- Campus Crusade for Christ International (CCC) was founded in 1951 on the campus of UCLA by
the then 29 year-old Bill Bright (1921-2003), who at the time was a seminary student at neo-evangelical Fuller
Theological Seminary. Bright grew up in Coweta, Oklahoma, and was a successful businessman with
an oil company and a specialty food business before attending seminary. Bright
was a member of, and attended a church affiliated with, the ultra-liberal, lesbian-ordaining Presbyterian Church USA
(PCUSA). The ministry was turned over to Steve Douglass in 2001 when Bright's
health worsened. Bright died in July of 2003 of pulmonary fibrosis.
According to Bright, the Lord directly communicated with him on forming Campus Crusade. Bright claimed to have received an "overwhelming impression that the Lord had unfolded a scroll of instructions" to him. "He was to help carry out the Great Commission on the campuses of the nation and the world ... Bill Bright knew it was a commission from God." Bright compared his "impression" from God to that "of what the Apostle Paul experienced on his way to Damascus ... God commanded me to invest my life in helping to fulfill the Great Commission in this generation." Bright claimed to have later received even more insights "for the implementation of the original vision ... my heart was filled with praise and thanksgiving to the Lord for this remarkable revelation of what I was to do with my life ..." Shortly after receiving his message from God, God also spoke with one of Bright's professors at Fuller: "Dr. [Wilbur M.] Smith ... had scribbled these letters, 'CCC.' He explained that God had indeed provided the name for my vision." (Emphasis added.) (All quotes from Come Help Change the World, pp. 1, 26-27.)
- CCC is now based in Orlando, Florida, and operates more than 60 niche ministries in 191 countries, focusing on such widely diverse groups as students, business executives, athletes, and military personnel. CCC's 2002 worldwide revenues totaled $374 million (the largest grossing ministry in the U.S.), allowing it an operation presence on more than 650 U.S. campuses and 470 campuses overseas. CCC has 26,000 full-time workers and more than 225,000 volunteer staffers. (Reported in the 7/21/03, The Times, Associated Press; and the 7/28/03, Christian News.) Main ministry efforts are:
- College Life
- High Schools
- Lay Evangelism Training -- Lay Institute for Evangelism (for individuals & churches)
- Military -- COME (Conference on Military Evangelism)
- Athletics -- AIA (Athletes in Action)
- Mass Media -- publications (formerly-owned "Here's Life Publishers")/ audiovisuals (the "Jesus film")/radio & television/correspondence
- Mass Evangelism -- New Life 2000
For years, Bright had claimed that the key to the growth of CCC had been the use of the strategy of
"spiritual multiplication" -- using popular students, executives, and political leaders to spread the gospel.
(By Bright's estimate, CCC helped reach at least two billion people with the gospel.) Bright's and
CCC's strategy was one of mass marketing. Bright was a businessman. His business acumen
emboldened him to wed spirituality and marketing principles: "Bright
understands America's appetite
for a simple message with straightforward appeal. So the gospel presentation he
has fashioned can be
mass produced, expeditiously disseminated, and proficiently advanced" (7/14/97, Christianity Today), hardly a model of Biblical Christianity.
Bottom line, however, Campus Crusade is a "parachurch" ministry that has no Scriptural authority. By definition, a parachurch ministry is one "raised up" by man supposedly to accomplish something churches are charged to do by the Scriptures. However, one should question raising up an organization outside the church (para-church) to accomplish objectives ordained by God to be produced by the normal, proper functioning of the local church and all its parts, especially for the evangelization of the lost. All too often, what is established to assist local churches ends up competing with them and introducing unscriptural philosophies and practices.
- All CCC staff workers raise their own support, 12% of which is channeled into the ministry (5 percentage points to overhead; 5% to overseas ministries; 2% to U.S. ministries, focusing on supporting minorities on staff). Bill and Vonette Bright also raised their own support and between them earned $48,000 ($29,000 and $19,000, respectively). Bright relinquished his Templeton prize money (in excess of $1 million) for the purposes of developing the ministry of prayer and fasting. (See later in this report for details.) He also liquidated $50,000 of his retirement funds to help start up a training center in Moscow. All royalties from his 50-plus books went to Campus Crusade; he did not accept speaking fees and had no savings account. The luxury condo the Brights lived in was donated to CCC (the Brights paid $1,000 a month rent). They did not own a car, and they owned no property (7/14/97, Christianity Today). If renouncement of material treasures could land one a seat at the wedding supper of the Lamb, Bill and Vonette Bright would be in the front row.
- After Campus Crusade's supposedly supernatural beginning, Bright enlisted a bevy of neo-evangelical compromisers as his special advisors, including Dan Fuller and Billy Graham. CCC has become a highly ecumenical organization, which leads one to wonder why Campus Crusade would become involved with other denominations preaching a false gospel that might possibly enlighten souls to who Jesus Christ is, but do not tell people how this knowledge must be coupled with faith in His blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of their sins, thereby gaining them eternal security? Any organization which works together with other organizations preaching a false gospel will not only give approval to such a false gospel (2 John 9-11), but will assist in setting up an organization that will lead to the one-world church described in Revelation 17. A few examples of CCC's ecumenism follow:
(a) On the 9/30/90 airing of the John Ankerberg Show, Ankerberg interviewed Bill Bright and The Jesus Film project director, Paul Eshleman. In describing the ecumenical supporters of The Jesus Film, Bright stated that churches of all denominations support the film: "... not CCC churches; we have none. We work with churches of all denominations and all mission groups." Eshleman echoed Bright: "I think the gratifying thing to me is the fact that we have been able to work with 227 different Christian organizations and churches -- Christian Missionary Alliance, the Southern Baptists, the Catholic Church -- many, many different churches that are showing the film as a means of just saying, 'this is Jesus.' He says, 'If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to Me.' When you lift up Jesus, He does draw people."
(b) In a fund raising promotional brochure for Morris Cerullo's takeover of Jim Bakker's PTL/Heritage properties, Bill Bright was one of the "joyful" endorsers of the scheme that was based on the charismatic, name-it-and-claim-it/positive confession/health and wealth gospel theory. (Cerullo is a faith-healing, "signs and wonders," demon-delivering charismatic.) (Reported in the 3/1/91, Calvary Contender.)
(c) Bill Bright spoke of the "great work" of God "in both the Roman Catholic and Protestant fellowships ..." When the FEA's Foundation editor, M.H. Reynolds, asked Bright how he could Scripturally justify having Roman Catholics on CCC's staff and working with them in evangelism, Bright replied, "I can work with anyone who calls Jesus Lord." (Funny thing -- Jesus couldn't -- Matt. 7:21-23. When this was pointed out to Bright, he gave no answer and walked from the room in silence.) Mormons, Moonies, and many other cults also call Jesus Lord; would Bill Bright fellowship and evangelize with them also? (Reported in the July 1991, CIB Bulletin, p. 2.)
