Campus Crusade for Christ to remove offensive word from organization’s name

Considering the fact that Campus Crusade for Christ was the organization that gave us the “4 Spiritual Laws” that began with “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life” I shouldn’t really be too surprised about what I read of them today.

I’m not surprised, but I am saddened.

Apparently, catching the wave that has been stirred by “hip/cool/relevant” churches nationwide, they have decided to drop one of the more offensive words from the name of their organization. You may be thinking, “Well, of course! The word ‘Crusade’ conjures up many bad images in people’s minds.”

And you would be wrong.

It is not the word ‘Crusade’ that is being removed–that word is simply being shortened. The offensive word that is being completely removed is…

…the name of Christ. That’s right. From now on, Campus Crusade for Christ will now simply be known as…


Because nothing proclaims the kingdom of God like the mighty name of…Cru. (Is it just me, or does that sound like the name of a villain in some 1980’s Sci-Fi adventure movie?)

John 20:31–These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

33 thoughts on “Campus Crusade for Christ to remove offensive word from organization’s name

  1. They’ve been so far off the Gospel for years that this doesn’t surprise me at all. I would be have been surprised if they repented of their Semi-Pelagian gospel.


  2. Yeah, exactly…consider the source I guess. This is the sad state of the American church culture.


  3. I’ll be honest The 4 spiritual laws should have been the first thing to go…the name change is useless if the evangelism stays like that.


  4. Shameful. As a former student leader, I can’t say I didn’t see this coming…as the years went by I’ve notice how they are heading from bad to worst in terms of philosophy of ministry and doctrine.


  5. Here is an excerpt from an article on their website in regards to the name change:

    “It is true that we care more about effectively proclaiming the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ than we do about having the word “Christ” in our name. The only name that matters is Jesus and what matters most is connecting people to the name that gives life.”

    Thoughts on this? Which name is more important—“Jesus,” or “Christ”? Of course, “Christ” is really a title, not a name, but it IS absolutely essential in describing Who Jesus is. So do they have a valid point, or not?

    And just to play devil’s advocate, is it really fair to criticize this particular organization for not having the name “Christ” in it, when there are hundreds of other fantastic, Christ-exalting organizations and ministries out there that don’t have the word “Christ” in their names? Should we criticize Voice of the Martyrs? Or Samaritan’s Purse? Or Desiring God? Or Grace to You? Again, just playing devil’s advocate here. I understand the concern, and totally agree that the reasoning behind this particular name change is a bit suspect, but we also need to be careful that we judge rightly, and not have a double standard.


  6. @ Marie…..If you “NEVER” had the name Christ in your organization’s name, that’s one thing. But it was put in there and it should remain. But moreover, it’s their reasoning for doing this.
    I’m sorry Marie…..but this is wrong. They can study and research all they want. They are rationalizing away the real issue. Would Islam do this to Muhammad? They would DIE first before hiding the name of the one they say they revere. But we are taking this lying down. This seems to that “Emerging Church” effect creeping into this organization. Jesus is “suppose” to be a stumbiling block. He said so Himself. We can’t spin this. If they are hiding Jesus’ name, so that people will talk to us or like us, then that’s a form of “deception”. It’s hiding who they are, just to get in. Paul talked about finding common ground with unbelievers in 1 Corinthians 9. But he’d NEVER hide the name of who he represented. Why are we always bending to this wicked world when we have the real thing?? I think Jesus is speaking very plainly to your organization “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels” Luke 9:26. I think we are missing the fact that Jesus is GOD….almighty GOD. And we are dropping our Creator’s name from our organization’s title because HIS NAME is getting in the way of HIS mission? Maybe it’s because HIS mission has become THEIR mission. Let that soak in for minute, Marie. The power of salvation itself, is in that name. If someone does not come to Jesus because of HIS NAME, that is what it’s purposed to do. If they do come to Jesus because of that NAME, it’s done what it’s purposed to do. It does not return void. We have become to “pragmatic” in measuring what is good and what is not, in GOD”s economy. If you win only one person, that is good. We are shooting for the large numbers when Jesus is shooting for “whosoever will”. Campus Crusade is missing the boat on this one. It only takes a little leaven….and this is the leaven. What’s next?


  7. Just my quick comment on Marie’s question above: “Thoughts on this? Which name is more important—”Jesus,” or “Christ”? Of course, “Christ” is really a title, not a name, but it IS absolutely essential in describing Who Jesus is. So do they have a valid point, or not? ”

    Many saints in the years past have died for the name of Christ. Campus Crusade is in a continual downward slide of liberalism and appeasing the sensitivities of the world. This is not the right direction. The Gospel is offensive to lost souls and the name of Jesus Christ, Messiah and Savior, is offensive to lost souls. But, this is what we are called to do. We don’t evangelize by making it palatable….we evangelize by proclaiming the Gospel in all its glory regardless of who is offended.

