Circumcisions, Two For the Price of One

13 03 2008

So back in the first days of the New Testament church, the Jewish Christians wanted the new gentile converts to, uh, get snipped.  Gotta tell ya…  that might have been a serious hindrance to me converting.

Let me put it this way.  Let’s say there was this hedonistic custom in our culture that men get their ears pierced to represent their viral sexuality.  As the Gospel progresses through the community, many men hear the great calling of Christ circumcision, anyone?to discover  real life and real joy.  But there’s a caveat.  The stalwarts of the church say that these men must cut off their ears as new converts.  After all, all men born into the church had their ears removed to make sure they never had the irreligious marking.  Oh, and I forgot to add, insurance won’t cover the procedure so it’s done with a sharp knife and a bullet to bite, nothing more.  Not only would this put a crimp in the market for sunglasses…  it would be bad news for the church itself.

You see, the church has to confront the new controversy of tradition vs. culture.  I wonder what God would say about all this.

Well, we don’t have to wonder.  The controversy was solved in Paul’s day with the clarification that salvation was not a matter of the outward.  Redemption in Christ Jesus happens in the heart.  Therefore, the new converts did not have to be circumcised.  And many new Christ-followers breathed a sigh of relief.

You probably recognize that this has nothing to do with circumcision, and nothing to do with ear easter eggspiercings.  It does have everything to do with the culture and church controversy that menaces us still today.  Christ did not come to kill culture, rather to overtake evil.  Culture is not evil – but the spirit behind certain cultural things can be.  It’s kinda like the Easter egg question.  Since Easter eggs, and the name Easter itself, has roots in pagan ritual, does it mean it is evil for Christians to partake?  Interestingly enough, it all comes down to circumcision.  God thought of eggs long before any pagan did.  And if the name Easter can be redeemed from questionable roots, then that’s the kind of thing God loves to do.  After all, he’s in the transformation business.

Unless, of course, you want to be circumcised.




One response

14 03 2008
Ron Low

When it comes to cosmetic amputations of other people’s body parts, I tend to focus on Thou Shall Not Steal.


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