Archive for November, 2004

Another summary of UBF’s errors

November 25, 2004

This by Ward Canfield, formerly of Chicago UBF:

Date Posted: 11:57:44 10/08/04 Fri
Author: Ward Canfield
Subject: Re: UBF Doctrine
In reply to: Tom F ‘s message, “UBF Doctrine” on 09:31:45 10/08/04 Fri

UBF ERRORS

1. Fear and pressure tactics used to control peoples’ behavior within the system: direct threats, ostracism, disparaging public criticisms, vilifying rumors, fake institutional friendships; one’s spiritual gifts are often defined by senior members and their use also dictated by them (often many are supposed to have and express the same spiritual gift, for example, evangelism, when clearly they do not),

2. Dogmatic adherence to one man’s theology and personal opinions: little or no individual Biblical insights are encouraged—even in private fellowship—nor deviation from the manuscript’s language and main points; following one’s own conscience before God is often disparaged by core members,

3. Unaccountable leadership: no un-Christian behavior can ever be evaluated in leaders by the fellowship; outsiders’ criticism is dismissed out-of-hand; senior members are accountable directly to God only—thoughtful and sincere apologies to offended junior members are often regarded as unimportant (although the Bible teaches that it is important—“be reconciled one to another”); Budget, revenue, and expense summaries are never disclosed to core members in the fellowship

4. Hubris (exaggerated pride): Many core UBF members think themselves to be the sole remnant of God’s people in this generation, and to be better than any other group in spirituality and in being used by God in world evangelism; other Biblically fruitful Christian groups are often publicly disparaged—apparently for not being like UBF,

5. Ends-justify-the-means philosophy: UBF follows “higher” principles and laws than the world and is therefore not subject to worldly principles or laws if the spiritual ends are deemed more important—regardless of the possible bad influence; God’s blessings, when they occur, are interpreted as blanket approval of UBF.

In conclusion, I just want to make the appeal below to anyone in UBF who is uneasy about things he or she is starting to see in UBF.

EARNEST APPEAL TO THOSE STILL IN UBF

1. Only One is infallible, and he is God; no single human being or group is infallible, no matter how earnest in trying to understand and apply the Bible,

2. No group or human being can be superior in spirituality or purity, no matter how devoted in trying to practice the Bible; everyone is accountable to each other when wrongs are committed—repentance with sincere apology is Biblical,

3. No group or human being can interpret the Bible completely and correctly, no matter how prayerful in trying to study it,

4. No group or human being is favored by God absolutely or automatically, no matter how diligent in trying to apply and teach the Bible.

5. Budget disclosure to core members is healthy to a fellowship, and not unwise and not a sign of lack-of-faith in leadership if you want to see the budget records.

6. God wants you to worship Him in a Biblical fellowship, and can be trusted to help you find one and do so when you leave UBF.

"the very foundation of their faith"

November 24, 2004

The following post contains an analysis of UBF’s dogmatic adherence to one man that was sent to me in July:

Date Posted: 09:40:13 10/11/04 Mon
Author: ***
Subject: Dogmatic adherence to one man

In reply to:  ***’s message, “Re: UBF Doctrine” on 11:57:44 10/08/04 Fri

>2. Dogmatic adherence to one man’s theology and
>personal opinions: little or no individual Biblical
>insights are encouraged—even in private fellowship—nor
>deviation from the manuscript’s language and main
>points; following one’s own conscience before God
>is often disparaged by core members,

I am so sorry to hear that still many within the circle of the UBF try to mytholigize Samuel Lee. Any good Christian could make a big mistake and even fall into a grave sin. Even the great king and prophet, David also fell into the sin of committing adultery and murder. And yet his sins were forgiven. (Ps. 51) Why? It’s because they were still in the position of fallible sinners rather than in the position of unfallible divinity when their sins were revealed by God himself through men. So Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgive; he is guilty of an eternal sin.” (Mark 3:28,29) I repected M. Samuel Lee for his gospel business capability. I stll consider to this day that he is a rare kind and genius in organizing people and achieving the unattainable goal in the gospel business by whatever means. But truth and competancy and capability are two different things. What I was really troubled about him was his violating the fundamental principles of God’s truth; he demonstrated and showed me, time and time again, with many evidences that he clearly crossed the line; we who are called by Jesus are the servants of Jesus; we must remain in the position of the servants of Jesus, the forgiven sinners (1 Tim. 1:13,14), not in the seat of Jesus, of the Holy Spirit, and of the Lord God. When we sit in the seat of Jesus or in the place of the Holy Spirit, that’s blasphemy. It was not just a few years that he had practiced that way. His sitting in the seat of Jesus and giving the direction as if he were God himself with such divinity became the very principle of the UBF and the basis and foundation of faith of many in the UBF past 40 years. God is the only sovereign Lord of life. If anyone orders the abortion to a pregnant woman in the name of God’s will, that’s clearly the evidence that he is sitting in the seat of God. M. Samuel Lee was a mere fallible sinner. He too fell into the sin of coveting young women. He made many mistakes as I did in making decisions. He too loved money and power, authority and his own glory so much. His ego was greater than anyone’s. Yes, that’s understandable as a fallible sinner. But what I could not tolerate was that he never repented when the Lord Jesus gave him numerous opportunities to repent. He never repented publically when the Lord Jesus himself exposed the dark side of sins. His ego was just too great that he himself could not become a sinner before many people. He could not repent because he was sitting in the seat of God, and the Holy Spirit, the very foundation of faith of many people in the UBF. How can the righteous one repent?

