Business, Identity Crisis, and Campus Crusade for Christ

…Or, Last Night’s Dinner.

So I received an invitation from someone connected with the campus to attend an evening event called The Millionaire’s Forum. Since I am technically a student in the Business department, I thought it would be a nice way to meet some nice people and have a good dinner. If you inspect the website, you will find it looks like a legitimate non-profit promoting business leaders connecting with students.


I should have sniffed out what the ulterior motive was when the reminder e-mails were coming from a Campus Crusade for Christ leader from another Oklahoma campus. I thought it odd at the time, but maybe he was just one of their volunteers. [There is no CCC chapter at our campus…yet.] The whole evening was a quasi-evangelistic campaign!

Now here is why I wasn’t happy about it: I was wearing a full-hijab style scarf. Yep, did that screw with their expectations! Oh, I am not a Muslim, just wanted to wear a gorgeous gold-toned scarf I found on sale at Wal-Mart and the only way it would look lovely was to drape and pin it like a hijab.

You can just imagine all the staring and uncomfortableness on their part and a tad bit on my side. I decided to keep them guessing. πŸ˜€ Through out the evening, between eating and the two guest speakers, we were to ask questions around the table about Faith, Family, Failure and several other catch words I forgot. My answers were vague but honest. But by the end, I couldn’t stand the tension any more, and announced that I was indeed a Christian to my table-mates. They seemed slightly relieved. I think.

When we had closed with a prayer, the leaders of the event asked all the students to gather for a group photo. Guess who got to be in the middle, in front? Yeah, what a catch, a [Not] Muslim girl! Oh my goodness. Sigh.

One of the speakers did come up to me and asked politely if I were a Muslim. When I answered no, he said, “Oh, I wondered! Sometimes students we don’t know too well feel a bit put upon by the whole evening.”

You think!?! I wanted to kick him right there, but restrained my foot from leaving the floor. So, if I am a Christian, and this was a Christian event, why am I so upset? I am upset for others who feel “put upon”. They get lied to about the nature of the event. That isn’t evangelism when you can’t be up front about it!

Which leads to another question: “Why do Christians feel they have to be sneaky with their ‘witness’?”

Do you all have any ideas?

So…the guy who did the emailing and emceed the event will be the new CCC director at our University. Way to Go on the welcome wagon!

[Update: The CCC leader called to follow up last week. I politely but clearly stated my concerns about the Millionaire’s Forum. He received my critique graciously. ]


12 Responses to “Business, Identity Crisis, and Campus Crusade for Christ”

  1. 1 cara michele February 7, 2008 at 11:38 am

    I checked their web site, too, and you’re right. There’s nothing on there about Jesus, faith, evangelism, etc., although the words “belief” and “god” (small “g”) appear in the student testimonials. The web site does not clue you in to what the organization is really about. If you Google “Millionaire’s forum,” you do find some references that let you know it’s an evangelical ministry. Like you, I don’t understand the secrecy. Why the subterfuge? I suspect they’d say it’s to get people in the door. But you’re right, it’s a lie. That’s messed up.

    In a way, it reminds me of how “church” is starting to look more and more like the world — so it can be “relevant” to people today. Which makes me wonder: When did Jesus — authentic, real Jesus — stop being relevant? (I don’t think He did.)

  2. 2 cbrunette February 7, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Thanks for the excellent input, Cara Michele! πŸ™‚ Jesus is always relevant…and he doesn’t need a PR firm, either.

    Another oddity about the evening was that not all the students were even Business majors. Two girls at my table were Education majors! I think they felt weird being there, talking about creating worldly wealth when they know all they’ll ever earn is a teacher’s salary.

    So far as I could tell, they invited “strategic” student leaders from campus, so they would possibly get involved with CCC.

  3. 3 Kristen February 7, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    It is sad that they aren’t upfront about it all 😦

    Great post

  4. 4 Brian February 10, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    I’m sorry that you felt put upon by the evening. I am on staff with Campus Crusade, and just want to let you know that this is not the norm. In fact, in my experience, I have found, like your experience reveals, that it is better to be up front about what we are inviting to, so that there is no sense of bait and switch.

