I’m surprised to see myself mentioned as it’s been a long time since I’ve been here, let alone posted. I was blessed with not receiving any abuse directly. Most of the people who were at UBF while I was there (winter 2000 until just after the 2001 International Bible Conference) have left. I left for a number of reasons, including not feeling called to campus missions and similarities between UBF and the ICC (which I had a brief run in with at the same time as I was attending UBF). I wasn’t too impressed by UBF looking down on other Christian groups. Like I said, no one abused me, but some of my friends haved suffered because of UBF.
My former roommate (I met him in UBF and moved in with him shortly after leaving UBF) was basically kicked out of UBF because he became the choir director at the church that I now attend (though he has since quit being choir director, he still attends when he’s not involved in worship at another church). He didn’t usually go to the UBF Sunday Worship Service as he wasn’t too impressed by it (which is why he started going to the church that I started going to shortly before I moved in with him) but he enjoyed the Bible Studies and had a good relationship with his shepard up until his shepard cut him off. Amusingly, we’ve both been invited to UBF Bible Conferences, i.e. “you’re not allowed to come to Bible Study any more but I’m being pressured to meet my quota so please come”.
One friend whose first “church” was UBF was particularly affected given she didn’t know any different. With the UBF name changing even I was confused as to what her name was. All of a sudden her name is changed (the director had wanted her to change her name to something else though she managed to compromise and get a Biblical name of her choosing). After she left UBF she went to a couple churches and eventually came to the one I attend. At first she introduced herself to people by her changed name, but after being reassured that name changing is not a normal Christian practice (yes, some people in the Bible had their name’s changed though the old name wasn’t necessarily dropped, i.e. Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, not Peter and never mention Simon again) she finally had the confidence to go by her true name. This isn’t the only thing that has given her trouble but most people who hear about it tend to be shocked.
My former shepard and his wife left, I don’t know their reasons but from the sound of things after so many people left the director tightened his control so it may have been that they left as a result of that (I’ve also heard that his wife wanted to leave).
That’s just a few examples and like I said I was not personally the victim of direct abuse (they wouldn’t dare try changing my name since it’s Christian) while I was there but most of the people I know from there have left and they generally did suffer because of UBF.
I have had friendly talks with some UBF members since leaving but others may have been ignoring me. I talked to a shepardess a few times in the year or so after leaving (she invited me to a Bible Conference of course) but later she seemed to ignore me when I saw her and her husband. It’s possible that they didn’t recognise me but it does seem suspicious. I’ve also talking to my former roommate’s shepard several times but I’m pretty sure his wife was ignoring me the couple times I saw her. My old roommate and I also saw the chapter director and his wife once but we didn’t stop to talk as we had neither the time nor desire to do so.
In summary, there have been enough questionable things that have happened for it to be wise to avoid UBF and to instead find a Bible believing church where the leaders are accountable to the congregation. While not everyone will be abused directly in UBF, it isn’t much fun to see your friends hurt so why take the chance when you could be part of a healthy church where you have a better chance of growing in the Lord and a greater variety of missions and ministry opportunities. –Dualhunter