History is a remarkable subject. I am not a historian and love new media, the latest technology and the coolest gadgets. Yet I have always been fascinated by the ancients and by historical records. I am even more amazed at how some organizations can rewrite their own biased versions of history.
This morning I found the following quotes about history that sparked today’s post:
“Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters.” ~African Proverb
“History is herstory, too.” ~Author Unknown
“A history in which every particular incident may be true may on the whole be false.” ~Thomas Babington Macaulay
“Each time history repeats itself, the price goes up.” ~Author Unknown
And the cliche quote about history is of course “If we don’t know history, we are bound to repeat it.”
These days I am growing more and more concerned about how the history of my former religious organization is being recorded. The main UBF wesbsite presents only the positive history and news about the small new movement called University Bible Fellowship. UBF history is very carefully preserved as a glorious history, filled with honor and tales of obedience and sacrifice (I know because my stories of obedience and sacrifice are included!).
I would like to present a part of UBF history that they do not want you to know about. There is a sordid dark side to UBF. Three major reform movements have occurred the past 50 years. Yet in 2011, I and other long-time leaders are leaving UBF in growing numbers. Many of us have come to the conclusion that UBF cannot be reformed and instead must change almost completely. Many UBF chapters are broken vessels that cannot sustain the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Many UBF members are crying out for healing, but are finding only silence, apologies or demands to shut up and go away. Some have even been requested to meet with a UBF elder individually for “counseling” or “repentance”. Others have been made to feel so guilty, being persuaded that they themselves were the troublemakers who caused division.
In the past 50 years, most leaders and members who left UBF simply went away in silence. Some have left UBF signing some sort of pact. One good friend of mine told me in person a couple weeks ago that she felt leaving UBF was like going through a messy divorce. And in the past a few people became such broken and wounded individuals over leaving UBF that they committed suicide or lived with massive guilt for years, shipwrecking their faith, from the maddening silence and twisted lies that they experienced as they left.
Some of us are “on strike” as a demonstration that UBF history has been misrepresented. Many good, faithful Christian friends of mine have been excommunicated; swept under the rug as if they never existed. When leaders leave, UBF elders simply feel that UBF has been “cleansed” and refocus their attention on new college students who are not aware of the dark side of UBF’s past history, the non-glorious side.
I present and preserve three letters here as proof that three major reform attempts have been made by sincere Christian leaders around the world (Korean, American, Russian, Ukrainian, German, and others). I further testify that I am an eyewitness to the fact that most of the reforms mentioned in these letters have not yet taken place in 2011.