The heart of circumcision

November 01, 2017 at 6:00 AM

Drs. Cindy and Brent Van Andel are shown around N'Dali, Benin, on their last visit to the African nation.

(Editor’s note: Cindy Van Andel and her husband, Brent, are on a Partnership Ministry Team to N’Dali, Benin. Cindy is family medicine physician at Española Medical Clinic in Española, N.M., and is also a member of the Luke Society Board of Directors.)

The heart of circumcision

By Dr. Cindy Van Andel

“So what do you think, doc; should we do it?”

It’s not uncommon for new parents to ask me this about having their newborn son circumcised.

We know that circumcision was practiced as an act of initiation into the Jewish faith and served as a sign of following God’s covenant with Israel. But as Paul explained, circumcision is really a matter of the heart.

In Romans 2:29, The Message translation reads, “You become a Jew by who you are. It’s the mark of God on your heart, not of a knife on your skin that makes a Jew.”

Without an inner heart change, physical circumcision is just a meaningless ritual. God wants us to have that inner heart change and by his Spirit enables it to happen.

God promises in Ezekiel 36:26, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

Whether or not parents decide to have a baby boy physically circumcised is of course their personal decision and I don’t either promote or discourage it. But if asked “Doc, should I have this heart circumcision,” I would give a resounding, “Yes!”

I did, and have been blessed by God’s presence, peace, and forgiveness and the sure knowledge that He is working in me and is in control of all things.


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