This article tells us that the classic Evangelical campus ministry Campus Crusade for Christ has removed the words ‘Crusade’ and ‘Christ’ from it’s name. It is now called CRU. You can read about the name change here. Funnily enough this comes just at the time that I am commenting on the ‘re-branding’ that is going on within many Evangelical churches. In the comment box on that post one person said how difficult it was for him to find out just what ‘Intervarsity’ was when he went to college. I think this is the new name for what was Intervarsity Christian Fellowship–a Campus Crusade for Christ type ministry.
It does seem a pity that these groups drop out the ‘Christian’ or ‘Christ’ from their name. Is everything else being watered down too? The commenter said that the description of a mission trip to Egypt was, “we went there to help the people and talk with them.” What? When I was growing up as an Evangelical the mission trips were all about ‘Going out to the mission field to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with those who were dying in their trespasses and sins and therefore on their way to eternity in hell.” That sort of language was clear and had some, well…bite. This current wishy washy stuff from the Evangelicals reminds me of old fashioned liberalism.
Which–of course it is. Essentially, whatever you see the radical Protestants like Episcopalians and Lutherans and Church of Christ people doing the rest of the Protestants will slowly drift into about ten or twenty years later. They will do so without the radical edge. It will simply become the default setting without anyone really noticing. So, for example, the Anglicans opened the door to artificial contraception in the 1930s. By the 1960s all Protestants had caved. The Episcopalians and other mainstream liberal Protestants ‘adjusted their teaching’ about divorce and remarriage and abortion and homosexuality and so forth. The rest of the Protestants are now spongy on remarriage and abortion and like to ‘remain silent’ about same sex issues.
So Campus Crusade for Christ have dropped ‘Crusdae’ and ‘Christ’ from their title. We should look on the bright side. If they had adopted CCC it would have been confused with ‘Catechism of the Catholic Church’ which we definitely wouldn’t want. Also, it frees up the word ‘Crusade’ so that it might be used by a more radical American fundamentalist Christian group in the future when they want to pick up their guns and begin a genuine crusade against radical Islam.
Seriously now (…and lest I get lots of comments telling me that I shouldn’t foment violence against Muslims…I was just kidding) I understand the need to ‘re-brand’ sometimes, but I don’t think you should take Christ out of your name. Christians should be clear about who they are and what their mission is. It makes things much easier for everyone.
I wear my clericals and tell people, “I’m Father Longenecker. I’m a Catholic priest.” If they don’t like it, well, that’s what the gospel does. It sorts things out.