What’s in a Name

“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.” – Campus Crusade for Christ website 

A lot of attention has been swirling around what is now called “Cru” since the Christian organization changed their name from Campus Crusade for Christ in late July. The quote above is the point of the controversy; the blatantly Christ-proclaiming group (the statement under their name reads “A caring community passionate about connecting people to Jesus Christ”) took the name of Christ out of their name and changed it to “Cru.”

Glenn Beck especially made a big deal out of it on his radio show. Check out the video here: http://www.glennbeck.com/2011/07/21/campus-crusade-for-christ-drops-chris-from-the-title/.

Former prime-time bloviator and conservative Glenn Beck

Despite the fact that his webmaster left the “t” out of “Christ” in the URL, Beck is completely out of line and flat out wrong in his statement. He completely ignores the reasoning from Cru and hones in on one falsehood he claims is truth: they’re no longer proclaiming Christ.

It’s a flat out shame that he and others are taking this at surface level and think that, for instance, Cru is no longer Christian, as some Facebook commenters said on the post Beck made on his Facebook page. What’s disappointing is that they ignored the reasoning from Cru.

I am friends with several Cru employees and students. I was skeptical when I heard it and texted a Cru staff member I knew very well. He pointed me towards the Q&A on ccci.org (you can find it here) and all my questions were answered.

This is in response to question 2: “Why is Christ no longer in the name?”

Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) is unswervingly committed to proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ. We are committed to the centrality of the cross, the truth of the Word, the power of the Holy Spirit and the global scope of the Great Commission. We care more about effectively proclaiming the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ than we do about having the word “Christ” in our name.

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.

Beck, like others, is ignoring the facts in his rant. And it frustrates me that I feel like I have to write this to clarify a position already clarified. People are getting frustrated with Christ being out. If we are getting mad at that, we should put the name “Christ” into every church’s name in America. How unreasonable is that? Paul didn’t call himself “Paul of Christ.” Peter didn’t call himself “Peter of Christ.”

By no means am I downplaying the name of Christ. I, like Cru, put His name before all other names where it should be.

James 1:22 and 2:8 say,

But be doers of the word, not, hearers only deceiving yourselves…if you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.

That latter verse is in a passage about not showing partiality. I believe that was one of the main points of changing the name; Cru was no longer just a college ministry and the name needed to reflect that. And it is assured that Cru are doers of the Word.

The quote I put at the beginning of this post is the best explanation I’ve seen. Sometimes we get too caught up in the semantics of things like names that we forget what the real question should have been, and that was answered without being asked: are you still committed to serving Christ and making His name famous?

The answer: yes. Our names will not be remembered in heaven. It won’t matter. We will only be known by whether or not we are Christians. It’s clear that Cru is Christian by reputation. Would you rather be known as a Christian by name or by action? DO people know us as a Christian by name or by action? Is our name written in the Book of Life, because if not, “he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15)?

Those are the questions we should all be asking ourselves.


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