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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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36 Responses to 642

  1. Stumpy says:

    Hmm, what to think about this? what does everyone else think, then i’ll know…..

  2. Kate says:

    YES. You’ve hit the NAIL on the head.

  3. Caroline Too says:

    Well keep quiet about it then, you might

    a) hurt someone’s feelings
    b) be unsound in your theology
    c) say something I haven’t an answer for
    d) think something that might cause us to change
    e) question our way of going on that we haven’t questioned for
    ages and so have comfortably gon on doing for ages, and frankly
    we can’t be ar*ed to do anything about it.

  4. Caroline Too says:

    think? think? THINK!?! and since when were you ordained?!?

  5. TyTe says:

    he he – when I read it, I saw this poor Christian male being harangued by emergent separatist ASBOers… ;)

  6. becky says:

    This is sooo true in so many circles albeit conservative, progressive, and emerging. Daring to be different often means you’re off in the corner all by yourself.

  7. Hayles says:

    I’ve just had a thought! Well I’ve been thinking for a while actually…

    I’d love to see a cartoon about caring for God’s creatures, it’s something I don’t think I’ve seen yet (there have been ones about the environment but not ones about vegetarianism specifically, and the responsibility we have to love and respect God’s creation). This is something that has been very close to my heart for a while now but something Christians tend not to talk about that much, which really frustrates me. I did find this link yesterday:


    which has got me quite excited. I haven’t checked out all of the site yet but it looks quite interesting.

    Being a vegetarian (attempting to go vegan) I feel quite alone amongst my Christian friends who don’t generally seem to be that bothered about the issue.

    Hang on, there’s someone at the door…the Thought Police, d’ya reckon?

  8. jonbirch says:

    no probs hayles… will do. :-)

  9. Hayles says:

    Yay! I’m really really really excited. I have just been reading Isaiah 11:6-9.

    Love the bit about lions eating straw, and this bit:

    ‘They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.’ (Isaiah 11:9, TNIV)

    Thanks Jon. :)

  10. Pingback: Daily How To 195 « Let the music move your body

  11. Robb says:


    I haven’t had a good burning in ages and it is getting colder this weekend. Where’s my matches??!!??

  12. wezlo says:

    “And now I see the whole design, the church is an assembly line. The parts are there, I’m feeling fine. I want to be a clone.”

  13. I love your wit Jon.

  14. Pingback: decloned » Blog Archive » I Want to Be a Clone

  15. Kim says:

    yes but, if/when we encounter this reaction, what do we do then? do we get all downtrodden, or miffed, ….or just carry on regardless?

  16. subo says:

    that scornfilled look is so crushing, you can be really moved by something, or dreaming of contributing in some way, and then you’ll meet the thought police, who’s very breath dampen’s any excitment

    ‘what you want to do something!!!!!!!!!’

    what’s odd, is the way they talk about something they’ve done, as though they just know everything

    am beginning to think the church is a hot house for co-dependancy, of which I have to own up too, the difference is that church actively encourages a dominant strain of co-dependant control – or is it just a need to be in control?

  17. subo says:

    “….or just carry on regardless”, I can’t talk Kim, because I just sink into a pit of despair, (though the thought police don’t notice my bleeding heart!)

    but the answer, I’m told on good faith, is to increase the dimension of compassion, warmth, capacity for fun, and make dancing an open invitation, to celebrate an inclusive attitude, to pour out love and understanding richly (whilst offering, love, understanding, and time out to one’s self)

    then, your also entitled to your opinion, and to gently question others firmly fixed believes ‘is that really so?’

    the thought police are everywhere, they love to jump in with proffered advice before gaining the facts, am sure we could have a great blog on ‘comments that crushed.’, I have to remind myself they are coming from a place of pain, and try to continue to reach out, (or only spend a few months in my retreat from prickly people hole.)

  18. jody says:

    @kim #15

    unfortunately it became so bad at my church, i had to leave – best decision, but painful and not without consequences (some that are still rolling to be honest…)

  19. becky says:

    I agree with Jody – It’s best to just walk away. I’ve had to do that in certain circles because I’m single and they can’t handle an over 40 year old who isn’t with babies and a hubby; some emergent groups can’t deal with the fact I use a PC and don’t have a PhD (and I’m a chick) and so on.

    When you find yourself banging your head against the wall trying to fit in and it’s not working, I see that as a sign that you should go somewhere that welcomes you.

  20. Kim says:

    If it comes to the point of damage, of course I agree, and I have had to do that myself at times, sad though that is. We had this thread recently here about what its like to just not fit. Hope you find peace where you are now.

