Saturday, July 23, 2011

Now You Tell Me

Campus Crusade for Christ is changing its name to Cru--or is it cru? The organization has its reasons. And in a list of frequently asked questions it seeks to provide an explanation for the change through its answers to these questions.

Some answers appear more direct and explanatory than others. For example, question #6 asks, "What does Vonette Bright (wife of the late Bill Bright, with whom she founded the organization in 1951) think about the new name?" We get a sort of non-answer for an answer. "...Vonette was involved throughout the process..." (that isn't the question) "...We sought her special counsel along the way..." (not asking if you sought her counsel or if you thought it was special...what does she think about the name change?) ..."She is excited about the outcome and the future of Cru." By "outcome" are you referring to the name change choice? Was "Cru" her choice? Did she vote in favor of it? Does she endorse the decision? Did she favor another choice over "Cru"?

Question #7 tries to explain why a brand consulting agency was hired. But question #10 is where the design emerges. It asks, Why did we take the name "Christ" out of our name? It is, in effect, a repeat of question #1, Why is Christ no longer in the name? But while the answer in question #1 is four paragraphs of that sort of non-answer thing, in question #10 the organization finally gets around to answering what is probably the primary question on everyone's mind.

And the answer is troubling. It begins with a repeat of the claim made in the answer to question #1 that they weren't trying to eliminate the word Christ from their name. But then they admit that, well, in fact, that is exactly what they were doing: "Cru enables us to have discussions about Christ with people who might initially be turned off by a more overtly Christian name."
Well, you probably couldn't get more overt than than the ministry's now former name, so if their objective was to turn on the ship's cloaking device they would seem to have succeeded.

Then again, maybe these sorts of shenanigans are why so many young people are choosing the YRR movement (see my previous post) over a more "seeker friendly", market--driven, and ultimately, watered-down approach.

It has been a long time since I was in high school, but I was heavily involved with Campus Crusade for Christ at the time. I received many blessings from that involvement. I once had the privilege of meeting Bill Bright. Although I was a believer, he did not take it for granted and made sure to confirm my relationship with Jesus Christ before our conversation concluded.

I wonder what he would think of the new name.

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