"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12 (NIV)
Campus Crusade for Christ, one of the world's leading evangelistic ministries, is changing its name.
Apparently the passage of time and changing cultural sensitivities have made its old name – in place since its founding on the campus of UCLA in 1951 by Bill and Vonette Bright – a liability. "Campus" evokes images of youth and enthusiasm and institutions of higher learning. But, in the ensuing 60 years, the ministry had expanded has into business, military and international venues, so the campus identification was deemed too "limiting." The word "crusade" evokes hurtful images of Muslims being killed by Christians – not a good thing at a time when Muslims are killing Christians around the world. And "Christ" – well, in our age of radical secularism – enough said.
The good news is the organization's new name, "Cru," doesn't evoke any images at all, (except perhaps that of a rowing team if you merely hear the word and don't see it). It's short for "Crusade," and is the handle now used by many students when referring to the campus ministry. Happily, it's abstruse enough not to offend anyone.
Avoiding giving offense is important to the ministry. According to Steve Sellers, Cru's U. S. Vice President, more people are willing to listen to their message about Christ if His name is not included in the ministry's name. Go figure.
Millions of people around the world have been favorably impacted for Christ since the organization's inception. My wife and I are included among them. I was first exposed to the ministry in 1967 at Florida State University when I stumbled into a "College Life" meeting being held in the lobby of a dormitory. A student was sharing his testimony about how Jesus had changed his life. Having recently invited Christ into my own life, I lingered behind to learn more. Soon, I joined an "Action Group" Bible study and later spent most of a summer at the organization's international headquarters at Arrowhead Springs in California attending the "Institute of Biblical Studies." Along with other students, I shared the Gospel door to door in the riot torn area of Watts in Los Angeles, as well as on the beaches and in other neighborhoods. My wife worked with the ministry in a summer project in Ocean City, New Jersey, sharing the Gospel with whoever would listen. She, too, became active in the campus ministry at FSU. I walked her home after a College Life meeting and, as they say, the rest is history.