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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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22 Responses to 1023

  1. goodfield says:

    The truth will out! :-)

  2. sarahboo says:

    No – you don’t understand. It’s always my fault.

  3. Sunil says:

    we can’t blame immigrants any more?

  4. Carole says:

    Has the church been playing away from home? Mid-life crisis? ;-)

  5. Kim says:

    well that ain’t ever gonna happen is it! Love it

  6. Dawn says:

    the church is actually the body of chirst, the people, not the bulidng. so arent we all at part to blame for the problems of the church? or if we have problems with the church? because of our own sinfullness, we want things done our way? or because we go in with the expectation of it being “perfect”, and meeting all of our needs?

    the church is made up of broken, sinful people. its never going to be perfected untill our lord jesus returns, and perfects it.

  7. goodfield says:

    Oh Carol – so true! :-)

  8. subo says:

    pick up your church and walk

  9. subo says:

    not sure Carol (re playing away from home) – isn’t that generally expected these days?, it’s celebrating same sex commitment they get all jumpy about

    or “the church that come’s to you, knowing you need God’s love when your alone at home and wondering what it’s all about”

  10. Carole says:

    Subo – I thought it was the church tapping into popular culture – picking up cliches from soap operas ;-)

  11. Dawn says:

    should we be mocking and dragging down the church, or building it up?

  12. subo says:

    ah Carol, I missed that, the church trying to ape popular culture again?, we’ll end up with churches on Britain’s got Talent – doing a church wobble

  13. goodfield says:

    I wonder what Jedward Church would be like! :-)

  14. jonbirch says:

    dawn… i believe we should be honest.

    goodfield… don’t know why, but i can’t help but like jedward. :-)

  15. Acorn says:

    Jon, Jedward are like puppies – and who can help liking a pair of puppies? (Unless they’ve been cleaning up after them, of course…)

  16. jonbirch says:

    yes acorn… that’s exactly it! they are a joyful, playful, enthusiastic pair of puppies… and i find them endearing. :-)

  17. Dawn says:

    Jon, if we are going to ciritcize, it shoud be consructive, and give examples of what can be done to change for the better. not just tearing down and mocking.

  18. jonbirch says:

    hi dawn… i come from a culture with a rich tradition of satirical and critical cartooning. these things have to be expressed. i really think it depends on where the viewer him/herself sits re. a topic like the one in this cartoon which dictates whether they will see this image as positive or negative. i certainly don’t see this cartoon as ‘mocking’, i can think of cartoons i’ve done which are mocking. i can also think of many cartoons which are not. my desire is to empathise and i’m far more interested in empathising with the needs of people than i am of the needs of powerful institutions. i don’t believe jesus ever shunned away from being critical, sarcastic or even damning of institutions and the behaviour of those who upheld them. he demonstrated both building up and breaking down. also i’m interested in these simple images being a starting point for thought and debate. if you find this cartoon negative i would be interested to know what you think this cartoon is saying.

  19. linus says:

    Kim: If you mean that no church community ever admits to failing people or apologises for the breakdown of a relationship between an individual and a church, then I strongly disagree. It does happen sometimes. Not as much as i might like, but it does happen.

    Dawn: I love that you are reading and commenting on this blog even though it is not just saying what you want to hear (at least in this cartoon). Its so easy on the internet (and in life in general to an extent) just to find a group of like-minded people and pretend the rest of the world is either stupid or doesn’t exist, so props for engaging with the debate here, even though i get the impression from your comments that you don’t always find yourself in agreement with the main thrust of the discussion. It takes courage and effort to go and find out what the rest of the world is thinking and ask questions of it and i think you’re doing that here and i commend you for it.

    As far as this particular cartoon is concerned, my take on it is that it absolutely *is* an acknowledgement that the church is not a building or an institution, but a community of fallible people, like you said above (thanks for saying that cos its a huge bugbear of mine that people truly get that church is about a community of people loving God and loving other people – not a building or a tradition or a club or a set of moral standards or a… whatever).

    I can read the cartoon in two ways – the first is that the church community is rejecting an individual and fobbing them off with the clich├ęd breakup line. The second is that the church community is acknowledging that the breakdown in this individual’s relationship with them is their fault and not his fault.

    The first reading is acknowledging a problem that surely logically follows from the fact that we all (i think) agree on – that church communities are full of imperfect people. Imperfect people will sometimes reject other people. Acknowledging the problem is the first step to fixing it, so this cartoon is useful for a church community to reflect on – do we, fallible as we are, sometimes reject people? Do we as a community have a problem in this area?

    The second reading is, i think, doing the very thing that you (Dawn) are concerned is not happening here. It’s true what you say – that criticising on the sidelines without offering either help or an alternative is pointless and damaging, but i don’t think that’s what this cartoon is doing. I think its very constructive to suggest that the church community does not automatically assume its the individual’s fault when someone is hurt, or leaves the church or behaves in a way that the community does not ‘approve’ of. I think a situation where all church communities are careful to examine themselves for fault in the way that they relate to individuals – and admit to fault when they find it – would be a change for the better. So i think the cartoon is offering constructive criticism. If you disagree with me on that, fair enough, but as Jon says, the cartoon is the start of the debate, not the end. If the cartoon acknowledges a genuine problem then that is legitimate in itself because it can provoke a debate which includes an exploration of the problem and hopefully some suggestions for improvement on the current state of affairs (as well as some silliness hopefully, cos the comments should always have some silliness in there somewhere, too).

    Anyway, sorry for the essay =] Let me know what you think, and please keep commenting.

  20. subo says:

    as the cartoon shows, there’s loads of ways of doing church,

    the guy bumping into a walking church hadn’t seen this till now

    & once you know church doesn’t have to keep doing that churchy

    thing, there’s no going back

  21. Dawn says:

    what constitutes “Church” though?

    i go to a very traditonal church. we sing hymns, etc. but at night its more casual, we have couches and stuff, we have discussion groups.

    i am also involved in a Christian group at my university, and we gather together around the word of God, we hear a sermon, we have disucssions and food. we encourage each other.
    isnt that just what church is, gathering around the word of God, and encouraging each other?

  22. linus says:

    Hi Dawn, thanks for your response. I would say that church is a group of people gathering around Jesus. Look at the people who the Bible informs us gathered around Jesus during his three years of ministry recorded in the gospels. Look at how the rest of Jesus’ society saw those people. Matthew was a Tax collector (who most people considered to be utterly unscrupulous, selfish traitors to their country). Simon was a zealot (they were seen as terrorists by the authorities), Jesus touched lepers, showed respect to prostitutes, accepted kindness from them. A community of people that truly succeeds in being like Jesus will be both welcoming and attractive to people who are rejected by all other aspects of society. If people feel rejected by a church community, that community should ask themselves whether they have truly imitated Jesus’ attitude towards people.

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