OpEd: The Beleaguered Christians:Campus Crusade Drops Christ

Michael YoussefMany 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.

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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 this end?”

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 believe.

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 to glory.”

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 over 20 languages. Follow Youssef, a common sense intellectual and renowned author of 24 books, on twitter @michaelayoussef and through his news blog, www.michaelyoussef.com.

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.

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