Thou Shalt Not Be a Jerk: A Christian's Guide to Engaging Politics (Paperback)
According to Eugene Cho, Christians should never profess blind loyalty to a party. Any party. But they should engage with politics, because politics inform policies which impact people.
In Thou Shalt Not Be a Jerk: A Christian’s Guide to Engaging Politics, Cho encourages readers to remember that hope arrived—not in a politician, system, or great nation—but in the person of Jesus Christ.
With determination and heart, Cho urges readers to stop vilifying those they disagree with—especially the vulnerable—and asks Christians to follow Jesus and reflect His teachings. In this book that integrates the pastoral, prophetic, practical, and personal, readers will be inspired to stay engaged, have integrity, listen to the hurting, and vote their convictions.
“When we stay in the Scriptures, pray for wisdom, and advocate for the vulnerable, our love for politics, ideology, philosophy, or even theology, stop superseding our love for God and neighbor.”
About the Author
Eugene Cho is a pastor, speaker, author, and humanitarian. He is the President/CEO of Bread for the World (bread.org) - a non-partisan Christian advocacy organization based in Washington DC that seeks to end hunger in the US and abroad. He is also the founder of One Day’s Wages and the founding and former senior pastor of Quest Church, an urban, multi-cultural and multi-generational church in Seattle, WA.
“Poll after poll has shown that the involvement of Christians in divisive politics has deeply damaged the witness of the church in America. Eugene Cho has given us an important wake-up call—reminding us that our most powerful witness is not found in politics, but in the moral and spiritual power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
— Richard Stearns, president emeritus of World Vision US
“You see, the thing about Eugene Cho is that he’s committed to a holistic understanding of the gospel. But his commitment to Jesus is not merely intellectual, it’s actionable. Whether you lean ‘Right’ or ‘Left’ or “in-between’ in your political perspective, you will be challenged, encouraged, and equipped by this robust work.”
— Dr. Derwin L. Gray, founding and lead pastor of Transformation Church
“Conversations about how Christians should engage with politics have always been difficult, but are needed now more than ever. I’m grateful that Eugene has always strived to approach these questions with a humility to learn and try to first and foremost understand what God would want us to do. I’m still continuing to learn and am grateful for the guidance and insights that this book provides.”
— Jeremy Lin, professional basketball player and 2019 NBA champion
“Eugene has thoughtfully challenged us to engage with politics in the backward way of Jesus, with humility, love, and passion. Goodness, we need a new way to engage our world—and he has challenged us to it.”
— Jennie Allen, author of Get Out of Your Head
“I have been waiting for this book because the Church desperately needs this book more than ever before. So many leaders and believers regularly ask me for wisdom around how to navigate our Christian faith and politics. While this book may not have all the answers, Rev. Eugene Cho has written an incredible and timely resource by providing a biblical, theological, and practical framework to both encourage and challenge pastors, leaders, and all believers. He bravely balances the pastoral and prophetic and urges us not to abandon politics but to faithfully work to ensure that our theology as followers of Jesus informs our politics and not the other way around. Indeed, we need to hear and embody this message!”
— Dr. John M. Perkins, John & Vera Mae Perkins Foundation
“One of the great challenges in the US church today is for Christians to effectively engage in politics without being overtly partisan and to resist the temptation to completely disengage politically because it can be so toxic and wearing. This book provides an essential framework for how Christians can engage in the public square to be salt and light, to demonstrate the love and good news of Christ for all people by engaging the systems and structures in which we live. Choosing to be apolitical is not an option—it’s how we engage in politics well that will allow us to fully advance the cause of Christ to a watching and waiting world.”
— Jenny Yang, author of Welcoming the Stranger
“How do we engage politically as Christians when our political disagreements have ended friendships, divided families and church communities, and left people bruised, determined to avoid anything political? In Thou Shall Not Be a Jerk, Eugene Cho is not reductive about the prayer-filled yet significantly divergent political views Christians hold. But he doesn’t give up either. Instead, Cho calls us beyond apathy, avoidance, and echo chambers, equipping Christians to listen and engage politically with humility, integrity, conviction. This book is both challenging and inspiring. And a valuable resource as we seek to navigate a polarized climate with grace and truth.”
— Jo Saxton, speaker, author adn leadership coach
“Eugene Cho’s tome is a welcome and instructive guide to Christians of every political stripe who in this time of deep political divide are in profound need of a cartography to engage in the political sphere while reflecting their primary allegiance to Christian discipleship and the kingdom of God.”
— Rev. Dr. Gabriel Salguero, pastor of Calvario City Church