Saturday, September 22, 2007

heart4jc (former Seoul UBF)

(Originally posted at

Date Posted: 09:58:56 07/14/04 Wed
Author: heart4jc
Subject: Re: did you notice any strange behavior/teachngs?
In reply to: Nick T. 's message, "did you notice any strange behavior/teachngs?" on 16:52:39 07/13/04 Tue

I left yon-hee ubf in Korea in 2002. Seriously and literally Jesus helped me get out of there. I had been praying for so hard for His instruction and guidance. In UBF, I was like Samson whose eyes were pulled and bounded by bronze shackles and grinding in the prison.

To get out, I prayed like him as well "O Sovereign LORD, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes," He listened to my prayer. Praise to the Lord.

After much confusion and agonizing time, I learned that my ignorance and unfaithfulness to Jesus led me to UBF. I learned of my hopelessness. Only through Jesus could I ever come near to God. Now, I am in Grace, Peace, and Joy in the gospel. Not until i left UBF that I learned of the TRUE gospel.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Anonymous (


Samuel C. Lee dies in fire

Samuel C. Lee, the head honcho of the University Bible Fellowship organization died in 2002. I just now found out about it, since I left them around 2001 or 2000.

One word: Kookoo.

I just heard a seminar on the faults of the organization. They talked about Confucianism's influence on them, which I haven't noticed, but more importantly, they reminded me of things that slipped by me without me even noticing.

When I joined the organization, I went meekly along with the flow, so I never experienced the physical abuse I've heard about coming from the UBF. I guess abuse was part of the "training" to be UBF "shepherds."

Also, being socially maladroit, I also missed out on their "arranged marriages."

The things I DID notice:

1. I seem to remember being pestered with questions and statements on God's will for me when I didn't want to go to a conference or Sunday meeting or bible study. I often felt I needed a good excuse to get out of it.

2. What caused me to leave was that they argued, from the book of James, that I needed to reach out with good works, to God, in order for God to reach out with His grace. They said that other denominations were "lazy" for believing that they were saved by grace through faith alone.

3. Koreans dominated the organization, even in places like Africa and the United States where the Korean population is slim.

4. "Shepherds" of the organization appeared to be cut from the same cookie-cutter mold. They all tried to behave exactly alike. They dressed the same, taught lessons the same, wrote the same stuff. They'd wear suits even to informal summer gatherings.

5. The bible was presented to me in a menu of lessons, and there was a sense of progression, even advancement, through these lessons. You went through a program rather than doing a special study on Revelation independently or by group consensus. Guys that had been there awhile would be on Revelation while I was in Genesis and they'd comment on my progress.

6. I and other members were strongly encouraged to give a sermonnette/"testimony" about a bible passage at conferences. No one opted out. Nobody.

7. I was strongly encouraged to conform my writings ("testimonies" or Sodong) to a set formula, which included a "one word" statement on the end. I thought it was a lousy idea, but I went along with it. It seemed like they had to be sort of confessional in nature, too.

8. Alternate interpretations of bible passages were strongly discouraged, without any scriptural evidence to support the position. Noah Rhee would often say "I'm sorry, but I believe the correct interpretation is..." So a fresh perspective was ruled out.

9. I never found out where the donation money went. I kinda guessed it went into all those huge feasts they'd have there, with authentic Korean food, but I wasn't sure. Not until I heard the seminar on the UBF, which told me that Samuel Lee had hidden the bank books and even used the money for land acquisition for UBF expansion in some country. Apparently, they have never been audited because the group has been good at hiding the books. I heard money designated for helping the poor in Bangladesh ended up being funds for setting up a chapter of UBF in Bangladesh.

10. University professors were described as "Satan in human disguise." This is an unhealthy position to take when you're trying to spread the gospel to all people.

11. There was a strong emphasis on John Calvin in the devotionals. Noah even named his kid Calvin. This has a lot to do with the predestination and the "Satan in human garb" argument.

12. They go to specific individuals and pester them into bringing people to meetings rather than speaking generally to the group. Never before had I been so extremely pressured to bring someone to a bible meeting.

13. No baptismal font, communion shared only at conferences. But I just assumed they were non-denoms like Youth For Christ.

14. When you took a retreat to somewhere like California or Michigan, you didn't get to tour the city and share the gospel to people in town. Rather, you stayed in the compound the whole time, working on your testimonies.

15. Instead of a variety of spiritual gifts being emphasised, they focused on evangelism. Other gifts were minimized. Everyone was expected to "fish" on campus for students.

16. There was a hierarchy. You were expected to lead one-to-one bible studies with other students (I tried this via e-mail with a Thai student and was unsuccessful), while still attending Noah's one-to-one bible study.

