July 20th, 2011
08:58 PM ET

Campus Crusade for Christ loses the 'crusade'

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)– The massive Christian ministry founded to minister and convert college students around the globe is changing its name.

Campus Crusade for Christ will change its name to "Cru" for its U.S. operations in early 2012, the Orlando-based ministry announced.

The new name was revealed late Tuesday to 5,000 staff members at a conference in Colorado.

Bill Bright and his wife Vonette founded the college ministry in 1951.

Bill Bright talked about his idea for the ministry with a seminary professor one day.  The professor scrawled the name Campus Crusade for Christ on a slip of paper and brought it to Bright the next day, according to Steve Sellers, the vice president of CCC.

"In the very beginning, Bill had discussed the possibility that we would need to change the name at some time," Vonette Bright said in a video posted by the organization. "I believe the time is right to change it."

Bill Bright died in 2003.

Today the group said it has 25,000 full-time and part-time staffers serving in 191 countries.  In the United States alone, staff members work on 800 college campuses, which is still the centerpiece of the organization.

Last year the global nature of the ministry was on display on the world stage when one of their staff members helped the trapped Chilean miners.

Christian Maureira, the head of CCC's Chilean ministry, provided Spanish-language MP3 versions of the Bible to the miners and helped get them T-shirts they wore when they emerged from the San Jose mine.

"Cru" has long been a nickname on the local college level, Sellers said.  The organization spent two years and went through 1,600 options to sort out a new name, he said.

"The word 'crusade' changes over time in terms of its volatility.  Of course everyone remembers back in the Middle Ages when the Crusades came about; of course no one wants to be associated with that," he said.

In the 1950s the word crusade was associated with famed evangelist Billy Graham and mission work.  Today, working on college campus in pluralist situations, the name is often divisive.

"In 2011 it has more of its historic meaning and was becoming more problematic.  So we were having more and more pushback that the name was hindering us from doing our mission, which is not something you want to be true of you," Sellers said.

The organization posted on its website the name change announcement in more detail: "Our surveys show that, in the U.S., 20% of the people willing to consider the gospel are less interested in talking with us after they hear the name."

"They need to emphasize while the name is changed the mission hasn't," said Kristin Cole, a manger of accounts for A. Larry Ross Communications, a top public relations firm in the faith-based community. "Your name it is important, but your mission is even more important."

While many Christian denominations and other ministries have a presence on college campuses, for decades Campus Crusade for Christ has been ubiquitous, with Christian outreach to students both domestically and internationally. But another reason they changed the name was the ministry had grown beyond just college campuses to 29 other areas of ministry.

One of the biggest concerns for the organization regarding the name change was dealing with donors.  The ministry relies on donations for virtually all its operating expenses.

Sellers said support has been good so far from donors on the name change.  "If they think about it, they recognize some of the inherent problems. And what they really care about is the mission that we do, not so much what our name is."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity

soundoff (379 Responses)
  1. The real john

    Look at all these familiar names. Ha ha, every time an article like this its always us in here. Its like some sick self help group that doesnt help. Party on and lets go find sasquatch

    July 22, 2011 at 1:01 am |
  2. An Atheist’s Perspective

    As a college student, I can say one of the few groups of people I truly despise is The Campus Crusade. Not because they are Christian, but because this lovely group had the nerve to:
    1. Explain to me how it is biblically justified for a husband to beat his wife (to the point of hospitalization) or a father to beat his daughters.
    2. Inform me that being born handicap was entirely my fault (it's because I'm a women and my disease is God's punishment for my being a women).
    3. Attempting to ban clubs that didn't "belong" on campus such as the Anime Club, the Sci-Fi/Fantasy club, and of course the LGBT equal-rights group.

    The also had a lovely habit of being extremely hostile to our LBGT students and Muslim students, of which we have quite a few as well as anyone deemed "not Christian enough". Fortunately, our school took some action about these guys. So, folks in charge of CCC, worry less about the "Crusade" part of your name and spend a bit more effort policing your people. Not only is being accosted in the hall way unpleasant, I'm pretty sure it's counter productive to your goals of getting people to listen to you.

