Friday, January 25, 2008

Charles (former New York (?) UBF)

(Reports and impressions from the 2001 UBF international conference, posted at See also the full thread.)

Date Posted: 12:22:06 04/10/02 Wed
Author: PC
Subject: response to concerned
In reply to: Concerned 's message, "Hey pc......" on 12:22:06 04/10/02 Wed

Dear Concerned,
This message board seems pretty intense! The things mentioned by others like people claiming to be God etc. really had no effect on me. I had never heard such accusations before and quite frankly it seems that statement was probably taken out of context, unless that guy is a total nut case which I suppose is possible.
anyway, There were so many very serious problems at ISU.

But let me first mention those things which were not so serious.
First there was so much time wasted on things that were non-spiritual and not beneficial. What does Korean Dancing have to do with Jesus? Also it was interesting to note how so much time and money was put into producing an extremely impressive dance and music programs (although it seems Africa was neglected in this regard) It really seemed like a waste. What does Beethoven have to do with praising God? I don't really understand that. One could say that this is all for the purpose of praising God but then why not chose some sacred music by Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, Beethoven or one of the many other great composers who wrote music for God. I don't know, it just doesn't seem right to focus on entertainment and call it worship. I think that is a real deception.

Another thing, that was apparent right off the bat, and which was a bit more serious, was the so-called "Asian Despot" mentality which was plainly in operation. Samuel Lee was really acting like an "Asian Despot." I am not talking about what he was saying but what he was doing during the whole conference. He sat in the back most of the time like an overseer. On each side sat (what appeared to be) a lackey. He would constantly start speaking to these people seemingly making comments on what was being done or said or on the lighting or on the position of the speaker in relation to the podium. He was not paying attention to what was being said. In short he was not listening for the voice of God in what was being done or said but he was overseeing everything and giving his approval or disapproval. That is at least what it looked like to me. Also, getting up and asking a person to move over a few inches so he can be in the middle of the podium or whatever, is very distracting and takes away from the "message." All these kind of activities draw attention away from the speaker that everyone is supposed to be listening to.

I am quite familiar with the this type of mentality. It immediately turned me off toward Samuel Lee. It seemed he wanted everyone to know who was in charge.

These things I know, could be to some extent explained away. However, there were many other things that were much more serious that can't be explained or excused.

The so-called messages were all delivered in the same style by different people. This to me made it seem that the individuals who delivered the messages were not the ones who wrote them. I have no evidence of this besides my gut feeling but that is what it seemed like. I suppose in an organization like UBF where everyone is encouraged to speak in the same way and use the same strange terminology it is possible that this impression was not reality. (on this topic, another thing. Why do American people who have been raised in America and who speak English as their first language speak with a Korean accent. It sounds very strange! It seems that there is even an appropriate way to say the name "Jesus" with a higher tone on the first syllable and lower on the second. This is very strange!)

Another thing, because all the messages (except samuel lee's) were read. They sounded rehearsed and insincere. It seemed that the message was a childish performance with various silly hand gestures thrown in. (after which everyone would laugh, even if they were not at all funny) Ministers of the Gospel should be delivering messages with conviction, and those messages should be prepared by themselves.

Getting more serious...
Many things that were said in the messages were gross exaggerations or actually completely untruthful! This was perhaps the biggest problem for me. When people talked about the "wilderness training" of the Israelites and the "woman at the well" story, there was so much nonsense in the message. Of course the original story was reviewed and actually read aloud, but then there were many details added that were plainly NOT IN THE BIBLE! I understand that sometimes ministers will overemphasize a point in order to bring across an important message and I believe that this can some times be useful. However, during these messages the speaker would first start with the text and then he would add facts to the text and then he would create a teaching based on a combination of the actual text, his added facts and a very strange interpretation of the gospel message (maybe a UBF interpretation). As a result, these wonderful texts were twisted to present a message that was clearly not in the original passage.
If I had a copy of the message here I could give you specific examples. Unfortunately I do not.
So that is the first problem, obvious misinterpretation of the Bible. Needless to say that is extremely dangerous!

Second, the outright lies that were told from the pulpit were unbelievable. If you know anything at all about Christian history and if you were paying attention you could hear so many LIES! Most of this came from Samuel Lee. I could give you a list of lies but I will just give a few.
1.Misinterpretation of the term "House-church"
2.stating that many famous christian leaders were "self supporting missionaries" (i.e., billy graham, martin luther)
and there were several others.

These were outright lies and the most frustrating thing was that no one corrected him!

However the thing that got under my skin the most about his talk was the unbelievable statement (I can't remember it exactly now but it was something like) "The hope for America is World missions!" (or self supporting world mission or something.)
This is total nonsense! The hope of America should be Jesus Christ and nothing else.

well there are many other things that I could say but this covers the basics of what bothered me.
FALSE TEACHING is what it boils down to. There is no way around that. Either you admit it or you are lying!

