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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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57 Responses to 388

  1. Carole says:

    You’ve been to my church, then?

    I learned to spout the creed by heart as a child. It was many years before I had any understanding of what I was saying.

  2. Mark says:

    Isn’t there some value to reciting a common creed or prayer?

  3. Carole says:

    I can recite without meaning the words, in fact, I can recite automatically and not even register the words that I’m saying – that is my point and, I think, the point of the cartoon. If I understand the weight of my words and say them with feeling, that is an entirely different ballgame.

  4. easyrew says:

    Well put Carole – and Jon. I find the same kind of thing with the Lord’s Prayer. I’m glad we’re studying it afresh in our Lent Home Groups.

  5. SheenaC says:

    I’ve never (that I can remember anyway) being part of a Church that recites things. Last time I did that was at school. Kind of agree with all the comments – it’s good to have things commmitted to memory – but no longer good if they can be recited without our actually engaging with the words we are quoting.

    All I can think to add to the already worthy comments is that God rejoices in our individuality! Which is probably the whole point of this cartoon – so, I’ll shut up! :-)

  6. SheenaC says:

    Perhaps I should spell check before I post :-)
    being = been
    commmitted = committed

  7. sarah says:

    OK first up, when I read this, I thought, well I really like the creed.

    It’s like a small gentle, graceful orchestra playing with me the fabric of my life, of my religious beliefs.

    I find it very helpful.

    Sas x

  8. sarah says:

    Knowing a liturgy frees you up to travel the vast spaces of spirit, whilst providing a discipline that reminds you you’re part of a community and accountable to both yourself and others.

    Sas x

  9. steve says:

    Anything like this is a bit of an obstacle for me I’m afraid. Way to easy to rattle it off or get distracted. I usually tune out (which is not good I suspect).

  10. Carole says:

    1.Make a continuous low humming sound.
    2.Speak tediously and at length.
    3.Male bee which does no work in a colony but can fertilize a queen.

  11. sarah says:

    We’re all different Steve aren’t we – I have an Anglican background, from whence I was fortunate enough to learn the Creed, but my usual style of worship is very liturgy-less!

    So I love going to Ash Wednesday Mass, for example.

    We’re all different! :-) xxx

    Sas x

  12. Carole says:

    Interesting comparison drawn between 387 & 388…

  13. jonbirch says:

    you’re right carole… it’s about spouting thoughtlessly.

    for the record… a common creed can be a good thing… the nicene creed’s okay… obviously some work went into it… just so long as you don’t have to sign up to all of it to be a christian. it is possible to be a christian and not believe quite alot of stuff i’d have thought… not saying it’s right or wrong, just possible. there are protestants who don’t think catholics are christian… doesn’t make them right but doesn’t stop them being christians either. there are christians all over the world believing all manner of daft stuff. :-)

  14. jonbirch says:

    cheers easyrew… happy studying. i prefer the lords prayer to any creed, because jesus said it… and it’s jesus i sign up to. :-)

    seems to me, if you can get people to all sign up to the same stuff the masses become controlable. but the lord’s my shepherd and he gives me permission to think. :-)

    the cartoon though is dronelike automatons reciting parrot fashion. that seems pointless.

  15. Mark says:

    Does anyone feel the same way about singing songs? I feel weird when a group of 200+ people all sings the same song, and a lot of the time that particular song does not even reflect my feeling at that time or even my belief at that time.

  16. Laura says:

    Every time I hear those words, I think of this song. One of my favorites by Rich Mullins.

  17. Helen says:

    Whist saying the creed it is very much up to the individual as to weither they are repeating by rote or meaning every word they say. My vicar always precedes the creed by saying “let us all together reaffirm the basic tenets of our faith” I am a trainee reader in the Anglican church and have just in the last few weeks studied the creed, and the numerous argumants that went to constructing it. We looked a different creed an African one was facinating as it was written in a context familiar to those who would speak it, (my favourite line was “he was buried but the hyeanas did not eat him”” There is something very valuble in stating our idendity as a group because we are the body of Christ not just inviduals working independatly. Whisn I suppose is why it can be dishartening to hear the creed droned rather that being said with gusto.