    So my problem isn’t them changing the name…but my problem is their attempt to distance themselves from Jesus Christ. They have made a clear statement that they care about what the worldly man thinks. It’s sad…but oh so common.


  8. My name is H. I am with Campus Crusade for Christ….intro into seeing if they would like to have a spiritual conversation. If 5 people were interested in talking about Spiritual things, 1 in 5 of those would not have a conversation with someone with the name Campus Crusade for Christ. That is the reason for the name change. They desire to reach 20% more people.
    The doctrine and gospel message with the organization hasn’t changed. In fact, they are willing to take a risk so that they can tell MORE people about Jesus. I would encourage you all to go share the gospel as well!


  9. H,
    The Bible tells us man is naturally at war with God and does not want the Truth. The only remedy for this condition – given to us in Scripture – is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If God has chosen to save a person, he will be given ears to hear and he will bear fruit once the seed of the Gospel is sown. By being ashamed of Christ, in order to “reach 20% more people”, shows the priority of cru – to be well thought of by sinful men, rather than being approved of by God.


  10. Cru….!! Are you serious? What a joke. If CC for Christ is ashamed of using Christ, Jesus is ashamed of them.
    Just like the liberal church…trying to appease everyone and it turns out that they have nothing since they
    want to water down the name and title of Jesus who is God in the flesh.
    What a shame. What a mockery of the Word of God. Imagine disciples witnessing throughout the holy
    land and when asked who they are or who they represent, Peter says with a mumbled voice and lowered
    head, “Sus” (instead of Jesus) or, he says….. JC.
    Get serious people. Why the shame in the name? Why are you worried about offending sinners when you present the claims of Christ? This red herring of trying to get more folks into your witness net by not
    offending them by using, “Cru” is an insult to the Word of God and the people who have died over the years for this gospel. Shame on CC for CHRIST! You are neither hot nor cold but lukewarm.


  11. 1. They dropped campus because Campus Crusade for Christ, is in over 190 countries, ministering to Children, Adults, Athletes, Military Serviceman, an students. Certainly not only a campus ministry.

    2. They dropped Crusade because of the negative connotations.

    3.They dropped Christ, because for one thing being in so many countries, many of which outlaw Christianity, you can’t enter the country with the name of Christ in your organization name.
    CRU is taking Christ out of it’s legal name, CRU is not taking Christ out of what CRU does.

    CRU, is a name that has no inherent meaning.
    Apple, Starbucks, Target those are names of groups that have no inherent meaning, yet they have managed to create a culture, an influence within themselves.

    CRU hopes to have a similar influence, we hope to create a international culture where Jesus is proclaimed, free from direct initial references and allusions to other historical events, shameful or treasured. Where Jesus is proclaimed for who He is absent of the pre-influence semantics of man’s titles.

    I am involved with CRU and yes the four spiritual laws have to go…but CRU does minister to many many people and has influenced many for the sake of the Gospel.
    Let’s pray for our organizations, it’s much more effective than complaining about the state of poor American Christianity and those hyper spiritual folks battling the liberal don’t give a care folk.

    With that said, we pray with fear and faith that God would continue to work through CRU and other organizations, churches worldwide and in the hearts of men.


  12. John Piper’s article read below:

    Since Campus Crusade for Christ announced (and explained) that it will change its name to Cru, some donors have withdrawn support from Crusade staff. I am writing to say: That’s not a good reason to withdraw your support.

    Here are some factors to consider:

    1.Glenn Beck ridiculed the change as he wadded up the report and threw it away. His entire focus was to attack the wimpy people who avoid using the name Christ for fear of giving offense. The problem with Beck is that he cared nothing about dealing with the real problems created by the name “Campus Crusade for Christ.”

    The problem was not “Christ”. The problem was the limiting word “campus” (when CCC ministers to millions that have nothing to do with any “campus”) and “crusade” (which for millions of people has one main connotation: Medieval crusades against Muslims). Beck’s approach is not responsible journalism but careless hype for the religious right.

