What about marriage and other ceremonies? Our rest of the families are yet following old religious traditions? So are we supposed to oppose them?
This is another subjective question in this series. I must admit, you have to take your own decision and deal with it based on the leading of the Holy Spirit of God.
You will find people on both extremes – those who totally revolt and go against their families and relatives and eventually loose the opportunity to share the gospel forever or those who totally surrender themselves to idol worship and other customs and do not give any glory to true and living God. In both the cases, probably they have not understood the spirit of the Word of God but the letter.
My advice in this context is to glorify God in every possible manner and at the same time, not make any conflicts with the family which might put you in defensive mode and diminish the opportunities to share the gospel of salvation to your family forever. We need to balance it appropriately.
If possible, make the Living God as the centre of your ceremony and glory goes to Him alone; otherwise, yield only to the extent that you are not involved in any rituals against the will of God.
More than the mode of marriage, I would suggest what Paul suggests in second Corinthians to not be yoked unequally with unbelievers. Marriage is a life time decision and hence must be made to be done with godly man or woman who loves God and would encourage you lifelong.
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness”
[2 Corinthians 6:14]
Especially for first generation believers from other religious background, I would rather advise to find the match from a family of similar backgrounds who would be able to identify with you and understand your restrictions and values which would be a little difficult for a person belonging to a traditionally Christian family. With this, I am not trying to discriminate one with another and this is not a principle but a suggestion. There is a high possibility that God has different plans for you, so eventually you must rely on your prayers and leading of the Holy Spirit.
I feel that you must be honest with the person whom you are going to choose for life time. You should share the truth of your faith from the beginning and then see how it proceeds. If it is in the will of God, it is quite possible that God will take the lead to bring the salvation in this life too.
In other ceremonies like birth, naming ceremony and death, I am liberal as long as we do not compromise with basic fundamentals of Christian faith.
Whether to incinerate or burry the dead body is least of my concerns. People who believe that God has to use this same mortal body to raise us from the dead are the ones who are after ‘only burial’ of the body. Probably they are limiting God. With this I am neither contradicting the bodily resurrection nor am I endorsing any other way of death ceremony. I fully believe that we shall be given a glorious body which is incorruptible while our earthly bodies are corruptible. God is able to form the glorious body from the remnants as dust or ashes both.
My advice is that if it is possible to burry with consensus, I feel this is good, however, if it is not possible after reasonable explanation and discussions, it is better to agree with rest of the family and do it accordingly, in order to avoid any socio-religious issue.
My sister was married in Hindu way in 2001; I and Prerna were married in Buddhist way in 2003 because our families were not in same faith yet, but we know that we did not compromise even for once with our faith and duties towards Lord Jesus Christ during all ceremonies.
I cremated my father when he died in May 2006.