Jul 21, 2008, 7:26 AM
Many churches have indeed sprang up for the sake of the propaganda of faith. These new churches name themselves as "Born Again" churches or "Pentecostal". The original churches particularly the Catholic, Anglican and the Methodist churches allow their bodies in their churches so that a befitting burial or funeral Mass is held in their honour. Many Born Again churches would not allow such dead bodies in their midst. Christian Panorama finds out why?
Some people argue that the churches are against taking their dead members to their churches for a variety of reasons. Many of them misunderstand the reason or reasons for their churchmen's refusal to care for their dead. Taking the Bible literally has brought misunderstanding to the highest level. It was the utterance Jesus made when He was trying to convince more people to understand His mission on evangelization, when others wanted to give excuses why they would only follow Him later that one person said "let me go and bury the dead, someone died at home before I would be your full time disciple." Jesus turned and answered him, "Leave the dead, someone dead to bury their own dead." This statement doesn't mean literally to abandon the dead but it means if you follow Christ, you will not die when you die physically. Your spirit will leave on in the presence and company of God.
He said the dead to bury their own dead. He was trying to put a message across to let them know that those who were not in Christ were doomed for eternal life. Some churches have abandoned their dead for such reasons justifying their reasons based on what Jesus said why allow the person while in life to develop your church, obey your rules and participate fully as a Christian but when the person died, it is not allowed to bring the body to where he belonged? Pastor Stanley at the Evangel World Mission church at New Jeshwang tried to defend those who do not allow dead bodies in their church and those who honour their dead in their churches. Please read on:
CP; Do some Born Again Christians refuse dead bodies in their church?
Pastor Stanley: Yes some Born Again churches do not take coffins to their churches. Some have their doctrine; others picked it from the New testament structure; some feel the dead are now spirit. Therefore, the honour they give them is not to bring them to the church. The Gospel says, "Leave the dead to bury the dead." This is the spiritual back up.
CP: Can you give more spiritual back ups?
Pastor Stanley: Yes! Isaiah 8:19. This talks on the belief that the dead has nothing to do in the midst of the living.
Deut 18:11 talks about the dead in a special place. In mtth. 8:22 talks about the dead burying the dead. The living dwells in the church not the dead.
CP: What do churches believe then?
Pastor Stanley: Some believe that when they die they are with God in Heaven, So they can bring the body in their church. Read Revelation14:13 on why they bring their dead to church. They believe that their good deeds will follow them, so they will follow them to the church. Jesus' own was like that. Some churches believe in the New Testament and adopts Christ's burial style as a role model "from the cross to the grave. Not to any church but to cemetery."
However, some churches see it as the last honour given to a colleague, so they see it as, the person has done well. Therefore, the last honour is given to them at their home. They see the person as a contributor to the life of the church. They therefore show him his last respect at this house.
CP. What do you think about death?
Pastor Stanley: Death is the conclusion of life on earth. Jesus' death gave more assurance. His birth brought problem to some people who hated him but His death brought joy, showing that there is life after death. Jesus loved Peter who betrayed Him and He raised His Friend Lazarus who had died. He did not reject him. The doctrine of a church counts a lot.
CP: What about your own church, Evangel World Mission?
Pastor Stanley: In my own church, the choice depends on the family. If done at home and not in the church makes some family members feel that it is time for them to see their church come to their house. We thank God that our Church has buried no one yet.