    July 22, 2011 at 12:41 am |
    • Kate G

      To "An Atheist's Perspective":

      I want to apologize on behalf of the people that you encountered associated with CCC. If the things you listed are true, then they are uncalled for and untrue as beliefs of the organization as a whole. I am sorry that the person (or people) you encountered misled you and stated things that are so far from the heart of Jesus. As a Christian and CCC staff, I want to apologize for the extreme unkindness with which you were treated. There is no situation where it is acceptable for a husband to treat his wife that way. That is not what the Bible commands when the Apostle Paul says "love your wife as Christ loved the church." God calls husbands to lay their lives down and love their wives unconditionally. Also, it is horrendous to think that someone told you you were born handicap was your fault – God created you beautifully as His creation in exactly the way He wanted. There is a reason and purpose that He allowed you to be born with that handicap, and it is a good purpose, not something that's a result of yourself. Lastly, I apologize for the hostility that you say happened toward the lgbt and muslim students at your school. We are called to love and care for them, not to hostility. While this doesn't mean we need to agree, Christians should still respect, love, and care for these groups.

      Again, I am sorry that this has been your experience with Christians and CCC. I ask your forgiveness.

      July 22, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • Cru staff member

      As a staff member I want to apologize if any of what you said actually happened on your campus. Where do you go to school? They should not be saying or doing any of those things and please believe me when I say that is not typical of our organization. I really would love to know where you go to school so that I can follow up. Thanks

      July 23, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • An Atheist’s Perspective

      @ Cru Staff
      You guys actually already DID do something about these folks. I and others brought it to the College's attention. It turns out one of the Student Activities leaders whom we were reporting it to was a CCC member. Later we learned the source of the problem was the fellow in charge of the club (our default name for any student group) and a few lackeys of his who decided to take it on themselves to "do it the right way". The rest of the group took less than a week to remove their former "leadership" and his cronies after they found out what was going on. The new CCC is far nicer and more focused on things like charity work. On a related note their membership has since tripled.

      @Kate G
      I wish I met more people like you. All the nice ones are somewhere else, or just don't speak up. I am head of 3 student organizations (including that Sci-Fi/Fantasy Club) and have to constantly remind members that all it takes is two or three really nasty people to leave a lasting negative opinion of a group. As for asking forgiveness, there is no need. The CCC cleaned it's own house and for that got not only the forgiveness but also the respect of not just myself but pretty much the whole darn school.

      July 23, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  3. Larry

    I address the following comment: The existence of many early manuscripts allows us to be confident that the New Testament was accurately copied.

    Source: Robert M. Bowman, Jr., Director of the Insti-tute for Religious Research (IRR), MA in Biblical Studies and Theology.

    The earliest "copy" of any manuscript concerning the NT is about 3" long about the size of a credit card, all the rest are copies of copies of copies. The originality of those copies are dubious at best.

    July 22, 2011 at 12:25 am |
    • LifeBetraysU

      Before you pass judgement on philosophical arguments on the existence of God, you have to ask yourself what will you accept as reasonable proof that there is a God and that he loves you and cares about your eternal existence and where you will spend it- the smoking or non smoking section. In the bible a rich man went to hell and was in torment, but he begged and asked God that he could go back and warn his brothers so that they would not end up in such a terrifying place for all eternity. The answer he received was if your brothers do not believe the prophets and Moses who gave the Jews the “law” from God, then even if one were to be raised from the dead then they still would not believe. The bible says that will out faith it is impossible to please God. Even in our modern society you can not function without faith. How do you know going down a highway with only a yellow line separating you from on coming traffic that they will not hit you and kill you? How do you even know the chair you sit down in will not collapse under your weight. Every decision you make requires some faith. What is reasonable for you in terms of accepting God, that he is, he exists and does have a say in your future destiny? If you seek him earnestly with an open heart and mind you will find him that is a promise in the bible.
      Please check out these 2 direct links for evidence and info that will prove to you it is reasonable to assume God does indeed exist and has communicated to mankind through the life and death and Resurrection of his son Jesus Christ. The last direct link will take you to youtube site that provide information on End times prophesy (the days we are living in now).
      http://www.angelfire.com/sc3/myredeemer/Evidence.html Josh McDowell’s book Evidence that demands a verdict.
      Farside1975 bible prophesy and end times videos based on what the bible predicts for the “last days”

      July 22, 2011 at 1:43 am |
    • Magic

      An all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving "God" (as you portray it) would know *precisely* what would serve as sufficient evidence of its existence for each and every one of us individually. This "God" does not, cannot or will not do this.

