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I deny the resurrection (à la Peter Rollins)

“If I am ever to become a saint, I shall be a saint of darkness – for I shall not be found in heaven, I shall be found outside, as a light guiding the way.”

-Mother Teresa of Calcutta

I am ashamed to admit this, but here I publicly confess it:

I, Ryan Kuramitsu, deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This is something I actually used to try to hide.

But anyone who knows me well can tell you I’ve never hidden it well.

I deny the resurrection of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ from the dead.




I deny the resurrection every time I participate in an unjust system; every time I don’t make eye contact with a man begging for food on Green street; every time I refuse to stand up for the poor and the oppressed.

Every time I harden my heart towards the suffering of this world and burrow into my own comfortable life.

Every time I buy an article of clothing made by child slaves; every time I use my words to purposely wound and tear down others; every time I ignore the cries of my neighbor, I deny the resurrection.

Every time I use a dollar that says “In God we trust” to purchase a product that has held someone else in slavery, I have taken the LORD’s name in vain and I have denied the resurrection of The Liberator Jesus Christ from the dead.

May God forgive me for embracing such a consistent denial of the greatest news of all time: the empty tomb.

For if I actually believe that this Man really rose from the dead, I need to affirm this truth by modeling His compassion in all aspects of my life.

And by the grace of God, I have, on occasion, been able to achieve just this.

I am told that if you really pay attention to my life

–every now and again–

you will find that:

I, Ryan Kuramitsu, affirm the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I affirm the resurrection of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ from the dead.

I affirm the resurrection every time I stand up for the oppressed; every time I gain the courage to say ENOUGH to the systems and hegemonies that betray and harass my immigrant, LGBT, and Muslim friends (and enemies); every time I insist on feeding my neighbor before I feed myself.

Every time I slay my lust and libido and refuse to watch or listen to media that endangers and dehumanizes young women.

Every time I cry out for those who have had their tongues torn out; every time I say to the hungry “what I have is yours;” every time I insist on buying products that aid the cause of the widow and the orphan, I affirm the resurrection.

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians that essentially if Christ has not been raised, our hope is pointless.

If we deny the resurrection, there’s no point to Christianity.  The whole damn thing is useless.  It becomes morality management.

What we consistently find in the Scriptures is that the early Christians insisted that followers of the Word were not to live in such a way that quiets the cries of the suffering – that in so doing, we shush Jesus Himself and usher Him back into the grave, rolling the stone back over the tomb.

I can tell you from personal experience that such a life lived of resurrection denied is conspicuously empty.

A whitewashed tomb.


The claim that a man living 2,000 years ago came back from the dead also asks a question of us, it challenges our own worldview – are the moments of goodness and beauty and love in this life just dying fragments, totally subsumed by the misery of this world?

In other words, do death and sin and loss really have the last word?

Resurrection says that they do not.

To affirm the resurrection is to insist otherwise.

So may we be faithful to the raising of Christ from the dead as we live in daily affirmation of Jesus’ love (what author Eugene Peterson calls “practicing resurrection“).

When people look at our lives, may they think to themselves “this man or woman truly believes that Jesus of Nazareth came back from the dead to usher in something new and beautiful in human history!”

May we then, on the path to justice, love, and mercy, finally affirm the resurrection and meet Jesus face to face.

Only then will our risen God will truly be honored.

Inspired by Peter Rollins’ “I deny the resurrection.”

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. Powerful.

    March 5, 2013
    • Preciate it Matthew. Don’t think I mentioned this to you, but I was able to share your testimony blogs with some friends in my fellowship who were very blessed by them. Thank you for the words and your story. To God be the glory!

      March 6, 2013
      • Sorry, just saw this. I’m glad that they came in useful.

        March 15, 2013
  2. I follow a lot of blogs, and after my technology “fast” last month, I’ve had a lot of reading to catch up on, so I’ve had to pick and choose which posts to read. I got around here earlier today, and this title caught my attention.

    I think I may have to do a somewhat similar post 🙂

    Excellent work as always.


    March 5, 2013
  3. I’m so glad I came across your blog via a Facebook link. You have amazing insights. No wonder I feel blessed as I probably only live a little over an hour from where you go to school. :p Small world! God bless. I’ll be back to read more.

    April 19, 2013
    • thank you my friend! I feel like Facebook connections are how people find this blog 🙂

      are you a student somewhere nearby?

      June 4, 2013
      • Paul #

        LOL… no, I’ve been out of school MANY years. I’ve been in various part-time ministerial positions. Most of that time, I worked other jobs to help make ends meet. Right now, I’m in transition, not sure to what exactly, while getting my health back on track. Long story… lol. I’m in Paris, about 65 miles from U of I – CU campus.

        June 4, 2013
  4. Stumbled here from a link from a friend of a friend. Good words Ryan. Thank you for the encouragement and reminder about how I am to practically affirm Christ’s resurrection each day!

    April 20, 2013
    • thanks Andy. I’m blessed by your presence here. how’s your summer going?

      June 4, 2013
  5. Powerful! Nothing less than how to live Christ’s victory from the dead!

    April 13, 2015

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