Q. I want to thank you for this site and for your wisdom. I deal a lot with the final expense market. I find it very interesting the percentage of people that opt for cremation vs. traditional burial. Today I visited with a lady who wanted to research in her Bible what was the right way. What does scripture say about this issue?
A. As far as I’ve been able to determine, the Bible does not address the issue of burial vs. cremation. In the past some religious groups argued that cremation was a sign of disbelief in the resurrection and therefore was not proper. In 789 AD it was actually declared illegal for this reason. One of the last holdouts against cremation was the Catholic Church who finally approved it as a method of burial in the early 1960’s.
It’s a fact that even traditionally buried bodies quickly decompose beyond any reusable value. God told Adam he had come from dust and would return to dust upon dying (Genesis 3:19). And except in the Lord’s case, I don’t believe resurrection from the dead involves the re-constitution of a person’s original body. I believe it involves the joining of a person’s spirit and soul with a new immortal body. Paul said we have to put off the perishable and put on the imperishable (1 Cor. 15:53).
For these reasons, I’m persuaded that the disposition of one’s physical body following death is a matter of personal preference.