      An omniscient being would not and could not be responsible for authoring that highly-disputed, mistranscribed, mistranslated, misunderstood and misinterpreted book called the Bible.

      It sounds like "faith" is much more important to you than whether this being really exists.

      July 22, 2011 at 3:49 am |
  4. postedbygeorge

    Christianity is a perversion, it perverted a good man by making him a god.

    July 21, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • The real john

      Religion is a perversion. Tis is why Jesus hated it. It is manmade. You dont need buildings or preachers to love god. You dont need to be in a stadium to love football. Men kill in the name of God, but that doesnt mean its gods will. Only two people required to be in love with god. You and god

      July 22, 2011 at 1:07 am |
    • LifeBetraysU

      IN RESPONSE TO ; postedbygeorge
      "Christianity is a perversion, it perverted a good man by making him a god."
      Jesus never refused people's worship of him as GOD, he did however say that only our father who is in heaven is "good" that was a response he gave when someone called him "good teacher". So he did many times claim to be GOD "before Abraham was "I AM" reinforcing the scripture in John 1 "in the beginning was the word and the word was GOD and was with GOD, and he became flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus never contradicted this scripture and the Jews wanted to kill him because he made himself equal to GOD and never denied it nor did he deny men worshiping him. You statement therefore shows that you are ignorant of the truth and have never deeply read the bible or gospels because they contradict your statement. I choose to believe the bible is without error and man's opinion is virtually worthless. Please update your knowledge of the bible by at least reading it before you make statements that prove your lack of knowledge about the subject.

      July 22, 2011 at 1:59 am |
  5. gregg

    @JT Don't get pouty faced with me for pointing out the obvious...

    Islam equals hate and death of everything not Islam. That includes the U.S., you, me and your sweet little children in their warm safe beds. It's a false religion, with an evil God hateful of all things and all people not Islamic at it's center, and it's adherents are on the losing side of history. If I'm off-base prove me wrong by marching a GOOD Islamic in front of us. Know any that have done anything good in the last 10 years? I'm not talking for the U.S. just some good ANYWHERE. Not one? Shame.

    @frogist, Nope, that about covers it. I'll leave the truly repulsive acts to the Islamics, they're masters at it.

    July 21, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
  6. Writers Team

    As a staff member with Campus Crusade for Christ I will often sidestep the name of the organization when speaking with someone new. When asked where I work, I will often say I work for a "non-profit ministry" or redirect the question to explain the heart of the organization which is to know Jesus Christ and give others the opportunity to understand why He is significant. Many times the person I am speaking with is open to having an honest discussion about spirituality and Jesus Christ if I approached the conversation this way. However, when the formal name of Campus Crusade for Christ came into play the conversation frequently hit a dead-end within a sentence or two. Leaving both of us to feel misunderstood.
    This new name offers an opportunity to more effectively engage in conversation about what really matters– the person of Jesus Christ and not just the name of an organization. – Katie

    July 21, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • frank

      Why did Jesus torture the pigs?

      July 21, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
    • OceanLight

      Katie, Salvation Army and other missions had similar problems regarding names for different reasons. Campus Crusade for Christ has been a wonderful name, but I think God wants us to be creative as an era passes by. The mood in the West has changed – so hostile to Christianity. An Asian Christian like me can never understand this stupidity.

      July 21, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Why not call it "Spot"?

      July 21, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Hello Katie,

      Your Being a Campus Scholar, Do You Know About CUFI, Christians United Fro Israel? cufi.org

      July 21, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
    • ProverbialSolomon

      Campus Crusade of Cowards. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8O3JtDKXCE

      July 21, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
  7. OceanLight

    Forever grateful to CCC for their massive contribution to the Kingdom cause, helping souls to meet Jesus!

    July 21, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • Red Horseman

      The CCC helped souls meet Jesus? Which one? There's thousands of them in Mexico. You make it sound like CCC is reaping souls – that's my job.

      July 21, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • Jesus

      By the time they get to me, they've been fleeced of most of their cash by all the religion hucksters....and I don't get a cut! Religion, especially Christianity is the last legal scam game in the USA.

      July 21, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • Mark

      Wow, Red, look at you! Please don't quit your day job to be a comic, you have to be funny to make it in the industry.

