Thursday, February 01, 2007

An Open Letter to All "Crusades"

Campus Crusade for Christ
Billy Graham Crusade
Harvest Crusade

Can you please stop using the term "crusade?" Why would you want to use a term that references the use of war and murder to spread the gospel? I strongly believe that your organizations would continue to thrive and produce much fruit with a different title. There are many possibilities like "Campus Cause for Christ" or just "Campus for Christ." The term festival or something like that could be used for Harvest and Billy Graham. The negative connotations simply aren't worth whatever positives the organizations see in the names.

For a brief, non-scholary description of the Crusades. Check this wikipedia.
The quote below is from Campus Crusade from their website explaining why they still use the term crusade. It seems like a cop-out to me. They say that in recent years the world's sensitization to the beliefs of Islam make the term crusade negative. about the Christians murdering the Islams in the name of Jesus throughout the Middle Ages. I must add that I was involved with Campus Crusade in college at UCSB and I experienced some of the most important spiritual growth and challenge in my entire life. I believe in their cause, just not their name.
When this occured, the word "crusade" was used, especially within American Christianity, to denote a "movement or cause." The word did not carry the weight it does now in light of events in recent years, and the world's sensitization to the beliefs of Islam.

There has been debate concerning the impact of our name and the impression it may eilicit. At first it might seem a simple decision to change the name of our organization. However, because we are a worldwide organization with more than 25,000 staff present in more than 196 countries, the scope and impact of such a change would be massive and quite costly.

Franklin Graham calls his version a Franklin Graham Festival. I appreciate his change in terms. I'm sure he is still able to have the same impact - if not more. He was even willing to abandon the name that his father made so famous - The Billy Graham Crusade. Franklin could have thought that he should keep it for marketing reasons like Campus Crusade for Christ, but he was willing to change despite the conveniency. I applaud that.

So please change your name and help all Christians show that we are not seeking to murder the infidels, but share with them the redemptive story of Jesus Christ which offers love, peace, and forgiveness.

Thank you,

Eric Wakeling


Victor Estrada said...

Hey Eric, I just wanted to help you out in this. I thought of a few more crusades to add to that list on top. Here they are...

- The Somebody loves you Crusade (Raul Ries and Calvary Chapel Golden Springs)
- The Caped Crusader (That would be Batman)
- Indiana Jones (It's a little known fact that he indeed was involved with the last Crusade)
- World of Warcraft - The Burning Crusade (Brand spanking new WoW add-on)

Anyway, I hope that helps. I love you with all my heart Velveta Man. Peace OUT!

Brian Potter said...

So Eric, just a thought, isn't there a big huge spiritual war going on between good and evil, especially in times where there are these massive alter calls. So why wouldn't it be called a crusade, it is a big huge spiritual battle for the winning and salvation of souls.

Eric Wakeling said...

I think there is definitely a spiritual battle going on, but these terms are being used for people who are not believers. "Come to the Harvest Crusade" or "Come to our Campus Crusade meeting."

I just think the term "crusade" is confusing and offensive to people who don't understand the context of spiritual warfare and associate the term with the actual crusades where Christian knights killed the Muslim infidels.