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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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53 Responses to 286

  1. Sarah says:

    If they’re that pissed off about him being naked I wouldn’t want to spend eternity with them anyway.

    Sas ;-)

  2. subo says:

    good point!

    do you think there will be any naughtyness on the new earth? – fat boy slim thought so.

  3. Sarah says:

    You do mean sex. I hope so. We’ll just have to wait and see.

    Meantime, back to the life in hand….


  4. jonbirch says:

    sex in heaven. was that a track title or album title. must have a listen. you never know whether something like that is going to have a good point or be only intended to shock… not that that is necessarily a bad thing. :-)

  5. What were they thinking? They were having a bath when they could’ve been out evangelising…

  6. storch says:

    it is “in heaven” by fatboy slim.

    the lyrics are quite simple:

    “fatboy slim is fucking in heaven” repeat over and over.

  7. jonbirch says:

    good point oso! :-)

    hi storch… well i guess everyone needs a hobby. :-)

  8. Ros says:

    Why are people so ashamed/angry about nudity? We’re all naked underneath our clothes.

    Is it our sex/celebrity/appearance obsessed culture that sees nakedness as something bad?

  9. jonbirch says:

    it is probarbly all those things and more, isn’t it?
    it often makes me smile that we take our clothes off and then put a completely new set on to go swimming! now that makes no sense at all to me.
    shame and embarassment are biggies i think… but it’s horrible living life bound by those, yet tricky for people in that position to get over…

  10. Chris F says:

    C S Lewis says somewhere that a child can’t imagine there being anything better than chocolate, and that a time will come when other food gives delight; and we can’t imagine that sex can be bettered by anything. Jesus says we will not be marrying in heaven but will be like the angels – so who knows what that means or how great it’s going to be! I guess being naked or not will be irrelevant. However, I’m still at the chocolate stage…

  11. jonbirch says:

    hmmm. i often wondered what jesus meant when he said that. i think he’s being sarcastic and not answering the question… after all it’s the sadducee’s who ask him, many of whom don’t even believe in an afterlife or the torah, they are trying to catch him out. what jesus says here i think tells you more about what he thinks of the question and the reasons for it than it does anything else. could this be jesus’ ironic response? certainly seems that way.
    we do know from scripture what gods intended order is… that’s a major point of genesis… and we also know that gods order will be restored… so genesis perhaps is our best clue to what the kingdom might look like (although far more developed)… and in a sinless world, adam and eve were indeed naked.
    all interesting stuff.

  12. Jenn Calhoun says:

    I thought this cartoon was hysterical and definitely put a picture on what some people have worried about for years. I mean this as sincerely and honestly as I can when I say, if I’m naked, or if you’re naked when Jesus comes back, I can guarantee that I won’t care. Other naked people will be the last thing on my mind. Thank God!

    Jon, you are a genius. L.O.V.E.I.T.

  13. jonbirch says:

    haha! thanks jenn. :-)

  14. Carole says:

    The best laugh I’ve had today! Superb!

  15. Sara says:

    Jesus sarcastic? I don’t think so . . . I asked my husband about the whole sex in the new kingdom thing . . . he said that he didn’t think that we would need the physical medium of sex in order know each other and be known the way that we do here. Also, I reccommend Lauren Winner’s excellent book “Real Sex” for an extended reflection on sexuality, marriage, singleness, the church and culture. I quote her:

    “At the end of time, there is only marriage between Christ and the church . . . our truest, realest, most lasting relationship is that of sibling: even husband and wife are first adn foremost brother and sister. Baptismal vows are prior to wedding vows. . . . Our primary, heavenly relationship with one another [is] sibling in Christ.”

  16. Carole says:

    My young daughter once asked me what heaven was going to be like. Being a slightly warped mother, I couldn’t resist a bit of sport. “We will join in the angels’ unending hymn of praise to God,” I said, “It’ll be just like church, only it will go on for all eternity.”…I may well have done some irreparable damage there…

  17. will says:

    Does it not talk about there now being pain in childbirth for Eve when they are thrown out of eden. Suggesting that there would have been no pain before, suggestion that they may have been able to become pregnant. Suggesting sex.

