Recently ubfriends was requested to review messages from El Camino UBF, in California USA. I must admit that I have no patience anymore for the garbage that churns out each Sunday from UBF chapter directors and shepherds. The messages are so shallow that they hardly warrant a review. Reluctantly, I took a look at the latest El Camino UBF message. What I saw intrigued me. Here are my thoughts.
What is your name?
The latest publicly posted message from El Camino UBF is on Mark 4:35-5:20. The conclusion is what peaked my interest. At the end of the message, the messenger asks, What is your name? This intrigued me immediately because I am confused by the name of El Camino UBF. They claim to be “Shepherd’s Church”. Their website makes no mention of a UBF connection. They give no address to contact them other than they exist somewhere in Torrance CA.
What are they trying to do? This is the trend I have recently seen in Canada: some satellite UBF chapters, outside of Chicago, are making an effort to disassociate from the UBF International organization. Clearly they are still UBF, for their photos show them attending the UBF conferences and the draping of UBFism is all over their websites and messages. But officially they are publicly disconnecting themselves from the stigma of the UBF name. So what is the name of this group on several California campuses? Are they El Camino UBF? Are they Shepherd’s Church?
Shepherds Church – A UBF Name Change and Front Group
I get it. It makes sense. UBF carries the cult label and all the negative accusations that I an others have leveled against them. So you don’t want to be known as University Bible Fellowship. Instead of addressing the reasons why people call you a cult, you change your name to Shepherd’s Church. Still the cult control and authoritarianism of UBFim is recognizable. Any UBF sheep can spot the traits of UBFism.
One thing for sure, John Chun Baik is the leader. His name is the registered owner of shepherdschurch.org and he is the one reporting to UBF. Here is a blog post tying the two names together: UBF: Ur Being Fractured
Ok so here are my thoughts on the actual message given lecture style in Shepherd’s Church/El Camino UBF.
My first impression is that this lecture is a fairly typical, shallow handling of the Bible text– par for the course at UBF. This is a “look at verse” type lecture every UBFer knows oh so well. The messenger clearly has not obtained theological Christian training, employing a weak exegesis, jumping into a hermeneutic of sacrifice and delivering the standard homily of loyalty to UBFism.
Some Statements that stand out
“Name represents the person’s true identity.” << Really? Maybe they should apply this themselves…
“This lost identity of their own person is actually a common problem people have.” << Ah ok. This is one reason why I entitled my book Identity Snatchers…
Rating – Sermon Danger
On the Karcher Sermon Danger Scale, this message gets a “Severe – The Electrical Fire”.
1. Definition: almost no details are explained about the problem
2. Purpose: the purpose is not explained and requires individual repentance
3. Scope: the problem is found in some of us
4. Research: the viewpoints of other people are dismissed and disparaged
5. Strategy: vague solutions are presented and not explained
6. Results: the picture of how we will be better is vaguely painted
Rating – Messenger Qualities
On the Karcher Message Rating Scale, the messenger gets “2 stars – robot (structured, predictable, uninspiring)”
This messenger tries to follow some sort of prescribed formula for delivering a message. They often share a message that stifles the audience. They may state the gospel but don’t know how to reveal or articulate the gospel of Jesus. The message may inspire the messenger to a degree, but the message falls flat for most of the audience. This messenger usually has potential to become a preacher, but falls short of preaching a sermon.
Here is more intel on the El Camino UBF chapter: