The good news is that we see daily evidence that the work of the American Alliance of Jews and Christians (AAJC) is blessed. We are seeing results that we didn’t get back when we started. There is so much more openness, friendship, participation and gratitude for the AAJC than we used to see. After seeing the words, “The good news is…”, you are now waiting for the other shoe to drop. “What’s the bad news?” you’re asking.
Let us acknowledge that most of the beauty, affluence, freedom, and compassion of civilization is because its foundation rests solidly upon Judeo-Christian values and upon the Bible. I’m not saying that our civilization is perfect. Of course not; nothing is. But I am saying that few of us would prefer to live under any other cultural system in the world. The idea of living in a post-Biblical society is frightening.
Today, the values of civilization are being assaulted both from outside and from inside. In ways not seen before in the United States of America, citizens are responding to the seductive calls of far-left politicians, some of whom are not even embarrassed to identify as socialists. Many western academics, politicians, students, intellectuals, and secularists consider Christianity a greater threat to their views than Islam, with which they often make common cause. They certainly consider Christianity a greater threat than secular fundamentalism. Their attacks on Christianity and upon Christian churches and leaders are vicious and dishonest.
There is an article I wrote a number of years ago that has recently been recirculated widely. I’d like to share excerpts from it:
I am certainly not a Churchill. I am not even a Revel. I am finding it hard enough just trying to be a Lapin. But like Churchill and Revel, I am issuing a deadly serious warning about dark and irreversible consequences. I am warning about the early stages of what could become a cataract of disasters if not resisted now.
During the 1930s, Winston Churchill desperately tried to persuade the English people and their government to see that Hitler meant to end their way of life. The British ignored Churchill, which gave Hitler nearly 10 years to build up his military forces. It wasn’t until Hitler actually drew blood by invading Poland in September 1939, that the British realized they had a war on their hands. It turned out to be a far longer, costlier and more destructive war than it needed to be had Churchill’s early warning been heeded.
In 1983, a brave French writer, Jean-Francois Revel, wrote a book called How Democracies Perish. In this remarkable volume, he described how communism’s aim is world conquest. For decades he had been trying to warn of communism’s very real threat. A good portion of the planet fell to communism, which brought misery and death to millions because we failed to recognize in time that others meant to harm us. Yet in January 1982, a high State Department official said: “We Americans are not solving problems, we are the problem.” (Some things never change.)
Heaven knows there was enough warning during the 1980s and 1990s of the intention of part of the Islamic world to take yet another serious crack at the west. During those two decades about 1,000 Americans were murdered in some five to ten separate attacks around the world. Yet instead of seeing each deadly assault on our interests as a test of our resolve, we ignored them all. We failed the test and then lost 3,000 Americans in two unforgettable hours. The subsequent Middle East wars have cost us blood and money beyond measure.
I went on to warn of books and movies that disparaged Christianity in a way that would be completely out of bounds were Moslems or Jews depicted in the same way. I explained how societies are changed through books and entertainment. What starts out as unthinkable quickly becomes commonplace. That cultural battle to isolate and vilify Christians was successful. We are now at the next stage where traditional values dear to both Jews and Christians are under actual assault.
Democrats running for president openly talk of punishing Christian organizations that follow Biblical views on men and women. Parents who push back on the confusing messages given to their children about gender are regarded as enemies of progress whose children need society’s protection. Books in the children’s section of the library and in schools give overt anti-Godly messages. Socialism is openly proclaimed as the hope of the future by politicians in charge of running our government.
Like us, you probably know employees who keep their religious and cultural beliefs undercover, knowing they will be targeted if their views are openly known. Workers are threatened with fines and loss of their jobs if they push back on demands that they act in opposition to their consciences. College students with conservative leanings feel—and often are—unsafe on their campuses.
Clearly the future of civilized freedom rests upon our ability to defeat the forces of secular socialist tyranny and this can surely be greatly assisted by combining the resources, energies, fervor, and conviction of both Jews and Christians. There is much work to be done, much of it within the world’s Jewish communities, to help bring about a full and effective alliance.
We intend to keep on doing this and much more of this during the coming year, and with your help, our efforts will be blessed. The American Alliance of Jews and Christians continues to change the hearts that will change the culture by consistently publishing three weekly resources, Thought Tools, Susan’s Musings, and Ask the Rabbi. We put out a weekly audio podcast carried on The Blaze, iTunes, YouTube and other platforms, and we put out a daily television show, Ancient Jewish Wisdom with Rabbi Daniel & Susan Lapin produced by the TCT Television Network. In the fall, we started a new discussion group on Facebook called the Friends of Rabbi Daniel & Susan Lapin. This allows those who share our values a place to “meet up” and strengthen one another’s resolve. It is a forum for discussion and fellowship.
The AAJC has sponsored my appearances before more than a thousand pastors and Christian leaders during 2019 as I strengthened their hearts and encouraged their passions. My regular synagogue speeches carry the same goal and we increasingly meet Jews who are familiar with and supportive of our work.
Our organization’s reach continues to grow. In an increasingly connected globe, bad ideas spread quickly; but good ideas and true beliefs can be spread just as effectively. Within the past few months our book Business Secrets from the Bible has been translated into Hungarian and we are under contract for translations into Croatian and Korean. Buried Treasure: Secrets for Living from the Lord’s Language is in the process of being translated into Chinese. This past year I visited Ghana to teach as a guest of the government. We continue to receive positive feedback about our mission from folks in the United Kingdom, Australia, the Republic of China, many European countries, Israel and parts of Africa. It is imperative for us to make common cause with friends all over the world. We are planning more events and appearances, more outreach, more persuasion, more friendships, more alliances, and more effectiveness in focus on our commonality—the Bible.
Working together, you and I are making a difference in protecting that vital set of foundational values, and I appreciate your partnering with the American Alliance of Jews and Christians to do so.
This work and more, will continue in 2020 as we see enthusiasm for our efforts grow. With your help this can be done. I am not going to suggest how much you should or can give. This is an intensely personal decision; however, I will tell you that for our programmed activities in 2020, we have planned a program requiring a budget of $700,000.
I greatly appreciate the support you have offered in the past and I humbly enlist your support for what lies ahead. Any amount that your heart and prayers lead you to devote to this work will be a sacred element of our efforts and I thank you. If right now is not the best time for you to partner with me in the American Alliance of Jews and Christians, your prayers and good wishes are enormously welcome.
Whatever support you can give to our work will be very much appreciated. American Alliance of Jews and Christians (AAJC) is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization (EIN 26-07642520). We have several different ways that you can make your tax-deductible donation:
May God bless you and protect you and may we all be privileged to do our part in protecting the legacy He entrusted to humanity on Mount Sinai over three thousand years ago.
Thank you for helping make my life work possible.
Rabbi Daniel Lapin