our attention to and his emphasizing some of these truths in a recent funeral message at my church. His excellent remarks in this regard have helped solidify further my position concerning the profound importance of burial.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

JD Miller wrote:

 

Yes, the Holy Spirit is with us forever, but WE leave our bodies when our bodies die.  To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.  When we leave our bodies, the Holy Spirit stays with us.

 

 

This understanding does not account for all the data that pertains.

1 Corinthians 15:6

After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

1 Corinthians 15:18

Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

1 Corinthians 15:51

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

1 Thessalonians 4:13

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

1 Thessalonians 4:14

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

1 Thessalonians 4:15

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

1 Thessalonians 4:16

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

 

What is it about these verses that you think should be taken into account? Do you think that because the Bible uses the word "sleep," we should understand that to mean that the body doesn't actually die completely but stays animated by the Spirit in some way even when the body is put in the grave?

 

 

No, of course, the body dies "completely."

One key point of these verses is that God speaks of believers who have died as sleeping in Jesus. We know with certainty that their spirits/souls are not asleep. It is their dead bodies that sleep in Jesus.

What these verses show is that the dead body of a believer is still in union with Christ and in Christ even though his human spirit has departed to be with the Lord.

 

How can the Holy Spirit, Who gives life, be in union with something that is "completely" dead without giving it life? We have no evidence in Scripture that the Holy Spirit can be in union with something and not give it life.

To my knowledge, Scripture never speaks about the notion of the Holy Spirit being "in union with" anything.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

JD Miller wrote:

 

Yes, the Holy Spirit is with us forever, but WE leave our bodies when our bodies die.  To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.  When we leave our bodies, the Holy Spirit stays with us.

 

 

This understanding does not account for all the data that pertains.

1 Corinthians 15:6

After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

1 Corinthians 15:18

Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

1 Corinthians 15:51

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

1 Thessalonians 4:13

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

1 Thessalonians 4:14

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

1 Thessalonians 4:15

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

1 Thessalonians 4:16

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

 

What is it about these verses that you think should be taken into account? Do you think that because the Bible uses the word "sleep," we should understand that to mean that the body doesn't actually die completely but stays animated by the Spirit in some way even when the body is put in the grave?

 

 

No, of course, the body dies "completely."

One key point of these verses is that God speaks of believers who have died as sleeping in Jesus. We know with certainty that their spirits/souls are not asleep. It is their dead bodies that sleep in Jesus.

What these verses show is that the dead body of a believer is still in union with Christ and in Christ even though his human spirit has departed to be with the Lord.

 

How can the Holy Spirit, Who gives life, be in union with something that is "completely" dead without giving it life? We have no evidence in Scripture that the Holy Spirit can be in union with something and not give it life.

 

 

To my knowledge, Scripture never speaks about the notion of the Holy Spirit being "in union with" anything.

You were the one who previously posted John 14:15-17.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Since the Holy Spirit is "in you," wouldn't that be a "union"?

You then posted other verses and said "What these verses show is that the dead body of a believer is still in union with Christ and in Christ even though his human spirit has departed to be with the Lord."

If being "in Christ" signifies a union with Christ, then wouldn't the Holy Spirit being "in you" signify a union with the Holy Spirit? 

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

That was the whole point of my statement. Rejecting what you know pleases God and choosing what you have no basis in Scripture to hold as pleasing to God means that you are not basing your views on what God has said in His Word . . .

We've covered this several times with a number of different examples. Just because God is pleased with one thing in a category, that doesn't mean everything else in that same category is displeasing to God. God can be pleased with more than one thing in a category, so choosing one pleasing thing doesn't mean you have "rejected" what is pleasing to God. You seem to be suggesting that only those things recorded in Scripture (your underlining) are pleasing to God. That leaves out airline travel, since airline travel is something that we have no basis in Scripture to hold as pleasing to God. It leaves out harvesting crops using tractors, since we have no basis in Scripture to hold that tractors are pleasing to God.

