There are some drawbacks to being named after arguably the most bumble-headed thing (this is a family blog, and I try to keep cussing posts down to fewer than one per year, so bumble-headed is going to have to do) Christians have done since Peter lopped off an ear, sure. But here’s how the conversation normally plays out for me.
Me: I work with Campus Crusade for Christ:
Joe Freshman: Can you use the word “crusade?” isn’t that like “jihad?”
Me: I know, I like to call it “vintage militant.” We started back in the fifties, long before political correctness. Also during that time, Billy Graham was known to go on “crusades” where people came to an arena to hear a message. We were in essence extending those arena crusades to the college campus. Our name is meant to differentiate us from a “fellowship” in that we make it a point to initiate conversations and interactions about the Bible. We are about telling people (without the swords and burnings at the stake) that Jesus has changed our lives.
Joe Freshman: Oh, cool. Have you played Madden ’09?
See, to be honest, it’s not a stumbling block to people that are actually interested in spirituality, and talking about the gospel. Its a stumbling block to the atheist message boards and the students and faculty who are not in any way interested in the gospel. They are looking for a way to discount us without engaging us. Frankly, I’m ok with that. I am not interested in having a conversation with someone who has closed their mind to even the remote possibility of Jesus being who He said He was.
The charge that we should change our name to something else would be viable, if our movement of 50 years bore even a remote semblance to the crusades of 15th century Europe. But anybody who has been around the local, regional, or national leadership of Campus Crusade can tell you that there’s just nothing in common, on the level of motive, to compare. I’d much rather a person stay Muslim and dialogue with me than for me to force them to fake-repent.
And if we were to change our name to appeal to the fact that some antagonistic fringers don’t like it, then we become the ministry formerly known as Campus Crusade (no matter what we change our name to), and that won’t fit on my business card. I say we stick with two things: the same name, and the same love for the campus, that makes charges of bigotry really tough to stick. It’s tough to accuse a guy who is hugging you that he hates your guts, no matter how bumble-headed he is.