Campus Crusade for Christ has changed its name …

… to “Cru.”

It’s like British Petroleum changing its name to the meaningless “BP.”

Believe it or not, the reason for the change is that they think that the name “Crusade for Christ” is an obstacle to people hearing their message about … Christ.

Here is their announcement:

Campus Crusade for Christ Adopts New Name: Cru

60-year-old Int’l Ministry Aims to Increase Relevance and Global Effectiveness

ORLANDO, Fla., July 19, 2011—Campus Crusade for Christ in the U.S. is changing its name to Cru. The new name will be adopted in early 2012. The U.S. ministry hopes the new name will overcome existing barriers and perceptions inherent in the original name.

“From the beginning, Bill (Bright) was open to changing our name. He never felt it was set in stone. In fact, he actually considered changing the name 20 or 25 years ago,” said Vonette Bright, who co-founded Campus Crusade for Christ with her husband. “We want to remove any obstacle to people hearing about the most important person who ever lived—Jesus Christ.”

“Our leadership team and board of directors are united in their belief that this is the right time to embrace a new name, and that this name meets our objective of achieving a greater level of effectiveness in ministry,” said Steve Douglass, president of Campus Crusade for Christ. “This decision has been saturated with prayer. We only want what God wants for us. And while we are excited about this name, we are even more excited about our renewed commitment to our mission. We believe this new name will position us to connect better with the next generation.”

The new name and identity was unveiled to 5,000 staff today who were gathered at the ministry’s biennial U.S. staff conference in Ft. Collins, Colo. The news was met with enthusiasm and excitement.

“We believe wholeheartedly that God has given us this new name,” said Steve Sellers, vice president for the U.S. for Campus Crusade for Christ. “Our team understands that our name is really for the benefit of others. Ultimately, it’s not about our name, but how we live out our mission everyday.”

The name, selected from a pool of 1,600 potential names, has a track record within Campus Crusade for Christ. Since the mid-1990s, it has been used locally on the majority of their U.S. campus ministries.

Campus Crusade for Christ is a worldwide, interdenominational Christian evangelism and discipleship organization, founded by Bill and Vonette Bright in 1951. Since its founding, Campus Crusade for Christ has become one of the largest Christian organizations in the world. Campus Crusade currently is served by more than 25,000 full-time and part-time team members in 191 countries around the world and is comprised of 29 different ministries.

For more information about the name change, visit

OneSTDV, who sent the item, writes:
Liberal Christianity - desperate and ultimately pathetic attempts to be hip, often requiring rejection of traditional concepts.

Sage McLaughlin writes:

One supposes these people think that if the Apostle Paul were spreading the Good News today he’d call himself “P-Dog” and refer to Our Lord as “JC.” What a pathetic spectacle these young evangelical types can be, and particularly because of their saccharine sincerity.

By the by, my sister was once one of those and has long since ceased being recognizably Christian, along with most of her old evangelical compatriots. The first doctrine to go was God’s judgment, followed by Hell, and now even any meaningful notion of sin—basically all the stuff that contradicts the non-judgmentalism of liberalism. The desire to be loved and accepted by liberal degenerates was stronger in her than the desire to be faithful to any real Christianity. At first she used the excuse that she was really reaching people and ministering to them by “talking to them where they’re at,” but what was going on was obvious. She was the one doing all the pruning and adjusting, and it was the faith that was being pruned and adjusted and conformed to the ethos of the people she was hanging out with in bars.

The bottom line is that you can’t talk and act a certain way without affecting your habits of mind. You can’t hide your real, muscular, traditional Christian truth behind rock bands and youth culture and slang talk—eventually the daily practice of those things smothers whatever there might be in your Christianity that contradicts it. What so many fail to realize is that Christianity spreads by sanctifying the surrounding culture, not by being de-sanctified by it. There’s a lot of confusion about this, and it extends into the past, where people mistakenly believe they see European culture paganizing Christianity, rather than seeing that Christianity sanctified European culture without annihilating it. Because people can no longer see the difference, they happily go along with the de-sanctification of Christianity, so that even an organization whose purpose is to unashamedly proclaim the name of Christ has obliterated that name entirely from the masthead.

