Personal responsibility

A bit outdated, but I think valuable insights from an anonymous former member: (clarification before you start reading: “Dr.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

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