(d) Leaders from Campus Crusade and World Literature Crusade cooperated with charismatic "evangelists" Charles and Frances Hunter (the "Happy Hunters") in a door-to-door "religious census" in Honduras. The door-to-door program has been incorporated into the Hunter's "Healing Explosion" meetings elsewhere. (Charles and Frances Hunter teach that all Christians are commanded to speak in tongues and to heal the sick -- false doctrine combined with pseudo-evangelism!) (Reported in the Mar-Apr 1992, Fundamentalist Digest.)
(e) The CoMISSION is a coalition of over 60 neo-evangelical groups chaired by Bruce Wilkinson, the ecumenical head of Walk Thru The Bible Ministries. Other members include: Campus Crusade, Wheaton, Navigators, Cedarville, Moody Bible Institute, Youth For Christ, Church of God, In Touch (Charles Stanley), and Biola. The CoMISSION's purpose was to recruit volunteers to raise funds to spend a year teaching Russian teachers Christian ethics and morality ("Character Education"). The CoMission had the endorsement of the Russian Orthodox Church. The project was to be turned over to Russian leadership by 1997. A 1995 letter canceling the Protocol had negligible effect. Tongues-speaking CoMISSION members are asked to refrain from public exercise, but private exercise of tongues is permitted. An 11/22/96 paper from the Navigators CoMISSION stated the policy for dealing with doctrinal diversity: "All CoMISSION organizations and individuals must agree to the Lausanne Covenant. This provides for great commonality. CoMISSION training focuses on what we have in common and what we have to offer each other, not on different doctrines, traditions or gray areas." The Graham/Stott Lausanne Covenant is weak on Biblical inerrancy (7/1/93 & 1/15/97, Calvary Contender).
(f) Bright fasted for 40 days during the summer of 1994, during which he claimed to have received a "prophecy from God" that a mighty revival is coming. He then issued a call for hundreds of liberals, charismatics, and new-evangelicals to gather in Orlando 12/5/94-12/7/94 to fast and pray for revival. An Invitation Committee made up of a hodgepodge of 72 liberals, new evangelicals, and charismatics was formed. Included were: Robert Schuller, Charles Colson, E.V. Hill, Jack Hayford, James Dobson, W.A. Criswell, Charles Stanley, Paul Crouch, Luis Palau, Bill Gothard, Pat Robertson, Kay Arthur, and Larry Burkett. Bright cited "a great sense of urgency to link arms and unitedly call upon God for help in the spirit of King Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 20)." This ecumenical "linking" is in the "spirit of Jehoshaphat" indeed, but the Jehoshaphat of 2 Chr. 18 (instead of 2 Chr. 20) where he "linked" with wicked King Ahab and incurred the wrath of God. (Reported in the 11/15/94, Calvary Contender.) (Mission America is the umbrella under which these ecumenists gather, which includes the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Campus Crusade for Christ, along with many other church and parachurch organizations. It is a program of ecumenical evangelism as practiced by these groups. The philosophy that seems to supersede others is THE END JUSTIFIES THE MEANS. This "Christian" form of pragmatism sets aside Biblical truth so that cooperation can be established [Ralph Colas Fasting & Prayer conference report].)
Another three-day "Fasting & Prayer" conference was held in 11/95 in Los Angeles; it attracted 3,500 "evangelicals" and charismatics. The Invitation/Host Committee for this event included most of those listed above, plus Dick Eastman, Chuck Smith, Bill McCartney (Promise Keepers), Tim and Beverly LaHaye, Shirley Dobson, Paul Cedar (E-Free), Ted Engstrom (World Vision), Joseph Stowell (Moody), and Joseph Aldrich (Multnomah). A third conference was held 11/14/96-11/16/96 in St. Louis. New additions to the Host Committee included Max Lucado, Henry Blackaby, Loren Cunningham (YWAM), Greg Laurie, Dennis Rainey, Randy Phillips (Promise Keepers), Josh McDowell, D. James Kennedy, Howard Hendricks, and Neil Anderson. (When Bright spoke at the convention, he was in his 15th day of a 40-day fast. Fasting was placed on the same level of importance as prayer. It was made a public matter rather than a private one. Those who had fasted were interviewed so their testimony would be made public. While 2 Chron. 7:14 was often quoted, nowhere is fasting mentioned or implied in that particular verse.) (Conferences have been held every year now, but there is an uncertain future with Bill Bright's August 2001 retirement from Campus Crusade, and Bright's death in 2003.)
(g) Big plans were made for celebrating the year 2000, making it a World Year of Thanksgiving, global ecumenism, etc. New Ager Jay Gary, who has been active for many years in evangelical circles (Campus Crusade, Lausanne, etc.) in 1991 launched BEGIN or Celebration 2000, a network that appears to provide a link between global spiritualists like Robert Muller and so-called evangelical Christians (2/95, Signal). Muller, a former UN assistant Secretary-General, calls himself a Catholic, but is basically a New Age Hindu-Catholic. Gary calls Muller a "Key Person" for BEGIN. Gary speaks approvingly of many radical apostates and New Agers in his Star of 2000 book. Yet his book was endorsed by Bill Bright. He wants to give a global birthday party in the year 2000 as a gift to Christ, but this "christ" is a counterfeit (3/15/95, Calvary Contender). [In 4/95, after being confronted with the New Ageism of Gary's book and asked to withdraw his endorsement, Bright instead re-endorsed the book saying, "... the Christ which Jay Gary lifts high throughout this book is, indeed, the Christ of the gospels, the cross, the resurrection, the Epistles and the Revelation. ... Jay Gary's references do not endorse New Age thinking. ... I WISH TO REAFFIRM MY ENDORSEMENT OF THIS BOOK. ... I TRUST THE BOOK WILL BE READ AND FOLLOWED BY MANY" (Fax from Bill Bright, dtd 4/26/95). See later in this report for more on Jay Gary.]
(h) As early as 1969, Bill Bright said, "We do not attack the Roman Church. We believe God is doing a mighty work in it and will no doubt use millions of Roman Catholics to help evangelize the world" (The Past & Times Star, Cincinnati, Ohio, 8/3069). There was also "Explo '72" in Dallas; "Key '73 Evangelism" in which Roman Catholics, Orthodox, ecumenists, evangelicals, and charismatics all participated; and "Explo '74" in South Korea, all organized by Bill Bright. At Billy Graham's Amsterdam '86 conference, Bright said, "There was a day when Protestants and Roman Catholics would not have much to do with one another. But today the Spirit of God is doing such a great working in both the Roman Catholic and Protestant fellowships and communications that I feel much at home wherever Jesus Christ is honored" (Jul.-Aug. 1986, Foundation magazine). Bright was questioned about Roman Catholic and Orthodox involvement at the Amsterdam '86 conference. His answer was: "The Holy Spirit of God is doing something unique in most major denominations -- Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, Roman Catholic ... In all denominations I think there is a return to New Testament faith" (Nov.-Dec. 1991, Foundation magazine).
