Cremation simply speeds the process along. And my difficulty in embracing the traditions of the Church is because they have badly failed me. It seems to me that you are simply skeptical about the whole idea of God: sure, this article would be sufficient if it poised the argument around the idea that burial gives us a common meeting place to honor the dead — and it does say this — however, it is just as important to draw the lines to their transcendent origins (and yes, these can be articulated in Church tradition). Call me a drone if you will. I’d be glad to have a honest debate when you can make an effort to understand and interact fairly with an opposing viewpoint and not demonize others. brings about our transformation along with that of all creation (Romans 8). So where will this mobility put us down? Mr. Harvey appears to be an intelligent fellow. It requires more commitment and sacrifice. This seems to be a case of focusing too much on the letter of the law (though I was unaware there was an actual Christian law). But only by bringing the Gospel to men and women as individuals is any salvation to be had, and grace increased in the world of time and space. I spend a lot of time on this in my longer essay, but here’s one little bit that the colleague to whom I referred in my post says has him “almost convinced” against cremation: If you want to be cremated to save money, I understand and I agree that the funeral industry is overburdened with costly regulations that can make burial a financially undesirable choice, but that doesn’t seem to me to explain the level of vitriol this column has caused. To claim that their resurrection is somehow not going to be accomplished or their salvation is in question is unreflective, at best. It is important to consider where and by whom they will be kept, as well as what will happen to them in the future. It’s that it reflects, as Mr. crwiley# states below, a tendency to think about bodies as extraneous packaging. Mr. Harvey asserts, based on one conversation, that Christians who cremate “are motivated by a heterodox view of the body or of death, a kind of latent Gnosticism that assumes the immortal soul will have no more to do this body.”. now become a butterfly. Tibetan Buddhists prefer, if possible, to leave dead bodies untouched for three days after death, because they take quite literally the idea of mind separating from a given body gradually, and therefore wish to avoid disrupting the process. If you choose to affirm #3 then is it the case that God saves or damns based on membership in a group, or because individuals (in whom alone consciousness and volition inhere) have joined themselves to the community of the saved (the Church), or chosen to stand outside it? That more and more Christians opt to incinerate themselves does not necessarily make that option Christian. The following represent some of the more common nonbiblical reasons given to support the practice of cremation. If you’re not a Christian this is irrelevant (although if you are a lover of place you should have other reasons to want to be buried in the ground which nourished you). Until the author is willing to grapple with these eschatological and anthropological questions, he would be wise to refrain from his largely political commentary regarding the ‘Christian’ tradition of burial and it’s theological priority. But it gets messy. Such is the Christian teaching. Who said I had discarded twenty centuries of unified Christian practice? Sure, any place like this will go through phases. us new creatures and to transform our bodies in anticipation of the renewed Are you really trying to claim that God saves people or leaves them to damnation on account of group membership? You have created a false dichotomy, unfairly, dishonestly, and uncharitably misrepresenting those who disagree with you. In his greatest novel Jayber Crow the eponymous narrator, as many of you remember, becomes Port William’s gravedigger as well as its barber, and it is a job and a duty of increasing significance to him. To mix for ever with the elements, That said, I agree with you, that Christian legalism is nothing to be desired, but one is mistaken to conflate all strict traditions and dogmas with “legalism”. Berry, however, does not mention cremation anywhere that I recall. I don’t want to make that mistake. Some believers object to the practice of cremation on the basis it does not recognize that one day God will resurrect our … , down-to-earth ( literally ) topic you can assert that burial is the fact that it ’ a! Boy if he believed in infant baptism ” moreover, particularly and aptly describes the modern practice of cremation a... 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