Bezunesh ja Tasfey ovat olleet opettamassa Urulicho Bible Schoolin opiskelijoita. Voisi luulla, että kristillisen raamattukoulun kanta ympärileikkausta vastaan olisi selvä, mutta asia ei ole niin yksinkertainen. Ympärileikkaus on niin vaiettu asia, ettei siitä oikeastaan puhuta ollenkaan, sen enempää raamattukoulussa kuin muuallakaan. Näistäkin opiskelijoista suurin osa on leikattuja, joten opetukselle on paljon tilausta.
Bezunesh ja Tasfey pyrkivät opettamaan avainhenkilöitä, jotka puolestaan voivat viedä sanomaa eteenpäin. Raamattukoulun käyneet teologit ovat Etiopiassa erittäin arvostettuja ja uskottavia henkilöitä, vähän kuin Suomessa lääkärit ja poliisit. Kun teologi kertoo ympärileikkauksen vaaroista ja epäkristillisyydestä, menee se erittäin hyvin jakeluun. Siksi onkin hienoa, että Bezunesh ja Tasfey käyvät opettamassa näitä tulevia mielipidejohtajia ja vakuuttavat heille kuinka äärimmäisen tärkeää on opettaa kyseistä aihetta eteenpäin. Tällä kertaa he ovat antaneet opiskelijoille tehtäväksi ratkaista aiheeseen liittyviä erittäin hyviä tutkimuskysymyksiä sen sijaan, että olisivat antaneet suoraan kaiken tiedon. Tällä tavalla tulevilla teologeilla on enemmän omakohtaista, itsehankittua ymmärrystä aiheesta.
Tässä heidän lähettämänsä raportti:
The 5th work report to our Partners in Finland
Topic: Biblical Reasons against FGM
This time we have been teaching Bible school students by giving as a special course for 4 days. The school is Urulicho Amaharic Bible School. We taught both for 1st and 2nd year students. They were 43, both male and female and married and unmarried. Among girls some of them was also uncircumcised and unmarried. This time we gave them a research task which included following questions: What does the Bible say about FGM? What is the governmental rule about FGM? And what is your personal opinion about FGM? After finishing this task they discussed different kind of issues concerning FGM among Kambata people especially in Christian community. This is our learners:
After that we taught like this:
Many scholars like Willcox and others believe that the origin of the practice of FGM is unknown. Also the origin of male circumcision is unknown, but it is an ancient operation. It was practiced before the Israelites, even before their patriarchal ancestor come on the scene. The tools used to perform male circumcision at the ancient time were flint knife and metals. It is known to be practiced in Egypt about 4000 B.C.
It was not only Jewish people who practiced male circumcision in ancient time, but also Western Semites, including the Ammonites, Moabites and the Edomites practiced it. But it was rejected by the Eastern semantic speaking peoples. Male circumcision is also found in Asia, Africa and Australia, but not among the Indo-Germanic peoples and the Mongols. It is known among the Israelite neighbors like Egypt and Canaan but not in Assyria or Babylon. Initially it became theologically significant through its role in Judaism as compulsory sign of covenant membership.
God introduced the physical act of male circumcision as a sign of the Abrahamic covenant:
This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you…Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you (Genesis 17:10-11). It was a continual cutting off of the foreskin of the male organ, and it was a reminder of the perpetuity of the covenantal relationship. In the OT the compulsory sign of covenant is male circumcision alone. In the Bible it was first described in the book of Genesis 17:1-14, were God commanded the practice as the mark and seal of His covenant with the people of Israel. The circumcision finds its scriptural basis in God’s commandment to Abraham to remove the foreskins of his and his descendants as a symbol of the covenant relationship between God and His people. In this text, It was occurred within the context of God’s renewed covenant to Abraham, following the early contractual relationship.
God is an omnipotent to know the harmful and helpful to His people. As we believe that is why God did not introduce FGM. He knows it is harmful to His people and that makes an order to skip it.
Circumcision in NT
It is remarkable that no discussion about circumcision is found in the Gospels other than the brief reference in John’s 7:22-23 that suggests John’s community was troubled about the issue of circumcision. In the NT self-righteous Jews faithfully practiced circumcision as recognition of God’s continuing with Israel.
In the NT male circumcision is not remarkable issue to be included in the church of Christ. But the only thing is faith alone. Trying to practice FGM is the same as adding something new in to in the Bible.
The Apostolic church acknowledged a circumcision-free Gospel to the Gentiles (Acts15). For all its interpretation of other parts of the Jews liturgy, the epistle to the Hebrews makes no attempt to spiritualize the act of circumcision. Gentiles came to the church and accepted without the question of circumcision within the church up on the Gospel’s proclamation (Acts 10:47-48,11:18).
Dears, in short our teaching is focusing only on Biblical part but not included theological teaching because we have an appointment with them to continue this teaching next time. So, we will continue next time on this issue of theological reasons against FGM. We already started our preparation to give training to them in coming time.
We wish all the best for you those who read this report and those who support us. Thank you a lot. God bless you and your living in Finland within what you do.