    Please someone correct me if i am wrong here.

  18. Sarah says:

    I know the quote about not being given in marriage in the Kingdom of Heaven, just wondering if that applies to new earth too…

    Anyway, need to have a good sex life here and now first off.

    Sas x

  19. john Q says:

    no we were supposed to be fruitful and multiply, subdue the earth sort of thing. the pain came into it after the disobedience of adam and eve. i think. its been a while since i studied that part.

  20. subo says:

    one thing we do know about the new heavens and earth set up, is there will be no more crying or tears – so guess that means a few things will get sorted!

    tricky though if your a footi supporter – no team can win every week.

  21. jonbirch says:

    great conversation guys.
    laura… this may not surprise you… it may…
    but i don’t believe in the ‘end of time’… i do believe in the redemption of time. i believe the orthodox prayer which declares jesus as lord unto ages of ages. so i believe in the coming age where time is no longer synonymous with deadlines and death… but time is like all other created things, time is the thing that allows things to take place. like the banquet… if there’s no time we’re all going to have to rush our food and my mum always said that wasn’t good for me. :-)
    i’m sure your husband’s right that we’ll know each other better and deeper. it could be the sex is better and deeper, who knows? but we can’t develop a theology of sex based on christs words in this context.
    we can get from scripture that we will become fully human and made cleaner than clean but there is nothing biblical to suggest that we won’t still be fully sexual. we don’t know. but if anything, jesus went to great lengths to show thomas that it really was him completely resurrected in body… he was the same, but different… completely recognisable yet unrecognisable. but, from a sexual standpoint, very much a man.

  22. “Jesus sarcastic? I don’t think so . . .”

    Jesus angry? I don’t think so…. oh… wait a minuet he did get angry (in the temple)!
    Maybe he got sarcastic?
    I’m not sure but my understanding of sarcastic is:-

    adjective= marked by or given to using irony in order to mock or convey contempt.

    Now I don’t think Jesus mocked people,
    just not his style, but showing contempt,
    I think he did that, if something was out of whack he didn’t just ignore it…
    just look at the fig tree it was supposed to have fruit it didn’t.
    He steps up to the plate and *BLAM*!

    Some people just need a slap sometimes that’s the loving thing to do… I’ve had a slap or two from people who really love me!

  23. Sometimes people need a hug!
    Mostly the Jesus I know is a huging type
    and so am I
    but every now and again…


  24. jonbirch says:

    hahaha… in all the jesting there is much wisdom in what you say. :-)

  25. soniamain says:

    showed this one to lily- made her laugh a lot!

  26. Sara says:

    according to dictionary.com

    con·tempt noun 1. the feeling with which a person regards anything considered mean, vile, or worthless; disdain; scorn.
    2. the state of being despised; dishonor; disgrace.

    So no, I don’t think Christ showed contempt. Even when we consider ourselves worthless, he holds up our worth, knowing that we are made in his image, indeed that he made us in his image. He does not scorn us as we deserve. The whole incarnation was and is a complete anti-scorn. Drawing near to us. In that passage I think we get a glimpse rather of utter respect. There are times, as a parent, when my children ask a question and I *know* that they’re not going to understand the answer. But I will not lie to them, nor will I tell them that their question is not worth answering, and so I find myself explaining molecular chemistry to my first grader. Or the sacrament of communion. Or malapropisms. And I know that she’s mostly not going to get it, but I can at least show her, in all seriousness, that the answer is bigger than the questions that she knows to ask. And it has the effect, among other things, of somewhat deflating her oversized seven-year-old ego. Because as the brightest seven-year old in her first grade class, she’s *sure* some days that she’s got the whole world figured out. And I think that’s Jesus and the Saducees. They’re *so* sure of themselves and Jesus tells them, “You don’t even know the right questions and you wouldn’t understand the answers if you did. But I’m going to show you the respect of giving you a bigger answer than you can handle, because what you need is be yanked out of your own self-righteous self-assurance.”

