CIRCUMCISION, THE REMOVAL of all or part of the foreskin from the male’s sexual organ, is usually practiced in the Philippines especially during summer when students have their long vacation. Considered as hygienic by many health experts, circumcision is deemed by some as nothing but a form of ‘rite of passage’ that a true male must undergo. The following are some interesting information about circumcision:

1. In the Old Testament, infant male circumcision is required as part of Abraham's covenant with God. Every Jewish male infant had to be circumcised on the eighth day after birth (Gen. 17:12).
2. Islamic custom also demands that Muslim males be circumcised before marriage.
3. Circumcision is also practiced in tribal peoples of Africa, the Malay Archipelago, New Guinea, Australia, and the Pacific islands.
4. Female circumcision, like excision, is performed in many African societies. It involves removing part or all of a woman’s labia and clitoris and is usually performed on girls entering adolescence.
5. Before the ancient Israelites invaded the land of Jericho, God commanded Joshua to circumcise the children of Israel (Jos. 5:2-9).
6. Abraham (Gen. 17:24), Ishmael (Gen. 17:25), Isaac (Gen. 21:4), Jesus, (Luk. 2:21), Paul (Phil. 3:5), and Timothy (Acts 16:1-3) were all circumcised.
7. The first apostolic council is about whether or not the Gentiles who converted to Christianity must be circumcised (Acts 15).
8. The Bible also mentions of the circumcision of the heart (Deut. 10:16; Rom. 2:29) which means “being freed from the power of [the] sinful self” (Col. 2:11; Eph. 4:21-24).
9. Apostle Paul, a circumcised Christian, preached, “when we are in union with Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor the lack of it makes any difference at all; what matters is faith that works through love.” (Gal. 5:6)
10. The New Testament further teaches, “whether or not a man is circumcised means nothing; what matters is to obey God's commandments.” (I Cor. 7: 19)


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