1976 UBF Reform Letter: Lee-Centered Ministry

Anyone familiar with University Bible Fellowship understands that UBF has been heavily influenced by Samuel Chang-Woo Lee. It has been said no one ate or slept in UBF without Lee knowing about it.

The fifth and final allegation from the Korean staff shepherds in Korea in 1976 is that the UBF ministry depended entirely on one man, Lee.

The claims were:

  • Paralyzed function of UBF committees
  • Dictatorship style leader’s meetings

What follows these claims in the 1976 letter is a rather long and severe rebuke, recounting Lee’s teaching methods and actions. I will leave my readers to read this for their own if they choose.

I will simply conclude this series of reviewing the 1976 UBF reform letter with the Korean shepherds’ own words:

We have wrongfully thought you are the spiritual father of UBF. You take advantage of your authority as the spiritual father, teacher and leader of UBF. However, God, our lord, is the only father, teacher and master. We are all brothers (Matthew 23:8-11). We understand that you should be respected as a spiritual father to establish spiritual order. Saint Paul also called Timothy son. The equality in UBF is, however, broken. Under the broken equality, calling you a spiritual father leaves UBF members in the relation of master and servant. You are nothing but a cult leader because you tried to become God. As a result, Satan works in UBF in several areas. We cannot but conclude that your words and deeds are tied up to the evil spirit of lying, killing, and fear (Roman 8:15).

Shepherd Lee! You might think that we lead a rebellion against you for political reasons or we are Satan led by one shepherd. We, including you, should repent together before God. You know well that UBF becomes a problem as a cult in our society. You made an excuse saying that UBF is strict. You also criticize the religious leaders. Why, then, do you flatter them by spending money inviting them? We cannot but think that you flatter them because you fear the disclosure of UBF’s wrongdoing.

We will not keep silent about all the evil in the name of God’s glory. We will not allow the evil ministry that idolizes you and manipulates our sheep. We pray that you repent and resign from UBF. This is the only way to restore the ministry of UBF for the glory of God. We are going to wholeheartedly pray for  you. Please pray for us that we might continue to serve the ministry of God. We sincerely pray that the Lord of Lords, the righteous God, may win the victory.

April 15, 1976

Samuel H. Lee
Barnabas Chang
Peter Suh
Nathaniel Ahn
Matthew Sohn
Joseph Lee
Jonah Kim

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