(i) Campus Crusade also has Roman Catholics on staff. In an interview with Wittenberg Door, June-July 1978, Richard Quebedeaux noted, "In Ireland, Campus Crusade is registered as a religious order ... And they work entirely within the Catholic church there with Catholics because there is nobody else to work with." Not only had Bright been one of the leading organizers of ecumenical meetings, but he also had been involved in the decisions to invite Catholic participation in these conferences. Bright's "Here's Life America" crusade in 1976 had Catholic participation. In the 12/12/86 issue of Christianity Today, Bill Bright endorsed the film The Mission, which is about Catholic missionaries. Bright called the movie "a triumphal film with a life-changing message which will enrich your life for years to come." Bright participated in the publication of a series of books on evangelism co-sponsored by Tyndale House and the Paulist National Catholic Evangelization Association. The first book in the series, What Christians Can Learn from One Another About Evangelizing Adults, included articles by Bill Bright, Pope John Paul II, Archbishop Joseph Bernardin, and others. (Source: 3/97, FBIS.)
(j) Former professing Bible-believing evangelical Dr. Jack Van Impe now praises the Pope and accepts as brothers those of whom he formerly warned. In a 3/21/94 letter he says: "The most stunning news in 2000 years of Christendom is about to be exposed by the 264th Pope on our new video ..." On this 98-minute video ("Pope John Paul: Startling Revelations"), Van Impe praises the Pope. At the end of the letter Van Impe says, "Dr. Bill Bright, the leader of Campus Crusade, requested our earlier twenty minute version to show to thousands gathered for a youth conference" (4/15/94, Calvary Contender).
(k) Each year since at least 1980, Bill Bright had been a key organizer and sponsor of the "Washington for Jesus" celebrations, which have included Catholic priests, Seventh-day Adventists, those who deny the Trinity (the United Pentecostal Church), and other unscriptural ecumenists. The first "Washington for Jesus" convention in 4/80 featured apostate Robert Schuller; charismatics Jim Bakker, Demos Shakarian, and Pat Robertson; as well as Catholic priests John Bertolucci, John Randall, and Michael Scanlon (Flirting With Rome; Vol. 2).
(l) Bright was a member of the National Honorary Committee of Clement Stone's Religious Heritage of America (RHA). Stone, a 33rd degree Mason, is a promoter of the occultic theory that God is a metaphysical power that can be tapped into (The Seduction of Christianity, p. 28). Stone was the financial and inspirational force directly behind the "ministry" of the late Norman Vincent Peale, and indirectly of Robert Schuller.
(m) CCC's International Committee of Reference includes 33 degree Mason Roy Rogers, Johnny Cash, charismatic David Yonggi Cho, New Ager Jay Gary, 33 degree Mason and U.S. Senator Jesse Helms, "Christian" rock singer Michael W. Smith, Pope-praiser Jack Van Impe, and dozens of other like suspects.
(n) Pope John Paul II visited New York on 10/7/95 and said Mass in Central Park. Meeting privately with the pope were Bill Bright, Pat Robertson, and Chuck Colson (12/1/95, Calvary Contender).
(o) At the 55th National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) Convention's Evangelism and Home Mission Association banquet, Bill Bright said, "God has given me the assurance that revival is coming. We Presbyterians usually do not get special revelations from God, but I did." He added that "Fifty-two years ago, when I made a profession of faith, partitions were high between denominations, but all of this has changed, because now there is a spirit of love and harmony between these denominations. CCC is partnering with 500 mission groups around the world, and, because of prayer and fasting, miracles are happening." Bright told of a book that CCC is publishing listing those who have fasted and the miracles that became a reality because they did (Ralph Colas' 1997 report of the 55th annual NAE Convention).
(p) Bright joined hands with Catholic priests, Jewish rabbis, liberal Protestant clergymen, Muslim leaders, and other false gospelers in a "Summit of Faith" in Tallahassee, Florida, on 12/7/00. The two-hour event was coordinated by Jim Towey, a Catholic who organized "Awakening 2000," a program "promising spiritual renewal in Florida.” Towey is a former volunteer for Mother Teresa. More than 50 religious leaders attended the “Summit of Faith." Bright was one of the speakers at the event. He said, "We must turn back to the God of our fathers. There is no one else who can help us." He was right, but he confused the truth by his unscriptural ecumenical adventures and his refusal to expose false gospels (10/8/00, FBIS).
(q) The "Beyond All Limits" pastor's conference convened in Orlando, FL, Jan. 17-19, 2002. Bill Bright had the vision for this. The purpose was twofold: first, to minister to the 5,000 pastors assembled at First Baptist Church, and second, to launch a new Internet program for training pastors for the new millennium, the Global Pastors Network (GPN). The ambitious plan to network (join together in common fellowship, ministry, and purpose) and instruct virtually every Christian worker in the world by way of the Internet and satellite technology in the decade ahead was impressive. The proposed global synergistic church model, an ecumenically-styled network of churches and ministries where doctrinal issues are set aside, and all who say they love Jesus will join together to reach the world for Christ. Speakers included Jerry Falwell, Joe Stowell, Gary Smalley, Rick Warren, and Joseph Trask. Charismatics were also well represented (Jack Hayford, and PK's Bill McCartney), and stressed the need for no divisions to exist between all Christians. The above speakers and the following other ministries are part of 200 already committed to the GPN: Kay Arthur, Henry Blackaby, Bill Bright, Chuck Colson, Jim Cymbala, James Dobson, John Hagee, David Jeremiah, John Kilpatrick, Erwin Lutzer, Chuck Swindoll, and Bruce Wilkinson. A conference leader said: In the future, those [pastors] who are not networking will not be working. (Reported in the 5/02, Calvary Contender.)
- Announced at a press conference on 3/29/94 was an ecumenical declaration titled "Evangelicals and
Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium" (ECT). The negotiations toward the
declaration were initiated in 9/92 by Chuck Colson and Richard Neuhaus (former Lutheran clergyman
turned Catholic priest) under the auspices of the ecumenical and theologically liberal Institute on
Religion and Public Life (headed by Neuhaus). The declaration starts with "We are Evangelical
Protestants and Roman Catholics who have been led through prayer, study, and discussion to common
convictions about Christian faith and mission." It goes down hill from there. The coalition specifically
called for an end to aggressive proselytizing of each other's flocks (in effect, a mutual non-aggression
pact), and even confessed their past sins against unity.
The declaration said: "All who accept Christ as Lord and Savior are brothers and sisters in Christ." This conveniently ignores the fact that Catholics espouse a works-salvation false gospel! In a revealing admission of what brought these groups together, some signers said it was the experiences of worshiping together in the charismatic movement and working together in political causes such as anti-abortion [Moral Majority for example]. In fact, one writer correctly assessed that the declaration "amounts to a truce on theological issues so that the parties can continue to cooperate on political issues."
Forty people signed or endorsed the document, including Protestants Bill Bright, J.I. Packer, Pat Robertson, Os Guinness, and Mark Noll (a historian at Wheaton College who said, "Evangelicals can no longer consider Catholics as ogres or anti-Christs"). Catholic endorsers included six priests, three bishops, one Archbishop, and one Cardinal.
