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David P. Smith: What's in a name?
Friday, July 22, 2011 10:32 AM

The decision of Campus Crusade for Christ International to change the name of its U.S. Operations to “Cru” in early 2012 has caused a lot of disagreements about the new name not having “Christ” included. According to a news article , the ministry feels that the main problem with their current name is that the word “Crusade” has a bad connotation for many people and they also don’t want to have people immediately tuning them out when they hear the name “Christ”. Their mission of reaching people with gospel of Christ has not changed, but their techniques for doing so are changing in ways that they feel will help them be more effective. Whether this is more effective remains to be seen. Many churches in America have done the same thing to try to appeal to more people and some of these churches have attracted more people, but the culture of America has continued to generally get more secular.

While ministry leadership of Campus Crusade for Christ has pointed out that many other Christian organizations do not have the name of Christ in their organization name, these same organizations have not decided to leave out the name of Christ either, because they never had it there. It’s quite different to already include it and then abandon it, which is why the decision is causing a lot of discussion about the name of this Christian organization, as well as others. The culture of America in this present day is certainly against Christ in bolder ways than it has ever been. This decision by a major Christian organization, which operates all over the world, has reminded people of how America has changed to now have an anti-Christian prejudice. It’s another indicator of how far this country has departed from God when an organization feels that they have to hide their real mission behind a more secular sounding name.

The organization is sincerely trying to enable those who witness and work with them to be able to get a foot in the door and a chance to reason with those who are not Christians rather than having the door slammed before they can even have a chance to talk with them about Christ. That’s understandable by anyone who actively witnesses to others. Instead of some Christians getting so upset about the organization changing their name, they should analyze their own witness and effectiveness. Different methods are certainly needed and that includes the need of all Christians to live what they preach and teach, not just claiming the name. Campus Crusade for Christ has a long record of being extremely effective and their effectiveness has little to do with their organization name, but everything to do with who is in the organization and what they do, not just what they call themselves. Everyone should pray that they continue to fulfill their mission, which should be every Christian’s mission, to an even greater extent.

 

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