prompted by a couple of recent conversations…


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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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44 Responses to 594

  1. Carole says:

    ..oh and my wife will have to countersign the direct debit mandate – it’s a joint bank account.

  2. AnneDroid says:

    That’s quite a comb-over the minister has.

  3. Carole says:

    You know AnneDroid, that was the first thing I noticed, too! It’s a real Bobby Charlton! The rejection of the symbolic comb-over was obviously one of the amendments on the statement of faith.

  4. AnneDroid says:

    I’d second that amendment, Carole. Don’t bald men know they’re more fanciable “honestly” bald?

  5. jody says:

    oh, are ammendments permitted then………? :-P

  6. Joe says:

    not sure what prompted this cartoon… but I actually did that when I graduated from Bible college. We had to sign a doctrinal statement and I had issue with a couple minor points.

    so, besides the perfectly round head, that kinda looks like me.

  7. Jonathan says:

    The major ammendment I want to make it to turn all those full stops into commas…

  8. This is funny- we’ve been talking about this a bit today, as well! Not too long ago, I was working with this church- we were getting ready to plant a new church in the town and they were supporting us. They never brought up a statement of faith, and I kept wishing they would keep it that way. Basically, on the verge of starting, they were all, “Somehow we forgot this little detail: we have a statement of faith we want you to look at.” I already knew what my answer would be, because I just can’t bring myself to sign those things, like setting in stone all these things I’m still figuring out. But I agreed to look it over, and couldn’t sign it- they wouldn’t allow women elders or pastors, and they had this thing about baptism I was and am still working through. So, I had to walk away…

  9. Laura says:

    Good timing!

  10. Robb says:

    Are you talking about the UK evangelical conference thingy wotsit and the gafcon thing or am I reading too much into it?

  11. marcus says:

    people think the vicars comb over is bad look at the other guy’s crash helmet!!! I’m not surprised he wanted to make some amendments he looks too straight laced to do otherwise.

  12. Adam says:

    It’s the 1st amendment that I’m worried about!

  13. jonbirch says:

    i wasn’t thinking gafcon. :-)

  14. subo says:

    you have to feel for the guy, 2 wisps of black hair – not even a dignified silver, am sure it’s good remembering God can count every hair on your head, not sure it’s good knowing everyone else can!

    and then to get issued with a ‘statement of faith’, that must feel a little like receiving divorce proceedings.

  15. subo says:

    just wondering what he managed to squeeze into the amendments

    ‘the man with his finger on the pulse is – the man in the blue suit’

  16. subo says:

    Hi folks, can I ask for a big prayer request? – my very much loved Dad is critically ill, and waiting to get into hospital this afternoon, and not sure I will be able to get to see him until Mon (so I need prayer as well), cheers

  17. Carole says:

    Subo @ 14 – ROFL! Very witty!

    On a personal note I’ve just said a prayer for you and your Dad and I will remember you both in my prayers (and thoughts) over the coming days. As, no doubt, will the ASBO community at large.

  18. dennis says:

    When I joined bibleland I was presented with a paper stating basic Christian principles which were just stuff but then I read “I will not allow females to teach/preach over a man.

    There was also a section on divorcee’s.

    My question to them was if I sign that I will have to get divorced! My wife “Sha” is a teacher/preacher and she is pretty clever and called by God and also very sexy. Even if I agreed I couldnt have signed it.

    We had a long argument basically made up of misunderstood scripture, when I said I cannot accept your invitation.

    They deliberated for a while and agreed to allow me in.

    Thank God I never signed it just for the sake of it.

  19. Chris F says:

    Whether we sign or not, we all carry around a set of statements of faith in our heads, and tend to look for those who share most of them.

    Nothing wrong with that

    But the statements we all carry in our heads are always at some point, false images of God. I must allow my false images to be replaced by images that are more true images than the ones I have now. This happens firstly because God delights in revealing more; and it happens when I discover stuff along with other seekers.

    The biggest obstacle to knowing God more truly – is the image I currently think is the true one.

  20. Kim says:

    Subo – you and family in our thoughts and prayers man, from some of the rest of your bigger family

  21. subo says:

    cheers Folk, your solid. x

  22. Laura says:

    Subo- praying

  23. Mandy says:

    I actually did that once!
    Now, I think I would just have to refrain from signing at all.

  24. jonbirch says:

    me too subo. much love to you and your family. x

    dennis… good man!

    you’re right chris f. i try not to hold an image of god and try not to think i know what god might or might not believe. i find most images, if not all, i’ve been given in the past are at some point unhelpful… they are after all just metaphors and metaphors can only be stretched so far.

  25. jonbirch says:

    quite right mandy! :-)

  26. rebecca says:

    The last time I saw a declaration of faith it contained the statement “All men are sinful”. My reaction was “what about women?”

    That was in 1999. The fact that I haven’t seen one since is probably indicative of the sort of church circles I move in.

    The Christian Union at my university had a declaration of faith, but (as you’ve probably guessed by now) I didn’t join the CU. An alternative Christian group had a lengthy discussion as to whether they could have a declaration of faith that would genuinely distinguish Christians, and drew the conclusion that they couldn’t.

