Is it Necessary to circumcise?
We need to put this into context for today, to answer this question is circumcision really necessary. There has been worldwide practice of this for many centuries, mostly as a tribal initiation, or religious ceremony. For the Jews being circumcised (Brit Milah) signified acceptance into the faith and it usually happened after the infant’s first week (the 8th day) of life.
- Physical Reasons for Circumcision.
The original practical reason for being circumcised was to remove a potential lodging place for germs or disease. With the level of understanding of personal hygiene now prevalent in the developed world there is no real reason for this any more. Removing a significant number of sensory receptors from the male organ can only inhibit the full range of physical sensation. It is a needless mutilation.
- Baptism = Circumcision
For today’s Christian, circumcision is what happens when we are baptized – as the Apostle Paul said in his letter to the Romans; ” 29 No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.” And also to the Colossians in chapter 2; “11 In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.”
- Circumcision Of The Heart
So the symbolic purification represented by being circumcised is therefore superseded by the sacrament of baptism. The old testament Jewish ritual of Circumcision is now fulfilled by the sacrament of baptism, and in spiritual terms equates to the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
The answer to this question; “is circumcision really necessary”, is plainly no!