Cru – “attacked and beat up my female friend”, “dents from them bashing her head into it”

Excerpt from:

“I have had some good experiences and some bad ones.

I have met some good and fun people while going to campus christian groups. However, as in any type of community, there are bad parts as well.

One group in southern california attacked and beat up my female friend who was head of GLBT club on campus. It was 5 men against one meek lesbian. The set upon at her car at night while she was trying to leave. It took 15 minutes for someone to find her lying down in small pool of blood. They were arrested at their next club meeting when she arrived with the police. Her car still had dents from them bashing her head into it. (“This is what an eternity of Hell feels like!”). I think the group was Campus Crusade for Christ.

Another campus christian group at school had a protest at the opening of an interfaith chapel. They strongly believed that the Wican group did not have a place at the interfaith chapel. I guess they focused more and “chapel” than “interfaith.”

Of the times I attended the sessions, they were led by college students. I had the feeling it was much like a practice and testing ground for the leader, which is good. While the polish might not have been high, it was good for what is was.””

Navigators (Navs) – “a bit culty”, “thought it was a cult back then”

Excerpt from:

“Perhaps the Navs are a bit culty, but perhaps not as dangerous as some cults. This is my only experience of them.

A very good high school friend of mine joined the Navigators in college years ago. She and her boyfriend, also a Nav, did the no-touch dating thing but eventually split up when he left the group. She was a highly intelligent (much brighter and more successful academically than me, and I’m no fool), very neurotic young woman, desperately searching for something to make meaning of her life. She went through a very prosyletyzing phase, I went to a couple of meetings, but we drifted apart because I was not responsive. I found it hard to believe she got sucked in because the Bible study seemed so simplistic, and I thought she would be more cynical and need something more intellectually challenging. She seemed to find something in the Bible Study that calmed her and helped her focus. I thought it was a cult back then. Lots of love-bombing, and groups baptising the latest convert in the closest available muddy stream. LOL.

After 30 odd years we are back in contact and no prosyletizing, although she is still in the Navigators and still mentions activities. I think she is fairly high up in the hierarchy. Interestingly, her husband and 3 adult children are not religious and never wanted to join the Navs. She seems happy in her faith and it seems to bring her satisfaction, so who am I to criticize?”

Navigators (Navs) – “deliberately spreading falsehoods about the other Christian group on campus, Campus Crusade for Christ”

Excerpt from:

“There was a Navigators group at my school. The people in it seemed nice, but the group itself was rather secretive. I would walk by a Bible Study in my residence hall and they would give me looks like “GTFO!” The members of it tended to be very far to the right politically, and there was also this sense that if you didn’t join in your freshman year, you wouldn’t be accepted.

Also, they may have been deliberately spreading falsehoods about the other Christian group on campus, Campus Crusade for Christ. My now former crazy roommate was in Navigators for a time and told me that Campus Crusade was a “Catholic group” (ours wasn’t) and other random things. However, as gullible as she was/probably still is, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was just another fellow crazy who said that, not the group.”

Chi Alpha Experience Excerpt

Excerpt from:

“Yes. It was a smaller campus group called Chi Alpha. I left shortly after the leader of my small group bible study handed out a packet he had titled “strategies god gave me to overcome the temptation to masturbate.” Of course, that was beyond ridiculous, but it wasn’t the deciding factor. There was actually an agnostic in the group–I didn’t know he was agnostic until near the end of my time with them–turns out he was completely non-religious but just went to the meetings because several of his friends did. Anyway, I found he was the person to whom I could relate best, and that became one factor that started my journey towards atheism. But as others have said before, I really drifted away when I began to ask lots of questions and no one there could give me a satisfactory answer. Before a few days ago, I would have said I had nothing bad to say about the whole thing (other than the bizarre anti-masturbation pamphlet I received at that meeting). Everyone seemed sincere and it was almost like another family. But I still receive e-mails from them, and I recently got one about a “workday” Saturday. I was expecting some worthy cause for needy people, but it turned out to be cleaning the house of the couple who led the group, with promises of treasure in heaven for those who would help. Hmm.”

InterVarsity (IV) – “I refused to sign that, and he said that I should never have been an officer”

Excerpt from:

“I was a member of IVCS, and an officer. At the end of the semester the leader for our area came over because they didn’t have me fill out the forms, including one that stated that I believed that the bible was inerrant. I refused to sign that, and he said that I should never have been an officer, and I basically said “I guess I just can’t fit in with you”

Navigators (Navs) – “look down on anyone in Campus Crusade “, “mostly petty gossips”

Excerpt from:

“I was a member of The Navigators in college. We used to look down on anyone in Campus Crusade because they were, as we thought, just having fun, whereas we were serious about our faith.

Their biggest thing was the Topical Memory System (TMS) where you memorize a bunch of verses that you’d use when you go out and evangelize. I was always uncomfortable with that as it always seemed strange to just walk up to people and ask them if they know Jesus.

I actually became a Christian in college as a member of The Navigators converted me. Before that, I didn’t really think much about god. I bought in to all their stuff. I went to their headquarters in Colorado Springs several times. I’ve hiked on their property.

We had bible study once a week, a mass group meeting once a week, and you’d meet with another member once a week to talk about more private things and get guidance in your life.

I quit going to bible studies after two years because everyone just wanted to give the standard answer and just get a pat on the head. I wanted to know more. That’s what eventually led me to becoming an atheist. I asked too many questions about stuff that didn’t make sense to me. No one ever had a satisfactory answer.

When I read The Family this past year, it was amazing and scary the number of things that The Family does that reminded me of so many things, many word for word, that I did and said in college with The Navigators.

At the time, I thought The Navigators were really doing good work, but when I look back on it, the members at my college were mostly petty gossips who always made you feel like you were never good enough and you always had to do more to feel accepted.

Although we did some great volunteer projects, I always got the feeling that the people who did it, did so because we were supposed to, not because we wanted to.

Today, I’m only in contact with one person from college who is a member of staff with The Navs in Colorado Springs. The rest pretty much dropped me as a friend once I graduated college.

I could probably write a book about all my experiences, both good and bad with them.”

InterVarsity (IV) – “pressured to leave…”, “to cover up for their anti-LGBTQ views”

“I was pressured to leave my small group after becoming public about my relationship with my current boyfriend (I am a male). No public words telling me to leave were given but I was promptly left out of all communication about events activities and the leadership position i was supposed to interview for was suddenly “taken” and they told me I am “under-qualified”. It was bullshit to cover up for their anti-LGBTQ views and policies against students.” – JT, ’20

Campus Ministry Testimony Project

A blog showcasing anonymous submissions of testimonies on people’s experience with their campus ministries or churches during their undergraduate and graduate career. Will also feature excerpts from testimonies found on other websites to expose the hypocrisy and negative impact of these organizations on their members 
and campuses.

About the blog: I first came out with my own negative experience with my previous faith-based group on my school’s Reddit page. Soon, I began to receive messages from other students who were hurt in various ways by their ministry.

Many are afraid to voice out criticisms or negative experiences of their ministries for fear of being ostracized.

This has been created as an open, anonymous space to explore how campus ministries and churches have been affecting the lives of students in both positive and negative ways. If you are looking into joining a ministry or considering being a leader, I hope you can read through these with an open mind and be more discerning about what you join.

Please feel free to share! Or share this with others who might want to.
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Personal testimonies and reviews on Christian ministries