Tag Archives: death

Cremation: Is it a sin? Is it in the Bible?

Recently the question was brought to my attention of: Is cremation a sin and is it in the Bible.
My initial response was:
“Cremation as a sin, I honestly i do not think it is. “
I did elaborate further as to why i believe this in my conversation with the person and included biblical references which I will cite as well as my side of the conversation.
Before I do that let me begin with this, what is sin? Let’s define that and see what the
Bible defines as sin in both the OT and NT.
Sin- Merriam Webster Dictionary states- (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sin)
1
a :  an offense against religious or moral law
b :  an action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible it’s a sin to waste food
c :  an often serious shortcoming :  fault
2
a :  transgression of the law of God
b :  a vitiated state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God
In the very beginning, God told man what was right and wrong. To Adam in the Garden, God said, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17).
When Israel was freed from the oppression of Egypt by Moses aided by God, God provided the Law to Moses (the Ten Commandments Exodus 20:1-17). Though these are not all the laws these are synopsis of laws, for example From the Ten Commandments we are told we are not to have false worship, idolatry, misusing God’s name, violating the Sabbath, dishonoring parents, murder, adultery, stealing, lying/libel, and coveting.
Though in the books of Deuteronomy and Leviticus respectively are filled with laws. It is said by Jewish rabbis that there are 613 laws in the Torah (Books of Moses). Of those, 365 are in the “thou shalt not…”.
In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7), Jesus took some of these same sins to a new level.
Regarding murder, Jesus said, “Anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment…. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell” (Matthew 5:22).
Regarding adultery, Jesus said, “Anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28)
In Galatians 5:19-21, we are told, “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Now that we got sin covered, let’s talk about burial and cremation.
I wish I did more extensive research when the question was presented to me.
Nonetheless here is what I found.
I found an article that describe different burial custom world wide. Here are a few snap shots but for further information I have provided Links within this post.
In India:
hindu oil lamps

“This Hindu practice literally translates to ‘last sacrifice.’ Depending on the caste, gender, and age of the deceased, they are symbolically returned to the elements of creation in a specific ritual. It is common that a funeral pyre is used in at least one part of this practice.”
South Korea: burial beads
emerald beads

Since there is such limited space for burial in South Korea, they have to get creative with the bodies of the deceased. In this practice, the body is cremated and pressed into jewelry-like beads. They are often colorful and kept in an urn or bottle.”
Philippines- hanging coffins
hanging coffins philippines sagada

“Hidden high up along mountainsides and in difficult to reach places. The people of Sagada in the Philippines believed that the closer a coffin was to the sky, the closer the deceased was to heaven.”
The Philippines also has the “Tinguian Funeral,” where “people dress the dead in their finest clothes, sit them in a chair, and give them a smoke. There the dead sit smoking for several weeks.”
Jade burial suit Han dynasty china

western han dynasty jade shroud

Royal members of the Han dynasty were buried in ceremonial suits of jade. The jade was cut into square, rectangular, and triangular shapes and threaded with wire to cover the entire body, like a suit of armor. They were extremely expensive and took years to complete.”
42 funeral customs from around the world infographic

