Friday, August 3, 2012

You Don't Get Away That Easily: Question 12

Many main line Messianics read Acts 15 and Galatians 5 to mean that gentiles are exempt from circumcision.  Therefore, they don't see it as sin when a gentile Believer opts to remain ritually uncircumcised.

Independent Messianics and Hebrew Roots people read Acts 15 and Galatians 5 in various ways (e.g. some see ritual circumcision as unnecessary for covenantal initiation yet optional for the purposes of growing in identification with Israel) but how do they evaluate the Torah command regarding circumcision?  Well, that leads me to my next question--I'm going to put some heat on the One Law folks for a change:

Question 12:

What do you Hebrew Roots and Independent Messianics believe?  Is a gentile Believer committing a sin when he opts to remain ritually uncircumcised?  

[P.S.  I'll try to post a rebuttal to FFOZ's white paper on Divine Invitation later today before Shabbat...UPDATE:  gotta go meet up with the parents.  So it looks like the Divine Invitation rebuttal may have to wait until after Shabbat]

20 comments:

  1. Peter,

    If you start thinking in terms of covenant membership instead of Jews and Gentiles you will get your answer.

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    1. I''m trying to decipher your response. Are you saying that since both Jews and Gentiles belong to the same covenant (i.e. New Covenant) that it is just as much sin for a Jew to remain uncircumcised as it is for a New Covenant gentile to remain uncircumcised?

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    2. You have the directness of an Israeli. : )

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    3. Agreed. Concerning circumcision.

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  2. If the "New Jerusalem" is the bride and brides don't have to get circumcised in the flesh, but in the heart, where does that leave the "Church". Yeshua, the husband was circumcised in the flesh and heart.

    Those who have legal right to enter into the sanctuary, the holy place, must be circumcised in heart and flesh.

    Does anyone know exactly who is allowed in the Holy Place? Men, women, priests, ???

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  3. The "bride" concept is a metaphor rather than a legal construct. The Covenant is a legal construct. The question is whether the New Covenant is a recap of Torat Moshe (Jeremiah 31).

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    1. Peter, only because people insist on seeing themselves as individuals unconnected rather than as those being made one by God. The trick is to try to see it like God does. When he has joined two together they are no more two but one.

      The New Covenant, it is to "know God" so how is it possible that it be a recap? Was there the promise of "Knowing God" in the Old?

      Isn't it a "better covenant with better promises"?

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  4. I think that for many in the One Law movement today believing that ritual circumcision is mandated for the Gentiles is a natural progression of their belief that there's truly no longer any difference at all between Jews and Gentiles and that we are all Israelites. If there's ONE Law, how can there be any exceptions just because someone happened to be not born Jewish? This is seldom discussed in the open (probably because it sounds so contrary to teachings of the apostles), but I've had many conversions with OL people who have advocated for this.

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  5. Circumcision is not an entry ticket to Judaism or to covenant membership. It is a sign of covenant membership.

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    1. Exactly, why is this so hard for people to understand?

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  6. Yes, I believe gentiles in Messiah should be circumcised as an outward sign of a circumcised heart. Circumcision was a covenant made with Abraham, and gentiles in Messiah are children of Abraham.

    The disciples strongly spoke against a circumcision (conversion to Judaism) as a requirement to be saved or approved by God. When Hebrew Roots folks speak of circumcision, we are not referring to conversion to Judaism.

    (Ironically, the biggest opponents of this view are gentiles who converted to Judaism with circumcision; the thing the apostles warned against.)

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    1. We all can agree that circumcision is very important in the Torah for the Israelites. So, Judah, where can I read about the apostolic decree that all Gentiles are to be circumcised?

      Also, I find it a bit funny that you have contradicted yourself in the very same comment above - first, you say that "disciples strongly spoke against a circumcision (conversion to Judaism) as a requirement to be saved or approved by God.", then you make the claim that "biggest opponents of this view are gentiles who converted to Judaism with circumcision; the thing the apostles warned against."

      So which is it that's forbidden and spoken against - circumcision in order to be saved/approved by G-d, or circumcision in order to convert to Judaism? Are suggesting that folks like Leman and others converted in order to be saved/approved by G-d?

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    2. Judah, you see what you did there - you made conversion to Judaism a forbidden act, while not focusing on instances where circumcision for Gentiles is truly forbidden:

      1) Compelling all Gentile believers (males) to get circumcised (like what some One Law proponents are doing)

      2) Converting/circumcising oneself for salvation or to be approved by G-d

      Also, when someone claims that it is a SIN for Gentile not to get circumcised, it's the same as saying that one should get circumcised in order to be approved by G-d (since G-d does not approve of sin).

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  7. God approves of people despite our sin.

    As far as confusion goes, I think the source of that confusion is the painful reality that English is not your first language, Gene! ;-)

    Have a good shabbat.

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    1. "As far as confusion goes, I think the source of that confusion is the painful reality that English is not your first language, Gene! ;-)"

      Vat, yuoo sei thet eye kant speek Ingleesh veri gud?

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  8. What do you Hebrew Roots and Independent Messianics believe? Is a gentile Believer committing a sin when he opts to remain ritually uncircumcised?

    I'm pretty sure you can guess what my answer is to this question, but let me ask you one. Are you prepared to go into every Christian church in the country, or even in your own local community, and to explain to all of the teenage boys and men that they're sinning because they haven't visited a mohel?

    Peter/Roland (sorry, I don't know who you really are), it's one thing to arrive at a conclusion for yourself and to act on it, but I really don't see how you plan on implementing it across untold millions of Christian males worldwide, particularly because your opinion is not supported by the vast majority of those Christians and the authorities that govern their churches.

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  9. James, Peter's conclusion can only be valid if he can implement it across untold millions of Christian males worldwide?

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