In a 4/15/94 CCC staff letter, Bright defends his signing the ECT document because CCC has "never proselytized anyone" before, so what's the big deal now, and because "there are many godly Catholics who are committed to helping fulfill the Great Commission of our Lord. We can work with many of these wonderful fellow believers to finish the task without compromising our biblical commitments." Amazingly, we are being asked to believe that the Reformers were deluded; that like all active Catholics today, they were saved but didn't know it; the tens of millions of Catholics who since then have received Christ by faith alone, and left the Catholic Church, have also been deceived; and the whole evangelical church of today is equally deluded about what it means to be a true Christian. Colson, Robertson, Bright, et al., have revised both history and doctrine. Excommunication is the Catholic Church's penalty for saying one is saved and knows he has eternal life through faith alone in Christ's finished work. The very heart of the gospel which evangelicals affirm is denied by Catholicism in all its creeds, catechisms, canons, and decrees and dogmas, and those who dare to affirm it are anathematized (5/94, The Berean Call).
[Many have challenged Bill Bright to recant his position on the ECT, which he refused to do: "There are tens of millions of true believers among the Catholics who don't believe that salvation is something you can work for. Many are reformers, like Luther." In early-1995, a leading ministry specializing in evangelizing Catholics received a letter form Bill Bright's office saying that, "tens of millions of Catholics would have gone to Hell who now will be saved because he [Bright] signed the statement [the ECT]" (letter on file). Then in November of 1997, Bright signed the even more deceptive "Evangelicals and Catholics II" document, which was grossly misnamed "The Gift of Salvation."]
- In 1987, Bill Bright founded a "broad-based coalition of denominations and World Christian leaders" called New Life 2000. Billy Graham is the honorary chairman of an advisory board of 1,000 leading professing Christians. These "Christian" leaders include James Dobson from Focus on the Family, James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries, Charles Stanley, and Ted Engstrom, founder of World Vision and acting chairman of the committee. Jay Gary is an author, consultant, and partner with New Age occultist, Robert Muller. (Gary is directly promoting the philosophies of the World Parliament of Religions, the United Nations agenda for education via Robert Mueller's Global Core curriculum, and Global 2000, a plan whose goals include reduction of the world's population by the year 2000. In a best seller entitled Megatrends 2000, endorsed by Gary/Muller's newsletter as well as New Ager Marilyn Ferguson, the author devotes an entire chapter to religion, speaking favorably of New Age perspectives.) Gary is also communications consultant with New Life 2000, Campus Crusade's A.D. 2000 counterpart. Rome has, in fact, its own branch of A.D. 2000 called "Evangelization 2000."
- In early-March of 1996, Bill Bright was chosen by a committee made up of the leaders of the world's five major religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity) as the 26th recipient of the million dollar "John M. Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion." (The "Prize" was established in 1972 by New Age pantheist/science-of-mind universalist/investment guru John Marks Templeton.) The 1996 Prize was actually 700,000 British pounds, equivalent to about $1.07 million, and was awarded to Bright on 5/8/96 at Buckingham Palace. Bright promised to use the money to promote fasting among Christians.
Templeton, though he honors all religions, reserves his loudest praise for two of today's worst anti-Christian cults: Unity School of Christianity and the Church of Religious Science, whose beliefs coincide with his. He commends them for viewing man as "an expanding idea in the mind of God," and for striving for "progress" in religion because, "as mind advances [evolves], the old forms [of religion] die..." Obviously, it would be dishonest for anyone to accept the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion who was not in complete sympathy with its purpose and the beliefs behind it. Wouldn't the reception of the prize by any individual constitute an endorsement of what the prize represents in the mind of its founder? How could any recipient offer ignorance as an excuse when Templeton's neo-pagan views have been widely published for years? Try to imagine Daniel accepting an ecumenical prize from the sorcerers of Babylon, or Jesus from pagan leaders of His day! (5/96, The Berean Call).
Perhaps Bright was picked for this high "honor" precisely because of his devotion to the ecumenical movement. [Bright once said, "If they're Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, whatever, we don't even try to put down other religions. We simply proclaim the truth as we know it" (3/18/96, Christian News, p. 15).] Past Templeton Prize recipients were good ecumenists "Mother" Teresa, Charles Colson, and Billy Graham. Other past recipients also include India's Hindu guru, Baba Amte; Japanese Buddhist teacher and founder of the world's largest Buddhist lay organization, Nikkyo Niwano; the secretary-general of the World Muslim Congress, Dr. Inamulla Khan; evolutionist Alister Hardy; Unitarian Ralph Burhoe; the former president of India (Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan), who was awarded the Prize for his contribution to Hinduism; the Dalai Lama; and 1995's winner, atheist Paul Davies, a mathematical physicist known for his research bridging the gap between science and religion.
- What is the Gospel at CCC? -- Ten Basic Steps toward Christian Maturity -- Campus Crusade's easy-believism and Arminian-type gospel presentation clearly shows up through these booklets -- the Step 1 booklet in this series establishes carnality as a possible permanent lifestyle for a Christian (pp. 14-17); the Step 3 booklet has a long article about the Holy Spirit by CCC's founder and ecumenist, Bill Bright, that again assumes the carnal Christian lifestyle (as does the Step 7 booklet on witnessing). The surprising thing about the weakness of this ten booklet series is that Bright claimed to have received the "truths" incorporated therein directly from God!:
"As I turned over to go to sleep, I found my mind flooded with the truths concerning the Holy Spirit. Fearful that I might forget them if I didn't write them down, I got up for a pencil and paper and found several shirt boards. After filling the shirt boards, I found some brown wrapping paper and continued to write furiously. That night God gave me the truths concerning the Person and work of the Holy Spirit that have been basic to the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ through the years. This material has now been incorporated into our Bible study course, Ten Basic Steps toward Christian Maturity, which is being used by many churches and various Christian organizations around the world. This basis and revolutionary concept of how to be filled with the Holy Spirit has been condensed into a small booklet comparable to the Four Spiritual Laws presentation and is entitled, 'Have You Made the Wonderful Discovery of the Spirit-filled Life?' This Holy Spirit booklet is being used by many thousands of Christians all over the world to help lead carnal Christians into an abundant and fruitful life in the Spirit as well as to help new Christians understand their spiritual heritage in Christ. Like the Four Laws presentation, this brief presentation of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is having revolutionary results" (Come Help Change the World, pp. 49-50). (Emphasis added.)
- The Four Spiritual Laws was a tract developed in 1956 by Bill Bright at CCC, and is still being used extensively today (2.5 billion in print, translated in over 200 languages). Bright explained to us how in writing The Four Spiritual Laws pamphlet, he rearranged the points of the gospel message so an not to offend sinners:
"... revise the presentation so that the first law would be, 'God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life,' instead of 'You are a sinner and separated from God.' We moved the statement of the fact of man's sin and separation from God, making it Law Two. Thus, the Four Spiritual Laws started with the positive note of God's love ... through the presentation of the Four Spiritual Laws, that God loves them and has a wonderful plan for their lives. Can you think of any more exciting, wonderful message than this to proclaim to the world?" (Come Help Change the World, pp. 46-47). (Emphasis added.)
