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God's Not Mad at You
“If I’m cremated, how can Jesus put me back together?”

“If I’m cremated, how can Jesus put me back together?”

JULY 16, 2021

/ Programs / Key Life / “If I’m cremated, how can Jesus put me back together?”

Steve Brown:
If I’m cremated, how can Jesus put me back together? The answer to that and other questions on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
Key life exists to communicate that the deepest message of Jesus and the Bible is the radical grace of God to sinners and sufferers. Life is hard for everyone, so grace is for all of us. But there is a lot of confusion about how grace applies to real life. So, here’s seminary professor and author, Steve Brown and Pete Alwinson to answer your questions.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. Listen, I’m doing the best I can, Pete. What are you laughing at me for?

Pete Alwinson:
It’s a little warm in here.

Steve Brown:
We are going to deal with cremation as a part of the broadcast today. And I’m glad Pete is here to do it. I’m going to remain silent and blame him if he says it wrong, when you all tell me he says it wrong, I certainly won’t know. We’re glad you’re here. We’re always glad when you join us. And for a lot of years, Peter and I have been sitting here on Fridays answering questions. And, we’re flattered when you ask us those questions and we take them seriously. Oh, by the way, go to ForgeTruth.com. I keep telling you that and you don’t listen. If you do, you’ll be glad I told you about it. That’s the name of the ministry that Pete is, where he’s the head honcho. And it’s an, and it’s a ministry that is changing lives and you ought to check it out. If you’re in central Florida, you can be a part of it. Go to ForgeTruth.com and you can find out how to do that. Back, as I was saying, before I so rudely interrupted myself. We love to get your questions. You can call 1-800-KEY-LIFE, 24 seven, record your question, and we often put your voice on the air. Or you can write to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

or

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Or you can e-mail us at Steve@keylife.org. And by the way, if you can help us financially, we’ll be faithful with your gift, I promise. Only about 10% of the people who benefit by this ministry. And we send out a lot of free stuff. And it’s expensive, but only about 10% of the people who benefit are able to help financially. And if you’re a part of that 10%, you become a champion for other Christians. And I promise, as I said, we’ll be faithful. If you can, please do. If you can’t, we understand, do say a prayer for this ministry, Pete, why don’t you lead us in prayer. And then we’ll get to some questions.

Pete Alwinson:
Alright. Father, we love you. And we come into your presence today, right now. We stop. And we recognize that you are the supreme king of heaven on earth. You are good and holy and righteous, you are sovereign, you’re large and in charge. And Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we worship you. And we stop for a minute Lord, because we could become so demanding and critical, but you have been good to us. You’ve provided work and home and family and friends, jobs, houses, Lord so much. And Lord we have needs and we bring those to you, needs for a reconciliation of relationships and yes, work and bills to be paid and health. There’s so many issues, but thank you that you know, that you care that you see what we go through and that you smile upon us, because of Jesus. Lord this weekend, we ask that you’d be with our leaders and just give them your, your, your power and grace to lead us, our priests and pastors and teachers, worship directors, may we worship, and, and be lifted up by your glory and your grace. Now we commit this time of Q&A to you, thankful that, that we can not be afraid of asking questions. And that you will try through your word to give us answers that we’ll understand. We give you honor and praise in your holy name. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Amen. Pete, let’s go to our phone lines.

Caller 1:
Yeah, this is Bono. I had the question of what the Bible speaks about cremation? Is there any Scriptures that clearly a states that it is okay or not okay?

Steve Brown:
No, I don’t think so. I think the Roman Catholic church has a very strong stricture about that. And, I don’t think I agree with that. My wife says that she’s going to be cremated when she dies, cause it’ll be the only time she was ever warm. And, you know, you get all the time. And I kind of used that at the beginning of the broadcast, was if you’re cremated, how is Jesus going to put you back together and give you a resurrection body? Well, cremation does what mother earth does, just does it faster. You know, you become bones and eventually they become very breakable. And if you go long enough, they go into the earth. And, you know, when I was a young pastor, there was a book written, The American Way of Death, and it was very critical of the funeral industry. And I went to a guy who was, who became my friend, Norm Halled on Cape Cod. And I said, look, if you’ll show me the business behind the scenes, I’ll be your, I’ll be your supporter. And people are really critical of you now. But if I find out you’re dishonest or any of the things that that book says, you’re doing, you do, I’m going to be your worst nightmare. And Norm laughed. And he said, alright, you’re, you’re on. And I did. I mean, I did everything. I went to a casket factory and I watched caskets being made. I went to a crematorium and I watched a cremation taking place. He took me into the embalming room and he said, Steve, let me tell you what we do here, before I bring it up, watch the real thing, cause you might not want to come. And when he told me I started, the room started going around, I don’t think I’m going to do it, but I, you know, I didn’t watch a cremation, and not for a long, but it does reduce, you know, we think, well there’s a skeleton and then they break up the bones and those bones, it’s not like dust, then are put in a box. I don’t know a thing in Scripture that says you can’t do that. Do you?

