Posts Tagged ‘moses’

The New Covenant That UBFism Forgot

December 14, 2003

“Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. Now if the ministry of death, chiseled in letters on stone tablets, came in glory so that the people of Israel could not gaze at Moses’ face because of the glory of his face, a glory now set aside, how much more will the ministry of the Spirit come in glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, much more does the ministry of justification abound in glory! Indeed, what once had glory has lost its glory because of the greater glory; for if what was set aside came through glory, much more has the permanent come in glory!

Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness, not like Moses, who put a veil over his face to keep the people of Israel from gazing at the end of the glory that was being set aside. But their minds were hardened. Indeed, to this very day, when they hear the reading of the old covenant, that same veil is still there, since only in Christ is it set aside. Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds; but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.”

2 Corinthians 3:5-18 (NRSV)

How Discipling/Shepherding Has Gone Awry in UBF

December 4, 2003

After reading a few old articles from by an “anonymous USA missionary” (who is most probably Daniel Hong, based on the writing style) at escapeubf, I’m beginning to understand how discipling/shepherding has gone awry in UBF. Ask a UBF leader today why UBF puts such emphasis on obedience to a human shepherd. If they give you an honest answer (as the “anonymous USA missionary” did), they will say that UBF believes that obedience to one’s shepherd (and one’s shepherd’s shepherds) is the practical expression of one’s acceptance of Jesus’ lordship or the practical expression of “denying oneself.” You will sometimes hear from UBF leaders that “all we are doing is teaching students to have practical Christian faith.” That “practical” Christian faith by UBF standards is almost always measured by one’s obedience to one’s human shepherds, and probably the ultimate expression of “practical” faith in UBF is leaving one’s choice of marriage partner in the hands of one’s human shepherds.

So in UBF, one’s human shepherd is the proxy (I don’t know if that’s the right word) of Jesus’ lordship in one’s life. In UBF, the practical expression of Jesus’ lordship in one’s life is practically impossible (even unthinkable) without the interposing presence of one’s human shepherds (the so-called “servants of God”).

Getting back to the “anonymous USA missionary,” when he goes to the Bible to defend UBF’s understanding of Jesus’ lordship he begins with the example of Moses who, “practically” speaking, was to be obeyed as if he were God by the people and even by his older brother Aaron. So, the “anonymous USA missionary,” who I believe honestly expresses what’s in the “collective mind” of UBF, shows that he can’t understand Jesus’ lordship in a Christian’s life unless he thinks of Jesus’ lordship in terms of the requirement to obey a proxy lord, one’s human shepherd, one’s personal Moses.

If a UBF defender is honest, as the “anonymous USA missionary” was, they have to admit that UBF’s discipling/shepherding principles are very similar to those developed by the “Fort Lauderdale Five” and their “Shepherding Movement” of the 1970s-80s.