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John Piper: Why Christians Should Bury, Not Cremate Their Dead
Christians should prefer burial rather than cremation based on what the Bible says about the human body in relation to God and resurrection, John Piper advises.
Piper, who serves as the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minnesota and founder/teacher of DesiringGod.org, wrote in a recent blog post that he hopes Christian readers will lean toward burial instead of cremation, not as a command but rather as a preference.
"I say preferable, not commanded, in the hope that the culture created would not condemn or ostracize a person who chose differently. I encourage those who choose cremation not to equate our disapproval with ostracism. Otherwise, real disagreements are not possible among friends," Piper writes....
Well, the main thing I know about John Piper is what I read in Wikipedia. He doesn't like Dispensationalism, supports double election, Post-millennialist, Convenantist and noncessationist. But as I said he at least doesn't appear to be a greedy individual, which is something of a novelty for all too many pastors, that is why I pointed out his commentary, on Pastors' pay, http://tinyurl.com/z5uva32 as something reasonable. No, a lot of his theology, I would find unacceptable and I wouldn't want to be a member of his church. I'll take your word for it, he wants to pal around way too much with Rick Warren.
Jim Lincoln wrote: FG, I don't know if John Piper can be put in the same category is Rick Warren. does he have some strange beliefs? yes he's a Continuist for one thing, q.v., [URL=https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Piper_(theologian)]]]John Piper (Theologian)[/URL] . He does show some good thinking, however, on pastor compensation. [URL=https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/piper-on-pastors-pay]]]Piper on Pastors‚Äô Pay[/URL] Well, I don't know what I would prefer, but I don't think I like cremation - - what is some of your nerve endings are still working? there have been a few people that are found to be alive on the mortician's table! So, I wouldn't look forward to being cremated.
When Piper was busy promoting and teaming up with Rick Warren he called Warren's theology "rock solid." Sorry but Warren's theology is all over the place and far from rock solid. But what's the difference? Anything Piper says or does will always be quickly apologized for. He is today's teflon theologian. Better nobody mess with him! BTW I find his books and discourses boring as snot and his teenage/yuppie cool lingo annoying. I'll take JA Alexander's instructions on preaching over Piper's anyday. Hoping for a great weekend.
FG, I don't know if John Piper can be put in the same category is Rick Warren. does he have some strange beliefs? yes he's a Continuist for one thing, q.v., [URL=https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Piper_(theologian)]]]John Piper (Theologian)[/URL] .
He does show some good thinking, however, on pastor compensation. [URL=https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/piper-on-pastors-pay]]]Piper on Pastors‚Äô Pay[/URL]
Well, I don't know what I would prefer, but I don't think I like cremation - - what is some of your nerve endings are still working? there have been a few people that are found to be alive on the mortician's table! So, I wouldn't look forward to being cremated.
Neonate wrote: Why the spices an Egyptian burial .. ? Are we to be wrapped .. ? Was Christ put in a tomb ... examples ... to follow?
The idea is of an interment, say the committing of the body to a place of rest reserved for the dead. It might be in a tomb, in a casket, pyramid, burial chamber, or to embalming and later ground burial as Joseph. See Gn 50:26 & Jos 24:32
It depends on culture and civilization, no specific command given about it.
For instance, Christ was buried according to the Jews' custom, while Jacob according to the Egyptian embalming:
"Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury" Jh 19:40
"Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father .. And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed" Gn 50:2-3
Abraham and other patriarchs appear to simply commit the bodies to burial chambers (sepulchers)
ITh 4 speaks of death as a sleep from which the believer will be called/raised "I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep ... For .. we which are alive .. shall not prevent them which are asleep. For ... the dead in Christ shall rise first"
(Christ) "was *buried*, and ... rose again ... according to the scriptures" 1Co 15:4
In Scripture accursed things and idols were to be burnt with fire See Jos 7:15, Deu 7:25 A denied burial meant dishonor, judgment and shame. Jer 16:4 The burning of things/people is associated with cases of ultimate judgment, finality, despair and Hell. See Gn 19:24, Lv 10:2, Nm 16:35 & Rv 20:14
Contrarily burial speaks of honour, respect, and hope as the sowing of a seed. No one burns a seed, but buries it in hope 1Co15:42-44 God himself buried Moses, he did not disintegrated his body, which Satan contended for. God "buried him in a valley .. of Moab .. but no man knows of his sepulchre unto this day" De 34:6
In NT burial is used as a picture of the believer's identification with Christ in his death, pointing to his new life and future resurrection with him.
