There is a lot of misinformation that is being stated and repeated here. First and foremost among it is that Cru never dropped Christ from our name. The title Christ isn't now nor ever will be a problem. It isn't something we shy away from on campus. Almost a week ago I sat in a room with internationals from a variety of backgrounds as the international ministry of Cru which I am involved in had a special event. Muslims and Buddhists, Atheists and Christians listened to a professor talk about whether God and Science could co-exist. We talked boldly about how scientifically bankrupt many of the prevailing theories are today, and how science really points to a Biblical picture of creation. We talked about how the theories that many grasp on to are really an attempt to reject what it would mean if God did create them, and that comes from our fallen sinful nature. When we talk to students, we don't talk as staff with Campus Crusade for Christ, (or Cru, another name we have been using since 1989). We talk to them as Christians with a burning desire to share the love of Christ with them, and this isn't something that we try to hide. And by the way, after that special event, the first question was asked by a Muslim girl about why schools even teach some of these theories when to hear they seem so clearly wrong. She asked a lot of good questions, and next week we will be having lunch with her, as well as many other students that we met during that time.
So why the name change? Honestly a lot of it was because of the word crusade. Even our friend Billy Graham stopped calling what he was doing crusades. Regardless of how you feel about the period of history known as The Crusades, most people look at that as a dark spot in our history. More and more now when people hear the word Crusade, they don't think visionary, they think vicious. It almost makes it seem like we will bring you to faith by the sword, and that isn't what we are about.
And how about Campus. That word wasn't as problematic, but it can be a little confusing. We have many ministries, The Jesus Film Project, Family Life, Josh McDowell. These and many others are not campus ministries.
So why didn't we call ourselves something else with Christ in it. We originally had thousands of names that our leaders were considering. You should have seen some of them, many were corny, not visionary. Why? Well we could call ourselves Youth for Christ right, or maybe World for Christ. Those aren't corny, they are visionary names... but they weren't even on the list. This is because as you will quickly find if you are ever in this situation, trying to come up with a visionary name that includes the title Christ is practically impossible without copying someone elses name.
So we went with Cru, it is a nickname that was first coined in 1989 at the University of Oklahoma, and it quickly became a common nickname for our ministry. Most of our students probably recognize the name Cru now more than CCC, so the name already has significant meaning to those on our campuses.
Here is what is most saddening about all of this however. When we announced the name change, we didn't expect this backlash. True our supporters have been overwhelmingly behind us once they learned the reasoning about why we changed our name, but a loud minority has chosen to let misinformation and possibly even political motivations rule the day. We know the process we went through to get to this point. All the prayer, and seeking the Lord. Many don't know that this is something that has been a point of discussion since the 70's, and when we decided to do it, it was a two year process of trying to make sure we were following God's will, since he is the one we answer to. So when we announced it, there was some surprise that instead of coming to their brother, people decided that they already knew all about this situation. Things like "Campus Crusade for Christ drops Christ" became common articles and blog posts, and while it can be argued that literally the title Christ is no longer in our name, that certainly is not even close to the intent behind this name change. There is a Biblical model for dealing with conflict, and the first step is going to the source. Do we really believe that this happened here?
I apologize that this message is long, but I can assure you, if many of the suspicions and sometimes even accusations were true about the motivations behind the name change, many of us on staff would have already left staff. I am excited to be on staff which allows me to boldly proclaim the name of Jesus Christ, and that will not change just because our name is Cru now. I'll leave you with a link where you can read more about the name change from CCC/Cru, and you can even see what people like Louie Giglio, Tim Keller, John Piper and others have to say about the name change. www.ccci.org/cru