The orthodox Christian theology of Hadley Robinson

Campus Crusade for Christ: Changing Our Name for Jesus

by Hadley Robinson

Someone emailed me the piece below that was sent out by a Campus Crusade worker he knows.  It is ironic.
The main reasons for the change [of Campus Crusade for Christ’s name] are:
  • There was a need for a name that more accurately reflected the broad scope of the ministry (not just campus). Crusade has been involved in other ministries such as church planting (especially in the Muslim world), family ministries, and community development for a number of years.
  • It allows for more of an adhesive connection between all the ministries that we have.
  • There is negative connotation with the term "crusade" (especially internationally), and we hope to increase our capacity for evangelism.  Individual missionaries within Campus Crusade have desired to move away from the term "crusade" for years, because of its historical connection with the "holy wars" fought by the Catholic Church.
  • Research has shown that 20% of people in the US are less interested in having a conversation about Jesus when they hear the name "Campus Crusade for Christ".
 Since our goal is to proclaim the gospel to every person, this response rate to our original name was unacceptable to our leadership.
The first two reasons for changing the CCC name make sense.  The last two reveal much of the inner workings of the CCC theological mindset that is predominant throughout the American evangelical world:  People refuse the Gospel because it is not presented properly.

Marketing the Gospel, as one would new cars, brings people into church buildings – but it has nothing to do with New Testament teaching, especially passages like John 6, 1Cor. 1-2, and Matt. 13:10ff.  Yes, the Apostle wanted the teaching concerning our Savior to be attractive (Titus 2:10) but not in the way religious leaders have in mind.  According to Scripture, it was to be attractive as a result of our behavior, not as a result of “what’s-in-it-for-me” presentations.  In Acts 2, for example, Peter called his fellow Jews accomplices to murder and three thousand were saved on the spot.  But making a name for oneself and scooping in money from the faithful routinely trumps Biblical truth.

It would be entertaining to have a dialogue between Jesus and the late Bill Bright, the founder of CCC.  It might go something like this (per Matt. 13 and John 3):
Bill Bright came to Jesus at night and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?"  He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.”  Completely astonished, Bright remarked, “Lord!  Are you crazy?”
Muslims are not going to flock to the Gospel because of marketing techniques invented by quasi-Christian organizations like CCC.  They will come if the Father draws them (John 6) and they were appointed to eternal life (Acts 8:26-39; 13:48).  In fact, a poor Muslim family in central Turkey was drawn to Christ in much the same way as with the Ethiopian eunuch – miraculous events that had nothing to do with marketing or tracts but with the irrevocable purposes of God.  In this case, no one could boast, as it should be.  The evangelism here was one of behavior – the love and gentleness of true Christians towards others along with their piety and holiness, ingredients largely missing in the Christian community these days.

Accordingly, if we are so concerned about the appearance of the Gospel, we could begin by encouraging Christians in the west to be of one mind in avoiding  things like immorality, adultery, homosexuality, and abortion while striving for love, gentleness, humility, chastity, honesty, and minding our own business, in particular (1Thess. 4:11).

Secondly, we need to be reminded that mass marketing of the Gospel is not Christian but an aspect of humanism.  This is why Jesus’ words concerning the necessity of bearing one’s cross are so repugnant to most – it is impossible to square this with humanism's core belief that our goal is to be happy in this life.

Thirdly, Muslim armies overran the Middle East during the 7th century killing, burning, and looting on their way to world conquest (yet unfinished).  The Crusades, even though improperly instigated by the Church, were organized in response to these brutal invasions by cutthroats.  Is there not some accountability here on the part of Islam to confess to these butcheries? 

Blaming Christians in the West for everything evil in the world, including the mess that is Africa, is inaccurate.  It is just another attack by the heathen to suppress the truth.  With Africa, it was largely impenetrable up until the late 19th century.  As someone wrote recently, blaming western Christians for the chaos there is like blaming the Romans for the lawless pandemonium that existed in Gaul.

It is a great scandal for the mass marketers that God would particularly bless Paul and Abraham (and some others) but not everybody.  There were many Pharisees but only Paul saw the resurrected Jesus.  Countless sheiks roamed about the Tigris-Euphrates region but only Abraham was made the object of incalculable blessing.  There were numberless widows starving in Israel during the famine when Elijah lived but he was sent to help one who lived in the city of Sidon (1 Kings 17:9 ff.)  The first receiver of grace was a murderer of the faithful, the second was a son of an idol maker, and the third was a Gentile.  God’s plans are irrevocable and not subject to the whims and contrivances of men (Rom. 11:29).  How is this not clear, unless we are Humanists?  We do not dispense the grace of God – we are but tools in His loving hands.

American evangelicalism continues down the road to more egregious error, especially in regards to mixing Christian orthodoxy with foreign philosophies, customs, and trends like humanism and egalitarianism.  The faithful should have no part of it.  Remember Athanasius!
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. – 1 Pet. 1:22
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