+27 (11) 867 3505 church@bbcmail.co.za

In 1971, Don McLean wrote and sang what was to become a classic: “American Pie,” a tribute to musician Buddy Holly, who died in a plane crash. McLean was grieved that, with Holly’s death, “the music died.” Its length of 8 minutes 42 seconds is one of the longest songs to ever be consistently listed on the Billboard Top 100 Songs. The lyrics repeatedly lament, “They were singing, ‘Bye-bye Miss American Pie,’ drove my chevy to the levee but the levee was dry; them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing, ‘This’ll be the day that I die.’” McLean was wrong about the music dying, but this week it seems that, in a tragic way, America died.

“The antidote to hate is love,” said US President Joe Biden as he signed legislation codifying gay marriage in the USA. Now same-sex marriage must be recognised throughout the fifty states. The optics were just what a pragmatic politician would want with three thousand people in attendance cheering, smiling, slapping one another on the back as the US President publicly celebrated calling evil good and good evil. But not everyone is smiling. Christians who grieve this blasphemy and who will find their civil rights trounced upon are not smiling. And most importantly, God is not smiling. Abominably, Joe Biden claims to be a “Christian.” As an abortion-supporting, marriage-perverting member of the Roman Catholic Church, he should be excommunicated. But there is little chance of that.

When I saw the photo and read the report, all I could think of was “bye-bye Biden” and “bye-bye America.” Joe Biden, with the support of hundreds of congressmen, has shaken his fist in the face of holy God and there will be a price to pay. Unless those celebrating evil repent, turning from their sin, trusting the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, there will be, quite literally, hell to pay.

The Judeo-Christian America in which I grew up has eroded, washed away by waves of secular humanist ideologies combined with the destructive winds of nominal and individualistic Christianity. What is happening now in the federal government is, lamentably, not surprising. The America I knew, like McLean’s dirge about the music, has died. But there is hope.

I read this week a helpful chapter by Paul Tripp called, “Good and Angry.” He argues that followers of Jesus Christ should be good (i.e. righteous), and at the same time angry at that which is unrighteous. We should recognise that the righteous indignation of a Christian is not a “passive passion” but rather an “active anger,” seeking to correct that which is wrong, as well as helping those who have been wronged. There is no time like the present for Christians in America to be “good and angry.” Angered that God is being dishonoured, they should do good gospel proclamation, good discipling of their children, good vocational work, shining for Christ in the workplace, good praying as local churches for righteousness to spread in the land, the good of believing God that when it is darkest the gospel often shines brightest, and be good and expectant that, one day, the new heavens and the new earth will replace a world in which, too often, it seems like the music of hope dies.

We in South Africa should learn from what is taking place across the pond. We should prepare for our own tribulations and be increasingly devoted to our King. As our nation at times seems to be falling apart, let us be good and angry, trusting God to build his kingdom even when it seems that the “levee is dry.”