Both funny and scary… perhaps more scary than anything! the real advert can be seen here… cheers will! :-)    …the above link is now dead. i guess someone has filled the post.

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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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39 Responses to 973

  1. Patrick says:

    you’re right…that is more scary than anything else! However I am sure the church had something else in mind :D

  2. jonbirch says:

    but what? what does ‘supernatural children’ mean? just plain hocus.
    the bit at the bottom of the ad which says “You will be expected to consider ChristChurch as your home church, and to fully accept its values and vision.” i find weird too. not at all controlling then. :?:

  3. goodfield says:

    Shades of the Midwich cuckoo’s, me thinks!

  4. soniamain says:

    Clearly I have missed something in my all child development / children studies- never heard of the supernatural child before! maybe it’s a child who has taken a new drug?!

  5. jonbirch says:

    midwich cuckoos… yup, that’s it! :-)
    that would have to be some mighty drug, sonia. :-)

  6. Will says:

    I can’t help but feel that there would be a bit of pressure entering this job. I’ll give it a miss thanks :)

  7. roy says:

    the children may be supernatural but what about their families……after all it is a “children and families pastor” – supersuper natural??

  8. janetp says:

    How bizarre!! Your take on it made me smile, Jon – it reminded me of the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz when she sends out her hench-monkeys to capture Dorothy and her friends :0)

  9. Carole says:

    Hahahahaha! Did nobody proof-read this and decide that it sounded ridiculous? Nothing to be afraid of, though…in fact very similar to keeping pigeons, by the sound of it. ;-)

  10. So, do they get wings to fly when they’re grown in their cocoons?

  11. Botticelliwoman says:

    Has that last one got a blue touch paper (to be lit at arms length?)…maybe not so keen as the others to be ‘released’

  12. Hazel says:

    Hmm. There’s lots of people that are into this stuff. But of course said pastor would be expected to have that church as their home church – wouldn’t they?? After all they’d be paying the person as an employee… “Fully accept its visions and values” – I don’t think you can be employed by them if you say “Ah, but I theologically disagree on this bit…” and anyway, that’s the type of church people don’t even get interviews because “God has told us you’re not the right person for the job”….believe me I know

  13. Hazel says:

    And also could have been subtitled “The charismatic church has gone too far”. All this “Naturally supernatural” stuff drives me up the wall.

  14. jonbirch says:

    yes hazel… it really is the most dualistic tosh.
    ‘supernatural’ my arse… superdaft, more like. :-)

  15. Tiggy Sagar says:

    Bath City Church likes to use the word ‘supernatural’. It’s all part of this power/empowerment thing that is supposed to appeal to people. It especially seems to appeal to quite dippy people who are into having constant weird experiences like having hysterics, twitching or falling over. I fail to see what’s so great about any of those myself. I did point out my point of view that if something was from God it was natural and we just had to redefine what natural meant, but that didn’t go down too well. They have whole conferences on the ‘supernatural’ and I suppose as a buzz word it’s considered better marketing. Puts me off totally. If I wanted to roll around on the floor in hysterics I’d just smoke some dope.

  16. subo says:

    what would asbo kids look like?

  17. Hazel says:

    Does anyone remember “The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass”, one characters who appears is “Mrs Flushpool” who talks about when “she was in the natural!” I always remember this when I see the way some churches today talk….
    Tiggy’s comment is brilliant!

  18. Pingback: // saturday round-up (14/01) « worship music should sound like this

  19. JustPassinThru says:

    Steinerians maybe? Sounds like their type of loaded language.

  20. AnneDroid says:

    Hahaha! Love it.

    I do find the concept in the advert kind of arrogant. Supernatural is God’s business and so are all the laws of physics and so on, which it seems to me he usually prefers to allow to operate as he intended them. I feel uncomfortable with the kind of ecclesiology that expects God to break his own rules every Sunday between 11am and 12 noon for the pleasure (which is what it boils down to) of the worshipper.

    And another thing…..! (I’m on a rant now). I’ve been becoming increasingly irked by adverts in the Christian press for events that promise a wonderful “worship experience”. The word “experience” suggests it’s all about wow-ing the person attending whereas the word “worship” suggests it’s all about the one worshipped. I don’t think these words belong together. Whether you come away from the event on a “high” or not is not the point. Whether you come away having worshipped God, or changed by God, is the point. As Tiggy says so beautifully above, there are drugs available for the former purpose.

  21. Sounds brill! A jobs a job eh! And rearing Incredibles or superheroes sounds like a great vocation, sounds like a recipe for disaster really, at least there not offering £6,000 a year tho.

  22. jonbirch says:

    ‘supernatural’, for those times when ‘perfectly natural’ simply won’t do. :lol:

  23. jonbirch says:

    i don’t buy in to ‘supernatural’ at all. i think it’s mumbo jumbo… i agree with tiggy on this.

