Wednesday, February 18, 2009

To be or not to Be: Circumcision

Tomorrow is a big day for the Davis'. Caleb goes to the doctor for his circumcision. We were asked if we wanted to have him circumcised, but we didn't realize that people didn't have babies circumcised. Statistics say that over half of baby boys are circumcised. In the north, it is about 50/50, but in the south, about 90%-95% are circumcised.

The history of circumcision goes at least back to the bible when God told Abraham to be circumcised as a way to distinguishing himself from those around him as being followers of Yahweh. He was commanded to pass this down from generation to generations. Moses was almost killed by God in Exodus, but was spared when his wife circumcised him.

In the New Testament, it appears that Jewish Christians continued to be circumcised, but Paul asked Gentile converts not to be because they received God's grace by faith, not by following the Jewish law. James affirms this in Acts 15. It seems that baptism is the way a Christian is distinguished and marked by God these days.

You may wonder why we are circumcised in the US, when we are Gentile Christians. Apparently in the 18th century Christians in the US began to be circumcised as a way to prevent sexual sin. There have been some recent studies that indicate that circumcision does prevent infection and cancer, however the evidence is still inconclusive.

So, why circumcision? It comes down to this: It still seems to be the normal practice and it does seem to prevent some types of infection. Since in the south, most boys have it done, it seems that our son should be no different. Since the evidence is so inconclusive and the Bible does not mandate it, majority rules.

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