[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote (patriciaredstone @ Dec. 01 2001,12:33)[/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--][!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote [/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]Let me start off by stating that I do and always will teach baptism. I definitely believe it is commanded and Jesus himself was baptised so that alone will keep me teaching it. Now the question. Read Romans 2:25-29. Can circumcision in this passage be related to baptism? Also Galatians 6:15. I am no biblical scholar, like I have stated many times before, so I am willing to admit I have a lot of growing and maturing ahead of me. I would rather be immature and growing than be a lump on a log who thinks he has it all figured out though! Give me some thoughts on those passages. Thanks[/quote]
There are several reasons why circumscision is like baptism and several reasons why it is not.
The dominant symbol of circumscision not woman friendly. Circumcsion is the key to understanding the reason for Christ and his gender inclusive ministry, being born of a woman, and his personal testimony of resurrection being recieved by first by a woman. Christ was reconciling an emphatic dichotomy between men and women, a distinction that is paralleled by a further oppostion between Jew and non-Jew. Women cannot be circumscised and therefore cannot have what the Hebrews called "perfection." Circumcision is often referred to as "perfection" in many Hebrew writings. Circumcision was also a convenantal obligation -- but one that went from fathe rto son, not from mother ot son or even parent to to son, and certainly from parent to daughter, not even from mother to daughter, a relationship that does not officially exist in the Torah the way the father-son relationship does. In other words women are excluded from the spiritual world of "perfection" and "covenant." Also circumcision blood was redemptive blood. In Hebrew law it is specifically the blood of circumcision and the blood of the lamb that save. Wine thus recollects the covenant and is also a symbol for blood -- the blood drawn from the paschal lamb and the blood drawn from every Jewish male on the eighth day of his life. Bothe th ePassover seder and the circumcision rigtual use wine to recollect the blood. Their similar blessings point to the celebrative theme they have in common, the covenant with Isreal: "Blessed is God who makes a covenant." Both covenental events -- circumsision and seder -- are male dominated: obviously in the case of circumcision; only slightly less so in the case of the seder. Women were
probably present physically at the seder in NT times, but to judge by the stories told of Rabbis who attend a Passover seder overnight, the feast was largely for men, who were the sole ritual actors. The seder, too, was then, at least in part , a male covenantal cermony, featuring questions asked by a son of his fater, the rigualized passing down of the covenantal story from father to son. This would explain why only men are recorded as apostles.
The Hebrew blood rituals of circumcision and paschal lamb are both attracted and yet repelled by each other in the incarnation of Christ. Jews and Christians share an historical trajectory much like the DNA spiral: swirling around each other in mutual orbit, never coming quite close enough to coalesce, but at the same time, neither one managing to extricate itself from the pull excerised by the other until you fully understand that the reason that Christ came to the world was to save Humankind through Womankind who introduced sin into the world.
It is repellant to the blood/covenant history that the story of Jesus begins with Woman. If a rabbai of the period were telling the story, Mary would probably be only a passing mention with emphasis placed on Joseph. But then how to deal with that maternal Davidic bloodline...? But even with the family tree exposed, no rabbai would proceed to quote a woman regardless of her ancestry or messianic connections.
In the New Testament women are now connected to both the circumcision blood of the covenant which brought Hebrew men to "perfection" through the Perfect Hebrew Son of the Most High and through the blood of Womankind which ushered the Lamb into his terrestrial home of 33 years. Women are also redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, the Perfect Lamb which was slain. That blood touches us women too -- perhaps even more than men!
Christ came to save "the world" the One world which was fractured in the Garden. The fracture has God on one side, Humankind on the other, Woman on one side, Man on the other, Jew on one side Gentile on the other. This fissure is represented in the physical example of the temple curtain which was torn at the crusifixion to demonstrate that the sepearation was fading.
This promise of redemption was deliverd first by God to the Woman in the Garden and deliverd first to Woman through the line of Mary and continues to bless Womankind to this day. This is why Christ is often better news to women than to men. Men cannot bless us by proxy through their blood or their rituals or sacrifices, but Christ can. He adorns Womankind with the perfection of his perfection, his perfect Love which covers even Woman. TIKKUN![/quote]
I believe the last verse in the Romans passage is too often ignored. What God desires is a circumcised heart, a heart with the foreskin cut away to expose a vunerable, sensitive interior. No pretense or subterfuge. This relates to Duet. 30:6. It also makes "circumcision" as relevant to women as to men, although the figurism is male dominant, as was the culture at the time. If you have a circumcised heart, much of the other things we discuss become mute points. If one's heart is truly circumcised, whenever they realize that the Lord desires for them to do a certain thing, they simply do it. No hemming and hawing, no attempt to circumvent God's desire, just plain and simple obedience, not out of fear of damnation but in loving gratitude for the incredible gift of salvation.
BTW, all my icons have been replaced with plain boxes containing red X's. Anyone else having this problem