Saturday, February 15, 2014

Christians on Campus: A Cult?

The question: Is Christians on Campus a cult?

As an undergraduate at The University of Texas at Austin, I became aware of the accusation that Christians on Campus was a cult. I often heard of other students running into this allegation, but I was not personally approached until my senior year, in fall 2012. During a conversation about my future plans, one of my chemical engineering professors expressed genuine concern that I might be involved in a cult: Christians on Campus.

I was taken aback by this conversation because this professor was one of my most trusted advisors. I had been working as an undergraduate research assistant in his lab for more than two years. We were co-authors on several scientific research papers. Most recently, we had published a paper in Science magazine about an innovative method for controlling the orientation of block copolymer nano-structures [http://www.utexas.edu/know/2012/12/10/building-better-hard-drive-willso/]. We had a very close relationship, almost like that of a father and son. In addition, I knew that he had my best interests at heart. His genuine concern prompted a similar concern within me. So I was forced to reflect on my experience with Christians on Campus and investigate the allegations against Christians on Campus. Was this club a cult?

The answer: a resounding NO

I began participating in Christians on Campus as a freshman in fall 2009. The truth revealed in the Bible, fellowship, and friendship that I found with the club became a big part of my college experience. During my investigation, I discovered that some allege that Christians on Campus is a cult because the leaders try to control the lives of the club members. Throughout my four years with the club, I never once felt controlled or pressured but rather I sought and received much helpful shepherding. This care touched my heart and led me to willingly volunteer my time and energy to club activities. These activities were so enjoyable and enriching to me both spiritually and academically. Another allegation that I discovered during my investigation is that Christians on Campus is a cult because club members are brainwashed and damaged mentally. In my experience, however, being involved with the club helped me to keep my mind properly balanced and contributed significantly to my success as a student. I can recall attending weekend retreats with Christians on Campus during the middle of the semester and returning to school refreshed and ready to attack the books and the lab. Eventually, as a senior, I was recognized by the university for my involvement in making a breakthrough scientific discovery [http://www.utexas.edu/know/2013/05/13/leon-dean-a-moment-of-discovery/]. I can say with certainty that my academic success was not hindered, but rather bolstered, by my participation with Christians on Campus.

I have no regrets about spending four years with Christians on Campus at The University of Texas. I know that there are negative rumors about Christians on Campus and that others rightfully have fears as a result of these rumors. I am happy to say that my professor is no longer concerned that I was involved with a cult in college. I hope that my story can help to assuage similar fears and concerns. Meanwhile, I would encourage any students who are seeking Jesus Christ and Christian fellowship at UT to consider joining Christians on Campus!

12 comments:

nj12 said...

Leon, thank you for writing. I had the same experience of being refreshed by club activities (although at a college in another state decades ago).

Anonymous said...

Why does the group focus so much upon the "Recovery Version" by Witness Lee? What is the position towards other translations?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your experience with this club, Leon.

DASmith said...

Thank you for this testimony--it's a shame when fellow believers view other believers with "cult colored" glasses and start spreading rumors without thorough investigation. One of Satan's 3 main strategies against the church is to divide the Body of Christ...he's known as the "accuser of the brethren."

Leon Dean said...

To answer the question about the Recovery Version, many people in the club use this translation but it is by no means a requirement and numerous other bible translations are also used. I personally enjoy using the Amplified Version. The Recovery Version is a word-for-word translation based on the Nestle Aland Greek text and is built upon other similar word-for-word translations. The footnotes and cross references are also very helpful!

Anonymous said...

Jesus’ last recorded prayer in Jn. 17 was for His believers to be one, even as He and the Father were one, so that the world would believe. Paul urged us to be diligent to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace (Eph. 4:3). He told us to mark those who make divisions…and turn away from them (Rom. 16:17), and the kingdom comes when the accuser of the brethren is cast down as DASmith pointed out. I would not want to stand before the Lord with an accusation against my brother in my mouth when His kingdom does come.

nj12 said...

I mainly use the Recovery Version but in the past years I have read the entire NT in several translations. Sometimes in detailed study of a verse I will consult 10-20 translations and Greek reference works in English.

Unknown said...

Thanks for writing, Leon. I hope this testimony will help clear up the "cult" lies that is spread all over the web about Christians on Campus. I too was involved in Christians on Campus throughout my college years at UT Dallas. It is a genuine Christian fellowship that will make your college years counted before the Lord. I still keep in touch even after I graduated and working now.

CChang said...

Leon, thank you for sharing your experience with this club. I think any true christian student would love to read and to have the same as your personnel experience with the Lord while in campus.

Edgar Hovhannsiyan said...

Wonderful, encouraging testimony! Thanks for sharing!

Shawn Bak said...

Praise the Lord.
What a blessing you had such an enjoyment with Him while you were in campus. May the Lord bless you even more. Thank you brother for sharing.
Amen

Anonymous said...

Its just the one most of them use. They welcome all translations and sometimes encourage it as some translations can add more to the message because of word choice

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