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What about cremation?

What about cremation?

JULY 31, 2020

/ Programs / Key Life / What about cremation?

Steve Brown:
What about cremation? The answer to that and other questions on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
Welcome to Key Life. Our host and teacher is Steve Brown. He’s no guru, but he does have honest answers to honest questions about the Bible. God’s grace changes everything. How we love, work, live, eat, marry, parent evangelize purchase and worship. So here’s Steve and Pete Alwinson from ForgeBibleStudy.com with street smart Bible teaching for real life.

Steve Brown:
Hi Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey man, how are you?

Steve Brown:
I’m doing well. I’m going to be nicer to you this week.

Pete Alwinson:
Well. Thank you.

Steve Brown:
Listen, I prayed about it. I fasted for two days and God said you shouldn’t treat somebody created in the image of God, the way you treated Pete. And I said, well, he deserved it. [Laughing]

Pete Alwinson:
[Laughing] And Jesus said, okay.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. Right. That’s Pete Alwinson. And by the way, and he comes in because of what he knows. Uh, but he also comes in because I love him and he loves me. And we’ve been friends longer than some of you have been alive. Go to ForgeBibleStudy.com. The name of the ministry with which Pete is associated is a great ministry. It’s called Forge. If you’d like to be introduced to it, go get the book that he wrote, Like Father, Like Son, a life changing book, and then go to ForgeBibleStudy.com. If you live in Central Florida, there are two or three different groups you might want to be a part of. You might want to check that out. Pete comes in, as I’ve said each Friday, and we have for years been answering questions. We love your questions. You can ask a question by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE, hit the right button and record your question. And sometimes we put that on the air, or you can write to.

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

Steve Brown:
In Canada. It’s Key Life Canada, P.O. Box 28060, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Steve Brown:
Or you can email us at Steve@keylife.org. And if you can help us financially, we promise that we’ll be as faithful with your gift as you were in giving it. We’re a member of ECFA in the States and 4C in Canada, both organizations assure that ministries maintain ethical standards for their ministry. And we’ve been a part of that a very long time. And we were ethical before they started. So help us if you can, if you can’t say a prayer for this ministry, and if you do help us, as I said, we’ll be faithful with your gift. Uh, St Pete, I called you. I’m going to call you Steve. I’m Steve.

Pete Alwinson:
You’re Steve.

Steve Brown:
I’m getting old.

Pete Alwinson:
Well there it is.

Steve Brown:
Would you lead us in prayer and we’ll get to these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
Sure. Our Father, it’s so good to be able to come to you at the end of this week. And today on this Friday, we pause just for a minute, uh, to, to recognize that we are your children and all because of what you did to make it so. We honor you. We praise you, father, son, and Holy spirit. And Lord, we honor you for your mercy, your kindness, your grace, your patience, uh, your wisdom, your knowledge, father, your power, your mercy in our lives. And so we come to you and Lord, we bring you our issues, because you’re so approachable and we there’s nothing we can’t tell you. We tell you everything, you know our hearts and we need you deeply. We ask that as we go to worship this weekend, that you would, uh, you, you would speak to us through the word, preached, the word spoken, the word sung. Lord, we pray you’d be with our priests and pastors, teachers, leaders, worship directors, Lord, all of them. They’re working right now, real hard, to pull it all together. So we ask that you would make us, um, make us people who understand your grace at a deeper level. And now even as we ask questions, we thank you that you don’t reproach us for not having the answers ourselves. Fill us with your grace, now. Bless Steve. this ministry. We pray in Jesus strong name. Amen.

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

Caller 1:
As far as I know, I’ve never read anything about cremation. I know that when we die, our souls enter in with the Lord and when he returns, he raises our bodies up from the grave. But as far as I know, he doesn’t speak about cremation. And I guess I was wondering, is there anything on that? Thank you so much.

Steve Brown:
I think a good question.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
You know, um, just to put her mind at ease, cremation does quickly, what over time mother earth does anyway. It’s not, it’s not as if God can’t put you back together.

Pete Alwinson:
Right. Right.

Steve Brown:
Cause if you’re a 2000 year old man, he’s going to have some trouble anyway.

Pete Alwinson:
There it is.

Steve Brown:
Has trouble at that point.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Yeah.

Steve Brown:
What about the Bible? Does it say anything about cremation?

Pete Alwinson:
No, no, not at all. And I, and, and, and, you know, I think in the past Roman Catholics have said, no, that’s not a good thing, but I understand they’re moving away from that position.

Steve Brown:
Oh really? I didn’t know of the change.

Pete Alwinson:
I think there is something, um, important. Having heard this argument recently, um, that at a funeral, if, if the body is there, there is something about the reality of, of the new body that we will get. And that, and that it is a major statement about the resurrection, that can be made.

Steve Brown:
And psychologically, that can be a real catalyst, really an important thing. You know, you, one of the things that you and I both have taught students, that when you’re doing a funeral, sometimes you have to force the people that are involved to look at the reality of death.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
And if you don’t, then they pay a price for it later and the grief work goes on and on. So you sound like a bad guy when really you’re being a good guy.

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
And so nothing will focus that more than an actual body at a service.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. That’s right. But it’s not required. And again, the scripture really lays out, no, no clear theological direct command one way or another about funerals or the disposal of the body.

Steve Brown:
And that won’t be a problem with Jesus.