It may be an "exciting, wonderful message," but for those that are perishing, not an accurate one. God's
plan for lost, unrepentant sinners is anything but "wonderful" or "exciting" (see Rom. 1:18-32 and Rev.
20:11-15). Emphasizing God's love at the expense of making man cognizant of his sinful, lost condition,
is a perversion of the gospel. It might bring in larger numbers of professing "converts," but what gospel
have they really believed? A "Universalist, 'God loves everybody' gospel message," is not the gospel
the Apostle Paul conveyed in his letter to the Romans (1:18-5:21).
- Bright's easy-believism gospel could also be illustrated by his 1970s billboard and bumper sticker campaign that proclaimed "I Found It." Again, Bright's Scriptural knowledge was faulty -- no one is looking for "It"! -- cf. Romans 3:9-18. A major leader in the development and design of the "I Found It" campaign has said the movement was largely a failure in that it failed to produce lasting fruit. Should we ever expect God to honor and bless a program that reduces Jesus Christ to an "It"? Bright, to rationalize and justify the "I Found It" campaign, said many of its converts are in the "electric church" of television on Sunday morning. (Campus Crusade: Its Message and Methods, p. 15).
- Bright never had a problem with women in ministry. In fact, Bright's spiritual mentor in 1945 was a lady by the name of Henrietta Mears. Bright sat under Mears' teaching for years, primarily through a discipleship group led by Mears. In 1972, Bright's wife, Vonette, became active in CCC; she organized a prayer rally to which she invited women from all over the country to join in prayer for the nation and, more particularly, Explo '72 (7,000 women showed up) and the Great Commission Prayer Crusade of 1972. From there, Mrs. Bright moved into an even larger leadership role within the neo-evangelical community. She became a member of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization and served as chairperson of the Intercession Working Group from 1981 to 1990. She helped found the National Prayer Committee and served for nine years as chair of the National Day of Prayer Task Force. She helped draft legislation, which both houses of Congress unanimously approved, setting aside the standing date for the National Day of Prayer. "Women Today International," a daily radio program, is Vonette's latest undertaking, which "encourages and equips women in their respective callings, domestic or professional" (7/14/97, Christianity Today).
- Campus Crusade for Christ's ecumenical evangelism programs are being widely publicized by expensive advertisements in major evangelical and charismatic publications. The cost of these promotional advertisements runs into thousands of dollars as they occupy three full pages and are done in color. Campus Crusade's The Jesus Film is promoted in these and other ads which give highly exaggerated reports concerning those who have supposedly already been saved through watching this film.
The Jesus Film was first produced in 1979, was financed by billionaire Nelson Bunker Hunt (for $6 million), produced by John Heyman, distributed by Warner Brothers, translated into 786 languages, and is used by more than 400 mission agencies in addition to CCC. (In total, Hunt has raised over $1 billion dollars for CCC's various ministries.) CCC claimed The Jesus Film has been viewed by more than a billion people in 234 countries, with more than 50 million "making decisions for Christ." [Even if this were only half true, where are all the changed lives the Bible tells us will occur when God saves a person (2 Cor. 5:17)?] The massive production and showing of The Jesus Film is an integral part of Campus Crusade's worldwide evangelism program "Come Help Change the World Through NEW LIFE 2000. " CCC's New Life 2000 program consisted of showing The Jesus Film to over 5 billion people through the year 2000, with over one billion receiving Christ. (This would have been a 20% conversion success rate versus the currently stated rate of less than 6%.) Bright boasted: the Jesus film is "the single most effective tool for evangelism in the history of Christianity" (Foundation magazine, Jul-Sep 1995, p. 26). The marketing of The Jesus Film has resulted in CCC partnerships with approximately 450 religious groups throughout the world. It is called:
"The most realistic film ever made about Jesus." JESUS is a remarkable film with the power to change lives. The wonderful words of Jesus on this video will renew your own faith and help you gain new insights into His message of love and forgiveness. Award-winning producer John Heyman spent five years researching the story of Christ as presented in the Gospel of Luke to create the most accurate film ever made about His Life. You'll see the baptism of Jesus, witness many of His miracles, His sufferings, crucifixion and His resurrection exactly as recorded in Luke's Gospel."
In May, 1989, a Campus Crusade fund raising letter made the following additional claims concerning
The Jesus Film: "As Jesus rebuked the demon-possessed man in the film, a man in the audience fell to
the ground screaming. I have confirmed reports from India of JESUS film team leaders bringing such
people to the front, and through simple prayer and faith, seeing demons cast out by the power of God.
Yes, the film JESUS under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, has such great power that even the forces
of Satan cannot stand to listen to the words of Jesus. They know what the film JESUS can do, and
they will stop at nothing to keep spiritually hungry people from hearing the message of the Gospel ...
Leader after leader told me that this film is by far the greatest tool for evangelism they have ever used.
They have shown the film over and over again, at thousands of showings, with tremendous results. Just
in India alone, over 40 million people have seen JESUS. Of those, more than four million have
indicated a decision to receive and follow Christ. Thousands of Bible studies and churches have been
CCC is even using angels to raise funds for The Jesus Film project! In a letter received from Paul Eshleman in June of 1997, he said angels carried their five vehicles across barriers of terrain in Mozambique, and would-be robbers of their equipment in Thailand, "were startled by two brilliant white beings eight feet tall and brandish[ing] flaming swords." He said, "Our Lord intervened with His holy angels. Will you intervene with your prayers and gift?"
Such extravagant claims are not supported by the facts. The use of so-called anointed tapes and videos has long been practiced by Charismatic deceivers, and the fact that Campus Crusade makes the same claim for their JESUS film should be a matter of great concern to all who believe and practice Biblical principles and methods of evangelism. The Jesus Film is obviously the pride and joy of Bill Bright, who said it was the result of a "vision" given him by God in the early days of his ministry. It is readily apparent that Bright and Campus Crusade, formerly wary of Charismatic false doctrines and practices, are moving ever closer to this unscriptural approach to the ministry (Jan-Feb 1993, Foundation magazine). [Zac Bright, Bill's son, attended Life College, a Pentecostal school in Los Angeles, and was an assistant pastor of a Foursquare church (Pentecostal), and now pastors a PCUSA church. Zac says, "My father moves in charismatic circles and supports my ministry wherever it takes me, in charismatic circles and beyond (3/96, Charisma). Indeed, after Bill Bright's death, Charisma paid tribute to him as a man who did not specifically oppose tongues-speaking (Bright said so specifically in a 4/3/02 online interview at Crosswalk.com) and had changed his opposition to the charismatic movement in general.)]
Note on The Jesus Film: Hollywood never dared to portray Jesus face-on. One saw the back of His head or hand in films such as Ben Hur. But now a man who doesn't even profess to be a Christian plays the part of God manifest in the flesh! Are those who "come to Christ" through the film coming to the real Jesus, or the actor who plays his part? That actor, Brian Deacon, describes himself as a "lapsed Catholic" who hasn't practiced his faith: "I've had many doubts about Jesus' teaching," says Deacon. "I'm just an actor. I don't want the responsibility of being Jesus Christ ... The character of Jesus belongs to everyone and I had to find my own voice and emotions for the role." What "Jesus" is this who attracts multitudes! (12/95, The Berean Call). [See attached review of The Jesus Film.]
