Spiritual heritage. If you’ve been in UBF for any length of time, you know what this means. Today I want to clarify what these words mean for outsiders or newcomers to UBF.
First of all, “spiritual heritage” is a trigger phrase. UBF people reading this already know what I’m talking about. Let’s identify what these words mean so the rest of the world can understand. UBF material mentions “spiritual heritage” a lot… for example:
“God did not call us to be ordinary people who does ordinary work. Among all peoples of all nations, God called us to be shepherds for students. Our mission does not end in gathering students. God called us to be disciple-makers who raise up spiritual leaders and shepherds. May God help us to keep this spiritual heritage of God’s specific calling to us as disciple-makers among college students to the end.” http://ubf.org/node/155
“They don’t like to be absolute because it requires struggle. Rather, they choose to be relativistic because it does not require any struggle. In place of struggle, compromise became a virtue; rationalization in place of repentance. As a result, they are perishing, not being able to overcome the temptations of sin and physical desires. In this generation, God gave us solider spirit and fighting spirit as our spiritual heritage. ”
“On the first day of the conference, we are going to have a time of reviewing and appreciating the 50 years of UBF ministry and the spiritual heritage well presented during the missionary seminar from May 30-June 2 in Korea. I pray that God may raise young UBF leaders through the European YLC who can change this world.”
“When I came to the States in 1995 after 10 years, I saw him wearing the suit with its button holes worn out. From his deep love and union with Christ came the giving and manger spirit, sacrifice and love for one soul which became the spiritual heritage of UBF. We must remember that we were created in Christ Jesus. We too should be filled with Christ through our love and submission to Christ and grow in His image by following His footsteps.”
“I thank God for greatly blessing the 50th Korea UBF anniversary, the 2011 World Mission Report, and the missionary seminar. Most of all, I thank God for Dr. John Jun’s message that will direct the next 100 years of our UBF ministry. … First, we pray to raise the next generation leaders as professional Genesis Bible teachers. Using the late Dr. Samuel Lee’s Genesis lectures, we are going to intensively and thoroughly study all of Genesis in 6 days and 5 nights. Second, we are going to study topics covered at the missionary seminar in Korea again and give young leaders a chance to inherit UBF’s spiritual heritage and philosophy.”
What is UBF Spiritual Heritage?
As you can see from the quotes above, UBF spiritual heritage is very important to UBF people. But rarely is it clearly defined and documented. Each member seems to define this heritage in their own terms, making it into something they can live with.
In my experience the past 25 years, UBF spiritual heritage is a collection of inspiring slogans proof-texted from the Bible. The heritage is a classic example of eisegesis Bible study. I have heard 5-point heritage, 7-point heritage, 8-point heritage and 12-point heritage mentioned as UBF leaders attempt to codify what they really mean by “spiritual heritage”.
God bless your soul if you start to question what these mean. And may your soul rest in peace if you criticize these points.
The 12-Point Heritage
Here is how UBF spiritual heritage was defined for me, in my part of the UBF world. We have a framed picture of this, which used to hang in our house.
“A kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”
1. Back to the Bible
2. World mission
3. Campus evangelism
4. Manger ministry
5. A spirit of giving
6. Spiritual order
7. Lay missionaries
8. House churches
9. One to one Bible study
10. Disciple-making ministry
11. Daily Bread
12. Testimony writing & sharing
The 8-Point Heritage
This is how UBF USA defines the spiritual heritage.
1. Campus evangelism and leadership training
2. Bible-centered ministry
3. One-to-one ministry
4. Manger spirit
5. Giving spirit
6. Soldier spirit and fighting spirit
7. Absolute obedience to the world mission command
8. Earnest Prayer