  24. Eric says:

    Let me offer a positive here – I don’t think it’s that bad, though I wouldn’t use quite the same words (and I’m not from UK so don’t know the church).
    Firstly, when we talk about roles or procedures in the church, sometimes we talk about what we do and forget to mention God’s action in things, even though we can’t describe it fully (nor prescribe for God exactly how he will work).
    Secondly, we MUST applaud a church that wants to grow AND RELEASE disciples. As my former pastor says (to pastors thinking about their churches), it’s not how many you can get, it’s how many you can send. I want the young people in my church to grow strong in the faith and go and serve God wherever he leads them, not just boost the numbers in my church – some churches will want to hire a kids pastor whose work will fill the pews.

  25. Ben says:

    Amen Eric!

    Although I agree the word choice is not entirely appropriate. And Jon implies a good point that it verges on Dualism. From an job advert point of view it does a great job: we all can reason that this is a charismatic church which values children as full members of the church just from the first line – and for nearly all of you; you can decide this is not the job for you.

    The line regarding church membership is good common sense. I know far too many church employees (and had 1 work for me) who work for one church then get the majority of there teaching, theology and influence from another church. It’s a horrendous situation to be in. Well done CCF for spotting this first and even better for clarifying it in their JD (great line about as much as your role will allow – really good balance).

    I love how the comments on ASBOjesus so often challenge intolerance and prejudices. However in this case an intolerance for a type of churchmanship has left a poor taste in my mouth. Jon: thank you for challenging my, as a charismatics use of language, in this cartoon but to imply a church as heretical and label the attendees as ‘dippy’ is a little intolerant in and of itself. (I think the liberal, evangelical and/or charismatic church all has its share of dippy people).

    This church is part of the bride of Christ – Marriages are tough things. Lets desire tolerance and unity (I know ‘they’ don’t either but lets not wait for ‘them’ to make the first move)

    Definition: Supernatural; adj; of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe; especially : of or relating to God or a god, demigod, spirit, or devil

    I’m up for having Children who relate to the existence of God beyond what they can see, are you not?

  26. Ben says:

    apologies for the poor use of commas in the middle!

  27. jonbirch says:

    ah ben, i wonder if bad punctuation is enough to cause a rift between us? no it isn’t. :-) btw. i’ve had a word with myself over my petulant throwaway language and realised that i could/should have been more measured. you know when things get your goat? this is one of them for me… i did not mean to attack people so much as the ideology, which i think is ultimately unhelpful. you’re of course right, in that dippy people (myself included) exist the world over. :-) i think i’ve just seen, over the years, too many people fall away from this type of community way of doing things damaged, hurt and often angry.
    i’d love the ad if it were more concerned with the young growing up to be loving, caring, contributing members of society according to their talents, personalities and abilities.

  28. Ben says:

    Jon: must say I’m always impressed by your self-reflections in the comment section.

    I agree that many fall away hurt from this type of ministry but am not so sure that if that is due to the ministry being bad in and of itself or bad practice.

    I think the vision of the job is for someone to help young people realise that they can be full members of the church now rather than waiting for them to grow up…

    I liked the cartoon! but I saw it as an attack on the clumsy language (which can suggest (and sometimes be a symptom) of poor theology) we charismatics so often employ. I’m confused as to what ideology you’re attacking… Is it a case of they mean one thing by the word ‘supernatural’ and you take it to be another? (much in the case of ‘growing and realeasing’ can me two things!)

  29. Will says:

    If i look at this simply from the point of view of someone looking for a job in a church, i must say i’m putt off this job by the language. Perhaps i have a touch of cynicism (or perhaps by the bucket load!) But I feel that this sentence, without explanation, sends shivers down my spine. There is an implication that if children leave natural then it’s not enough and you have failed.

    Of course I understand that they are trying to stand out in several pages of adverts and of course it will only stand out to people who are like minded, or sign up to the same sense of calling to work with children in this way.

    My personal preference when working with children could probably be described as less evangelical (is this even making sense?)

    Ben I do agree with what you say and perhaps it says more about me than anything else.

  30. jonbirch says:

    ben… what i think i’m driving at, is that language often betrays underlying worldview. i remember around the time of the toronto blessing, a friend almost trying to bully me into experiencing what he was experiencing, because he thought it awful that i should miss out. i remember being exasperated by his unwillingness to see that i did not think i was missing out and that maybe god was blessing me equally. i’m sure he was equally exasperated with me… but he started it. :-) i think (regardless of dictionary definitions) the word ‘supernatural’ is unhelpful. it implies an ‘other worldliness’ and betrays what i think is an underlying view that the world is separated in to the spiritual and the worldly. i find this thinking thoroughly unbiblical and the bottom line is, we have to grasp the world in the here and now, live in it, be stewards of it, love in it, relate to it… that is our biblical calling since genesis and has never changed. ‘supernatural’ smacks of greek to me… body = dirty, spiritual = higher plain. i see this as alien to the bible and certainly alien to my experience of living in the world.
    i can’t think of a single ‘supernatural’ person in the bible, i can’t think of anyone since who could be described that way. all the big and miraculous events of the OT are perfectly natural… even jc’s miracles are (in biblical terms) the creation responding to the command of jesus as the second adam… so that’s the perfectly natural order restored in him.
    hmmm… maybe i have problems with the word and what implies on more levels than i first thought.
    i think i get what the advert is trying to say, but i’m not entirely sure i can even like it on that level. it’s a bit like setting everyone up for a fall it seems to me… even though i know that is not intended. essentially you’re asking the youth worker, the parent and more importantly the child to sign up to something that doesn’t exist. no wonder christian children get confused and disappear off… and they do in their droves.
    the mandates the new and old testaments place on us are to make us more complete as human beings through valuing and unfolding with love the world around us. to engage in relationship with all things. to be a ‘salt and light’ if you like, in a world filled with people who aren’t always responsible, loving or selfless. to be part of making the world better. ‘bringing the kingdom in’ as the bible sort of puts it.
    i know i’m saying stuff you already know… but this is a shortened version of a comprehensive explanation as to my seemingly irrational hatred of the word ‘supernatural’ in the context of the cartoon. hope i’m making sense. :-)