17. You were encouraged to attend their services on Sunday, even if you already went to church earlier that day. They said it wasn't like church, but they lied. It was exactly like church. You sat in hard chairs, listened to sermons and sang. The only difference was the feast that happened afterwards. You will not be surprised that I did not put much in the offering plate.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Egon S. (former Estonia UBF)

(Originally posted at by Egon S., a former member of a UBF chapter in Estonia.)

Date Posted: 08:19:14 08/10/02 Sat
Author: Egon S.
Subject: Re: Love your enemy

Dear Chris and others!

I think we have the same mind even in this question. I am agree with You and Mike. I just could not express my thoughts. Look at your own comment and the last one (Mike's one). You needed pretty much "paper" for explaining it. I tried to be short, but You and Mike did it better and I say Amen on it. I am honest - I too think so. And I am strict. I have talked with my leaders when I have seen that things are not as they should have been. We can't compromise with the Word.

Neither I said that Samuel Lee or Sarah Barry were our enemys. I just said what Jesus said and tried to emphasize the attitude toward others what God is waiting from us.

What I thought about that "critisizm" was that often christians fall into it and stay there, rather than seeking the Lord. In our neighbourhood there is a strongly charismatic church. It's pastor is young but very very strong character (I would say, a little bit like SL). And people who leave that church, are so wounded in their hearts. I deal with them. I know the pain they have for I have been under such dictatorship. I know what it means when your respected leaders have painted you a picture that God is a brutal dictator who has no mercy, no grace.

(Let me describe you the picture of God what I had in the days of UBF. My brother was marrying. But at the same weekend there was a celebration in the Latvian (neigbour country) UBF chapter. They had bought a building in Riga and opened it publicly. From Moscow and other CIS countries shepherds came and we had to go too. I knew the date and I knew that my brother marries at the same time. And I knew what would happen if I tell my choice. So kept it secret until the friday. Next day was wedding and we had to leave to Riga. So I decided to disobey to my shepherd and for me this was disobeying to God himself. And I disobeyed. I did not go to Riga. The next day we had to drive from one town to another for 34 km to get to the wedding. And I was so, so afraid, that God causes a car accident, brakes my legs or something more serious to teach me obedience.

Is it really God of the Bible? I had that picture of Him.) Now the problem is that many of these people who have left that particular church physically years ago, are in their thoughts still there. Whenever you meet them, they complain, critisize the pastor and his actions. And they argue with him in their thoughts too. The result is that they never forget, never forgive and because of this never grow. And this is sad.

I read Nick's comment too and it's really disgusting what UBF leaders have done. I did not know that. It's disgusting. SL has gone and he must pay for that. But what's our task? To forgive, says Jesus. Yes, we are not agree with what they are still doing. We say NO to it, but in our hearts we must forgive the injustice we have received. Otherwise we can't grow.

When I run away, I just sought Jesus, lived with him, grew in healthy environment, tried to forget, tried to forgive (many, many times) and Jesus came and healed me. I did not feel pain any more when thinkig of UBF. And what was more amazing, I started to love these people whom I had hated for the pain they had caused me. Was it me? No. But Jesus in me. He condemns their (and our) sins but He loves them (and us). He won't compromise with His will, but still he loves them. It was amazing for me, but I loved them again!

And there's another aspect about that "criticism" what I thought when writing my previous comment. Another illustration to explain it. Some years ago while serving in the pentecostal church we were all so busy that we had staff meeting just once in one-two months. And do you know what happened when we met? We argued. Everybody had lived his own life, thought their own thoughts, found their own answers and solutions... And when we had to discuss about the problems, we all had different opinions. So every time we met we spent some 2-3 hours just to find out some basement to build on. Not very good use of time. But at least we were one minded when we left each other. So we decided to meet very regularily. And when coming together we already were one minded and the time was blessed.

The same is here in forum. We rarely know each other. We have grown up in different environments, in differnt denominations, listened different sermons and read different books. All these things affect our life. We just read some lines and then make a decision: this guy is correct or this guy is wrong. But look, if you tell someone something, then the next things could be very different:

1. What you wanted to say
2. What you actually said
3. What the other person heard
4. What the other person wanted to hear.
5. Then there are these words you thought but did not say.

In estonian local forums christians are sometimes so critical. They don't look for good things, they just seek errors and faults (in fact critisism is the desease of estonians. We critisize everybody everywhere. And there is a saying that estonian's best food is another estonian. So pray for us)

So what I wanted to say, was that whatever the UBF leaders have done, if we can correct, correct. If we can't, pray God's mercy on them. But in our hearts we need to forgive them.

And I am happy, that Chris and Mike could put in words what I wasn't able to. And the Bible says that whenever christians come together (even in the forums) then everybody has something (to give, to share...) which is blessing for others. If God has given something to You, Chris (or to You Mike) then not only for You, but also for me. But to me He gives it through You.

And so we build up the body of Christ.

God bless you.