Here is a story from a 2nd gen who had left left UBF and survived spiritually, mentally, and physically
Author: Glad-2-B-Out 2d Gen.
Subject: Re: Dr. Samuel Lee’s Success
Begging to differ:
I have to agree with you.
Before leaving UBF, I had started to wonder about many things that seemed to be mere givens in UBF. For one, UBF seemed to believe that every man’s mission is to feed sheep (i.e., 1:1 ministry). Well, what about those in churches who don’t have a 1:1 ministry? Were they not obeying God? Did this mean that it was impossible to lead a good Christian life outside of UBF?
1:1 ministry and who had how many sheep seemed to be the most important things in UBF. As a child growing up in UBF, and especially as a teenager, I dealt with anger and resentment towards my parents, who seemed to care more about sheep than they did for me. Although they now regret much of what they did then back then, my parents did pretty much believe that if they did God’s mission (i.e., feed sheep), God would take care of their family. Well, maybe God did take care of me… but it took me years to get over my anger. All throughout college, my parents’ many attempts to make up for lost years only made me angrier. It was only after college that my heart somehow melted.
I don’t know… maybe God did use UBF to bring many souls to him… but I personally don’t have many fond memories of UBF. I only remember feeling taken for granted, feeling burdened by so many rules, and wishing I had been “free” to enjoy life before being brought into UBF (which I equated with Christianity).
It was only when I started going to regular churches and started getting to know non-UBF Christians that I started to understand and experience that the Christian life is something I could actually enjoy. I learned that it is possible to have a 1:1, personal relationship with God. I learned that the Christian life was not merely about feeding sheep and thus earning brownie points with God.
I also saw people who didn’t depend on orders from church leaders for every little step in their lives. Instead, I saw people who through their relationship with God, sought primarily to hear God’s voice in their lives. Moreover, church leaders never gave orders. Rather, they themselves depended on their relationship with God to determine who would be best for a job, and then asked the person if they would pray about doing the job. In sum, the focus was not on just obeying leaders on the belief that they were carrying out God’s plan, but on walking with God themselves and being close to Him that they could be spiritually sensitive to his guidance.
I could go on and on, but the most important thing I learned outside UBF was the gospel. Somehow, amidst all the lessons about suffering for the sake of Christ, obeying God/leaders, and doing his mission, I had missed the gospel in UBF. I had somehow never understood that my salvation had nothing to do with what I did or could ever do. I never understood that God’s faithfulness did not depend on my faithfulness. And I had NO understanding of grace.
Outside UBF, I came to understand that it was only because of Christ that I was saved. And I learned that even if I strayed or faltered, God would not. I was amazed by the knowledge that in spite of my shortcomings and failures, I would ultimately stand before God totally without shame purely because of what Christ had already done. In light of my glaring shortcomings, this truly was amazing to me.
I think UBF has put Christianity into a box by defining one mission for everyone. I also think many in UBF miss out on all the great Christian scholars and workers out there who have so much to offer. God is so much bigger than UBF’s definition of Him. UBF needs to stop believing it is the best organization out there and consider what others have to say as well. Finally, I think UBF has diminished the gospel by putting works over grace. The whole point of the cross was because all the works in the world could not save us. And even after being saved, do we seriously think our works now will impress GOD?
Ecc. 5:1 sums up the Christian life for me. It says that when we go to God, we must go to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools. It says we must guard our steps. I understand this to mean that what God wants most from me is for me is not works. What God wants most is my heart. He wants me to walk with him (through Bible study and prayer)and thus, know and recognize and hear his voice. If my works don’t stem from this relationship, my works are nothing but “the sacrifice of fools.” And in a church where everyone is busy running around listening to people’s orders, is there really room for God?
I apologize if I’ve digressed, but this forum has really been cathartic.