To understand the picture please make sure you zoom in and read what is written in the body parts. I will explain it later.

This picture is copyrighted, please do not reproduce it without asking me first.


  1. I don’t think it needs explanation, except for maybe the part that if what you wanted to say is true, what do you suggest? I hear a lot of people saying “All denominations should stop fighting/competing against one another” but does anyone actually do anything? Why aren’t you Catholic for example? After all it was the first stream of Christianity that emerged and grew into such huge (and for a long time only) denomination.

  2. I think that this painting is provocative because it causes us to admit the failure of human religion and makes us ask the question “What is the true body of Christ?”.
    Thankfully the true body of Christ is the community of faithful people across all cultures and generations – Jesus knows his own, he hears their voice and they his …. and they humbly follow and obey Him(John 10).
    The Church, whatever denomination, is and always has been prone towards religious control over teaching and behaviour, yet Jesus calls us to test everything against the truth of his word and filter it through his command to love God and one another. Like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, so often bumbling religious leaders operate upon self-serving principles, to their bumbling Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” Matt 22:29.
    I am a priest in the anglican church and I hold to godly command to respect the authorities in my religious denomination as well as government but my allegiance must always first be to the Lord and because of this I must see the church institution as an instrument(though often blunt) to serve Jesus’ purposes on earth. As such people over denominations will often mess up (and they are the wheat and tares after all Matthew 13:24ff)… look at Ireland for many years – yet faithful Christians from Roman Catholic and Protestant met to pray for peace and God’s kingdom to come.
    The Body of Christ is fractured from a human perspective yet through the eyes of the Lord(who knows his own) His church is unified and magnificent … the wisdom of God displayed to the rulers and authorities in the spiritual world! Eph 3:10
    So we persevere in faith, hope and love.

    PS to Karolis. Good thoughts but I don’t think the Bible shows that the Roman Catholic church was the ‘first stream’ of Christianity…. but a band of brothers and sisters who followed Jesus. Sure the RC church is held up historically as the only church a few centuries later but this reflects the dictum ‘History is recorded by the victors’ …. there were always groups of vineyard style churches meeting together serving the Lord.

  3. It pains me to see this fractured Body of Christ too. It is also to easy to talk and do nothing about it, as Karolis clearly points out. Big changes come from small steps. There actually are cells of change emerging as we speak and have been for quite some time. This week the Church at large (read many denominations) prays for Christian unity in response to the prayer of Jesus: “I pray also for those who will believe in me through [the apostles’] message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (Jn 17:20-21).

    Michael pointed out the example of Catholics and Protestants in Ireland, who prayed for peace. I too would love to see another expression of a reconciled community in Klaipeda, Lithuania, where people from various denominations and from the unbelieving world find home with each other. I don’t even mind if they continue going to celebrate the Kingdom of God with their own brothers and sisters in their respective communities.

    The differences in belief in practice vary greatly, but I guess it’s that half-full/half-empty glass metaphor again. Are we there yet? Are we one? No, not yet, but we are already trying, we see some fruits already. Yes, we do. Sounds to me like the Inaugurated Eschatology, the presence of the “here and not yet” Kingdom of God. Maranatha, come Lord Jesus!

  4. I agree with your input Karolis and Simonas. There is so many examples of fighting and competing but we can choose to reject this and do something to express the true unity we have in Christ. This gives glimpses of the ‘not yet’and witnesses to the world that Jesus does make a difference …. that he is truly sent from God.

    Our local churches have held 24-7 Prayer for a week period 3 times in the past 5 years. Check out Maybe it starts with 2 people. Sorry to say their Lithuania section is 3 years since last update.
    Also the churches initiative Action Against Poverty has been embraced by our local(secular) council and many businesses. It is the unity of the churches which has been a significant witness to those who don’t follow Jesus.
    We have a long way to go – we have leaders enjoying working in unity, the people have some catching up to do.

  5. Michael, I didn’t want to put Roman Catholics under the spotlight, simply they are the first that grew so large (let’s admit that). I myself am neither Roman nor Catholic 🙂 and not even Christian for that matter.

    Not to put blame on anyone but myself, but I believe that one of the reasons I do not connect with Christians is all the hypocrisy I see going on around. I am hypocrite myself and I admit that, and also I try not to be one as best as I can, but I will never claim I am not one and then go around crucifying people for being hypocritical.

    Anyway, my regards to true believers and true followers of Christ. God bless you, and yours is the Kingdom of Heaven (oh well, you knew that anyway).


    P.S. one thing that popped into my mind. You say “Jesus calls us to test everything against the truth of his word”, and I can’t help myself but ask you: how do you know what is truth? And please don’t say it is the Bible, for you know better than anyone else how the Bible can be interpreted in a million different ways and how it is written by human (even though inspired by God) and how some “inspired” people’s writings didn’t make it to the Bible. So what is TRUTH?

  6. Hi Karolis,
    I am no philosopher, nor even inclined to academic discussion but I seek to live by the truth of God … not just facts which make sense but a life(Jesus’) which makes sense of mine in both my struggles and my aspirations. It is late evening in Sydney Australia and I am tired so my response is limited. But for what it is worth after a couple beers I will give a first response. Please feel free to challenge or ask me further questions.