  27. Sara says:

    to clarify: I hope I’m not sounding too didactic here. I appreciate the discussion. :)

    I agree with Jon that we’ll be more fully human than we can understand now. I don’t think that whatever it is that makes us men and women is going to be stripped from that . . .

    Here’s another thought though: what if all this history that the earth has lived through was only ever intended as Act 1 in God’s plan in the first place? Sure, God intended marriage and fruitfulness and multiplicity and a whole lot of other things that we have no clue about because our sin screwed it up so bad. But that even if we hadn’t fallen, he’d have closed time as we knew it at some point and moved on to Act 2, the new heavens and new earth that we’re going to be moving into . . . What if the new heavens and the new earth isn’t *simply* the redemption of all that should have been but *also* the next stage in God’s creation?

  28. jonbirch says:

    first of all… thank you everyone for the warmth and respect you all show one another on this blog.
    i am very, very grateful to everyone for making these discussions possible. i very much would like to keep it this way… you are beautiful… :-) :-) :-)

    when john says ‘you brood of vipers’ it seems both disdainful and contemptuous… and jesus’ turning over the tables seems to lack any respect at all for what the people are up to. ‘render unto caesar what is caesars’ would only have been understood one way, which is that god owns everything and caesar owns nothing. so i think we need to be careful not to make jesus too nice (if you know what i mean).

    sara… i like your point… it is impossible to conceive what a new heavens and new earth might look like, although i like to think about it at times. i like your thoughts on the possibility of the next stage of gods creation… certainly we know it’ll have come on somewhat from the garden. very interesting and lovely reflections.

    here’s a question or two.
    what is it about time that makes it something many think we’ll be rid of?
    and what is it we would want to change about time in order for it to feel to us more like a friend than an enemy?

    feel free to ignore the questions all. :-)

  29. will says:

    i think we can see god as being outside of time. God is omnipresent and so we would not want to restrict him with the constraints of time. So i think it is an easy step to believe that time will not play a part in our future with God.

    The thing that gets me at this point is that in looking at God in this way shows what a limited understanding we have of God we have words to describe things we understand to be true about God but at the end of the day they are only words and cannot do justice to who god really is.

    Question 2: Make it so it stops my hair turning grey and less wrinkles on my face.

  30. jonbirch says:

    i agree. god is confined by nothing except that which he chooses to be. i guess i mean he keeps his promises as to what he will and won’t do. god does interact within time though, doesn’t he. it’s a great medium of conveyance.

  31. Sara says:

    Okay, I’ve got some friends who would be very bemused if they knew that I was being perceived as arguing for a “nice” Jesus . . .

    I guess the distinction that I’m trying to make here is a pretty fine one and maybe you disagree with me that it’s an important one, but I’ll take one more go at it: Jesus angry: no question. But in our own sinful interactions with each other, we often lose sight of the person behind the–well, lots of things. Sin. Baggage. Agenda. Hurt. And Jesus doesn’t do that. He doesn’t just interact with people on the surface, and just dealing with what we all project to each other. But he sees through us. Never loses sight of our primary identity as his beloved creations and children. Even those who most frustrate him are the recipients of his love. The work of his hands. And there is an underlying honoring of us *as his creations* that is always present. This is something that I think he calls us to remember in our interactions with each other that we all too easily forget . . . and I think that it is in our forgetting where the roots of (what I understand to be at least) sarcasm, contempt, intolerance, etc. are born. John the Baptist was a sinful human being like the rest of us. I have no doubt that *he* completely lost it at times . . .

