In the process of thinking through how to form my boys' attitudes and behaviors towards certain bits of their little anatomies, it seemed to me time to
make a shameless attempt to get comments on my blog address our reasoning for choosing not to have them circumcised-- or, as I like to put it, leaving them intact.
We did our research, of course. It didn't really help with the decision making process. When we are talking about hygiene and health, sexuality and aesthetics, there are lots of arguments for circumcision. There are a lot of arguments against it.
Ultimately, our decision was a theological one. We chose to leave our boys intact for the same reason we chose to have them baptized: we are not part of the old covenant; we are part of the new.
The New Testament is full of this idea, but I think Colossians 2 sums it up pretty well:
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. --Colossians 2:9-12
Circumcision was the old sign of membership in God's covenant family; the new sign is baptism in Christ Jesus. Just as the law of Moses dictated that baby boys receive the mark of membership in the covenant family, under the new covenant we baptize our children (all of them! not only boys) as a mark of membership in the new covenant of grace.
Note that the parallel holds up: a baby could be circumcised but fail to keep the covenant when he was grown, thus not fully entering in to his heritage and promise as part of the community. We baptize our children, but expect them to choose a saving relationship with Christ as they mature into adulthood; otherwise the baptism is emptied of its significance.
Right now their baptisms represent the hope and promise of grace. We have left their bodies intact because we believe in the reality of what has been promised: that they have been "sealed by the Holy Spirit in baptism and marked as Christ's own forever."