      July 21, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
    • OceanLight

      @J-, remember blasphemers go to hell. Change your name and repent. USA is NOTHING if it didn't have Christianity.

      July 21, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • Sinner

      Repent SINNERS!!! lol, for the lulz. And fyi, zombie Jesus is just folklore. I Still don't understand why people don't get that.

      July 21, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
    • Dude

      Blasphemy is a victimless crime.

      July 22, 2011 at 12:32 am |
  8. Logic

    Recently as in 'today' – yahoo no longer accepts anti-creationists comments.

    Test this for yourself with a comment like: "Yahoo is for creationists." It will be immediately removed.
    So verify this for yourself and see if this world is not in fact promoted and forced! into being a creationist's ideal. They
    are enforcing their rights over everyone.

    July 21, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • The real john

      You are being paranoid man. Calm down

      July 22, 2011 at 1:08 am |
  9. Annetta Flick

    Not crazy about all the Christian churches and organizations changing their names to not look like what they are. It may draw them(nonbelievers) in at first, but I believe it will only make angry when they find out what you really are.

    July 21, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • Red Horseman

      The Christian Taliban can change its name but can't change it's spots

      July 21, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • Mark

      Christian Taliban? Is that the best you can do Red? I can eat alphabet soup and poop a better comment than that!

      July 21, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
  10. James T.

    Cru? I think "cult" would be more appropriate. These guys make the Moonies look like the local Shiners.

    July 21, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • Mark

      You've never been to an actual meeting or retreat, apparently.

      July 21, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
    • Jesus

      A retreat? You mean a fleecing. The goal is to separate the young and naive from their cash.

      July 21, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
    • Mark

      I was in Campus Crusade for well over a year. The only people who asked me for cash were the deadbeats at the gas station.

      July 21, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
    • The real john

      Campus crusade built a haunted house for halloween one year when i was a kid, showcasing the "horrors of hell" and it was aweful. These types of behavior are twisted and have nothing to do with god. Like, at all. Neither does religion

      July 22, 2011 at 1:11 am |
  11. Fuyuko

    And how will they convert? In the Xian, 'fire and brimstone' fear of hell and damnation method the Xian church has been using for centuries. Personally, I think humanity was better off before the Xians decided to attempt to frighten people for Jesus.

    July 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  12. Fuyuko

    "Cru" sounds like a venereal disease. Personally, I dislike evangeli ism and think 80% of the bible needs to go away and be revised as its done enough damage already. It's fine to be Christian. But don't expect the beliefs to go unchallenged or everyone to believe as you do.

    July 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • RStrick

      It's people that have hurt others, not the Bible. I challenge you to stop believing what other people say and read it for yourself.

      July 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Red Horseman

      It's people who swear they are following the bible that hurt others. Bibles don't kill, bible thumpers do.

      July 21, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • Mark

      Oddly enough, atheists, agnostics, Muslims, cultists, satanists, pagans, wiccans, hindus, jews, buddhists, taoists, and shintos kill other people too. Funny how Christianity does not seem to have the exclusive on killing.

      July 21, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
    • Dude

      Yeah, it's odd how much like all of those heathens Christians are. It's almost as if there is nothing special about Christianity at all...

      July 22, 2011 at 12:34 am |
    • The real john

      Killing and perversion of sacred texts are mans special talents. Is it any wonder God itself doesnt come down and show proof to us? We would weaponize it and go on with our dark and twisted lives

      July 22, 2011 at 1:13 am |
  13. Anotheralt

    In other news, the campus organization "Campus Jihad for Allah" shortens its name to Jhi, having no effect on the negative connotations people bring to the table. Go figure.

    July 21, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • smitty

      LOL very very nice!

      July 22, 2011 at 2:51 am |
  14. QS

    "The massive Christian ministry founded to minister and convert college students around the globe..."

    That's the first line of this article....and it's really all I needed to know...that regardless of the name they choose, their mission is one of self-righteousness, as it tends to be with most religious people who think it's their obligation to make more people believe as they do.

    July 21, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • RStrick

      Everyone needs other people to minister to them. Minister means to serve. Campus Crusade for Christ has helped many students adjust to being at college away from their families.

      July 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Rstrick: That is not their goal. That is secondary to their goal. If they only cared about helping kids adjust then proselytizing for Christianity would not be their mission.

