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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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45 Responses to 707

  1. beckyG says:

    My fitting the faith to suit me tends to be a lot more subtle and therefore, easier to fool myself.

  2. subo says:

    there’s a number of versions of this one, ageing only being one human characteristic people feel is reasonable to ditch their partner for

  3. Rockingrev says:

    I see this all the time from people who call themselves post-Christian because they have become more intellectual in their eyes than the church and others who call themselves progrssive Christians who impose society’s values of today on Scripture. It always begs the question, who has the last word, society and its norms or the Word of God?

  4. Bo says:

    history show that it’s the christians who are progressive, not society.

    Christianity is the sole reason we have a society today that, unlike the roman, have social aid, does not have slavery, have voting rights for all, doesn’t utilise torture (much), etc.

    Oh, and “who has the last word, society and its norms or the Word of God?”
    Please remember that the Word of God is not the Bible – Christ is the Word of God.
    And we encounter the Word of God not only in reading scripture, but also through conversation with Christians, singing psalms and praying – according to Luther.

  5. Carole says:

    When I saw this one, my mind conjured up the image of Adam and Eve hiding from God.

  6. Caroline Too says:

    do you think that it’s quite as clear cut as this? First one then,
    then another?

    I dunno, I suspect that both things wobbled and fed upon each

    Because we value mind type things such as belief, we tend to over
    emphasise actions like decisions. I’m not so sure
    that it’s as clear cut as we somtimes make it out to be.

  7. Robb says:

    A younger “model” or a “younger” model?

    Seems that one way you always have a “model” and the other way you always have someone “young”.

    Sorry to early in the afternoon to be sensible…

    Isn’t Christ the Word of God?

    It seems to me that it is more important to discuss people deserting God’s values than The Bible’s values.

    In the name of the Father and of The Son and of The Holy Scripture, Amen.

    And I’m and evangelical :D

  8. Rockingrev says:

    Mea Culpa, I should have typed word of God instead of Word of God. Spell check doesn’t pick up on those things and I was typing in a hurry. There is a really good discussion of this in David Well’s trilogy of books, Losing our virtue, God in the wasteland and No place for truth. It is very thought provoking whether you agree with him or not.

  9. jonbirch says:

    caroline too… i agree. for me this cartoon’s more about the line at the bottom than the actual circumstance. relationships are complex and go wrong for a million reasons that i would never feel qualified to judge.

  10. miriworm says:

    Seems to the bible and christ agree which ever you choose.

    Matthew 19:7-9 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

    8Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

  11. drew says:

    hey Bo,
    please remember that the pirates had voting rights and did not approve of slavery. In fact at the time when Christian America and Europe was simply loving slavery, the pirates (rape and pillage variety) crews were full of ex slaves acting as free men and women. Christianity does not sadly have exclusive rights on being just right and good. Just look at our history!

    sorry to be the awkward truth here.

  12. subo says:

    hi drew, you got me thinking about the self-seeking behaviour i’ve watched christians plumb for. and sometimes think there’s more going on in the church than outside it – in terms of trying to bed others spouses ect

    sometimes i think churches not only build a cocoon of denial, and just don’t have boundaries, – ‘what’s wrong with supporting X when his wife’s such a cow?’, or ‘i understand X’s mental health needs better than his dumb wife’

    and then i remember, we’re human, prone to addictions, compulsivity, self-aggrandisement and driven by our need for comfort, control and power (what better place to seek comfort than in someone else’s marriage?), and it’s us human’s that God came to bring comfort too

    here’s to building churches where good things happen, where boundaries are supported, where addictions are spotted, and there is a healthy understanding of how to support someone going through anxiety, trauma, grief ect (just imagine belonging to a church where your grief was recognised and acknowledged, ach – i’m bitter, all your prayers appreciated!)

  13. Forrest says:

    To paraphrase a phrase: “Hey Wow, I Feel No Sin!”

  14. Kim says:

    13. subo – it would be great wouldn’t it. hugs.

  15. Lewis says:

    Sounds like Henry VIII. Sorta.

  16. beatthedrum says:

    SO its a bit like, we dont like the idea of eternal punishment so we change the entire course of church history and now we have all are saved…

    Sorry could not help myself on that one.

    But to be serious I have seen soo much of this over the years.

    Typically its around relationships but not always. I have seen so many people ‘loose’ their faith because they have fallen for someone who is not a chirstian. This is particulally prominent for women.

    Sometimes it material focused or where an area of our lives is exposed as being ‘sin’ and we dont like the idea of change or sacrificing the ‘thing’ to Jesus.


