1041

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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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28 Responses to 1041

  1. Linda Bale says:

    I have resembled that remark. never again.

  2. Cliff says:

    Nothing wrong there apart from a thank you filed off although it does look as though it’s a hold up.

  3. goodfield says:

    Don’t you know Jesus Saves! :-)

  4. subo says:

    thank you Jesus for Asbo, it really cheers me up

  5. JF says:

    My £600 computer crashed and died but Jesus saved the hard drive! Praise the Lord!
    Thirty-odd miners got stuck in squalid conditions for many weeks causing untold misery to their families and friends, but God got them out! Praise God!
    An earthquake that killed 15,000 people, but God pulled a handful of people from the rubble! Thanks be to God!

    I wish this intervening God would intervene a little bit earlier… or allow praise to go to where it is due, i.e. the people on the ground getting their hands dirty. Although it does seem to me that the real heroes are less fixated on receiving endless praise than God himself.

    I think one of the hardest things to grasp about religion (and believe me, I sincerely am trying to understand how/why it still works) is people’s willingness to suspend their intellect and regurgitate what sounds like unthinking, sometimes superstitious babble. The need to express gratitude when something good happens is seemingly innate in us, as is the related belief that we can influence future events by making the right propitiations to the moon, the nearest mountain, Zeus, Thor, the Virgin Mary etc. – it pervades all cultures and the 100,000 or so religions that man has devised over the course of time.

    Can anyone explain their own thought process of thanking God for a minor ‘miracle’ in the face of a huge disaster?

    BTW I think Jesus only repairs Macs, He hates PCs.

  6. goodfield says:

    Perhaps the answer lies here Matthew 22:32
    ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’ ? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”
    nb Isaac and Jacob were long dead – get it?

  7. subo says:

    i bet loads of people find computers push them to try prayer – computers are so unpredictable, moody and stuck in a rut, they show no regard for the work we do on them and regularly develop irritating habits – I bet there’s a Personality Profile in the DSM* for computers, which includes advice like ‘be aware of the damaging impact these unpredictable machines have on individuals and communities’, and ‘it’s been found that a practising faith helps people minimise the damaging effects of the computers inability to respond empathetically in a ordinary human situation’

    *DSM = The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is published by the American Psychiatric Association and provides a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders.

  8. Robin says:

    @JF “BTW I think Jesus only repairs Macs, He hates PCs.”
    No, Macs are already (self)righteous and don’t require a doctor whereas PC’s are aware of their sin and in desperate need of a saviour.

  9. Hugh says:

    This reminded me of the Bart Simpson grace “God we paid for all this food ourselves so thanks for nothing.”

  10. FB says:

    @goodfield – Jesus is defending the doctrine of resurrection and life beyond death in Matthew 22 in the face of the Saduccees denying the Pharisee’s teaching, so surely saying the opposite?!?! (He’s saying “they are alive cos God isn’t God of the dead but is God of them……) Thus strengthening JF’s criticism.

    I’ve always wanted to slap people who thank God that they made it to the bus on time – when a third of the world are being left to starve by such selective intervention. Does God really think getting Freda to the bus to get to the sales is more important than a starving baby?

    For me there seem to be a few options – either God doesn’t intervene like that, or can’t, or won’t (due to “masterplan”? A plan that involves countless starving children??). Most people seem to scared to ask which……

    On a more positive note :-) – Adrian B Smith (especially in ‘Tomorrow’s Faith’ and ‘Tomorrow’s Christian’) has written some great stuff on getting away from this wrong(as he sees it) image of a sepearte-from-creation interventionalist god and recovering a more ancient judeo-christian view. And Karen Armstrong (especially in ‘A History of God’) shows how we got to the image to start with.

  11. goodfield says:

    FB: Not sure you got what I was hinting at – basically what we see as dead God still see’s as very much alive.

  12. JF says:

    Goodfield… what do you mean? What is something that we might say is ‘dead’ but God sees it as ‘alive’?

  13. In my opinion, very few people actually laugh out loud when they type “LOL”. However, I most certainly am laughing out loud right now. So a big LOL to you! This comic totally made my day—it’s been an overcast and cloudy one, but you gave me just the little peek of sunshine I needed to get out of this fog. Thanks!

  14. jonbirch says:

    MK… thank you… glad to have caused you cheer. may the sunshine continue. :-)

    jf, goodfield, fb… it’s like the man who thanks god for the sunshine he has experienced on his holiday, when just a mile away crops have failed for the same reason and ruined the life of a farmer. i watched somalia on the news… horrifying. so if god is looking after the rich west and individuals within it, then has he given up on those who are suffering the most appalling starvation and suffering? because sometimes, ‘god’s looking after me’ smacks of seeing no further than ones own life. an interventionist god alleviating ones need to take responsibility. don’t get me wrong… i’m all for gratitude.
    the cartoon is based on something that really happened. the guy who did all the work got no thanks. quite rightly, in my view, he was a little annoyed.

  15. jonbirch says:

    btw… neither a fan of gates or jobs… but gates at least is giving some money away. i give my money to jobs cos his products are better (certainly for my line of work), the service is better and maybe one day he’ll give some of his money away too… or maybe he already does, but nobody knows. :-)

  16. Sarah says:

    JF, I think we should congratulate ourselves when something goes right- we made it happen.

  17. Tiggy says:

    Until recently (even in Europe) most children died in their first five years through disease. We live in an age of vaccination and experience the world in a rather different way to those who came before us. Why do we thank God when a child lives and not blame God when a child dies?

