Many faithful Christians feel that Campus Crusade for Christ’s
announcement to drop Christ from their name is one more confirmation
that there is a wholesale departure from the bedrock foundation of their
faith. A woman recently asked me, “Where will this end?” Certainly,
she is not alone in feeling overwhelmed and confused at the changes taking place today.
While I am not one who questions the motives of CCCI’s current leadership’s decision
to drop “Christ” out of their name, I do question the wisdom of their
timing. In a time when political correctness has run amuck and the name
of Christ has been eliminated from many Christian organizations (like The Christian Children’s Fund which is now ChildFund International), the faithful feel that Campus Crusade’s decision is yet another rug pulled out from under them.
Some Christians are rightly skeptical of CCCI Vice President Steve Sellers’
words assuring them that, “the ministry will still be committed to
proclaiming Christ around the world.”
Sadly, these Christians have history on the side of their
skepticism. When organizations in the past have found it necessary to
downplay their Christian roots, for whatever reason, they always assured
everyone that, “Our mission will remain the same.” Unfortunately, it
oftentimes does not.
Take, for example, an organization known as The Fellowship Foundation.
It was founded in 1935 by godly men who realized that politicians in
the nation’s capital were in desperate need of Christ and His power.
The current leaders have slowly but surely moved far away from this
founding purpose. Today, they feel compelled to include Jewish and
Muslim elements in their annual National Prayer Breakfast held in
Washington, D.C. Yet, the changes began by saying that they just did
not like the term “Christian.”
As a pastor, I hear the pain in the words of many Christians when
they talk about how one super mega church pastor, when squeezed by a
non-believer on secular television on whether
Christ is the only way to salvation, ended up waffling. Another super
megachurch pastor apologized to homosexuals and Muslims for biblical
stands that he previously held. As the lady said to me, “Where will
Every few weeks it appears that some super-duper megachurch pastor
who built his ministry and his reputation on biblical orthodoxy grabs
the headline news by denying the very things that he once claimed to
The tragedy of all tragedies is that the reason Campus Crusade for Christ
was successful around the world was precisely because they overtly
identified with Christ. When Mr. Sellers declared that the name of
Christ was hampering their effectiveness, he placed “expedience” above
the supernatural power that Christ promised to those who identify with
His name. It was not CCCI’s methods or clever techniques that blessed them in the past, but the very Christ whose name they now have removed.
It leads me to wonder if the current leadership feels so secure with
their sizeable endowment that they no longer feel wholly dependent on
Christ, trusting Him alone to accomplish His mission through the
ministry and provide for their needs. Clearly it is a question that we
all need to ponder. Jesus taught that money (mammon) rivals for the
allegiance and affections of His followers. This is why all Christians
and Christian institutions must be extremely careful lest mammon move us
away from our foundation, Christ, the very reason for our existence.
I say a daily prayer that has
intensified in my life the older I get: “Lord, keep me more faithful in
my latter days than in the previous ones, and if I am not … take me home
Everyone is welcome to join me in this prayer.
Dr. Michael Youssef‘s expertise on the Islamic
culture and the Middle East in today’s post-modern world is actively
sought by hundreds of thousands of followers around the globe. With a
Ph.D. from Emory University in social anthropology, his Egyptian
heritage gives him particular insight into the cultural and religious
entanglements of international affairs. ? It is estimated that over 10
million viewers/listeners around the world are tuned in every week
through an international Christian media ministry founded by Youssef, www.leadingtheway.org. It broadcasts via radio and television to over 200 countries and in
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Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of Michael Youssef and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charisma editorial staff. Click here to read a differing opinion by Phil Cooke. Click here to read a counter opinion by Mike Adamson, Campus Crusade for Christ’s director of communications.