In the last days of [the original] Winnipeg UBF, several Canadian shepherds came forward to defend the UBF group, rather than the UBF Korean “missionary” leaders. The following article is one written by Shepherd Andrew Christopher (currently of Montreal UBF [chapter director]). The article follows a typical UBF apologetic form: 1) UBF has suffered slanderous persecution, 2) critics of UBF are all secular humanists, and 3) UBF is misunderstood just because it practices pure “bible” Christianity. The article is embellished with quotations from Carlyle, John Glenn, and Tolstoy (all 3 of whom, incidentally, could never have completed their life work had they been in the UBF). In addition to several misleading statements about the UBF in Winnipeg, Shepherd Christopher errors most by not answering points made in the previous articles in the “Manitoban” which discuss details of “control tactics”, harassment, isolation, arranged marriages, and authoritarianism. His deceptive depiction of his own experience in UBF seems at times to equate more with a popular evangelical perspective rather than the “ultra-sectarian” group reported by others.
VOL. LXXVIII, No. 12,PAGE 5.
24 October, 1990.
“The UBF: sinister or saviour for students?”
by Andrew Christopher
The following is a response to recent calumnious Manitoban newspaper articles which portray the University Bible Fellowship (UBF) in a sinister light.
The UBF has suffered slanderous persecution from both city and university newspapers as well as administrative bans against any active evangelism on campus. This very small group of bible teaching missionaries and U of M students have remained silent until now.
I am a 1988 grad of the faculty of medical rehabilitation and have recently decided to become a bible teacher through the UBF ministry. I was first approached by a UBF missionary in 1985 while attending the U of W. I took two bible study sessions then quit.
Their persistent invitations to continue bible study annoyed me, but I admired their personal sacrifice (leaving the secure rewards of completed university degrees in Korea to take menial labour jobs in Canada)to serve the gospel to students. The following year I was shocked to hear that they were banned from the U of W campus.
It occurred to me that this was clearly an instance of christian persecution. Thomas Carlyle, an early Victorian writer, said, “If Jesus Christ were to come today people would not crucify him. They would ask him to dinner and hear what he had to say, and make fun of it.”
Humanism is placement of man at the centre of all things and making man the measure of all things-the antithesis of christianity. These articles, which cast doubt on the intentions of the UBF are a reflection of the richness of humanistic and secular thinking in current society.
Canada and the USA were founded on strong Judeo-Christian principles. Puritanical christians like Abraham Lincoln put God’s teachings in the government of the state. These values have steadily eroded to be replaced by arbitrary, situational and sociological laws. Modern hellenization comes via the “global village”, which proclaims the physical universe as the final ultimate reality. However, astronaut John H. Glenn once stated, “The God I worship is too big for space to contain”.
The articles that have appeared in the Manitoban attempt to depict the UBF as “ultra-sectarian” in nature. While the UBF differs from other campus fellowships, it is not unlike many christian missionary groups. The spirit of Christ is in mission. The apathy of the current state of the church is revealed in its lack of mission-mindedness. Every heart without Christ is a mission field, every heart with Christ a missionary.
The sum arguments of all previous articles collapse on the grounds that comparison was made with reference to “mainstream christianity” instead of to christian essay, the bible.
The practical aspects of christian centred life were described as a control tactic. According to one writer, the UBF “immerse recruits in daily activities until they are highly suggestive”. When I decided to become a bible teacher it was plain to me that I would trade bar-hopping, womanizing and my couch potato habits for the building blocks of faith of bible study, testimony writing, prayer and fellowship meetings. It is not always easy but when I think of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for my rescue and salvation, I do not lose hope.
The articles also accuse us of psychological subversion. Society has even built a cult-relevant language, with words like `deindividualization’, `programmed’, and `personality disintegration’.
When I earnestly sought the scriptures I felt anxious and extremely uncertain. My experiences were not surreal, but the product of unadulterated bible study. A component of the humanist view is that man is basically good and only corrupted by outward circumstances-this view shirks responsibilities in the name of human liberty. The bible teaches that “the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart and these make a man unclean”(Matthew 15:18).
The truth that flows from the bible is powerful life-changing capabilities. Our thoughts, perceptions and judgements are necessarily and compassionately changed. As Leo Tolstoy once said, “When I came to believe in Christ’s teachings I ceased desiring what I had wished for before. The direction of my life, desires, became different. What was good and bad changed places.”
My place of change is the UBF, where the spirit of Christ works mightily. In light of Jesus’s cross I came to see myself as a sinner. My own mind had been numbed into a blur of intellectual trivia, sports gossip and licentious talk against women.
