Video shows that Cru leadership was involved in closing Lenses Institute despite what it said publicly.
Cru top US leadership including Mark Householder & Mark Gauthier appear to be supportive of Lenses despite conservative objections.
Cru, formerly Campus Crusade for Christ, appears to have lied about its leadership’s role in shuttering the Lenses Institute. A new video provided to the Capstone Report, details how Cru and Lenses were more tightly connected in the decision to temporarily close Lenses training. In fact, a Cru panel made the decision to close Lenses and not the Lenses team as Cru claimed in its public statements.
According to Michael Sylvester, Executive Director of Lenses, “There were some concerns placed on lenses that perhaps we were engaged in some mission drift, perhaps some CRT, and some Marxist ideology….There was a frequent incursion of those outside of Cru questioning Lenses as a direct result of SCU (Seeking Clarity and Unity) behavior. So, these questions are coming up, and the confluences—Gauthier becomes the president of Cru U.S. and it was decided that we need to look into lenses and audit lenses. It was a curious decision, but we were very welcoming to it, oh and also, that we were promoting anti-biblical teaching. So, we were very open to that…Mark Householder led that effort and put together a panel of people to be a part of the process. And we met a few times over that, the trajectory of the audit moved from an audit to a desire to reimagine Lenses, a reimagining of Lenses which then moved to a desire to pause Lenses. All that is between November and December of 2020 and July of 2021.”
This statement was made during a Cru Athletes in Action Town Hall held in July 2021 about the closure of Lenses training. The Town Hall lasted almost three hours. And there are more clues about the decision to close Lenses during the meeting.
Alethea Lamberson of the Lenses Executive Team said,” “Narratives are important. Words are important. When Lenses leadership is mentioned, I think it is important to share that means Michael (Sylvester). Our lenses executive team was not included or engaged in much of the conversations and process. So, while Michael did represent the Executive Director of the Lenses group, we function as a team and make decisions as a team”
This contrasts significantly from the story floated by Cru about the Lenses closure.
Lenses was a Woke, Critical Race Theory (CRT) promoting training program within Cru that came under fire by conservative ministry workers. Once details of Lenses Wokeness were exposed by conservatives in a comprehensive document, Lenses released a statement saying it was shutting down. Cru responded by saying this was a Lenses decision made without their involvement.
The Christian Post reported, “In a statement posted to Twitter, Cru announced that the decision to close Lenses and the ‘subsequent announcement was made independently, apart from Cru leadership.’”
You can see the Cru statement posted on social media.
The statement reads: “The decision to close Lenses and the subsequent announcement was made independently, apart from Cru leadership. We acknowledge and are grieved by the very real hurt and disappointment experienced by those who released the statement. It’s Cru’s hope that the Lenses Institute serves both the Great Commission and our staff well as we take the gospel to all cultures and as we seek to love one another well. We believe in God’s power to bring reconciliation and remain wholly committed to the biblical obedience of supernatural unity. (John 17:22-23).
However, it seems top Cru leadership were heavily involved in the entire process—at least based upon video of this July 2021 Town Hall.
Also, Cru leadership including Cru US President Mark Gauthier and Mark Householder, president of Athletes in Action.
According to the video, Sylvester claims that “98 percent of the former US leadership team came through Lenses.” Also, “There is a broad exposure of Lenses to the higher reaches of Cru leadership.” In addition, “There has been championing, sponsorship, and participation be it Steve Sellers and Steve Douglas and Mark.”
Lenses will be repackaged within Cru’s newly announced Oneness and Diversity project. Here is more about the Neo-Marxist Identity Political roots of Cru’s Oneness and Diversity.
“In July of this year, 2021, what had been a clearly stated intention as a result of these numerous meetings between Cru leadership and Lenses leadership that lenses be transplanted to another place in the organization, to have stronger sponsorship across the entire organization, to be better integrated and to help achieve a common voice. The stated intention over the past four years become a clear decision, and that decision was to move lenses into Oneness and Diversity,” said Mark Householder, Executive Director of Athletes in Action.
Here are some highlights of the Town Hall quoted in this article.