      July 21, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • Mark

      Obviously, frogist and qs have never actually taken the time to talk to somebody from Campus Crusade.

      July 21, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
    • Dude

      Talked to them, debated them, laughed at them.

      July 22, 2011 at 12:35 am |
  15. TheyNotHim

    I love following these discussions. Don't even read the articles half the time. The real show is in the comments section. That's where the truth is. And the truth is that we in the Atheist community feel it's our duty to push back against the tide of lies and bigotry that are being perpetrated on us, minority that We are, by the larger religious community, especially this country's xtians.

    To Wit:
    1. We don't buy it, what you are selling. So...please just keep it to yourself, keep it out of our lives and especially our government.

    2. We are smart and educated people. Many of us cling desperately to reason and logic to explain a confusing world. If, in the unlikely event that there is ever actual proof uncovered of the existence of a being transcendent, then we will be the first to accept this into our worldview.

    3. All organized religion can be defined as cult activity. This really scares us, as people we encounter from these groups spout jibberish and rhetoric at us, quoting meaningless ancient texts and people that probably never even existed, but were created to support the speaker's point of view. Then, as now.

    4. Even if we are wrong, according to many dogmas we will still come before god to answer for that. In that moment, if he chooses not to listen to our reasons for being a good person on this Earth without him, then We do not want to spend eternity by his side anyway, because those are the actions of a selfish, egotistical, ill-mannered, ignorant brute who is not worth our time to get to know in the first place.

    Atheists please comment here and add your own truths to the list...

    July 21, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Fidei Coticula Crux

      "selfish, egotistical, ill-mannered, ignorant brute"

      And I don't worship that god either. See, we do have something in common.

      July 21, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Laughing

      5. Condeming us to hel.l in no way makes us or anyone else more sympathetic to your cause.

      6. Atheism is not, and never will be a religion. Trying to prove it is otherwise is pointless and only detracts from a debate at hand.

      7. Bringing up the Big Bang Theory or Evolution and then saying they aren't fact because they have the word theory in them only relay's the point that you clearly do not understand what a scientific theory is and are not even worth talking to.

      8. Circular logic is not sound logic, when debating historical fact it is necessary to use a source other than the source where you are originally getting your facts from.

      July 21, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • RStrick

      I'm sorry you feel this way. Christians aren't selling anything. We serve others. Our beliefs are reasonable and logical to us because we have seen God in action. I've seen Him work miracles in me. He loves me despite what I've done.

      July 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • RonE

      If ignorance is bliss, you are very blissful! I feel sorry for you. It must be nice to set your own standards and morals, then of course you can change them whenever you want, live life to its fullest. The Bible talks about people like you that live day to day with no hope, the only thing you have is what today brings you. I hope you never loose anyone close to you in death, with your beliefs you have no promise. I can understand the hypocracy in many Religions today, but if you chose to read the Bible and study it you would find many answers to your questions about life.

      July 21, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • o.k.

      A Christian's point by point response:

      1. We can no more keep our faith to ourselves than you can keep you lack of faith to yourself. The very fact that you've posted here, with your negative comments about Christianity in general is ample proof that you want to act one way and deny that right to Christians.

      2. Many of us are smart educated people too. Both my wife and and I have graduate degrees. We also apply logic and reason where it can be applied...logic and reason can not logically and reasonably answer every question–sometimes you have to rely on faith–if you take an honest look at your life, I'm sure you'll find that to be true at some point too. The only difference is what our faith is in. For instance, I know its logical that If I close my eyes and walk into a busy intersection, its reasonable I'm going to be hit by a car–all the prayer in the world is not going to change that. You can go through life pretending your Spock, but it isn't reality.

      3. Not all religious activity is cult driven. We must obviously be employing different definitions–define your time and I'll respond.

      4. Your last point can't reasonably be responded to-you don't believe in God, and hedging your bet is a worthless endeavor.

      We're not all nut jobs (it's just the loudest Christians often are–but they are significant minority) and we're not all hateful (any more than any other group–including atheists). Quit generalizing and you'll not come across as so limited in your thinking.

      July 21, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • o.k.

      sorry..point 3–define your term

      July 21, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Nympha

      Amen, o.k.!