Pete Alwinson:
No, cause cause a resurrection is not a molecule by molecule thing, it’s a supernatural thing that God does.

Steve Brown:
That’s right. That ought to make you feel. My wife, Anna, who is cold all the time. I may have told you this before, but she says that honey, make sure I’m cremated when I die. Cause it’ll be the only time in my life I was ever warm. [Laughing]

Pete Alwinson:
[Laughing] Anna, I love her. Oh.

Steve Brown:
Not a bad thing. Alright. Um, can you explain, this is an email, Revelation 3:15-16, I know your works, you’re neither cold nor hot, would that you were either cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. Does that mean I’m going to lose my salvation?

Pete Alwinson:
No, I don’t think so. No, no, that passage,

Steve Brown:
Don’t say, I don’t think so.

Pete Alwinson:
Well,

Steve Brown:
I need, absolute certainty, okay?

Pete Alwinson:
You could be a unique case. No, no, no, no, no. That cannot be used, to about losing your salvation. That’s not the context. Right?

Steve Brown:
Right.

Pete Alwinson:
Okay. All right. So my understanding of this text is that in, in, in this area near Colossae, uh, in, in that area of Asia Minor there are nice hot Springs. And there were, um, there were great cool streams. And so, but water that’s tepid or lukewarm, you don’t want to drink it and you’re not going to get in it to bathe it or use it for medicinal purposes.

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
And so the whole idea is hot or cold is, is useful, is my understanding of this text. D.A. Carson taught that to us in seminary. And I think it makes a lot of sense.

Steve Brown:
It really does.

Pete Alwinson:
Um, that, that that’s, it comes from that region and it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s a usefulness thing.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. Yeah. So you’re not useful. And you know, that, that does bother me. I’d much rather have, and by the way, he’s not talking about salvation.

Pete Alwinson:
Right. Right. Right.

Steve Brown:
Don’t take a verse and make it carry weight that it isn’t designed to carry.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
But it, it, um, there is something about tepid, bland, wussy. And I’ve been there. I’m not just talking about other people.

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
Uh, you know, I’d rather have a mean spirited, angry atheist than, uh, um, a bland Christian, I think.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
Because the atheist at least cares and the Christian doesn’t doesn’t care at all.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. There’s at least passion there and you know, where he stands. It’s like, it’s like when you leave your cup of coffee on the desk for too long and it’s, and it’s, it’s just yucky. So, um, it that’s an important statement, but he’s, he’s saying to the people, repent, let’s go, let’s get on with it.

Steve Brown:
That works. That works for me.

Steve Brown:
How do you know when you can claim, this is an email to obviously, how do you know when you can claim a verse as a promise and when it doesn’t fit, is inapplicable?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. You know, that’s really important.

Steve Brown:
That’s a good question.

Pete Alwinson:
A really good question. Cause we see a lot of, of scripture twisting and um,

Steve Brown:
That’s true.

Pete Alwinson:
lucky dipping, open the Bible and saying, and putting your finger down now, have you ever done that? Just open the Bible.

Steve Brown:
Are you crazy, of course, I’ve done that. And you have to. You know, we are all, you and I both have teached, you can’t study the scripture that way, but then if we’re, if we’re authentic and I hate that word, but if we’re authentic, we say, but I’ve done it. And I know, and Jesus still likes me, kind of thing. But yeah, go ahead. You were talking about tha,t and that’s so true.

Pete Alwinson:
You really, we do have to read a verse in context, a text without a context is a pretext to say whatever we want it to say. And we do have to be careful of that. Um, the more you read the Bible, the more you’ll understand the Bible and you won’t, maybe you’ll be able to understand the Bible, in context.

Steve Brown:
That’s right.

Pete Alwinson:
So keep reading it, but make sure and double check with somebody who’s followed Jesus longer than you.

Steve Brown:
And you find that you think in terms of Biblical principles, slash promises,

Pete Alwinson:
Exactly.

Steve Brown:
more than just a verse that applies

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
that maybe have applied. But with all of that being said, are there occasions when God will take a verse, when we’re studying the scripture, magnify it, apply it to our heart and the spirit whisper to us. This is for you.

Pete Alwinson:
I believe so. Yeah. That’s happened to both of us.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. So that happens on occasion.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
But if it’s go out and kill the Philistines, don’t do it.

Steve Brown:
[Laughing]

Steve Brown:
Wait. [Laughing] But the promises of God, in terms of the context that you were talking about, do reflect the nature of God.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
So there is a sense that even a promise made to Israel, that isn’t applicable to your present situation, does reflect the nature of the God you worship.

Pete Alwinson:
Enhance what you said earlier. A principle that

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
comes from God’s

Steve Brown:
That’s true.

Pete Alwinson:
character, you taught me a lot about that. As we study the scriptures, we need to look at the principles of scripture.

Steve Brown:
You know Pete, we’re about out of time. We don’t have enough time to answer another question, but we’ve got enough time to sing a hymn.

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
You sing, and I’ll direct it.

Pete Alwinson:
You go. You go man. [Laughing] No, I could never do that.

Steve Brown:
Me neither. So we’re kind of stuck here. We could say a long prayer. Sometimes you make up for time that way.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey, we’ll then you just tell me what you’re reading now in scripture. What are you reading in your time with the Lord?

Steve Brown:
Okay. The Bible. We got to go.

Pete Alwinson:
Okay.

Steve Brown:
Key Life is a listener supported production of a Key Life Network.

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