I looked hard and I saw no command in the bible that said: “Stay out of cemeteries! ” MY RESEARCH TURNED UP…QUITE THE OPPOSITE.
Romans 13: 7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute [is due]; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
I TRULY BELIEVE IN HONOR…
There was a television show on called: The Swan. A reality tv show where they took women who simply looked ordinary with one or a few flaws and did an extreme makeover on them. Even as Christians that’s pretty much something that can happen to many of us over time. So don’t get too caught up in your “religious traditions” whatever they may be…follow God. He may be trying to take you someplace; if you’ll let Him. Did God want to make me over some more? I concluded that He did…after all, “I’m a work in progress.”
Someone actually said this:
“There’s no spiritual reason to visit the empty vessel of a love one no longer present in this world or their empty vessel.”
It fails to take into account individual differences and issues, the need for closure and God’s greater plan.
Christians are taught that once you die; if you have not made a decision to make Jesus your personal Lord and Saviour that your destination is hell! That said…a lot of Christians believe there is no reason to go to the grave sites of their loved ones; not even out of respect.
That’s ironic, because I suppose that there are millions of non believers who believe the EXACT SAME THING!
Wow! I could fill a book. I mentioned that I was looking forward to going to the cemetery to put Christmas wreaths on the grave sites of my grandparents, my dad and two of my favorite uncles. In the conversation that followed, I found myself discussing the merits of such a venture. It seems that there are some people out there who believe that once people die and are buried; there is absolutely no need to deal with that anymore.
I was even surprised to find out that a lot of Christians believe this. And this is not a criticism of anyone’s belief or perception. I was just reminded of an expression I often hear about “people” who are “so heavenly bound that they are no earthly good.”
But, is this really the case?
I’ll pick up on that later.
RELIGIOUS FIRESTORM !
There are groups of Christians who believe that you should and can pray for the dead. I respect people’s beliefs (to a certain degree) but that one…is not scriptural and if it is…I haven’t seen it. For instance, it is said that Catholics believe this: SEE UNDERSTANDING ROMAN CATHOLOCISM
To answer your question; NO, I do not know the differences between Roman Catholicism and Catholicism. But, I’m sure there must be.
And…of course…the radicals as some term them…I include myself…believe that once you die basically there is no prayer that can save you.
WHAT’S THE “BELIEF” BEHIND NOT GOING TO THE
There are people who think it’s biblical to stay away from the cemetary. From talking with them; I’ve found that they either believe the grave is empty or they believe that the ministry or mission does not involve praying for or to the dead. That would be absolutely true if this was the only reason that people went to the grave to visit their departed loved ones.
REASONS PEOPLE DO GO TO THE CEMETARY TO
VISIT LOVED ONES…
There are many reasons people go to the cemetery.
My mother is up in age; she doesn’t think so, but trust me she is. A few years back, when she seemed bound and determined to go and it didn’t matter what the temperature was or the work involved; she was going. For every major holiday, like clockwork she spent at least one hundred dollars…and still had to work. So, out of support I decided to tag along and something happened to me…I changed.
I’ve come a very long way. Physically, it’s a task; that I don’t mind. Today, we took a shovel and had to dig out the tombstone marker to make certain that our wreath stands where in the proper place. We climbed heels and even had to seek out a map. My late uncle Chris was buried in a newer section and I’m truthful to say we never found his specific headstone in the snow. The only reason that we knew where the other graves and headstones were was because we’ve been when there wasn’t snow and we remembered. Uncle Chris was buried without a headstone in the pouring rain. The cemetery showed us where he would be buried and we can find his gravestone…but in the summer.
It’s way back in the middle of a very large field with lots of markers and up a rather steep hill. The gentleman who was helping us looked at me as we searched and dug in an area about the size of a half acre AND SAID: “THIS IS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE.”
BUT, BACK TO THE REASONS PEOPLE GO…LET’S TALK ABOUT WHY I WAS THERE…
Originally, I went to the cemetery just to keep my mom company. I wasn’t completely motivated to go on my own , but I felt a tad guilty. I wasn’t comfortable with burying my loved ones and totally forgetting about them. So, I figured I’d go along for the ride and much of my drive was fueled by curiosity. I wondered why certain people were driven to go and why others could care less.
If “love” is part of our calling card as Christians then somehow, I was being led to do this thing. In the very least, I was honoring my mother. I was also honoring “the memory” of my dad, my grandmother, my grandfather and my two uncles.
I noted that my mom seemed wired with compassion. She has always been that way. Mine wasn’t so consistent…it seemed to come and go. I confess that one of my faults is that I haven’t always had compassion at every turn. And there have been times when I’ve regretted not having it. And yes, I know the importance of having a balance.
At some point, and I don’t know when I was expecting to go. I even began to think about things I could do to help; which ultimately led to my making the wreaths and spending $26.00 to make wreaths for all 5 grave sites which we could interchange the entire year. This idea could potentially save us hundreds of dollars.
My journey brought me to a great self inflection point!
Why am I even talking about this at a faith site? That’s easy because I have faith in God that He will not only order my steps but also give me wisdom and understanding.
People go and get healed of emotional issues.
People go as an act of honor…not worship.
Many people go and get closer to God.
Some have prayer there. For many; it’s an exercise (prayer) that they don’t often do.
Some make Divine Connections.
Some keep their sanity.
Some end up ministering to others.
My own mother had a greater respect for Christians due to my initial act of obedience that turned into an act of love.
My point? Before you draw the line on “not going” to a cemetery for “religious” reasons; just pray and ask God for wisdom.
So, what;s the answer? Yes, some Christians do go to the cemetery…but some remain just like the part of the world that sees no value in going…perhaps a great deception…but it’s not up to me…that’s them. Now, I feel better having talked about it.