    2.Bill Bright was moving toward a name change much earlier, and Vonette Bright approves of the change that is being made.
    3.The fact that one of the earliest names for the Christian Movement in the New Testament was the fairly innocuous “The Way” (Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 24:14, 22) did not imply that these radical followers of Jesus were ashamed of the Name (Acts 5:41).
    4.The fact that “in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians” (Acts 11:26), does not signify that the disciples were ashamed of “Christ” in the years before the Antioch mission.
    5.The fact that the church I serve is called Bethlehem Baptist Church does not mean that I value being a Baptist more than being a Christian. Nor should the Christ-exalting faithfulness of any church be judged by the absence of “Jesus” or “Christ” or “Christian” in the name.
    6.There is no parachurch movement or denomination where all the leaders are equally theologically astute or articulate or solid. Therefore, our alignment with, and support for, missionaries and churches should be discriminating. No one should be assumed as doctrinally sound because of being a part of any organization. Neither should we assume they are unsound. The individual is key to what the individual believes. In our support of missionaries at Bethlehem we are far more concerned with their personal beliefs and commitments and practices than we are with the organization they are connected to.
    7.In my judgment Campus Crusade seems to be more doctrinally awake and sound today than in decades gone by. But in the end that is not decisive when it comes to whether I would support any particular Crusade staff. What the staff believes is decisive in the end.
    8.Therefore, I encourage you: Don’t drop your support from Crusade staff simply because the organization made a decision you disagree with. That would be like saying to a fellow-soldier on the frontlines: I’m not giving you any fire-cover because I don’t like the new name the Colonel gave to your unit. Is the soldier faithful and fruitful? That is the decisive issue.


  13. Campus Crusade is NOT sliding into liberalism. The opposite in fact. Since Bill Bright handed the reins over, the ministry has changed it’s direction to conservative. Just ask John Piper. I’m on staff, and I don’t use the4 spiritual laws, although I know people have come to Christ through them. This name change is not about appeasing anyone or having people like us. We were due for a name change, and although I’m not thrilled about the new name it does not mean we are ashamed of anything. Far from it in fact. If you doubt that, ask any current staff member.


  14. Ask John Piper – woof! He’s been sliding down to the broad path for several years now. Not one I would appeal to for theological credibility! Bill Bright was liberal in many ways for years – there must be some demonstrable evidence cru can muster to show they are biblically sound. Don’t bring Rick Warren in as a witness!


  15. @Manfred – John Piper sliding down into the broad path? hmmm. If by broad path you mean that he is gracious and respectful to those who do not agree with him on every theological particular, then you ought to use different language. The bible (if you have not forgotten) uses the term “broad path” for those who are on the path of destruction. Be careful with your words.


  16. Romans 14:1
    Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.

    It amazing how God tells us to deal with other BELIEVERS we dont see eye to eye with.I am not in any way involved with Cru but those that feel they need to beat them up over a name change are doing more harm to the body of Christ then they may know. As a youth Pastor I deal everyday with people that are hurting and searching for Christ. I have to spend hours or days undoing the hurt and anger they have at believers who have no compassion EVEN AMOUNG THEMSELVES. If a brother is teaching wrong theology speak up, if you just dont like a name change refer back to Romans 14:1


  17. Miles – sorry for the delay in responding – I’ve not been getting updates on this page for some reason. John Piper has been teaching and supporting false theology for several years – not secondary issues. His Christian hedonism is self worship, his embrace of Doug Wilson’s works-based salvation, his embrace of Rick Warren and his false gospel, and on and on. Well documented in this blog and many other places.


  18. Wayne,

    I’m unable to connect the dots from Rom.14:1 (regarding accepting an individual who is weak in the faith) to dropping the name of Christ from an alleged Evangelistic organization. Regardless of the motives/reasonings of those responsible, the MESSAGE it sends is one of compromise, fear of offending others with the name of Christ. It would have been better to have never had the name of Christ in their name to start with, than to once be unashamed to be called “for Christ”, then to remove it. What would be the message to the world if a Christian Church dropped “Christian” from it’s name? Sends of message of not wanting to offend by being too openly Christian or to be too openly associated with Christ. It would be hard to imagine those in the Apostolic and Reformation churches displaying such behavior.


  19. I used to work with CCC/Cru. I was disappointed with an “official” name change to Cru, but the reason given by more than one “Cru-er” – to increase percentages of speaking opportunities – could have been easily overcome without a name change. What Christian makes their organization’s name the issue when approaching a non-Christian? Non-Christians couldn’t care less what group a Christian represents; they just want to know if they’re being approached by a Christian, a Muslim, a Mormon, etc. I don’t buy it.

    CCC/Cru has always been about trying to get away with whatever it can as long as the financial impact is minimal. That kind of accountability kept the organization pretty orthodox up until Bill Bright’s death, but with evangelicalism moving further and further away from orthodoxy, those kinds of checks and balances are increasingly disappearing. This name change reflects, in my opinion, the priority of political correctness over being biblical at all cost.

    This is a dangerous precedent, if you ask me.


