Things that disturb me about UBF: a tendency to rewrite history to be only positive; a tendency to focus on individual and communal praise of God while ignoring the reality of painful divisions and disunity.
A recent report on the history of Asia pioneering is a clear example of what I’m talking about. Here is an excerpt for the positive-only UBF report:
“She offered her five loaves and two fish for HK pioneering mission. As a result, HK UBF has grown rapidly by raising 6 native Sunday messengers and more than 115 Sunday worshipers. Now 5 chapters are having worship service independently and 6 Korean missionaries are co-working together. We thank and praise God for using M. Angela so preciously as a mother of prayer for HK campus souls.” (source)
However, in spite of the rosy picture painted by the UBF report, the reality is very different from their perception. Clearly there has been an ongoing exodus of leaders in Hong Kong UBF. The report also includes glorious-sounding words about India UBF, completely glossing over the exodus of leaders that happened there recently.
The UBF reporter and those who posted the report and those who approved the report all know about the painful reality going on for more than a decade in Hong Kong. Yet the UBF report focuses on the sacrificial life of one missionary and ignores the division completely, just as the majority of UBF leaders continue to ignore any differing opinions regarding their ministry methods and beliefs. I pray that UBF leaders will face the facts and begin to report honestly and factually.
Praise God and ignore division? Serve God and forget about your neighbor? Sacrifice your life and mitigate the mercy of God? I don’t think so. Abraham repented of doing such things, and was blessed for it. We dare not talk about faith and serving God and obeying Christ if we cannot face the facts of our reality. How can I claim to know God if I do not attempt reconciliation, love my neighbor and fall at the mercy of God? We are in danger of becoming mystical fools if we do not face the facts of our situation.
“Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead–since he was about a hundred years old–and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.” Romans 4:19 (NIV84)