  5. 5 cbrunette February 11, 2008 at 8:17 am

    Thanks, Brian, I’m glad someone from the CCC camp is sympathetic. The question still remains, why should the Millionaires’ Forum be secretive on their website and with their advertising?

  6. 6 Christine February 13, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    I would have felt uncomfortable also. Things like this make you question to much.


  7. 7 Laura February 27, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Mat 10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

    1Ti 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

    Some of these “evangelicals” can’t determine whether they are in the light or in the darkness. They put on a “different name” to draw in the lost……they will end up lost them selves. Either you love God or you love money. Equating God with money is perverse. It is true that God want us to overcome poverty, but to have ungodly wealth…..forget it.

  8. 8 erica aisha June 4, 2008 at 12:54 am

    I just adore Christian head coverings, there’s some great scarf/hats that any covering religious lady could wear. I found your story a bit funny… you take things in stride πŸ™‚

    I always liked CCC as a youth, my mother was involved and they do positive things and bring support to young people in a time where many are often away from home and the sheltering and safe environment. However, why would they focus on money and being Millionaires? Jesus said so many great parables, but the parable of the rich man who wanted to become his disciple really reminds us of how money makes us selfish… while loving God is self less (I believe)
    Wow, I really liked your blog. Thanks!

    erica aisha

  9. 9 agatha June 24, 2008 at 7:35 am

    As a former CCC member, I have become increasingly dismayed at all of the CCC tactics. Basically, CCC drives me crazy. We supported probably 5-7 CCC staff members on and off through the past 15 years. When I realized that many of the letters and updates from staff were talking about their latest shopping trip while on summer project in Brazil or their chilling time on the beach, snorkeling, yada, yada… I realized that I was working my buns off to give support to people who had a super cushy job and had no clue what it was like to be me. There were exceptions of course… usually those with family were a little more committed.

    I finally quit supporting all of them and started supporting World Vision. Most of the CCC staff members I knew had much nicer cars, stereos, clothes, vacations, and computers than I did. I am content with my possessions and very thankful, but we make about 115,000$$ a year!! So if they are living higher standards of living than what we can afford, something isn’t measuring up!

    I know they don’t make THAT much, but it just seemed fishy! Anyway, they have lots of bait and switch techniques, where they aren’t very upfront about what they want, whether it be a survey, a seminar, or a talk with a name like “Real Sex” or “The Millionaire’s Forum.” Why don’t they devote their time to helping the poor and homeless… people would be more likely to join up with them.

    Don’t say you are a missionary and then sun yourself on the beach in Brazil at my expense!

  10. 10 agatha June 24, 2008 at 7:37 am

    I would like to clarify that the “updates” were not the formal support updates but were just the “friend” updates… sorry I made it confusing.

    That’s even more hurtful to me though, when a friend sees you sacrificing for them and they’re living high on the hog!

  11. 11 dave twite August 9, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    I was selected to be a speaker in the Millionaires forum in Wisconsin for CCC and I was surprised to hear your response. The speakers pay for the dinner and all the cost of the event. The invites were all made by CCC staff and the events It was clear to the invitees that the event that those of us that spoke on Campus in the classes would be presenting a more personal and spiritual presentation because as in my case my faith is critical to my story on my success and it reveals my personal failures as well. The feed back from our events was extremely positive. I am sorry that you felt hoodwinked. Hope your meal was good and some of the information was helpful.

  12. 12 Jake October 21, 2008 at 10:09 am

    To agatha,

    As a staff member I am sorry that you have a had a bad experience supporting staff members. As a staff member I can tell when on a summer project we work very hard but we do take time a day a week to relax. On a normal summer project a staff person is leading a Bible study, a ministry team and discipling 5 students. So, I can guarantee you we keep very busy and work hard.
    Also Jesus did talk about not loving money but he definitely reached out to those with money. He had Levi throw a dinner party for him with his friends who were also tax collectors and had money. We should not do bait and switch stuff and if that is how it came off then sorry. But we need to reach out to all people and try as many different things as possible.

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"I can't say I don't believe in your God, but I don't believe He meant the world to be as it is." ~Nicholas Higgins. North and South.

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you are licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what." No idea where that last quote came from, but I like it!

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