Well it is that time again! It is time for another Karcher message review of a ubf lecture. I decided to post this review publicly after some private discussions. We former ubf members have indeed moved on with our life. But some of us care about the people still at ubf. From time to time we wonder if they have changed anything for the better. We have moved on but has ubf moved on? Examining a ubf lecture is tedious and usually very depressing. Here is my new review based on the Karcher Message Rating and the Karcher Sermon Danger Scale.
Title of lecture: House Churches in Rome
Date of lecture: 2/7/2016
Chapter: New Jersey ubf (The chapter director wrote this lecture)
Online version: http://www.newjerseyubf.org/sun_mess_ubf/675505
Bible text: Romans 16:1-27
Special power from God
The first sentence reveals a mind control technique of attributing the work of the group to God. Anyone can study a book to the end. It is your ambition and determination that pushed you to study Romans to the end. No special power of God is needed to do such a thing, and yet this lecturer immediately binds our work with special power from God:
“Thank God for enabling us to study Romans to the end.”
Desire for Glory
Right away this lecturer reveals his infatuation with gaining glory. He really wants to be remembered and is excited by the Bible text mentioning a small number (29) of people:
“Why were all saints in Rome remembered in Paul’s final greetings with such great affection? How could their names be recorded in his final greetings with Paul’s great affection toward them? In today’s passage, we learn how we could be remembered in God’s world salvation history. It is because all 29 persons in his final greetings worked hard for fulfilling God’s world salvation plan in their generation, coworking with Paul for the glory of God.”
Portrayal of UBF into the Bible
A major theme of this lecture is that ubf is exactly like the Bible characters. How amazing it is that the Bible passage reflects exactly what ubf is doing? Well, it is too amazing and the mind control technique is called portrayal. Here are some examples of such absurdity:
“Paul prayed to make Rome a Kingdom of Priests as we are praying for America to be a Kingdom of Priests.”
“In his final greetings, we also learn that Paul not only had a vision for making Rome the center for world mission, but also found his 5 loaves and 2 fish which is the practical way to carry out his priestly duty for world mission. It was men and women of God who worked very hard by offering their houses as house churches in Rome.”
Nostalgic Rewriting of History
This lecture takes a nostalgic turn. The lecturer recalls the dead co-founder with fondness:
“Late Dr. Samuel Lee grasped Paul’s vision for evangelizing the world through America so that he came to America.”
“But when he came over to America, he began to pray for America to be a Kingdom of Priests and a Holy Nation. It was out of his broken shepherd toward many Americans whose house was broken and lost God’s holiness in their lives.”
Why did Lee go to America? Surely there are other key reasons, such as tax evasion. Lee got into tax trouble in Korea. He was facing the 1976 reformers who clearly and patiently pointed out the flaws in UBFism. Whatever Lee wanted to build in America, he was doing so partly as an escape from the problems in Korea. Oh and maybe we should mention the debacle of ubf missionaries who went to Canada before coming to America? Anyone want to discuss Winnipeg?
Preaching Theology of Sacrifice
This lecture is steeped in the theology that God only accepts those who work hard and sacrifice everything for him. This is not the Christian God of love, but a strange mixture of the Eastern pagan gods who demand sacrifice endlessly:
“Paul recommends Phoebe. She lived in Cenchrea, which was the port of Corinth, the city of trade and education like New York and New Jersey. Since she lived in Cenchrea, she had a chance to do education business like Msn. Grace. She worked hard day and night to maintain her business and became rich. But she did not enjoy her rich for herself or her family members.”
Again the lecture can’t help binding ubf to the Bible characters, portraying ubf insider language onto the Bible text:
“Now Paul sent her out to world mission journey at her own cost with his letter “Romans” to the saints in Rome. Paul felt a danger that she would not be treated as a precious servant of God, but as a business woman so that all saints in Rome would not listen to her.”
Teaching Disdain for Family
One of the major dangers of UBFism is the disdain for family. This is rampant in this lecture. For example the thought is always in UBFism that mothers who neglect their children are more blessed by God than “weak” mothers:
“Many women only focus on their own children. But in carrying out world mission, Paul teaches us to show the proper respects for women, not because of their beauty or their money, not because of women’s right, because of their sacrificial life of dedication to the Lord.”