When I looked upon back my past, … I sometimes wondered why I challenged M. Samuel Lee … and thus lost so much and suffered so much. Later I came to realize that it was not me because I really hated confrontation with M. Samuel Lee. I never intended to break the UBF or challenge M. Samuel Lee. But the Holy Spirit put the flame of fire in my heart when I saw all those blasphemies: For example, … when I heard from the mouth of one missionary who condemned me and challenged me by chanting that M. Samuel Lee’s love equals the love of God and receiving his training is receiving the training from God himself, I was furious instead of becoming intimidated. “His direction is the will of God no matter what (whether it is killing an unborn child or ostrasize good men of God or sacrifice or kill the spiritual life of the children of God for the sake of his gospel business or his name, it doesn’t matter; they are all justified and defended because ‘His direction and his wisdom and his directions’ are always in line with the will of God.”–That was the myth of the UBF; that the Holy Spirit and Jesus and the Lord God himself hate the most as blasphemy.

I am so sorry that some people have absolutely no discerning mind that they keep on going back to the endless and vain myth. Yes, that was the doctrine of Samuel Lee upon which he had built UBF, and the principle of UBF. It was not Jesus, the Christ and Lord upon which the UBF had been built. In the end Jesus’ name was used because M. Samuel Lee’s name was above the name of Jesus within the realm of the UBF. It was not me or Korean shepherds who tried to crush this myth. It was the Holy Spirit Himself, Jesus Himself that crushed this myth. How foolish are the people who try to pick up the broken pieces and try to put them into a whole thing; and try to push the myth of Samuel Lee all over again!

I understand many people in the UBF who feel so insecure when their foundation is shaken; so they have to defend M. Samuel Lee not because they really want to defend him but because they based their whole life of faith on him rather than Jesus, the Christ and the Lord. They don’t admit it but Samuel Lee is a little bit larger than Jesus in their life of faith.

"Systematic Obedience (to people) Training"

November 23, 2004

The following is an insightful post about how a person’s independent decision making, even if led by the Holy Spirit, is anathema in UBF. Notice during the narrative how a human leader subtly takes the place of God.

Date Posted: 21:11:16 10/14/04 Thu

Author: PECAS

Subject: Systematic Obedience Training

Systematic Obedience Training

I am a member of UBF who left this year. I have read much of the posting and testimonies on this site. This is my first post on the rsqubf forum. I was not certain whether this post should be a new thread or a reply. I decided to post as a new thread because I want to discuss a point that I do not recall reading on any recent or archived posts. Please forgive the length, but I wanted to be as clear as possible in discussing systematic obedience training.

I believe that UBF engages in what I call systematic obedience training towards growing sheep and young shepherds. If a growing sheep or young shepherd had some personal decision regarding their life, even if it would be acceptable to UBF, their shepherd woud automatically respond that this was ‘your own idea’ or ‘human thinking’. The shepherd would respond this way because the shepherd does not want the sheep to think that he or she came make personal decisions by simply praying to God and following the guidance of the Holy Spirit. If the shepherd encourages the sheep that their personal decision is correct, then the sheep would develop a habit of personally praying/struggling with God rather than obeying the direction of their shepherd, fellowship leader, and chapter director. Thus, UBF shepherds would not be able to manipulate the sheep to absolutely obey their direction. One of the UBF heritages from Samuel Lee is spiritual order. The shepherd, fellowship director,and/or chapter director must give the direction and the sheep follows.

Therefore, I am arguing that in order to foster an environment in which sheep learn to absolutely obey their shepherds or follow the spiritual order, the shepherd will systematically rebuff any desire that sheep have regarding their life be it mission, family, career, or otherwise. The shepherd will then give their own direction and tell the sheep to deny his or her personal conviction as his or her ‘own idea.’ The next step is to follow this direction as God’s will by making a decision of faith.