We do know that the cremation of Saul and his sons was not condemned in Scripture, so we have no basis in Scripture to hold that cremation is displeasing to God. If it was displeasing, God would have certainly judged it in some way and yet God didn't.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

That was the whole point of my statement. Rejecting what you know pleases God and choosing what you have no basis in Scripture to hold as pleasing to God means that you are not basing your views on what God has said in His Word . . .

 

We've covered this several times with a number of different examples. Just because God is pleased with one thing in a category, that doesn't mean everything else in that same category is displeasing to God. God can be pleased with more than one thing in a category, so choosing one pleasing thing doesn't mean you have "rejected" what is pleasing to God. You seem to be suggesting that only those things recorded in Scripture (your underlining) are pleasing to God. That leaves out airline travel, since airline travel is something that we have no basis in Scripture to hold as pleasing to God. It leaves out harvesting crops using tractors, since we have no basis in Scripture to hold that tractors are pleasing to God.

False. When God is pleased with something (burial) and reveals that numerous times in Scripture itself (and ordains it Himself and performs it Himself and promises it Himself and prophesies it Himself that it will take place) and the other thing that you claim He is also pleased with is also mentioned in Scripture (and is directly antithetical to what God says pleases Him) but not stated to be pleasing to Him, we can be certain that other thing (cremation) is not acceptable and pleasing to Him. 

God instructs us that we must prove what is pleasing to Him--you cannot do that with cremation because it is mentioned in Scripture (Amos 2) and never commended and profoundly condemned in Amos 2.

Your comparing cremation to airplane travel and harvesting with tractors is faulty. Cremation is mentioned (and strongly condemned) in Scripture, but those two things are not mentioned in Scripture.

Kevin Miller wrote:

We do know that the cremation of Saul and his sons was not condemned in Scripture, so we have no basis in Scripture to hold that cremation is displeasing to God. If it was displeasing, God would have certainly judged it in some way and yet God didn't.

God explicitly condemns the cremation of human bones very strongly in Amos 2 and you know it. You try to dismiss that evidence by saying we do not have all the information and the context, etc.

Your reasoning about what was done with Saul and his sons is faulty. They were not cremated--their bones were not burned to ashes or reduced to powder by some other means after the burning of the bodies.

If, as you say, what they did was pleasing to God, David would have commended them for the burning of the bodies, but he did not do so. More importantly, God Himself would have commended them for their supposed valiance in burning the bodies but He did not do so.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

JD Miller wrote:

 

Yes, the Holy Spirit is with us forever, but WE leave our bodies when our bodies die.  To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.  When we leave our bodies, the Holy Spirit stays with us.

 

 

This understanding does not account for all the data that pertains.

1 Corinthians 15:6

After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

1 Corinthians 15:18

Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

1 Corinthians 15:51

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

1 Thessalonians 4:13

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

1 Thessalonians 4:14

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

1 Thessalonians 4:15

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

1 Thessalonians 4:16

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

 

What is it about these verses that you think should be taken into account? Do you think that because the Bible uses the word "sleep," we should understand that to mean that the body doesn't actually die completely but stays animated by the Spirit in some way even when the body is put in the grave?

 

 

No, of course, the body dies "completely."

One key point of these verses is that God speaks of believers who have died as sleeping in Jesus. We know with certainty that their spirits/souls are not asleep. It is their dead bodies that sleep in Jesus.

What these verses show is that the dead body of a believer is still in union with Christ and in Christ even though his human spirit has departed to be with the Lord.

 

How can the Holy Spirit, Who gives life, be in union with something that is "completely" dead without giving it life? We have no evidence in Scripture that the Holy Spirit can be in union with something and not give it life.

 

 

To my knowledge, Scripture never speaks about the notion of the Holy Spirit being "in union with" anything.

 

You were the one who previously posted John 14:15-17.

 

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Since the Holy Spirit is "in you," wouldn't that be a "union"?

You then posted other verses and said "What these verses show is that the dead body of a believer is still in union with Christ and in Christ even though his human spirit has departed to be with the Lord."

If being "in Christ" signifies a union with Christ, then wouldn't the Holy Spirit being "in you" signify a union with the Holy Spirit? 

No, theological precision matters.

