I came across Col 2:10-11 yesterday and my faith is shaken. How can this 'spiritual circumcision' be true AND Christians continue to sin? I am specifically thinking about the recent story of priests using nuns as sex slaves.
So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.
When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature.
Colossians 2:10-11 New Living Translation (NLT)
I would suggest part of the problem lies in your choice of using the NLT. Try another translation, such as the KJV, ASV, or another more literal translation.
Colossians 2:11-13 (ASV):in whom ye were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with him in baptism, wherein ye were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, being dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, you, I say, did he make alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses;
Paul is not saying that Christ cut off a "nature," as if this circumcision perfectly transforms one's nature so as to result in a completely different behavior. Any such change requires time and growth in Christ.
Compare what Paul says there with what he writes in Romans 6:5-7.For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection; knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin; for he that hath died is justified from sin.
Also check out what is written in 1 Peter 2:24.who his own self bare our sins in his body upon the tree, that we, having died unto sins, might live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed.
It is not a behavior that is cut off, or crucified together with Christ, but rather it is the connection to sin that is taken away. Those still "in sin" are dead in their sins and in relation to God. The immediate consequence of this circumcision performed by Christ (being crucified together with Him), is our being made alive together with Him and being forgiven of all of our transgressions (Colossians 2:13), justification from sin (Romans 6:7), and having died unto sin (1 Peter 2:24).
In Romans 6, starting in verse 11, Paul is encouraging a new attitude toward sin and righteousness with regard to the crucifixion with Christ they had experienced. As a result of the circumcision/crucifixion, they are being told to look at themselves differently (verse 11) and to change their behavior (verses 12ff.). It is still a matter of choice in that nobody is forced to live one way or the other. They, and we, still have a choice in whom to present their members in service, whether unto sin as instruments of unrighteousness, or unto God as instruments of righteousness.
Paul, and Peter, would have us serve righteousness. In Romans 6, Paul encourages his readers to walk in newness of life (verse 4), to no longer be in bondage to sin (verses 6 and 12), and to be alive unto God (verse 11). Peter would have those who were crucified with Christ live unto righteousness (1 Peter 2:24). This can take place only because Christ cut us off from our former connection to sin that used to rule our lives. It is for freedom (from sin and the law) that Christ set us free (Galatians 5:1).
So, what about the fact that sin is still being committed by those who have received this circumcision? While alive in our mortal bodies, we still have to struggle against temptations and all of the desires of the flesh and eyes and pride. Happily, those who have been thusly crucified with Christ now have the continual cleansing of their sins insofar as they continue to walk in the light (1 John 1:5-10). Sin still occurs, but those in Christ receive this continual cleansing as they walk in Him. This goes back to what Paul wrote in Romans 6:14; sin shall not have dominion because of God's grace.
Regarding the article you referenced, you seem to be assuming that those priests did receive this circumcision/crucifixion. Maybe they did; maybe they didn't. A person's behavior alone is not enough evidence to tell one way or the other. Some here will say that their sinfulness is evidence of having never truly received Christ, while you seem to be saying that their identity as priests is evidence that they have received Him. I believe both assumptions are just that...assumptions.