The Holy Spirit led me to commit to God first

(Related: 1, 2, 3)

If you read or listen closely enough, what’s wrong with UBF becomes apparent in their sermons and announcements (besides the plainly obvious wrongs such as their numbers obsession and arranged marriages).

Two common themes in UBF sermons and sogams come to mind.

One, the UBF message performer or sogam reader says, “One man said, ‘The Holy Spirit told me not to come to UBF (or skip the UBF Sunday meeting or attend another church or leave UBF).” This is usually followed by some chuckling by the UBF audience because they cannot comprehend that the Holy Spirit (as they understand the Holy Spirit) might do that.

Two, the UBF message performer or sogam reader says, “One man said, ‘I commit to God first, not UBF.’ (UBF audience chuckles again.) Such a man cannot commit to anyone.”

From One, I see that UBF rejects the Holy Spirit’s leading in a “sheep’s” life, leading that might be independent of a UBF “shepherd’s” direction or opinion, leading that might take the “sheep” out of UBF. We who criticize UBF are condemned in UBF as “blaspheming the Holy Spirit,” meaning that we have commited an “unforgivable sin,” are “going to hell,” are “little Satans,” etc. (you get the picture). But who is it that is really blaspheming the Holy Spirit? (*)

From Two, I see that UBF rejects a direct relationship with God, a relationship that is independent of a commitment to UBF. Symptoms of this include the trademark UBF exclusivism.

From these common UBF themes, I see an obvious desire that is common to all high-pressure, highly-controlling groups: the desire to bind the recruit to a leader/shepherd and to the group. Independent decision-making and a direct relationship with God are anathema to such groups and to UBF.

(*) In fact, they have shown that they actively fear the role of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life. They actively try to usurp the role of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life (many of whom they stole from other churches). To utter the words “Holy Spirit” was at one time sort of a taboo in Chicago UBF, as described here,

Once D. Lee sensed the change in M. Joseph, he began to be alert and warned him. One day in a staff meeting he shared a Sogam, which did not follow D. Lees lecture faithfully. Rather, he exhibited his own scriptural expounding.

Later, D. Lee sent Henry Park, who is a crony of Samuel Lee, to scold M. Joseph, saying that in his Sogam the words of the Holy Spirit were repeated 26 times and that he had to repent and change the word, the Holy Spirit, into Jesus.

and here,

However, Missionary Samuel Lee’s excessive accusation of missionaries who attended the revival meeting alarmed me. He constantly criticized them, blamed them and made fun of them publicly. He called the woman minister a witch, a magic artist, etc. I felt that Missionary Samuel Lee was in danger of calling the work of the Holy Spirit the work of the devil. Another thing that struck me was that many missionaries had been ignorant about the work of the Holy Spirit. Some who did not attend the revival meeting were not sure whether they had been born again or not by the work of the Holy Spirit. Some who attended the revival meeting were said to have said that they experienced the work of the Holy Spirit for the first time.

What was clear to was me that Missionary Samuel Lee and UBF leadership had been either reluctant or ignorant about deeper truths about the work of the Holy Spirit even though they taught elementary things about the Holy Spirit. For example, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, being led by the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit as the deposit and guarantee of our salvation, not grieving the Holy Spirit etc. were hardly mentioned or taught if ever in my 16 years of UBF life up to that point. I myself learned about these spiritual truths by reading non-UBF spiritual books.

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