    I grew up in a family that went to church but never talked about it. I remember wondering as an 8 year old whether it was possible that this amazing life and teaching could be true when all I observed in the people who claimed to be Christians was indifference and hypocrisy.
    At the age of 13, while at boarding school I asked this God “If you are true, if Jesus is God come to us, if his death and resurrection meant anything, if the Bible is your word to mankind …. then convince me.” I really meant it – an elder in the church had attacked my family, my sister(only 15years old) had got mixed up and run away from home. For 4 years I tried to keep an open mind and consider that hypocrit ‘Christians’ might not represent the true God, that Jesus might be the real measure.
    In my highschool years I read, I tested my teachers(2 were Christians), I asked God the hard questions. I was running a marathon when I was 17 and as I struggled to run the remaining 15km I reflected on where I had come in those 4 years…. my pride was broken but I realsied that God was again interrupting my self-focussed life and pushing me to make up my mind about what was true and important. I had come to accept that Jesus’ life was impressive and that he called people to a new way of life but I had been baulking at doing anything about it.

    Someone asked me if I understood that I was a sinner and I got a bit offended but they followed it up with the question “Do you believe that God has a purpose for your life?” I said that I did. Then they asked me “Well have you been living it?”.I realised then that my sin, my major hypocrisy was that I was living ignorantly before God and it affected the whole scope of my relationships.
    No other religion or world view seemed to make sense of my own flawed life, my yearnings, the world around me. In my heart of hearts I knew that this Jesus was true, that his life embodied truth, that my purpose in life was bound up with him … my lord and God.

    – my first step was to humble myself before Jesus and ask his forgiveness(that’s why he died) and for his Spirit to lead me into truth – not just facts but a way of life and being that was consistent with the character of God shown in Jesus.

    I agree that the Bible can be read/misread a million ways but for me the safeguard is the character of God as a grid to interpret. He reveals himself as the creator who has made humans for relationship with himself. His love and faithfulness/consistency are seen in both salvation and judgement. The Bible is full of difficult passages but the resounding message is one of God providing a remedy for fallen humanity, restoration, fulfilment.I often ask: “What would Jesus have me do?”. He is a great teacher and example to follow.

    My experience of following Jesus has covered 28 years now and I am still learning – still a hypocrit, but just as God has extended his grace to me I am compelled to show grace, patience, kindness, generousity, forgiveness to others who meet on this journey …. even to my enemies.
    Today I asked God to show me something I needed to learn and as I finished silently praying a friend read out Mark 11:25 to me:
    “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins”. That hit me between the eyes because I have been bitter about 2 people in my church who make life very hard at times. My attitude was poisoning my relationship with God.
    There is no room for crucifying other people. I am called to offer myself as a living sacrifice. Jesus spoke the truth in love, sometimes his words offended but even as he died he prayer for his enemies to see the light and find forgiveness.
    Sorry for rambling, I will blame the beer!

    Test everything … Yes, because there will be error and evil.
    Paul write to the Thessalonian church Thessalonians 5:20-22 “do not treat prophecies with contempt.Test everything.Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.”
    We need to test a word of prophecy against the character and purposes of God as revealed in the scripture(yes, that is my bottom line but I am not suggesting proof texts like a Jehovah Witness), we do well to gather mature/godly Christians and consider any such word(1 Corinthians 14:29),to pray for God’s Spirit to give wisdom(John 16:13)… and he does.

    It is quite revealing for me that there is very little dispute among Christians who have made that step to receive the grace of God(-forgiveness through Jesus). We can operate most times with humility and grace in the many grey areas of the Bible’s teaching. The disputes seem to be most likely when one of the people doesn’t understand or hasn’t experienced this work of the Spirit in their life. They often argue their religious point quite agressively but independantly of the Scriptures and the grace of God – they are as an outsider.

    Thanks for the question. Sorry for the long scratchy answer.
    It approaches midnight here and my wife is on another computer searching for a used car bargain. Must get us both to bed.

    I wish you God’s blessing.

  7. Michael,

    One thing I can tell for sure is I HEAR YOU. I was raised in a similar way. Well, actually in a “Christmas & Easter” kind of a “Catholic” family. For many years God to me was nothing but some dude sitting “there” on a throne, and Jesus was not even talked about too much in the particular church our family used to attend. Then I have entered Lithuania Christian College and found the completely different side of God. I have met a lot wonderful people there (including Kel & Sharon) and I have learned a lot about God, Jesus, history of church, and so on. My hunger for God was growing daily and people whom I met showed me a great example of a Christian life. However at some point I have come to the point where I had to stop rationalizing, close my eyes, and make the leap of faith – the thing which (as you might have already guessed) I have not yet succeeded in doing. Actually I feel like I have started going backwards – I constantly find myself trying to make a case against Christianity, and those people whom I saw as a great examples of Christian life do not seem so great any more. Yes, I have prayed, and I had other people praying for me, but the decision is mine to make and I just can’t. So what do I do? I go around challenging so called Christians with difficult questions. Usually I do not get a direct answer but rather just a good portion of ordinary bullshit. So far only one person told me to bugger off and make the darn decision. Well, I feel like it is not going to happen, I feel like I need Jesus to reveal himself to me, and he simply doesn’t. Meanwhile every day that passes forces me more and more into believing that there is no Jesus (well yeah, there was this historical guy, but that is all that there was to him).

    Oh, and just to clarify one thing: I DO believe that there is someone greater than us (namely God), I am just having a hard time with the fella called Jesus.

    Anyway, thanks for the great response.


  8. Hi Karolis, Thanks for your response. I respect your honesty and will talk more later. I have a few very busy days ahead.

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