I Deny the Resurrection


A few days back, I finished Peter Rollins’s new book “Insurrection.” The book is subtitled: To believe is human. To doubt, divine. It is a fitting subtitle.

Rollins finishes the book with a piece entitled: I Deny the Resurrection. I’ve heard him do it before at the Poets, Prophets, and Preachers Conference in 2009. But it reminded me of one thing: I, too, deny the Resurrection.

It was a hard realization to come to, at first. I’ve spent most of my life as a Christian and I realize that I deny the Resurrection. Watch the video. Perhaps you do, as well.

As I listened to him speak, I realized what I was guilty of. I think many of us are fearful of admitting such a thing. But it’s true.

For the longest time, I believed, as a Christian, that life was about getting by so you could get to Heaven. Now don’t get me wrong, it was nice to do things for others…periodically. But most of the time, it was about hanging out together and encouraging one another. That’s what I believed the church was all about. If that’s true, then the church denies the Resurrection.

The book opened my eyes. Far too often, we deny the Resurrection. I have become so inward focused at times that I disgust myself.

I don’t try to help the oppressed.

I don’t look after the widows and orphans.

I don’t feed the hungry.

I don’t clothe the naked.

I don’t do a lot of things that I should. And when I don’t, I deny everything that Christ did. Because if I truly believed it, I would do those things. When we do not act for the oppressed, we become the oppressors.

The unfortunate thing, is that it is easy for us to deny the Resurrection. We get caught up in “doing things” that we never actually “do things.” I see this in many churches. We get caught up in ice-cream socials, potlucks, game nights, movie nights, youth group hangout times, camps, Sunday morning worship, etc., that we never actually act out the Resurrection. We schedule event after event within the church but rarely do we take up the social justice issues outside the church. If we truly believe in the Resurrection, we would be more active.

We can read the Bible as much as we want. We can memorize it in its entirety. We can sing song after song worshipping God. We can pray without ceasing. We can partake communion every Sunday. We can give God our 10%. We can volunteer to clean the church. We can help make cookies for the youth trip. All of these things are great. But unless we begin doing things outside the church, unless we begin caring for those who can’t care for themselves, unless we realize that Christ is greater than what happens inside the 4 walls, we deny the Resurrection.

So what about you? Do you deny the Resurrection as well? Sometimes I do as well. Although, I’m working on it more and more.

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