Eugene Cho

The 10 Commandments of Engaging Politics

The Presidential election is only weeks away…and it’s getting ugly out there. I mean…really ugly.

And before you think I’m just talking about the political process, the political parties, or the respective candidates, I was actually talking about you, me, us, and them…the people. And by people, I’m also especially talking about Christians.

Sometimes, I feel it would be appropriate to label how some Christians engage the Presidential election season as “Christians Gone Wild.

Since it’s time for another presidential debate and there’s sure to be drama this week and next, and the following week, and each day leading up to Election Day on November 6 and likely some weeks afterwards, I thought I’d share with you my 10 Commandments of the Election Season for Christians in hopes that it might speak some balance, sense, and perspective to any readers – not just during this election season but thereafter; Not just in this country but in any country.

Why else am I sharing this?

Because I really want you to still respect yourself the morning after the election season.
Because I really want your friends to still respect you, too.

Know what I mean?

So, here are my 10 commandments of the Election Season

…….. Read the rest of this entry »

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A conversation about prayer with President Barack Obama.

Unless it’s Justin Bieber I don’t get star-struck, but I have to admit, it was pretty cool to meet President Barack Obama earlier this month. During his visit to Seattle on the weekend of February 16, I had the opportunity and privilege to attend one of the events he was speaking at. Specifically, it was an event at Boeing Everett to celebrate the work of American workers, Boeing, and the culmination of the work of the Dreamliner 787.

Light to the World.

As you know. I don’t run in these circles.  Sitting in a special section with dignitaries and politicians including mayors, various council members, business bigwigs and the Washington governor was awkward to say the least.  How I got invited to this event is a little unclear but over the past couple years, I’ve been building relationships with the White House via their Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. It’s also from a commitment I’ve had – as a Christian, a pastor, and a leader – to be a light to the World and not just merely light to the Light. Translation: As we serve and love the church, we must also look outward and engage the larger culture. Folks notice and when opportunities arise, they sometimes ask for input and involvement or just merely your presence and that’s what happened.

Because of this theology and ecclesiology Read the rest of this entry »

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the abortion conversation – the sequel

I really need to do a better job in following up on sequels to earlier posts.  This is the sequel to the original The Abortion Conversation which sparked some good and intense dialogue.

A commenter wrote:

Eugene said:
“However, I just do not believe we can legislate it.  Without going into all the details, the layers over abortion is so complex that even after extensive research, I can’t understand how a country like the United States can enforce abortion and pay for the enforcement – if it were to be turned illegal.”

Instead of “abortion”, replace it with any other crime; like murder, rape, slavery, theft.  How does it read then?  Is cost any reason not to criminalize an act where another person is harmed?  Obviously, we still have murders and other crimes even though it’s illegal, but that doesn’t mean we should allow it. Read the rest of this entry »

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how i’m voting

My ballot still sits on my desk but I’ll be completing it soon and walking it in on Tuesday to my local polling place.  As I shared last week and again, yesterday during my sermon at Quest, I will not be divulging who I am voting for various reasons. 

Side question: Do you think “active” pastors [currently serving congregations] should publicly share who they are voting for?

Politics can get heated and messy.  You don’t just have to watch the various media and news outlets to know this.  You can also sense the tension within the Christian community which I think is perfectly normal and okay as long as we 1] engage in the rules of civility and 2] get off our righteous soapboxes and consider what it means for us to live out our faith and convictions beyond the election season.  Read the rest of this entry »

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the abortion conversation

Every presidential election, abortion becomes a tense issue and I suspect that will never change.  Let me first say I respect those whose commitment to the unborn extends beyond the election rhetoric.  I have a friend whose life long calling and job is to fight for the unborn.  Unlike her, I confess that while I am Pro-Life and against abortion, I am more talk than walk, more preach than do, more blog than [can’t find a good word here].  But I still struggle with it.  While I was genuine in my quote in Sojourners that

“I don’t want to be defined by one or two issues”

I still care much about those one or two issues.  While I can’t honestly  come to agree that abortion is the greatest moral issue of our day as some are proned to say, I know that God cares immensely for the unborn and thus, we must care as well.  God also cares for the born and thus my “womb to tomb” ethic of pro-life.

Couple people [I know of] left our church because they disagreed with my view on abortion and I suspect that it may be possible that couple more may leave after they read this.  Like most Christians I know, I am against abortion.  However, I just do not believe we can legislate it.  Without going into all the details, the layers over abortion is so complex that even after extensive research, I can’t understand how a country like the United States can enforce abortion and pay for the enforcement – if it were to be turned illegal. Furthermore, I think we are fooling ourselves if we think abortion rates will be reduced significantly if Roe v. Wade was overturned.  I can certainly be wrong. Rather than legislating it, I wonder how abortions can be reduced by speaking and appealing to the Heart and Soul of a person and to make all necessary provisions if a person decides to have that baby In short, can we maintain choice but do all that we can to preserve and ensure the life of an unborn?  This is where most of us fall short. Read the rest of this entry »

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the next president of the united states?

