590

:-) credit to my lovely wife…

perm

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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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40 Responses to 590

  1. The Millers says:

    Duh… Human=evil. Right?

  2. chaino says:

    the nature of man is to rebel against God yes.

    “what shall we say then? Shall we continue to sin so that grace may increase? By no means!”
    - Romans 6

  3. zefi says:

    <the nature of man is to rebel against God yes.

    The nature of man is to rebel against God? Isn’t that an inevitable side-product of something called free-will?

  4. jonbirch says:

    the millers… i like the sarcasm.
    human is good… human is broken… human is beautiful… human is ugly… human is open… human is closed… human is obedient… human is a mixed bag… but human is what we are. it is okay to feel weak and express it… it is good to be uncertain and to talk it through… it is good to cry, to let it out.
    we have to give each other permission to be less than perfect, or else we enslave those we love to something which is unrealistic, unfair, and unedifying.
    if we are not prepared to suffer fools then we are not prepared to admit that we are fools too… this seems foolish.

  5. Linus says:

    chaino that’s entirely unbiblical.

    according to the bible, the nature of people is to be made in the image of God and to be “very good”. Yes we are broken. No we are not inherently evil little worms. On the contrary; we are deeply loved children.

    “my strength is made perfect in weakness”

    “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

  6. Carole says:

    It was only when I learned that it was OK to accept my flawed humanity that the whole Christianity thing started to mean something to me.

  7. drew says:

    Ah, the great Christian system of control.

    No explanations, just statements made by obviously holy folk who cannot be questioned.

  8. Linus says:

    That sounds pretty cynical Drew – sorry that you are feeling so dissillusioned (i know that feeling) =[

    Its not Christian – Jesus is nothing like that.

  9. Bo says:

    When God starts working in our lives, we become more human, not less.
    “I will take out their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.”
    Sadly, not all christians (or non-christians) realise this.

  10. Amy Watson says:

    Jon, is it meant to be a church leaders saying no?? As a youth worker I have seen that often it’s the people in some form of leadership themselves who don’t seem to be allowed to be ‘human’.

  11. This morning in our meeting a friend of mine was speaking about the ups and down of Israel in their history and likened it to her own life. She said something like, “There are times when I go a week without reading the Bible and can’t find it when I want it and sometimes I know what God wants and do the opposite.” I think people could identify with that.

  12. human is good… human is broken… human is beautiful… human is ugly… human is open… human is closed… human is obedient… human is a mixed bag… but human is what we are. it is okay to feel weak and express it… it is good to be uncertain and to talk it through… it is good to cry, to let it out.
    we have to give each other permission to be less than perfect, or else we enslave those we love to something which is unrealistic, unfair, and unedifying.
    if we are not prepared to suffer fools then we are not prepared to admit that we are fools too… this seems foolish.

    that was beautiful, jon. And deserves to be up here twice.

  13. Lewis says:

    It’s not really our place to give permission to be less than perfect.
    God didn’t give us permission to be less than perfect, but we did, we rebelled against Him.
    So in a way you’re right. Although we shouldn’t condone sin, because God doesn’t, it’s not our place to judge. ‘First take the speck out of your own eye’.
    We should learn instead to forgive each other, and build each other up.

  14. zefi says:

    So in a way you’re right. Although we shouldn’t condone sin, because God doesn’t, it’s not our place to judge. ‘First take the speck out of your own eye’.

    So, after I get that speck out of my eyes…

  15. Linus says:

    i get what you’re saying. But it definitely is our place to give permission to be honest, and to love imperfect people, and accept love as imperfect people. Jesus’ yoke is light – He opposed those who placed heavy burdens on people.

    “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”

  16. jonbirch says:

    amy watson. yes you’re right of course… it cuts both ways. :-)

    thank you for the lovely compliment christine gill. :-)

  17. subo says:

    magic

    here’s to trust, vulnerability and openness

    here’s to feeling our humanity

    and to knowing it’s this human – a mixed bag… – that Jesus died for

  18. Heidi says:

    jon i love it, and i especially love your comment above. good good stuff.

  19. subo says:

    It’s so good to let yourself free from the pressure of ‘ought’, into the warmth of being

  20. AnneDroid says:

    This one makes me feel really really sad. Is this actually happening today? I haven’t come across it. How awful.

    It’s interesting to me, too, thinking about this from the context of church in prisonworld. The cartoon and the comments are to do with permission, as Jon puts it so beautifully: “we have to give each other permission to be less than perfect, or else we enslave those we love to something which is unrealistic, unfair, and unedifying”.

    In prisonworld, I think we’re coming at this from the exact opposite side. The guys have been so openly “less than perfect” for so long, and the consequent mess is so big, that the challenge for them is to try to believe they could actually be “LESS-less-than-perfect”! If they were asking permission to be human I think they’d be meaning permission to be like what they call “normal” people, i.e. law-abiding citizens with a little house and a wife and a family. Permission to be a good guy, whereas the context in the cartoon is from the angle of needing permission to be seen as not such a good guy, by being more honest.

    My point, such as it is, is just that the person who feels they have to wear a mask of perfection is a prisoner too.

