“A man might have a hundred children and live to be very old. But if he finds no satisfaction in life and doesn’t even get a decent burial, it would have been better for him to be born dead.” (NLT)
Down through the ages, proper burials have always been important for God’s people. Nowhere in the Bible do we see any of God’s people being cremated. We always see a proper Christian burial taking place. We believe that cremation communicates the message that our bodies are of no significance.
Burial, on the other hand, communicates something far more consistent with the Bible. It affirms not only that the human body has dignity and value, but also that it has a future. It affirms that death is not the end of the body. Because of the promise of the resurrection, we put the body in the ground to await the return of Christ as the Bible promises. Then our corruptible bodies will be made incorruptible (1 Cor. 15:53).
As the catacombs in Rome attest, the early church insisted on burying their dead. Christians being cremated instead of buried was unheard of until just recently. In fact, the first cremation in America took place in 1876, accompanied by readings from Charles Darwin and the Hindu scriptures. Even as of 1962, only 5% of Americans were cremated. Interestingly, the Roman Catholic Church prohibited cremation for its members until 1963. That’s the year the church changed its historic position and began permitting cremation while “earnestly recommending” burial as the preferred method. Yet by 2005, over 30% of Americans chose to be cremated; and 2015 was the year that the cremation rate in America exceeded 50%.
Our research indicates that the number one reason that families choose cremation instead of traditional burial is cost. Their decision to burn up their loved one is usually not based upon Biblical, theological or other religious reasons.
We at ChurchFunerals Direct find an interesting correlation between the drastic rise in the cremation rate in America over the past half century and the drastic fall of our Biblical ethical and moral standards. Is this merely a coincidence, or as our society gets further away from following Biblical standards in life it does so in death as well?
Many people today ask, “Why can’t I find the phrase ‘ashes to ashes, dust to dust’ in the Bible?” Quite simply, the answer is because it is not in the Bible.
‘Ashes to ashes’ is inaccurate, incorrect and unbiblical. There is no such concept taught in the Bible. However, the second part of that phrase, ‘dust to dust’ is Biblical and is found in several places.
For example, Genesis 3:19 reads as follows:
"In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." (KJV)
In Ecclesiastes 3:20 we read:
"All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again." (KJV)
Clearly the Bible teaches that burial, not burning, is the Biblical way of laying our loved ones to rest.
In fact, the Bible seems to indicate that you or your family could even commit a serious sin by choosing cremation over burial.
The New International Version of Amos 2:1 reads:
"This is what the LORD says: 'For three sins of Moab, even for four, I will not relent. Because he burned to ashes the bones of Edom’s King.'" (NIV)
GOD’S WORD® Translation of Amos 2:1 says,
"This is what the LORD says: Because Moab has committed three crimes, and now a fourth crime, I will not change my plans. The Moabites have cremated Edom’s king." (GW)
However, in contrast to this, nowhere in scripture do we see any indication that a traditional burial is a sin or crime against God. From cover-to-cover, the Bible has much to say about the practice and importance of believers receiving a proper Christian burial.
In days gone by, have you already had a loved one cremated? If so, you may not have realized the Biblical teaching regarding proper Christian burials. But at this point things are now different. Now you know what the Bible says about burying your loved ones instead of burning them up in the fire.
And please understand this: God can still resurrect the body of your loved one.
Here is something interesting found in the New Testament in the book of Jude 9. This passage reads as follows:
"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." (KJV)
From this portion of Holy Scripture, we can see that the deceased body of a believer is important to God. That’s why Michael the archangel was sent from God in the first place. But here's what's just a little scary. The devil was there, and he was arguing with Michael over the dead body of Moses. For some reason, it appears that the final disposition of a dead body is very important to Satan as well. Why?
At ChurchFunerals Direct the dignity, value and importance of the deceased person’s body is paramount. We hold the body of your loved one in the highest regard and believe that it should be carefully treated and cared for. We do not want families to burn their loved ones “just because it’s cheaper”. Now with ChurchFunerals Direct, you can provide your deceased loved one with a full-service, traditional church funeral at a cost that is normally less than the cost of cremation. Accordingly, we encourage you to follow the Bible in life and in death.