  18. Helen says:

    pardon my spelling a rely on spellcheck too much

  19. Carole says:

    I enjoyed reading ‘In Search of Belief’ by Joan Chittister which is a personal exploration of the statements of the Creed (Apostles rather than Nicene).

  20. jonbirch says:

    mark… yes i often feel the same about singing songs. :-(

  21. tallandrew says:

    Jon, you said… “for the record… a common creed can be a good thing… the nicene creed’s okay… obviously some work went into it… just so long as you don’t have to sign up to all of it to be a christian. it is possible to be a christian and not believe quite alot of stuff i’d have thought…”

    I’m just interested in what you think it is necessary to beleive to be a Christian – what are the irreducible core beliefs?

  22. tallandrew says:

    … if there are any.

  23. Jeremy says:

    Shouldn’t there be some continuity of faith? I actually for the first time am offended to read one of these. Normally I agree whole heartedly with the meanings or thoughts behind these cartoons. However, for the first time I actually have to disagree that stating a creed is a bad thing.

    I think there are to many people having faiths of convenience rather then a solid faith upon which they can stand. People confuse religion with following Christ. So, I can understand the desire to point out a creed being a negative thing. However the common misnomer with saying that “your faith is your own” is often missrepresenting the entire premise of Christ’s sense of community. There is a far more important aspect of Community in the gospel then there is of individualism.

    So, how do you unite people and combine hundreds of ideaologies and concepts of belief? I believe that is one of the greatest contributing factors of expressing a unified creed.

    The downfall of regurgitating a creed is that people have no sense of the words that it really is supposed to convey. If people actually look at what the creeds really are conveying then maybe people wouldn’t perceive droning as the “norm.”

    Just my insight. Thanks for the questions and for challenging the norm of faith questions. Other thoughts?

  24. jonbirch says:

    hi jeremy… thanks for te comment. i never said that stating a creed is a bad thing… necessarily. it can be a very good thing. the cartoon robots are repeating the creed robotically and that is my point in this picture. and once again, my cartoon is not the last word, but hopefully the beginning of a conversation.
    as for solid faiths on which people stand i agree… however i would also argue that when poo hardens you can stand on that… there are many idols even within christendom that people stand on as their faith.

    tallandrew… have to ring my dad then go out… so will respond to you later mate. irreducable core beliefs is an interesting one… what do you think?

  25. JF says:

    Clever use of the old 70s / 80s HTV logo!

  26. Robb says:

    I find that the creed is the part of the service I can always say with total conviction with all sincerity and with 100% of my attention.

    This morning I drifted during the sermon. I didn’t agree with all of the prayers. The congregation and the choir didn’t know 70% of the hymns and stood around in embarrassed silence. The creed was an act of devotion where I conciously said ‘this is mostly rubbish but this is the reason I am here – because we believe in one God, Father almighty…”

    No I didn’t read it off a sheet, I spoke it from the heart.

  27. Hmmm, a cartoon strip that explains why I am no longer an Anglican.

  28. Gene says:

    hi jeremy… thanks for te comment. i never said that stating a creed is a bad thing… necessarily. it can be a very good thing. the cartoon robots are repeating the creed robotically and that is my point in this picture. and once again, my cartoon is not the last word, but hopefully the beginning of a conversation.
    That’s exactly the point. Our traditional (Lutheran) service recites a creed as part of the service, as well as various liturgy that’s recited or sung. What it says is great stuff. The fact that it becomes a rote recitation for some is the problem. If you stop thinking about what it says and what it means, what’s the point?

    I love the Lord’s Prayer, but I fear that even that has become rote for too many. How scary is saying “thy will be done” if we really mean it? At some point I’ll ask our pastor to do a sermon studying the Lord’s Prayer, and maybe include looking at it from various translations like the Maori.

  29. Robb says:

    @Gene – forgive our sins as we forgive those who sin against us

    Read it again. Forgive me as I forgive others. Erm. I’m screwed if I don’t pay attention to what I am saying!!