  21. jonbirch says:

    a very lovely point well made annedroid. thank you. :-)

    thanks for the encouragement heidi. :-)

  22. jonbirch says:

    actually, there are many lovely thoughts expressed above. thank you peeps. :-)

  23. Robb says:

    I’m feeling really human. I just watched the cat get worse over the last 24hrs and keep vomiting. I just rushed her to the vet where she was hospitalised again and I don’t know what to do. She’s distressed and poorly sick and ill. We’ve spent four figures on her and look like we may have to do the same again and I don’t know where it is coming from and it hurts.

  24. Laura says:

    Robb- I’m sorry to hear about the cat and that you’re hurting. It’s really hard when someone we love is sick and not doing well.

    Praying for you and the cat!

  25. jonbirch says:

    that’s one very loved cat, robb. love to you and the good dr and the cat. we have a dog… when he goes (he’s old) i don’t know how i’ll be… but i do know he has brought an immense amount of character (if that’s the word) into our lives. even though he’s half blind and three quarters deaf and can infuriate me, i love him to bits.

  26. Kim - the African says:

    It seems every time there is a conversation on being ‘human’, people only seem to relate it to vulnerability, brokenness, weakness etc
    What about the other side of the coin- nobleness, honour, goodness, compassion- are these also not human qualities?

  27. Harry says:

    I love this cartoon (and all the rest). I just stumbled onto this site last week and pretty much read through all the cartoons in two days.

    As for the “being perfect” thing… I think we often forget that even though we try to be perfect we’re not. We’re just putting up a lie if we pretend we’re not human…

  28. jonbirch says:

    absolutely harry. :-)

    agreed kim. i’d also say that the recognition of our own vulnerability and brokenness can be a real strength. we should be allowed to be fully human. :-)

  29. Kayte says:

    I’m happy to say that I had the exact opposite of this experience at Church yesterday. Life’s kind of tough just now, and twice after the service the ‘how are you?’ question ended up with me blubbering all over whoever had asked me. Twice I apologised, and twice received the reply, “if you can’t cry in Church, then where can you?”
    There are some good Churches, and good people out there…

  30. Bo says:

    I thought the same as Harry.
    Why is it that whenever we say someone is “being human” people automaticly perceive this as being broken, weak and imperfect?
    Btw. it would be interesting to get an answer to that question from all the previous posters, since you all made that clear association.

    Actually, I think I got the exact opposite problem with a youthgroup I was in once.
    Here the “permission denied” would be the permission to NOT be broken, depressed and a failure.
    And being happy and successful is just as human as the alternative – both should be allowed.

    When you look to science fiction, “being human” is mostly associated with having feelings and displaying emotions.
    Many sci-fi movies revolve around the battle between the robotic, controlled, rigid emotionless system and a more human natural world, for example The Matrix, Star Wars and Equilibrium.
    So a human thing would be allowing yourself to have feelings and act on them.
    On the other hand, it’s not human to act on feelings alone, there’s gotta be some kind of rational activity once in a while – so asking permission to think is also asking permission to be human.

  31. The Millers says:

    Bo-”Why is it that whenever we say someone is “being human” people automaticly perceive this as being broken, weak and imperfect?”

    We should ask Adam and Eve. It seems in the story of Eden, that as they became more self-aware, they became ashamed (of being “broken, weak, imperfect”?). Before “the fall”=no shame.

    This may make no sense whatsoever. But this story popped in my head with your question.

  32. jonbirch says:

    interesting thought the millers.

  33. andy amoss says:

    Hi Jon,

    I thought you might have some fun, and prompt some discussion (in an un-cartoon mediated way) if i tagged you in the 6 random facts meme.

    Hope you don’t mind.
    andy

  34. andy amoss says:

    Dammit! Permission to make post-too-quick-resulting-in-double posting error – again.

    *blushes*

    To find out what the 6 random facts meme is you’ll need to go to my blog.

  35. drew says:

    - 8 –
    Hey Linus,

    It is what it is I am afraid. Most cynicism is born of experience though. Even if that is not what the esteemed leader is saying, it’s often what is heard. Its not nice, we don’t have to like it but its often true none the less.

  36. LindyB says:

    Thank you for this cartoon, Jon and thanks everyone for an interesting range of comments. The only one I have any disagreement with is Lewis @ 13: I think that God has never expected perfection from humanity and that it’s presumptive of us to believe that we can attain the perfection that belongs only to God.

  37. Linus says:

    That’s cool drew. didn’t men to sound critical – you are totally allowed to be cynical – i often am. I was attempting to acknowledge what you said, commiserate that this was how you felt, and point out that when such things do happen (and they do, unfortunately) then… well, they are not genuine exmples of following Jesus, or genuine expressions of Gods heart. You are right not to like it i agree.

    v sorry it didn’t come over like that.

    I am hoping and praying God will bless you this week with some opportunities to experience true community where there is questions and freedom and love instead of control.

    Peace.

  38. jonbirch says:

    thanks lindyb. :-)

  39. Joe says:

    I think Adam and Eve were most human before the Fall. Jesus was a very true picture of humanity. I’m looking forward to the day when I know longer see “as through a glass darkly” because then “I shall know him fully, even as I am fully known.”

    Bo [30], a couple years ago I would have fought against your comment. I was helping lead a youth group in a church where vulnerability had not been highly valued and I’d been depressed for four years.

    Anyway, now I find myself agreeing with you. It wasn’t so nice to expect everyone to be as miserable as me… but hope you can know that it was from good intentions that I did it.

  40. drew says:

    groovy baby !!

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