Scripture shows that the dead body of a believer is still in union with Christ and is in Christ. It is not a worthless shell.

Moreover, the bodies of believers have been bought with a price. God did not buy them as a temporary possession. They belong to Him. Believers are not free to do with their dead bodies whatever they think is expedient. They must do with them what they know pleases God, is acceptable to Him, and glorifies Him.

Mark_Smith's picture

RajeshG wrote:

Scripture shows that the dead body of a believer is still in union with Christ and is in Christ. It is not a worthless shell.

Moreover, the bodies of believers have been bought with a price. God did not buy them as a temporary possession. They belong to Him. Believers are not free to do with their dead bodies whatever they think is expedient. They must do with them what they know pleases God, is acceptable to Him, and glorifies Him.

So, to please God in 2022 means to go into an extended payment plan with a price gouger at the local cemetery and funeral home to pay to have our bodies pumped full of formaldehyde, laid in a way over priced sealed casket, and to pay for truly incredibly priced real estate ($1000's of dollars per square yard), and yet we still decay into dust....

Yeah, sounds like God to me.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

JD Miller wrote:

 

Yes, the Holy Spirit is with us forever, but WE leave our bodies when our bodies die.  To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.  When we leave our bodies, the Holy Spirit stays with us.

 

 

This understanding does not account for all the data that pertains.

1 Corinthians 15:6

After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

1 Corinthians 15:18

Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

1 Corinthians 15:51

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

1 Thessalonians 4:13

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

1 Thessalonians 4:14

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

1 Thessalonians 4:15

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

1 Thessalonians 4:16

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

 

What is it about these verses that you think should be taken into account? Do you think that because the Bible uses the word "sleep," we should understand that to mean that the body doesn't actually die completely but stays animated by the Spirit in some way even when the body is put in the grave?

 

 

No, of course, the body dies "completely."

One key point of these verses is that God speaks of believers who have died as sleeping in Jesus. We know with certainty that their spirits/souls are not asleep. It is their dead bodies that sleep in Jesus.

What these verses show is that the dead body of a believer is still in union with Christ and in Christ even though his human spirit has departed to be with the Lord.

 

How can the Holy Spirit, Who gives life, be in union with something that is "completely" dead without giving it life? We have no evidence in Scripture that the Holy Spirit can be in union with something and not give it life.

 

 

To my knowledge, Scripture never speaks about the notion of the Holy Spirit being "in union with" anything.

 

You were the one who previously posted John 14:15-17.

 

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Since the Holy Spirit is "in you," wouldn't that be a "union"?

You then posted other verses and said "What these verses show is that the dead body of a believer is still in union with Christ and in Christ even though his human spirit has departed to be with the Lord."

If being "in Christ" signifies a union with Christ, then wouldn't the Holy Spirit being "in you" signify a union with the Holy Spirit? 

 

 

No, theological precision matters.

Scripture shows that the dead body of a believer is still in union with Christ and is in Christ. It is not a worthless shell.

Moreover, the bodies of believers have been bought with a price. God did not buy them as a temporary possession. They belong to Him. Believers are not free to do with their dead bodies whatever they think is expedient. They must do with them what they know pleases God, is acceptable to Him, and glorifies Him.

So you don't think that the Holy spirit being "in us" is a union with the Holy Spirit? I see you are trying to nuance the word "union," but I'm not understanding the nuance? Why wouldn't the indwelling of the Holy Spirit be considered a "union"?

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

RajeshG wrote:

No, theological precision matters.

Scripture shows that the dead body of a believer is still in union with Christ and is in Christ. It is not a worthless shell.

Moreover, the bodies of believers have been bought with a price. God did not buy them as a temporary possession. They belong to Him. Believers are not free to do with their dead bodies whatever they think is expedient. They must do with them what they know pleases God, is acceptable to Him, and glorifies Him.

So you don't think that the Holy spirit being "in us" is a union with the Holy Spirit? I see you are trying to nuance the word "union," but I'm not understanding the nuance? Why wouldn't the indwelling of the Holy Spirit be considered a "union"?