Those are some of the many customs world wide about burials. Traditions vary based on regional needs, geography, population density, traditions, customs, beliefs and so forth.
In my response to my friend’s inquiry I started out with this:
The thing we have here (concerning cremation and burial in the bible) is the customs of old (Hebrews and Egyptians ) where they would embalm a body in order to preserve the body. But that’s just to delay or prevent decay as well as cover up the stench of rotting flesh. Eventually it will decay and return to ashes (which is what cremation does by speeding up the process).
The Bible doesn’t mention cremation at all… from my knowledge it only mentions traditions that the Jews and Egyptians followed.
The Bible mentions that we were created from dust and to that we shall return, but it doesn’t mention how. (Scientifically speaking we know that decaying is the how….. but the Bible doesn’t mention it- per say other than that we shall return to dust).
In Genises we were created from dust right….but it also states we will return to dust Genesis 3:19 | NIV By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground,since from it you were taken;for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
Then in Job 30:19 | NIV says : He throws me into the mud,and I am reduced to dust and
ashes.
Ecclesiastes 3:20 | NIV All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all
return.
These are where people get the phrases ashes to ashes dust to dust from
People might call it a sin because of the rapture…. when Jesus returns and calls upon his followers everyone whom believe are supposed to ascend to heaven with him…. even those whom have long died. Some feel that if you cremate that you have no body to ascend from to enter heaven.
What people forget to realize those whom died 2000 years ago or even 500 years ago, or even 100 years ago their bodies have already decayed to the point of dust. Their physical bodies are in existent. We we ascend to heaven with Jesus it’s our spirits that are going up not us physically. (At least that my understanding of it).
So those whom believe you need the body for the rapture will say it’s a sin.
Some say it’s a sin because we are not to harm ones body because our body is our temple…. I feel that instruction is for the living once we are dead, are bodies are no longer needed, it’s just a vessel used for our soul. Jesus preached on salvation so our souls could be saved…. not necessarily our bodies, though it is the temple for our soul and we shouldn’t desecrate it.
Again I do not think it’s a sin to cremate a loved one.
The Bible doesn’t mention cremation. It mentions burial traditions of the past but that doesn’t mean that’s how it has to be done. if we were to bury our loved ones like they did in the Bible they would be wrapped in cloths and dropped in a ditch or placed inside a cave (stone tomb sepulcher) vs a cemetery plot.
Personally my husband and I both discussed cremation, we want it, my parents want to be cremated…. it’s less of a hassle & more economical.
Do I feel being cremated will jeopardize me in the after life … no.
Do I feel it’s a sin…. no.
My compadre (son’s God Father) when he passed was cremated… and I was surprised because his mom is one of those old school Christians whom doesn’t believe in Tattoo’s, desecrating nor defiling the body and she has very strong opinions on specific issues. She didn’t want to bury her son in a plot, she wanted to have his remains near her until his son is old enough to decide what he wants to do with the ashes.
At the end of the day, you and I can read the same verse and still interpret it differently, because the message God reveals in the interpretation is specific to you at that moment. The decision to cremate rests solely in the hands of those making the decisions.
I was relieved to find that most of the information I shared is what several others shared to people seeking answers to this question, though the research I found was after I said what I said.
Reverend Billy Grand stated the following which is something I did not think of:
“No, this isn’t what the Bible says, and I find nothing in the Bible that
forbids cremation as a means of disposing of a person’s body.
It’s true that burial was the common practice in the Bible, and
cremation was rare. When cremation was practiced, it showed contempt for
the person (e.g., Achan, who disobeyed God and brought defeat to the
Israelites—see Joshua 7:25). Cremation is often practiced today in
cultures that have no respect for the human body or see it as evil;
Christians in those societies reject cremation. We believe God gave us
our bodies, and they should be treated with respect. After creating the
human race, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good”
(Genesis 1:31).
One reason burial has been preferred by Christians is because the Bible
teaches that one day those who die in Christ will be raised from the
dead and given new bodies. But God is able to bring together whatever
has been scattered: “And he will send his angels and gather his elect
from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the
heavens” (Mark 13:27).”
I feel relieved that I did not provide misinformation, then again when one is guided by the spirit, it is he who provides the knowledge needed.
Heavenly father I thank you for the opportunity given to help out a friend in need of answers. I thank you for guiding her to my direction. I thank you for guiding the answer that I was able to provide her. I thank you for your wisdom and your knowledge for it was you whom directed me to those verses I cited for my friend. Father I ask that you to continue to guide each of us when it comes to question concerning your ministry, your word and your teachings. May we not cause blasphemous claims dear lord. I pray that the information provided could be of use to those whom may need it. Amen.

R.I.P

Related image

I posted a blog entitled “Crying a River” a few days back.

I dedicate that post, and this one to Patient Doe  (that is what I will refer the person as for privacy reasons).

Patient Doe passed away since I wrote that post.

My heart aches for the family of Doe.

Sending a special Prayer for the family.

God our Father,

Lord, at the moment nothing  it may seem to be able to help the loss this family feels.
My heart is broken and my spirit mourns with them.
All I know is that Your grace is sufficient.
This day, this hour
Moment by moment
I choose to lean on You, I pray that this family leans on you as well.
For when I am at my weakest Your strength is strongest.

I know in this moment of weakness and pain, you will provide the strength needed for them to continue.
I praise You that on one glorious day
When all suffering is extinguished and love has conquered
We shall all walk together again.

Despite this loss, I bring before you today
 those who suffer 
from chronic illness or disability
- those for whom sickness or disability profoundly affects their lives.

When they feel diminished,
remind them that you call them by name and hold them 
in the palm of your hand.

