There's nothing Christian about circumcision. Christians throughout the world and history have rejected circumcision. In fact, the modern procedure isn't even the original Jewish one.
MYTH: Christians cut their baby boys
Christians have, with very few exceptions, never practiced circumcision. From the Apostles Peter (Acts 15:5-10) and Paul* (in several places, including Galatians 6:12-15 and 1 Corinthians 7:18-20) and the Church Fathers, to Medieval Christians through the Reformation and beyond, God's children have never viewed circumcision as a Christian practice. Indeed, Christians have believed that Christ's finished work has abolished the practice and even made it reprehensible, just as animal sacrifices are now reprehensible. To circumcise without reason violates the biblical view of the human body.
Both before and after the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Church has repeatedly forbidden Christians from being circumcised (or otherwise mutilated) without unavoidable medical reason. Protestants have never circumcised until the procedure arose in English-speaking countries in the late 1800s (see How MGM really started in the US). Nevertheless, secular thought introduced the practice in the modern United States, and American Christians absorbed it.
Christians in other lands are often shocked to hear that some American Christians routinely circumcise their boys. They view the practice as a lack of respect for God's wise creation and a clear violation of basic medical ethics.
- "The man who was uncircumcised when he became a believer should not be circumcised now." ~Paul, 1 Cor. 7:18 (NLT)
- "Circumcision ... was discontinued by Jesus, who desired that His disciples should not practise it." ~Origen (248)
- (speaking of circumcision) "(God's creation) has made nothing imperfect in man, nor bade it be removed as unnecessary." ~Ambrose of Milan (~375)
- "Through Christ circumcision ceased." ~Thomas Aquinas (~1250), quoting Chrysostom (~400)
- "Christians ... may not be circumcised for any reason." ~The Council of Vienne (1312)
- "After the promised Christ came into the flesh and was revealed to the world, circumcision was to cease entirely." ~Martin Luther (1539)
- "And that, by the coming of Christ, external circumcision ceased, is plain from the words of Paul; ... truly baptism could not succeed circumcision without taking it away." ~John Calvin (1554)
- "Circumcision is only morally permissible if, in accordance with therapeutic principles, it prevents a disease that cannot be countered in any other way." ~Pope Pius XII (1952)
MYTH: God commanded the modern form of circumcision.
The Old Testament’s milah circumcision is by all accounts not the same procedure that is practiced in the USA today. The modern procedure removes many times more tissue and multiple functions. Among Jewish scholars and documentary evidence, including from the Old Testament itself, there is no doubt that the ancient Jewish procedure was much less drastic. See a summary here, then check out more from The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion and over 50 citations of historical evidence. As a recent Jewish newspaper article noted, "the Biblical command for circumcision had its scope extended by the rabbis," probably in about 130 AD, in order to prevent its reversal.
Before this addition, circumcision did not lay bare the glans (tip). Only the foreskin proper was removed (click here for a drawing showing the difference). This left the foreskin's God-designed functions intact.
God has never authorized the modern, severely damaging amputation for any people group at any time.
"It was probably in order to prevent the possibility of obliterating the traces of circumcision that the rabbis added to the requirement of cutting the foreskin that of peri’ah (laying bare the glans)." ~ The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion
"Now the Jews force the skin back on the little penis and tear it open with sharp fingernails, as one reads in their books. Thus they cause extraordinary pain to the child, without and against the command of God. Such an addendum is their own invention, yes, it was inspired by the accursed devil, and is in contradiction to God's command, since Moses says in Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32, 'You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it.' With such wanton disobedience they append and practice this supplement." ~ Martin Luther, from here (quoted to show he knew about the addition of peri'ah)