”Jesus Wept”

”Jesus Wept”
Vol: 118 Issue: 22 Friday, July 22, 2011

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other Name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

In 1951 evangelist Bill Bright founded the Campus Crusade for Christ as a ministry for college students.  By the end of the 1950’s CCC was active on forty US college campuses and in three other countries.

It eventually grew to spawn more than 1600 “student movements” in more than 1100 college campus locations.  

Campus Crusade for Christ claims to have presented the Gospel to more than eight million students and claims more than 125,000 decisions for Christ over the years.  In 1955 CCC founder Bill Bright wrote the pamphlet, “The Four Spiritual Laws” also called “The Knowing God Personally” Booklet.

Among some of its more famous alumni are Josh McDowell and Hal Lindsey.  Hal has told me many times that his time with CCC was “the most important period in my ministry life.”  When I was his student, Hal made me memorize the “Four Spiritual Laws” as part of my basic training.  

The Four Spiritual Laws are as follows:

  1. God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life. (John 3:16, John 10:10)
  2. Man is sinful and separated from God. Therefore, he cannot know and experience God’s love and plan for his life. (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23)
  3. Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin. Through Him you can know and experience God’s love and plan for your life. (Romans 5:8, I Corinthians 15:3-6, John 14:6)
  4. We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives. (John 1:12, Ephesians 2:8,9, John 3:1~8, Revelation 3:20)

It was Bill Bright’s Campus Crusade for Christ that launched the “I Found It” campaign in 1976.  I can recall seeing the signs all over my neighborhood; they looked like little political signs mounted on sharpened stakes that you’d plunge into the front lawn.  

As I recall the signs, they were simple enough – orange background, black border, simple slogan; “I Found It!”  The idea was to get people to ask you what you found.  The answer?  “I Found Jesus!”

It worked surprisingly well.  When I first read Late, Great Planet Earth in the mid-70s, it was in the larger context that everywhere I looked were these lawn signs: “I Found It!” — but I hadn’t found ‘it’ yet – what’s wrong with me?

Bill Bright’s campaign had already subtly prepared me to find ‘it’ at just about the same time that Hal’s book showed me what (or Who) ‘it’ represented.  

Campus Crusade For Christ owed its success to the fact that it was centered entirely around Christ.  Although it was eventually named the largest charitable organization in the United States, it remained devoted to the cause. 

Ninety-three percent of all funds raised by the organization goes directly to their programs, with the remaining seven percent paying overhead and salaries.

Yesterday, Campus Crusade for Christ announced that the organization’s name was becoming a ‘hindrance’ and that it was dropping the part about “Christ” in favor of the cooler sounding “Cru” – short for Campus Crusade. 

Campus Crusade spokesman and VP Steve Seller said that it was not the Name, “Christ” that was a problem, but instead, the word “Crusade.”

Sellers said several factors were involved in the name change – including overseas sensitivities.

“Our name was becoming more and more of a hindrance,” he told Fox News Radio. He specifically mentioned the word ‘crusade’.

“It’s reverted back to some of its meaning related to the Middle Ages – forcing Christianity on different parts of the world,” he said.

As for removing Christ from their name, the Campus Crusade for Christ website states:

“We were not trying to eliminate the word Christ from our name. We were looking for a name that would most effectively serve our mission and help us take the gospel to the world. Our mission has not changed. Cru enables us to have discussions about Christ with people who might initially be turned off by a more overtly Christian name. We believe that our interaction and our communication with the world will be what ultimately honors and glorifies Christ.”

Are you buying that explanation?  Perhaps it might be a bit more convincing, but for the url address.  It was posted under ‘donor relations.’ 

Good idea. I have a feeling that donor relations are going to become a problem.  

Assessment:

Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 10-32-33)

It would seem to me that, if I wanted to eliminate the negative, Middle Ages Crusader connotations from the name “Campus Crusade for Christ” then the last thing I would want to do is highlight it with a shortened version of the same word “Crusader” while removing the Reason for the ‘Cru’ in the first place.

They didn’t remove “Crusader” they highlighted it!  What they removed from their name is “Christ.”  The organization’s full name remains Campus Crusade.  

Sellers defended removing Christ’s Name from his organization by suggesting that most Christians are ashamed of His Name.  

“It has nothing to do with political correctness,” he said. “It has everything to do with how we can be effective at what God has called us to do.”

“Most churches don’t have Christ in their name,” he said. “Hardly any other Christian organization has Christ in their name. People are making an issue out of something that isn’t the intent at all.”

Sellers said it is “more important that the organization is effective at proclaiming Jesus than it is important to have the Name of Jesus in the name of the organization.”

If Jesus is – and if He is Who He said He is, then the effectiveness of any Christian ministry is directly related to the degree that ministry trusts in Him. 

Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, the Son of God that stepped out of eternity and into space and time.  

He lived the life expected of each of us and died the death that we, as sinners, deserved.  On the third day, He arose again, was seen of over five thousand witnesses, ascended back into heaven, where He sits at the right Hand of the Father.  

Jesus is eternal – He always was and always will be.  Jesus is omniscient – He knows all things.  He is omnipresent.  Jesus is everywhere at the same time.  And Jesus is omnipotent – He is all-powerful – there is no power in or outside the universe greater than He.

But His Name is a hindrance to elevating His Name?  My head is starting to hurt.  

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Sellers said that their plan was to elevate the new name, Cru to the level of Jesus so that people will hear “Cru” but think Jesus.  Or something like that. 

“We are an evangelistic organization that is committed and has been committed and will be committed to proclaiming Christ around the world,” he said. “Much like lots of brand names they don’t necessarily have meaning in and of themselves,” he said.

“It is a name we intend to give meaning so that when people hear it they know that it’s a caring group of Christians who are passionate about lifting up the name of Jesus.”

So “Cru” is all about lifting up the Name by calling it a ‘hindrance to its mission’ and dropping it from its title in order to make it more popular.  Calling it ‘Cru’ will tell people it is run by a ‘caring group of Christians’?

Really?  What do they care about?  You’ll never be able to figure it out from their name. 

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every Name: That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)

Campus Crusade for Christ was a mighty champion for Christ.  Not sure what ‘Cru’ is – but whatever they are, they’re not what they were.

But one thing that I am sure of – from here on out, they’re on their own.  It’s more than just a pity.  It’s a crying shame.  Literally.  A crying shame.  

One can almost hear the weeping.

This entry was posted in Briefings by Pete Garcia. Bookmark the permalink.

About Pete Garcia

Christian, father, husband, veteran, pilot, and sinner saved by grace. I am a firm believer in, and follower of Jesus Christ. I am Pre-Trib, Dispensational, and Non-Denominational (but I lean Southern Baptist).

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