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Rebecca McLaughlin Defends Cru, Weighs in on Richard Hays’ New Book on Sexuality

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Image courtesy of Rebecca McLaughlin

Author and theologian Dr. Rebecca McLaughlin defended Christian ministry Cru from criticisms about its stance on gender and sexuality and also called the news about scholar Dr. Richard B. Hays’ apparent shift to an affirming stance “​​exceedingly disappointing.” 

“I actually find Cru’s position to be extremely orthodox and quite helpful in difficult circumstances,” said McLaughlin, “because you’re talking about a large organization that’s working on a whole range of campuses and on all sorts of other contexts as well but trying to be clear and faithful when it comes to what the Bible teaches.”

McLaughlin shared her views in a recent interview on “The Stetzer ChurchLeaders Podcast,” where she discussed her upcoming book, “Does the Bible Affirm Same-Sex Relationships? Examining 10 Claims About Scripture and Sexuality.”

RELATED: Rebecca McLaughlin on Whether Christians Can Agree To Disagree About Same-Sex Relationships

Rebecca McLaughlin: Cru Is Drawing a ‘Clear, Orthodox’ Line

Cru, short for Campus Crusade for Christ International, is an nondenominational non-profit known for its ministry on college campuses. Its mission is to “win, build and send Christ-centered multiplying disciples who launch spiritual movements.”

Cru has received public criticism from some quarters recently for its approach to sexuality. One notable example was in November when Dr. Rosaria Butterfield spoke at a convocation at Liberty University and accused Cru of promoting “lies” about sexuality.

Butterfield is an author, speaker, former gay activist, and former tenured professor of English and women’s studies at Syracuse University. At one point in her life, she identified as a lesbian, but that changed after she trusted in Jesus as a result of a Christian couple’s friendship and hospitality. 

In her speech, Butterfield said some groups were promoting “lies,” including the idea that being attracted to the same sex is not a sin if people do not act on that attraction and that “people who experience same-sex attraction rarely if ever change and therefore should never pursue heterosexual marriage.” In addition to Cru, Butterfield named Revoice and Dr. Preston Sprinkle’s ministry, which she called “heretical.”

In response to a request for comment at the time, Cru directed ChurchLeaders to its position on sexuality and gender on its website. That statement says that God created people male and female, that believers are called to sexual purity, and that sexuality is corrupted by the Fall. Regarding same-sex attraction, the website says: 

We believe that same-sex attraction is contrary to God’s design for human sexuality. It represents a disordering of sexual desire in our fallen condition, which is neither morally neutral nor good. From a discipleship perspective, we also believe that all Christ-followers, including those who experience same-sex attraction, need encouragement, support, and love as they walk in the power of the Holy Spirit and battle temptation (Gal 6:2).