No, I do not. In all my theological coursework and studies and in all the sermons that I can ever remember hearing and in all the articles and books that I have ever read, I have never seen anyone say or teach that believers are in union with the Spirit. Scripture stresses our union with Christ in numerous ways, but it never does so with the Spirit.

In any case, the issue that you raised about the Spirit not being able to be in a dead body without animating it is not any more a problem than the one that the Scripture actually sets before us: the dead bodies of believers are in Christ and are asleep in Him.

1. Indisputably, Christ is alive today in every sense that being alive means.

2. Scripture explicitly speaks of believers who are "the dead in Christ" (1 Thess. 4:16).

How, then, can anything that is dead be in the Christ who is alive in every sense?

We cannot explain the mysteries of God. We are to accept by faith everything that He says. What He says in Scripture teaches us that the dead bodies of believers are in Christ and sleep in Him. That makes those dead bodies that He owns by both creation and redemption of priceless value to God.

They absolutely are not worthless, empty shells. That notion is utterly unbiblical and contemptible.

What believers choose to do with the dead bodies of believers matters profoundly to God!

RajeshG's picture

2 Kings 13:20 And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year.

21 And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.

Even when he was alive, Elisha did not have any innate power to do any miracles; the Spirit effected all the miracles that he did throughout his life.

Remarkably, even after Elisha had died, was buried, and his body had at least partially decomposed, the Spirit effected a miraculous resurrection through a dead man's body coming into contact with the bones of Elisha.

This passage supports holding that the Spirit remained in his body even after he had died, been buried, and his body had been reduced (at least partially) to its bones. It also correlates strongly with other passages to stress the importance of preserving the integrity of the bones of a believer after death.

Moreover, it suggests that the battle between Michael and the devil for the body of Moses after he died may have been at least in part to prevent the devil's misuse of the body of Moses particularly because his dead body was also the dead body of a prophet:

Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

Bert Perry's picture

.....the episode of Elisha's bones indicates that the Spirit indwells dead bones, Rajesh?  No other hypothesis might apply--say God sovereignly (and without indwelling those bones) decided to get the mens' attention by using their carelessness to perform a miracle?

If you want to prove to me the hazard of using narrative for doctrine, things like this are a great way to go about it.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

RajeshG's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

.....the episode of Elisha's bones indicates that the Spirit indwells dead bones, Rajesh?  No other hypothesis might apply--say God sovereignly (and without indwelling those bones) decided to get the mens' attention by using their carelessness to perform a miracle?

Hmm. So Bert wants to say that God sovereignly did an unparalleled miracle of resurrection that only happened when the dead body of a man touched the bones of prophet (who had died long ago) to get people's attention through their carelessness? Notice how he leaves unstated carelessness about what.

On this reading, we must ask why would God do such a miracle? What did he want to get people's attention about?

Since He only effected the miracle through contact with the bones of a dead prophet, we have to hold that God was teaching that He had such a special regard for those bones such that He was willing to do this phenomenal miracle. Such sovereign divine action would prove that the bones of a dead believer were exceedingly special to God, which directly correlates with what I said in my post.

Either by my reading or Bert's, there is no escaping the force of this passage that preserving the bones of His own after they have died is exceedingly important to God. Moreover, every miracle that God did through Elisha was done through the Spirit who was upon and in Elisha. There is no basis in the passage to hold that this miracle was any different.

RajeshG's picture

Matthew 8:21 And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

Luke 9:59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.

In both of these passages, Jesus used imperatives to give commands concerning burying the dead:

ἄφες τοὺς νεκροὺς θάψαι τοὺς ἑαυτῶν νεκρούς (Matt. 8:21)

Ἄφες τοὺς νεκροὺς θάψαι τοὺς ἑαυτῶν νεκρούς (Lk. 9:60)

Bert Perry's picture

My point was that your conclusion that the Spirit indwelt dead bones was hasty, not that I was going to stand firmly upon another.  

