If things go the way UBF leaders pray and work so hard for, in 2041, UBF will have over 100,000 missionaries and will have been a blessing to over 140 un-pioneered-by-UBF countries. But what if that doesn’t happen?
Up to now, by every liberal estimate, UBF has sent 3,000 missionaries in the past 51 years. That leaves 29 years to send out 97,000 more UBF missionaries. Perhaps this is a reachable goal. But what if this all-pervasive goal of 100,000 UBF missionaries is not met? Who will be blamed? What will happen? UBF leaders would do well to learn from recent history and work to avoid the mistakes of other empire-building ministries. I write today’s blog post, not for now, but for future generations. I write this for the year 2041, and I hope I am wrong.
UBF has been described by more than one critic of UBF as a “Moony-lite” organization. This means that UBF displays numerous behaviors that the Unification Church has displayed (such as mass arranged marriages), but on a smaller scale and perhaps in a less harmful way. Certainly I can testify that UBF has displayed Moony-like behaviors in subtle and not-so-subtle ways over the past decades. One major way that UBF is similar to the Moony organization is its “business mission”, which is called “self-supporting business mission” in UBF. If this teaching becomes full-blown and is pursued by UBF leaders as a valid means of mission, this may be what UBF looks like in the future:
Historically, UBF has planted the seeds of shunning ex members, and even getting lawyers involved with critical websites. One former director told me at breakfast once that UBF would use any means possible to remove anti-UBF material from the internet. If such seeds continue to grow, UBF may look like the Scientology group in the future, with regard to dealing with the ex-members:
Can UBF leaders avoid such a future? I think 2012 will be telling. The seeds of lawsuits and mental, spiritual, physical, emotional and sexual abuse have already been planted. These seeds were planted in the midst of a truly Christian organization. UBF missionaries do indeed seek to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. But far too many UBF leaders, who have the authority to prevent such abuse, have allowed actions such as these to also grow in the ministry:
– Sometime in 2007, a UBF director succeeded in removing a website that was critical of UBF teachings, by legal means.
– Sometime in 2011, the UBF internet committee instructed leaders via email to dislike an article that was critical of UBF.
– Sometime in 2012, a sexual abuse scandal leaked out of the protective covering of UBF leadership.
Such recent actions do not bode well, but thankfully our God is a God of miracles.