You know what's coming don't you? Can you hear that sound? Listen.
It's the sound of dozens of isolationist, fundamentalist bloggers and website commenters pounding out angry screeds on their computer keyboards about "Campus Crusade bowing to Islamist pressure," "kowtowing to liberal agendas" and "being ashamed of Christ."
Sure. That or they were dropping both "Campus" and "Crusade" from their name for legitimate reasons and didn't exactly want to be blasphemous by calling themselves simply "Christ."
So, why exactly did Campus Crusade for Christ decide to officially become Cru? And why can't angry fundamentalist find something else to do like, oh, I don't know, tell a lost person about Jesus?
|Wait. Is that a cross I see in the logo? But, but, but, I thought they were denying Jesus now?!?|
1. They have outgrown the "Campus" label. CCC has long since expanded past the borders of the college campus. They have athletic ministries, a family radio program, an apologetic ministry and a church planting focus.
When the missions team I was on worked with Campus Crusade in Bolivia this year, we were involved in two different, but connected ministries. We went to the university and spent time developing relationships and sharing the Gospel with college students there. We also helped numerous church plants with whom Campus Crusade has partnered.
2. The term "Crusade" does not convey the message they want to portray. In American culture the word no longer is associated with evangelistic meetings as it was 60 years ago. Not to mention the fact that, the term serves as a hinderance to preaching the Gospel to many Muslim background individuals.
When an Islamic individual hears the word "crusade" it immediately brings to mind, rightly or wrongly, Christian military actions against Muslims. The person is automatically predisposed to be hostile toward anyone connected with an organization with "crusade" in the name.
My main concern: I wonder how well the new name will communicate the message of who the organization is - Cru is empty and vague, whereas Campus Crusade for Christ was descriptive of the original design of the ministry. You knew what they were about by their name.
I was discussing this with someone on Twitter yesterday. We both said the same thing. We understood why the name change was needed, but Cru seems to lack identity. It lacks definition for an organization that has been defined by its name for 60 years.
However, Cru has been used as a nickname for the organization on college campuses since the 1990's. In their FAQ about the name change, CCC also point to other organizations that have abstract names, like Google and Starbucks, that have become household, universally recognized brands.
I spoke with a Campus Crusade leader who said the change will take some getting used to, but that it will be worth it in the long run. He said, "Cru will gradually assume the meaning in the marketplace that God lets us give it."
He also shared some of their research which found that 20% of people surveyed wouldn't even enter into a spiritual conversation with someone if they knew they were from Campus Crusade for Christ. This is an attempt to communicate Christ faithfully, but contextually around the globe.
It is not a matter of succumbing to political correctness, as some would charge, but rather a recognition that Christ and Christ crucified should be the only stumbling block, not an organization's name.
Undue criticisms: But none of this slows down the drive-by criticizers. The same ones who spend hours complaining about the 10 Commandments not being placed on court rooms (while not knowing all 10). The same ones who deride X-mas as "taking Christ out of Christmas" (while ignoring the historical meaning behind the term). The same ones ... OK, you get my point.
You may disagree with the name change. Go for it. Voice your opinion in a respectful, biblical manner. We can agree to disagree about this in a loving, Christ-like manner. My only request is that you do so after being informed about what it is you are critiquing. However, it is most often the most uninformed who are the loudest critics.
Are the uniformed critics demanding that every Christian organization have Christ or Jesus in the name? If they do, I hope you don't belong to any of the following groups or denominations: Southern Baptist, Independent Baptist, United Methodist, Presbyterian Church USA, the Catholic Church, Pentecostal, Lutheran, a non-denominational church without Jesus in the name, etc., etc., etc. Besides, can anyone tell me where I can find "Christ" in the word "Church"?
Campus Crusade for Christ is still reaching around the world and telling people the good news of the Gospel. Even with the name Cru, they will still reach people with Jesus. Name change or no name change, they will continue to be active in accomplishing Kingdom work.
The better question is how many of the angry bloggers will step away from their computers long enough to tell someone about Christ? Or maybe leaving hypocritical comments on websites about fellow Christians and their motives is the only way to show the world that you "really aren't ashamed of Jesus."