When they feel fragile and broken, mold them and heal them,
 that they may more closely resemble the image of Jesus,

your Son and our Brother.

When they are reminded
of different times in the past ,
lead them to grow in the faith 
that you love them today, as they are, in the reality of their lives this day.

When they feel uncertain about the future, lead them to that perfect love 
which casts out all fear.

When situations remind them – not of what they can do,
but of what they cannot do – remind them that “love never fails”,
and that, living in your love, they will bear your fruit in plenty.

May all of us
- whatever our circumstances -
 never be so taken up with our own concerns that we do not see or respond to 
the needs of others.

May we live with courage
the different challenges 
that each of us faces.

Amen.

R.I.P Patient Doe.

 

Crying a River

Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me
I’ve been crying so much I could probably replenish the ocean.  

We all complain about our problems.

Gossip.

Stress.

Financial hardships.

Disrespectful individuals.

Selfish folks in our lives.

Illness.

When things don’t go out way,Etc.
Those with terminal illnesses, how often do you hear them complaining?

They ride it out.

Hope they can buy more time.

They pray.

They hope.

They find faith.

They fight.

They don’t complain.
I work at a prestigious facility, where our patients, whom come seeking care, their happiness and comfort is our priority. We must go above and beyond, regardless what role you play in the institution. We do everything we are physically able to within the constraints of our duties to not only get our jobs done but to ensure our patients are rightfully cared for.
I have a patient whom I will refer to as patient Doe. I won’t even reveal the gender of patient Doe, nor anything specific to this patient other than Doe has a terminal illness.
Doe has been a trooper throughout the various stages of Doe’s care. Currently it’s not looking good for Doe. I respect people like Doe, why? Despite what they are going through they don’t cry, complain, fret… they know the cards they were handed in life. They know where their path wlll lead them. They don’t complain.

They don’t cry.
We cry over everything. We stub our toe, we complain, we trip we cry. We have a bad day, we cry and complain. We complain, complain and complain failing to realize others have it worse than we do, terminally worse, and they are not crying, complaining or fretting.
Patient Doe could be any patient. Though the Patient Doe whom I’m thinking of as I’m writing this only God knows whom this persons true identity is. I’ve been crying for over a week because of this patient Doe. I did become emotionally vested in this patients care. Sent several prayers for this patient and the family. When I last spoke with Doe, the person told me, whatever God decides to do I am ready. If God grants me more time, I’ll take it. If God calls upon me I will answer. I’m ready, I’m scared, I don’t want to go, but I know where’re I’m going when I’m gone.
Isaiah 40:31 | NIV

but those who hope in the Lordwill renew their strength.They will soar on wings like eagles;they will run and not grow weary,they will walk and not be faint.
We should all hope in the lord to have renewed strength despite our circumstances.
I usually end my posts with a prayer from my heart, my prayers are inspired and led by God and the content of my post. My prayers are from the heart. Today I try, yet I cry. A river is flowing from my heart. I asked God to guide me with a special prayer given the nature of this post and he led me to this.
I saw this prayer online and felt it fitting with this post.

I’ve cried, I’ve prayed and trust in the lord for my patients.
God our Father,
we bring before you today
those who suffer
from chronic illness or disability
- those for whom sickness or disability profoundly affects their lives. 

When they feel diminished,
remind them that you call them by name and hold them
in the palm of your hand. 

When they feel fragile and broken, mould them and heal them,
that they may more closely resemble the image of Jesus, 

your Son and our Brother. 

When they are reminded
of different times in the past,
lead them to grow in the faith
that you love them today, as they are, in the reality of their lives this day. 

When they feel uncertain about the future, lead them to that perfect love
which casts out all fear. 

When situations remind them – not of what they can do,
but of what they cannot do – remind them 

that “love never fails”,
and that, living in your love, they will bear your fruit in plenty. 

May all of us
- whatever our circumstances -
never be so taken up with our own concerns that we do not see or respond to
the needs of others.
May we live with courage
the different challenges
that each of us faces. Amen. 
I will end with this scripture 
Deuteronomy 31:6 | NIV
6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
This post is dedicated to my Doe, It shall be God’s will. Keeping the family of patient Doe in prayers. Though I didn’t mention the full details of what’s going on, though I didn’t name this person, nor revealed anything other that this person is sick, I ask that you pray for this “Doe”. Pray for all that is sick.