Now if these problems had been addressed after ISU or if some one had made a public apology for the false teachings. I might have felt better, but instead everyone went on to say what a wonderful conference it was and how everyone was more filled with the grace of Jesus. I was very upset. UBF had betrayed God before my eyes. I have also betrayed God in the past, but should I expect to be forgiven if I don't try to right the wrongs?

there is your answer.

>What was it about the ISU conference that made you
>question UBF? I was there and heard many messages,
>World Mission Testimonies, and dances, etc... .
>Nothing seemed odd, or out of the ordinary that would
>set off sirens.

Date Posted: 14:21:53 04/11/02 Thu
Author: -pc
Subject: some more remarks on ISU
In reply to: UBF Shepherd 's message, "Re: response to concerned" on 14:21:53 04/11/02 Thu

Chris thanks for the link to the message page.

It was interesting to see how some of the messages, although they had similar titles and themes, were completely different then the ones given at the conference. Quite deceptive.
However this quote I remember:

"Go, call your husband!" Humanly speaking, this was interference with her private life. However, Jesus did not mind violating her human rights to talk about her sin problem in order to heal her sin-sick soul. Her real problem appeared to be a husband problem or marriage problem as common people think. But it was a sin problem. Her cursed woman's desire controlled her and drove her until she became a helpless Samaritan woman. As a result, even if she had married five times, she would remain with a severe marriage problem. In proportion to her gravity of sin, her cursed desire might have tormented her without ceasing (Ge 3:16).

Wow, you just gave "sound" justification for violating people's human rights anyway you want, totally misinterpreted the Bible, insulted the institution of marriage and women in general, and all that without any real useful point in the entire paragraph! Amazing!

"She said, "Sir, I can see that you are a prophet" (19). Right after that, she asked him first about where to worship (20). Why did she suddenly talk about worship? She had gone too far to talk about worshiping God. Another reason might be that Jews and Samaritans had a different idea about the place of worship. Anyway she did not hesitate to talk about the worship problem. It was because she was still a human being created in the image of God. Her life was still shining like stars in the sky."

Does anyone have any idea what that means? There is no logical progression of thought. I don't know maybe it is a "cursed Korean-English problem" :).

and then there are just so many little problems that the overall message has the ring of foolishness

By the same token, we must know that corrupted men and wayward women are seeking (No one seeks God unless God draws them and we are all sinners just like this woman. He should really say wayward women (and men) are "longing for God" or "feel their need of God.") God earnestly in their hearts like the Samaritan woman (was she seeking God? There is no evidence of that in the Bible). We love Jesus who seeks the Samaritan woman (what in the world does this have to do with the rest of the paragraph? Again, there is just no logical thought progression. At best this is just bad writing.

another example of the lack of logical thought progression:

When Jesus said, "God is spirit," he meant that God is not flesh; but God is spirit. He is not confined to the limitations of the flesh.(good so far) He is the eternal and infinite God. Therefore, God can be our Everlasting Father. We will enjoy eternal life in the kingdom of God when our earthly tent is destroyed (over all the point is OK but the progression is confusing and vague. There is not a+b=c or some other structure of thought to help us understand why these things are being said.

Another thing about this particular message is that is quite degrading to women. It seems that women are only relegated to certain roles.
For example:
God is especially seeking lost Samaritan women in the hope of raising them as mothers of prayer.
This is a bit subtle (although quite obvious). Why not say women of prayer, or prayer warriors, or great missionaries. Why must it be "Mother." In this story we don't have any evidence that this woman had children so that can't be the reason. It seems that "mother of prayer" is just another UBF term. Another point on this. I think many groups should give more room to woman who choose not to be married. THere is nothing wrong with this indeed it is encouraged in the Bible.

Another thing is the attack on the institution of marriage.
Marriage Problem
Husband Problem
and Cursed Desire Problem
are terms that are used in this text to some how imply that it is wrong to desire to find joy in marriage. That is just so wrong. In addition, "cursed desire problem" must be referring to Genesis 3:16(?). Lets be honest if the desire for a mate is a "cursed desire problem" then men have it just as well as women and let me tell you from most of the men I know they have it much worse than women. To say that the desire for marriage (in God's will) is a curse... WOW, shame on you people!

Here is another winner from the conference and then I will stop (there just isn't anything going on in the office today)

Why did God give them wilderness training? It was to lay the foundation of world salvation work. After wilderness training, God led them to the promised land. According to God's plan, his people had to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. They had to be shepherds and shepherdesses to plant the knowledge of God in the hearts of pagan people in the promised land.(This is not biblical, not even close) But they could not maintain God's blessing. When they began to enjoy little comforts and little conveniences of civilized Canaan and they began to enjoy flowing milk and honey, they gradually melted into the easygoing life of the Canaanites(what do you call easy going little comforts? what like idolatry or immorality or what? How can you say to enjoy one's self is wrong using this example as proof? Is that why God punished his people?). As a result, they abandoned God and their holy mission.

Well these are just a few of the less problematic things that were said at the conference. It seems that the bad stuff will be hidden away because it would just be to embarrassing to put on a website.

Thanks again to Amy for taking the time to talk to me. May God bless you and your family!