In today’s reading (Galatians 6), Paul (the author) continues to go on and on about circumcision. He’s become moyle like in his focus on circumcision. The reason is because some people who were preaching Jesus were also teaching people they had to get circumcised. They were wrong, and Paul was correcting and showing the dangers of their mistake.
What interested me was why they were teaching circumcision. It says that they were trying to avoid getting persecuted for the sake of Christ. Back then, one of the objectionable things about Christianity was that those who followed it no longer had to follow Old Testament laws such as being circumcised. These false teachers wanted to be Christians but also not be peculiar or get persecuted, so they taught Jesus AND circumcision.
I wonder about you. What objectionable part of Christianity are you ignoring, so you can avoid being peculiar or persecuted?
– Maybe you refuse to mention that Jesus is the only way to Heaven, because you know our culture views that as intolerant, and you don’t want to be looked at that way.
– Or perhaps you drink at social gatherings, even to the point of excess, because you don’t want to be labeled the conservative Christian who doesn’t drink, or won’t “Get drunk and have fun like the rest of us.”
– Maybe you won’t share your faith with your non-Christian friends, because you’re afraid that you’d lose them as friends.
– Or it could be that you’re not nearly as generous with your money as you could be, because you feel a need to “keep up with the Joneses” in your possessions and the things you do for your kids and you don’t want to be looked at as someone who isn’t on the same level of success in life.
Honestly, I have some of these issues as well. But what we need to know is that if you’re a Christian, you can’t avoid being peculiar or being persecuted. Jesus promised that we would be persecuted. And He said we’re blessed and should rejoice when we are persecuted. And, as the circumcisers of Galatians 5 and 6 were learning, it is not cool with God at all when we avoid being peculiar so we can avoid being persecuted.