Lens 3 of 4 on the Jerusalem council. To our ears, the controversy over circumcision seems like a silly thing for a church to be divided about. Such is the nature of symbols though…because they lack inherent meaning, they often become a war of ideas. So it was in the early church as well. Circumcision for some was about identity and adherence to a way of life that included 613 rules. For Paul, circumcision represented a massive barrier to belonging. Instead, he offered the church a set of practices rather than rules or symbols. Here, we examine those two practices as an alternative to rules, symbols or statements of belief.
May 10, 2021