Thoughts on Current Issues

I will be turning 28 on the 17th of June. This post contains a few thoughts about current issues from my perspective.

Life is short. I am growing older day by day. I hope I am growing in wisdom. I recently had a conversation with a friend and we talked about how it seems on social media that everyone posts with such confidence in what they believe or think is right about every situation that may arise.

I told this friend that I am only confident in 3 things:

1. Jesus Christ is risen from the grave and He is my Redeemer.

2. Lauren is my wife.

3. Maesyn is my daughter.

From my perspective or my ignorance, social media has the potential to continue to be a dangerous place. We can have the tendency to post with confidence and arrogance. Is anyone’s view ever changed by a facebook post? I am not saying that discussions on social media outlets cannot be useful, but I do think it is rare.

What are the right hills to die on? What are the right places to say this is it/this is the last stand?

The hills I will not die on:

  • A monument
  • A school’s name
  • A mascot

Some hills that I will die on or that I think are valuable to fight for:

  • Everyone is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27)
  • Because every person is made in the image of God, every single person has dignity, value, and worth.
  • Every single person has rebelled against God. Every single person is a sinner in need of sweet sovereign grace through Christ. The fall/sin has ruined our society in such a way that at times we may be unaware.
  • Jesus changes hearts (Eph. 2:1-10).
  • Christians are not saved by works/efforts, but we will do good works.

In the United States, we are faced with the ever present realities of sin. Our society is divided, our communities are divided, and our world is divided because of sin.

We know the problem. Some of us need to continue to listen and be empathetic to the effects of sin in our society. Sin has affected all aspects of life.

But for the Christian, we know the cure. We have the solution. The Gospel is not an add on. The Gospel is the solution by which we find peace. If one is not reconciled to God, it is impossible to be reconciled to neighbor. Yet, the Christian can still love and show compassion towards their neighbor as far as it depends on them.

I am not confident in every way I apply the Gospel to life, but I am confident in the Gospel. I am confident in what Christ does.

Will legislation change hearts? No. Christ does.

But does that mean we should not try to speak in to society? No. The Church speaks into the society by showing what has happened in the lives of their members.

In the local Church, the dividing wall of hostility has been brought down. Those who have been reconciled to God are now reconciled to fellow believers. In the Church, believers come from all different backgrounds, all different ways of life, all different makeups. But we have been changed by the power of Christ in the gospel. There is unity because we are found in Jesus.

But as we live in this world, we preach Christ who is sufficient to save souls. If one is hungry, feed them and tell them about the Bread of Life. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink and point them to the Well that never runs dry. Should the Christian fight for justice of all on this side of heaven? Yes. And Preach Christ who changes hearts. Is it good if we just give one food without sharing the good news? If we do not share the Gospel, do we labor well or labor in vain?

So the Christian can call for police reform without hating police, the Christian can say Black Lives Matter while clearly affirming everyone is made in the image of God, we do these things while calling every single person to repentance to trust in Christ by faith. The beauty of the Gospel is that at the King’s feast, those who have trusted in the King, they have a seat at his table.

The gospel has the power to reconcile sinners of all types.

Yes, the Gospel has the power to reconcile a former member of a radical white group and a former member of a radical black group.

Is this the call for our churches?

We only get one life and it will soon pass. Only what is done for Christ will last.


Evan Knies is from West Monroe, LA. He is married to Lauren and father to Maesyn. He is a graduate of Boyce College and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. You can follow him on Twitter @Evan_Knies

No Moody Deity: Why the Wrath of God is Unlike the Wrath of Man

By Mathew Gilbert

If you’ve ever seen the movie The Lion King, then you’ll surely remember the scene where Mufasa, king of the lion tribe, gazes out at his entire kingdom with his young son, Simba. Mufasa is trying to help Simba see that one day he will be gone and the kingdom will belong to him. The royal lions are gazing out into their dominion of the African safari, which is marked by a glorious and booming sun shining down. Mufasa’s words are, “Look, Simba. Everything the light touches is our kingdom.” Then, little Simba notices another part of the kingdom that is untouched by the sun. He curiously asks his father, “But what about the shadowy place?” Mufasa responds, “That’s beyond our borders. You must never go there, Simba.”

Romans 1 is much like this scene from The Lion King. The first 17 verses shine with the glorious light of the gospel. However, picking up in verse 18 until the end of the chapter, Paul goes to a very dark place. The first half of Romans 1 is the domain of light we not only want to walk in, but all we want to talk about. The second half of Romans 1 is the domain of darkness we would rather ignore. Indeed, we stay away from this shadowy place in thought and action. But as New Testament scholar Douglas Moo has said, “Only when we have really come to grips with the extent of the human dilemma will we be able to respond as we should to the answer to that dilemma found in the good news about Jesus.”

Romans 1:18-32 really is a shadowy place filled with the wrath of God, the power and curse of sin, idolatry, depravity, and judgment. Paul seems to move from the light of the gospel to the darkness of sin and judgment to answer one question: “Why do we need the gospel, which is the power of God for salvation?”

There are few topics or truths in the Bible that ruffle feathers quite like the wrath of God. Even saying, the wrath of God, sounds scary. It’s not something we like to talk about much. In fact, I’ve heard non-Christians say they could easily believe in a God of love, but they could never believe in a God of wrath. In other words, they can believe in a John 3:16 God, but not a Romans 1:18 God.

The problem with this concern is that the John 3:16 God is also the Romans 1:18 God. There aren’t multiple gods revealed in Scripture. There is only one true and living God revealed in Scripture, and he is both loving and holy. Actually, because he is loving and holy, he pours out his wrath against unrighteousness and the unrighteous. But an important question for us to ask is, “What is the wrath of God?”

Wrath is just an intense word that basically means anger. God is angry at unrighteousness and ungodliness. But it is important to remember that God’s anger is not like our anger. It is possible for us to be angry in a righteous or holy way. For example, it is good to be angry at murder, injustice, and evil of all kinds. But most of the time we are angry in sinful ways. Our motivations and actions fueled by anger are usually sinful.

God is never angry in an unrighteous or sinful way. His anger is pure, holy, and right. It is also wrong to think about God’s wrath as the attitude and action of a moody deity. God doesn’t have mood swings or a temper. Instead, in the words of John Stott, “God’s wrath is his holy hostility to evil, his refusal to condone it or come to terms with it, his just judgment upon it.”

God’s righteousness is the origin of his wrath. If he did not hate and destroy that which is unrighteous, he would rob himself of glory and his people of joy. It is amazing news that God opposes unrighteousness and sin because he also absorbs the very wrath the unrighteous deserve. God’s wrath and God’s love are not enemies. The enemy of God’s wrath is neutrality. If God just ignored our sin, he could not save us from our sin. Instead, God’s wrath is against sin and sinners. And in God’s love he sent Jesus to fully bear his wrath in our place. In the finished work of Christ, God saves us from himself, to himself, and for himself.


Mathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is Associate Pastor for Children and Preschool at The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo, MS. He is the author of Come to the Well: 50 Meditations to Fuel Your Joy in God (Westbow Press, 2016). He is an M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew is married to his high school sweetheart, Erica. Mathew and Erica live in Tupelo with their son, Jude. You can follow him on Twitter @mat_gilbert.