(Translated from Russian. Posted at http://community.livejournal.com/rsqubf/131017.html?thread=653001#t653001.)
TESTIMONY by Andrey S. (ex Kiev UBF)
Yesterday several brothers and I were virtually expelled from the church [Kiev UBF]. I think it is difficult to misinterpret the pronouncements of our pastor [Peter Kim, the Kiev UBF director, he is not really a pastor], since he repeated them about 20 times: “Such people should leave”, “It is better for you not to come anymore”, “Change yourself, we will continue in the same way as we have always done”. That whole story did not begin yesterday, such stories repeated in UBF time and again for more than 40 years.
I have not been an accidental person in UBF and I have not been a “rebel”. I attended UBF for almost 11 years and did everything I was demanded to do. Often I felt that something was wrong but could not understand the exact problem. I was a witness of many weird acts: punishments for coming too late [to UBF meetings], running around the campus shouting slogans, revilements and humiliations for hours of people who brought too small an offering or just had a sad face, permanent atmosphere of fear of the pastor [the Kiev UBF Director], compulsion of sick persons to leave their beds to attend insignificant and unwholesome UBF meetings that often were dedicated to humiliations of somebody else, and many other things. I endured those things, believing they were accidental mistakes, for who does not make mistakes?
But one day I discovered that they are not accidental mistakes of a specific man, but fruits of a system. I found out horrible facts about forced abortions (in Chicago and Korea), destruction of families and violation of the personality of members. All these things are called “disciple training” in UBF. I am sad that the understanding of these words depreciated to such a level. When I found out all these things, my eyes were opened and I decided that it was impossible, sinful and irresponsibly before God to cowardly keep silent. I went to the pastor and talked to him that the church had to go through repentance for these detestable things. Two days before (as if they had a presentiment) I had been dismissed from Sunday messages, and the group, where I was the leader, was broken up (of course only in part, the Korean missionaries left my group, but my Bible students remained). The talk [with the director Peter Kim] was difficult, I had a feeling of pain and suffering, and I was named a “person with an evil spirit”. Nevertheless I did not leave, but continued to talk personally with the pastor, and later several other brothers also talked with him, and finally I publicly shared my testimony. It was a difficult time, but I decided to endure it and stay, in the hope that everything will change. This whole story lasted 8 months. I did not behave insolently or forwardly, I tried to talk decently and with dignity.
Since about a month I was not talking with anybody about the issue. But yesterday the pastor himself put an end to it. It started with one sister delivering a message on 1Tim 2:8-15 (the brothers were not allowed to deliver messages because they sort of fell into disgrace in the eyes of the pastor). Please read this passage carefully [as it contains the words “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.”]. In her message the sister said “I thank the brothers for leaving the sisters the spiritual privilege of delivering messages”. At the end of the meeting, the pastor reminded everybody of that phrase, adding that the brothers did not simply leave that privilege to the sisters, but that they lost that privilege, calling them “rubbish.” Then one of the brothers stood up, said “You are telling a lie!”, and went out. This brother was responsible for the construction of the new church building, which was a very big work and responsibility (of course without getting any compensation for that). He then was immediately dismissed from his position and a new person was appointed [when the building was almost finished]. After that the words “such people should better leave” were used, particularly referring to three persons: my friend, the brother who already went out, and me.
I do not regret anything and I thank the Lord. The Lord was leading me and helped me not to be a fearful person. The Lord taught me an omni-important lesson: There is no place for exaltation of one above the other in any Christian community, as Jesus taught in Mk 10 and Mt 23. The violation of even the smaller commands of Jesus leads to bad consequences. I had experienced that on my own back.
What next? I want to open a home ministry, something like www.simplechurch.com.ua. It is important to communicate with Christians. They will have a conference in two days. I want to better understand how to walk my life and minister in the future.
Andrei S. (ex Kiev UBF)