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One of the nation’s most prominent Christian ministries has decided to take Christ out of its name – a move that has generated cries of political correctness from within the evangelical community. Campus Crusade for Christ International announced this week that it will change the name of its U.S. Operations to “Cru” in early 2012.
“We felt like our name was getting in the way of accomplishing our mission,” said Steve Sellers, the vice president for Campus Crusade, noting that the ministry will still be committed to “proclaiming Christ around the world.” Sellers said researchers found that 9 percent of Christians and 20 percent of non-Christians were alienated by the name Campus Crusade for Christ.
“Our name was becoming more and more of a hindrance,” he told Fox News Radio. He specifically mentioned the word crusade. “It’s reverted back to some of its meaning related to the Middle Ages – forcing Christianity on different parts of the world,” he said.
“We were not trying to eliminate the word Christ from our name. We were looking for a name that would most effectively serve our mission and help us take the gospel to the world. Our mission has not changed. Cru enables us to have discussions about Christ with people who might initially be turned off by a more overtly Christian name. We believe that our interaction and our communication with the world will be what ultimately honors and glorifies Christ.” But that decision has created controversy within the evangelical Christian community – some taking to social networking sites and the organization’s website to voice their displeasure.
But Sellers defended the removal of Christ’s name from the title – and denied that political correctness was involved. “It has nothing to do with political correctness,” he said. “It has everything to do with how we can be effective at what God has called us to do.” “Most churches don’t have Christ in their name,” he said. “Hardly any other Christian organization has Christ in their name. People are making an issue out of something that isn’t the intent at all.”