This blog post discusses the phenomena of feeling the need to constantly apologize for one’s existence. It’s when “repentance” goes overboard.
Scenario I:”You always say, ‘I’m sorry.'”
I had only been talking to him for a couple hours and he was already psychoanalyzing me. Despite the brevity of exposure, his insight into my character was uncanny. After he made that statement I tried semi-successfully weeding out those two words from my vocabulary. Since then I have continued to make an effort to stop apologizing incessantly. Continue reading →
Born in Chicago, and Son to Korean missionaries, I lived within the UBF system from birth to high school graduation. I’ve had a taste of the Large UBF church through my time at the TOLEDO UBF as well as was the 5 small house churches my parents created throughout the US.
Dear spiritual children,
It seems as though the words in my last testimony made you react with so many strong outlashings and bitternesses. I planned to comment and share my spiritual wisdom with you, but this reaction greatly frightened me and thus prevented me from doing so. To be honest, I felt like the Saint Paul when he was lashed forty times plus one from the Jews. But you know, Saint Paul was tended to by Luke the physician, whose gospel we happen to be studying. In the same way, as I read and meditate on his gospel, it is like he is tending to my spiritual wounds as well. I was like Daniel in the lions’ den and God protected me by eventually shutting your mouths after you got all of your garbages out through commenting.
Yesterday I got some exercise by walking 4 miles around Las Vegas. On the way back I saw one of the buildings in Donald Trump’s hotel empire. It dawned on me then why Trump has garnered support among the religious right-wing Evangelicals. This match seems so crazy at first. But it is not so crazy. Here are three reasons why I think the Trump-religious right match makes sense–painful, obvious sense.
- God and sin,
- God and money,
- right and wrong,
- good and bad,
- heaven and hell,
- monogamy and polygamy…and rightly so.
Two categories. This can be regarded as dualistic thinking. It is to see everything in two categories and two categories only. It promotes elitism, exclusivity and exclusionary thinking, which invariably denigrates, disparages and denounces those who are not on “your side.”
Before we publish MJ’s excellent new article, I want to share a few mid-week thoughts. Ben’s recent comment about being HOT (honest, open and transparent) prompted me to come up with a top 10 list, Letterman style, to find out if your ubf chapter is a Christian ministry or not. Can you be HOT at your ubf chapter? These 10 statements are normal and healthy. Even a really messed up Christian church would have little concern over these statements. What does your ubf shepherd say about these things? Can you share some of these things every Friday in your testimony (or reflection, sogam, whatever they call it now)?
Empathy. The ability to understand and share the feelings of another. I am blessed and cursed with empathy. It’s one of my top 5 strengths based on multiple personality tests. Empathy is a curse for me because I readily understand the feelings of other people but I have almost no ability to express those feelings. This drives my wife crazy and creates much agony for me. I am finding some relief however through writing books. Some have asked me why I don’t understand the views of the Korean missionaries and criticize them so much. Well, I only criticize after knowing how they feel and figuring out what I believe will help them. For 24 years I walked in the shoes of Korean missionaries. Then I started walking in the shoes of former members.
Today I would like to share with you the most impressive example of empathy I’ve yet come across. If I am blessed with empathy, then my new friend Timothy Kurek is doubly blessed. Timothy Kurek is the author of The Cross in the Closet. Recently he did a TedTalk. Please listen to his story of empathy as it is highly applicable to our UBF situation. Can you walk in the shoes of a former member?
The spark of this article is a lecture we held at West Loop entitled “Homo-liturgics (Understanding our humanity through the act of worship and the litrugy).” A Liturgy is a sacrament, ritual, a form of public religious worship. Liturgies denote what is valued by the worshiper. We discussed the liturgies of the church, represented by the Christian Calendar such as Easter, Christmas, Pentecost, etc. And then we have the liturgies of the state; if we look at the US calendar we see Valentine’s Day, Super bowl Sunday, Black Friday, Memorial Day, etc. We see the values of capitalism, nationalism and consumerism.
[Admin note: We received the following article here at ubfriends and were asked to share it. This speaks to the culture of burden that UBF shepherds and missionaries cultivate. The burden typically goes up on pregnant mothers. Please read, reflect and react.]
“Answer to Brian’s post June 3, 2015”
Hello, Everybody, My name is Sigrid Goff. I used to belong to Cologne UBF in Germany, then to Washington UBF until 1996 or 1997. I don’t quite remember when exactly I left. I would like to add another item to Brian’s list of UBF’s unlawful behavior posted on June 3, 2015 and that is, child abuse and neglect.
Continue reading →