What is the difference between Biblical circumcision and African circumcision?

1. What is Biblical circumcision?

 Biblical circumcision is a religious rite instituted by God (Genesis 17:1-14, 21) as a token of His Covenant with Abraham and his descendents through Isaac. It was part of the religion of Israel. Little infant boys were circumcised when they were 8 days old to prove that they were part of the people of God. People from other nations who accepted the religion of Israel were circumcised even when they were adults. The foreskins (the loose skin at the end of the penis) of those little boys and proselytes were removed by an operation.

 Baptism took the place of circumcision in the New Testament (Colossians 2:11-12). The fact that girls are also baptized proves the glory of the message of the New Testament above that of the Old Testament. Because God's sign of the Covenant was given even to small children in the Old Testament (Genesis 17:1-13), many churches today also baptize children of believing parents (Acts 2:38-39). 2. What is African circumcision?

 In some tribes it forms a part of the rites of passage of young men from childhood to manhood. Initiation schools in African tribes serve the purpose of leading the youth from childhood to "adulthood". The secret ceremonies differ from tribe to tribe. Babies are not circumcised, only boys who have reached a certain age. Some tribes have circumcision ceremonies even for girls. In the case of boys the operation is the same as the Biblical circumcision. But let's be quite clear! It does not convey the same meaning. In the Bible it is a sign of the Covenant of God with Israel; in Africa it is a sign that a boy is transformed into a man. A group of boys who have passed through the same initiation school, form a regiment of the tribe.

 Initiation schools in African tribes are for the purpose of leading the youth from childhood to "adulthood".

 But the most important kind of circumcision is the "circumcision of the heart" (Romans 2:29) which is done by the Holy Spirit. For a Christian neither circumcision or uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith, expressing itself through love (Galatians 5:6). It is faith in Christ which changes your life, not outward symbols.