Sacrificial Love

Sacrificial LoveJohn 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

Define friends? Someone you love and care for, have things in common with, enjoy company.
Would you lay your life for your friend?
3/15/15 was a very sad day for our family. My husband lost his best friend. His best friend died saving the life of Mans best friend, his dog.
“A Brooklyn man lost his life fighting to save his best friend.”
Several news outlets featured articles / segments with this caption and story.
Our lives were crushed.

Our hearts were crushed.

Our God son lost a Father.

Our children lost their God Father.

My sister lost her husband.

My husband and their friends lost their brother.

His mom and dad lost their son.
Despite our grief, despite our hearts Ruben as we celebrate his two year death anniversary, I know his act, his sacrificial act of love, will lead him to paradise with God.
My compai was always selfless.

He wore his heart in his sleeve.

He loved wholeheartedly.

He loved his family.

Loved his pets.

Loved his close friends.

Loved his son.

Loved his God children.

Loved his aunts and uncles.

Loved his cousins.

Loved his parents.

Loved to live life.

He loved above all.
Two years later it’s so hard.

It’s hard knowing your not seeing your son grow up.

It’s hard knowing that my husbands brother is no longer with us.

Sometimes I get mad, mad that your not here, mad at the choice you made, mad at the fact that you were just starting to settle down and truly live your life as a new parent, mad that the four of us were supposed to grow old together while our kids grow up as siblings.
As quickly as I get mad I know God had his reasoning.

God knew what he was doing.

Who am I to be mad.

You saved a life.

Many thought your foolish because the life you saved was a dogs.

Many considered you a hero because the life of a dog is just as valuable as yours.

Rudy Lives.

Your dog Rudy, whom you saved lives.

Rudy and Hailey live.

Both your dogs are doing well.

Both are filled with love.

Both are living life, happy, just as you would’ve wanted.

Your death was not in vain.
You are missed.

You are loved.

You proved that your love is greater than anyone has ever anticipated.

Sacrificial Love.

Your death was not in vain.
GAB, 6/12/80-3/15/15 sleep in peace.

‘Til the day we meet again.

RIP Compadre.

My sons God father passed away 3/15/15. Not too long after his death I was taking a class that required an obituary. So I wrote one for him.

My compadre was born on the 12th of June 1981 to his wonderful parents. He was taken away in a heroic attempt to save his dog on the 15th of March 2015. He is adored and cherished by his parents, his fiancé , his son  , his brothers,  his God children, his many aunts, uncles, cousins, close friends and acquaintances. My compadre grew up in a God fearing home. His mother kept him active in various recreational activities while also preaching to him the word of God.
Growing up his mother ensured that he always read, always studied, always loving, always caring, always be kind, help the less fortunate, help those in need, grow educationally. She taught him the basic principals of humanity. She taught him to accept all for who they are, not to judge. She taught him to have the endearing heart he had. The foundations that his parents laid out as he grew up is what we all came to love and know.

In junior high school he met his best friend who had recently moved around the corner from him. The duo would play endless hours with the kids in the neighborhood and have bonded like brothers. As a matter a fact they became brothers. The duo were inseparable.
My compadre, as he was known by many was kind, genuine, helpful, an adventurer, smart, loyal, loved and cared for animals. Helped anyone who needed help whether a furry animal or another person who was being victimized by bullying or injustices of the world. He Would intervene in any circumstances to help a fellow brother out of harms way. Protected those he cared for.
He loved fellowship. He loved being surrounded in a good ambiance with friends and music. He loved music. Music was what fueled his soul. Music was his passion, his hobby, his love, his side gig, music was his breath of fresh air. Soca though is what pumped the blood to his heart.
His love for music came at a very young age. He had an eclectic taste in music. A great ear for mixing tunes. His passion drove him in to his hobby as a DJ, more famously known as the Mad Architect in many circles of the music / radio industry for his creativity in mixing beats for upcoming soca artists and talent in mixing music across various of genres. His name also combined his love for his profession as an architect.

He was talented in his field. Blessed to have been able to partake in amazing projects that to this date his plans are still under construction on the West Side. He was well respected and well loved in the architectural industry as well.

My compadre studied and worked hard for while teaching his fellow brothers, working at an established architectural firm, producing beats for his artists, being a husband to his fiancé, father to his child, child to his parents, brother to his friend, uncle to his God children, and care taker to his dogs whom he adored as children, both of which he rescued from shelters.

