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Mixing Christianity and politics? Step 1: Thou Shalt Not Be a Jerk

Steve Yount, a senior fellow with the Denison Forum, is a former newspaper editor and public-relations executive working with Christian ministries.


Thou Shalt Not be a Jerk

Public discourse today can be toxic, even when Christians are involved. 

If you want to learn how to model Christlike behavior when discussing controversial issues, Eugene Cho’s book, Thou Shalt Not Be a Jerk: A Christian’s Guide to Engaging Politics, is a good place to start. 

As a young Christ-follower, he was told that good Christians should vote Republican. Then, as a pastor in progressive Seattle, he heard that if you were a real, justice-minded Christian, you must vote Democratic. 

In truth, Cho writes, Christians should find their identity in the gospel rather than their politics. Political positions are important, but so is how we engage people with different views. 

“We are called to love one another, including those who don’t look like us, feel like us, think like us . . . or vote like us,” Cho writes. 

He sets forth the basic principles of the book in ten chapters with commandment-style titles such as “Thou Shalt Love God and Love People.” 

Collectively, they form a biblical set of principles for honoring God while venturing into our rough-and-tumble public square.

Read “Prayer with the president,” an excerpt from Thou Shalt Not Be a Jerk.