Student Life

Why I Am Skeptical of Carry the Love

Carry the Love is a national grassroots ministry that seeks to “…reach the lost generation and to activate a generation to love and evangelism” by holding multi-day outreach events on college campuses. A little over a week ago (February 15-16), Carry the Love held one of these gatherings on Gordon’s campus. The Gordon Review editorial team does not have an official stance on CTL. However, we realize the event the other week has been the subject of much discussion and controversy. This article is one of three posted (read here and here) centered around the opinions and experiences of those who attended. Our hope is for these pieces to serve as a launchpad for healthy and productive conversation. May we not only seek to understand each other better, but also cultivate a deeper love for Christ and the things He has for us. 

On February 15th and 16th, Carry the Love (CTL) came to Gordon College seeking to renew student desire for Jesus. There is a lot of disagreement between students about the results of this event, with some individuals fully affirming the experience and others remaining skeptical. I am a skeptic, but I attended both CTL nights so that I could form a thorough opinion. 

The Good

When it comes to what happened on both nights, there were two notably positive outcomes:

  1. Christ was preached. In Philippians 1:18, Paul rejoiced because Christ was being proclaimed “whether in pretense or in truth.” Even if we disagree on how much glory to God CTL brought, and how much was for demonstration, we can all agree that there was no other name under heaven being proclaimed. 
  2. There was a strong sense of fellowship. Throughout the worship night, evangelism training, and the men’s group, there was a strong sense of brotherly and sisterly love. Many were praying for one another in vulnerability, ultimately seeking to glorify God together.


Though there were some positive things that happened, there is also room for critique.

  1. Unbiblical practices. Though meaning well, Carry the Love promoted theologically questionable practices that are not endorsed by Scripture.
    1. Rebaptism. In Ephesians 4:5, Paul writes that there is “One Lord, one faith, one baptism,” and so whenever individuals offer to rebaptize others, I can only sit and wonder why. Unless the baptism was invalid, regardless of how one feels, to be rebaptized is a violation of God’s word. 
    2. “Re-dedicating your life to Jesus.” In the Bible, when a child of God is confronted with sin, their response is repentance, not some ceremonious redeclaration of their faith in God. Everyone was asked at the end of the first night to raise their hand if they wanted to rededicate their lives to Jesus, but nowhere was there any reference to Scriptures on repentance, such as Psalm 51, Jeremiah 3:22, Luke 15:11-32, 1 John 1:9. On top of those verses, Jesus also makes it clear in Revelation 2:5 what needs to happen if you are far from God. Repentance. Therefore, the CTL calling for rededication was not entirely in line with God’s word. 
    3. Gospel presentation. During the evangelism training meeting, it felt like we were learning how to make a Gospel sales pitch. This impression was given by the CTL leaders providing tips to share the Gospel with others in roughly a minute or two. While it is helpful to give a concise guide of the message of salvation and share Jesus with others, it neglects to address the true state of those who are outside of Christ (John 3:18) or take time to walk them through the Gospel in light of this reality. 
    4. Inviting the Holy Spirit in. As believers, since we are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19), He already dwells within us. If this is the case, there is no point as a Christian to invite the Holy Spirit to dwell in a given space. Instead of asking for the Spirit to come into a place in which He already dwells, we should ask the Spirit to pour out His love through us.

What Now?

To understand what we should do in response to an event with such a profound impact as Carry the Love, we must turn to the Word of God. There are two Bible verses I believe provide the clearest instruction for what needs to be done going forward. 

  1. Test the spirits (1 John 4:1). There is the Spirit of God, but there is also the spirit of deception, and both are at work every single day. An individual may mean well, but they can be a false prophet and lead many astray. Jesus prophesied of false prophets coming with signs and wonders to deceive in Mark 13:22. If we are not careful in testing the spirits, we could be led astray.
  2. Examine the Scriptures (Acts 17:11). When Paul was preaching in Berea, the Bereans weighed Paul’s words against the Scriptures to test the validity of what he was saying. We must weigh everything we hear and experience against a clear understanding of God’s word to see if it is from Him. 

While I am skeptical of CTL, I will not dismiss it entirely. We must seek God wholeheartedly to be protected from what is not of Him and to accept what is of Him. If we are not observant, grounded in the Word, and firm in what we hold to be true, then we will be swept away by the tides of false doctrine and experience-driven beliefs. 

We will be distracted from living for the glory of God.

Categories: Student Life

Notify of

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

[…] the subject of much discussion and controversy. This article is one of three posted (read here and here) centered around the opinions and experiences of those who attended. Our hope is for these pieces […]