Let me clarify this point with an example:

Let’s say there is a shepherd named Peter and a sheep named Bill. Also assume Shepherd Peter is the chapter director.

Bill begins Bible study with a Christian background. Bill tells Shepherd Peter that he wants to be an English teacher in China to serve as a short-term missionary after he leaves college, then come back to the USA to get a PhD and and then pray about whether he should be a long-term missionary. Bill would like to devote his life to mission, so he does not plan to marry. When Bill begins to share testimonies every week, Bill talks a lot about his prayer to be an English teacher in China and desire to get a PhD that God will use for long-term mission.

UBF wants to raise missionaries and PhD shepherds so Shepherd Peter, should be overjoyed about Bill’s future vision. However, there is one problem. As Bill continues to grow in UBF, he needs to be trained to absolutely obey his shepherds and follow spiritual order. The spiritual order dictates that Bill follow the direction of his shepherd. If Bill would follow this path, Bill would think that he can make decisions through the power of the Holy Spirit and prayer without following the direction of Peter. Bill might think that he can personal pray about whom to marry or where to live when he returns from China. Bill might pray and through the Holy Spirit decide to serve in another ministry.

In order to be raised as a good UBF shepherd, Bill cannot be allowed to follow through with his own personal decisions regarding his life. Therefore, Shepherd Peter will give a new direction for Bill. Instead of China, Peter will direct Bill to spend one year in Korea UBF to receive mission training. Peter will tell Bill that going to China was his own idea. To be a fruitful or great man of God, he must deny his own ideas and obey God through Peter’s direction. Bill accepts the direction and spends one year in Korea. Bill stills intends to come back to the USA to earn a PhD. However, when Bill returns from his one year mission training, Shepherd Peter directs Bill to deny his human ambition to acquire a PhD and marry by faith one of the Korean missionaries he met in Korea and then establish a house church. Bill would be directed to serve the thirsty harvest field at which he is located by coworking with Peter. Shepherd Peter will direct Bill to find a job to support his new family of mission rather than selfishly seeking a PhD. Bill repents of his ‘human idea’ of getting a PhD and not thinking of the thirsty sheep at his own university. Perhaps, Shepherd Peter reminds Bill of how Peter and other coworkers bore with his long self-centered testimonies about his own idea of going to China and then receiving a PhD.

Now, Bill is conditioned to obey Shepherd Peter’s direction for his life. When through personal prayer, Bill receives a direction regarding his life, Bill will reject it as ‘his own himan idea.’ Bill will only follow the direction of Shepherd Peter. Further, when Bill thinks that maybe Shepherd Peter’s direction is wrong, Bill will dismiss that as his own idea.

To me, UBF leaders make a conscience effort in the manner described above to manipulate sheep into obeying their shepherd. UBF leaders do this intentionally and engrain the disciples they raise to particpate in systematic obedience training as well. Any desires sheep display will be dismissed as ‘their own idea’ to foster an absolute obedience toward their shepherd. It does not matter what the sheep thinks, desires, prays about, or has as a future vision. The shepherd will manipulate the sheep by rebuffing them and providing a new direction.

Does anyone have an example of systematic obedience training such as this from their UBF experience or not?

Thank you for the opportunity to post about UBF on this forum.

In Christ,

PECAS

 

Here’s part of my response:

 

Date Posted: 22:05:53 10/14/04 Thu

Author: Joe

Subject: Re: Systematic Obedience Training

In reply to: PECAS ‘s message, “Systematic Obedience Training” on 21:11:16 10/14/04 Thu

In my case, as a 2ndgen, the main factors that kept me in the systematic obedience training (SOT) program had to do with my parents, my innate desire to have at least a “harmonious” relationship with them.

I don’t think I was ever fully conditioned. Many formative years of observing what kinds of behaviors and directions and desires were acceptable in UBF gave me an ability to steer clear of any potential conflicts with my parents and shepherds. I knew how to act like a good and obedient UBF member. So I guess I was able to avoid most of the “electric shocks” of the SOT program that the willing fresh recruit would be given to bring about compliance. But the effect on my life was the same as if I had gone through the SOT program; I was obedient to a fault, I “bore with” abuses, certain personal ambitions and goals were off limits, the thought of living and working anywhere but in Chicago was off limits, the thought of being in any other church was off limits, even expressing certain emotions in the performance of music was off limits.

