Friday, May 30, 2008

Dwight J. (Father of former Chicago UBF member)

(See also http://exubf.blogspot.com/2008/11/chris-j-former-chicago-ubf.html)

(The original scanned copy of a 1985 letter sent to Lee and Barry by the parents of a Chicago UBF recruit can be found at http://exubf.info/outside_material/concernedparent1985.pdf. The writer was a retired pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church. His letter reveals just how little UBF's fundamentally wrong teachings and practices have changed in all this time.)

March 22, 1985

Dear Sarah and Mr. Lee:

For several reasons, we have deliberately delayed a response to your letter. May and I needed time to let the many experiences over the last two or three months filter through both of our minds and emotions. He have prayed much about Chris over the past several months. As various events unfolded in January, it was obvious that God was in what we were doing. Our prayers were two-fold: for wisdom in releasing Chris from the control of U.B.F. and also that she would find real peace and purpose in new directions of Christian fellowship and ministry. It is thrilling for us to see her openly sharing with us again, both in terms of Christian concerns as well as in family experiences.

Time to formulate a letter to you has also been at a minimum. Although we will not attempt to respond to everything you discussed, some matters deserve comment. I do have the same problem as you, however - it is hard to say something briefly.

Another reason for hesitating to write immediately was that we wanted to be careful to express ourselves in a way which genuinely reflected our deep concerns about U.B.F and its ministry. You obviously are not aware of what you were doing to Chris and to others in that program. We're trusting that through prayer and the leading of God‘s Spirit, some of these thoughts can be adequately put on paper.

We feel that the Gospel intends that people will find freedom in their relationship with Christ (John 8:32-36) - freedom from sin and guilt and the resulting freedom to share their faith with all people - including their family, all Christians and those outside of Christ. The message Chris received from U.B.F. was that she was bound to believe and do and teach things exactly as taught her, and only as you taught her. She felt guilty if she didn't study for hours and hours or if she failed to pray as often as she had been told to do. She felt compelled to write sogams so far into the night that sometimes she wasn't physically alert for her job. She got a clear signal about evangelizing those without Christ, but found less and less time to share her faith and life with her family and other Christians.

I came from a strongly evangelical background so I realize that we need to discipline ourselves in Bible study, prayer and commitment if we are to deepen our relationship with the Lord. But when Bible study, prayer and other disciplines result in the kind of "guilt trips" I've seen in Chris and others who have been part of U.B.F., something is seriously wrong. Paul speaks in Galatians 3 about the difference between law and grace. So easily we deceive ourselves into thinking that regimentation and training can improve upon the work of the Spirit. Could it be that Paul has something to say to U.B.F. in verse 3? I think so.

Jesus had some rather strong words for those who put themselves in places of authority and were lording it over others in leadership roles. James and John had tried to establish a preferred position with Christ. Jesus reminds us (Mark l0:42-45) to be servants of each other, not to insist on having authority over others. Elders in 1 Peter 5:1-5 were asked to be examples to the flock ~ not ones who would lord it over those entrusted to them.

The kind of teaching and nurture U.B.F. is providing, in my opinion, is extra-scriptural. You are laying burdens on your members which are unhealthy. You are setting yourselves up as authority figures of the Church and of Christian discipline without even recognizing the greater Church around you.

Several things you mention illustrate what I'm trying to say. You say that Girls deliberately tried to seduce boys at U.B.F. What really happened is that she was friendly with everyone - girls as well as boys. God did not make a mistake when he created male and female with differences. Our task as Christian parents and leaders is to teach young people to accept their sexuality and learn to appreciate it and express it properly, not to suppress it or regard it as something bad or unfortunate. It appears to me that you couldn't handle the responsibility of leading young people into meaningful co-ed Christian experiences. Instead you made her feel guilty about some very normal feelings which she and other young people have.

