In November 2002, I registered this “priestlynation.com” domain. My intention was to share my UBF testimony about Jesus with the world.
10 Years Ago
In January 2002, Samuel Chang-Woo Lee (co-founder of UBF) died in a fire in Chicago. After that, I felt the need to be a public witness to UBF ministry, and to take a stand against the “r-group” criticisms.
I soon realized however that I didn’t know what I was doing. My “testimony” here flip-flopped as I had to constantly adjust my words to be “just right”. I knew just enough about certain events that I could not dismiss them entirely. I ended up attempting to reconcile facts with honoring Lee and UBF.
My Repentance – Publicly
In the process, I ended up pouring salt on the wounds of many former UBF members. This website became one of the enablers that helped justify UBF leaders and their extreme, authoritative actions.
For example, I didn’t even realize the 3rd major reform movement had just taken place, in 2001. As I argued against critics and defended UBF, I found that the critics were making more and more sense of the strange experiences I had in UBF. Even as I worked with Sarah Barry and other Chicago UBF people to remove criticism from the UBF entry in Wikipedia, I could not deny my need to repent– repent of my lack of compassion for people who left UBF, repent of my covering up sins of leaders when they should be exposed, and repent of claiming such things were God’s work.
Here is a look back at some snapshots, courtesy of the Wayback Time machine.
2002 – My first plans. When I first setup my own website and email address, I was thinking mainly of sharing the Bible and some things I had learned. But I wasn’t quite sure how to present the material. Mainly, I just wanted to tell the world that I support UBF and was a “priestly nation”. I was also trying to work out God’s plan for my family. Would we be missionaries to Russia? Would we go out as a UBF house church?
2003 – Pictures and Weddings. At first I didn’t have much to publish and wasn’t really sure what to do with a website. And I was so busy with UBF activities, I didn’t have much time. So I started publishing pictures.
2004 – Defending UBF. After going out as a house church in 2003 to Detroit, I suddenly had a lot more time. The UBF lifestyle when from 30 to 40 hours per week, on top of a full-time job plus family and school, down to 1 hour on Sunday. In reality, I left UBF at this time. But my mind kept the KOPHN fantasy going. I spent hours and hours, day and night, arguing with “r-group” people online and trying to defend the religious system I had already devoted my life to.
2007 – Defending UBF, again. As time passed, we were left alone in Detroit. Life got hard; really, really hard. We experienced hell in Detroit. My website became an outlet where I could express the beauty I longed for as my faith entered a “dark night of soul”.
2011 – Hoping for better things. In 2009 I read the public letters from James and Rebekah Kim about the “1990 incident”. In 2010 I watched the Passion of Christ movie. I suddenly realized I could no longer defend UBF. I could no longer pretend to live in a KOPHN fantasy. I had to face the facts of reality. In January 2011, I decided to be a “man of integrity” and be “salt and light” for Jesus. These events restored my faith. I began removing all of my UBF defense material from this website. I hoped UBF could change, get better, or at least acknowledge facts about our reality…