He was a busy man, but never did he stop showing those he loved, that he loved them. He was a smart man. He was a humble man. He was a caring man, he was a blessed man, he was a spiritual man, he had strength and endurance which came from the faith he had. Despite the circumstances and challenges life threw at him, he overcame it with pride, with dignity, with class, with faith and understanding.

Every curveball life threw came with a lesson. He understood that, he spoke of it often.,The politics and bureaucracies of societies. The discrimination and racial profiling of young black men. How disgusting the legal and judicial system is. How it is a trap for failure, imprisonment and slavery. He understood the psychology of it all and never let any of it let him fall. It made him stronger.

He urged to educate his peers on this subject, determined to teach the next generation to educate themselves to not be victims of the trend. To not be another number to the stereotype. To be above that, to rise above these stereotypes and social expectations of men of color. To be smarter. To be wiser, to learn the legal system and their language, to know when to use their lingo to not fall into the trap. To be educated amongst the educated and even more so amongst the ignorant…. Not just of educated in knowledge but in the spirit. See tony had a respect and an affinity for others of different beliefs. He was knowledgable of various spiritual relationships, customs and traditions. He respected them all equally as he would hope any one would respect his.

His experiences made him stronger. Made him more faithful. Made him realize that in his most difficult moments, he knew who stood by his side, his families side and who never turned their backs, regardless of the circumstance. He understood who were his brothers to the end.

In John 16:33 It says “These things I have spoken to you, so that you may have peace in me. In the world, you will have difficulties. But have confidence: I have overcome the world.” From my understanding Tony lived this quote. No matter the difficulties he over came them. He was confident. He was determined not to let his difficulties make him nor break him. He found strength during his challenges and overcame them. Regardless the obstacle. Personal, professionally, socially, etc, he over came them, and which each obstacle he willingly guided others so that they wouldn’t fall within the same trap. Leading by example.
Now as life threw him another curve ball. He chose to follow his heart and love for another being, he saved his dog, paid a sacrifice and lost his life. He knows who is still by his side, despite the tears, despite grief, despite the heartache, despite the anger, despite the acceptance, despite the unacceptable. He knows his parents will be watched over, his fiancé will be taken cared and loved, his son will be protected, by the same people whom always remained true to him as he was true to them.

Our pain with his loss is God’s megaphone. As in The book of job, Job learned that God gives and God takes away. We have also learned that no matter how good you are, how faithful you strive to be God gives and he takes away. We may even want to question, why me? Why take him away? What have I done to suffer this way? Job asked some of these same questions his meld. He asked if God can be placed to trial for his actions and questioned. God spoke to him. He reminded him that he is the architect of the world. Job learned that despite his suffering God delivers. “But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction” job 36:15. Though we are all mourning, grieving and suffering the loss of our beloved Tony, God will deliver us all from this pain.

Remember that God has his reasons. God has a plan. God is the architect which created this world. He designed you and I in his image. He designed it all. He delivers amongst your pain, afflictions and sufferings. Also know that when you overcome your trials and tribulations you come out stronger. Learn from the trials educate others based off of your testimonies from your trials just like my compadre would have.

I know this is a somber moment. Saying goodbye to the flesh is very hard. The memories shared will live on. Compadre will not want you moping around his loss.
He would want you to share your wonderful stories of the moments you’ve shared. The funny stories, the silly stories, the I can’t believe we did that stories, the personal stories, the private stories, his memory shall live within you. How you’ve grown together in your friendship and how that’s made you grow as an individual. He would want you to be rejoicing. He would want you to celebrate. To bring a toast. To dance. To laugh. To love. To féte. To watch out for one Another. Most importantly to Live.

He would not want you to stop living at his loss. He would not want you sad, depressed or in pain at his expense. He spent his whole life trying to bring joy to others, regardless of the circumstances.

He would say stop preaching, stop talking, turn on the music, someone man the turntables, get the vibes right, have that fête, celebrate your lives, take care of one another.

That’s what he would have wanted . Remember to share your experiences. Educate one another, provide strength and refuge to each other, lend a hand, lend an ear, share moments, create memories, make music, share laughs, enjoy fellowship, we are a framily.

God gave him brothers and sisters via friendships. He found love when least expecting to. He would be celebrating your life in your honor had roles been reversed.

Celebrate life. Live like it’s your last. Teach each other for knowledge is a good tool for empowering one another. Guide each other, care for one another, remember the less fortunate, remember the four legged animals,

Remember each other, support each other during this time of grief, for we all know that’s exactly what he would be doing.

God bless you.