Answers

By   •   July 6, 2005   •   Topics:

Q:

Does the Bible forbid cremation? This has been a controversial topic in our family recently, because an aunt of mine died not long ago and directed that her body be cremated. One of our cousins, however, claims the Bible says you can't go to heaven if you're cremated. Is he right?


A:

No, this isn’t what the Bible says, and I find nothing in the Bible that forbids cremation as a means of disposing of a person’s body.

It’s true that burial was the common practice in the Bible, and cremation was rare. When cremation was practiced, it showed contempt for the person (e.g., Achan, who disobeyed God and brought defeat to the Israelites—see Joshua 7:25). Cremation is often practiced today in cultures that have no respect for the human body or see it as evil; Christians in those societies reject cremation. We believe God gave us our bodies, and they should be treated with respect. After creating the human race, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).

One reason burial has been preferred by Christians is because the Bible teaches that one day those who die in Christ will be raised from the dead and given new bodies. But God is able to bring together whatever has been scattered: “And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens” (Mark 13:27).

I hope your family won’t be divided over this issue. Pray for peace in your family—and may each of you face the reality of death, and rejoice in the hope we have of eternal life because of Christ’s death and resurrection for us.

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18 Comments

  1. alice joyce paddock says:

    I so appreciate the answer you are putting on the computer. thank you…God bless you

  2. Karen says:

    Thank you for clearing that up

  3. Angie says:

    I too was confused about this. I wanted to do what God wanted as far as my body after death. Mine would be a financial decision because I think funeral cost are out of control. I trust God that if I have made the wrong decision in this, that he will forgive me. I do think about others like the folks in the 911 and their situation., and others that lost their bodies to other who were lost at sea.

  4. Katie Sacca says:

    I am so glad to come across this article. We lost our son in an accident 7 years ago and had him cremated. since then I have always wondered if we did the right thing. Now my family is encouraging me to decide what I want for myself. I am a Christian and want to do what is biblical but I’m so confused please help.

    1. Diana Khader says:

      Katie, I am at an age where I am thinking about my will and burial, and considered cremation for cost sake. The bible says to ashes we will return, and then God will raise our bodies when all the dead rise. People who died years and years ago have turned to dust, so I feel more comfortable with cremation and would have my ashes properly committed to the ground and prayed over. I believe its ok. I hope this helps, and I would encourage you to pray for peace about it.

  5. Vickie Taylor says:

    Gods will!

  6. Evealyn says:

    I needed an answer to this