Alright folks.  I’d love to hear from you.  On this blog, I would love to host an engaging, passionate, but respectful conversation on who YOU are voting for as the next President of the United States.  Since the elections are exactly a week away, I thought this would be great timing.  Some of your answers will likely be helpful for me as I prepare my sermon for this upcoming Sunday on the topic of ‘Faith & Politics.’ 

If you don’t mind sharing, share WHO you are voting for and WHY and for some of you, reasons why you are NOT voting[If you don’t mind, tell us where you’re from.] And let’s try to refrain ourselves from the ‘Obama is a terrorist,’ ‘Palin is moosehunter,’ ‘Biden is a plagiarist,’ and ‘McCain is so old that he farts out dust’ comments. Read the rest of this entry »

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do you prefer a christian president or not?

Here’s a simple question that I have been asked numerous times in light of the upcoming Presidential election:

Do you prefer a Christian president?

Obviously, we need to reframe that question since I can’t recall a recent candidate for the Presidency without some sort of Protestant or Catholic “faith” background [Romney incl]. Nowadays, when someone says that they’re a Christian, I’m inclined to ask in a tasteful manner, “What kind of Christian?”

Meaning…what does it mean [to you] to be a Christian?  How does one live out their faith in Christ?  Obama and McCain are both Christians but yet, they see some things very differently and we can assume on some level that their faith helps inform their decisions.  Doesn’t it? Read the rest of this entry »

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stuff, connect, info

one day’s wages | video

41 years ago today, our family immigrated to the United States from Seoul, South Korea. I was six years old; the youngest of three sons. My father, when he was also six, fled from what is now known as North Korea. Just recently, he shared with me that he and some of his family had been in a refugee camp when war and violence broke out on the Korean peninsula. It's emotional thinking about what my brothers and I went through coming to a completely foreign country. It wasn't easy. And then, I think about what my parents had to go through:

They fled their homes near Pyongyang which also meant leaving some of their extended families.

They experienced unfathomable hunger and poverty.

They experienced the pain of war.

They immigrated again to the United States as adults with minimal resources and a handful of English words.

All in hopes that their children would have the opportunities that were never afforded to them.

I'm thinking of my brothers today. I'm thinking of my parents and honoring them for their sacrifice and tenacity. And finally, I'm thinking of refugees and immigrants all around the world that are yearning for family, peace, hope, and opportunities. Don't reduce Martin Luther King Jr. to a yearly quote on social media. Live out the dream. Seek first the Kingdom of God. Confront evil. Be a truth-teller. Seek justice. Love mercy. Pursue reconciliation. Build bridges. Love your neighbors. Forgive your enemies. Pray unceasingly. Live a committed life of peace, love, and justice.

The God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today.

Be brave. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." ~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here's the full context of his famous quote: "The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that." An important word for the Church... Oh, how God loves the nations. The Scriptures make this so clear. No one - let alone, the leader of a country - should ever disparage other nations with such a disgusting comment.

To the beautiful people of Haiti, El Salvador, and of the many countries of Africa: We are so sorry. Please accept our apologies on behalf of President Trump.

I've had the privilege of being in Haiti twice and numerous countries in Africa including Kenya where I took this picture during an afternoon drive near Kijabe. In many of these visits, I witnessed such creativity, courage, leadership, hospitality and kindness. To follow Jesus without obedience, repentance, self-denial, and dying to self is an oxymoron. In other words, are we more in love with the idea of following Jesus than actually following Jesus?

Grateful for an incredible Sunday at @seattlequest of beginning our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting. I hate this: “We love the truth when it enlightens us, but hate it when it convicts us” ~ St. Augustine Woah. Deeply encouraged and convicted by @jlin7's vulnerable post today on IG. We all have setbacks and some of them are ones that we can never imagine or predict. How we respond to these setbacks says much about our character. Thanks Jeremy for being honest and vulnerable about your pain and emotional devastation after your season ending injury...and yet, in the midst of this, to witness your hope, faith, perseverance, and hard work: "Adversity forces us to reevaluate, adapt, improve. It forces us to ask the tough questions, to go the extra mile and push our limits...and let's not forget God always has a sovereign, perfect plan." - @jlin7

I see you, bro. Cheering you on and praying for you. And also, here's a pic we took last year after a game. Don't misinterpret my awkward smile...I'm grateful for our friendship. Lol.

Most importantly, grateful for our partnership got  the whole Gospel. Can't wait to share with others about your 2018 campaign with @onedayswages. #neverdone #jlin7 #linsanity

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