Recently I received email from a former Hong Kong UBF member asking me to share an update from the recent “Kimchi Talk” seminar that was held at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The purpose of the seminar was to give college students a chance to hear a critique of Korean-based Bible study groups and to ask questions. Today I share the feedback I received from this seminar in regard to the UBF portion.
Last year, I shared some news about the exodus of leaders in Hong Kong UBF. Then recently I asked for prayer for our brothers and sisters in Hong Kong UBF who are struggling. Unfortunately, the situation in Hong Kong UBF mirrors what has happened in several other UBF chapters. The UBF leadership simply lets the situation deteriorate until the “trouble-makers” are gone, which allows the leadership to start all over in establishing a new UBF chapter.
Here is the latest feedback (I made some minor English modifications)
[ Traslated from tkllll’s post here ]
I am a former UBF brother who left UBF a few years ago. When I left, my feelings was almost the same as that of the previous shepherd’s leaving testimony a few months ago. The difference is that at that moment, I was like being isolated and failed to find the right person to share with.
In fact, all exodus of former UBF – Hong Kong members would probably experience this sort of mental experience. From “suspecting” to “struggling”, from “being brainwashed” until “coming back to senses”, then he would experience some incidents to trigger him off. At last, he made a decision to leave. Although this process caused him to experience the painful feeling of being discredited, isolated, or demoted, when he leaves UBF, he would have freedom in Christ and could drink the pure spiritual milk. So he will recover very soon and live a new life filling with freedom and joy.
The incident that triggered one entire fellowship to leave Hong Kong UBF is in the Q&A session of the CUHK’s “Kimchi Talk”. During the Q&A session, several UBF core shepherds were suspected of telling lies, untrue and misleading words publicly. Their behaviour caused some young people to question the integrity of the UBF shepherds. When the young people saw the lack of integrity and truthfulness in the UBF shepherds at the “Kimchi Talk”, the young people began to believe that UBF is an abusive church and made a decision to leave.
The following are several important cases in CUHK’s KimChi Talk on April 11th, 2012:
UBF-Hong Kong’s messenger Shep Tang XX claimed: I am just an ordinary shepherd, I hope that I could promote to a senior shepherd in the future.
During the Q&A session of CUHK’s KimChi Talk, one director class shepherd stood up. Dr. ChengTeng asked him to introduce which shepherd’s class he belongs to. He kept on smiling and denied that he is a senior shepherd. He claimed that he is just an ordinary shepherd. And he even said that he hopes to be promoted to a senior shepherd in the future. However, what is the actual position and the real identity of this shepherd? The following content is quoted from UBF’s official web site:
“Shepherd Hayes Tang reported on Hong Kong Mission,and shared his life testimony. He became a born again Christian through one to one Bible study during his school days, and then he became an ancestor of faith in Hong Kong UBF …”
According to UBF’s official web site, Hayes is an ancestor of faith in Hong Kong UBF (also called “ancestor of faith – Abraham”). In UBF, every university has only one ancestor of faith, normally. The status of “ancestor of faith” in UBF is very high and is highly-honoured by missionaries. Shep. Hayes is not only the ancestor of faith of one university, he is even considered the ancestor of faith in Hong Kong UBF which is a chapter serving smaller UBF fellowships at several universities. However, he claimed himself to be an ordinary shepherd. Obviously, he is suspected of telling lies publicly and displaying false humility. Furthermore, he also said that he would like to be promoted to a senior shepherd. Does he think that being the ancestor of faith in Hong Kong UBF is not enough? Does he even have a greater ambition to pursue further promotion?
Summary: As the ancestor of faith of Hong Kong UBF, he was actually giving false speech, leading to the questioning about his integrity. As a faith ancestor and messenger of UBF, he did not set a good example of speaking honestly. Will he bring bad influence of releasing false speech publicly to UBF’s shepherds, brothers and sisters?
Shep. “Wanna Buy House”, sheep of Shep. Tang XX, claimed, “I have freedom to travel and my life in UBF-Hong Kong is very free.”
(Remarks: Shepherd “Wanna Buy House” once wanted to buy a house but his ideas was rejected and discredited by missionary.)