  30. jonbirch says:

    tallandrew… my irreducable core beliefs… first draft. :-)

    there is one god… he is god.

    creation… god made heaven and earth. god is present in its evolving and adapting.

    fall… we are all subject to brokenness with the rest of creation. we have turned away from god and all creation has suffered as a result.

    redemption… through christ, god incarnate, walking and talking with us and sacrificing himself for us. culminating in a renewed heaven and earth.

    our mission. to love god and to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. this should have a massive impact on the lives of those near to us as we serve them directly and on those far away because of our good stewardship of the creation which is also one of our primary functions.
    (some fundies have slammed me for that last one! but they are wrong… the evidence is all around us as to just how wrong they are. they (for some reason) think seven days is important and stewardship isn’t… madness!)
    we will recognise the idols that our cultures are subject to and unmask them. we will reveal the truth behind these lies and show how the offer of life that christ brings undermines all these things and brings value to everyone. and we will show them this by example.

    i believe the spirit of god to have been present throughout everything. present now in the hearts of many men and women, present in the hearts of the many martyrs to whom we should all be eternally grateful.

    i believe in the resurrection of the dead.

    finally… (although i bet i’ve missed stuff out)… god gave us a brain and a conscience. these are two important tools if we are to be wise.

    yeh i’ve missed stuff out i’m sure… but it’s late. :-)

    to summarise… love god love your neighbour… christs way is the way… ghandi was wise… he knew that.

  31. jonbirch says:

    btw… all the things we do should be able to be categorised as ‘worship.’

  32. thevikingfru says:

    Jon, good point, our life should be worship!
    I have only been doing Litergy for a few years and I find them really wonderful. I have done “worship” ie singing for a long time and have found that I can sit through a worship service and not remember anything that was sung. If we do anything in a mindless way, it is just meaningless.

  33. becky says:

    I find when the Creed is set to music, I can really absorb the creed in a different way than when we’re all just reciting it so we can get the service done with and get something to eat. Then again, this is assuming that people are actually engaging with the music. Nothing is worse than an Anglican service where it sounds like people are passing the prunes instead of the peace. :-) :-) :-)

  34. chris says:

    Just picking up on a small point – don’t misunderstand the term “catholic” in the creed. It doesn’t mean the Catholic Church…

  35. Robb says:

    It is a little lost in translation Chris. We bung the whole lot into plain english and then leave the word universal in foreign. Incidentally, when it was written we can’t really claim that they were talking about all denominations. The schism hadn’t happened. There was the ‘Universal Church’ and there was ‘not part of the Universal Church’.

  36. AnneDroid says:

    I quite like being part of the Borg, as your cartoon suggests, which is a good thing for an “anne-droid” I suppose.

    We are indeed part of a remarkable single entity, the body of Christ.

    Certainly chanting the creed in a mindless way isn’t to be celebrated, but I’m very happy to celebrate our collective Borg-ness. I think it’s really cool.

  37. Robb says:

    I am Robb of Borg. Resistance [to the gospel] is futile. You will be assimilated…

  38. ben says:

    listen to Rich Mullins version of the apostles creed :) or Third Days cover.

    i reckon whats worse is the “praise pit”(christian mosh pit) where all everybody does is bump eachother, and you actually dont focus on what is being said.

    but anyways, the creed meant nothing to me. the gospel needs to be explained to someone before they can figure out whats going on. i was in a dead catholic church for years i knew the creed, for years i knew the song “amazing grace” and others like it. but what was missing? i think grace was missing. i didnt know why jesus died until i went to a christian highschool. they taught me that though i had sinned Christ died for sin once and for all!

    now if i read the words of the creed, it brings me joy to know the words of the creed. but Christ crucified and what that means for us as sinners needs to be preached.

  39. Robb says:

    Same here. When I was 18 and I had the Christian faith explained to me it still didn’t mean anything. It made sense that Jesus died for me but it wasn’t real. It wasn’t until I prayed some words of my own with some conviction that I had faith.

    Now though, the creed means a lot to me. It is what I cling to when everything else is in confusion, doubt and nonsense.

