This is what happened some time after the “meeting” of Lee and the Korean UBF reformers.
“Expulsion of the reformers by Korea UBF
in October 2001 and January 2002
In the following the summary of some postings on ubfnet.com, ubf2000.de and ubfreform.org regarding the expulsion of the reformers in Korea UBF at the end of 2001.
The legal board meeting of Korea UBF on October 5, 2001 decided to expel eleven staff leaders of Korea UBF and three of their wives from UBF.
The 11 staff leaders are: Isaak Koh (Soowon), James Lee (Busan), Caleb Chung (Daegu), John Kim (Myeongrron), Bona Hong (Daejeon), Matte Byun (Jeonjoo), David Woo (Incheon), Daniel Park (Kyeongjoo), Ben Hur (Kyeonheemoon), Caleb Park (Cheongjoo), Luke Kim (Mokpo).
The 3 expelled wives are: Kyeja Koh (wife of Isaak Koh), Taeok Lee (wife of James Lee), Insook Na (wife of Caleb Chung).
These 14 persons have been deprived of their membership and their right to attend the general meeting of members of Korea UBF, as a “punitive measure.”
The Korean Christian news agencies, e.g. NewsNJoy (a web magazine) and CBS 98.1 (a radio station in Seoul) have reported the UBF as de facto being divided, based on an interview with the leadership of Korea UBF and the statements given to them by the leadership of the conservative UBF.
The UBF leadership mentioned seven reasons which lead to the deprivation of the membership of the 14 reform leaders, which also were handed out to the journalists present. The content of the declaration was translated basically the following:
“Since one and a half year the reformers have confused the community of UBF and pushed towards a division. We take a punitive measure, because the reformers
- have destroyed the spiritual order in the church,
- don’t send offering moneys to the headquarters any more and have organized themselves independently,
- have attacked Samuel Lee and the leadership of UBF on internet pages and also published their own magazine “High School Mission 21” and their own “Daily Bread,”
- have had their own Conference in July 2000 in Korea,
- have written articles in the NewsNjoy magazine to justify themselves,
- have hindered the members meeting to fulfill its legally defined task, because the reformers are more than one third of the board meetings’ members,
- have confused many coworkers of UBF.
We tried for unity. But now there is not any hope for unity with them any more.”
The above mentioned “spiritual order” of course meant the pyramid-shaped hierarchical authoritarian system with Samuel Lee at the top. It is absolutely understandable that no more offering money is sent to the headquarters as long as it doesn’t provide a transparent and complete financial report and usage list of the offering money. The fact that UBF is criticized on internet pages is due to the problem that there isn’t any way within the UBF of expressing criticism and informing the members about grievances. A separate conference was needed because the international conferences have been completely planned and organized so far only by Samuel Lee as propaganda shows. The problem with the fulfillment of the tasks of the members meeting is exactly the other way around. After the exclusion of the reform leaders it cannot accomplish its legally defined task any more since the reform members aren’t represented now any more. But seemingly its task is understood by the conservative UBF only as being the mouthpiece and prolonged arm of Samuel Lee. It may be that some were confused after they have heard about the abuses in UBF. Shall the members, however, be left in their ignorance and further exposed to spiritually abusing system? If the UBF leadership stood clearly on the side of the truth, the members wouldn’t be so confused. It is a lie that the conservative UBF tried for unity. It has tried many times in the past to expel inconvenient members. Questions to Samuel Lee weren’t answered and leaders wanting to speak with him were not received. It is also the other way round here. The reformers still tried for unity, even after this “punitive measure,” while being expelled by the conservative UBF.
The reformers of Korea UBF have decided at their leaders meeting on October 8 in Boeun (Korea) to ignore the decision of the legal board meeting under the leadership of John Jun on October 5 as being illegal. Thereby they pointed out that the assertion that UBF was divided by the expulsion of 14 reformers is wrong. They still want to hold on to their goals of “reform and unity.”
Pastor Sung-Chang Lee, representative of the Korean committee for campus evangelization (“Hakwon-Pokeumhwa-Hyephoe,” or short “Hak-Pok-Hyep”), explained his opinion about the reform of UBF towards the Korean senior shepherds of the UBF, which are for reform and were expelled by the UBF headquarters on October 5, 2001. The role of Hak-Pok-Hyep in Korea is a mediator between Korean churches and campus mission movements. Pastor Lee had actually been invited as a messenger to the mission conference organized by the reform UBF in Seoul for the 40th anniversary of UBF. He had to cancel this invitation, however, because John Jun, the director of Korea UBF, had besought him under tears for two hours not to take part in the meeting. After the expulsion of the Korean senior shepherds of the reform UBF on October, John Jun invited Pastor Lee to a personal conversation and said to him: “We have divided. We are ready to pioneer the regions which are standing on the side of the reform with new UBF chapters.” The answer of Pastor Lee to John Jun was that he had only met his request to refuse the participation in the mission conference in order to not give any reason for a division of the UBF ministry. If he had spoken there as a representative of Hak-Pok-Hyep, it could have accelerated the division of UBF. But now John Jun had said himself that UBF was divided. Therefore he wanted to support the reformers from now on. UBF could only stay a member of Hak-Pok-Hyep if certain conditions were met. In addition, Pastor Lee encouraged the reformers to keep the proper faith, to not easily give up the name of UBF, and to continue to actively go for campus mission.
