Archive for June, 2006

UBF’s Matthew 23 hypocrisy

June 28, 2006

(Related: 1, 2)

Someone has hit it right on the head in regard to UBF’s hypocritical twisting of Christ’s commands in Matthew 23:

Another passage from the same London UBF sermon:

“Look at verses 9,10. ‘And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ.’ We have our fathers and spiritual shepherds who lead us. We have leaders in our church. They have the position in order to keep the spiritual order of the church. They are the same as us in that all believers are children of God. There must not be any difference between people and there is only one who is above us- our Father in heaven. (9b) Look at verses 11,12. ‘The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.’ Jesus tells us that we should serve one another. In order to be exalted not by men but by God, Jesus’ disciples should humble themselves.”

They quote the Bible verse which says we should *not* have “spiritual” fathers. Then they conclude: “We *have* our fathers and spiritual shepherds who lead us. We *have* leaders in our church. They have the *position* in order to keep the *spiritual order* of the church.”

What’s that for a sermon? The Bible says one thing and their interpretation is to state the opposite!?

They claim the only thing in which the leaders are “the same with us” is that they are also children of God.

Then they insert a sentence which is correct but which comletely contradicts what they said before: “There must not be any difference between people and there is only one who is above us- our Father in heaven. “

Another way of UBF to deal with Bible passages which do not fit their ideology is to simply quietly skip over them.

For instance, the verse 8: “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers.” The messages talks about verses 5-7, then continues with verse 9, probably in the hope that nobody notices if they skip a verse. The obsession of UBFers with titles like “Dr.” or “missionary” or “shepherd” is one of their most revealing spiritual problems. This verse addresses this problem directly. The title “Rabbi” means something like “teacher” – the same as UBF shepherds claim to be “Bible teachers.” They use the title “shepherd” or “missionary” in exactly the same way as those people used the word “Rabbi.”

The problem is mentioned in verse 7 as well: “they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.'” Here, UBF is able to comment the verse, because it starts with “they…” (the Pharisees). The UBF comment is: “They sought their own glory by being greeted in the marketplaces and being called “Rabbi.” Jesus tells them that they should not be called ‘Rabbi’.” That’s all. Jesus tells *them* – it’s only a problem of Pharisees. Then UBF skips verse 8 completely which starts with: “But *you* are not to be called…”

A UBF recruit’s account of the UBF discipleship game

June 12, 2006

(Related: 1)

Excerpts from a late 2005 email from a UBF recruit that shows how UBF plays the typical discipleship game to gain greater and greater control in non-moral areas of a recruit’s life, and it all starts with the pressure to join “common life”:

I recently joined one of the common life housing by the () center. I really wasn’t sure how I would like this arrangement. The reason that I was uncertain was just because I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to move into the church housing, figuring that there would be strict rules about curfew and things like that. And also being used to having my own space and living on my own and wasn’t sure how I would like sharing my space with so many other people.

However, I decided to go on and move into the common life housing. At first it was great. I was in such a great environment feeling as though I was growing closer to God and growing spiritually.

I began to have doubts a few months after moving into the common life housing. There were multiple reasons for this: 1) my bible teacher invited me to our weekly fellowship/testimony sharing meeting, which I had not been attending before. When I told my shepherd that I was not interested in going to the meeting, I was rebuked and accused of not wanting to “grow in my relationship with God.” I was so frustrated and hurt. My shepherd was completely overlooking the fact that I had taken a great step by deciding to move into the common life housing …

2) I was rebuked for not writing a weekly testimony. It is understandable that my shepherd wants to encourage me to daily spend time with God and meditating on his Word. However, I felt that my shepherd thinks that she needs proof of this every week by me turning in a testimony weekly. It doesn’t seem to matter that I read the bible every single day and that I am struggling to come to God daily in prayer. Now I write a testimony and share at every bible study, but I only do it because I feel that I am being forced to, not because I really want to.

3) One of my roommates talks about “keeping spiritual order.” Another of our roommates was having trouble with their shepherds/ fellowship leaders. The leaders seemed to be abusing their authority in my roommate’s life and we all agreed on this. But then, the other roommate said that our struggling roommate should respect their authority because the leaders were placed in authority by God. Then my roommate brought up Hagar and Sarai, justifying “spiritual authority” with this story. Saying that God told Hagar to return to Sarai and submit to her even though she had been abused. My roommate said that this is an example of keeping spiritual authority, and by Hagar’s obedience she was blessed. [What an incredible twist of scripture.] …

4) Some of the testimonies that people share are very revealing. They speak about disobedient sheep who refuse to come to God because they do not write testimonies. They talk about their own struggles with disobedience by not following orders given by their shepherds and how they should repent.

… One day I feel like UBF is a great place, and then the next day I feel like something just is not right.

UBF and cultural relativism

June 1, 2006

(Related: 1, 2, 3)

This was part of a Feb. 2006 post from elsewhere:

UBF, in using the “it’s just a cultural difference” argument, tries to leverage the post-modernish notion that “cultural elements” are somehow beyond good and evil, exempt from any judgment based on any moral standards.

Actually, it’s not a post-modernish notion. It’s just good old-fashioned cultural relativism. So, UBF, this supposedly Christian organization has continually appealed to cultural relativism to try to defend its practices for the last 30 years or so.