  40. sarah says:

    Like it, Ben and Robb.

    As I get older I’m loving liturgy more and more.

    Not proud, but humble, not empty, but full.

    Robb, which unimatrix are you in?!

    Sas x

  41. Robb says:

    Zero – in the world but not of it ;)

  42. Robb says:

    Oh no, that was too spiritual and too geeky :eek:

  43. jonbirch says:

    liturgy means ‘the work of the people’… i enjoy creating liturgy and enjoy that which comes from the heart of the community particularly. :-)

  44. jonbirch says:

    let’s not forget we are made for this world… and this world renewed is our ultimate destination. we are to steward it and unfold its potential… as christians we do not escape from the world but are liberated along with it… so let’s be careful not to be duallistic in our beliefs. ‘this world is not my home i’m just a passin’ through’ ain’t biblical unless you include being ressurected back into it as christ was and as one day we all will be. :-)

  45. Jody+ says:

    The world could use a lot more robots saying those words.

  46. ben says:

    true jon.

  47. Robb says:

    liturgy means ‘the work of the people’

    Paragraph three of my dissertation starts “liturgy means something like ‘the work of the people’” I really must get it handed in!!

    Jon, my words were used metaphorically. I think you may have just added a credal statement ;)

  48. jonbirch says:

    cheers ben… :-)

    hi robb. yes, that really would be part of my creed… good point. sometimes it takes others to point out to you what you believe… i said it and i own it. cheers mate! :-) ps. get that dissertation in and stop arsing about! :-)

  49. jonbirch says:

    hi jody… i’m glad you think that… cos at this moment i’m building an army of robots in the garage and i plan to take over the world! hahahahaha! (evil laugh) :-)

  50. Robb says:

    That’s what the DDO said :lol:

    Chant the mantra…

    I must do my dissertation.
    I must do my dissertation.
    I must do my dissertation.
    I must do my dissertation.
    I must do my dissertation.
    I must do my dissertation.

    I think I just entered a new state of conciousness :D

    With the whole of but not in thing, I see where you are coming from. People say it in an elitist manner that implies that everything else can hang because I’m alright Jack. It was more the parallel between unimatrix zero and the phrase.

    I think the phrase is very much part of a modern day appocalyptic tradition. When facing persecution christians cling to the end times when justice will be restored. The phrase is riddled with that need to cling to the next rather than the here and now.

    We look for the Resurrection of the Dead,
    and Life Everlasting,

  51. jonbirch says:

    amen, indeed. :-)

  52. sarah says:

    and we live life Now.

    Sas x

  53. sarah says:

    Where are all these men? ;-)

    Sas, aka cheeky monkey

  54. Harvey says:

    Creeds,liturgies,scripture and responsive readings all have a place. Perhaps more than anything they are there to remind us that God is not us, that he is apart from us, an uncreated being, and one who is worthy of our worship. When we insist on having the worship be meaningful or heartfelt or experiential in some concrete way, we risk making worship about us, centered on our perception and experience. But we need to come to the end our ourselves, our opinions, our preferences if we are to truly know God. This is especially true of our narcissistic western culture of which I am a part. Creeds, liturgies etc.. allow us to surrender all of that. It no longer is about us and some subjective experience. I think it’s a very healthy and long practiced tradition that may be lost to many of us. I hated them for years and felt that they were not “life changing”. Maybe God sees that differently.
    Many congregations are beginning to discover this in powerful ways. If that makes us clones, so be it. At least we are clones for a God who is infinite and infinitely creative. I see it as the common touchstone that we can share which allows the daily living of our lives to be unique as to who we are created to be.

  55. Becstar77 says:

    I asked for this one – I love it, I’ll be emailing it to my friends who go and get a cup of tea during the liturgy like me :)

  56. Becstar77 says:

    Sorry – I appreciate for some people that it means something to them, but I feel like a sheep, and not in a good way – i.e. one who is following a Good Shepheard, but one who is more lemming-like and robotic…. like the drones above. That’s how it makes me feel, but I’m happy to go and get a cuppa and leave other people to enjoy it. I’m not knocking their experience, by any means.

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