Pete Alwinson:
No, I don’t either, because the resurrection and the resurrection is real and it’s a resurrection to a real body is a supernatural, a supernatural work. It’s a work of God. It’s not a molecule by molecule resurrection of the old stuff, but it’s the new stuff. And there will be continuity with who we were. And only God could do that. Only God could speak and create us only God could speak and recreate us.

Steve Brown:
And, you know, I was just thinking, you know, there are a lot of people who die in fires, who go through, without their decision, a cremation and Jesus has got that.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
He’s got all of it. So, if you’re like my wife and you want to be warm, you go ahead. If you’d rather be buried, you go ahead and do that. Jesus will take care of it. And he does that really well.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. And the point about dishonoring God, or somehow inhibiting the resurrection, I don’t believe is the case. Have a Christian Memorial service, to remember you and to glorify Christ.

Steve Brown:
That’s really, that’s true. This is an e-mail. Let me check the clock, we have, for those of you who are not watching on television. We don’t do television, but there’s a big screen in the studio that has a gigantic clock, so an old guy can see it. Lets me know how much time we have. I’m torn if women should serve in leadership role of the church. And I understand that PCA. And by the way, that is the denomination Pete and I are a part of, is called Presbyterian Church in America, does not approve of that. What do you think?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, go ahead. I, you had some good things we were talking about.

Steve Brown:
Well, we both have a hero by the name of John Frame, who is one of the really great theological minds of our time. And I heard him asked this question, and he said, a woman can do anything in a church, a man can do, who is not ordained. And so, thereby he made a principle and the principle is it’s not a matter of gifts. It’s a matter of authority. And if I were God, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t have, you know, we believe we’re complimentarian and that means, that Pete and I think that women should not be ordained pastors. And we’re willing to say, that’s not a hill we’re going to die on, we don’t break fellowship on that, we’re not going to tell you you’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny. But I’ll tell you something I’ve said, and I believe with all my heart, if you’re going to be complimentarian and you don’t believe in women’s ordination, you had better affirm women, more than people who do believe in. I mean, you can’t afford to be misogynistic, you can’t afford to be sexist. And sometimes PCA is that. And if you’re a woman listening to this, I’m so sorry.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. If you’ve been hurt by that, we, we are sorry. And many denominations have hurt women in this regard.

Steve Brown:
Oh, that’s so true.

Pete Alwinson:
And Biblical teaching along these lines never gives any reason to be antagonistic toward women, to be misogynistic, to say that men are better than, no in Christ, there is no male or female. It’s very level at the foot of the cross.

Steve Brown:
And a Scripture talks about women teaching.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
And you have, you even have them leading the armies of God’s covenant people into war and winning, her name was Deborah. And she was one mean lady, I’ll tell ya. And so women can lead. Women can do anything in a church, an unordained man can do. The one place where we would say, is that women should not be ordained. And there are a lot of reasons for that.

Pete Alwinson:
A lot of reasons. Go back to Genesis and just say, God established Adam as the head of the human race and as the head of the family. And so, that has to be reflected in the church. But, it’s not a dominance thing. It’s a leadership. God set it up. You can argue with him

Steve Brown:
And if you’re a husband and you’re not submitting to your wife more than she’s submitting to you, you’re not doing it right.

Pete Alwinson:
Interesting. Yeah. Read Romans or excuse me, Ephesians 5.

Steve Brown:
Exactly. Okay. Don’t send us letters. We’re both old. I’m really old and Pete’s getting there and we’re too old to change. And we’re certainly, besides we’ve taken vows. You know, we could lose our job. We said when we were ordained that if we changed any of our views, we needed to go

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
and tell them.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
And then they kick us out. And then I can’t pay the mortgage or put food on the table and it would be your fault.

Pete Alwinson:
I’ll take that blame and put it right back at you, buddy. Love you man.

Steve Brown:
Hey, we do understand that Christians disagree on this and we’re cool with that. These are not a part of the eternal verities of the faith and heresy is not defined at this point. In some other areas, it is defined. And one day we’ll talk about heresy. What is heresy and what isn’t, but not now, we’ve got to go. Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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