‚Äú ‚Ä¶ baptized into Jesus Christ ‚Ä¶ into his death ‚Ä¶ we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection‚ÄĚ Rm 6
Christopher000 wrote: Thanks for clarifying, BM. I read it quickly yesterday, but scanned through the thread too fast maybe.
Thanks for your kindness. The essence of the resurrection as described in I Cor 15, in the context of *true science*, brings a thrill to the soul for what it is. The root of the comment was unto edification motivated by the 'wonder' of the biblical approach in the passage, not for argument's sake as it were, but in the hope of exalting the grandeur of the resurrection of the body for what it will be.
Perhaps the concept could have been brought out with less irony. My apologies to the poster in question. However, trust the concept became obvious in spite of my personal flaw. May we be aided with gracious oil so to speak words unto encouragement always. Thanks for your observations Take care Every blessing
Christopher000 wrote: BM, Sorry to disapoint you? Not a great way to lead a response. Makes what could be a friendly conversation turn potentially combative. Just a friendly observation
Thank you, Chris. But if you read the last statement of the post you will see how ludicrous is to challenge the devil about what he already knows about Christ and his power. ("my last chance to tell the Devil off because He too doubts the power of God") Sorry you missed the irony of a flawed rational here in the context of the topic discussed.
It is proved in these boards, that any conversation/ observation or remarks can suddently and potentially turn into a combative field for no substantial reason or intention from the part of the poster.
Often this develops out from the individual's personal disposition perhaps: To "the meek will he teach his way" Psa 25:9 However "He that is of a proud heart stirs up strife" Pro 28:25
Sorry if the words seemed to you out of place, trust this explanations may help to clarify the mode of the wording.
VanPastorMan wrote: every particle of my being, bring it back together and raise me bodily
Sorry to dissapoint you, but what will be raised at the resurrection are not the particles left by dust or ashes. The mortal body is like a 'seed' from which the resurrected item will proceed.
Atheists have mocked the fact that as the existing matter is fixed, say the number of atoms created are limited, and atoms are not constantly 'produced', it would be impossible at the resurrection to have or 'borrow' sufficient atoms to recreate all the bodies from Creation.
Realisticly, as the created matter is constantly recycling its atoms into new molecules of life, (e.g. we are drinking the same water as Noah drank), the biblical concept of the seeding bodies is the correct approach.
"some .. will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God gives ... to every seed his own body." ICo 15
BWS Thanks While some look for chapter & verse to prove/disprove the matter, the issue is about relating biblical wisdom to practice
Historically speaking cremation is and was a strictly pagan practice (e.g. funeral piers) and burial a distinctly Christian practice universally, continued from the Jews. To burn a body intentionally is no show of respect, but was often a means used by conquering armies to desecrate the Graves and dishonor their foes.
It has notably increased since the immigration of Asians to America since the 1960s as a custom brought with them (along with martial arts for youth; Kung Fu shows, acupuncture, meditation, yoga, etc) consistent with Buddhism and Hinduism, as well as from American Indian practice.
Piper is correctly in that we should have deep respect for the body. In the Bible the Lord condemned those who burned bodies because it was disrespectful. Are people doing this when they choose cremation? No, most get cremated because of expense. I see it that cremation only speeds up what will happen naturally. The truth is I get this question as a pastor on many occasions. People truly want to know if they are sinning by choosing cremation. I tell them no, but as what stated earlier if your conscience won't allow you to do it then don't do it. As for myself I would like to be cremated and have my ashes sprinkled in the ocean. I want this for a very simple reason. It will show the world that I truly believe that the Lord Jesus is the King of the Universe. For only He could find every particle of my being, bring it back together and raise me bodily. In fact I would have it read at my funeral that these are my intentions. It would be my last chance to tell the Devil off because He too doubts the power of God
What silliness. Bodies that are buried - over time - decay. Depending on where they are buried or whether they are preserved or not, the body may completely disappear.
People who are killed in fires, or blown up by bombs or in plane crashes, or any other terrible fate will all be resurrected on That Day. The God who can speak creation into existence out of a void, can certainly recreate the believer's body to their glorified one.
It is possible to respect the human body by cremation. I have been to any number of funerals of believers who were cremated and the focus is on their going Home, not the state of their mortal remains.