  17. AnneDroid says:

    We’ve got a huge capacity for re-defining our faith endlessly, even before we get to the stage of “losing” it altogether, in order to justify our desires. Well I have anyway. “It feels so right therefore it must be right…”

    I know – at least I
    gather from your last cartoon – that you don’t like conservative evangelicals. You might well pigeonhole me as such, I suppose, though I don’t care to label myself in that way.

    One advantage, though, perhaps, of the conservative evangelical way of doing is that they are perhaps better at declaring boundaries which mitigate against us being led by our hormones or whatever. The trouble with some manifestations of what if we must label it, may be called liberalism, seductive though it is, is that it’s easier to make it up as we go along, entirely to suit ourselves, although as your cartoon suggests there will perhaps come a time when we can no longer keep up the pretence that we are still aiming to follow God’s ways.

  18. subo says:

    cheers for hugs. x

  19. Mike says:

    Speaks volumes. We seem to be good at adjusting the call of GOD to fit our desires.

  20. Plus, that chap is gonna be really disappointed when he finds out his new bird has got tennis balls stuffed down her bra.

    Really like your comment Bo about Christians being the progressive ones, a lot of truth in that although it’s a given that a load of bad stuff has been done in the name of Christianity too.

  21. drew says:


    I’m not sure that as conservaties we are better at declaring boundaries – I do think we are often better at blindly defending old ones that were the result of cultural dictate years ago though. Do you really think that anyone is interpreting, declaring, living out ‘The Way’ as it was in our parents youth – or their parents – or theirs?

    Lets face it if any of us were to arrive back in the 1600s we would not be recognised as Christians but as some bizarre funky cult?

    The way we do the interpreting, declaring etc is such a dictate of our times and sadly the most influential leaders of our times that it is simply more comforting to us to bury our heads in the conservative sand and fail to see that.
    Even conservatives have had to face a round earth and the awkward but solid foundations of geology in the last few hundred years.

    A progressive is one who is running to understand, absorb and keep up with change , a liberal is one who is chilled about whatever that will be and sadly a conservative is often the one who will believe its Ok to burn the witches and torture Gallileo in order to protect what has been revealed – even when its wrong!

    Still I’m sure God understands after all he programmed us!

  22. Well done Nathan, I was going to say something about dodgy augmnentation but your cheaper solution is just as applicable.

    If people lose their faith because they have fallen for someone who is not a christian then it would be questionable for me the extent to which that faith was extant in the forming relationship…and there has to be a better question than ‘why have we lost one to the other side?’. Intimate relationship with another should have a synergy which makes both idividuals greater than their individuality, not flatten each others being into a monotone existence, subduing their individuality. Why change that which you fell in love with?

    NB My devout atheist wife and I are approaching our 23rd wedding anniversary.

  23. miriworm says:

    I think every generation probably regards itself as ‘progressive’ but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true.

  24. miriworm says:

    Why does 707 list 23 comments but I only see 21? :-o

  25. Caroline Too says:


    look at comments #7 and #13

    you’ll notice that there’s a reply to each of these that does not bear a number, if you reply to a specific comment (notice the brown, Reply thingy), then you don’t get number. But I wonder if it might make keeping track of the various conversations we create for each cartoon easier? I’d recommend using the reply button if you want to comment on a specific point made by someone.

    class over! :-)

  26. huh, so why didn’t you use the reply thingy to Miriworm’s comment then?

  27. Caroline Too says:

    dunno, didn’t think of it in time :roll:

  28. miriworm says:

    aahh :-)

  29. beatthedrum says:

    AnneDroid #16 I agree

    Where sometimes relationships with non-christians do work and i thank God for you 23 year marriage #20. It is often the case that the pressure either forces the couple apart even if they remain ‘together’ or the non christian conforms and stops their spiritual growth.

    Not always the case but often enough.

    I would also agree that the strength of their faith would be questionable if they are lead ‘astray’


  30. Robb says:

    If Dr Ruth hadn’t “shackled herself to an unbeliever” I wouldn’t be here.

    I certainly wouldn’t nearly be a deacon.

    All of her friends and relations were trying to convince her to dump me.

    The CU certainly tried to convince her to dump me.

  31. beatthedrum says:

    I am glad it has worked out for you Robb, however I think that on the whol eit is a foolish path to follow.

    For every success like you at #20 there are 20 – 50 who ‘fail’

    sorry but its the truth. Bet then again we are people and not statistics

  32. jonbirch says:

    where does that number come from, beatthedrum? i think the stat for marriage break up amongst christians is pretty much the same as for everyone else…

    nice one, themethatisme. :-) or should that be ‘theyouthatisyou’? :-)

    that dr ruth… she’s a canny lass, robb. :-)

    i think i see my faith as relationship, not rules. and i think i apply the same to my friendships and my marriage.