  32. jonbirch says:

    i agree with just about all of what you say. absolutely right, jesus gets through all the baggage, in a way we often simply don’t, to the real, essential us and i would also add that we struggle to see beyond our own splinters often too. but i do think jesus showed no tolerance in the temple and no tolerance for peter when he said ‘get thee behind me’… i don’t mean that he stopped loving or caring, just that there were things he wouldn’t stand for. i think sarcasm, contempt along with anger and intolerance can be born out of brokenness and hurt and nearly always are, but could they also be born out of righteousness? it’s a matter of the heart and i wouldn’t doubt jesus’ heart for a second.
    i question myself when i put up cartoons… because they display sarcasm, contempt, intolerance and anger to name but a few things… but i hope i’m making something positive out of it. causing a stirring, raising a discussion, questioning assumptions and inspiring thought. that’s my aim… not sure how good i am at it. so what are often just thought as negative things could be used as positive tools.
    i say all this in the light of looking at myself and finding myself to be guilty, foolish and falling well short.
    thanks for entering in, your comments are helpful. :-)

  33. But he sees through us. Never loses sight of our primary identity as his beloved creations and children. Even those who most frustrate him are the recipients of his love. The work of his hands. And there is an underlying honoring of us *as his creations* that is always present. This is something that I think he calls us to remember in our interactions with each other that we all too easily forget . . . and I think that it is in our forgetting where the roots of (what I understand to be at least) sarcasm, contempt, intolerance, etc. are born.

    Yup that sounds spot on!…….
    I guess we probably have different ideas about the word contempt or even how sarcasm is used (aimed) and maybe I’ve missed the point. I’m not Jewish, American or Armenian, I’m British and sarcasm is one of the few things we do well. (or not).

    I guess I like the idea of a fearless Jesus, a strong Jesus, a hell harrowing, a tomb raiding, a death defying Jesus. A leader of men, a mans man, a man that those burley fishermen were willing to chase after, a hero………

    Sarah If you’re ever in England look me up, come stay with the wife and me. ;]
    I think you rock! ;]

  34. Sara says:

    Thank you. Yes, I’m an American (Colorada @ present) and American sarcasm mostly tends to the mean and stupid. Used less as a scalpel and more as an instrument for blunt force trauma. Not so much the cultural art form that its been raised to in Britain. Which all of sudden makes me wonder more about the culture of 1st century Palestine . . .

    The question of whether sarcasm, etc. can be born out of righteousness is a *very* interesting one–I’ll have to give that some thought. I have no doubt that there is righteous anger. I doubt that we have the clarity of sight most of the time to keep our anger focused righteously, but I think it does exist. Sarcasm, as you’ve noted is a matter of the heart, I think. And I think that whether you’re focusing it on a stereotype or an abstract versus an individual makes a difference. Contempt? Well, I don’t think that probably can be righteous–at least the way that it’s used here in the U.S. There’s too much sinful pride wrapped up in it.

    Jon, I appreciate the honesty and openess that you show in putting up what are–at least at times–some very personal cartoons. We’re all hurt, and I’ll say this about displaying anger–we don’t get the right to nurse and coddle our anger. But if we pretend that the hurt and anger aren’t there we don’t do ourselves or anyone else any good either. We need a way to talk about the ways that we hurt each other or we’ll never make any progress

  35. Sarah says:


    good points.

    British sarcasm and American sarcasm are different.

    I think Jesus used sarcasm a lot, but then he WAS Jewish.

    Sas ;-)

  36. Sarah says:

    ps I like the idea/ reminder that we’re gonna be in this earth renewed- original plan continues.

    So, yes, sex on a stick please!

    Sas x

  37. Laura says:

    I’m new to the idea of earth “renewed” as a point of theology so help me out here would ya?
    Ok…let’s say that the earth is going to be renewed. Where’s everyone going to live? Assuming even that only those that have prayed “the Jesus prayer” are the only ones “saved”, there’s not enough physical room on the planet for all those people to live. Do you think the Earth expands or people get smaller or what?
    Serious question! Not making fun nor am I discounting the idea. I just can’t figure out the logistics of how it would work.

