Bible truth, body parts and the resurrection

The Sanctity of Life and the Resurrection - First in a Series

Is God offended if your body parts are parceled out to others after you die? This was the question I pursued in a previous blog series, Flesh & Bone & The Protestant Conscience, that was later converted to an e-book.

I concluded that he is, with a few exceptions, because of the doctrine of the resurrection. Yet, I wanted to further think about this when time allowed. Perhaps I would decide I was wrong and would change my view, or maybe I would become more convinced that a Christian ought to be buried, not cremated, whole, except for those body parts lost in the catastrophes of life.

Is there any Scriptural warrant for this viewpoint? That is the key question. If there is not, then it is simply an issue that the Lord expects us to proceed with as best we can. For example, in the Live Kidney Donation series just completed, we saw that the Southern Baptist Convention has taken a stand that sharing organs is OK, in part because “Complete resurrection of the body does not depend on bodily wholeness at death.”

Church committees, pastors, theologians, ethicists and laypeople think about these issues. How should a Christian think about his body? As a repository of useful parts that may help other people to live if we will only sign our driver’s license – or become a living donor – or as sacrosanct?

Why be stingy with your parts? After all, can’t the almighty God reconstitute each person’s body no matter where its parts may be? If you can believe in the resurrection, then you can believe God can engineer it without our being buried whole.

In this advanced biomedical age, why should we consider an old fashioned burial essential to Christian thought and practice? Taking into account the expense, is it not unseemly? Wouldn’t a modest Christian desire to be cremated? Wouldn’t a caring Christian desire for his body to be used for as many medical needs as possible as an act of charity?

See how quickly we slide from once-cherished beliefs to condemnation of them and of ourselves? Yes, just as the devil attacked the doctrine of creation in the 20th century, neatly severing the first chapters of Genesis from the Bible, and from men’s acceptance of its necessity to belief, so now in the 21st century he is cleverly dividing the Christian mind from its grasp of the doctrine of the Resurrection.

The more sharing of body parts that goes on, the more cremation that takes place, the more hollowing out of Christian doctrine that occurs, the more Christian churches that close— and before we know it, a great apostasy has slipped in beneath our noses so quietly that we hardly noticed.

In this series we want to consider at least seven reasons from Scripture that belief in the doctrine of the Resurrection means a Christian should not share body parts and should be buried, not cremated. We want to consider that the sanctity of life extends beyond natural death to the resurrection, from a logical perspective. Perhaps most will not agree with this perspective. All comments are welcome.

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...and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind ... the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind ...the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. -Genesis 1

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A SistersSite eBook

Flesh and Bone and The Protestant Conscience is an e-book on Amazon.com. It is 99¢ and in the Amazon lending library as well. The book description follows.

Would you let your conscience be your guide?

Does God care if the skin and bone of the dead are passed along to the living for medical uses? Is organ donation OK with God? Should you sign a Living Will?

Did you know that dead organ donors are often anesthetized before their organs are removed? Do you know the current definition of death? The conscience cannot function without facts.

As we ponder the ethics of in vitro fertilization, stem cell research and man-made chimeras, our thoughts trail off. How then should we live? (Ez 33:10)

How should a Christian think about euthanasia by starvation when doctors and the state attorney general all agree it is time to withhold feeding from a brain injured patient? Some things are family matters, but someday it may be our family.

Here is a small book to help you think about whether you want to sign your driver's license, donate a kidney, cremate your loved one, and many other practical questions that may arise in the course of your healthcare decisions or watch over others.

It offers a special focus on the doctrine of the Resurrection that is related to such decisions. Sunday School classes and Bible Study groups could use this book to facilitate discussion about the issues covered.