Heavy lifting on "marriage by faith" II

November 17, 2004

A former female member of UBF wrote a detailed followup to the previously mentioned article on UBF “marriage by faith.” In her followup she describes in practical terms the harm that is routinely done by the “marriage by faith” system and dysfunctional marriage-obsessed culture of UBF. She also describes the process by which the UBF pressure to marry “by faith” gradually wears down a recruit’s defenses. Here’s an excerpt:

And finally my engagement with my spouse was almost canceled because the shepherds wanted to manipulate us to obey their very command as long as they could. I was constantly told that if I liked the guy I was spoiling the whole marriage by faith and was marrying not by faith. I was also counseled to prepare to marry someone not favorable or possibly not the best humanly, but had potential to be great in the future if I took care of him correctly. I was counseled to be ready, whenever, wherever, however, with whomever. I went from saying NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO. To maybe it’s me, I shouldn’t say no, to OK I’ll marry by faith as long as God is really the underlying marriage arranger, to Yes. Ironically, each marriage arrangement brought me closer to the Yes. You would think that it would bring me closer to believing UBF was a cult. But their counsel and the fact that I had no one else to talk to about it was the turning point. Also I found I had to defend UBF ways to family and friends. To my family, who had to cancel a wedding, they really thought I was crazy. To friends, after the wedding cancellation I stopped telling them about my engagements until my real wedding came. One friend who did not realize the first wedding was canceled, thought I just postponed but later wondered why the name of the groom was different. Many times I covered up the problems of UBF, out of my own pride to believe UBF was in the right. But how harmful that was too me and others.

Heavy lifting on "marriage by faith" I

November 5, 2004

Chris Z., formerly of a German UBF chapter, did some heavy lifting in September of 2003 on the UBF practice of “marriage by faith.” Of particular interest to me is his description of the upside down concept of doing things “by faith” in UBF:

Second, I want to point out that “marriage by faith” is, of course, a euphemism, a terrible misnomer. For what has UBF “marriage by faith” to do with faith? Or let us ask differently: What kind of faith is meant here? In the Bible, the word “faith” has a well defined meaning. It has to do with righteousness, with forgiveness of sin, with resurrection, with trusting in God the creator. But nowhere it is mentioned in connection with marriage. There are similar misconceptions in UBF, like “examination by faith.” When I was a sheep, a UBFer told me that someone made his diploma “by faith.” What’s that? I really was stunned. I always thought that if you study hard, using your God-given capabilities, you will pass your examination. But they believed that you don’t need to learn and study hard, but instead give your time for mission, and then you will be blessed by passing the exam. I think that’s a misconception. The diploma is a recognition of your knowledge in a certain area. If you don’t have that knowledge, I think you don’t deserve to get that diploma, regardless how much you worked for mission or spend your time doing other good deeds. I think it is OK and even virtuous if somebody voluntarily and consciously offers a part of his time for studies for mission or other good deeds. But he or she should not expect to get the same degrees or degree as if he had worked only for his or her study. He or she should instead voluntarily and consciously take the loss of getting only a Bachelor instead of a Master or only being a B-student instead of an A-student. That’s a real Christian attitude. Losing instead of winning, but consciously, for the sake of God. Let us take an example where this will be very obvious: Someone is studying medicine. Now, during his time as a medicine student, he spends nearly all of his time for UBF activities, instead of learning the various diseases and medical science (Don’t tell me you can do both at the same time – you always have to cut back: You study will always suffer if you devote your time to UBF.) At the end of his study, this student expects God to pass the exam with the best degree by faith (though he has not learned so much as other students who devoted their full time for medicine study). Would this be just? Also, would it be responsible? Assume that student gets a job as a head physician, having passed his excellent exam “by faith” – but without real medical knowledge. Would you like to get operated by him? How could he do his job well and with responsibility? Again by faith? Just praying before every operation without actually knowing what to do? I think you see that “exam by faith” is a misconception, too. You can pray that you get the grades you deserve (not less) and be thankful for the talents that God gave to you, but you should not expect him to give you degrees which you do not deserve. However this is obviously the idea of UBF behind the concept of “examination by faith.” I think it is wrong. Hebr 11:24 says “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.” He could not have both – a title, recognition and honor – and serve the people of God. So he deliberately suffered loss, he deliberately gave up his position as a prince. I think that’s the Christian way. On the other hand, if you think you got the talent by God to be a good physician, and help many people, then you should focus on that God-given gift, and take it serious, and not concentrate on UBF-style mission (you can be a good witness in your doctor’s practice instead). I am digressing, but I just want you to challenge you to question the (ab)use of the word “faith” in UBF, not only in the expression “marriage by faith.”

Take a few minutes to read the whole thing.