Pastor Seung-Chang Lee, representative of the Korean Campus Evangelization Network (KCEN, in Korean “Hakwon-Pokeumhwa-Hyephoe” or short “Hak-Pok-Hyep”), explained his opinion about the reform of UBF towards the Korean senior shepherds of the UBF, which are for reform and were expelled by the UBF headquarters on October 5, 2001. The role of the KCEN in Korea is one of a mediator between Korean churches and campus mission ministries. Pastor Lee, one of the co-signers of the open letter to Samuel Lee written in 1976, had actually been invited as a messenger to the mission conference organized by the reform UBF in Seoul for the 40th anniversary of UBF. He had to cancel this invitation, however, because John Jun, the director of Korea UBF, had besought him under tears for two hours not to take part in the meeting. After the expulsion of the Korean senior shepherds of the reform UBF on October, John Jun invited Pastor Lee to a personal conversation and said to him: “We have divided. We are ready to pioneer the regions which are standing on the side of the reform with new UBF chapters.” The answer of Pastor Lee to John Jun was that he had only met his request to refuse the participation in the mission conference in order to not give any reason for a division of the UBF ministry. If he had spoken there as a representative of the KCEN, it could have accelerated the division of UBF. But now John Jun had said himself that UBF was divided. Therefore he wanted to support the reformers from now on. UBF could only keep its membership in the KCEN under certain conditions. If these were not met until the end of the year, UBF would loose its membership in the KCEN and get isolated from the Korean churches. (Since UBF was not willing to respond to the demands of the KCEN, their KCEN membership in fact was not renewed in the year 2002). In addition, Pastor Lee encouraged the reformers to keep the proper faith, to not easily give up the name of UBF, and to continue to actively go for campus mission.
At Christmas 2001 a leaders conference of the reformers in Korea UBF in Boeun (Korea) took place together with representatives of the missionaries and lay shepherds. They decided to patiently strive for reform and unity despite of the measures of the nonreformers aiming towards a division. Meanwhile a close associate of Samuel Lee in Chicago allegedly reported, that Samuel Lee firmly decided to make his son, Samuel A. Lee, his successor. It is assumed that this will happen soon, since Samuel Lee has poor health.
On January 8, 2002 Samuel Lee dies of smoke poisoning trough a fire in his house, probably caused by an electrical short-circuit.
The reform leaders in Korea UBF meet in Daejeon (Korea) and argue for a participation at the funeral of Samuel Lee and for talks with the nonreformers to achieve unity.
On January 12, 2002 Samuel Lee is buried in Chicago.
Sarah Barry is officially appointed as the successor of Samuel Lee. Caleb Chung, a reform leader in Korea, asks Samuel Lee to arrange talks between the nonreformers and reformers to achieve unity. She declines the petition. John Jun also strictly refuses any talks about unity.
Stephan Choe from Bochum (Germany) asks Abraham Lee and other members of Cologne UBF for talks between reformers and conservatives to achieve unity in Germany UBF. At the conference of the German reform leader on January 17, 2002 this offering of talks is endorsed by the other reformers. At the conference of the leaders of the conservative UBF in Germany taking place at the same time, the appointment of Kaleb Hong as director of Germany UBF by Samuel Lee is accepted. The possibility of coworking with reformers is discussed, but particularly Kaleb Hong and Peter Chang clearly point out that they have no interest in coworking with the reformers. On January 22, 2002 Isaac Lee from Stuttgart (Germany) calls Kaleb Hong in Heidelberg and proposes a talk about the possibility of coworking together, which is again declined by Kaleb Hong. Stephan Choe asks Abraham Lee and the other Cologne UBF members again to answer his proposal, but again gets no answer.
The legal board meeting of Korea UBF on January 31, 2002 decides to deprive all other reform oriented members, who were not already expelled at the last board meeting of October 5, 2001, of their membership and their right to attend the general meeting of members of Korea UBF. Luke Jin, a leader of the Korean reformers, reports on the meeting as follows:
“Through that meeting 18 members were dismissed and no one left now as a legitimate member to attend the general assembly. From this action all the administrative relationship with non-reformers were cut off completely. Actually shepherd John Jun has the sword to dismiss all reform members from the roll of staffs. But according to the Korean union law, it is unlawful to sack members with religious issues. Besides if he insists to dismiss his people, he must pay the retiring allowance, and it will be huge amount, for it apply to the half of the staff members. So it will be almost impossible for non-reformers to dismiss the reformers based on the Korean laws. We, Korean reformers never feel sorry about being dismissed. We never want to leave by ourselves. Rather we think that the very good environment for complete reform movement was given for us from now on. As we have expected we are living together under the same roof, namely under the name of UBF. But we are free to go forward to fulfill our reform movement. We Korean directors do our best to bear good fruits in raising disciples in campus field and support the world mission more effectively. Dear coworkers, we are standing at the crossroads. Our goal is nor man, nor our organization, but only Jesus and our task, world campus mission given by our Lord. Sometimes we are under some troubles on the way to reform movements, but this is very good chance to recover our original faith, and make a new heritage. It does not depend on one leader, but it is up to all of you. I hope God may guide us, our body, our future. We Korean staff members have open mind and ready to serve the world mission. Please give us good advices and prayer support.
Minutes of the board of directors’ meeting: The remaining reform members were dismissed from membership at the board of directors’ meeting (besides the 14 staff members already dismissed on October 5, 2001). There were eight reasons for their dismissal at the board of directors’ meeting. This meeting ended in 35 minutes. In reality those dismissed are not allowed to attend this meeting as a member. According to the law, reform shepherds still have UBF member rights. President John Jun has the power to expel members, but they say that it is not an easy issue because when a staff shepherd is expelled a set union procedure must be followed.”