Denying the resurrection of Christ

Written by on January 31, 2009 in Faith and Spiritual Life, Notes By The Way with 3 Comments

I was scrolling down the list of blogs that I read regularly, and I stopped on a post by Peter Rollins. He’s a Jesus follower, writer and teacher. Imagine my surprise to read the following:

Without equivocation or hesitation I fully and completely admit that I deny the resurrection of Christ.

Then I continued to read:

I deny the resurrection of Christ every time I do not serve at the feet of the oppressed, each day that I turn my back on the poor; I deny the resurrection of Christ when I close my ears to the cries of the downtrodden and lend my support to an unjust and corrupt system.

However there are moments when I affirm that resurrection, few and far between as they are. I affirm it when I stand up for those who are forced to live on their knees, when I speak for those who have had their tongues torn out, when I cry for those who have no more tears left to shed.

I love his honesty as he cuts right to the substance of “belief.” I confess: me, too. I am often led about by fears or preoccupied with myself, because I either don’t believe in the resurrection or just don’t get it.

My intention is not to set off any reader’s guilt reflex. I don’t think much lasting good has ever been accomplished on the basis of guilt and obligation. But I’m convinced that if we accept Love and Resurrection (not merely cognitively or accepting the words, but if we experience these as realities we can base our lives on), then we will be transformed from deep within. We will no longer lead lives of fear and quiet desperation, but we will have the freedom to express our truest selves.

(Note: I updated this post with the full quote and these reflections. Then I edited what I wrote, so sorry if it seems to keep changing. I’ll leave it alone now, and I’d love to continue a discussion in the comments.)

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About the Author

About the Author: Andy Gray is a writer and photographer living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and working with Alongsiders International. You can find him puttering around the streets of Phnom Penh on his Suzuki Viva 125, running stoplights and driving on the wrong side of the road or on the sidewalks like a local. If you see him in a coffee shop, he'll be the one typing and deleting the same line over and over again. .

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  • Dan

    Andrew,

    I think you missed this part of the quote, where Rollins explains his thoughts:

    I deny the resurrection of Christ every time I do not serve at the feet of the oppressed, each day that I turn my back on the poor; I deny the resurrection of Christ when I close my ears to the cries of the downtrodden and lend my support to an unjust and corrupt system.

    However there are moments when I affirm that resurrection, few and far between as they are. I affirm it when I stand up for those who are forced to live on their knees, when I speak for those who have had their tongues torn out, when I cry for those who have no more tears left to shed.

  • Andy

    That was on purpose. I wanted people to go read the page. I’ll be posting an update anyway with a response soon.

  • A good thought by Rollins. It is one thing to say that I believe in new life, but my actions should reflect a new Spirit-empowered life even now. So I agree with him and find that often my main struggle is to see the type of changes in my own behavior that I think should accompany the resurrection life of Jesus in me.

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