Taking the “Christ” out of Cru?


July 23, 2011 by Heather Harris

I recently read a Fox News article that said a group I’m a part of, “Campus Crusade for Christ”, will be changing its name to simply “Cru.”  Their reasoning for this is that the words “Crusade for Christ” are bringing a negative connotation to the group by suggesting that they are forcing Christianity on people.  The phrase, they say, is pushing away would-be attenders/members both Christian and non-Christian. Though the name will be changing, the focus of the group, itself, to reach out to college/university campuses in the name of Jesus Christ, will not be.

Some Christians are offended and angry that the group is taking Christ out of its name.  They are upset that a group that is meant to be set apart for Christ on college/university campuses is more worried about being politically correct and fitting in, than claiming the name of Christ.  I understand this, but at the same time, I think they are missing the point.

Yes, Campus Crusade is meant to be set apart on campuses that are not predominately Christian, but even more so, it is meant to be a group of Christians who reach out in Christ’s love and purpose to a campus that doesn’t know Him.  It’s not about shoving Chrisianity in their faces or down their throats. It’s about loving people the way Christ did, and, in turn, showing the campus who He is through our lives and actions.  Why do we need to label the group with Christ’s name in order to do so?  Why is it so important to call it a crusade, when it’s really nothing like one?

I’ll admit, when I first read about this, I was upset too.  I get sick of hearing about Christians having to back down in order to be “politically correct,” but the more I thought about it, the more I realized a name change doesn’t really make that big of a difference, as long as the purpose is the same. If Jesus had never acquired the label “Christ” would it have changed the fact that He was the Son of God? Would it have changed what He came here to do?  See, Jesus was all about just doing it (He must have been a Nike fan). He didn’t need labels to announce to people what He was doing. In fact, half the time, even His own disciples didn’t know what the heck He was doing. He just did it because He knew what He was doing, and He knew it would make a difference.  Making a stink about something as little as a name change is not something Jesus would have done, so why should it be something we do? Instead of worrying about that, we should be worrying about the fact that the name “Christ” has developed a negative, pushy connotation. Shouldn’t we be fighting to maintain the integrity of Christ’s name, rather than fighting to retain it?

What are your thoughts on the issue? What upsets you more, the fact that Christ’s name has a negative connotation or the fact that society has become so obsessed with being “politically correct”?


13 thoughts on “Taking the “Christ” out of Cru?

  1. I have heard about the name change and thought it would upset people. I question the chosen name, “Cru”. I mean what’s that? But as you explain that Crusade for Christ was sounding too militant, too much like Jesus would be forced upon people…I get that as that is the image it evokes in my mind (I was a neo-atheist when I was in college, so maybe I’m skewed.) But for me today it is the “crusade” part that would be offensive, you know the whole Jesus as a cage fighter imagery. Not to mention that the Crusades are a dark blotch in Christian history.

    • hrh413 says:

      I agree. My main point was that it didn’t really matter what the name was as long as the purpose was the same, BUT Cru was a poor choice because it’s a shortened version of “Crusade.” If they wanted to change the name to get rid of “crusade” which is really the most offensive part to most people, then they should have changed it to something else entirely. I think their thoughts are that most people who belong to the group call it Cru, so that would be the smart thing to change it to, but otherwise, it doesn’t really make sense.

  2. SLIMJIM says:

    If Christ name is the name that can lead us to salvation…wouldn’t it be great to have that on the organization’s name especially if CCC is doing such a great work and light that advances the integrity of what Christ means?

    • hrh413 says:

      I agree, and that’s why I was upset at first over the name change. I guess my point is that Christians should care less about labels and more about what the org is doing to further Christ’s name. Although, I wish they would just come up with something completely different that still incorporated Christ’s name without sounding like they’re pushing it on people, instead of just shortening it to “Cru.”

  3. maninacave says:

    I don’t have a dog in this fight but whatever is right or wrong I guess that the name change will not improve things however well intentioned it may be.

  4. brinnicole says:

    “Jesus was all about just doing it (He must have been a Nike fan).” – Love this!

    And I mostly agree with your take on the issue. I have no problem with them shortening it to Cru simply because that IS what we’ve all been calling it for so long. And when it comes down to it you are in 1 of 3 categories: 1) You’ve already been calling it Cru, 2) You’ve never heard of the organization and don’t know that it was ever called Crusade, or 3) You knew it as CCC and are offended that they shortened it to Cru because that is too close to Crusade. For the last group, I apply your theory that the name should really not be that big of a deal as long as the purpose remains the same. And we all win 🙂

    Also, might I add that it seems the majority (I know I’m generalizing here but really…) of those who are blatantly against this new name are not even associated with the organization and in fact many of them are atheists? So therefore why should they care what the organization calls itself if they are not a member? Food for thought. (Not saying they can’t have an opinion on the issue, just don’t see why they have to get so worked up about it like it is a personal attack on their existence. It’s just a name.)

    • hrh413 says:

      There will always be critics, and especially ones who have nothing to do with it. Jesus had tons of critics too. The important thing is that they keep the organization pointed in the right direction and don’t let this name change interfere with the good work they’ve been doing.

  5. maninacave says:

    OK and apologies that this is off base, but have you seen this website devoted to Biblical Art? It is soooo good, so well produced and a fount of inspiration on all fronts. Sorry to dive in with this but it is such a blessing! BTW I have no connections with the website whatsoever. This isn’t spam, but the product of real enthusiasm for the creative arts. Phil (maninacave).

    • hrh413 says:

      I am unsure what website you are talking about as you maybe forgot to leave a link, lol. But I would love to check it out! Send me the link! It sounds awesome 🙂

  6. moonchild11 says:

    ” If Jesus had never acquired the label “Christ” would it have changed the fact that He was the Son of God? Would it have changed what He came here to do?” –I liked that point a lot.

    I’ve heard Campus Crusades shortened to Cru even before the name change occurred, so I am guessing they took the name Cru since it was already familiar. They could change the name and still let people know that they’re the same organization.

    I don’t think the purpose was to take Christ out to be politically correct. From what I’ve read, it seems like they were just trying to take out the crusades part and thought Cru was the best way to go. I like that too. I wouldn’t really comfortable with joining a group that shared the name with one of the most shameful events in Christian history. I don’t think that’s a political correctness thing but a “we don’t want to confuse the love of God with hateful things that have been done in his name” move.

    • hrh413 says:

      I agree with their reasoning for changing the name. The problem is that they’re changing it to a shortened version of Crusade, so it’s still not solving the problem they are ultimately trying to fix. Thus, it seems like what they’re doing is dropping Christ out of the name, even though that’s not what they originally meant to do.

  7. jmwloup5110 says:

    You could half understand CCCI taking the Campus for Christ out of their name thinking Cru is a fluke because it is a “nickname” but I believe It might stop being a fluke when CCCI is taking the “Christ” out of their Navy Ministry replacing “Sailors for Christ” with “Military Connection” which might only sound to me more like a dating group

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