Your arranging of marriages is neither scripturally nor socially sound. You can find no basis for that practice in the teaching of Christ or from any other New Testament passage. Taking one or two Old Testament passages from which to develop such a procedure is very questionable. The Scriptures exhort us to utilize _all_ of God's Word in formulating policies and doctrines - and to avoid pulling out one or two proof texts at will with which to develop a thought or belief. Your use of this practice merely illustrates further how far you are willing to go to control and maneuver your members. You have no right to pre-destine two lives into this relationship for a lifetime. You can and should pray with young people and for them in this very significant step in life, but they are the ones who, after prayer and times of learning to know each other, must decide whether or not their marriage is to be. I shudder to think that you were arranging this marriage for Chris and John. I hope you also have the good sense and Christian conviction to shudder at what you were trying to do - and what you are doing and have done with a number of other couples. What is your answer to them if they come later to say that they now realize they were not meant for each other? Would you assume the blame at that point - or would you blame them?

Your use of mind control (via study materials, written and re-written sogams, time commitments, etc.) makes it impossible for people in U.B.F. to fully hear and respond to God's voice and the Holy Spirit. You have steeped these people so heavily with your interpretations of Scripture, many of which do not stand up to real scrutiny and a proper understanding of the passage, that they cannot hear what others are trying to say to them. Chris, for example, was led to think that our church and even our family was second-rate and not to be trusted. Maybe this can help you understand why we saw no value in trying to talk to you about our concern for her welfare. You would simply have led her to question the validity of her family and church in further ways. we didn't want to have her subjected to any more of that kind of instruction or influence.

Chris is happier than we have seen her for years. She realizes now that, although she learned some good things through U.B.F., your method of indoctrinating people and controlling them, is wrong. Evidently she had already discussed some of these things with you.

We might have tried to counsel Chris ourselves but we weren't sure how effective this would be. We are grateful for Christian professional counsellors. Their sensitivity and caring spirit impressed us immensely. They did not want or try to destroy a person's Christian faith but they were concerned that Chris would learn to think for herself again. Your letter indicates that you have no knowledge about these types of counsellors.

Your understanding of the others who have left U.B.F. is evidently lacking also. Seemingly you are determined to defame and discredit any who leave U.B.F. I've talked to and prayed with several of those you mention in your letter. They aren't "dark and nervous, like a psychiatric patient", nor "fearful, nervous..." They are instead free to make their own choices in life. They speak of the fact that a burden has been removed from their lives. They now are able to seek what the Lord really wants them to do. Some are planning and preparing for Christian service. All are concerned that they will continue to grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. However, the emotional damage which U.B.F. inflicted will take time to heal. To be involved in the kind of tainted teaching and training which U.B.F. conducts doesn't wash out in a few weeks or months.

We are concerned about U.B.F. What started out as a tremendously important and effective ministry in Korea has now gone in a direction which cannot be God's plan for it. The largest single problem with U.B.F. is that it has divorced itself from the Church. Christ is the head of the Church. He established it and sent the twelve to go to all the world, teaching and preaching this good news. There have been times, undoubtedly, when God has been disappointed with His Church, but He has never given up on it. Yet, you seemingly feel that you can and should work apart from this Church. I hope that you will prayerfully re-examine your lack of relationship with it and find some way to re-establish yourself with His Body.

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." - Ga1. 5:1. I'm grateful that several have found release from what was a bondage in U.B.F. Our prayers are that you too will sense that Paul's words here apply to several of the practices and teachings which are taking place in your group.

This is much too long a letter. Even so it cannot really say all that should he said. I am open for a chance to talk with you about these matters - but not to argue about them. These are serious matters which need to be resolved.

Sincerely,

Dwight J

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

David T. (relative of former UBF member)

Why do I care and why am I doing this? - Our Personal story:

A close relative of our family was innocently taken in by UBF. When we first found out he was involved in a worldwide "church group", of which we had not heard, we decided to investigate. The theology sounded fine on the surface, but something was just a bit off. We went to a UBF meeting, and, among other things, found it strange that the five speakers (1 Asian and 4 white) all spoke with the same staccato Asian accent of those who are non-native English speakers. We investigated further, coming to the realization it was a very unhealthy environment. There is now WAY more information out than there was then.

We became aware of his involvement a little over a year into it, just as he was leaving the "love bomb" phase and was entering the "spiritual training"/indoctrination phase. When confronted with the truth, he came to believe it was a cult, and got out. Having developed a love for those who are deceived by lies in a wrapper of truth, he is now becoming a missionary to Mormons.

