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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
This entry was posted in christianity, church, preaching, think, war and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to 318

  1. The use of aggressive phrases can be very off putting.

    I remember visiting a church a few years ago. It was during the time when Iraq had just been invaded and Christians for some reason thought it was a good thing. The theme of the evening service was “revolution”, and the preacher spoke about our enmity with the world, our war with it and how we can and will win and how terrible it was that you could turn on your TV and watch “Charmed” which was so obviously from the Devil. The image projected onto the big screen by powerpoint showed a US Navy F-14 in a steep bank while he preached this.

    Hopefully things have changed at that church, but for a while I felt as though the entire congregation was being prepared for some sort of literal warfare against unbelievers. It was not pleasant.

  2. will says:

    oso. That is scary. What was your take on the service

  3. Robb says:

    The only businessman in the room?

    OSO, that is very worrying. It is an issue with language in that words have overtones and undertones. The metaphores are good but bad :S In the situation you describe however, it is a statement of political intent with an invocation of “God is on our side”. Very disturbing.

  4. jonbirch says:

    wow oso! i’m not surprised you found it unpleasant.
    people get that whole armour of god thing wrong i reckon. we’re supposed to use the sword of truth instead of a sword, the breastplate of righteousness instead of a breastplate etc… some, like the zealots, would rather a jesus in full armour on horseback, than a jesus who rides a donkey. it’s weird and it’s not right.

  5. I’m actually more off-put by the songs I hear on Christian radio these days, moaning and heaving about Jesus being inside them and filling them with himself. Used to be you’d hear CCM songs that made Jesus sound like the singer’s boyfriend… it sounds like Jesus finally got past second base.

    And y’know, Jesus *is* in full armor on horseback in Revelation. Just a thought. ;)

  6. jonbirch says:

    hi travis,
    i knew someone would mention revelation. :-)
    advice… step away from the ghastly christian porn and find a good wholesome sports channel. :-)

  7. You see Jesus ‘is’ out for a hostile takeover, a bit like a bailiff, if you don’t let a bailiff over the threshold of your house he can do nothing. He can’t and ‘will not’ break and enter, thats the job and intent of crooks but once he’s been invited into the house he’ll come and take the flat screen TV and the Ice cream machine. He’ll leave you ruined to this life and hungry for the next.

    Bad analogy I know; but you choose to let him in and pray the dangerous prayers (have your way Jesus) and the takeover begins! :) :)

  8. Sarah says:

    Yes Jesus is in full armour but he’s waging for peace and justice and righteousness. Not anything else.

    Sas x

    I think about the toon, if you listened to the Holy Spirit then he would give you the words to say.

    Sas x

  9. Sarah says:

    `God` for me is too scary for someone like that to say that thing to me. He’s too big. Don’t trust him.

    Trust Jesus though, so I’ll be OK.

    Sas x

  10. subo says:

    wow, good to take a look at these distortions, and see how biased they are, just shows we really need each other, to give breadth to the viewpoints shared.

    by the way, Eric’s fellow worshipers arn’t looking to healthy, either extreemly pale, or dusky purple, neither were recomended at my first aid class.

  11. jonbirch says:

    haha, su… yeh they do look a little under the weather. :-)

    i agree sas… god is scary. another reason to be grateful for christ.

  12. It wasn’t my intention to do this, but since you’re interested in my experience I wrote a couple of blog postings about it. Read this one first:


    And then read this one:


    These are two critiques of two church services I went to at the same church. I went to the church service two weeks in a row.

    You may not find my critique very pleasant since it comes from a Calvinist viewpoint.

    If you wish, check out this other blog post of mine:


    This is where I try to summarise a good way to disagree with one another.

