On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars


Campus Crusade for Christ changes its name to “Cru”

Campus Crusade for Christ has decided to make a major change — its name.

In early 2012, reports the Internet website The Blaze, the multi-faceted para-church group will officially drop the name it has held for 60 years, replacing it with a three-letter word — “Cru.”

“While many within the group are praising the change, some outsiders wonder if the ministry, which seeks to ‘build spiritual movements everywhere so everyone knows someone who truly follows Jesus Christ,’ is making the wrong decision by removing ‘Christ’ from its title, observes The Blaze.

Founded by Bill and Vonette Bright at UCLA back in 1951, the organization — which today brings in $490 million per year in revenue — spread rapidly. By 1960, 40 U.S. college campuses had chapters, with at least two others already operating in foreign countries. By 1996, Money magazine dubbed the group the most efficient religious ministry in America. By the year 2000, Campus Crusade for Christ International, the parent organization for the college ministry, had more than 24,000 full time staff members, and more than 500,000 trained volunteers serving in 191 countries.

The 60-year-old ministry announced its new name at a staff conference in Fort Collins, Colorado, on Tuesday, saying the old name had become problematic.

“We’ve been having issues with two words in the name — campus and crusade,” said Steve Sellers, a vice president who oversees the ministry’s U.S. operations, in an interview.

When Campus Crusade was founded by the late Bill Bright and his wife Vonette, the word “crusade” typically referred to the large, stadium events held by evangelists like Billy Graham.

“In today’s culture it carries more weight in terms of its historic meaning,” Sellers said, with people thinking “more to the days of the Crusaders and dealing with the Middle East as opposed to a positive use of the word.”

Cru isn’t the only religious organization that has moved away from “crusade.” Wheaton College, Graham’s alma mater in Illinois, changed its mascot from Crusaders to The Thunder in 2000. Graham’s son Franklin leads “festivals” instead of crusades, and his grandson Will holds “celebrations.” Recently, Crusader Lutheran Church in Rockville, Maryland., changed its name to Living Faith Lutheran Church out of concern that the old name had “militaristic” and “non-Christian” overtones.

Sellers said researchers found that 9 percent of Christians, and 20 percent of non-Christians, were turned off by the name Campus Crusade for Christ.

A total of 1,600 alternatives were considered. The name Cru — already used on many U.S. college campuses — will be used throughout the United States.

Already, international ministries affiliated with the organization use other names. The Canadian affiliate is called Power to Change and European ministries use the name Agape.

“From the beginning, Bill [Bright] was open to changing our name,” said Vonette Bright in a statement supporting the change. “He never felt it was set in stone. In fact, he actually considered changing the name 20 or 25 years ago. We want to remove any obstacle to people hearing about the most important person who ever lived — Jesus Christ.”

The Religious News Service contributed to this article.



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Margie Stearns

posted July 22, 2011 at 12:12 pm


I find that changing the name from Campus Crusade for Christ to “CRU” to be very weak and lame. It will be very easy to also get away from the precepts that Bill Bright founded. I don’t think it will be nearly as affective. And to change something just because a mere 9% don’t like the original name is stupid, and shows that man is controlling this organization now rather than Christ. A very sad day. I will no longer support this organization that removes Christ from the title. Remember the scripture says those that deny me, I will deny them. I believe that being politically and religiously correct has went too far.



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jjcdc

posted July 22, 2011 at 10:04 pm


I totaly agree Margie .its a sad day in America when a successfully blessed ministry would choose to cow down to the enemy and Islam in particular.. PC is a cursed implementation of the satanic forces of the evil one with its greatest force against christianity.. but are we really surprised? Knowing what we know about the end of days this is whats to be expected..My greatesst prayer is that all true believers pray to stay firm and strong in their faith to stand against the darkness that has descended upon this once great christian nation. And just as importantly to pray for discernment and wisdom every single day..



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George

posted July 23, 2011 at 10:21 pm


Since they are ashamed and embarassed by the name Christ I will no longer support them. This is another sign that clearly shows we are living the end times, apostasy.



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T.Alexander

posted July 24, 2011 at 2:42 am


First of all I think some of you folks that just commented on the changing of the name of Campus crusade for Christ need to calm down and not be so cynical.I think if they had just kept in Campus cru.for Christ It would of been better tolerated. Just try to remember what this ministry does accomplish and all the YOUNG people that are reached for Christ! This is what you all should be focused on.Saying that they are removing the name of Christ IS NOT what this is all about.The problem is with the word Crusade, and they do have a point.If you people withdraw your financial help over such a trivial thing then your giving has been done with the wrong motives.James 3:9-12 is a great verse for you critics to read.



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Allen

posted August 7, 2011 at 6:22 pm


T.Alexander,
Then if the name `Crusade` was the problem then WHY did they `throw out the baby with the bath water` and remove `Christ` as well? This morning my pastor brought up this very sad news about the name change. He basically said that it was rejection of Christ, and I agree.
It is very simple to understand that this name change decision is a direct attack against Christ Jesus, by enemies within the church.
Sad, but this will be the end of this once great ministry, and why would any Christian want to donate to an organization that compromises and rejects Him?



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Thomas

posted November 14, 2011 at 12:52 pm


Iam vehemiatly oppose to the name change.What’s in a name?”everything” Jesus our farther in heaven help us.Whom or what demond has infiltrated Campus crusade for Christ.”That was the mission, Right!” Your staff has given in to the enemy “Satan and his demonds.”Don’t you know that this is bible profiscy? The fallowing away of the church. You have fallen prey to the lier “Satan”! I pray that you wake up and revert back to “campus crusade for Christ” that’s is the mission statement not cru!!!!??? reverse ” U rule Christ” No way jose’! Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior.Jack Van Impe is right we are living in the last days before our Lord comes to save us form this evil world. I am warning you this is a huge mistake. Do Not fall for Satan’s lies.

May the wholly sprit awaken in all of you and convict you of this fullish last day profiscy.

Thomas

seeker of truth!



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