Archive for May, 2005

Friday cat blogging

May 27, 2005

It’s a blogging tradition. Look it up.

This is “Skitty,” a name agreed upon by me and my daughter. She’s a 6-8 week old stray kitten who had taken up in our house’s crawl space with a mother and 2 siblings. It’s been a week since I trapped her and brought her in.

A moment of relaxation before resuming tearing around the house
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Yawning
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All babies seem cuter when sleeping.
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She eyes a future meal, our pet guinea pig who ignorantly seems to like her.
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We found out she’s a polydactyl cat. She has an extra “thumb,” giving her six fingers on her front paws instead of the normal five. That extra set of front claws is put to good use to climb all over our furniture.
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Our family had a cat from around 1986-96. Sam Lee saw him at our house one day and told my parents to get rid of him, or so they said. We (the kids) begged enough to keep him. At one point, the cat was the only thing I could relate my disgust with UBF to; I thought God was firmly on UBF’s side.

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Putting God to the test

May 22, 2005

(Related: 1, 2)

This was my comment on someone else’s post about the upside-down UBF concept of a “decision of faith”:

From: chungjoe
Date: May 21st, 2005 – 03:41 am
Subject: UBF and Yong-Gi Cho drink from the same fountain.

I think UBF, Yong-Gi Cho and unfortunately too many Korean Christians drink from the same fountain [not to say that non-Korean Christians are exempt from this form of corruption]. They tend to talk a lot about getting “God’s blessing.” And the way to get “God’s blessing” seems to be to somehow coerce God or force God’s hand by doing what we think are good works. And God’s blessing often seems to mean material blessing, material blessing beyond what we need, beyond our daily bread. [In their world, “God’s blessing” can also mean “success,” i.e. an outwardly happy (arranged) marriage, an advanced degree, a decent job, etc. It’s an amazingly shallow, even pagan view of God.] They misuse Matthew 6:33. For them, the payoff in Matthew 6:33 is too often not the provision of our daily bread, but it is “God’s abundant blessing.” They claim to use verses like Matthew 6:33 to merely teach that we should “give first priority to God,” but in their twisted world, giving first priority to God means such things as setting aside everything to go to their conferences or Sunday meetings, neglecting one’s children, giving “first-fruit” offerings, …

An example that comes to mind immediately of a UBF person putting God to the test and arriving at a completely immoral conclusion about God as a result is here.

You skipped a step

May 10, 2005

(Related: 1)

It’s a familiar theme with most cults and abusive groups, the claim that “we’ve changed.” In UBF’s case: “We’ve changed a lot in 30 years” (a claim sometimes made privately, but never publically by the UBF leaders). My contact with UBF veterans from long ago confirms what I’ve observed: UBF has made the “we’ve changed” claim throughout those 30 year, while some of the worst abuses were being perpetrated.

In any case, in making the claims that “we’ve changed,” UBF (as most cults and abusive groups will do) has skipped a step. They’ve failed to explain WHY the claimed changes needed to be made. Why have they failed to explain? Because then they might have to publically recognize the things that were wrong that required the claimed changes to be made, and then they might be obliged to publically apologize to the victims of those wrongs.

Some might counter, “Why is it important to know the WHY of change? Isnt’ it enough to just change?” The WHY of change is actually quite important. Why are certain things not practiced anymore, for example, the common use of violence and humiliation in “training?” (The violence may be less commonly used, but I believe the training methods used are still abusive.)

1) Is it because the use of violence and inhumanity in supposedly “Christian” training is plainly wrong?

2) Or is it because one or more “trainees” sued you or threatened to sue you for what you believe–in your twisted version of Christianity–to be a perfectly valid method of “training?”

3) Or is it because “young people these days are too sensitive and too quickly feel that you are violating their human rights” when you train them using what you believe–in your twisted version of Christianity–to be a perfectly valid method of “training?”

4) Or is it because inhumanity in training was not as “effective” as you would have liked (i.e. “It didn’t work,” “It didn’t increase the numbers”)?

5) Or is it a combination of 2, 3 and 4?

In other words, did you change because something you did was wrong, or did you change because people were too “weak” to handle what you were doing?

Personal responsibility

May 2, 2005

A bit outdated, but I think valuable insights from an anonymous former member: (clarification before you start reading: “Dr. Lee” is Sam Lee.)

Author: Anonymous Former Member of UBF
Subject: Personal Responsibility

I am a former member of UBF and wish to maintain an anonymous identity. I’ve been reading some of the posts and individual views of reform UBFers and missionaries who have formerly been associated with the UBF movement.

I have three things to say concerning what I have read and examined. First, it should be made clear that it is possible to blame Dr. Lee for many of the shortcomings of UBF, but I question the mindset of any individual who is willing to submit with an unquestioning spirit to another individual taking into account the fallibility that exists among all human beings. Just because Dr. Lee or some other UBF leader suggests this or that should be done does not necessitate the action be committed. The ultimate ruler individuals should obey is God. Quite simply, if another individual regardless of position or authority offers a command that is in clear dereliction to God’s spoken words as revealed in Scripture (i.e, bribery, abortion, divorce, etc), that command should not be followed. We must obey God rather than men.

Secondly, each of us lives in the real world. It takes hard work to get diplomas, receive degrees, and achieve status in society. It is convenient to adopt an attitude that suggests that there is a cause-effect relationship between blind obedience to a shepherd-like figure and success in life. However, human individuals since they are not independent life sources or givers of life, cannot be independent variables in this equation. It is God who upholds and sustains, humans can only act as vechicles to God’s sustaining and upholding power. Therefore, it is foolish to find security and stability in a shepherd-sheep relationship whereby if I do everything my shepherd tells me to do, everything will work out just fine when the ultimate sustainer of human life is not Shepherd Fred, Shepherd Thomas or Shepherdess Malinda, but God Himself. The shepherd’s or shepherdesses’ only authority is grounded in the words of God. If the words of God are followed and put into practice by individuals, regardless of what church affiliation the individual may be a part of, they will succeed (Joshua 1:8). If individuals do not the obey the words of God regardless of church affiliation, they will not succeed.

This brings me to my third point. Humans were each given a brain and a conscience. This was done so that each individual can think on an independent basis how to decide and judge for themselves between right and wrong. It’s convenient and does not take much energy to reserve individual judgment and decision making ability to another individual who then becomes arbiter of what is right and wrong and one who becomes the credible party in tackling the tough choices and making tough decisions. Making tough choices and decisions no longer becomes the responsibility of the individual, but the shepherd or figurehead who essentially assumes a commanding presence over the “sheep’s affairs.” However, God did not want Christians to relate to each other in such fasion. Paul, for example, commended the Bereans for examining for themselves whether or not what he was writing and speaking was Scriptural or not. We each must give an account before God for ourselves, the works that we have done, and the decisions we have made. Individuals should not try to escape the inevitabilty of this future event by adopting a childish attitude towards life (I did this or that because Dr. Lee said so). Rather, people should have the guts to stand up for what is right and wrong and trust that God will preserve those who are righteous regardless of what Dr. Lee or some other UBF leader suggests are the consequences for failing to comply or obey what are clearly in some cases unbiblical mandates and commands. I applaud the members of the reform UBF movement who want to base their movement on the words of God and words of God alone as their basis for action and thought. This is all I have to say.