Demanding Obedience to the Chapter Director
A sly trick of ubf these days is to call their Chapter Directors as Pastors on public websites. This is high deception. The reality is that they want you to obey the Chapter Director and the pyramid chain of command. Peter Kim is part of that chain of command. Note that John Park, the Chapter Director of New Jersey ubf and the person who is giving this lecture, does not say “Obey me”. Instead he exalts those who obey another leader, who obeys him.
“All women and men of dedicating their lives to the Lord for world mission should be equally respected and remembered as God’s servants in the history of God. Missionary Sarah Kim, Ruth Chong and Mary Lee who dedicated their time and life to carry out more than 3 one to one Bible, obeying the direction of Msn. Peter Kim should be respected more highly than any men missionaries who do carry out one to one less than 3 times.”
“Since Paul had such coworkers and house churches who were ready to risk their lives for world mission, he was able to carry out God’s world salvation plan. In pioneering NJ UBF world mission, I do see that Msn. Sarah and Peter Kim risked their lives and their future securities for me many times. I am always grateful to them. Not only I but all the churches of NJ UBF are grateful to them.”
More Disdain for Family
The rant continues…and includes calling out a specific person for some reason:
“These days we see many homes which are nothing but places of physical rest, television watching, complaining centers, sometimes a battleground. When Matthew Kim moved out his apartment to a solitary place, he used his home from time to time as a battleground. But when he decided to move into a Highland Park for common life with coworkers, he even invited three second gens from his mother chapter to his house and feed them with spiritual food through daily bread. Thank God for the house church of M. Matthew Kim.”
Such disdain for family would not be complete without some portrayal of ubf into the Bible text at hand:
“Likewise, Priscilla and Aquila offered their home as a house church. They gathered people and distributed the word of life to them and also treated them with delicious food. Their house was also a place for prayer for coworkers throughout the nations.”
Next some wild claims are thrown in…founders? Giving up privacy? What role should women have here?
“Priscilla and Aquila were the founders of the Christian church throughout their lifetime. The open door, the open hand, the open heart are the characteristics of their lives. Here, Paul did not say, “Aquila’s family.” He said, “Priscilla and Aquila.” The church of God began at a house church. It was possible because Aquila’s wife Priscilla gave her privacy to God. They held worship service, and after the worship service she cooked to share love and dinners. It was never ending. In a house church the housewife’s role is very important. Because of this, Paul saw women who opened their house for the work of God with honor and respect. My house church should be called “Grace and John’s house church” not as “John and Grace’s house church” since I do see the important role of Msn. Grace’s coworking with me for world mission.”
Painting ubf Missionaries as Victims
The lecturer induces us to feel sorry for those poor old Korean missionaries who suffer soooo much like Paul:
‘In Paul’s life and ministry, there were many hardships and sufferings and rejections and accusations and misunderstandings from anti-Christians. Paul was old and tired. So he could have been overwhelmed by the sense of loss and suffering. But he was not. He was happy to remember each individual who became a coworker and brother in Jesus in Rome.”
Clinging to One Person
The term “ancestor of faith” is a ubf insider language for the first loyal person in a chapter or fellowship who commits to UBFism. The lecturer would have us believe Apostle Paul did this same practice and used this same UBF insider language:
“First of all, Paul remembered the ancestor of faith in his ministry of the province of Asia. By remembering the first convert in Asia, Paul emphasizes the importance of raising up one ancestor of faith in each ministry.”
“To Paul, “the first convert in Asia” was indeed significant. We remember that God raised up Sh. David Gates as an ancestor of faith from Rutgers ministry and shepherd Jason Perry as an ancestor of faith from Princeton. It is important to remember always one man of God who convert to Christ through our house church ministry. I pray for each house church to have one man who believes in Jesus at each campus. I pray for Peter Lim, Joseph Lee’s house churches to have one man.”
More Theology of Sacrifice
All ubfers know ubf will work you to the bone. This lecturer binds such hardwork to the Bible, using this text as justification for all the stress ubfers have to bear each week:
“Secondly, Paul remembered women’s Hardworking spirit in Rome.Look at verse 6. “Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you.” This Mary was not the mother of Jesus, but one of the Marys. In verse 6, the phrase, “who worked very hard for you,” means that she worked to the point of death. Paul was an extraordinary hardworking person. So to Paul, an ordinary hardworking person was not considered a hardworking person. Paul thanks God for Mary because she knew the grace of God and worked hard.”
