So in August ubfriends started a book club. The book was A Fellowship of Differents by Scot Mcknight. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, good choice Joe! There is so much to write about from it, but I would like to share only my favorite part of the whole book here. On page 139 it says, “If some said, you must be kosher to eat with us, Jesus said, eat with me and I will make you kosher.” There, that’s it. This is my favorite line in the whole book. Continue reading →
Admin note: Committed Christians–including more and more 2nd gens–leaving UBF is a reality that some leaders do not wish to face, acknowledge, address or discuss. So I thought that Joe’s recent comment was a such a short, sweet and succinct as well as savory, succulent and scrumptious comment. I felt bad that this would so easily get lost in the thousands of comments that UBFriends has. So I decided to re-post it as a short lead article. Continue reading →
A bit of disclosure is in order here: Since September of last year, I haven’t been attending church on a weekly basis. I’ve attended Catholic Mass a few times and have taken communion and have also had ongoing conversations about the Bible and life with others and have done my own personal study on biblical topics, but nothing like being plugged into a faith community on a regular basis. To some this may be disconcerting or off-putting, like who takes a half a year off of church and then preaches a sermon? But I thank Rhoel for reaching out to me and befriending and simply talking to me on a human-to-human level. One thing that I really appreciate about the West Loop community is you all’s desire to understand and practice the gospel in a loving manner. So I thank you all for accepting me and giving me the privilege to speak here today. I don’t take this lightly and I don’t want to waste your time, but instead I want to hopefully communicate an important point about the gospel that I think we, including myself, often miss. I’ll attempt to make my point in thirty minutes or less and end with a nice cherry on top which is an example from my own life.
The closing testimonies at Campus night last Friday were given by Moses Noah, Jim Rabchuk, and Ron Ward. The title on the program was “Campus mission, my family, and my profession.” The slide presented was the above. I was slightly irritated by this slide, since it ignored family and excluded any mention of Christ. And that was also their point.
Continue reading →
Admin Note: Having a genuine meaningful dialogue in UBF is a very important issue that absolutely needs to be seriously addressed and practiced. I say this based on comments expressed by Joe and Charles on Facebook and UBFriends here and here. Joe and Charles make life easy for me because they state things with much clarity and with far less words than my rambunctious repetitive rowdy rambling ruminating grandstanding pontificating verbosity! Here’s what Joe posted:
“In my experience, leaders have refused to participate in discussions where they cannot control the rules of engagement, the range of allowable topics, or manage the ultimate outcome. They are willing to meet with you one on one, but I have found that counterproductive because in private they say things to pacify you but nothing comes of it, and when you leave the room they change their tune entirely. There needs to be witnesses present and some kind of accountability. Basically, I’ve found that they refuse to participate in discussions where they might lose face. Dialogue requires letting go of control and being willing to lose face, if necessary, for the sake of the gospel and for the sake of love. It feels scary and dangerous. I understand their predicament. But it is a risk that they must take.”
(Admin note: I, Bento, did not ask permission from Joe to post this. I’m making an assumption that he would be OK with me doing so since he posted it on Facebook here. I’m posting it because what he wrote touched my heart deeply. It was real, honest, raw and gut-wrenching (and the way everyone in UBF should write a testimony). I viscerally and palpably felt his pain of moving on from UBF.) Continue reading →
Although there are tons of marriage by faith stories out there, some good some bad- I in some sense feel that mine has a ring of uniqueness to it. Not to say its better or worse in an abstract sense, it just makes for a good article. If you are new here I will refer you to the first part of the story http://www.ubfriends.org/2015/01/06/the-greatest-struggle-of-my-adult-life/
Marriage is the second biggest choice anyone ever makes outside of their choice to accept Jesus. Every culture the world over has marriage of some kind, along with religion and alcohol. The choice of these three go far in making up the characteristic of a person. Marriage should be taken very seriously.
When I first discovered about marriage by faith I was in shock. For those who are new readers marriage by faith typically works like this. Your personal mentor, usually referred to as a shepherd, decides you are ready to marry. He asks you if you are ready to marry. If you say no he waits and prays. He might ask you from time to time. But eventually once you say yes he picks someone from UBF and puts the two of you together. You are encouraged to make a choice quickly for God, and once that happens you marry in a short period of time. Your marriage from the start is all about honoring God, which means you are expected to become a missionary, pastor, or personal shepherd yourself. This is the mission of marriage as explained by most UBF people. Continue reading →
“What’s the game?” a student asked excitedly.
“Well it’s simple” Travis went on “You are going to flip a coin. If you get a heads you get a candy bar.” Travis revealed a selection of candy bars like Vanna White showing a prize. The boy with glasses eyes the Snickers ready to fend off a resolution rarely see outside of fights to the death and Black Friday shoppers (although to be fair that might be redundant).“Ok I will play.” The boy said as he reached to his pocket for a quarter.
“Just obey” may cause PTSD reactions. Obedience might be a favorite word and teaching in UBF (and many other churches). I recently realized that it is also a word that causes PTSD reactions from some people who have negative UBF experiences. This is partly because of the unbiblical and authoritarian ways that obedience is taught, communicated and practiced in certain UBF chapters. This is not uncommonly expressed by the imperative statement, “Just obey!” Obedience is also communicated implicitly even without saying, “Just obey.” The implication is that you should obey God as the Bible commands and teaches. But the practical reality is that you should obey what your leader or shepherd tells you…or else… Continue reading →