We’ve discussed how different religions view cremation, but one religion that wasn’t covered was the Jehovah’s Witnesses of The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. There are a lot of misconceptions about the Jehovah’s Witness faith. One of the misconceptions is that cremation isn’t acceptable. As we’ll discuss, like many Christian religions the decision to cremate isn’t cut and dry.
Religious Beliefs Don’t Prohibit Cremation for Jehovah’s Witnesses
There are a number of things that Jehovah’s Witnesses are prohibited from doing. Many people are aware that Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate holidays and birthdays. Jehovah’s Witnesses also avoid any practice that the religion considered unclean or altering the body, including blood transfusions.
But what about cremation? Is it considered an unclean practice or prohibited because it alters the body?
Jehovah’s Witness scholars have analyzed bible passages and acknowledge that there are mentions of cremation that suggest cremation was used as a form of punishment to deny a person a proper burial. But there are many other passages that clearly state cremation is an acceptable form of disposition.
Although there has been some debate, the official stance of The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is that cremation is acceptable. Burial may be the preference in some communities, but ultimately the choice is up to the individual or their family members. As long as the process is considered respectful that’s what matters most.
Jehovah’s Witness Beliefs About Resurrection and the Connection to Cremation
The funeral rites of Jehovah’s Witnesses are centered around their belief in resurrection. Members of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society believe in Heaven but not Hell. Jehovah’s Witness beliefs deviate from Christian religions in that they also don’t believe that Jesus Christ was physically resurrected. Instead, the Watchtower Bible teaches that Jesus Christ was only spiritually resurrected.
Unlike many other religions, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that death is the end of the body and the soul. They don’t believe in an immortal soul that lives on after the body.
However, Jehovah’s Witnesses do believe that a select number of their members will be resurrected after death regardless of the type of body disposition that’s used. There’s no explicit mention in the bible showing preference for burial over cremation in regard to resurrection. And because resurrection is thought to only be spiritual, it could occur years after the death. The belief is that when a person is resurrected their body will be restored or Jehovah will restore life in a new body.
Religious shifts have had a huge impact on the cremation rate, and Jehovah’s Witnesses are another example that faith isn’t a limiting factor for many people. As cremation becomes more accepted we’re likely to see more people of all faiths choosing to cremate.
At Direct Cremate we provide practical cremation services that are affordable and respectful. We work with families of all faiths, including Jehovha’s Witnesses. Call or text any time of day to discuss your needs with our knowledgeable team.