- In a 10/31/95 letter, Campus Crusade's Bill Bright said: "The number of Muslims who are seeing a vision of Jesus is growing. We cannot ignore what the Spirit of God is doing." He said CCC's Middle East director has received thousands of letters from Muslims, many telling of seeing Jesus in a dream. "... miraculous, incredible stories of visions. Muslims are seeing the risen Christ!" (12/1/95, Calvary Contender). According to Bright, most of these supposed sightings of Jesus were by Muslims in Iraq and North Africa, and were in relation to their seeing The Jesus Film. To give credence to "Jesus" appearances is to deny the sufficiency of the Scriptures to reach the lost and to diminish the clear teachings of God's Word (Fall 1995, The PROJECTOR).
- Bright often made it clear that he and CCC were very much open to compromise with the world if it would help bring in the numbers -- CCC has been very open to such things as using so-called "Christian" magicians to preach Christ (e.g., "Andre Kole, billed as America's leading illusionist, is also recognized as one of the leading inventors of magical tricks ... is a special representative of the Campus Crusade for Christ staff. He uses the fantasy of magic to gain a hearing for presenting the reality of Christ"), and the "Christianizing" of worldly music:
"It is the objective of the music ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ to present the ageless love of God and the exciting message of Jesus Christ to a generation that is largely unresponsive to the traditional approach. The program is designed, therefore, to attract high school and college students, to keep their attention with the sound they enjoy and are accustomed to, and to present Jesus Christ to them in a way that communicates to their needs" (Come Help Change the World, p. 159). (Emphasis added.)
Campus Crusade has always made an accommodation with rock music, notwithstanding the fact that
nothing is as opposed to the gospel as the ethos of rock. About 1984, Paragon Experience, a ministry
of Campus Crusade, produced a multimedia production, "The Dreamweaver." Unlike traditional movie
entertainment, "The Dreamweaver" contains only two minutes of talking. Instead, the storyline is
communicated through the use of visuals precisely synchronized to the lyrics of contemporary music
from the Beatles, John Denver, Simon and Garfunkel, Kansas, Styx, and others, blending this
stereophonic music with drama. How can the world's music communicate God's message? Answer: It
can't. (New Neutralism II, pp. 42-47). [Bright also spoke at the "Fishnet '91" rock concert (9/90,
Flashpoint, p. 3), and was on ZTV's advisory board (6/91, Charisma and Christian Life, p. 64).
ZTV is a major 24-hour music video network targeting 12-34 year-olds.]
- Campus Crusade's "Here's Life Publishers" published Mormon author Darrick Evenson's book, The Secret Message of the Zodiac. In order to hide his cultic/Mormon ties, Evenson writes under the alias of Troy Lawrence. (Reported in the 12/15/91, Calvary Contender.) Evidently, Campus Crusade has agreed to aid in the deception of the professing evangelicals buying their books. [Here's Life Publishers was sold to Thomas Nelson Publishers in early 1992.]
- Before its sale to Nelson, CCC's Here's Life Publishers also published Neil Anderson's 1991 book, Released From Bondage: True Stories of Freedom (freedom from "obsessive thoughts, guilt and hurtful memories, compulsive behaviors, satanic ritual abuse, childhood abuse, and demonic strongholds" says the subtitle). This book could justifiably be called "obscene" as it contains story after story of people who were supposedly delivered from demonic influence/invasion/possession by Anderson's "7-Steps to victory" program. Anderson tells all the filth (lurid details of the sexual immoralities committed by those interviewed) as people recount their lives to him.
Also published by Here's Life was James G. Friesen's Uncovering the Mystery of MPD, a 1991 book published as an authoritative text for Christians in dealing with multiple personality disorder. The book promotes just about every secular myth about MPD, so-called repressed childhood memories, satanic ritual abuse (SRA), and spiritual warfare, including occultic visualization. The book is based totally upon individual case histories (i.e., "stories") rather than scientific objectivity or solid Biblical exegesis. Friesen even gives credit to pantheistic New Age psychologist M. Scott Peck for his "work" with MPD and SRA.
- In endorsing ecumenical evangelist Luis Palau's 1991 book, Say Yes!, Bill Bright said: "I ... have always been impressed with him and his ministry for our dear Lord. His commitment ... preaching the pure Gospel has drawn the body of Christ together in scores of cities to help fulfill the Great Commission." Palau is a Catholic sympathizer whose ecumenical message is heavily diluted with pop psychology and Arminian easy-believism.
- Promise Keepers is the gigantic new (1991) "men's movement" among professing evangelical Christians. Its roots are Catholic and charismatic to the core. PK's contradictory stand on homosexuality; its promotion of secular psychology; its unscriptural feminizing of men; its depiction of Jesus as a "phallic messiah" tempted to perform homosexual acts; and its ecumenical and unbiblical teachings should dissuade any true Christian from participating. Promise Keepers is proving to be one of the most ungodly and misleading movements in the annals of Christian history. Nevertheless, Bill Bright was a promoter of, and frequent speaker for, this ecumenical, charismatic, psychologized men's movement. (Bright was also a contributing author for the 1994 PK book, Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper.)
- Another Campus Crusade accommodation is to the charismatic movement. ("I love their spirit," he said, adding, "They've grown up and we've grown up.") According to the Evangelical Newsletter for 5/27/83, Campus Crusade lifted its ban on speaking in tongues by members of its worldwide staff. The ban had been imposed in the mid-1960s when the charismatic movement entered mainstream denominations. Some observers think that Bill Bright had been influenced by his charismatic-leaning oldest son. In addition, at Campus Crusade's "Here's Life, Korea" Crusade, New Age charismatic David Yonggi Cho, pastor of the 150,000 member Full Gospel Central Church of Seoul, took a leadership role. [Bright also attended charismatic "Laughing Revival" meetings, and has said that he could feel God's presence in the Toronto Blessing (i.e., the "Holy Laughter" movement) (4/17/95, Christian News).]
Bright had also emphasized a technique called "spiritual breathing" -- a discipline he contrived that involves exhaling confessed sins and then inhaling cleansing and empowering of the Holy Spirit. He said spiritual breathing was "the one thing that causes my heart to be constantly aflame for him": "'Here I am, Bill Bright, a very sinful, depraved person. Christ comes to live within me, he died on the cross for my sins -- past, present, and future. I'm promised that if I walk in the light, the blood of Jesus cleanses me from all sin. Not to live in the joy of the resurrection is to dishonor our Lord, because he gave us the power. It is like pushing your car around instead of driving it.'" (7/14/97, Christianity Today).]
- At Campus Crusade's biennial national staff leadership meeting in Ft. Collins, Colorado, 7/20/95-7/26/95, "Hundreds of Campus Crusade for Christ staff workers publicly repented of personal sins ... the most significant [meeting] in the 50 years of this ministry ... After it ended, participants said they felt emotionally drained but joyous because they knew they had encountered God," said Bright. This type of public emotionalism is typical of the charismatic movement today. (Reported in the Fall 1995, The PROJECTOR.)