      July 21, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • QS

      "We can no more keep our faith to ourselves than you can keep you lack of faith to yourself."

      LOL!! Religion has been persecuting those who believe differently for how long now? Believe me, if religious people didn't feel obligated to "convert" people to their way of thinking, we wouldn't have to come on these ridiculous articles to counter all the religious nonsense being tossed about in the first place!

      July 21, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • Red Horseman

      Case and point, those that follow the teachings of the angel Moroni, they are called Morons, nope they changed it to Mormons...but secretly the second m is silent, just like the h in Bohner.

      July 21, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • o.k.

      QS...your absolutely right when you say religion has led the charge in persecuting others–at least from a historical standpoint. The inquisition, jihad, etc.–all black marks against religion, and I understand why you say that. The problem now, however, is that the things have changed–at least from a Christian's standpoint. You'll have to admit that prior efforts by Christians during the dark ages (crusades, again, the inquisition) are really no longer part of our (Christian) culture today. If you can name me one Christian organization or movement that is persecuting someone in that fashion (really persecuting–not simply having a difference of opinion or voting a certain way–I'm talking about real, physical persecution)–then call them out–they're in the wrong. But you must admit that the persecution that Christians endure is real. In North Korea, the Middle East, parts of Africa–its a death sentence (literally). Here, we're (all Christians) called stupid, childish, hateful, uneducated by people like you–a generalization that absolutely does not apply to most Bible believing Christians. The reality is, in reading the CNN belief blog reader response–most (I hate to generalize–always some exceptions) of the participants appear to be agnostic, atheists and both quite hostile to all religion. From what I can tell on this blog, the majority of the participants persecuting others is coming from those who don't believe in God.

      July 21, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • Dude

      The difference is that your particular cult(or family of cults, however you wish to define it) have claimed divine leadership. And they are asserting the right to lordship everywhere that they have political power. This is just as odious to non-believers as the analogous behavior of other religions, like Islam. When you start leaving gays alone(including the financial support of murderous thugs in Africa), stop attacking reproductive rights, stop trying to hold back science to protect fairy tales, stop supporting witch-hunters, stop delaying the spread of condoms and stop hiding child molestation to protect priests(just to name a few of the crimes that Christians are guilty of TODAY), then we non-believers may start treating you as a benign group of oddballs. Until your cult gets civilized, it will always be attacked.

      July 22, 2011 at 12:44 am |
    • o.k.

      Dude–you've only proven my point. You use terms like cult, fairy tales and oddball and that cuts off the debate because your so ingrained in your hatred for Christians that there is no point trying to reason with you. Go in peace...really, I don't hate you because you think I'm in cult, that I believe in fairy tales or that I'm odd (which is kind of funny if you give it some thought–most people believe in God–your the "odd" man out on this one).

      July 22, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • Laughing

      I want to say first, TheyNotHim asked for ATHEISTS to post on this thread, not believers, then again I can understand why you would want to respond so,

      @o.k.The sad truth is, most of the time you are actually in the minority of christians with all the statements you said. Majority of christians are well educated? Sorry, but which christians exactly? Are you talking about your specific denomination? I don't know what that is, so hey, maybe you're right. However I'm going to place most practicing christians under one umbrella because you all 1. believe in the bible and 2. believe that jesus is the lord and savior (which is enough to call yourself a christian). With those points, the vast majority of christians are pretty uneducated, especially when it comes to the bible. Take a tour of the south, or the rural midwest, lots of christians, not a lot of schools.

      To say that christians are being persecuted is like a bully complaining that all the other kids are picking on him because they're fighting back. The bible is clear about spreading the gosple of christ and today's christians are just as enthusiastic as paul in doing just that. They go around, door to door, village to village, telling everyone they have to convert or face everlasting torment. Obviously you don't see that as harmful because you can empathize with the missionaries, you and they really truely believe that you are helping so you can't understand how annoying (at best) it really is to be confronted with nutjobs who won't get out of my face, especially when they start telling me how to live my life or else I face horriblness that will last an eternity.

      I think you also need to check your definition of "persecution". No one on this blog is persecuting anyone, though there's a lot of hate that comes from BOTH sides. I would say the comments here are split 50/50. I say this because I personally feel most people who comment are bible-thumpers who quote silly passages at me, yet you see it differently and say most are atheists. It probably does shake out to about 50/50 in reality of atheists and beleivers, bible thumpers and hostile atheists, you just see only what you want to see.