I have always thought it was inevitable, having met some of the foppish non-entities who run these local chapters of Campus Crusade for Christ—excuse me, of Cru. And anyway, don’t these people realize that they’ll just be accused of bad faith if they try to hide what they’re about up front? If people are automatically turned off by the name of Christ, acting embarrassed about it won’t help the cause of Christianity

LA replies:

You wrote:

At first she used the excuse that she was really reaching people and ministering to them by “talking to them where they’re at,” but what was going on was obvious. She was the one doing all the pruning and adjusting, and it was the faith that was being pruned and adjusted and conformed to the ethos of the people she was hanging out with in bars.

“Talking to them where they’re at.” This in a nutshell was the philosophy of Pope John Paul II, and of many other prominent Catholic and Protestant leaders over the last 60 years who believe that Christianity can only be spread by removing from it most of what makes it Christianity. Instead of seeing the greatness and ever-newness of the truth of Christianity and believing in the power of the Christian news to reach and change people, they make the supposed limitations of modern people their guide and modernize and water down the Christian message in order to reach them. There’s a term for this used by Alan Roebuck that I forget.

You wrote:

What so many fail to realize is that Christianity spreads by sanctifying the surrounding culture, not by being de-sanctified by it.

Again, JP II was prominent among those who failed to realize this.

LA to Alan Roebuck:

What’s the term for Christianity which is centered on the interests and cultural and linguistic limits of the people that one is trying to reach, rather than on the truth? You’ve called it “____-centered Christianity,” as I remember.

Alan Roebuck writes:

Seeker-centered. (Also called “seeker-sensitive” and “purpose-driven.”)

The term was coined to describe the general approach made popular by Rick Warren of Saddleback Church here in Southern California, an approach that is, unfortunately, being practiced in hundreds of thousands of Protestant Churches around the world.

I had an essay on it published at American Thinker. It’s called “Seeker-Sensitive Conservatism.” An excerpt:

The purpose-driven movement begins with the premise that the only way to attract non-Christians to church is by offering to meet their felt needs, rather than their real need for salvation through Christ. If a non-Christian “seeker” visits a church where he hears the traditional Gospel message that he is a lost sinner in need of a salvation that can only come from personal repentance and trust in the atoning death of Christ, he will be repelled by the challenging message, and will not return. To prevent this failure, so the theory goes, a church must conduct market research into what people in its area want, and then find a way to give these seekers what they want.

One result is that the deep and challenging teachings of traditional Christianity must never be presented in the Sunday morning worship service that has traditionally been the cornerstone of Christian fellowship. Not only will non-Christian seekers probably not want to hear that God regards them as sinners, but they will have no interest in what Warren (and theological liberals) dismissively call “doctrine,” that is, the actual content of the religion preached by Christ and the Apostles. The result is a Christianity that retains the rituals and some of the language of traditional Protestant Christianity, but is effectively stripped of its content.

  • In a typical Sunday morning worship service at a typical seeker-sensitive church, attendees experience the following:

  • Professionally-produced “praise music” that expresses emotions, but contains little theology, that is, little articulation of sometimes-difficult religious truths.

  • A sermon that emphasizes how faith in God can make your life better, but does not mention the troubling idea that God is angry with sinners, and demands repentance and faith in Jesus in order for His wrath to be averted.

  • A liturgy (form of worship) that embodies current standards of popular decorum and entertainment rather than pointing people to a transcendent God.

  • Children’s programs that entertain (albeit in a quasi-Christian mode) rather than push the youth to learn challenging doctrines.

What the purpose-driven movement offers, in short, is a religious product for religious consumers, people who want a certain amount of religiosity in their lives, but who don’t want to be troubled by the full measure of Christianity.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 21, 2011 11:15 AM | Send

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