- CCC has also forged an alliance with the blasphemous, charismatic Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) owned and operated by Paul and Jan Crouch. The TBN newsletter of 12/90 stated, "The exciting news is that Dr. Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ has a team stationed in El Salvador, ready to produce Spanish-speaking Christian programs ... They LOVE the anointed Divine Healing services [there]. The Body of Christ is coming together in El Salvador -- non-Catholics and Catholics LOVE Christian TV and people all over El Salvador are coming to Jesus!" (Reported in the 2/15/91, Calvary Contender.)
In Crouch's in 2/93 newsletter, he says: "God is bringing His church together! The old denominational barriers are coming down! Just a few months ago, we had the privilege of joining with Vern Jackson, Dr. Adrian Rogers, Dr. Bill Bright, Dr. E.V. Hill, and Dr. D. James Kennedy and many pastors and ministers from across our nation for a great Call to Prayer for America! Our nightly newscasts sound like they're reading out of Revelation! America -- it's Time to Pray!" All are pictured with Paul and Jan Crouch in the their paper.
- Campus Crusade's Bill Bright endorsed and participated in the 9/95 National Evangelistic Census (NEC), a Kingwood, Texas charismatic/ecumenical ministry to "turn the nation back to God by winning our cities to Jesus." NEC sponsors an annual one day "census"/global neighborhood survey where teams of two go door-to-door asking questions from a form and presenting the "gospel"; an NEC brochure predicts: "The angels in heaven will be shouting when the goal of 25 million souls are reported won to Jesus in one day!" [Among other endorsers are Youth With A Mission (YWAM), the E-Free Church, and A.D. 2000 & Beyond Movement, as well as hyper-charismatics John Osteen, John Hagee, Charles and Frances Hunter, Frederick K.C. Price, Morris Cerullo, Marilyn Hickey, Dick Eastman, Jack Hayford, and Richard Roberts.] (CCC has also taken part in the annual ecumenical/ charismatic March For Jesus campaigns. Bright himself served on the National Advisory Board for the March for Jesus.)
- Campus Crusade's "The Jesus Film Project" is one of the "sending agencies" of Adopt-A-People (Colorado Springs, Colorado), a mission strategy that, rather than focusing on countries and missionaries, focuses on people groups or "nations"/tribes. Their ecumenical motto is: "A Church For Every People," and it publishes a "List of Unreached and Adoptable Peoples" through its Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse (co-published by A.D. 2000 & Beyond Movement and the SBC Foreign Mission Board). Resources available include books by A.D. 2000's Luis Bush and Jay Gary. (Other sending agencies are TEAM and YWAM.)
- The 9/93 Charisma had a section of articles discussing the legacy of the "Jesus Movement" of the late-1960s. Some key words/phrases characterizing this movement were: Sexual revolution, acid generation, long hair, hippies, rock/folk music, rebellion, anti-war protest, peace, love, "Jesus freaks," flower children, communes, and coffeehouse ministries. Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel were prominently discussed. The "Jesus movement" helped fuel the wildfire spread of the charismatic movement along with its CCM. It gave vitality to Campus Crusade, Youth With A Mission, and Jews for Jesus. Cornerstone magazine (indirectly), and Greg Laurie (an early Calvary Chapel convert), are also products of the Jesus movement (9/15/93, Calvary Contender).
- The Council for National Policy (CNP), founded in 1981 by Tim LaHaye, is a conservative "educational foundation." Its purpose, according to those few in the organization who will discuss it, is to bring together top conservative leaders from across the country and allow them to hear conservative speakers give their perspective on various issues of the day. It is an educational organization which "provides an opportunity to interact, exchange information, educate on critical issues, and redistribute information to the public" (Art Kelly, Vice President CNP Action, Inc., 12/7/93). But is there more to the CNP than it appears?
Meetings of the CNP are closed to the public and the media. Membership is confidential. When asked if the organization is a Christian one, Mr. Kelly explained that it is not -- "There are also members of the Jewish faith." Membership is by invitation only, "One member invites another member," Kelly said. "The membership dues are $2,000 per year for regular memberships and $5,000 per year for members of the 'Board of Governors.' The CNP, and CNP Action, Inc., charge separate dues, although many hold dual membership."
James Dobson has been a member of the CNP for at least ten years (as has Marlin Maddoux, D. James Kennedy, Bill Bright, and the Christian Coalition's Pat Robertson). CNP conference speakers typically call for conservative political action, policy making, or self-betterment of some sort.
- Some evangelicals have had to leave Campus Crusade because Bill Bright didn't want dispensational theology taught in the organization -- it's too negative. He felt that once the world was saved, there would be an important second step in a sanctification sense (which links him up with Charles Finney). Believers would automatically reconstruct society. They were going to end war, racism and everything else. Bright allowed his social agenda to revise his eschatology. New evangelicalism began out of pre-millennialism, but has had a major shift to amillennialism or post-millennialism (New Neutralism II, pp. 42-47).
- Bill Bright personally endorsed Hugh Ross's 1989/1991 book, The Fingerprint of God, which is a polemic for progressive creationism/theistic evolution, and thereby, is a denial of orthodox Christianity's literal/factual/historical interpretation of the first eleven chapters of the Book of Genesis: "Here we have a powerful new tool for convincing skeptical minds of the credible and compelling basis for personal faith in Jesus Christ."
From this endorsement, we can only assume that Bill Bright agreed with Ross's evolutionary philosophy. Among other things, Ross teaches that the Earth is billions of years old and that physical death fully existed long before Adam. (But would not this belief cause the doctrines of sin and salvation to fall? If death and bloodshed preceded Adam's rebellion against God, then what are "the wages of sin" and how did the entrance of sin change things? And if death preceded sin, then death is not the penalty for sin, and Christ's death on the cross accomplished nothing!) Since such evolutionary and old-earth thinking is totally incompatible with the work of Christ, should it not be a requirement that the head of a major so-called "gospel" ministry be a literal creationist?
- Lee Strobel, while a pastor on the staff of church
growth guru Bill
Hybels' Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois (he is
now a pastor at Rick
Warren's Saddleback Valley Community Church), authored a number of heretical
books, one being a 1993 book titled Inside the Mind of Unchurched Harry &
Mary: How to Reach Friends and Family Who Avoid God and the Church. The book
is endorsed in its Foreword by Bill Hybels, and on the jacket is
endorsed/recommended by thirteen even more neo-evangelical psychologizers,
Briscoe, C. Peter Wagner, Joseph Stowell, Elmer Towns, Bill Bright,
and Gary Collins.
In this book, Strobel makes it clear that he was drawn to Hybels' church, not by
the message of truth, but by the music of the world. After he found himself
comfortable with the music and modern style of worship, he simply reasoned his
way to a conversion experience. Strobel is completely geared to a needs based
religion. His purpose is to meet man's needs, based on his own perception,
rather than honoring man's obligation to worship and glorify God. Strobel's
purpose is to find out what works, and not to find out what is Biblical. His
purpose is to please lost, unregenerate men, and not to please God. To read
Strobel's book (and by nature of endorsement, Bill Bright's thoughts
also) you come up with the idea that the problem with people is that they are
simply unchurched. To the contrary, they need to be seen as lost and in need of
a Savior. (Source: 1/96, Plains Baptist Challenger, pp. 5-7.)
