In 2007, a U.S. newspaper ran an article entitled “Fellowship or Foe?”
The article was about the student ministry called University Bible Fellowship. The newspaper was the “Diamond Back Online”, the newspaper of the University of Maryland.
The reporter made the following statement about University Bible Fellowship. At the time, it puzzled me. Today, it makes a lot of sense:
“Although many student members have sung the praises of UBF, others have expressed concerns about the methods by which the church recruits its members and exerts control over their lives.” (source)
UBF puts a lot of effort into a Christian-sounding, public face. Each time an exodus of leaders occurs, the remaining leaders focus on praising God and gain a few more Christian buzz-words, usually by inviting someone to speak about such words.
UBF spends much time and effort and money to be attractive for students (much good food, much high praise, etc). But people like myself who have experienced things like messenger training, see the other side of UBF. It is the side that causes some to have grave concerns. It is this dark side, the side that has bordered on the illegal at times, that sparks the anger of former UBF members. After the initial “love”, a Bible student in UBF will be challenged to commit their entire life and all life choices to UBF, one by one. This twist is one issue that prompted me to leave this year and continue to blog about it, even though such blogging comes with risk of retaliation.
A while back, UBF showed signs of retaliating against the “anti-UBF” material. They succeeded in removing a small, negative article about them. But apparently they missed a lot of other articles. Below is a brief listing of material by former UBF members and some outside agencies. I hesitate to post such a list because it gives UBF lawyers an easy target. However, the stories of hundreds of former UBF members cry out to be heard. Since UBF leaders remain silent, refusing to even admit such stories exist, I will list them here. The stories are from around the world, including Russia, Germany, Mexico, India and America. I list them here because some people have asked me from time to time where this information is on the internet.
One interesting note is that Canada UBF seems to be moving in the right direction (God’s direction) and listening to the Holy Spirit. Canada UBF began with some of the most horrific stories of abuse, yet somehow, some Canadian UBF chapters have found their way back to God and the Bible.
Fellowship or foe? You can decide for yourself.