“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.”
“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.”
“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”
“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.”
Personal testimonies and reviews on Christian ministries