Posts Tagged ‘pressure’

Another summary of UBF’s errors

November 25, 2004

This by Ward Canfield, formerly of Chicago UBF:

Date Posted: 11:57:44 10/08/04 Fri
Author: Ward Canfield
Subject: Re: UBF Doctrine
In reply to: Tom F ‘s message, “UBF Doctrine” on 09:31:45 10/08/04 Fri

UBF ERRORS

1. Fear and pressure tactics used to control peoples’ behavior within the system: direct threats, ostracism, disparaging public criticisms, vilifying rumors, fake institutional friendships; one’s spiritual gifts are often defined by senior members and their use also dictated by them (often many are supposed to have and express the same spiritual gift, for example, evangelism, when clearly they do not),

2. Dogmatic adherence to one man’s theology and personal opinions: little or no individual Biblical insights are encouraged—even in private fellowship—nor deviation from the manuscript’s language and main points; following one’s own conscience before God is often disparaged by core members,

3. Unaccountable leadership: no un-Christian behavior can ever be evaluated in leaders by the fellowship; outsiders’ criticism is dismissed out-of-hand; senior members are accountable directly to God only—thoughtful and sincere apologies to offended junior members are often regarded as unimportant (although the Bible teaches that it is important—“be reconciled one to another”); Budget, revenue, and expense summaries are never disclosed to core members in the fellowship

4. Hubris (exaggerated pride): Many core UBF members think themselves to be the sole remnant of God’s people in this generation, and to be better than any other group in spirituality and in being used by God in world evangelism; other Biblically fruitful Christian groups are often publicly disparaged—apparently for not being like UBF,

5. Ends-justify-the-means philosophy: UBF follows “higher” principles and laws than the world and is therefore not subject to worldly principles or laws if the spiritual ends are deemed more important—regardless of the possible bad influence; God’s blessings, when they occur, are interpreted as blanket approval of UBF.

In conclusion, I just want to make the appeal below to anyone in UBF who is uneasy about things he or she is starting to see in UBF.

EARNEST APPEAL TO THOSE STILL IN UBF

1. Only One is infallible, and he is God; no single human being or group is infallible, no matter how earnest in trying to understand and apply the Bible,

2. No group or human being can be superior in spirituality or purity, no matter how devoted in trying to practice the Bible; everyone is accountable to each other when wrongs are committed—repentance with sincere apology is Biblical,

3. No group or human being can interpret the Bible completely and correctly, no matter how prayerful in trying to study it,

4. No group or human being is favored by God absolutely or automatically, no matter how diligent in trying to apply and teach the Bible.

5. Budget disclosure to core members is healthy to a fellowship, and not unwise and not a sign of lack-of-faith in leadership if you want to see the budget records.

6. God wants you to worship Him in a Biblical fellowship, and can be trusted to help you find one and do so when you leave UBF.

"Church Displays Members’ Individual Tithe Amounts…"

September 22, 2004

This “story” at The Holy Observer–the Christian equivalent of The Onion–is a funny fabrication of course:

SAN ANTONIO, TX – Have you ever seen your church’s income figures and casually estimated how much each attendee would have to tithe to reach the total? Have you ever looked around during a Sunday morning service and wondered who specifically is giving how much? Well in a time when privacy is regarded as highly as autonomy, Pastor Regan Miller of First Baptist Church in New Braunfels decided it is time to urge his congregation into a deeper level of financial accountability. For six weeks now, First Baptist’s pre-service PowerPoint announcements include a chart with each member’s tithe amount from the prior week.

This story from my personal story is too true, unfortunately:

As far back as I can remember, Chicago UBF has maintained a publicly viewable offering chart on a wall of the Chicago UBF church building. On this chart are written the names of all Chicago UBF members who offer a monthly tithe, the so-called “World Mission Offering,” which is compulsory for all “committed” members of the group. This chart tracks each person’s tithing month-by-month. Therefore, if someone fails to tithe for a given month, no matter what the reason, a blank space is there on the chart for all to see. If someone offers less than their normal amount for a month, no matter what the reason, a partially blank space is there on the chart for all to see. [Not only is it reflected on the chart, but the person who offers less than their usual amount will be pressured and guilted and sometimes publically berated for it.]

At least the fictional church in San Antone has the fictional integrity to disclose to its fictional members how much money they take in.