- For a number of years, CCC's chief college ministry staff member/spokesperson was Josh McDowell. (Though he occasionally still speaks at CCC college "crusades," and CCC still lists him as "Josh McDowell Ministry, Campus Crusade for Christ," McDowell is not as influential in Campus Crusade as he once was. His psychological/self-love teachings, however, remain an integral part of the College Life evangelism and discipleship materials.) Once known for his solid apologetics (e.g., Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Answers to Tough Questions, and Reasons Skeptics Should Consider Christianity), McDowell has apparently converted to a different gospel, one that "sells better": the humanistic gospel of self-love/self-esteem. His current message can best be summarized as: (a) poor self-image, rather than sin, is the cause of man's problems, and (b) improved self-image reduces or eliminates man's problems. Another CCC staff member who also teaches the same brand of religious humanism as McDowell is Dennis Rainey (author of Building Your Mate's Self-Esteem); Rainey is CCC's director of Family Ministry (officially listed as, "Executive Director, FamilyLife, Campus Crusade for Christ").
It would appear that Bill Bright was in full agreement with the self-love teachings of Rainey and McDowell as evidenced by his endorsement of R.C. Sproul's 1991 "self-love manual" The Hunger For Significance [the revised edition of his (Sproul's) 1983 book, In Search of Dignity]: "This book is must reading for everyone who desires to build the self-esteem of others." In addition, in a "Special Issue" of one of CCC's publications titled Lifeskills, one can find both psychoheresy and a number of inappropriate, uncommented upon, pop psychology quotes from well-known people such as Madonna and Oprah Winfrey (See "Campus Crusade for Christ & PSYCHOHERESY," Jan-Feb 1996, PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter). Also, CCC maintains a nationwide, 35-page list of pre-approved professional psychological counselors (i.e., psychotherapists) to help staff members "deal with problems in their lives." If a staff member uses a counselor on the list, CCC reimburses the cost. This procedure, which reimburses for psychotherapy for staff members, is evidence of psychoheresy in the organization, and an admission on CCC's part that Christ is not sufficient for dealing with problems of living. (See "Campus Crusade for Christ: Psychologizing (Therapizing) the Saints," July-August 1996, PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter).
- Promoted by such past and present CCC leaders as Bill Bright, Jon Braun, Peter Gillquist, Gordon Walker, Dick Ballew, Jack Sparks, and others, is the error that since the believer's sins are already fully forgiven, there is no need to confess them. Miles Stanford points out why this teaching is a "harmful aberration": "The primary ministry of the Holy Spirit at present is to reveal to us the Lord Jesus Christ as our new Life, and to occupy our minds and hearts with Him. When we descend into the indwelling Adamic life and consequently sin, the Spirit is grieved and must occupy us with ourselves and our sins, in order that honest confession to the Father may bring restoration of fellowship." (Incidentally, Braun, Gillquist, Walker, Ballew, and Sparks are now all Eastern Orthodox priests!)
- Eastern Orthodoxy (in spite of its separation from Rome in 1054 A.D. regarding the authority of the pope) involves basically the same false gospel as Roman Catholicism -- salvation through church membership, sacraments, and works. In recent years, a surprising number of evangelicals have joined the Orthodox Church. Several former staff members of Campus Crusade for Christ (Pete Gillquist, John Braun, Dick Ballew, Jack Sparks, et al.) have even become Orthodox priests. And why not? Campus Crusade has long accepted Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy as true Christianity. As one staffer who became an Orthodox priest testifies, "During my two-and-a-half years on staff [at Crusade headquarters]... I fully participated in the nearby Greek Orthodox parish, Saint Prophet Elias... Campus Crusade encouraged my active participation ..." [Peter E. Gillquist, ed., Coming Home: Why Protestant Clergy are Becoming Orthodox (Conciliar Press, 1992), 64. (Reported in the 6/95, The Berean Call.)]
- In 1980, Dr. Charles W. Dunn, Department Head and Professor of Political Science at Clemson University, wrote a book titled Campus Crusade: Its Message and Methods. Dunn was then the faculty advisor for Campus Crusade at Clemson. He became convinced that Biblical principles had been compromised by Campus Crusade. As a result, he took a stand for Biblical principles, resigned as a deacon at the local Southern Baptist Church, and removed his affiliations with Campus Crusade for Christ.
Dunn concluded that the Campus Crusade message deceptively differs from the Biblical message at crucial points. The world wants to know whether a message works, but the Bible asks first whether the message itself is correct. Dunn concluded that one reason why Campus Crusade's message is so popular is that Campus Crusaders are taught either by design or by default not to use "Christian jargon" like witness, repent, converted, blood, hell, sin, save, holiness, and apostasy. For example, when Campus Crusade's evangelistic tool, "The Four Spiritual Laws," was first printed, the word "repentance" was omitted. Although repentance now appears, it does not occupy the dominant position that it does in the Bible. Can there be salvation without repentance? This is an interesting technique in a psychological package designed to mass-produce Christians. It takes the edge off man seeing himself as he really is: naked, destitute, and condemned before a Holy God.
Another example given by Dunn is CCC's non-use of the word "saved." They make much of the terminology, "pray to receive Christ," rather than being saved (cf. Jn. 1:12; Rom. 10:9). People need to know that being saved means turning one's life over to the Lord Jesus Christ, not merely "praying to receive Christ" and then holding onto the old ways of life (Lk. 19:10). As for "apostasy," the Bible commands that Christians separate from it, but Campus Crusade links up with it. For example, most students and staff members of Campus Crusade with whom Dunn had associated steadfastly refused to leave apostate churches and denominations.
Dunn says he knew of no organization that places more emphasis on reaching the "influentials" on campus or in a community than Campus Crusade. Bill Bright fervently said that they wanted to win the leaders for Christ who would then influence others for Christ? That's very good worldly logic, but it's not Biblical. Jesus did not call the "high and mighty" to be among his twelve disciples. And when Paul was converted on the Damascus Road, God took him to Arabia for three years on a deprogramming and retraining mission. There is no Biblical evidence that his previously held prestigious position was an important factor in winning converts later. (Excerpted and/or adapted from Campus Crusade: Its Message and Methods.)
- In conclusion, it is interesting to learn what happens to those who disagree with leadership in Campus Crusade. Taken from Campus Crusade's campus ministry manual, they say, "A critical attitude of fellow staff of the Campus Crusade ministry, or of other individuals or groups, shall be considered as evidence of disloyalty to Christ, and shall be accepted as an act of resignation" (I FOUND IT!, p. 108). Can you believe this -- no criticism of anyone within CCC, nor of any individual or group outside of CCC! A cold dictatorship is a better way to understand this statement. This whole idea of not even voicing one negative thought against the leaders and equating that with disloyalty to Jesus Christ makes Campus Crusade God.