In the words of Edmund Burke, "All that is necessary for Evil to triumph is for good men to say nothing." Do not the scriptures say "For his yoke is easy and his burden is light" and elsewhere "Stand firm and do not be subject to a yoke of slavery"? We cannot allow erroneous teaching in the church, or we will have human suffering on OUR hands. We cannot stand idly by while error is presented under the guise of truth in the Body of Christ. Weaker brothers and sisters in Christ will be too easily led astray and into a bondage that transcends the bondage of legalism, directly into spiritual slavery to mere man.

David T.
2003

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Anonymous (former India UBF)

(Posted at http://marvinthangjam.blogspot.com)

(A former India UBF member briefly recounts his and his wife's UBF experience through a blog post that is meant to be from the perspective of his infant son.)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

...

My father. He came to Delhi with many unfulfilled tasks. He did not fare well in his +2 as much as he expected. He did not join medicine or engineering as many of his friends did. Dr. Romen Keisham, a schoolmate of my father used to say, he was lucky to meet my mother and change the course of his life. During the first two years, first my father joined a Christian Cult, called University Bible Fellowhip. And in his remaining days of the graduation days, he got involved with the Manipur Students' Association, Delhi. Only after, they met each other, he did begin to concentrate in his studies, successfully cleared his graduation and joined Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi for his post graduation in political science. That was in 1996.

They met each other in October 1993 in a Bible Conference organised by UBF at Mt. Carmel School, New Delhi. But they exchanged their first kiss in a small park at Motibagh II, where they're staying. The date: October 31, 1993. They're starcrossed lovers. My father left UBF because they started pressing him to abandon my mother. [Tried to break up their relationship.] They do not exactly remember the date, but it was on a hot summer day. My father was persuaded to travel on a Summer Camp [conference], UBF, at Nainital. My father ran back from the railway station (Old Delhi) to my mother. There he found her weeping like a lost girl. Since then, he stopped visiting the UBF. Good for them.

...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mary

(Originally posted at voy.com/60734/. See also http://rsqubf.info/discuss/archive/marriage_by_faith_3.html.)

Author: Mary
Subject: Re: Arranged Marriage - my opinion
In reply to: Chris 's message, "Re: Arranged Marriage - my opinion" on
13:46:44 09/18/03 Thu

Chris,

Thank you so much for writing this incredible and truthful email about marriage by faith. None of this is twisted in away, it gets to the heart of the matter of UBF marriages. I too was married by faith, and consider myself one of the lucky ones too. But I believe it was not only luck, but God intervention. During my single years in UBF it was hard. I was always being told I liked someone, just because I was friendly or smiled at a person of the opposite sex. Unforutnatly some of the boys of UBF also thought I wanted to marry them just because I smiled at them. I did not know that being friendly or a smile was a practical request for being arranged. In college, boys did not like me just because I smiled, but in UBF they thought I wanted to marry them. Anyway, they would easily get "cooked" by a smile because later I learned a girl in UBF is suppose to be cold and not nice to the boys. But I could be friendly to all potential sheep regardless of sex. I learned, repented of my cursed womans desire that the boys were smelling (as my shepherd would say) and became cold as possible. But not to long in my involvement in UBF I was being asked to marry someone whom I cooked in my smiling days. I said "No", I was not in UBF to marry. I wanted to grow up first, learn of Jesus, finish school and later perhaps marrage could be considered. But I was told that I should be more like another american shepherdess who married by faith. I was too knew to understand that really, but I felt the pressure and suffered much for almost a year because I couldn't find the way to convince them I was not at peace with marriage. Once I was told "It was now my duty to marry the guy, because I "cooked" him." I was shocked, by the shepherds of UBF who would use any excuse to try and make me marry. I almost ran away because of this. But in my suffering I turned to God, found comfort in David's psalms of anguish and told God that if I married by faith and my marriage failed, then I would hold him personally responsible. Not the Christian thing to do to a HOLY God, but I would not take the chance to marry by UBF standards without the presence of the HOLY GOD intervening. I was arranged a few times, one arrangement that fell thru, I think the guy probably didn't like me (that's okay with me, it was nice when they gave him a choice like that, but I was told that is rare). Another arrangement where I agreed, but was very reluctant and wanted to kill myself for obeying but I wanted to obey my shepherd (this is when I pleaded with God, that I would obey his command to marry by faith, though his shepherds) as long as he really was there arranging it. And finally my engagement with my spouse almost canceled because the shepherds wanted to manipulate us to obey their very command as long as they could. I was constantly told that if I liked the guy I was spoiling the whole marriage by faith and was marrying by like not by faith. I was also counseled to prepare to marry someone not favorable or possibly not the best humanly, but had potential to be great in the future if I took care of him correctly. I was counseled to be ready, whenever, wherever, however, with whomever. I went from saying NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO. To maybe it's me, I shouldn't say no, to OK I'll marry by faith as long as God is really the underling marriage arranger, to Yes. Ironically, each marriage arrangement brought me closer to the Yes. YOu would think that it would bring me closer to believing UBF was a cult. But their counsel and the fact that I had no one else to talk to about it was the turning point. Also I found I had to defend UBF ways to family and friends. To my family, who had to cancel a wedding, they really thought I was crazy. To friends, after the wedding cancelation I stopped telling them about my engagements until my real wedding came. One friend who did not realize the first wedding was canceled, thought I just postponed and but later wondered why the name of the groom was different. Many times I covered up the problems of UBF, out of my own pride to believe UBF was in the right. BUT how harmful that was too me and others.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Jim S. (former Chicago UBF)

