Monday, June 06, 2011

Emasculating the political correctness

Galatians 5::2-12 says,  

2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
 7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9 “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty. 11 Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12 As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!

When Osama Bin Laden was killed recently, Americans reacted differently. Some were happy, others became more fearful, and some even rejoiced in the streets. Afterward a number of Christian bloggers passed out shame to anyone who rejoices when an enemy is destroyed. A verse from the Proverbs was the most common citation, cited, I believe, out of context (despite the fact that Proverbs is not even written in context).

I am not going to preach about whether dancing in the streets was the right reaction. Perhaps it was, maybe it wasn't. For me, it was a somber moment, remembering how much destruction this man helped cause. But for those who feel like Christians should be mamby, pamby, all politically correct and everything nice, read Paul's words. He is criticizing the Judaizers who, though they claimed to be Christians, made it an important point to continue to follow the Jewish law and ceremoniously circumcise their devotees. 

Now read verse 12: "As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!" OK, time for a biology lesson. Males get circumcised. The foreskin is cut off. Emasculate = Castrate. In other words, Paul is suggesting that his opponents ought to keep cutting and eventually cut off their penises. Ouch, that hurts just writing it.

OK, I know that doesn't sound politically correct. And yes, the plural for a man's body part is what I have written above--shocking, huh? As serious as Paul seemed to be most of the time, he could have a little fun with a play (though painful) on body parts. (Some commentators wouldn't suggest Paul is tongue in cheek in making the comment; I, however think he is.) 

So, the overall message: There is a time and place for everything. For Paul, this was a chance to let out his frustration and put something in print that many who are reading this are probably having a hard time stomaching. But you know what? Paul is being real, and I like that. I hope to never be fake myself.

Osama Bin Laden got what was coming to him. I'm sorry he chose the path he did. He received justice on earth; how much more devastating will be justice from God. 

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