  33. beatthedrum says:

    Depends on how you define christian Jon. I remember reading a recent study that showed that evangelical church going christians had a much lower divorce rate than most.

    However must studies look at the religeous tick boxes and they only have christian or maybe protestant and catholic but that is it.

  34. miriworm says:

    The provisional divorce rate remained at 14 divorces per 1000 married population in 2004.
    The highest divorce rate belonged to people in their mid to late twenties.
    The average length of marriage for divorcees were 11.5 years in 2004, up from 11.3 years in 2003.
    69% of divorces were between couples where both partners had been married for the first time. However, only 10% of divorces were between couples who had been married before.
    69% of the divorces were granted to the wife, of which, 52% were granted based on the husband’s behaviour.
    53% of couples divorced had at least one child aged less that 16.
    The divorce rate in UK (including Scotland and Northern Island) increased in 2004 by 0.2%.
    Out of 167,193 petition filled for divorce in 2004, 153,399 divorces were granted.


  35. A few years ago I heard that 40% of marriages were likely to end in divorce and that 40% of marriages between two evangelical Christians were likely to end in divorce.

  36. Robb says:

    Beatthedrum – 98% of statistics are made up during the course of a conversation.

    Not convinced that calling my wife foolish is a good idea :P

    Defining ‘Christian’ as ‘my part of the church’ is a very dangerous thing to do.

    I would bet that the people doing the statistical analysis in that study were “evangelical church going christians” trying to show that being an “evangelical church going christian” is better than being a non-“evangelical church going christian”.

  37. Robb says:

    Quick Google search gave this.

    “The slogan: “The family that prays together, stays together” is well known. There has been much anecdotal evidence that has led to “unsubstantiated claims that the divorce rate for Christians who attended church regularly, pray together or who meet other conditions is only 1 or 2 percent”. 8 Emphasis ours]. Dr. Tom Ellis, chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Council on the Family said that for “…born-again Christian couples who marry…in the church after having received premarital counseling…and attend church regularly and pray daily together…” experience only 1 divorce out of nearly 39,000 marriages — or 0.00256 percent.”

    “Divorce rates among conservative Christians were significantly higher than for other faith groups, and much higher than Atheists and Agnostics experience”

  38. Pat says:

    BTD @ 26 said ‘Depends on how you define christian Jon’…which would seem to be the case in all sorts of arguments! I too would like to know the soource of some of these statistics – and for the statement (regarding loss of faith for christian partners of mixed relationships) that ‘This is particulally prominent for women.’.

    Personally speaking I don’t think that either ‘evangelicals’ or ‘liberals’ are particularly good at drawing boundaries which actually do ‘mitigate against us being led astray by our hormones’ or by any other aspects of our human condition. The difference is possibly more in how one feels about the transgression of said boundaries (both as transgressors and as observers).

  39. Robb says:

    Looks like dodgy liberal catholics* fare slightly better…

    Denomination (in order of decreasing divorce rate) % who have been divorced

    Non-denominational ** 34%
    Baptists 29%
    Mainline Protestants 25%
    Mormons 24%
    Catholics 21%
    Lutherans 21%

    *I’ll remove my tongue from my cheek now and go back to my normal state of play as an evengelical :lol:

  40. beatthedrum says:


    Its purely and completely unscientific, my experience.

    Its more of an issue for women than for men because in my experince there are more christian women than men. There for the temptation effects more women than men therefore more fail the temptation. Not becuase they are weaker but because of the numbers.

  41. Robb says:

    no sweat :D

  42. Pat says:

    BTD @ 40 – thanks for clarifying that. Just for a moment it sounded as though you were making a suggestion about women that I would have had to take issue with :-)

    I’ve actually known quite a few people in ‘mixed spiritual partnerships’ and wonder to what extent the perception that the christian in such a relationship has ‘stopped growing’ is governed by the particular ideas we have about what ‘being a christian’ entails (I don’t mean in terms of ‘conversion’ but in terms of lived experience and engagement – if that makes sense?)

  43. jonbirch says:

    it makes all the sense in the world, pat. i think that is a massive issue.

  44. Forrest says:

    Well, when you divorce, your divorce rate is 100%

    Conversely, when you stay married, your marriage rate is 100%

    Hmm . . . “So you left your wife for a younger model . . .”
    How many do ya figure have left their faith for a “younger model”?
    . . . have left their God for a “younger model”?

  45. JF says:

    Shame I missed this debate! The fallacies that people believe are really incredible! Ah well…

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