It is Time

It’s time to say those words that I’ve put off saying. Words that I wanted to say 8 years ago but was not courageous enough. I was too much of a wimp. I’ve tried to avoid saying these words lately because for two decades I have witnessed what has happened when others have said these words.

I now say these words not just because of what was done to me, but because of what was done to us. It is because of the way my brothers and sisters in Christ were treated in India and Toledo this year and in Mexico and Russia and other US cities in recent years. I say these words because of all those times I sang that hymn “O Happy Day” and thought that if I was any happier I’d be dead.

It is because good men of faith like Joe S. and Ben T. have been speaking up for years about various changes, only to have their words fall on deaf ears. It is because men of faith not part of UBF have spoken up only to receive silence when their words became too real. It is because as of 2011, UBF remains listed on the lists of several cult-watching groups, groups where Christians pray that the authoritarian and cult-like practices of UBF don’t take a wrong turn and become even more distant from Christian churches.

I say these words because of what was done to people like Nick T. and Joe C. and to defend the honor of James and Rebekah B. Kim. I say these words remembering the hundreds of R-group people who wanted reform only to be labelled as rebels. I say these words remembering dozens of people who spoke up with a differing opinion only to be cast aside as if they were lepers. I say these words for all those who signed the petition in 2003 to revoke UBF’s status in the NAE. I say these words in hope that change will come and none of the totalitarian practices I witnessed firsthand will ever be practiced again on American soil and not in any other country.

I say these words with every bit of passion and fervor that the American founding fathers spoke as they declared our independence and drafted the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing our freedom: I am not in UBF.

5 thoughts on “It is Time

  1. Personally, I am sorry that you are not in UBF anymore. But I fully understand and fully support your decision. Regardless, you are still my treasured friend in Christ, even if our primary communication so far has been in cyberspace. If ever you stop by or pass by Chicago, we should definitely meet in person to chat to our heart’s content.

    “Sinners” are just too darn hard for anyone to deal with, whether they are our “sheep,” or even and perhaps especially our “shepherds.” Of late, I’m beginning to think that it might be far harder to deal with our so-called “shepherds,” because they too are just as desperate sinners with blind spots, prejudices and biases who need God’s unconditional grace and mercy.

    Ezekiel 34 is God’s indictment against the shepherds of Israel. I am not saying that our leaders are like that. But to whatever degree we are all “bad, selfish, self-serving shepherds.” That’s why our ultimate good shepherd had to come (John 10:11; Ezekiel 34:23-24).

    On an unrelated note, how about putting Ref tagger on your site?

  2. Thanks Ben. Yes, you have become a good virtual friend (although we have met briefly in person!) I believe the challenges for UBF as a whole will be overcome. I see much hope in Dr.Abraham Kim as general director. However, in all good conscience, I do not have the same hope for my chapter of UBF. So I am primarily leaving because of the severe issues in that local chapter, and not so much UBF as a whole. Oh and I added your RefTagger! I will gladly stay in touch and participate in the blogging world.

  3. Hi Brian,
    Thanks for the post. If i may, i am eager to know how brothers and sisters in India were treated? Would be very thankful to you, if you could kindly share with me.

    Have a blessed day.

  4. Enrich,

    While I don’t know all the details of what happened in India UBF, I have had some virtual discussions with Abraham Nial (former India UBF member). The basic issue is the same issue I (and many others) have experienced: voicing a differing opinion about ministry matters leads to a sort of “silent ex-communication” process. Some comments from January 2011:

    “I am conflicted about this. On the one hand, I think, “What happened in India UBF should be none of my business. I don’t know all the facts. There are multiple sides to every issue, and unless I hear everyone’s side, I need to just keep quiet.” On the other hand, if it is none of our business, why do we urge one another to pray for our brothers and sisters in our ministries all over the world? To share their joys, struggles and sorrows is our business. Abraham Nial dedicated 12 years of his life to serving in this ministry, standing side by side with us. He deserves to be heard in his own words, not through the back-channels of rumor and gossip. If anyone else has differing opinions, they deserve to be heard as well.”

    Usually this kind of event is never spoken of. Fortunately, due to being in the “new media” age, I heard about it:

  5. Brian,
    Thank you so much for the info. Indeed what you said was very true. Abraham Nial is a good friend of mine, he was our team leader and a good messenger. In fact no matter what happened I am so thankful to God and I am so happy that Abraham Nial proof his dedication to God by continuing the good work of God even though he is not in UBF anymore. I think this is a very big blow towards UBF leaders who thinks that UBF is the only ministry and the only way(“shame on them”) to serve God. I wonder why they think themselves to be so holy and above everyone else. They seems to me like they are thinking themselves to be the top class citizens of heaven and the rest are just a bunch of evil people …. !!!!! They are a shame to Christians.