  13. Carole says:

    This cartoon caused me to reflect on my own experience. I’m off on another story. Feel free to switch off. I grew up with a faith – lots of people are very keen to convince me otherwise but I know it was a real faith. It was just a bit of a wet and insipid faith. I met two wonderful people who accompanied me on part of my spiritual journey when I saw that I needed to re-establish my priorities. My major stumbling block? I was enjoying a good life – if ever I gave a testimony, ‘fraid I’d have to fabricate a drink/drug problem or some other problem to make it interesting! Everyone I knew who had a really powerful faith had had some terrible tragedy in their lives. I felt that committing my life to God meant that I, too, would have to pay some terrible price. I’m afraid I’d got a bit of a confused Faustian perspective on it all. These two wonderful human beings just let me work through my questioning at my own pace until I felt ready to make the gesture of praying K-H-S’s ‘dangerous prayer’.

    Nothing too dreadful has happened as yet but I do feel stronger and better prepared to deal with whatever life throws at me.

  14. jonbirch says:

    …and it seems life is throwing a lot at you right now. all the very best with it all carole. :-)

    oso… i shall read your posts later, thanks for the links. :-)

  15. su says:

    hi Carol,

    just to say relate to your post about growing up with a faith. I too have learnt to pray and understand stuff on different levels, but the truth is we all have to start somewhere – as a kiddy the books I read now would just have lost me (sometimes they still do!) So am personally not into any kind of dismissal of anyone’s faith at any time. It’s just people who want to see exterior stuff, God can see the warmth and depth of our hearts, and he values us. I’ve no time for people making others feel their live is too this or too that, it’s just ego tripping as far as I’m concerned. so far I haven’t come across any brownie points for faith, but just a sense of the value of exploring new stuff in order to keep alive. My current fav. is still Jan Johnson.

  16. Sarah says:

    Love you Su.

    Sas x

  17. Sarah says:

    You too Carole, and you Jon, and all..


  18. jonbirch says:

    love is all around! …and just in time for christmas!

  19. Carole says:

    Hi Su. I think the sooner we all realise that the faith thing is an individual quest, the better. Of course, as a wayfarer, it is lovely to have company from time to time. But each journey is individual and takes us to different places at different paces and at different times. The older I get, the more I am convinced that God puts people
    into my life for a reason. Sometimes he takes them away, too. The wonderful couple from 13 were around for a few years and have now moved on, but we have occasional contact. I love them like a brother and sister and know there is an eternal bond there. Then there was a priest who was spiritual director, friend and little brother all rolled into one who moved me further on. His path has changed direction now. And now fellow ASBOs are providing sustenance for the journey. The older I get, the more I’m coming to know that ‘relationship’ is the thing that God is guiding me towards.

    I’ll have to check out Jan Johnson. Philip Yancey has always done it for me. I’ve just taken delivery of some talks on CD from last year’s Greenbelt. So when I’m doing the ironing I’m listening to John O’Donahue and Mark Yaconelli.

    Sarah: Aw thanks! Love you, too, darlin’! There’s an epidemic of love broken out on Planet ASBO and I think I’ve caught a fatal dose!!

  20. jonbirch says:

    carole… i truly believe that ‘relationship’ and ultimately ‘all relationships restored’ … god to human, human to god, human to creation, creation to human etc. etc… IS the meaning of life. :-)

  21. Sarah says:


    I wanted to say earlier, it was the strip where we started going on about putting our arnms in cow’s bottoms (the signs one I think),

    and when I said it was like a party, it *was* the Holy Spirit. I could feel him there for some time.

    It was absolutely lovely.

    So well done, and keep going.

    You are feeding a lot of us.

    Sas x

  22. jonbirch says:

    bless you, sas. when i started this blog i had no vision of what it might be. i had no idea at all where it might lead. i just thought it might be a useful blog and perhaps a healthy way for me to express some of the content of my head. to have found relationship, love, and cerebral stimulation here is not just a bonus, it is a gift. i really appreciate that many are prepared to hear criticism of the establishment and bring thoughtful and often wise insight into the subjects on display here… and i really appreciate the warmth of regular commenters one to another. even in disagreement or challenge i mostly see grace, tolerance and willingness to listen and engage. this fills me with hope and i am very grateful.

  23. Sarah says:


    Sas x

  24. Pingback: The Hostile Takeover « my four walls

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