The Blue Book

This week I received a package in the mail from Korea. Apparently, they didn’t get the message that I resigned from UBF. The package contained a CD of the UBF 50th anniversary fanfare that took place in Korea. The package also contained a nice looking blue booklet of 174 pages. Did you get yours? If you are in UBF, you had better get one and read it because the booklet describes the tremendous amount of work that you will be doing in UBF the next 50 years. And if you don’t do it, you are a sinner who must be avoided (well, according to the blue book anyways).

And in case you missed it, all the attendants in Korea at the celebration took a vow to commit themselves to this work.

So now we have an official, codified blue book of the UBF belief system. It describes things like creating a UBF University, empowering Korean children and how wonderful and necessary it is to do various UBF activities. The concluding message from the Korean director made me extremely troubled and inspires me to pray all the more for anyone propagating the UBF machine.

The passage of this final message is 2 Timothy 3:1-17 and titled “Terrible times and the Bible”. Part one is entitled “Have nothing to do with them” (1-9). Part two is entitled “Continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of” (10-17).

So what is so troubling about this message? The message begins by paraphrasing these verses:

“1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God– 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”

Here are some quotes based on these verses:

“This is the picture of the crisis that our church community confronts today.”

“Many are losing their identity as a royal priesthood and a holy nation.”

Then the message continues by emphasizing verse 14:

“14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”

A few more quotes:

“However, the spirit that worked in the UBF ministry for the past 50 years didn’t come from the ideas of Dr. Samuel Lee or Mother Barry. It was not a typical UBF spirit, but the eternal truth of God’s words.”

“Therefore, we should continue in the truth that we learned and stand firmly on it. Those who do not continue in the truth will lose the power of godliness and will join in the sinful trend of the world.”

News flash to the world: If you are not doing UBF activities (i.e. the life-giving spirit, a humble mind, one-to-one Bible study, writing testimonies and sending out lay missionaries, otherwise known as the “eternal truth of God’s words”), then you do not have the power of godliness and you are a sinner following the ways of the world.

The message goes on with several more pages of examples from UBF history of those who kept the “eternal truth of God’s words”.

Clearly I made the right choice to get my family away from this group. This new blue book from UBF is a perfect example of binding people’s consciences to a set of ideas from the Bible. For 24 years, I always heard how thankful people were to Samuel Lee and Sarah Barry for the spiritual practices they had developed in UBF.

Now, 50 years after Lee and Barry began a good work, we are supposed to believe that those practices are not from Lee and Barry, but from God as his “eternal words of truth”? The blue book is nothing more than a tool to bind UBF activity to the word and work of God. However, the world created by God is not “UBF holy nation people” and “anti-UBF sinners”. The world and the people in it belong to God.

I for one will not submit to UBF authority nor do any UBF activity.

3 thoughts on “The Blue Book

  1. Just a couple follow-up points:

    1. The blue book I am referring to is the “2011 UBF Shepherd Missionary Seminar” collection of messages and presentations. It is entitled “spirit, ministry, vision”. Note the small “s” in spirit. This is not a typo. It is intentionally worded as “spirit” throughout the entire book. I found only a couple references to the real Spirit.

    2. This book is copyrighted and only obtained by paying a subscription to UBF Press. The copyright notice in the front cover is a rather strongly worded warning that nothing can be reproduced without written permission. It does allow for “brief quotations in printed reviews”. In other words, we are only allowed to see or review this book in paper form. I see this as yet another way of controlling information. Why would any church force people to use paper in the year 2011?

    3. The book is in English (thank God). But the CD is almost entirely in Korean. So I don’t understand what the speakers are presenting on the CD, except for a few English-speaking life testimonies.

  2. “This is the picture of the crisis that our church community confronts today.”

    “Many are losing their identity as a royal priesthood and a holy nation.”

    So, if I consider these two quotes together, they are acknowledging that there is a crisis of some sort in UBF. Even they wouldn’t use the word “crisis” lightly. It’s not a “problem” or a “difficulty”. It’s a crisis, and that’s not a small thing.

    But, this crisis is apparently not going to lead to the necessary honest self-evaluation and reform. Instead, they are going to attribute the crisis to people losing their calling and mission. It’s “reform yourself first!” all over again.

    Not that I’m surprised or anything.

  3. rsqubf,

    Yes, the word “crisis” is used, good point. And all this crisis was BEFORE I left. I was sitting here in Detroit all by myself and didn’t hear any talk of a crisis.

    I did hear some indication of problems from 7 or 8 friends who confided in me the past 8 years. But everyone else in UBF I knew just said things like “all is well” and “everything’s fine” or “we just have to get back to the Bible.” You would never have guessed there was even any problem from the way leaders around me acted.

    Thank God I now know something about the crisis in India, Kiev, Mexico, Toledo, etc.