Peter (Man-Suk) Chang, former chapter director of Columbus UBF chapter wrote the following apology to Jim Bouldin and several others. Chang not only took the first practical step towards repentance but he also practically went beyond that with guidance from the Holy Spirit.
Hi, Jim, it’s been a while. A friend told me about your writing on this site. I read your writing and I have nothing but to say, “I am deeply sorry to cause such pain to you.” I am truly sorry to deeply disappoint you, when you came to me for friendship and trust. Some things you mentioned I don’t remember well. But Joseph Lee can tell you that I have often wondered about you. Last time I heard about you was several years ago. I heard that you were somewhere in Michigan working in a state park or something. It took a while for me to understand many things I had done was wrong. It was not that easy to realize the fundamental cultural structure and philosophical differences between Korea and America. Looking back, I feel that I jumped into the ministry too quickly before I had spent much more time to learn about this society. I am sure that I have hurt not only you but also quite a few others, including Tom Parker, Bill Rankin, Perry Montgomery, and others. I recognize that and from the bottom of my heart I ask your and their forgiveness. Over the years my Christian life has changed dramatically. There is a Reformed pastor who has worked around Ohio State campus for near three decades. He can testify how I struggled to understand what i was doing wrong, because he helped me a lot. We had many hours of talks. He is a very gentle pastor whom I respect much as my teacher. A few years after you left, we got into trouble with the deprogrammers. This event really made me think about what I was doing. I began to think that I might be doing something that were totally against basic American values. That was when I met this pastor, his name is Bill Lewis. If anyone has any question, you can email him at [email omitted].
He advised to go to seminary. About that time, James Kim and I attempted to reform UBF, challenging Samuel Lee. But due to Paul Hong’s (James Kim’s assistant missionary at the time) secret cooperation with Samuel Lee, James Kim was dispelled from the Toledo chapter and went down to in and despair about UBF. I remained quite defiant for several years against entire UBF. But I too did not find hope about the future of UBF and decided to go to seminary. So, I attended a Lutheran Seminary in Columbus and afterward finished my doctorate in the Old Testament at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA. That is where I am now.
Jim, I again apologize the pain I have caused for you. Forgive me. Also, to tell you the truth, i do not remember my attitude toward the Native Americans and African Americans. But if indeed I said that, it was a terrible, terrible thing to say. I repent for such an unethical remark. At this point, I feel that it is such a foreign idea to me. The reason is the most important biblical text to me these days is Eph 2-3, which deals with the power of the cross that tears down the walls of hostility among different ethnic groups and makes them one new person. That is my present conviction about the future of the church. Not only so, my own experience in Virginia has made think seriously about the sufferings of the African and Native Americans. A Japanese man called Ronald Takaki wrote a book called A Different Mirror which deals with the sufferings of the minority people. This book made me also rethink about American history.
Jim, I do not deserve to ask your friendship again. But I am always willing to communicate with you.
Also, I want to let you know that I am watching the reform movement in UBF right now. I have occasionally been contacted by some UBF reform members who know our attempt to reform UBF ten years ago.
Jim, I am not going to tell you that I am a changed man, since I have no way of proving it to you. But I can say this much: that I do not look at the world the same way I used to do. My world has changed tremendously. My God, my Christ, My Holy Spirit, has changed beyond my own wildest dream.
Jim, I am very happy to hear from you, although the format isn’t what I would like to have. But I guess I deserve it. I am also very glad to hear about your successful life, your doctorate. I know how hard it is to get there, since I just finished my own.
Jim, I am right now taking care of a small Korean church as an interim pastor. It is a very nice one. You may be surprised that I don’t even ask them to feed sheep. I simply love them and they love me.
You know I have learned a few lessons about human life. One of them is my inability to change the past. What I did to you is not something I can change now. I will have to live with it with much shame and pain. There are quite a few things like that in my life. One of them is my failure to stand up for the truth, when some of the earlier reformers in UBF in ’76 tried to reform it. I helped Samuel Lee at the time. I can say, as some tried to come to my defense, that I was too young and had no power to go against Samuel Lee. But I do not want to say that. I think it was my fault not to stand against the untruth. For that reason, in 1989 when James Kim and I challenged Samuel Lee, I decided not to repeat 76 again. I stuck with James Kim. It was in a sense restoration of my own honor that I felt I lost in 76. I am sure how God will lead me from here on. But I will be very very careful not to make the same mistake I did with you. Pray for me and occasionally remind me of my sins. What you have written about me I will take it as a Christmas gift that will keep me from forgetting my sins of the past. Jim, I am not saying in sarcasm. I mean it from my heart. Some of Korean reform members asked me what they should do, since they destroyed the myth of Samuel Lee and have no alternative that could fill the void. I told them to fill it with the truth that all human beings are sinners and they all have blind spots, or dark underside. I really believe this. And I believe it not about Samuel Lee but about me first. I do not trust myself any more. If I do not learn a lesson from the past, how could I be sure that I wouldn’t do it again? Even if I learn the lesson, could I still be sure that my dark side wouldn’t surface unexpectedly and inflict sufferings upon some one else? For this reason, although it is painful to read your writing, I will take it as God-sent.
Jim, take care and God bless. May God abundantly bless your life with many good friends and many successes. If you are teaching, may God bless your teaching, too. If you are doing research, God bless that.
Here is Mr. Chang’s current status: http://wuv.edu/news/board-of-directors-votes-to-renew-contract-for-president-peter-m-chang/