Campus Crusade for Christ was founded in 1951 on the campus of UCLA. Bill Bright was then a seminary student at Fuller Theological Seminary and claimed that God commanded him to invest his life in helping to fulfill the Great Commission in this generation. (Come Help Change the World).
Since 1951 Campus Crusade has grown to immense proportions. Based in Orlando, Fla. it now operates more than 55 ministries in over 150 countries focusing not only on students but also on business executives, athletes, and military personnel. It is reported that CCC operates on more than 650 U.S. and over 450 overseas campuses. With 1996 worldwide revenues totaling more than $300 million, over 14,000 full-time and more than 160,000 volunteer staff Campus Crusade is perhaps the largest grossing ministry in the U.S. (Christianity Today 7/14/97)
CCC’s core ministry efforts are not only directed at high schools and colleges but Lay Evangelism Training -- Lay Institute for Evangelism (for individuals & churches), COME (Conference on Military Evangelism), AIA (Athletes in Action), Mass Media -- publications and audiovisuals (the "Jesus film") / radio & television / correspondence.
In this day of prosperity teachers leading extravagant life-styles (at the expense of their congregations) Bill Bright and his wife Vonette are a refreshing contrast. Their condominium has been donated to Campus Crusade for which they pay rent. They have no savings account, no property and no car. They raise their own support (as do all CCC staff) and all royalties from his books go to CCC. They liquidated 50,000 of their retirement funds to help set up a training center in Moscow and Bright gave up his Templeton prize money (in excess of $1 million) to develop a ministry of prayer and fasting. (Christianity Today, 7/14/97).
Unfortunately the positives are more than offset by the negatives in the Campus Crusade story. CCC’s involvement with groups that preach a false gospel and the fact that they have become a highly ecumenical organization is much cause for concern especially in light of their vast outreach and influence.
John M. Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. The above-mentioned Templeton prize is disquieting since the ‘judging’ committee is made up of leaders of the world’s five major religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity). Bright was the 26th recipient of the million-dollar award for ‘Progress in religion’ which was established in 1072 by New Age pantheist / Universalist John Marks Templeton. While Templeton claims to honour all religions he is strongly in favour of the Unity School of Christianity and the Church of Religious Science. He extols them for seeing man as "an expanding idea in the mind of God," and for striving for progress in religion since "as mind advances [evolves], the old forms [of religion] die..." Templeton’s neo-pagan views have been well known for years and for a Christian leader to accept any form of an award or prize money from one who’s views largely conflict with Christianity is totally unacceptable. The receiving of the Templeton award is a sad message of compromise that has no doubt filtered down to the thousands of Campus Crusade’s workforce.
(InPlainSite Note: Another so-called Christian leader associated with the Templeton Foundation is Rick Warren, pastor of Saddle Back church and author of the the Purpose Driven Program. Read more about the Templeton Foundation )
Was Bill Bright’s commitment to the ecumenical movement one of the contributing factors to his being selected? Past recipients have included Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, Baba Amte (India's Hindu guru), Ralph Burhoe (Unitarian), Alister Hardy (Evolutionist), Nikkyo Niwano (founder of the world's largest Buddhist lay organization), Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (former president of India for his contribution to Hinduism), The Dalai Lama Etc. Bill Bright has been quoted as saying "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).
See The Case For Christianity
It is tragically true that few of those who believe 'all spiritual beliefs are valid paths to God" seem to have made an in depth study of various religions to see if their claims are based on fact, or fairy dust.There is far more evidence in favor of the Bible being true, than there is for any of the other 'holy books' like the Qur’an, the Bhagavad-Gita, the writings of Confucius, or the Book of Mormon. This evidence includes it's humanly impossible authorship, it's candor about the faults and failings of it's main characters, fulfilled prophecy, and it's archaeological and scientific accuracy... none of which are seen in the books of other religions. inclusivistic language. But down underneath it believes that the only way is to deny there is an only way.
The Catholic Connection: Bill Bright has also spoken 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." (CIB Bulletin, July 1991, p. 2.) The Mormons among other cults also call Jesus ‘Lord’.
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).
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.)
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).
In a 3/21/94 letter Dr. Jack Van Impe 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).
See Catholicism..A Cult? and The Truth About Catholicism
"Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium" (ECT). This ecumenical declaration (1994) was initiated by a former Lutheran clergyman (Richard Neuhaus) turned Catholic priest and Chuck Colson and 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." The declaration goes on to say "All who accept Christ as Lord and Savior are brothers and sisters in Christ."