  27. Caroline Too says:

    I don’t mind statements of faith

    that tell me where you’re coming from

    they may well help our conversation along.

    but I really don’t want to make a statement of faith that says

    this is where you should be too

  28. Robb says:

    rebecca – oddly enough, that statement is used in both directions. I was once at a service where we had feminist prayers and the assertion was that all men were sinful…

  29. jonbirch says:

    she wasn’t wrong! :-)

  30. jonbirch says:

    rebecca… i’ve never met a woman who wasn’t deeply sinful. :-)

    caroline too… i’d go along with that. :-)

  31. rebecca says:

    Robb #29 — those prayers don’t sound feminist so much as pure unadulterated sexism against men.

    And of course it’s also sexist to refer to people in general as “men” — as if all people were men. (For the record, I’m not one myself).

    The message is: statements such as “All men are sinful” are to be avoided!

  32. beatthedrum says:

    I happen to like statements of faith as they can negate a number of issues arising in a church. Its sort of a sales agreement. you know what your getting yourself into.

    For example i would cause a lot of issues were I to join a church where they supported female eldership, pedo-baptism, cessastionism etc etc as I strongly believe in the biblical basis for Male only eldership, belivers baptism and the enpowerment of the Holy Spirit and gifts there off.

    I really dont want to a join a church without those things or teach what i dont believe, I am not closed minded on these things BTW just fairly convinced in my stance for many hours of agonising over the bible.

    You have to join where you agree not disagree or unity inthe church is split which is never a good thing.

    (A ‘honest’ balding man production)

    Praying for subo’s dad!

  33. Robb says:

    Rebecca – I and others felt unable to make confession using these words because we had grown up being told that we were all equal. Interestingly, this was a generational thing rather than a matter of sex. Women my age and men my age were equaly disturbed…

    Now there’s true equality – everyone was offended equally :D

  34. Joe says:

    isn’t a statement about women in leadership more a statement of practice than it is a statement of faith? Or do these churches really think that you can’t be a Christian if you believe in women preachers?

    What do y’all think about the creeds (nicene, apostles)? They seem to be pretty decent statements of faith to me.

  35. subo says:

    have been thinking about that ‘Nicene, apostles, creeds’ since looking at this blog.

    it’s like the Gideon project, I can’t imagine someone letting people place bibles in guest houses in the current climate, it’s an activity from a different age, (- and yet at times has been a massive blessing to me) I think the ability to write collective thoughts has been sacrificed on the alter of individualism, as is the hope of catching a Gideon now, has long gone ( – sorry B. Hicks), these things don’t thrive in the world of bloated ego’s

    then again, would you treasure some of the stuff people have produced in the name of ‘a statement of faith’, most of the one’s I’ve read should be buried at the back of a dismal hymnal and never revived, where as I get the feeling the above mentioned creeds were treasured and memorised

  36. subo says:

    cheers for your prayers, folks, my Dad pulled through despite close shaves and stuff.

  37. Robb says:

    Joe – You are the first to mention women in leadership so what are you thinking of?

  38. beatthedrum says:

    Its more a practice i suppose than a faith issue.

    The creeds are good, however one of them would appear to be inaccurate cannot remember which one. Its states that Jesus decended into hell. Which I dont think is spoken of in the bible, I am happy to be proved wrong on this though.

  39. Robb says:

    The Nicene Creed doesn’t say that. I think it is the Apostles Creed that says “He descended to the dead” but it depends on the translation.

    There is a big issue with how the creed and the bible relate to each other. Indeed there is a big issue as to how the bible relates to the Apocrypha as well.

    Many evangelicals would like to assert the authority of scripture with no reference to the nicene creed. The council of nicea was charged with the task of coming up with a definition of “orthodoxy”. To this end they decided upon a canon of “scripture” that supported the creed (definition of the beliefs of the church) and a creed that supports the canon of scripture. With one and without the other there is a nonsense. They were designed (sounds too human now I have written it down) together to support each other.

    Now the apocrypha…. taken out in America because it cost more money to print it. This resulted in the Your bible is different to our bible” ……erm… ‘conversation’….

    Even Luther kept it in, he just moved it to the back. The real issue is that the early church (and possibly/probably[?] Jesus) used the greek translation of the hebrew scriptures (LXX). When the refeormers decided to look at the hebrew they realised that they had bits missing [or should that be that the greek had extra bits – you decide] and decided that the bits missing/extra [whatever] were not suitable for “doctrine*” but were suitable for edifying the church and building it up…

    …until the printers decided that they weren’t cost effective…….

    I hope this is short enough to be read and long enough to be accurate!

    *come on, lets have a doctrine/dogma/systematics conversation :D

  40. subo says:

    am sure it’s meaning something else, but I love the image evoked by “He descended to the dead”, just because it captures the energy Jesus put into trying to reach everyone, none of us slip his attention

    just as I love the imagery from the Stations of the Cross, where Jesus falls, – we have a God who has experienced frailty, failure, darkness, feeling despised ………

  41. Robb says:

    Subo – it is more consistent with the theology of the time rather than the medievil to victorian idea of Hell.

    Scheol – the place of the dead.

  42. darrin says:

    Statements of Faith are for softies…in the Salvation Army…we are well hard…and sign Articles of War

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