During the KimChi Talk, Shep. “Wanna Buy House” claimed that his life was very free in UBF. He could even go traveling and buy T-shirt, etc. However, his statement was misleading. Since according to the message of Shep. TangXX, “Traveling” is worldly (or an example of the easy-going life). Let’s see below the UBF-HK’s faith ancestor TangXX’s teaching (Message of Chapter III in UBF-HK). In his message, he pointed out “traveling” is a “wide gate”, that leads to destruction:
“But for the wide doors, it is no need to invite others or to send invitation card. Everyday there are people forming teams to enter. They might form teams like “Tour group”, “Food group”, “Shopping group”… to rush into the wide gate. Therefore, although behind the wide gate are “Comfort Station”, “Pleasure Station”, “Vanity station”, “Crime Station”, but …the terminus is “Perish”…So what is the actual difference between “narrow gate” and “wide gate”? “Wide gate” means “having a free (easy-going) life”. People do not need hard-working or struggling spiritually but they can still enter the wide gate. Behind the wide gate, people can enjoy comfort and lust. Therefore, choosing “wide gate” is a natural practice. On the way of wide road, people can meet many friends and they would not feel lonely.” (source: message of Chapter III, 21/9/2008, Mat 7:13-29)
Indeed, Shep. “Wanna Buy House” shared a sogam on this message at the 2011 Hong Kong UBF Summer Bible Conference. He mentioned that his coworker could not pass the “language benchmark test” for three years, so she was told to repent and fish sheep.
“…but I work with computer everyday, so I don’t know how to love the others. Last year, my coworker (wife) could neither find any sheep nor any job. She also failed to pass the “language benchmark test” in the past three years. She was not only discouraged, but also looked down on by others. Those who did not understand her, just asked her to repent, but did not realize that she was one who also need to be shepherding. I felt her frustration. I encouraged her that God can easily give you a job.” (14/8/2011, message of HK SBC, John 21:1-17)
From the above message and sogam, we can see that shep. Tang XX’s sheep, “Shep. Wanna Buy House”, cannot live freely in the real world as he said. His wife was requested to repent and told she had a lack of “shepherd’s heart”. If he follows the teaching of TangXX, it is impossible for him to travel. Therefore, his speech was misleading or untrue. It is presumptuous for him to speak such misleading or untrue speech. Is it inherited from TangXX?
A CUHK Shepherdess, Shep. G, claimed, “I did not have an arranged marriage in UBF”
During KimChi Talk, Dr Cheung Teng asked if UBF arranges marriage partners and asked the UBF shepherds whether they were arranged marriage in UBF or not, asking them to answer one by one. At that time, all the HK UBF shepherds kept silent, including the faith ancestor shep. TangXX. Nobody answered. However, Shep. G stood up suddenly and took herself as an example. She told that she had a boyfriend before, and later they got married in UBF, instead of being “arranged marriage”. Although she was telling something true, she hided the fact that 90% of the shepherds are arranged married in UBF – Hong Kong. Her marriage is just a rare example in UBF. Although she did not tell lie, such speech is misleading people to think that brothers and sister have freedom to date with someone and choose to marry in UBF-Hong Kong.
Summary: Shepherdess G took herself as an example, so that people think that not all shepherds are arranged to marry in UBF. However, she did not honestly point out the fact that 90% of the marriage of shepherds are “arranged marriages”. This practice was misleading, confusing the public and resulted of losing her integrity.
The aftermath of the KimChi Talk
Recently, a former UBF member shared with me honestly the follows:
Since his shepherd often told him that the speech on web are false, it is difficult for him to distinguish whether they are true or false, as a result, he hesitated and stayed in UBF for a period. However, “KimChi Talk” helped trigger his decision to leave UBF because he personally saw that UBF shepherds was lying, hiding the facts, misleading aand confusing the public. The missionaries (as leaders) were hiding behind in the Q&A session of KimChi Talk. These triggered him to question the integrity of the UBF missionaries and shepherds. Finally, he realized that the speech on web are mostly with evident to support. He had reflections after “KimChi Talk” and he finally made decision to leave UBF-Hong Kong. He left UBF because he heard the voice of UBF shepherds (especailly those with ancestor class), and that helped trigger his decision to leave UBF.
I believe those shepherds, including Shep. Tang XX, Shep. G and Shep. “Wanna buy house”, are victims indeed. They are kind-hearted. They thought that they could stand out as the shields for the missionaries which caused this exposion of their speech suspected of lying and misleading.
I hope those missionaries, as leaders, do not use the poor local shepherds to become their shields. So that they could be leaders who walk in front of the sheep bravely to face and address the issue of UBF’s manipulation, dictatorship and lies, etc.
“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)
This key verse is often used by UBF shepherds for teaching the sheep.
I hope that each time when they teach the sheep this key verse, they could also reflect on it.