Bible Q & A
Is the practice of cremation wrong? Does it prevent a person being resurrected?
The practice of cremation is of ancient origin. It was used in the idolatrous fire worship
of paganism notice what the EncyclopediaAmericana says:
“In primitive cultures which have survived into modern times cremation is widely
practiced. Burning is not only supposed to destroy the dead body most effectively
and thus to prevent the possible return of the ghost, but since fire serves also as a
purifying agency, it is often considered a good means of warding off evil spirits….Besides
discouraging the ghost from haunting the corpse and its former abode, and serving as a
means of purification from evil spirits and the contamination associated with the
dead body, cremation has also, in some instances, as among the Hindus and –[the] –Churchi
of Siberia, been associated with a belief in a heavenly abode for the spirit
of the deceased. The flames of the funeral pyre, leaping upward, are
thought to facilitate the ascent of the soul.” (Article, Cremation)
Nimrod and Semiramis were the originators of paganism and it was Nimrod who first bore
the title of “Moloch.” In his honor children were made to “pass through the fire to
Moloch” (Jer. 32:35)—a pagan practice that God condemned! (Lev. 18:21).
Parents even sacrificed their children to Moloch, “the belief being cherished that the
fire that consumed them also perfected them, and made them meet for eternal
happiness. Both the passing through the fire, and the burning in the fire, were
essential rites in the worship of Moloch or Nimrod” (TheTwoBabylons
by Hislop, p. 315).
Examples in the Bible show that a simple burial was the custom of the Hebrews who
lived during that time. (Gen. 25:9; 35:20). Jacob, for example, was embalmed (an Egyptian
custom) and buried (Gen. 50:5, 26). Christ was buried, not cremated: “Burning was looked upon
as abominable, as injury to the dead (Josh. 7:25…II Kings 23:20; Amos
2:1)….Not to be buried was a terrible disgrace which one could hardly wish even to
one’s greatest enemy.” (EncyclopediaBiblica, Article, The Dead)
It is our absolute recommendation that the body be simply buried. In cases where
a person has no control over the disposition of the body, however, we should remember
that it is not so important what happens to our bodies after death as it is that of
having lived a new life after conversion and having died in Christ.
Whether a body becomes dust or ashes (“burnt” dust) the Bible promises
that it will be in the resurrection (Acts 24:15; Rev. 20:12-15). Through the power of
God, all cremated bodies will be resurrected!