Although it's not a very pleasant topic to have to think about, there will come a day when you have to decide what you're going to do with your body after you die. Two options in the United States include having your body buried in a coffin or having it cremated. More Americans than ever are choosing cremation services. In fact, 65 years ago, only 3.6% of Americans chose cremation, but this number has risen dramatically to 48.2%.
There are many reasons cremation is becoming so popular, but if you are a Christian you might have some concerns. Here are three things Christians need to know about cremation.
Cremation Will Not Affect the Resurrection of Your Body
Most Christians believe that when they reach heaven, or the afterlife as it is sometimes referred to, their original body will be resurrected and they will receive a new one. Both Jesus and the Apostle Paul preached on this subject matter. Most Biblical scholars believe our bodies will be resurrected when Jesus returns to earth. There are many scriptures that support the resurrection of the dead, and whether a Christian gets buried or cremated, your body will get resurrected either way.
Christians Were Largely Responsible for Developing Crematories in the United States
The history of cremation in the United States goes back to 1876 when the first crematory was built in the state of Pennsylvania. The second was built 8 years later in the same state. Protestant clergy became largely responsible for developing more crematories as they were concerned that the burial practices at the time posed a health hazard. By the year 1900, the Cremation Association of America was founded, and soon after, crematories were being built all over the country. In 1913, there were 52 crematories and in 2009 there were over 2,000 of them.
There Are Environmental Benefits of Cremation
Many Christians believe that they have been commanded by God to take care of the earth that He created, which includes the environment. This is one more reason that Christians may choose cremation over being buried. Here are some of the environmental benefits of cremation:
- Cremation helps to conserve the land
- Cremation doesn't require the body to be embalmed, which means no harmful chemicals are used
- Cremation services require less energy and resources
If you are a Christian who has been wondering if cremation lines up with your beliefs, hopefully knowing these three things will help you to make your decision when it's time.