What is most scary though is the specific call to end aggressive proselytizing and the confession of past sins against unity.
Forty people signed or endorsed the document, including 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. One writer assessed that the declaration "amounts to a truce on theological issues so that the parties can continue to cooperate on political issues."
The Australian Beacon for May 1980 quotes Dr. Bright as saying that
"We do not attack the Roman Catholic Church. We believe that God is doing a mighty work in it and will no doubt use millions of Roman Catholics to evangelize the world."
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."
(See Holding Hands With The Pope)
Eastern Orthodoxy Connection: The Eastern Orthodox Church separated from Rome in 1054 A.D. over the authority of the pope, but still holds to salvation through church membership, works and the sacraments. Campus Crusade has long accepted Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy as true Christianity. Several former staff members of Campus Crusade (Pete Gillquist, John Braun, Dick Ballew and Jack Sparks) have even become Orthodox priests.
"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. (The Berean Call. 6/95).
The Charismatic Connection: CCC has allied themselves with the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) owned and operated by Paul and Jan Crouch. "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!" (The TBN newsletter of 12/90. 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. [See TBN ]
Leaders from Campus Crusade and World Literature Crusade worked together 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 ) (Fundamentalist Digest. Mar-Apr 1992) [See Section The Christian and Tongues]
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 name-it-and-claim-it/ positive confession/health and wealth gospel theory. (Cerullo is a faith-healing, "signs and wonders," demon-delivering charismatic.) (Calvary Contender. 3/1/91).
See The Word of Faith / Positive Confession... as applied to Prosperity and Healing
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.]
During a 40 day fast in 1994 Bill Bright claimed that he had received a prophecy from God that a mighty revival was coming. He issued a call for hundreds of liberals, charismatics etc to gather in Orlando from 12/5/94 to12/7/94 to fast and pray for revival. The invitation committee included Paul Crouch, and Robert Schuller. Another Fasting and Prayer conference (Los Angeles. 11/95) had an invitation committee, which included Bill McCartney of Promise Keepers and Paul Cedar (E-Free). The third conference (11/14/96-11/16/96 in St. Louis) saw the addition of Loren Cunningham (YWAM), Randy Phillips (Promise Keepers) among others.
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.
The Masonic Lodge and Occult Connection: 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, Jack Van Impe among others.
See The Masonic Lodge
Bill 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 advocate 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 motivating force directly behind the "ministry" of the late Norman Vincent Peale, and indirectly behind Robert Schuller’s self esteem messages. (To Schuller, the greatest evil is to call men sinners in a Biblical fashion and thereby injure their self-esteem) [See Article on Roots of Evil]
The first "Washington for Jesus" convention in 4/80 (Bill Bright was a key organizer and sponsor) featured apostate Robert Schuller; charismatics Jim Bakker, Demos Shakarian, and Pat Robertson; as well as Catholic priests and the United Pentecostal Church, which denies the trinity.
Bright has 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 says spiritual breathing is "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).
The Self Esteem Doctrine Connection: Dennis Rainey (author of Building Your Mate's Self-Esteem) is CCC's director of Family Ministry (officially listed as, "Executive Director, Family Life, Campus Crusade for Christ"). Bill Bright has endorsed R.C. Sproul’s 1991 "self-love manual" The Hunger For Significance [the revised edition of his 1983 book, In Search of Dignity]: "This book is must reading for everyone who desires to build the self-esteem of others."
(See Self_Esteem including quotes by Robert Schuller)
Additionally, pop psychology quotes from well-known people such as Madonna and Oprah Winfrey are out of place in ‘Special Issues’ of one of CCC’s publications called “Lifeskills’.
The Toronto ‘Blessing’ Connection: Bill Bright has 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). See Section on Counterfeit Revivals
The New Age Connection: Jay Gary is an author, consultant, and partner with New Age occultist, Robert Muller. Muller (a former UN assistant Secretary-General) (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 speaks approvingly of many radical apostates and New Agers in his Star of 2000 book. Yet Bill Bright endorses his book. 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, dated 4/26/95).
Jay Gary is also communications consultant with New Life 2000, Campus Crusade's A.D. 2000 counterpart.