  18. JF says:

    Sarah – I agree! Nothing wrong with pride in a good job done and backslapping all round! Possibly a pint of cider to celebrate!
    And no hocus pocus about supernatural assistance or interference! :-)

  19. JF says:

    And Jon has mentioned the magic word: Responsibility! :-)
    Responsibility for your own life/wellbeing and for that of your neighbours, wherever you feel you can make a difference.
    Responsibility: Grasp it, grab it, take it, keep it.
    Once you feel that ‘things’ are against you, or that good things are happening because ‘someone is smiling on you’, I think you have lost at least half the battle in life.

  20. goodfield says:

    JF: What I meant was that when some one dies we see them as gone and no longer available to us. But in the bible it appears that god still see’s them as living beings he can interact with most likely because they available to him un a spiritual realm. Consequently you can argue his view of physical death and it’s consequences is vastly different from ours.
    I’m throwing the idea out there as it’s a thought I’ve played around with in terms of explaining injustices in life.

    Jon: From what I read Mr Job may soon be meeting his maker a little quicker than Mr Gates presumably as I believe he (Jobs) has cancer. I knew what you meant by the cartoon not least perhaps because I have worked in IT support and have experienced this first hand – if people want to be what I see as pseudo-spiritual in the way your cartoon suggests perhaps they should learn to thank both the helper and the god who provided them.

  21. JF says:

    Goodfield: this is the nub of it. If god has the ability to ‘provide a helper’ to fix a problem, why doesn’t he just prevent the problem in the first place? This is the superstitious notion that good stuff is god at work (thanks god!) and the bad stuff… er… that just happens.
    How can you believe (as FB says above) that god’s selective intervention could/would ‘send’ someone to fix a computer hard drive, but not be bothered about starvation? How?!!?

  22. jonbirch says:

    i have come to the conclusion that my view of the way the world works is very different from that of OT and NT writers and characters… more so with OT than NT because they’re even further back in time with an even more primitive view of the world. one view from isaiah or the psalms would be that god causes both good and bad (although the OT would be more likely to say ‘just’ than ‘bad’)… if you are going to believe in an interventionist god then this seems logical.
    i have to say… when something good happens to me or brings me joy, but it’s nothing to do with any one person, or maybe it’s just the sweet smell of blossom on the air, i find myself saying ‘thank you’… i found myself ‘grateful’ that my mum didn’t have to suffer years of pain and i was thankful, not just to the nurses who worked hard (who i thanked), they didn’t make her die. i was grateful in another way. it feels perfectly natural and seems pretty healthy to me in those situations to say ‘thank you’.

  23. goodfield says:

    JF personally I wouldn’t say or believe either of those things, and I understand the point your making about them relatively speaking as well – that would be for the lady in the cartoon or others like her to answer. I think your taking my suggestion some place I didn’t intend again, but to take up your starvation example we see the pain and slow lingering death followed by what – fini. Perhaps God in the supernatural realm see’s more than that pain and ‘fini’ – perhaps he see’s some kind of abundant life afterwards which compensates for what has gone before. Jesus himself said the people killed by the tower of Siloam were no more evil than any others which would seem to support what you say about superstition in Christian circles – something i agree with you abouta by the way..
    Your probably right it’s just wishfull thinking but as I said before I threw it out as an idea to see where it might take us. You can get mad about it if you wish but it might be like shouting at the wind.

  24. Sarah says:

    JF- abso**lutely- I love the fact that I did this, that and the other. And make mine a vodka. :-)

  25. JF says:

    Hi goodfield – no I’m not mad – just really curious about all this stuff! I guess I just don’t get it. But then I don’t believe in the afterlife or the supernatural realm. This, I guess, is because god made me this way :-)
    I also sense however that even those who believe are pretty sketchy about the nuts & bolts of it all. Is that fair?

  26. goodfield says:

    JF: I guess the only person who could know all the nuts & bolts of it would be God but it’s fun trying to figure it out either according to theology or physics. I’m less a believer and more of a cosmologist these days. Curently I find the quantum mechanic theories in Physics intriguing as they are tennding towards saying at sub atomic levels (and perhaps even macroscopic levels) the structure of reality depends on the ‘observer’ – opens up intriguing possibilities – perhaps we really do create are own reality or perhaps they will find God is the ultimate ‘observer’ :-) Then again they’ll probably have a new theory or interpretation by the time I finish this sentence.

  27. Sarah says:

    Throw this in if it’s helpful: `belief` used to mean cherished, loved. Experience is everything as far as I’m concerned.

  28. Robin says:

    I used to tie myself up in knots as worship leader dealing with people’s gratitude – sounds a bit weird, but what i mean is that people would come up and say “worship was fab this morning” usually meaning they enjoyed the music, to which i could choose a number of responses:
    A – Yes the lord really moved
    B – I’m glad you were able to connect with god
    C – It was nothing to do with me, it’s all about god
    D – I know, i was awesome, did you hear that solo i pulled out?
    E – Good, cool, thanks
    I tend to gravitate towards “good, cool, thanks” these days because actually i did play, i did bring songs, i did “lead”, i did provide the environment in which people were able to worship – they would worship anyway, but my purpose is to help with that, and i did. So it’s ok for me to receive thanks for that and i shouldnt be ashamed of my input and using the tiny gifts i have to give everyone else a good time. Sometimes we’re just singing songs :)

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