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Why is male circumcision making a come back?


Credit: elvin/Flickr/Creative Commons

Credit: elvin/Flickr/Creative Commons

At one point the circumcision of male boys shortly after birth was the standard practice in North America and Europe. But over the last several decades, the procedure has fallen out of favor and there has been a steady decline in the number of boys being circumcised.

But now there has been an upsurge in men, now adults, wanting to be circumcised and new procedures are being developed to do it, some almost painless.

Though there are those who absolutely oppose male circumcision, and even link it to female circumcision which is brutal and unnecessary procedure, studies show that male circumcision has significant health benefits.

On its website, the World Health Organization noted that several studies revealed that male circumcision reduces the chances of contracting HIV by upwards of 60%.

In one multi-year study being conducted on African men, researchers were so astounded by the reduced HIV contraction that they stopped the study half-way through and told the men in the uncircumcised study group to get circumcised.

As part of its goal to eradicate HIV by the year 2030, the UN wants to “reach 25 million young men in high HIV incidence areas with voluntarily medical male circumcision”

Medical researchers are not in agreement on why circumcision reduces the chances of contracting HIV and a multitude of other sexual diseases such as STI’s and human papillomavirus (HPV). But many think there is tissue in the foreskin more susceptible to transmitting disease. Others also suspect the intact foreskin allows disease to incubate.

However it happens, once the foreskin is removed the chances of contracting sexual diseases drops significantly. One study even showed the incidents of prostate cancer dropped by 50% in men who were circumcised after the age of 35.

So this leads us to an interesting Biblical question?

In Genesis 17:9-14, God instituted circumcision as a sign of His covenant with Abraham and his descendants. But as a sign, it was pretty weak. It only involved half the population and it was not particularly obvious.

So did God know that circumcision would significantly reduce the chances of contracting sexual disease? Was this one of the reasons why the Lord chose it as the sign of the covenant?

Though it took men nearly 5,000 years to discover this, the answer is obviously yes, God was well aware of the health benefits associated with male circumcision.

So on one hand, in the law God absolutely condemned sexual immorality and warned Israel against these type of practices, but then provided protection from diseases if man fell into sexual sin.

God’s law combined with God’s mercy.

Under the New Covenant, the Apostle Paul is very clear that the Old Covenant’s circumcision of the flesh was replaced by the New Covenant’s circumcision of the heart (Romans 2:29).

Even in the Old Testament, several verses showed that God was more concerned about the circumcision of the heart over the flesh (Deuteronomy 10:16).

And thought the Apostle Paul says that circumcision no longer helps in salvation or sanctification (Galatians 2:16Romans 2:25-29), there are obvious health benefits associated with the procedure and it may be considered for that reason alone.

Sources:

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