      Also the cult part. religion is a cult. That word has a bad association with it, but that doesn't make it less true. The difference between religion and cult is really just age and amount of followers but that's really it. Please, if you feel differently, please show me how exactly they differ so much that one is clearly not the other?

      July 22, 2011 at 11:23 am |
  16. Reality

    The nitty-gritty of the CCC in today's world:

    Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospels being mostly fiction.

    Obviously, today's followers (e.g. the CCC) of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European, white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, embellished, preacher man would do or say?

    July 21, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Fidei Coticula Crux


      Your comment is more based on opinion that fact.

      July 21, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Fidei Coticula Crux

      typo correction: change "that" to "than"

      July 21, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Soldier

      Think of some new BS to spew rather than cutting and pasting this drivel after every artticle about religion. Don't beleive – that is your choice but do something constructive for a change.

      July 21, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Reality

      As we "thu-mp" along with reviews, rational thinking, conclusions and reiteration to counter the millennia of false and flawed religious history and theology!!!------––

      Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Ludemann, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.


      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of mythical angelic visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      July 21, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • Fidei Coticula Crux

      Since the 18th century, a number of scholars have questioned the testimony of the Gospels about Jesus. Today, many people are familiar with some of the criticisms these scholars raise. The issues are explored in books, articles, web sites, even television shows and movies. The criticisms have been repeated so often that many people accept them without question. Since most people are not trained in philosophy, theology, or history, the issues may seem to be mere matters of opinion.

      A brief word about the historical reliability of the New Testament may be helpful. Modern science does not really prove or disprove miracles. However, history, archaeology, and other social sciences have shown the New Testament to be historically accurate and reliable. These are a few of the reasons for this confidence:

      – The New Testament writings were based on eyewitness testimony.

      – There are many docu-ments from writers as early as the late first century AD which confirm various details of the New Testament accounts.

      – The existence of many early manuscripts allows us to be confident that the New Testament was accurately copied.

      Source: Robert M. Bowman, Jr., Director of the Insti-tute for Religious Research (IRR), MA in Biblical Studies and Theology

      July 21, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Reality

      For those interested in the real Jesus, some starting references used but contemporary NT scholars:

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"

      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."

      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm

      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria

      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html

      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias


      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.

      10. The Gnostic Jesus
      (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
      by Douglas Groothuis: equip.org/free/DG040-1.htm

      July 22, 2011 at 12:46 am |
  17. Toby

    There are organizations on my campus that have no religious purpose except to help the homeless with food and clothes. By all means believe what you want to believe, but spending time singing, reading ancient literature, and spreading ONE supernatural story as if it's original is not an effective use of one's time or money-and I don't see how any of that actually makes the world a better place. Peace.

    July 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • o.k.

      Toby...by your definition of what is what makes the world a better place–people who get together to do anything other than make the world a better place (through charitable work) are doing nothing more than wasting their time. Here, you claim singing songs and ready ancient manuscripts, therefore, are a waste of time. On your campus, do you have a glee club? Waste of time? Are there poetry readings? Waste of time. Or is only a waste of time if its religious? In which case, your discriminating. If it makes Christians happy to sing (i.e. worship) or study an ancient text (i.e. the Bible), what do you care? Are you the arbiter on what one may be allowed to do to make them happy? You apply rules to Christians that you would not otherwise apply to non-Christians (or, insert any other faith). I hate it, and its totally inappropriate when Christians themselves act like this–you have my total support when you comment on a specific example of Christians who do this–but you lose credibility when you, yourself, act that way too.

      July 21, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • Nympha

      O.k., you are one smart person. You have a way with words and logic that I wish I had.

      July 21, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  18. AreYouaBeliever

    Next I hear, they are changing the praise / worship song "Onward Christian Soldier" to "Onward Simple-minded, stuck in the dark ages, idiots who think there is a God and Jesus, Militants". Just to please the left wing, athiest, agnostics, non believes in the world.

    Christians have to stop being Man Pleasers. The Bible tells us the consequences of trying to please GOD and man.

    Campus Crusades should not cave into peer pressure.

