Archive for July, 2005

Salvation by "renewal of holy desires"

July 28, 2005

(Related: 1, 2)

As I wrote before, if you read or listen closely enough, what’s wrong with UBF becomes readily apparent in their sermons and announcements. As someone posted at,

July 9th, 2005

Chicago UBF Message Preaches That We Still Must Work To Be Saved @ 03:00 pm

by pecowas

On June 12, 2005, Jim Rabchuk delivered the Sunday message at Chicago UBF based on Colossians 3:1-17. The key verse is Colossians 3:10, “And put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” This passage is misinterpreted to teach that Christians must do works in order to maintain their salvation. The Bible clearly states that we are saved by Christ alone. We cannot do anything to gain our salvation. Further, once we are saved, we are not required to work to remain saved.


“For those who think that they have a guaranteed ticket to paradise, please consider the example of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. They were already there in paradise. They had the command of God to protect them from temptation and death. But they were too confident. They did not meditate on God’s command and rules for living in paradise. Instead, they were attracted by some interesting new ideas from a silky smooth salesman. When they let the devil draw their attention to the good taste and potential benefits of eating the forbidden fruit, they rejected everything that God had told them, and ate from the tree from which he had forbidden them to eat. In short, when the man and woman forgot that God’s paradise belongs to God, they became careless regarding their desires. However, once the desire to enjoy the forbidden fruit was born in their hearts, it was already too late. They fell, and were cast out of paradise. We have been born again through our faith in Jesus’ death for our sins and resurrection. But we must renew our holy desires in Christ day by day, or else our hope in his kingdom will have been in vain.”


Rabchuk justifies having to work to maintain salvation by referencing Adam and Eve’s sin. Adam and Eve were given paradise by God. Then, Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command not to eat from the tree of knowledge. God’s punishment was to remove them from the Garden of Eden (Paradise). Rabchuk argues that just as Adam and Eve were removed from Paradise because of their sin, Christians can be removed from Paradise because of their sins. If Christians fail one day to renew their holy desires in Christ, their hope in the kingdom is in vain. More bluntly, failure to renew holy desires everyday will result in God putting Christians in hell. Thus, if Christians do not have holy desire one day, they will not be saved until they again renew their holy desires in Christ.

Rabchuk message misrepresents scripture and presents a false idea of salvation in Christ. Galatians 2:15-16 says, 15″We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ 16know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.” Galatians 3:25-29 states “25 Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. 26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Those who belong to Christ are Christ’s heirs. Adam and Eve violated God’s law that they should not eat from the tree of knowledge. Adam and Eve were punished for their sin or violation of God’s law. Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection brought victory over sin and death. Through Christ’s death, all who accept Christ as the Savior of their sins will enter Paradise in heaven. Christ’s crucifixion was for all sins: past, present, and future, including Adam and Eve’s. The point of Christ’s death on the cross was to bring victory over sin that began with Adam and Eve. Yet, Rabchuk claims that Christians can suffer the same fate as Adam and Eve should they disobey God as Adam and Eve did. Christ brought victory over sin and death. Thus, Christians no longer need worry about suffering the fate of Adam and Eve. We can rejoice that Christ died for our sins and rose from the grave and has a place prepared for all of his people (Jn14:2).

A comment,

From: chungjoe
Date: July 10th, 2005 – 04:24 am

Christ, the last Adam

… Jesus died to provide an eternal solution to the problem that was caused by Adam’s fall. To use the example of Adam falling to argue that Christians may fall out of salvation is to negate the very purpose of Jesus’ death on the cross. Not a surprise coming from a UBF pulpit.

If UBFism was in line with orthodox/mainstream Christianity, Rabchuk (another member of the UBF International Advisory Board and someone who learned his “theology” directly at the feet of Lee/Barry for years) would have known and would have taught that the free gift is not like the trespass.

To quote Romans 5:12-21 (RSV): “Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned — sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the effect of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Law came in, to increase the trespass; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

See this study of Romans 5.

Another comment,

From: sisterinjesus
Date: July 11th, 2005 – 09:59 pm

“I just wonder how many people in UBF really understand the Gospel?”

That is a really good question. I wonder the same thing; in fact I was just thinking about that this weekend after talking to my pastor about my husband and I in ubf. I was saved before UBF – though my experience in UBF adversely affected my faith. In fact, knowing what I know now about ubf, explains why the ubf koreans did not understand when I told them what I experienced as a born-again Christian. They taught the gospel, but practiced something different. So many conflicting messages.

Another comment,

From: exubf
Date: July 12th, 2005 – 01:13 am

The logical conclusion of the message is that we are no better off than Adam and Eve…it implies that Christ’s death is ineffective in saving sinners and was unnecessary.

And yet another comment,

From: nick__t
Date: July 11th, 2005 – 05:30 pm
who gets it at ubf?

… I heard a few stories about how ubf leaders reject grace. It is not certain whether it is totally on purpose, or partially because of ignorance, but ubf does reject the grace alone doctrines.

Here are some examples. A former member spent one day asking a bunch of his ubf ‘seniors’ the following question: If you died today, would you go to heaven? Out of seven or eight people, all of them answered “No”. Some said they had not been fruitful enough, some said they had unrepented sins/sin problems. One said that she had “not been prayerful enough.” None of them dared to say that they would go to heaven because the blood of Jesus is necessary and sufficient for their salvation (Romans 3:24-6, Hebrews 9:22) …

A problem of cultural differences and misunderstandings

July 26, 2005

UBF has claimed repeatedly over the decades that its reputation as a destructive group has come about through unspecified cultural differences and misunderstandings (UBF being a Korea-based group). Those who cite the cultural differences excuse have in mind UBF’s most visible and controversial practice, the practice of “marriage by faith,” i.e. arranged marriage. But when pressed about it, the same people will claim that “there is no arranged marriage in UBF.” Also see,

(BTW, arranged marriage is probably as common in Korea now as it is in America.)