When I entered UBF, I was dating a girl. She also came to attend the UBF services. She was with me in two Sunday meetings, but I did not let anyone know that she was my girlfriend. I already wanted to end the relationship with her before entering UBF, when I saw that it would be difficult to keep dating. So I wanted to end the relationship. After a few months, I reported my relationship in a testimony during a 1-1 Bible study. I also told some UBF people about my relationship with the girl. When I told my Bible teacher, he asked me, with an attitude of reproof:
You want a dating or you want to serve God ??
For him, you either obey the rules of UBF or you are disobeying God. In the limited minds of the people of UBF, you cannot have a loving relationship and also be a servant of God. Worse, in their minds, you cannot be guided by the Holy Spirit to find the love of your life. When you get married in the UBF “marriage by faith” model you are not exercising your faith. You are just blindly obeying the instructions given by men trying to steal the role of the Holy Spirit.
The girl that I was dating is Christian and attending a Baptist church. I was not wanting to date just to satisfy my carnal desires. I was looking for a Christian relationship. We were studying the book of John and then we would study the book of Romans. But after I told my Bible techer about my girlfriend, my Bible teacher changed his mind and decided we must study Genesis. Very strange!
Meeting with a Pastor
After a while in UBF, I met a pastor of a very good Presbyterian church. I talked to him about UBF. I told him about the teachings and practices of UBF. Then he told me that UBF is a cult.
When he said that to me, at first I felt a certain joy, because going to UBF was a heavy burden for me. That heavy environment was extremely unpleasant for me. Just thinking about leaving UBF, it made me feel free. Before leaving, I prayed to God and asked him for help about these things, to give me wisdom and strength to make the right decision. After this, I continued to attend UBF for over a month. Finally, I could not stand to be in that place. So I left there.
I left UBF and began to attend the Presbyterian church of the pastor who helped me. I went to my first Bible study at my new church. They were finishing their study of the book of Proverbs. It was the last chapter of the book, chapter 31. In this chapter appears a king named Lemuel who tells things he learned from his mother. And the mother of this king taught him about what kind of woman he should look for. In verse ten it is written:
A wife of noble character who can find?
Here already we can see that if we want to have a relationship with someone, it is a task carried out by ourselves and not by others. We must seek the person. You must pray and hope in God. You should find this person through faith and not accept forcefully what other people oblige.
The greatest proof of this is that King Lemuel recounts some of the instructions that his mother taught him to know how to choose a good wife. There is a list of things a person should consider when looking for a spouse (see verses 10 – 31). So if the Bible teaches that kind of person we should look for and gives us guidelines so that we can find that person, why then I should subject myslef to marry with a person chosen by someone else arbitrarily?? These things are recorded for us, so why can we not use them??
Proverbs 31 teaches the true marriage of faith which is very different from the UBF arranged marriage. In fact, the reality that UBF does not want to accept is that people can be guided by the Spirit of God independently. You study the scriptures, meditate on it, pray to God, waiting for the right time and be guided by the Holy Spirit to find the person that God has set aside for you.
The Bible study at my new church was really very good. The pastor opened my eyes to see that the UBF wedding model is a big mistake, and that it is also spiritual abuse. I saw that the concept of faith in UBF is a distorted view of what is taught in the Bible. I felt free and happy at that time. I received that first study at my new church with enthusiasm! The most impressive thing to me was that the teaching was given accurately in my very first Bible study in that new church.
Of course, I am not completely freed of the bad memories I have of UBF, but this was a big step to wake up from the nightmare that was to be there.
Isaac and Rebekah?
Turning to the issue of arranged marriage in UBF, I believe there are several issues we should consider about the misinterpretation of UBF in Genesis 24 (the marriage between Isaac and Rebekah).
In this passage, there is a typology. Isaac is a type of Christ. Abraham, the father of Isaac, sends a wife for his son, just as the church is preparing to attend the marriage with Christ. Another thing! Why does no one else in the Bible have a model of marriage equal to Rebekah and Isaac? If we evaluate the entire Bible, we only find it once and UBF wants to establish an entire doctrine from that one occurence. Neither Abraham, nor Moses, nor Jacob, nor any other had a wedding like Isaac and Rebekah. That was a particular case, to represent the marriage of the Church with Christ.
We must be very careful to deduct from the Old Testament doctrines. Many cults invent heresies from wrong interpretations of Old Testament texts. What UBF does is the same thing that other cults do. The Old Testament is very important, but one should keep in mind the Bible as a whole so that we do not fall into the error of inventing a false teaching as UBF did.
Later on, I hope to write a more complete testimony about my time in UBF. For now, I want to better understand some books of the Bible that warn us against the teachings and practices of false teachers. I am currently reading the commentary of Luther on the book of Galatians and I’m learning many things. I realize some similarities between UBF and the false teachers of Paul’s time. Today I just want to share with you that Proverbs 31 totally refutes the heretical legalism of UBF. God bless all! In Christ!