(in response to a UBF supporter)

Dr. Armstrong,

While I agree with you that ex-ubf members should move on with their anger toward UBF so they can be used by God in a new ministry, I also believe that the unrighteousness and unrepentant (evil) characteristics of UBF should be exposed. UBF does not function as a Bible believing church with financial accountability, sound doctrine or church discipline. As ex-ubf participants I believe it is our responsibility and calling as Christians to expose evil and defend the gospel. (Gal.1:8,9;Jude 3,4). I have personal experiences of the abuses of UBF since I was a participant of this group from 1983 to 2001. I was associated with Dr. Ben Toh and his fellowship since 1984. I was constantly manipulated to attend meetings, even lied to and about so I would go to these meetings. My last straw was when Dr. Toh, a church elder in UBF, was floating the false rumor to many people that I was in the immoral company of prostitutes. I could not take it anymore so I left an organization that I had been associated with half of my life at that time.

As a reformed theologian, you should know that the Christian education is very poor in UBF and a formal Christian education was discouraged while I was there. If you asked someone to explain the doctrine of election/predestination, you would be scoffed at as an old Christian. You could even end up in someone's (Dr. Toh's) public testimony as someone who should be mocked and derided. I would venture to bet that if you asked someone in UBF today, to explain the five points of Calvinism, you would face a dead stare and/or be ignored. While I may not be an expert on Reformed theology, I do believe these principles should be central to one's Christian faith and basic beliefs of God as Dr. Sproul would say.

Another central problem to UBF is the financial unaccountability. In 1997, when I was requested to make up some offerings, I first requested copies of my offering statements from 1996 and 1997 YTD. The contribution statements were understated by at least 50%. From that point on, I never received another annual contribution statement. I have also seen financial statements from UBF during those years and they were very shoddy compared to the regular financial statements I have seen from the churches I have attended since I left UBF. UBF never let regular members scrutinize or even see their financial records while I was there!

Another obvious spiritual sin in UBF is that there is no church discipline. There have been several incidents of adultery in the church hierarchy of UBF and yet there has been no discipline. No one has been removed from their positions or told to leave UBF because of their immoral conduct. At every church I have attended people who were exposed for these sins were told to leave their position and the church. So I cannot say that UBF is a Bible believing church because they do not practice sound Biblical doctrine. I would not encourage anyone to participate in UBF, even if you do think they exhibit missionary and evangelical fervor. There are several other theological errors I could share with you that the others have covered but I think that you have not examined the true spiritual state of UBF sufficiently. If you have, then you should have answers for the topics I have covered briefly.

Posted by: Jim S. | March 11, 2007

Monday, May 5, 2008

Rosa (former UBF from Latin America)

(in response to a UBF supporter)

"UBF not only heard me but put the sermon on their Web site immediately".

...where??? ...is necessary to talk with the common members, not only with the leaders. What would Jesus do?

...is good to talk about change the mistakes in USA... but, what about with the broken hearts in other countries? ...Mexico, for example. People married "by faith" who not only is far of UBF now, but far from God. sorry, my english is so bad. (My heart is healing in Jesus)

Posted by: Rosa | April 09, 2007