Circumcision and The Bible

 

Isn’t it funny how God sends a thought your way just when you weren’t thinking of it, and then you realize that if you hadn’t gotten that thought from Him… you wouldn’t have time to look it all up?

((Wow, that was a LONG sentence!))

When I read FredPie’s thang on circumcision, I thoughtAck.  I forgot – that’s something I’m gonna have to worry about this time.  And then I thoughtAck, it sounds grisly, and I’m not happy that they don’t even ask you in some places – with my luck, I’ll give birth in one of those places.  Then I thought Bible Time – gotta find out more about this!!

It was town day yesterday, and my mom and I used Lydia’s naptime to ‘discuss’ (rather heatedly) the topic of circumcision (and election vs. Free will and Catholicism and Christmas and Easter and Age of accountability…) She was having a bad week… the conversation wasn’t our best.  It contained phrases like “Why don’t you just go to one of those long-skirt-long-hair-hymns-n-King-James-Only-don’t-do-anything-on-Sunday churches!!”  Yeah, one of those days.  She got a letter from Jill announcing her engagement to Cath-Boy.

ANYHOO, ((Long story now dead)), Circumcision.  She has a Bible Dictionary and I’ve never used one of those before – I do everything out of my Thompson Chain Reference (KJV) and with ganders at Matthew Henry and/or an Interlinear (Greek/Hebrew) Bible.  Bible Dictionaries are rather kewl, y’know that?  I’m pretty impressed… dunno how it’d fit in my study pattern, but…

While she was reading FredPie’s thang, I was jumping from reference to reference in by TCR/KJV and scribbling notes madly about eternal covenants and what they were and how circumcision started… then I looked up the verses FredPie was checking into (which were mostly taken out of context in what seemed like an effort to make circumcision into a bad thing)… I learned some INTERESTING things about circumcision and eternal covenants.  ((Which is always the way with me – I start with one topic, and it evolves into something I didn’t even think about to begin with.))

Abram (before God re-named him) was found to be a man of faith in God.  And it was credited him as righteousness.  (Note: He was uncircumcised at the time.)  God came to Abe, said “Dude, I find favor with you, and so I’m going to make a covenant with you… an eternal one.”  (Covenant means “Solemn Promise”.)  The covenant was that “I will be Your God.”  Sounds simple, but God wasn’t thinking simple, He was thinking of the sin he saw in Abram, and how He would do something about that sin.  He told Abram, “As a sign of this covenant, I ask you to be circumcised… you and your seed for generations to come.”  So Abram (who was in his 90s) circumcised himself and his whole household.  And that was the start of the whole circumcision thang.

Why would God ask Abram to cut off the foreskin of his… ahem?  I wanted to know, y’know – because if God didn’t like it, He wouldn’t have made it, right?  I found out that (like just about every Old Testament covenant, feast, law, and sacrifice) it was a sign.  A sign of what was to come.  The Bible says Your sins have cut you off from God… and so God asked Abram to ‘cut his sins (or skins) off from himself’… a sign of what Christ would be doing on our behalf once-and-for-all 4500 years later.  And God changed Abram’s name (which meant “Great Father”) to Abraham (meaning “Father of Multitudes”)… because he was the first to keep this covenant of the People of God… and because of his faith, he became the father of multitudes (Jews thru Isaac, Gentiles thru Ishmael).  This is all in Genesis 17, FYI.

On to Jesus.  Who – btw – was circumcised according to Jewish law so that He would live under the law and therefore be able to fulfill the law for mankind.  When He died, taking all sins upon Himself, those who made Him Savior from that point on no longer were cut off from God by their sins… the sign of what was to come had been fulfilled.

What does that mean?  Paul goes into great detail in, like, four places in the NT about it… it means that circumcision isn’t necessary anymore.  Just like the OT sacrifices.  We don’t need a sign of what’s to come if what’s to come has come.  We got the real thing, now.  He verifies that it was only a sign – and how Abraham was credited with faith and righteousness BEFORE circumcision, anyhow.  He says it’s all dependant on your heart, now.

Interestingly enough, the Pharisees wanted to trip up the apostles with the whole circumcision thang… in Acts 15 they came before Paul, Barnabas, Timothy, Simeon and Peter, and tried to argue that they if they weren’t circumcised, they were cut off from God according to the Law.  It didn’t fly.  Each apostle took turns saying, “Um… no… but nice try.” and they sent the Pharisees on their way.

So what about today?  Well, the eternal covenant is still in place – God will be our God if we cut ourselves off from our sins.  But we don’t have to ‘show’ that with a knife and a flap of skin… we do that through the atoning blood of Jesus who takes the sins from all who make Him their Savior.  We got the real thing, baby!

So… Anna’s conclusion about what to do about our-still-unnamed-baby-boy?  Well… God made that flap of skin, and according to FredPie’s research, it sounds like it serves several important purposes.  And we aren’t required to circumcise our kids according to the testimony of quite a few apostles.  And although there is the argument that “He’ll be different from the other guys in the locker room”… I’m thinking he’s gonna be different from the other guys in the locker room, anyhow.  I’m thinking it might be a stronger sign of his religious heritage in Christ if he isn’t circumcised than if he is at this point.  I’m thinking that I’m gonna talk to the doctor next visit.. but if he doesn’t have anything medically to mandate it… baby boy will remain intact.

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