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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56 Comments

  1. Susan Allen says:

    We had my husband cremated when he died in 2013. I feel it was a great sin, as he was a devout Christian. He wanted a green burial. His pagan son made the decision, since I was in a state of shock and didn’t have the money. Is there a lesson here? Don’t trust others to carry out your wishes.

  2. Shelia Whitehead says:

    I was wanting to know if it would be wrong according to God’s word to cremate a 8 week old fetus that was miscarried

    1. BGEA says:

      Hi Sheila,

      Here is an article by Billy Graham and another by BGEA staff related to your question:

      Thanks,
      – BGEA Team

  3. Donna Shockley says:

    Very good help thanks a lot

  4. tim says:

    Thank you.

  5. Barnara Rex says:

    Thank you for making me feel good about cremation. My sweet husband requested cremation and I did what he asked. Today a sermon on bones and going to heaven unnerved me. My sainted husband was cremated. I know he is with Jesus as he loved the Lord.

  6. Thank you says:

    Thank you for the comforting information. I just do not want to disrespect the temple that he has blessed us with. Cremation most definitely is the cheapest way to go these days. I was thinking about all the people who have been burned live in a fire, like the 2000 from 911- all the little children and the people that were Christians. It was not a choice about cremation. Or Paul Walker who died by fire- these people did not have a choice of cremation.