Christians Behaving Badly

It's been a tough week for Christians in the PR department. Or, as my husband says, "There is a run on crazy right now". A man murdered a doctor because he performs abortions, and cited God as his authority. Miss California, the spokeswoman for traditional family values, does a press tour defending racy topless photos as harmless, while gloating about Prop 8 being upheld. Pious Mel Gibson knocked up his girlfriend while still married. And Spencer Pratt gave everyone a theology lesson when he explained that he became a Christian because God gives him whatever he asks for. His fleece leading to his faith: getting dinner with Miley Cyrus within a month of asking. Good luck luck with that line of thinking.

Oh, and apparently a majority of Christians think torture is alright.

Unfortunately, when we are surrounded by tabloids, blogs, and the twenty-four hour news cycle, sensationalism wins. Unfortunately for Christians, that means that the crazies usually get all the attention. I know so many people in real life who look nothing like the narcissistic, judgemental, and/or hypocritical "Christian" being characterized in the press right now.

So I want to talk about a few. And I want you to talk about a few, too.

Kirk and Heidi are waiting to go to Ethiopia to add to their family. They are a family of six, about to be a family of nine. They had three children and then felt led to adopt from Ethiopia. They welcomed a sibling set of three to their family last year, and while they were there picking them up, met another sibling set of three. They came home and decided that they were called to parent these children, too. They are living a life of radical faith, and are an example to me of what it means to be wrecked for God.

The Livesays moved their family of seven to Haiti a few years ago. I am always amazed by the people I have met who uprooted a comfortable western existence to serving in this devastating and beautiful country. They deal with hardships that are unimaginable on a daily basis, both personally and with those they serve. Right now, Tara is training for a marathon to raise money for Medika Mamba, a program that saves the lives of malnourished children. You should help. Oh, and check out her blog. She is a killer writer and will make you laugh and bawl at the same time.

Francis Chan, a popular author and pastor, was moved by scriptures regarding caring for the poor, loving our neighbors as ourselves, and being Jesus' hands and feet in the world. He made some radical changes in his own life, including downsizing his house and putting his church on a massive budget. Their church nows gives over 50% of its income to charitable causes. Check out his message above.

Jolly Okot grew up in Uganda and has dedicated her life to healing the children who were abducted to be child soldiers. She herself was one of the first children to be abducted by the LRA in 1986. She now runs a program that provides play therapy and dance to address the psychological scars these children hold as witnesses to an atrocious war. She was an advisor to the directors of Invisible Children and one of her programs is featured in the movie War Dance.

Those are a few folks that are representing Christ to me. How about you? Who are some quiet Christians Behaving Well that inspire you and are worthy of some attention?


  1. The Zacharys, Lori and Licia, in Cazale. I couldn't do what they do without losing faith.
    And of course John/Beth & Byron/Shelley. I have pictures of my boys when they were weeks old looking like the child Tara was holding yesterday. Now they are healthy and happy.


  2. Kristen,
    My mom and I just got into a huge discussion about "Christians behaving badly." Weird.
    Thank you for the reality check.

  3. Shane Claiborne and the Simple Way community (author of Jesus for President and The Irresistable Revolution).

    Definitely the Livesays.

    A Ugandan man and his family from my church-- His income-earning job is as a nuclear engineer, but their family runs a skills development project for immigrants, AND he teaches for my sons' sunday school.

    Katie with Amazima minstries. She's an American woman in her early 20s who lives in Uganda, parents a whole bunch of little girls, and basically just LOVES people around her. ( )

    Christine Moers ( and Corey Waters ( both of whom are being amazing mamas to some kids who really needed extraordinary mamas to love them.

    My parents-- Since I was little they have deliberately and quietly lived below their means with the goal of every single year giving a greater percentage of their income away.

    Oh, and YOU! I absolutely admire your ability to talk about political and social issues with such insight and grace. I mostly end up stomping my feet and whining and wondering how Jesus can stand any of us...

  4. Anonymous4:44 PM

    Thanks for sharing our excitement today! :)

    I took my kids to all the sites you linked and showed them other families (Yours, the Ivey Family, the Livesay Family, and the Weimer family) who look a lot like what ours will be. It was really encouraging for our boys too see other HAPPY, multi-ethnic families!

  5. YEAH! Christians aren't ALL CRAZY!!! Thanks for this awesome post Kristen!!

  6. Kristen, I love your blog!
    Jolly Okot is seriously one of my heroes - what she has done with & for the kids of n. Uganda is so inspirational. I've worked with Invisible Children for the past three years & one of my hopes is that some day I will be able to meet her.

  7. paul witt12:37 PM

    david and sunshine okken are missionary's to uganda where a clinic is run, and the gospel is truly preached. many others are here at this O.P.C. clinic. thank God for orthodox presbyterian church missions

  8. Oh my word, I am sure you know about Katie Davis, but if not check her blog out at She is a 20 year old girl who has lived in Ugandaa for I think two years now. She has 14 adopted daughters and is up to feeding 750 kids per day. She has also done tons more projects and is now writing a book.

    Deanne Broscious


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