  20. While I don’t really want to change the subject away from Campus Crusade’s name change, I do need some concrete specific examples of John Pipe’rs ” sliding down to the broad path for several years ” and his “teaching and supporting false theology for several years”. It’s so easy to offer generalities and than be found to have very little with which to back up those observations made. I would very much appreciate Manfred’s response to this as regards his two statemenst quoted.


  21. Merville:

    So, have you not perused our past posts on Mr. Piper (or the myriad of other articles on people’s concerns with Piper that are all over the internet), and are instead attempting to accuse Manfred of wantonly making generalities with very little to back it up?

    Tsk, tsk. I am beginning to notice a pattern of thinly veiled accusatory criticism in the comments (and tone of your comments) that you’ve been leaving on here.


  22. I find it interesting to see some in CRU trying to distance themselves from THE FOUR SPIRITUAL LAWS, as if that will appease the booklet’s critics. As a former CCC staff member, in my experience this distancing is due more to the relevancy of the booklet than to its theological problems (e.g., affirmation of God’s love for everyone, use of Rev. 3:20, depersonalization of sin via “Man is sinful” vs. “You are sinful,” a “prayer-to-receive-Christ” vs. an emphasis on “repent and believe,” etc.). In other words, don’t be deceived by this “distancing” by those involved in CRU.

    In my view who CRU accepts as a staff member today is very different from who CCC accepted 20-30 years ago. Today the wolves have so penetrated mainstream evangelicalism that you see CRU accepting “health/wealth” neo-pentecostals (who at least promise NOT to practice publicly or promote their “gift” of tongues in CRU circles), Rob-Bell emergent church clones (CCC even promoted Bell’s NOOMA videos at one time, eventually pulling them – most likely due to pressure from financial supporters), those embracing the Integral Mission philosophy – to the point of defining evangelism as social action vs. upholding the proclaimed gospel (Rom. 10:17) as the POWER of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). In Ireland you can even see CRU partnering with the apostate Roman Catholic Church! In other countries theological and biblical preparation are rarely or never offered… to those who have even a weaker biblical preparation than their American counterparts, if that were possible!

    Some defender of CRU above responded to some of those criticizing CRU’s name change with: “I would encourage you all to go share the gospel as well!” Aside from a certain level of arrogance (which I too expressed at times when on staff), his frustration expresses a fundamental error. It’s not about SHARING the gospel, but sharing THE gospel. In other words, which “gospel” is being shared? Is it a “gospel” lacking what Martyn Lloyd Jones called “the preliminary work of the Law?” Is it a “gospel” that pushes for a “decision” via the supposedly heartfelt reciting of a canned prayer (with no mention of repentance) before, as Paul Washer termed it, “pope-ishly” pronouncing the “pray-er” a member of the family of God? Is it a politically correct “gospel” that refers to sin in general terms, putting more emphasis on “receiving Jesus into your heart” than on repenting of specific sin (like the prophet Nathan did with King David) and trusting in Christ as Savior and Lord? Is it a “gospel” that many appear to accept, but demonstrate no real life change, no interest in knowing God’s Word or no desire to get involved in a local church… and blaming these, not on a false conversion to a modern gospel presentation, but on a lack of follow up?

    Granted, some have genuinely converted through the use of the CCC approach, including my wife. But I agree with Paul Washer when he says that some will truly convert, not because of the “modern” gospel presente, but in spite of it. Should we keep presenting such a “gospel” just because some will truly convert? I believe in God’s total sovereignty in salvation, but I also have to look at the thousands of “goats” entering our churches due to the propagation of CRU’s type of modern gospel. Their presence can only – and does – weaken the church, as up to 90% (in A.W. Tozer’s opinion) of its membership is composed of religious hypocrites! The Southern Baptists say up to 50% of its churches’ membership are false converts, so consider the effect this brood can and will have on the life of a church, not to mention on the pastor’s preaching style and content! Scary! WE, INCLUDING CRU, MUST GET AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE FROM PRODUCING “GOATS” VS. SHEEP FOR THE CHURCH! Biblical holiness, faithfulness to the Word, evangelism, missions, etc. are at stake here, folks!


  23. Excellent comment, Bill. Full of good stuff! Particularly liked: “It’s not about SHARING the gospel, but sharing THE gospel. In other words, which “gospel” is being shared?”.


  24. You could half understand CCCI taking the Campus for Christ out of their name thinking Cru is a fluke because it is a “nickname” but I believe It might stop being a fluke when CCCI is taking the “Christ” out of their Navy Ministry replacing “Sailors for Christ” with “Military Connection” which might only sound to me more like a dating group


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