See Section on The New Age
The Promise Keepers Connection: Bill Bright is a promoter of, and frequent speaker for, this ecumenical, charismatic, psychologized men's movement and was also a contributing author for the 1994 PK book, Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper.) Promise Keepers has an unbiblical stand on homosexuality; promotes secular psychology; unscripturally feminizes men and depicts Jesus as a "phallic messiah" tempted to perform homosexual acts. See Promise Keepers
The Mormon Connection: 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.) [Here's Life Publishers was sold to Thomas Nelson Publishers in early 1992.] See Mormonism
Other Connections: 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).
The Dreamweaver : 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).
The Four Spiritual Laws : was a tract developed in 1956 by Bill Bright at CCC, and is still being used extensively today (translated in over 200 languages). Bright tells us how in writing The Four Spiritual Laws pamphlet, he reshuffled the points of the gospel message so an not to cause offense to 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.)
Ten Basic Steps toward Christian Maturity: In Come Help Change the World, pp. 49-50 Bill Bright tells of the night God gave him
“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….. 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.” (Emphasis added) Step 1, 3 and 7 booklets all assume the carnal Christian lifestyle.
The Jesus Film: called "The most realistic film ever made about Jesus" was first produced in 1979, financed by Nelson Bunker Hunt (for $6 million), produced by John Heyman, distributed by Warner Brothers, translated into 450 languages, and is used by more than 400 mission agencies in addition to CCC. CCC claims “The Jesus Film has been viewed by more than 830 million people in 219 countries, with more than 46 million "making decisions for Christ" (as of 7/97). While no human being can determine how many people have actually been ‘saved’ through this film the ‘making a decision for Christ’ can be totally valueless unless the decision has been followed by a changed life. A.W. Tozer made the following statement about Christian booklets, which applies to all Christian ‘witnessing tools’.
“Booklets like these usually mention a "sort-of" repentance like, "you must turn from your sins, to Jesus." But they rarely explain what "turning" really means.
This is also true of such other vital terms such a "Lord" - they usually refer to Jesus as "Lord," but again, they seldom define "lordship" - and people go their merry way, believing they have the full right to continue running their own lives as long as they call Jesus "Lord." (See Matt. 7:21; Luke 6:46.)
See Sin, Repentance and Salvation
I don't care how many letters I get saying how much good has been done by such and such a ministry, or how many have been "saved" through such and such a booklet. Jesus said, "You will know them by their fruits" (Matt. 7:16) and in another place He said that "Your fruit should remain" (John 15:16), which means it should last! I believe we shall see in that great day, when God spreads out the lives of men in judgment, how many were truly converted by the efforts of these ministries, and how many were turned aside from the path of righteousness - being led to believe the pleasant half-truths contained in these shallow and false epistles that have been printed to the ends of the earth by people with "the best intentions, and the highest integrity." (Matt. 23:15)
Policy: A Campus Crusade's campus ministry manual says, "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).
Campus Crusade and Labyrinths
The Labyrinth, touted as a medieval tool for the Postmodern Age, originated with pagan spirituality, was directly imported from a Cathedral where the focus of worship is the Black Madonna, and was introduced to the western church by the Den of Vipers called Grace Cathedral. [See Walking The Labyrinth] Yet, discernment being at such an all time low, thousands of Christians are embracing this age-old occult practice. Campus Crusade is no exception.
From their site
“The Journey is an interactive prayer experience based on a feature in European medieval cathedrals. The Journey was introduced in Europe and brought to America by Campus Crusade for Christ staff.
The basic premise is that you are on a pilgrimage with God to the center of a labyrinth and back out again. At each station, you encounter God concerning a different aspect of your life.
The setting should be quiet except for low background music. There should be partitions and wall coverings to simulate a path. Both white and black partitions have been used. Lighting should be soft.
Participants should have ample time to spend with God at each station. Some will spend more time than others. Tissue should be available throughout The Journey.
We bought most of our props for The Journey from garage sales, second-hand stores and clearance racks. We looked for wicker, wood, metal and ceramic type items with a used (old, medieval, antique) look.
We brought in color by adding knick-knacks such as small vases, butterflies, flower petals, feathers, etc. Design The Journey to best serve your audience by taking into consideration your location, room, age of attendees and availability of props, lighting, etc.
We had fifteen stations. You can have more or less depending how you design your Journey. Click on the three following files to download everything you need to create your own interactive prayer experience”.