I’m not sure how to react to some of this lecture. It is so bizzarre. I think the lecturer just wants us to keep working hard doing something. He seems infatuated with women.
“Several more women’s names were remembered in his final greetings. Look at verse 12. “Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord.” Paul remembered all women because of their hardworking spirit. Then, why were all women motivated to work hard? Where did their hardworking spirit come from? Usually people have a regular job for their survival. So when they have to work for God they feel that the work of God is extra work which requires extra strength and effort. The work of God is also spiritual work. So whoever does not give his heart has nothing to do. But these young people worked hard for God since they gave their heart to do the work of God. Paul prays for them that the grace of our Lord Jesus be with them. Even though we work hard for world mission, we feel “burned out” if we do not remember the grace of our Lord which enable us to work hard. Satan whispers us, saying “Relax, do not work so hard. Oh, look at many Christians around you who just go to church on Sunday and be relaxing, doing whatever you want. It is normal. Do not work hard even to the point of being burned out. UBF is too much.” But Paul remembered several women of God not because of their appearance, but because of their spirit of hardworking which meant that they gave their hearts to do the work of God.”
Excessive Concern for Seniority
Ubf missionaries are very concerned with who is older and who has been “in ubf” longer. This odd concern shines brightly in this lecture:
“Thirdly, Paul remembered the spirit of humbleness in Rome Look at verse 7. “Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.” Andronicus and Junias were senior to Paul in faith in Jesus. They were in Christ before Paul was. But they coworked under the leadership of Paul with the spirit of humbleness. The place was uncertain but they had been in prison together with Paul for Jesus’ name’s sake. Paul praises and thanks God that they knew the grace of our Lord Jesus and worked hard. Paul said, “They are outstanding among the apostles.” It meant they were better than he.”
Living in a War Fantasy
Ubfers tend to imagine they are fighting some imaginary war. This battle spirit is clear in this lecture:
“It is our spiritual reality that we are always in spiritual fighting in the spirit battle between disobedience and obedience to God’s world mission command.”
Advice: Stay Away from Bad Influencers
Here is a not so subtle jab at people like me. Stay away from BrianK who is like Satan J
“In this part, we can see that there were people in Rome who were a bad influence, causing division and causing weak Christian brethren to stumble. How did Paul recommend us to handle these people in Church? Verse 17b says, “Keep away from them.”’
“Those who live for their own interests are all talking smooth in flattery in order to deceive the minds of naive people. Look at verse 19. But Paul encouraged all saints in Rome to live a life of obedience and hardworking to the end.”
Ending with Victory!
Like any good propaganda speech, this ubf lecture ends with a resounding cry of victory! What have we won? We don’t know but we are victorious! Satan will be crushed! We will be established in the gospel!
“Look at verse 20. “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” In this verse Paul prays that Satan may be crushed and the peace of God be upon all men. Paul also prays that the grace of our Lord Jesus be with them.”
“This verse is short but it summarizes, in a sense, the whole Bible.”
“Now Paul and his coworkers are established in the gospel of Jesus Christ. To Paul, this was a marvelous grace of God. There is nothing greater than to be established in the gospel of Jesus.”
Absolute Commitment to UBFism
The conclusion is a cheerleader chant to commit to UBFism:
“Paul’s faith was rooted in the absolute sovereignty of God Almighty and his glorious world salvation plan revealed in the Bible. Paul sees the final victory in God’s world salvation plan since he did not play with double motives. Paul’s vision for world mission was possible since he had only a single motivation of revealing the glory of God through Jesus Christ.”
“We are called to pray for America to be a Kingdom of Priests. We are praying to raise up 7,000 Bible teachers and missionaries from NJ. No matter what happen to us, we do have faith in our final victory as long as we remain faithful to our motive of seeking the glory of God alone. May God bless all house churches in NJ and our shepherds and 2nd gens to remain faithful in seeking the glory of God.”
This lecture gets a 2 star rating on the Karcher Sermon Scale – a predictable robot spewing propaganda with the purpose of committing to UBFism.
The lecture gets a rating of Nuclear on the Karcher Sermon Danger scale – a “code red” fire that can destroy a community, and in fact already has.