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Should Christians attend funerals.

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Dr. Khan, Apr 9, 2005.

  1. Dr. Khan

    Dr. Khan Member

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    Jesus said let the dead bury the dead, but go thou preach the kingdom to one that asked him. He raised the dead, so He can't attend so why should we. His concern was with the living, so why should'nt we? I know it a painful time for love ones especially when the death is unexpected. It ok I believe to comfort them, but I see the entire event as a waste of time, not that time is all that improtant.
    I also see it as an act of disobedience and has made the church a false witness to the world when we use the church as a place to gather.

    If he was a christian stick him in the ground and forget him. If not stick him in the ground and forget him. the living are much too important.

    Since I once got punched in the eye for saying what Jesus said, I realize what I'm saying might be offensive but if the church wants to provide the world with the right image which is glorious we must accept what Jesus says. It is our cross.

    Peter also raised the dead after such a commotion was made over one very popular christian who died unexpectedly.
     
  2. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    Burial is a step in the mourning process
     
  3. true blood

    true blood Active Member

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    Jesus actually said "Let the town bury the dead" and it had nothing to do with Christians attending funerals. If I recall correctly, Jesus was talking to a man who wanted to follow him, literally walk around with him but first wanted to run back to town and bury his family member and Jesus was like "Let the people of the town bury him"
     
  4. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    It's not mandatory that Christians attend funerals, but there is nothing forbidding it either. As Pah said, it's a part of the mourning process.

    The bible says we may grieve but not to grieve as unbelievers do...without hope.

    I told my husband that when I die, I want him to throw a party and invite all my friends and family and remember me with laughter. Some of the best funerals (or should I say wakes) were full of laughter and reminiscing about the deceased.
     
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  5. CaptainXeroid

    CaptainXeroid Following Christ

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    I don't believe it's a waste of time at all. I see a funeral as a tribute to the life of the deceased. People share stories of how that person impacted their lives, and the minister gets a chance to share the word with people who don't come to church every Sunday.;) I even know a few people who straightened their lives out after a funeral reminded them of their own mortality. :162: All things considered, I can think of a lot of activities in which Christians engage that are are a bigger 'waste' of time and further from Christ's teachings than attending a funeral.
     
  6. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Matthew 8:22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.So, Pah, what does this mean?:)
     
  7. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Actually, this reminds me of a 'tradition' on Marie's side of the familly (Spanish Roman Ctholicsm), in which (For them) it seems to be necessary to see the deacesed in the coffin, to pay last respects.

    When her father died, Marie felt she really could'nt face seeing him, and let someone else take her mother in to do what she felt necessary.

    I think it depends on the individual; when my mother died of Cancer, having been in a coma for 7 days, I did not go to 'kiss her good bye', as my father did. I am not sad that I did not do so - except in that maybe I should have been there for Dad.:)
     
  8. angellous_evangellous

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    Jesus took death very seriously. The context of "let the dead bury their dead" was not an explicit not implicit prohibition to attend a funeral. The context was giving excuses not to follow Jesus. One person said, "let me go and bury my father," which means "let me stay at home until my father dies, then I will follow you if I want to." This interpretation is logical because we are not told that the father is sick or anywhere close to dying. The person is simply giving an excuse, just like other people in the passage.

    The Lazrus story in John 11 is the perfect illustration of how Christians are to view death. For Christians, death is not final, but it is refferred to as "sleep" - Jesus is the resurrection and the life, and whoever believes in Him, though he dies, he will live again in Christ. Jesus says that Lararus has fallen asleep. Yet Jesus cries (NIV = deeply moved) when he arrives at Lazarus's tomb. In the Greek it says that he cried so loudly and was so moved that he sounded like a horse, which is a typical response of a person who loses someone that they love dearly. The only two times in the NT that we know Jesus cries is at the death of Lazarus and at the prospect of his own death in the garden of Gethsemane (Jesus did say that he weeps for Jerusalem, but this is only a figure of speech).

    In the special way that God made us, we establish very special relationships with people here on earth. When they pass on, we are to reflect on death with the deep respect for it that Jesus showed in his life and ministry. We are also to be human, with Jesus's teachings and character in mind. We are to greive as we are made to greive at death - Jesus was himself - he cried like crazy at the death of his friend, even though he was just about to raise him from the dead. Christians believe in the afterlife, but we are not to take death lightly.

    EDIT: Furthermore, how will the following Scriptures be fulfilled if we do not attend funerals?

    1) Bear one another's burdens
    2) Mourn with those who mourn
    3) Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted
    4) Mourn like those who have hope
    5) He will wipe away every tear from their eyes

    Also, what about the ministry of funerals by the clergy? If Christians should not attend funerals, then definately their leaders should not. Shall we let the families who need to grieve and say goodbye act as if they lost nothing? God forbid! Let us comfort eachother with the hope that we have in Christ Jesus.
     
  9. retrorich

    retrorich SUPER NOT-A-MOD

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    I'm not a Christian, but I'll state my opinion, anyway.


    I think funerals are morbid and serve no purpose except to make funeral directors and coffin makers rich. I would never want my dead body displayed so people could walk past saying, "he looks so natural." :eek:
     
  10. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Personally, Rich, I cannot help but agree with you on this one. As far as I am concerned, 'they' can do whatever they want to when I'm dead. But if it makes them happy, I don't mind what ever ceremony they feel happy with.:)
     
  11. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Well, THAT will never happen to me. I don't look natural now, and don't expect death to improve my appearance considerably (it will shut me up though!).

