I never liked the name “Campus Crusade for Christ” anyway (and always wanted to shave Bill Bright’s mustache)

I was in InterVarsity when I was in college. It was the one time people thought I was an athlete. All I had to do was say I was part of InterVarsity and people wanted to know what sport I played. The gig was up pretty quick, but for a while I had them on the hook.

The name “Campus Crusade for Christ” always seemed like a “let’s go to a tent revival and get saved” kind of name to me. It didn’t feel right for a college crowd. Their new name doesn’t either. But whatever.

What is bothering some people is that in updating their name they kept the Crusade reference (now calling itself Cru) and dropped the name Christ. I would have thought they would have gotten rid of any reference to Crusade with its rather dark association with the Crusades of bygone times.

Naming a group can be a bummer. My home church is The Tabernacle Church of Norfolk. It is about as nonPentecostal as you can get, but so many Pentecostal churches have Tabernacle in its name one would have thought the name didn’t fit. I wanted to take a friend to church but he at first didn’t want to go because his unchurched family thought that the name for sure meant it was one of those “crazy churches” that spoke in tongues and danced in the aisles. Of course, Tabernacle is a reference to the many kinds of religious buildings being constructed in the early part of the 20th century for revivalistic preaching. They were plain, easily constructed buildings that were designed essentially for preaching. Many Christian campgrounds call their chapel The Tabernacle.

The pastor always wanted to change that name. Not a chance. Today the name means nothing, communicates nothing, stands for nothing. It’s a name hung around the church’s neck and is just there to be explained.

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