  31. jonbirch says:

    man… i’m appalled at my grammar! :-)

  32. jonbirch says:

    ‘by’ my grammar!? :lol:

  33. Ben says:

    It’s amazing that I agree and disagree all at the same time.

    CS Lewis in ‘Miracles’ says some amazing (and at time confusing!) things about what (I see) supernatural means. Although not entirely relevant it provides a good place to reflect on this (he says the suspension of causality is supernatural of which I think JC miracles full into this category). Although I think broadly I agree with you on the language front… (ish :-D )

    Agree that JC’s miracles are a restoration/response of the natural (although water into wine and demons into pigs cause me pause for thought there) and make nature more natural. I also agree that this is taught and understood appallingly in many cases. I struggle to describe Elijah’s miracles as natural though….

    I agree that the mandate is to bring the kingdom in – does this not include healing through prayer (and not the hyped up crap)? it’s very hard to describe healing through prayer without attaching the word supernatural at some point. Although I see healing ministries as restoring creation to that which God intended it (so very natural by your use of the word). I see young people (trained sensitively and comprehensively) pray for and see people healed (and at times not). This argument extends to other areas that could be labelled supernatural; prophecy (truth being spoken which I suppose is natural), tongues (clumsy could be described as easy communication with God which Genesis would see as natural), etc. etc. (this was only meant to be a short post.)

    The jumping around Toronto stuff makes me nervous sometimes to. A thought that kept me awake a night was why did the crowd at Pentecost believe the disciples to be drunk? I assumed it was because of there speech but everyone could understand there speech. Could it be because of their physical actions (staggering, shaking etc. all stuff I’ve seen at Toronto type events – although probably not farmyard animal noises).

    Sorry to seemingly hijack a comment stream: I think the term supernatural has become synonymous with inward looking mass gatherings. Which I think is not the case.

    Anyway forget your grammar – my use of parenthesises is going to start rivalling NT Wright (and my spelling is only saved by spellcheck!)

  34. Ben says:

    In short: shouldn’t the ‘play nice’ also extend to charismatics.

  35. jonbirch says:

    “shouldn’t the ‘play nice’ also extend to charismatics.” ouch! :-) btw… no hijack friend, just good conversation. :-) i must agree… i certainly don’t always play ‘nice.’ i do cartoons. :-)
    i think i would want ‘natural’ to be seen in a much broader way… a more biblical way if you like. there is nothing i see in the bible which does not fall in to the category of either man or god having dominion over the natural order. the problem with ‘supernatural’ and i think it is a very real problem, is it smacks of ghosties and ghoulies and long legged beasties et al. a far cry from biblical fair.
    a bit like when scientists look more and more at the natural world, they see more and more depth and can only surmise at what depth lurks beyond the depth they’ve reached. i think ‘supernatural’ is a hype word, loaded with unreal expectation. a way to make what one does seem more enticing and exciting.
    btw. some of my best friends are or were charismatics… and i’ve been asked before now if i was drunk, because i was so full of excitement and effusiveness or just couldn’t shut up about something that had just happened or i’d just learned. the ‘not shutting up’ bit won’t surprise you. :lol:

  36. Ben says:

    I hope your cartoons don’t get too nice! – I enjoyed the cartoon.

  37. jonbirch says:

    ben… haha! i guess i can easily promise that. :-)

  38. JF says:

    My friend/colleague takes her child to this very church in Fulham! I will have to monitor her daughter’s progress!

  39. matybigfro says:

    I love the play on words in this cartoon and we could all do with being reminded how what we say appears to those on the outside of our cliche.

    I think that ben has a bit of a point about playing nice. Evangelicals and Charismatics in particular do tend get the Brit in Hollywood treatment a bit and end up the rest of the Church’s punch bag (often with good cause).

    Words are funny things though that can mean very different things with very different naunces dependt on the context and also the understanding of the community surrounding them. Maybe its a bit on the harsh side for all of us to judge this particular Church on their use of this word especially since it’s based on our preconcieved notions of what they mean. After all it could be possible that their use fo the word is very different and we would only know if we listened and observed them.

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