    Jesus was making a point with this man... ANYTHING that hinders you from following Jesus is sinful. Here he had a chance to hang with the living God, and he was choosing a dead person. There is probably MORE to this than we are seeing from our perspective, but I imagine this was but part of a long line of "excuses" that the man was coming up with.

    Unfortunately, we don't get the chance to hang with the living God in person today, but we DO get a chance to make all sorts of excuses for not folowing him. We are the best at that. Check out this passage in Matthew:

    Matthew 5:29 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

    Now if we were to miss the POINT of this passage, then everytime I lusted after a woman, I would be plucking out an eye, and I am sure that all Christians would be blind and handless.

    The POINT was to STOP making excuses... attending a funeral should not make you postpone following Jesus. DO BOTH! But by all means, if attending a funeral will stop you from hanging with the living God... then bag the funeral. But just like the eye, or the hand, it really ain't the "funeral" that will stop you from following Jesus. The only person/thing/event we can really pin that on is OURSELVES. :D

    As for my own personal funeral... I told my family to do whatever will help them to cope with my loss. Whether that is singing "Ding dong, the grouch is gone" or a solemn ritual it won't matter much to me. THEY are the ones who need the closure (and I am sure they will be nailing that coffin/crematoria TIGHT.) I am convinced that my "next" body will be incorruptible and that this will have passed it's useful stage like my mine did ages ago.
     
  12. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Well said NetDoc....sometimes it's difficult to read a passage and not take the literal meaning and run with it.

    The specific passages about "funerals" (Matt 8:22/Luke 9:60) are more of a moral teaching than instructions about what to do with human remains after death.

    It the Hebrew and Greek society, it was an obligation of the family (the eldest son, primarily) to bury the dead of the highest importance. I don't believe Jesus was telling the man to let the body rot.... I don't think Jesus would demand that of us..... but what he was trying to do is illustrate that to follow Jesus would mean to place the service to the Lord above ANY earthly obligations..... to be a true follower of Jesus would mean total surrender of self.... just as Christ died as a servant to the Father, so should we obey the Son, no matter what the cost.

    Scott
     
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  13. Ronald

    Ronald Well-Known Member

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    Using the words of a Hebrew Sage, spoken in the Hebrew language to a Hebrew audience, transliterated into Greek and translated into English is like your yesterdays gum retrieved from the bedpost. In plain English, none of you get it! You need a Hebrew Guide.
    Mt 22:29 But Jesus answered them, "You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God.
     
  14. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    Yeah and even if you want to be cremated, it can still cost $1000 or more. In some states, you can't claim the body directly and must go through a funeral home. Some states require that the body be embalmed even if it's going to be cremated. Many crematoriums will not cremate the body without it being put in at least a pine box.

    Funerals are never for the dead. Some people get solace out of people coming up to them in the funeral home and listening to their platitudes. Personally, I'd rather skip the funeral home and listen to stories about my husband from the people who knew him best.

    My husband's first wife (Cindy) didn't get a funeral. When she was dying of breast cancer, my husband brought her home to die with her family. When she died, he had her cremated and, according to his mom, walked in the door of his parents and said, "Here's your daughter-in-law." They spread her ashes over the garden.

    I've heard so many stories, both funny and sad, about Cindy that I feel as if she's still a part of our family and I never knew her in life. Even better....her boys know their mother even though they were under the age of 2 when she died. What better tribute to give someone you love than to keep them alive in your memory. Hang the funeral, this is what I want!
     
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  15. ayani

    ayani member

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    i don't see any problem with attending a funeral... but i've never been comfortable with having funerals in funeral parlors. this may sound odd, but i'd rather have a small funeral at my own house, so my family can say goodbye to me and mourn without anyone looking over their shoulder, and in a setting that's familiar to them, not just rented. and if no one who would care to go to my funeral is around at that point, i'd say just cremate me and sprinkle me into the river and be done with it.
     
  16. Dr. Khan

    Dr. Khan Member

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    The reason I asked this question is because I don't go to funerals any more. I guess the reason is because I get to hang out with the living God everyday. There's some one in this thread that made mention of that. And I guess I want everyone to realize that the living God is here at hand right now everyday. If everybody realized that they would never be sad when a lov eone dies. Jesus is in the now. I heal instantly. Any heartbreak or disappointment is instantly removed it seems. I am constant with God in my presence my conscience is that he is here to give me whatever I desire and those Godly desires increase im me. I held back my sins. I drown them in the blood of Jesus and increase in the power of God.


    Because of this verse" sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool."


    This scripture, is meant for the Messiah. Ithought. No it is meant for kings in the earth.
     
  17. Dr. Khan

    Dr. Khan Member

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    It seems to me that christians who got themselves involved in th Terry Shiavosituation should have had enough time to have believed that God should completely healed Terry and that she should be alive and at home with her parents. If they had no power collectively to to this they really have no power at all.

    It seems that christians in America have put their faith in the works of man rather than in the power of God.

    They have relegated power to doctors and lawers which may explain why they seek power in government rather than at the right hand of the throne of God. Remember Jesus died for us so we have a friend at the very seat of power and nothing is impossible with God. There should be enough christians in the earth by now that should have enough power to control what everyone else thinks, through faith; that is with out the use of pressure of any kind. The world should be attracted to Christianity as we men are attracted to an incredably attractive beautiful woman.
     
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