CIRCUMCISION: A DEFENSE

Excerpt from a letter from me to a believer in Holland on 11 Jan 1993:

. . .Bless you, Brother, for taking the courage and being sincerely honest in asking why we circumcised our sons.  I have enclosed the content of words I spoke to both unbelievers and to believers who attended the circumcisions in our home.  I have also enclosed the word I spoke at E’s dedication before the congregation and before God.  I trust that these will both answer the question and help to give sufficient understanding that the Holy Spirit will give you peace regarding it.

I, too, struggled with the issue before God before E, our first son, was born.  I did not want to do anything that would compromise the cross or my walk as a Christian.  Prior to the birth and subsequent circumcision, the Lord gave me peace regarding it as a Jew descended in the flesh from the fathers, and as one born again in Christ confirming God’s promises to my people in the flesh.  E and T, as my sons, would be, apart from circumcision, unconnected to Israel and the Jewish people – simply Gentiles from American-born parents, or even within the State of Israel.

Rabbinically, they are not considered Jews since their mother is not Jewish.  My concern is not what the rabbis may approve, but rather what God approves.  As a Jew believing in Jesus, I have not become somehow a gentile (and therefore uncircumcised covenantly speaking) [1Cor 7:17-20]).  Taking the N.T. instructions as a whole on the subject, I have done this as a matter of faith – not regarding salvation, but regarding our identity in this body in the world with my people to whom God gave circumcision as a sign for both relationship and identity (Gen 17:14).

If what is written here together with the enclosed papers still does not help, please feel free to say so.  The main thing is not whether someone is Jewish or Gentile, but rather whether he/she is in Christ Jesus.  Praise God! . . . .

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