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Monday, June 23, 2008

a new take on circumcision.

today i was on one of my favorite sites, gotquestions.org, and i was randomly reading questions and answers, and i came across this:

"Question: "What does the Bible say about circumcision? What is the Christian view of circumcision?"

Answer: There are different issues that are wrapped up in the question of whether males should be circumcised or not. One issue is that of religious teaching: what does the Bible, God’s Word, say? Another issue is: as a matter of health, should males be circumcised?Concerning the first issue, since we are no longer under the Old Testament Law as Christians, circumcision is no longer required. This is brought out in a number of New Testament passages, among which are the following: Acts 15; Galatians 2:1-3; 5:1-11; 6:11-16; 1 Corinthians 7:17-20; Colossians 2:8-12; Philippians 3:1-3. As these passages bring out, being saved from our sins is received through trusting in Christ to save us from our sins, and it is this act of turning from our sin and self-righteousness and turning instead to reliance upon Christ’s finished work on the cross that makes us “circumcised of heart” and that the works of the flesh accomplish nothing.In Acts 16:3, Paul had a missionary helper, Timothy, circumcised so that his being uncircumcised would not be a hindrance to them as they sought to reach out to the unsaved Jews on their missionary journeys. Thus, although the Bible gives Gentile (non-Jewish) believers the liberty of not being circumcised, it was a liberty that Timothy was willing to give up for the sake of reaching out to unsaved Jews. However, as the passages in Galatians bring out, Paul refused to compromise the issue with those who said that one must be circumcised in order to be either saved or sanctified in Christ.There are practical issues involved with circumcision as well. Some parents have their sons circumcised so that they will look like all the other males in their culture. Some parents are concerned that their son would someday be in a locker room and find themselves different from everyone else. In some cultures, though, males are not commonly circumcised. There is also the issue of health. Doctors debate back and forth in regard to whether there are any health benefits to circumcision. Any couple with such concerns should definitely speak with a doctor in regards to this issue." ~gotquestions.org

now, with the circumcision issue, i am all for whatever parents want to do, but i have to admit, i get irked by the "anti circumcising parents" that try to force their beliefs of how cruel and unusual circumcision is to a child down the throat anyone willing to listen (it reminds me of those picketers that line the front of abortion clinics with building size images of mutilated fetuses). in my opinion, it is no more cruel or unusual to circumcise a child than it is to get immunizations, or put an infant to sleep in a room across the house in a cold crib and then paddle back to a warm bed with the comfort and closeness of another, or allow a toddler to scream herself to sleep for days, sometimes weeks straight in an attempt to get her to sleep alone. and at the end of the day, the decision of whether or not to circumcise is as unique as the decision of naming the baby.

with that being said, my husband and i have always decided that if we were to have a son, we would have him circumcised. for me, once again, it was a religious belief that i had never updated myself on, for him, it was a health issue. he decided that he did not want our son to go through the issues with hygeine that he saw the youngsters in his family go through with being uncircumcised, and he also wants our son to "look" like him, and i decided that it would be symbolic of our religion to circumcise our son. when we thought that our youngest was a boy, i thought about us performing a ceremony much like a brit, but more in tune with our religious beliefs (we wouldn't have used a Rabbi or Jewish doctor neccessarily--but would have picked another Christian doctor to perform the circumcision). since we had a daughter, that was unneccessary (but i am still hanging onto that idea as we have decided that we would like to try for a son before our youngest one's fifth birthday). we have still maintained that if we have a son, he will be circumcised, even though i have learned (and will share with him) that it is no longer "neccessary" to circumcise him as a symbol of keeping our covenant with God.

2 comments:

TLC Tugger said...

You can't possibly equate circumcision (which 97% of the world's Christians don't do) to immunizations (which unlike circumcision are actually recommended by medical associations for their benefits, which outweigh their risks) or to decisions about sleeping arrangements.

Circumcision removes over half a male's specialized pleasure-receptive nerve endings. These don't grow back!

What on earth gives you the moral right to make a permanent irreversible cosmetic decision about someone else's body like that? Any ethicist will tell you when it's not an emergency, it's morally his decision.

Regards,
-Ron

honeyindigo said...

ron,

with all due respect, i made the claims that i did because i can do just that. an opinion is like an asshole, everyone has one, including me. to me, leaving a newborn to scream himself or herself to sleep every night is subjecting the child to cruel and unusual punishment...but just as you may think it's fine to do so, i think it's fine to circumcise my son. many parents are ADAMANTLY against immunizing their children, but just as YOU think it's fine to do so, i think it's fine to circumcize my son (should we have one). my husband has agreed to this as well, and really, we are the only two people who matter in the decision as to what will be best for our children.

the medical evidence for and against circumcision is about 50/50. i have yet to see ANY medical associations "recommend" or "not recommend" circumcision...as it is a truly personal choice best left to the PARENTS of the child, and not society.

i have yet to read any statistics that say 97% of Christians do not circumcise their sons.

please do not come into my blog attempting to "force" an idea...that's not what it's purpose is for. these are my thoughts, my opinions, and choices that i choose to put here. likewise, these are decisions that i have the LEGAL right to make for my family.

if you read my passage carefully, you'll see that paul didn't "push" the issue with those who chose to circumcise their children, as it was their choice.

thanks for your imput,

honey