I realized that I had enjoyed a lot of corruption under the false sham of monogamy. I was not then condemned, but rather saved . I see that Jesus is truly the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep. I want to be like Him. He purchased me with his blood and I will share with anyone who will hear: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
Here’s my commentary:
This is an original oxymoron. I give Andrew created for that.
The UBF has suffered slanderous persecution from both city and university newspapers
This is the same argument that UBF current members make to this day. The only difference is that “city and university newspapers” are replaced by something that doesn’t fit into the UBF agenda examples: family, cops, friends, boyfriend/girlfriends, etc
This very small group of bible teaching missionaries and U of M students have remained silent until now
This is false because whenever UBF “missionaries” are under heat or when the authorities are on their trial they become evasive and refuse to answer questions. In fact from what anybody has researched and heard none of the Winnipeg UBF “missionaries” has made any statements or responses publicly.
It occurred to me that this was clearly an instance of christian persecution
So the other instances were not persecution but fact and accurate?
Humanism is placement of man at the centre of all things and making man the measure of all things-the antithesis of christianity.
After 50 years UBF rehashes this same argument.
These articles, which cast doubt on the intentions of the UBF are a reflection of the richness of humanistic and secular thinking in current society.
Do you Andrew have undisputed evidence to back up this claim?
every heart with Christ a missionary
What Andrew is saying is only applied to UBF unfortunately
when I think of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for my rescue and salvation, I do not lose hope.
What this actually translates into: when I think of [my bible teacher’s a.k.a UBF shepherd’s] sacrifice [to] the cross for my rescue and salvation [in UBF], I do not lose hope [in UBF].
Society has even built a cult-relevant language, with words like `deindividualization’, `programmed’, and `personality disintegration’.
What’s ironic is that UBF doesn’t utilize those three words but they practice the concept behind each of the words emphasized
When I earnestly sought the scriptures I felt anxious and extremely uncertain. My experiences were not surreal, but the product of unadulterated bible study.
Are you saying that bible study in UBF actually doesn’t help at all?
A component of the humanist view is that man is basically good and only corrupted by outward circumstances-this view shirks responsibilities in the name of human liberty.
Same argument phrased differently that is still being reused after 50 years
The bible teaches that “the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart and these make a man unclean”(Matthew 15:18).
Would you like to expand on that? More specifically point out what was said in the articles that you referenced things that were “unclean” so to speak?
The truth that flows from the bible is powerful life-changing capabilities.
But didn’t you said earlier that When [you Andrew] earnestly sought the scriptures [you] felt anxious and extremely uncertain ?
My place of change is the UBF
In other words it was UBF that changed you and gave you salvation not Jesus Himself
I see that Jesus is truly the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep.
Apparently UBF “missionaries” aren’t good shepherds
I will share with anyone who will hear: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
There is no question that people including ex-members have heard John 3:16. The real question is that did you actually listened to the ex-members voice?
Here’s commentary from ex-members from the old forum:
In the last days of Winnipeg UBF, several Canadian shepherds came forward to defend the UBF group, rather than the UBF Korean missionary leaders.
That’s a typical pattern, by the way. The leaders never answer accusations themselves, but let native members answer journalists, parents, neighbours. Those members have to defend the sins of the leaders. They never answer themselves and defend themselves but always let others do the job. Clever tactics. And I think it’s also a psychological trick, for those people who defended the sins of the leaders become automatically more loyal. I observed it very often. If you have to defend the leaders, you automatically feel that not HE had been criticized and attacked, but YOU are in his position, and you start to feel solidly united in the “persecutions” which often are nothing else than legitimate criticism. [Sidenote: This practice still continues to this day. This goes to show that UBF has remained stagnate for over 50 years. In addition to this it is extremely rare for a UBF “missionary”/chapter director to directly respond. The most notably and very recent case is Joshua Park, chapter director of Victoria UBF in Canada UBF where he responded to an editor of a newspaper.]
Andrew C. also won his stripes in UBF through his savvy yet deceptive defense of Winnipeg UBF as the ship was sinking. The first years I knew him, his testimonies often referred to the Winnipeg “slander & persecution”. He gained alot of favour through joining the group that fled Winnipeg and went to Montreal in December 1990. The ex-Winnipeg UBF shepherds and missionaries basically control UBF in Canada and have been granted more independence (ie distance from Chicago UBF) for remaining loyal from the Winnipeg failure. They know what they did their, but remain silent.
Is there anything else you would like to add that we may have missed?
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