  21. reminds me of that steve taylor song “i want to be a clone”

  22. zefi says:

    If that’s a bad thing, it’s unfortunate that it also happens here sometimes.

    Oh, you don’t get told off, you’re only labelled.

    Do the terms “homophobic,” “misogynist,” “dominator-complementarian,” “stupid female who accepts patriarchal leadership,” etc. sound familiar enough? ;)

    I’m only glad that it’s not as serious as other places. :)

  23. zefi says:

    Thx for the link. It has a good arguments, but the ones “based” on the bible totally spoiled it. It’s like trying to find a verse to justify reducing carbon footprint.

    Still, I guess that’s necessary, especially for people who’d go, “what’s the biblical basis for this???”

  24. subo says:

    ‘had to leave – best decision’, clear thinking Jody, i find that such a hard one to do, – there always seems a glimmer of hope, or one person may be crushing amongst a group i really care about

  25. theseoldshades says:

    Someone once told me it was a sin to question God/theology/Christianity and then in group prayer, prayed that ‘people’ i.e. me, who questioned would see the error of their ways. Took me a while to get over that one!

    Socrates tells us that ‘The unexamined life is not worth living’, and I’ve grown to like my thoughts and my questions. :)

  26. Linus says:

    Zefi. You are right. ASBO isn’t perfect.

    Labels suck. Be assured i think of you as ‘Zefi’. (!)

    I like that, whilst its not perfect, this is a place where i get challenged, i get exposed to new ideas, i get forced to reconsider stuff, and i get to be honest. Thanks so much for bein a big part of that.

  27. zefi says:

    Someone once told me it was a sin to question God/theology/Christianity and then in group prayer, prayed that ‘people’ i.e. me, who questioned would see the error of their ways. Took me a while to get over that one!

    My! In my group, I told people to debate and question (or more accurately, ask) God, even to shout (not cry) at Him! Am just glad for them that I’m not in the group you’re talking about!

    Labels suck. Be assured i think of you as ‘Zefi’. (!)

    Urm, I don’t think labels suck. I think they’re good and helpful. It’s only bad when they’re abused when people unfairly or incorrectly or irrationally use them.

  28. becky says:

    20. I wasn’t sure if this was directed towards me or more general – I have found places where I can play though I do confess that at times I long to be accepted by the cool Christian clique. That longing is lessened as I find more and more healthy places like this – and with some distance I can see how juvenile this all is.

  29. atwilson says:

    I’m with John Milton. Just because some things are really true, you don’t have to censor much else. And treating people like 4 year olds you end up with a church full of 4 years olds. In this day and age, that’s a missional rat sandwich, and it isn’t going to be sustainable for long…

  30. TyTe says:

    I was once reprimanded by my Vineyard pastor for refusing to lay hands on someone in a home group/cell meeting. I was told it was biblical and that I was expected to do it.

    Just because people/systems try and mould us into certain shapes, doesn’t mean we have to, but we must be careful not to get chips on our shoulders about it.

    Something else I noticed recently, is how much Christians outside our particular Church of England church seem to scorn it or fear it – particularly as they think it will try and squeeze them into a certain mould. They say things like, “Well of course, in our church we like to have freedom in our worship” and stuff like that. Ironic, that the Anglican church is probably the most diverse, wide and embracing denomination in the UK. I love our church because it is so diverse – at the end of the day, it’s a wondeffully diverse bunch of broken ordinary people who have one person in common.

    (btw: all single, 40-year old PhD-wielding women are welcome. :) )

  31. Robb says:

    I was once told that if I ‘wasn’t able to speak in tongues’ then I wasn’t a christian.

    If there are any 40 year old single PhD weilding women out there, would you like a gig one sunday morning? I promise you only need to do 8-15 minutes of interesting ;)

  32. Reminds me of my weekend away with some people from church!
    To be fair it was only one person like that, I honestly think the trend is changing and most Christians I come into contact with understand what it’s like to be a human a lot more than they did 10 years ago.

  33. Robb says:

    that’s a good point nathan.

  34. duttyo says:

    this made me think about who it was that was having the thoughts and who was crowding them out.

    I guess it’s easy to think of church leaders as being the ‘thought police’ and the ones everyone else has to fall in line with.

    I’ve got to say though that’s certainly not my experience. It’s usually the other way around!

  35. beatthedrum says:


    Sometimes correction of error is needed. Thats where Iron sharpens iron and we become more christ like.

    Or we can let sin invade the church.

    HOWEVER! (Part 2)

    It must be done in love, humilty, prayer and compassion.


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