—and sacrilege ...
The logic is so simple. It verges on the pristine.
If we believe in God, and further believe that He is the Creator, that He made everything, then we should also believe that everything is okay.
At what point, after all, does it become not okay?
The various responses to this question nearly always appeal to the sheer clumsiness of Man's interference with that creation.
Yes, the vote seems to be unanimous. When the creation is left alone, when Man keeps his grubby little hands out of it, and in simple faith allows it to operate in accordance with its inherent design (from the mind of God), it is indeed okay.
A major feature of God's creation is the dynamic that we like to call the cycle of life.
With regard to that cycle, it is a nearly universal sentiment that God is the rightful purveyor of both life and death.
If Man tries to usurp God's role, by either taking a life, or creating one (in the manner of Dr. Frankenstein, for example) a virtual chorus resounds in protest.
As the Creator, it is perfectly okay for God to make life, or to remove it.
As the mere image of God it is not okay for Man to do likewise.
God is light; Man is but the reflection of that light.
There is a BIG difference, very much similar to the difference between looking directly at the Sun and the objects upon which it shines.
It is even regarded as highly improper for a human being to take their own life. It is not always stated, but the reason for this feeling is ultimately rooted in the profound belief that that life is not actually theirs, since they did not make it.
God made it. It belongs to Him, to do with as He pleases. Anyone who commits suicide shows blatant disrespect for God's creation, for His handiwork.
Our lives do not belong to us; they belong to God.
The Earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof;
the world and they that dwell therein.
... and they that dwell therein.
We are God's property, not our own.
We are not the Creator, but merely the created.
To commit suicide is to literally trespass on God's property.
If we were to fully embrace this attitude regarding God's rightful authority as Creator (to set the course of our lives by it), we would respect it for the entirety of our life, which of course includes its demise, a natural (and likely absolutely necessary) feature of that life.
It is for this reason that I consider it a form of interference with God's creation to have ones remains burned by fire (or to have them embalmed and buried in a box six-feet under the ground).
I feel (and very strongly) that it is a decision we have no right to make.
God's intentions for the living creatures of His creation are manifestly clear.
They live and they die and go through a process of decay.
If we truly believe that God made everything, then it follows that he designed the process of decomposition as well.
We are fond of using the word righteous to describe that which is in accordance with God's will.
If so, we must conclude that it is not only proper to not interfere with the natural decay of our mortal remains (but to simply allow them to be reinserted into the food chain), it is also righteous.
That would suggest, logically, that it is a sin to burn them to ashes, or embalm them or to take any other action that would interfere with the natural process of decay.
When God said that we were dust and would return to same He was surely referring to His own designs, not Man's crude technology (fire and chemicals) as the means of this final transformation.
It is just as much a sin to cremate (or embalm) a body (to shun God's natural design of decomposition) in much the same way that it is to commit suicide.
If suicide is a form of interfering with the will of God, whose will it is (apparently) that we be here, then in the same way it is a sacrilege to interfere with the natural process of decay, which God designed for the express purpose of completing the cycle of birth and death.
If we truly believe in God, and further believe that He is the Creator, we exhibit serious doubts on that score if and when we insert ourselves into processes that we claim are His doing.
Is our life His doing?
If we answer in the affirmative, then we show great disrespect for God if we commit suicide, since we thereby end a life that He began. If God did indeed begin the life, its ending falls within His purview as well.
If the end of our life belongs to God as well as its beginning, then we should take no willful part in it, any more than we played a role in its beginning.
Life, from its beginning to its end, is God's business, not ours. We demonstrate great disrespect for God's handiwork by inserting ourselves into the process, at any stage of that process.
We show the greatest respect for God's creation when we simply allow our remains to undergo a natural form of decay, one which of course involves the role of various so-called lower life forms in that process, since God made those as well.
It is a sin, in other words, to do anything with mortal remains other than allow them to undergo the natural (God-designed) process of decomposition.
It is a sin to embalm them, to bury them six feet under ground for the purpose of keeping God's creatures from eating them and of course to cremate them (just another method of denying a source of food to the lower life forms, every bit as much His creatures as the higher forms).
December 7, 2015