Regarding "Let the dead bury their dead", parse that out a bit.  Is Jesus really suggesting that the dead are going to come out of their graves and bury another person?  (and their graves are going to be re-closed how?)  Again, great example of how it's dangerous business to try to use narrative for doctrine.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

RajeshG's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

Regarding "Let the dead bury their dead", parse that out a bit.  Is Jesus really suggesting that the dead are going to come out of their graves and bury another person?  (and their graves are going to be re-closed how?)  Again, great example of how it's dangerous business to try to use narrative for doctrine.

No, Jesus is not suggesting that physically dead people are going to do those things.

Many commentators and other interpreters have rightly explained that in the first occurrence of "dead" in these commands, Jesus was speaking in that context of people who were physically alive but spiritually dead. They were the ones to whom the disciple (to whom Jesus addressed these commands; not the same person in both passages because these are accounts of two different events and disciples) had to leave the task of burying those who were physically dead.

RajeshG's picture

Deut. 21:22 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree:

23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

God gave this command to His people before they entered the Promised Land. It specified that those who were executed for having committed a capital offense and then were hanged had to be buried. God did not allow any other means of final disposal of the bodies of these people.

It's necessary to ask why did God command that these people had to be buried but supposedly He did not care what was done with the dead bodies of anyone else. The text says that these people had to be buried so that the Promised Land would not be defiled.

Had any other method of final disposal of their bodies been used, the land would have been defiled. Only burial of the dead bodies of these people who had been executed and then hanged would keep the land from being defiled.

In a previous post, I provided a treatment of Ezekiel 39, which is conceptually closely related to the teaching in Deut. 21:22-23, as follows. 

In that passage, God stresses that the dead bodies of all those that God will slay of Gog and Magog will have to be and will be buried in order for the land to be cleansed (Ezek. 39:12, 14, 16).

Comparing Scripture with Scripture shows that only the burial of those who either had been executed and then hanged (Deut. 21:22-23) or those whom God will some day slay and direct birds and beasts to consume their bodies (Ezek. 39:2-5) either did keep the land from being defiled (Deut. 21) or will cleanse it after it will have been defiled by a vast number of unburied dead bodies in the land (Ezek. 39).

This comparison stresses the importance of the burial of even the bones of a vast number of dead humans who will be unrighteous such that they will be executed by God. This comparison correlates with my treatment of other passages to stress the importance of the burial of human bones.

Bert Perry's picture

I went to a funeral today for a retired pastor who donated his body to Mayo for use in medical research--typically it would be used for what's called "gross lab" (gross anatomy, not just because of being icky) for nurses and doctors, or possibly tissue samples would be taken for research.  Unless the family wants the body back for a traditional cremation or burial, it's free.

My take is that this is God-honoring because it trains the next generation of doctors and nurses for keeping us alive.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

RajeshG's picture

Ruth is the only named woman of whom Scripture records that she was widely known to be a virtuous woman (Ruth 3:11). Prior to the statement by Boaz that revealed that fact about her, Boaz had commended her highly for her care of her widowed mother-in-law and for her trust in the Lord (Ruth 2:11-12).

Scripture records for our profit Ruth's resolve concerning her commitment to her mother-in-law:

Ruth 1:16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: 17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

When Ruth made these statements, she was a young widow who had no idea what the future would hold for her. Her statements of resolve and expectation climax with her saying that she would die and be buried where her mother-in-law would die. The flow of thought implies that her resolve and expectation was that her mother-in-law Naomi would be buried when she would die.

Some will dismiss this record in Scripture by saying that it's merely a record of what one woman said in a narrative passage. The right way to regard this statement, however, is not to dismiss it in that manner.

Rather, we are to profit from it by acknowledging that this young woman who was a virtuous woman fully resolved and expected to be buried at the end of her life. It's clear that she valued being buried at the end of her life.

Her statement concurs fully with Solomon's teaching that profoundly emphasizes the importance of burial as the fitting end of one's life (Eccl. 6:3). Ruth exemplifies for us the resolve and expectation that even young believers should have that they will be buried at the end of their lives.

As much as lies within us, we should see to it that our loved ones are buried at the end of their lives. We should also do all that we can do to insure that we will be buried at the end of our lives.

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