I wish (they) would castrate themselves!


Galatians 5:2–12 (NRSV): Listen! I, Paul, am telling you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 Once again I testify to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obliged to obey the entire law… 12 I wish those who unsettle you would castrate themselves!

It appears there were leaders in Galatia telling the Gentile Christians they needed to be circumcised to be right with the Lord. Paul is vehemently pushing back on this practice. I’m particularly interested in v.12:

“I wish those who unsettle you would castrate themselves!” 😂

I love this verse because it reveals the humanity of Paul. He’s tired of explaining the same things over and over. Paul is also worried that his apostolic work in Galatia is being undone by others. And he’s pissed off!

I planted a church in San Antonio almost 20 years ago which slowly unraveled after I left. The Lord did some wonderful things through the people of that church, but it’s hard not to feel some level of regret and disappointment. Likewise all of the churches Paul writes about in the New Testament are gone now. It happens. Most new churches eventually come to an end. That said…

While individual congregations come and go, the Church is alive and well.

Individual congregations are not the church. People in whom the gospel is planted and shared are the church. Congregations come and go. The gospel lives on through you and me. Amen.

2 thoughts on “I wish (they) would castrate themselves!

  1. Lyn Zastrow

    The church is alive, but I’m not sure that I would say that it is well. We have the western world that is becoming more and more secular with a new generation of kids that are being fed Marx (the state gives you all things that God does, and the benevolence of the state replaces the charity of the church and it congregations – Our youth are like lambs being led to the slaughter when they follow this. History always seems to repeat here for some reason.), and church scandals that raise their own doubts.

    Like Paul, I wish there were a whole new generation of people that would “castrate themselves”.

    Meanwhile – the fight for the ‘church’ goes on. I have faith.

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