CRU “only wanted to take, never to give me time or answers to my questions”

From Redditor pmMeScienceFacts

“My family have worked for Cru. So I grew up in it.

I started college and immediately got involved in Cru. Each Cru movement is different, but mine was pretty bad. They lacked leaders, so there was so much pressure to get involved. It always felt like they were draining me spiritually. They only wanted to take, never to give me time or answers to my questions.

I remember at one of my first Christmas Conferences they made us to Facebook evangelism. They REQUIRED that we contact X number of people and ask them how we could pray for them (to be fair I could have walked out, it was my decision but there was so much pressure and judgement that I just…folded).

I was a freshmen so I didn’t know ANYONE on campus. I did have an old acquaintance from middle school who had recently contacted me and said they went to the same school as me. We hadn’t talked in years, but I HAD to message X people so I messaged them. We had plans to hang out sometime, and I NEVER heard from them again. I lost that friendship. I felt so upset because I didn’t feel like I had a good enough friendship with them to message them, but I was pressured to do so to fill an arbitrary goal of “messaging X people”.

I also was pressured into doing “cold” evangelism where we went up to random people on campus and asked to share the gospel with them. I DRRADED IT every week (yes we did it for 90 min every week). But I chalked up my discomfort to spiritual warfare. I TRICKED people into talking with me by using lies that Cru taught us. I would ask people to play a “game” called Soularium (u/_hooman_ mentions they did this too) when really I was just waiting to tell them about Jesus.

We also had fake “surveys” we gave out to get people talking about religion. We lied and said it was a real survey our organization was taking. But no one ever logged in the responses, it was just a bait and switch. I asked the leaders why we lied about it and didn’t actually log responses. They just made a joke about it saying no one wanted to spend the time to log in responses. I always felt bad about that. I’m sorry to all the random people I tricked into talking about God. I think the loving thing to do would be to hear someone’s story and learn from them, empathize with them, and if I believed God was the answer to help them discover that themselves.

I had some other serious problems with Cru that I don’t want to go into here because they’re super specific and identifiable.

Cru was such a bad experience for me, that when I left college I felt spiritually numb. I felt like I was struggling for air, and grasping to hold onto my faith. They played a small role in my realization that churches are broken, which lead me to question which beliefs I actually held and which I didn’t. That’s where I am now. Trying to figure out what I believe for myself. I still consider myself spiritual, but I want to find the answer whether it’s Christianity or not.”


InterVarsity (IV)’s new form of exclusion: age discrimination

“I just recently left IV at my University. I’m an older student nearly a decade older on average with most of the IV members and its been very hard for me to have community with it. I hung in there for two full semsters but ended up leaving durring the summer term. The staff workers were great as where the student leaders and members, but unfortuatly they mostly turned toward each other and often forgot about older students. IV unfortuanly has polices in place that bar students older than 24 from attending events, confrences or even being student leaders. The staff workers while great just said well it would just be werid to have you or another older student there. After a few times of that I grew disillusioned with the IV community (not bibical community however) and eventually when I attempted to reach out people in community either rejected it, played along with it only to dump me and other older students, or raise minor issues to the staff members making older students feel unwelcome. As a result all older students have left IV here, its rather unfortuante.”

InterVarsity (IV) – “some of the most hurtful and painful messages I have ever received”

Excerpts from:

“But I also felt like a ticking time bomb and a liability because I wasn’t straight. Even though I have shaped my spirituality around the command to “Seek first the Kingdom of God,” it never felt like a sound enough basis to help me navigate questions of faith and sexuality. Within my chapter of InterVarsity, the ever-present subtext was that anyone who struggled with same-sex attraction needed to concern themselves first and foremost with cleaning house spirituality, lest scandal befall the fellowship.”

“However, my experience has shown me that InterVarsity is scarcely willing to discuss matters of vocation with LGBTQ individuals and would rather hold us at arm’s length. Several years ago, I entrusted parts of my story to the Gay Christian Network when they produced a documentary called Through My Eyes. When I watched the video, I was glad to see that the documentary raised questions about how to provide pastoral care to teenagers and young adults wrestling with questions of faith and sexuality. I had several friends on InterVarsity staff looking for resources that focused on LGBTQ people in the church, so I sent them copies of the film. I reached out several times to see if they would be interested in talking further, but I received no replies. Additionally, I’ve received several emails from IV staff asking for prayer support when students have raised questions around LGBTQ sexuality, and I have replied to those emails only to receive no response from the people who sent them. This pattern continued even after I started blogging at A Queer Calling and sharing my experiences of being a celibate LGBT Christian more broadly.”

“I see an organization clinging to an understanding that being gay is necessarily a “past tense” reality for any Christian and perpetuating some of the most hurtful and painful messages I have ever received as I have done my best to seek Christ.”

Personal testimonies and reviews on Christian ministries