No Church Cemetary Lot

Church members frequently suggest that our church buy a large cemetery plot. They list many advantages of doing so. “If our church buys a large lot and resells them in pieces, our members can get a plot at a reduced price.” “If church-wide burial grounds are available, members don’t have to pay a higher price when a family member dies suddenly and they are forced to buy a plot immediately.” “It would be nice for church members to be buried side by side when they die.”

I am personally opposed to the idea.

I don’t feel that it’s right to buy burial grounds with church funds that can be better used for ministries. To begin with, I personally don’t understand the fuss about burying a body extravagantly in an expensive coffin with many flowers. A body is like the clothes a person wears while he resides in this world. A better body is waiting for him in heaven. I am reluctant to spend church funds to encourage such unimportant trifles.

In my will, I’ve requested that my body be cremated when I die. One of the reasons I favor cremation is that I don’t want to burden my children. If I am buried in a tomb, my children will feel obligated to occasionally visit my grave. But they will likely live far from where I am buried. I don’t want them to feel guilty about not being able to visit my grave.

Some Christians are reluctant to be cremated because of a fear that cremation will somehow put them at a disadvantage in the resurrection because their bodies will be turned into ashes. But I think this worry is groundless. Concerning the resurrection, Revelation 20:13 says “The sea gave up the dead that were in it.” When people drown, their bodies decompose. If decomposed bodies can be resurrected, cremated bodies will certainly be resurrected.

Scientists say that our physical bodies are not the same ones we had several years ago, because our cells are constantly replaced with new ones. The actual physical makeup of our bodies continually changes. From this, we can surmise that resurrection does not require the same physical elements that make up our body when we die. It does not make a difference in the resurrection whether bodies are buried or cremated.

In Korea, cremation is gaining popularity because land is scarce. There is hardly any good land left for burial, because land is being aggressively developed for housing and industry. If all Koreans were buried, all the remaining land would be turned into a huge graveyard.

Cremation is my personal preference. Our church members can make their own choices. But our church will not encourage burial by buying a church burial ground.

Pastor Chai

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