Christian Perspectives | Circumcision

This article is part of a series of articles sharing the reasoning behind Christian family’s opinions based on Biblical understanding of issues.  Reasons are given for both the answers Yes and No.

Opinions about…

Should a Christian son be circumcised?

Women who answer “Yes” often share these thoughts…

Genesis 17:11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

Circumcision was commanded by God as part of his covenant. Jesus said he did not come to do away with the law, that first covenant. I want to honor that command.

John 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command.

1 John 5:3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,

The Bible repeatedly states that loving God means obeying his commands. I love God and I will do everything I can to obey his commands, even the command to circumcise.

Luke 2:21 “And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”

Jesus was circumcised and we are called to follow him. He is our model.

Women who answer “No” often share these thoughts…

Romans 2:25, 26 Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. If those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised?

Romans 2:28, 29 A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 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.

Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Galatians 6:15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation

It is not the outward sign that is important, it is the heart. I cannot, by circumcising my son, make him love and serve God.

Colossians 2:11-12 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, 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.

Galatians 2:15, 16 “We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.

Righteousness does not come from circumcision or by following the Law. It comes from putting faith in Christ Jesus. Paul told those who were not circumcised that they did not need to become circumcised to be right with God.

Galatians5:2-4 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

I cannot pick and choose what parts of the law I want to follow. If I think I am being righteous by having my son circumcised then I also need to make sure I am following every letter of that law. Regarding my son, the circumcision should be on the 8th day and I need to pay money to the temple to redeem him if he is the first born. Then I need to continue through the rest of the law to ensure I am following the entire law.