    And not sure what cave some of you doubters live in, but the youth movement in the Church across the globe has never been stronger. And even Hollywood and the music industry has figured that out. You people need to get out of your caves or monkey cages, and step into a Church before you post anymore stupid and unsubstantiated cliams about under 50 Christians. We have over 20,000 people in our church alone. With one of the largest young ministries in the US.


    Come visit anytime.

    Always welcome. Believer or not.

    Promise when you do, you'll never be the same.

    July 21, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • kirshy

      'monkey cages'. how nice. thanks for being so welcoming.

      July 21, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • EuphoriCrest

      @AYaB: Just got done visiting your website. All I can say is that you broke your promise.

      July 21, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Cru staff member

      Hi, I actually checked out your site and really loved it. Just by looking at the home page I can see that you have a lot of great ministries available to your church and community. I also noticed (and this is not to be argumentative) that none of those ministries had the name Christ directly in the name. I say this only to point out that we did not change our name because we are caving to the pressures of the world today. We changed our name because we believe it will ultimately open up more opportunities for us to engage people in spiritual conversations and share the gospel around the world. Both our mission and our zeal for that mission remain the same, to help fulfill the great commission. Our research showed that the name Cru would to have up to potentially 20% more spiritual conversation with people who would have been turned off by either the word Campus, Crusade, or Christ. We are very excited about the name change and for the chance to give the word Cru a meaning.

      July 21, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
  19. No fan of para-church organizations

    Why is there a need for para-church organizations, such Campus "Cru"sade for Christ???? The work they do (mainly evangelism and possibly charitable work) is one of the many functions and responsibilities of the Lord's Church. Jesus Christ created the church and gave it the charge to continue in his ministry 50 days after his death on the cross. To think that there is a need for para-church organizations is an insult to Jesus Christ.

    July 21, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • o.k.

      Christ is insulted because an organization (a) wants to fulfill the great commission and (b) do "charitable work" outside the four corners of a church organization? From one Christian to (I think) another, you don't understand who Christ is (with all love and respect possible–really). I know of absolutely no biblical authority for your position. In fact, it is entirely inconsistent with what Jesus taught us. I honestly don't think Jesus cares how we organize ourselves.

      July 21, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • Nympha

      Another amen, o.k.!

      July 21, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • frank

      @No fan of para-church organizations
      You're a church treasurer, aren't you?

      July 21, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • o.k

      Frank...I didn't want to say it at first, but I though the exact same thing!

      July 21, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • No fan of para-church organizations

      To o.k. and nympha (what the hell kind of name is nympha????) : you too have no understanding that Christ bought the church with his blood and loved the church. He does not need another organization. He didn't die for those. In any case, there are churches that do evangelism and charitable work that Cru would consider those to be a cult; such as Mormons, Moonies church, JWs. So Cru is just another glorified cult. Do you read in NT of Christ talking about para-church organizations? I didn't think so.

      To Frank and o.k.: No I am not a church treasurer. I make my living from being a civil servant. I am not on any church payroll. Nice try guessing. What are you? A para-church treasurer??? So don't ask dumb questions.

      July 22, 2011 at 3:43 am |
    • o.k.

      No fan of para-church organizations...you simply can't paint our Lord into a box. Of course Jesus didn't address para-church organizations (why would he?). But, if a Christian says to another Christian...I want spread the gospel and care for the poor, will you help me? Is the other Christian to say..."only if we can set up our office in the local church" That is absolutely nonsensical. As for the treasurer issue–my apologies, no harm meant, just an ill-fated attempt a humor. But I am going to take a stab at this one–your Catholic?

      July 22, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • Cru staff member

      I think you are limiting the "church" to the buildings. The Church universal is the body of believers and Cru very much falls into that category. Christ loved the Church, i.e. his followers those who love him and do what he has commanded. Since its very beginning Campus Crusade for Christ has worked to fulfill the great commision. We work with churches, in churches, and through churches but we are very much a part of the Church (notice the capital letters).

      July 22, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  20. Artist

    First thing that came to mind when I heard the name was there people on campus going after muslims. How long did it take them to figure out perhaps it wasn't the best name choice?

    July 21, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Well because the word "Crusade" initially meant: : a remedial enterprise undertaken with zeal and enthusiasm (according to Merriam-Webster)

      July 21, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Free

      If you look into the origins of the word 'Crusade' I think you'll find that it was always linked to the cross.

      July 22, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.