Recent memory for popular culture saw a resurgence of Hugo’s Les Misérables as the 2012 film after the musical caught everyone’s attention. Javert, a prison guard, almost always refers to Jean Valjean as 24601 to remind him of the crime he once committed. In UBF we are always remembered by what kind of sinner we were. We must be thankful and remain in a state of eternal gratitude to our shepherds for introducing us to Jesus and exposing our dirty pasts. This reminder also suggests that even though we have been forgiven by Christ no less, that we must surrender ourselves to eternal servitude to UBF.
A friend of mine brought the following list to my attention this week. I feel compelled to share this as an informative article in hopes that people might recognize how manipulation and control can be instituted in a systematic manner. Such control does not require violence or guns or force to instill. How is Christianity different from a system of control? How are the sins of such a control system different from the sins of individual people? How should Christ-followers react to such a system?
I love asking questions, especially highly provocative ones (with a difficult word)! “Apotheosize” means “to exalt, glorify, deify, elevate to the rank of a god.” Does UBF elevate some of her senior leaders to such a level and degree that they are virtually and practically untouchable by the rest of UBF? (They ignore or avoid questions about what they have said or done.) I ask this because (ex)UBFers have shared how their UBF leader identify themselves—either explicitly or more often implicitly—as “the servant of God.” They are also sharing more and more painful stories they have personally experienced at the hands of their UBF leaders from throughout the world. Predictably, it includes varying degrees of shaming, shunning, lying, manipulation, guilt-tripping, threats, coercion, humiliation, marginalization, insults, being yelled at, gossiped about, slandered, treated condescendingly and rudely, etc.
How has UBF responded to such heartfelt accounts of spiritual abuse? Continue reading →
With the upcoming Summer Bible Conference fast approaching, the labor of many chapters is to bring home the message, “So Loved”. The theme is to serve the world with God’s love (John 13:34, 20:21). The vision is two parts: refresh and renew world mission coworkers with God’s love and vision and to inspire North Americans with God’s love to be shepherds and missionaries. Somewhere near the end of the Summer Bible Conference there will be a missionary pledge. Despite all these catch phrases and the amazing themes, the message of all Summer Bible Conferences and life in UBF can be summed up like this, “Don’t forget God’s grace”. Here are my thoughts on the ISBC theme.
Forgiveness is such an important subject and one of the main teachings of Jesus. Jesus taught his disciples to forgive those who wronged to them seventy times seven which means endless forgiveness. Henri Nouwen is a Catholic priest. He taught at the University of Nortre Dame, Harvard, and Yale. I first met him through reading one of his books, “The Prodigal Son” several years ago. This book gave great impact on me.
Often times when someone has something important, someone close to them they are pushed to let go. We learn that it is our Isaac. This is a point that is drilled into your consciousness from the moment you take your walk in UBF. Many times we are told to look at the world and look at ourselves so we can find our Isaac. When we find it we must simply give it up and let go without looking back. Is it really a correct interpretation of the passage that contains one of Abraham’s greatest examples of faith?
[Admin note: Here is an article submitted to us that raises a relevant question that deserves consideration. How do we confront serious errors by religious teachers who are harming other people? This article briefly takes a look at some advice from John MacArthur.] Luke 20:46-47 says “Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; Which devour widows’ houses, and for a show make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation”. John MacArthur spoke on the topic and here is a link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8b7QPwnOv0
UBF leaders clearly do not like those they regard as rebellious, stubborn, proud, self-directed members who do not listen to them, obey them, wait on them, or submit to them. Strangely, to me, those sorts of people are a lot more fun than “boring predictable accommodating” people. I am writing this because I simply teared up emotionally as I read Brian’s post on how Rebekah BK felt about the way she was treated by SL. I cried perhaps because she was my wife’s shepherd for 3 years in Toledo UBF before she moved to Chicago to marry me. Based on what Rebekah wrote, it seemed quite obvious that SL clearly did not like her. I wanted to figure out why. My conclusion is that she demonstrates many of the traits that authoritarian UBF leaders do not like or welcome even to this day. In no particular order these traits are:
Here is the conclusion of Spurgeon’s sermon on godly sorrow that leads to repentance. “Lord, let me weep for nought but sin, And after none but thee; And then I would – oh, that I might! A constant weeper be. This is joy, rest, patience, bliss, just to lie there, and weep, and wash with tears the feet that came upon that errand of love and mercy for us, and still look, and love, and long, and weep, and look, and love, and long, and weep again, and kiss again and again the blessed feet of him who hath redeemed us unto God by his blood. The Lord keep us there, dear friends! Amen. Amen.”
Continue reading →
I want to suggest all UBFers to consider this piece from an article Control Mechanisms in the ICC and to answer the question: Are changes in UBF real or they are just illusion which serves for keeping UBFers in? I am not claiming they are not real as I don’t really know. I myself just can not consider the changes which are going in my chapter (Kiev UBF) to be real because of the fact that reconciliation with my family has never happened yet. So please read this article about the ICC and ask the question, are the changes real or just illusions?