  38. Laura says:

    Oh…that’s assuming those Jesus Prayer prayers for the last 2000+ years put together at one time.

  39. jonbirch says:

    hi laura… i’ve pondered this one myself… it’s a good question, which i have not a clue how to answer. i really have no idea at all. this ‘new’ or ‘renewed’ which is a better translation creation (heaven and earth) begs loads of imponderables. the thing that excites me the most is a world with no pain, no suffering, no bereavement, but what it will look like is something we only have clues to. i guess when you see beauty in people and their actions, when you take time to look at the wonder of the creation… these are all signposts. but on the specifics i am frankly incredibly sketchy at best.
    i’m not sure i’ve been of any help. all i know is what the bible teaches and shows… to say that i ‘see through a glass dimly’ is an understatement.

    ps. i will try over the next short while to get a book list in the side panel of the blog.

  40. jonbirch says:

    ” I doubt that we have the clarity of sight most of the time to keep our anger focused righteously, but I think it does exist.”

    how right you are, sara.

    “We need a way to talk about the ways that we hurt each other or we’ll never make any progress.”

    how right you are again.

    these are the things i think about and often wrestle with whenever i put up a new cartoon. we are all broken and the sooner we all get real about that fact with each other the better it will be. here’s to living in reality!

    thanks sara for all your thoughts. :-)

  41. Sarah says:

    Amen to that Sara.

    Laura- I just can’t wait. But the trick is to make THIS world better NOW.


    Sas xxx

  42. will says:

    Jon, sometime i think that i need the humor/sarcasm to set the scene. It is quite often in the second glance after the laughter has subsided that i see the rawness in some of these cartoons and i appreciate that. The humor is great and really engages the reader. This is an important roll to engage conversation – sometimes we need to be given a good hard slap in order to see things as they really are.

    What do i think of the world renewed.

    Well i wonder if it comes back to the time and space debate. What will time and space be? Will we take up the same space if the confines of the existing set up does not function in the same way. I’m sure there is a star trek episode that deals with this kind of thing. Something with Q in it.

  43. It’s simple to explain how we’ll all fit on the new earth.
    It’s the same principle as Noah’s ark….

    “Breathe in everyone”!

    Or maybe it’s like how the Holy Spirit is in us and we are in Jesus and Jesus is in the Father….

    you know,? like Russian dolls, lots of space saved!!


  44. jonbirch says:

    khs. genius. sounds awful though. :-)

  45. Yeh you’re right, does sound all manner of wrong!

    I just wonder how God got all the animals in the Ark?

    On that note’ I heard a popular rabbi talking about Goliath and how he was descended from a pair of giants who had clung to the side of the ark and Noah had taken pity on them and fed them through a window on the ark.

    Now that is soooooooo strange!

    And also poses some really odd questions!


  46. jonbirch says:

    never heard that story. not in sunday school anyway. :-)

  47. Surely if before imperfection came into the world Adam & Eve wandered about naked with God, when the rapture happens and everything is perfect, we won’t care about being naked once again?

    I mean, we can’t take our earthly treasures to heaven – does that not include clothes!

    Is that not why in the ‘Left Behind’ film there were bundles of clothes abandoned as people went off to Heaven?!

  48. dawn says:

    love it.

  49. jonbirch says:

    thanks dawn! :-)

  50. Pingback: Links for December 19, 2007 | Based on a True Story

  51. Dog says:

    Uh, it’s stupid. All worldly possessions are left behind, everyone would be naked at the time of the Rapture, duh.

  52. Tiggy Sagar says:

    ‘we can’t imagine that sex can be bettered by anything’?? Pff – speak for yourself. I can think of tons of things better. And that kid was probably right about chocolate.


  53. Tiggy Sagar says:

    PS. Why are those ladies impaled on pencils?

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