Mailbag Page 14
Burial or cremation?
Cain's wife & God's law against incest
Love my enemies? You GOTTA be kidding!
Email W.P.T. Bellgamin
Index to all Mailbag topics
|A widow asks - My husband committed suicide and I need to
know the Christian way to bury him.
I heard that you need to bury, because of the Second Coming of Jesus. That is, He needs his bones to come to.
I think he would want to be cremated and have his ashes put on favorite places.
What is morally right for the Christian way?
In making your decision on this matter, you should remember that your husband will not attend either his funeral or his burial...
|(Jesus said...) I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. (Luke 15.7)|
Accordingly, you will bring joy to your husband in Heaven by ensuring that the Gospel is preached at his funeral...
In the final analysis, you might want to ask God, your Pastor, and yourself, the following question...
"What will be most pleasing and honorable in the eyes of God -- to bury my husband or to cremate him?"
|Pratt writes - Since Adam and Eve were the first people and Cain was their son, WHERE did Cain get his wife?|
The Bible tells us that God drove Cain away after he murdered his brother Abel.
After Cain was driven away, he went elsewhere and got married. The Bible doesn't say how LONG a time had passed between Cain's departure, and the date of his marriage. Moreover...
|The Bible tells us that Adam begot (fathered) sons and daughters over his long lifetime of 930 years...|
|After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he begot sons and daughters. So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died. (Gen 5.4-5)|
The Bible further tells us that Eve was the mother of all living people. That is:
|And Adam called his wife's name Eve (life-giver), because she was the mother of all living. (Gen 3.20)|
We can safely conclude that Adam and Eve's children married each other and had children of their own because...
Accordingly, it is clear that Cain married one of his sisters, or he married the daughter of one of his sisters (his cousin).
|Nowadays we use the word incest to refer to the marriage of close relatives.
A lengthy passage in Leviticus chapter 18 forbids incest. We will quote just the introductory verse...
|(God commanded...) None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his (or her) nakedness: I am the Lord. (Lev 18.6)|
The book of Leviticus deals with events that took place several hundred years AFTER the days of Genesis.
That is, incest was "okay" in the times of Genesis, but
forbidden in and after the days of Leviticus.
|In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth
day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the
rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights...
...And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. (Gen 7.11-12; Gen 7.21)
The flood brought death to all humanity except for 8 people (Noah, his 3 sons, and their wives).
As briefly described by our page on creation, the flood caused cataclysmic changes to the Earth's physical environment...
The problem with incest ensues from the problem of shared genetic damage. That is...
Clearly, God forbade incest primarily to protect us from ourselves.
|Anonymous writes - Jesus commanded me to love my enemies. That sounds absurd! How can I be expected to do that?|
|(Jesus said...) You have heard that it was said, You shall love your
neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Mt 5.43-48)
|Your natural attitude toward your enemies is likely to be pretty much the same as King David's hard-nosed prayer in Psalm 58...|
|Break their teeth in their mouth, O God! (Psalm 58.6)|
But the Bible teaches you a better way (nay, the ONLY way) for defeating your enemies.
Namely (according to Matthew 5.43-48), the Bible's shocking strategy for dealing with your enemies is this...
Moreover, Matthew 5.43-48 deliberately teaches you the two best ways to destroy your enemy! Namely...
After all, the alternative to loving an enemy is to hate him. BUT...
Or, as God says...
|Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Rom 12.21)|
|To summarize -- God has commanded you, "Love your enemies."
But CAN you find the spiritual strength to obey?
The Bible says...
|I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4.13)|