Thursday, July 21, 2011

What's in a name?

Glenn Beck recently commented on Campus Crusade for Christ's decision to change their name to Cru, saying,

"They decided Christ might be offensive. . . . They decided Christ could be offensive and Crusade has negative connotations. So what are they now? Campus? No. No, that was too focused; it was more global than local. So, after 60 years, what did the organization decide? The 3-letter word 'Cru.'"

He went on to joke about how they would no longer be talking about Jesus Christ or telling what He did because it might be offensive.

According to Cru's FAQs about the name change,
"Although the words Campus and Crusade served as hindrances, there was never any intentional decision to remove the word “Christ.” Yet as we considered hundreds of name possibilities, our experience confirmed that Cru would provide greater opportunity to connect men and women with the heart of Jesus, and to help them consider the good news of the gospel.

For those who may be concerned we have lost moorings, please rest assured that we are the same organization with over 6 billion exposures to the gospel through the JESUS film, and who on any given day counts up to a million exposures to the gospel via the internet and face-to-face contacts around the world.

As an organization, we exist for the sole purpose of helping individuals experience the transforming grace and forgiveness of the gospel through Jesus Christ."
"We were not trying to eliminate the word Christ from our name."

Yet on Glenn Beck's show, in the comments thread under his post titled, "Campus Crusade for Christ drops ‘Christ’ from the title" (which makes it sound like they just changed the name to "Campus Crusade" instead of completely changing the name), in posts from friends on Facebook and elsewhere, I have seen people in an uproar over what they believe to be a denial of Christ and a belief by the organization that the name and message of Christ is offensive.

Words like "apostacy" and "antichrist" are being used to refer to CCC/Cru, and many people have stated publicly that they are withdrawing their previous support for the organization--all over a name change!

People are quoting passages like "If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels." Mark 8:38 and "But whoever denies me before men, I will deny before my Father in heaven." Matthew 10:33

As far as I can tell, the doctrine and mission of the organization has not changed.

My church doesn't have the word Christ in its name, but that doesn't mean it thinks Christ is offensive or doesn't teach the Gospel unashamedly.

What do you think about this?

Has anyone seen any evidence that anyone speaking for CCC/Cru has actually stated that they changed the name with the specific purpose of removing the word Christ and/or that they feel the name of Christ is offensive?