(Originally posted at http://voy.com/60734/. See also http://rsqubf.info/documents/external/external.html#television)
Date Posted: 17:29:34 02/22/05 Tue
Author: Phillip H.
Subject: Re: TV Alert for Those in the Columbus, OH area
In reply to: Paul Thomas Evans 's message, "TV Alert for Those in the Columbus, OH area" on 20:52:26 02/20/05 Sun
Joe brought something to my attentions, so:
I would like to publicly say that while I was at Wellspring I was in no way forced to participate in that interview. They merely informed me that Channel 10 was doing a special report because of alleged abuse by UBF at Ohio State and that they would like to interview former members. In fact, the Wellspring staff was very careful to make sure that I could end the interview at any time and that they were nearby and accessible if I had any problems.
I decided that, because of the abuse in UBF, it was my obligation to stand up and say something so that more people won't go into that organization where the great and holy name of Jesus is used to enslave idealistic and intelligent youths to another humans will. We are to serve God, not men claiming to know God's will for each of their sheep.
When my "shepherd" told me that I had to leave my Christian fiancee because of some sin in our past that we were doing our best to deal with, I finally realized something was wrong. Thank God my bond with her was stronger than my enslavement to my "shepherd" and I was kept from making a terrible mistake.
I have heard that some people, after leaving Christian cults, become agnostic or atheist because they feel betrayed and cannot hope to know anything about God after being abused in His name. I have traveled down that same path a little way, but I know now that I have not believed in vain. I pray that all of those who were hurt by UBF and similar organizations (myself included) might know that just because men often cannot be trusted, Christianity is true, Jesus really is God, not some cult leader or deceiver, that He loves us enough to suffer and die for us, and that we can distort that all we want, but by believing in Him, we have eternal life, full stop.
I do not hate them, I have even forgiven them. They say they seek to do good, but by abusing in the name of God they only turn many away from Him or at least make them ineffectual. It is because of this that they must be apposed, not out of personal anger or revenge, but for the sake of those they hurt and the spiritual wellbeing of many.
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Date Posted: 12:10:21 02/25/05 Fri
Author: Phillip H.
Subject: Re: "...because she didn't share the same mission"
In reply to: Another Busy Day 's message, ""...because she didn't share the same mission"" on 15:18:38 02/23/05 Wed
I would like to point out that I never shared the same mission as UBF either. When I made my decision that I wanted to go into ministry, it was to become a pastor, not campus mission. I was, at the time, surprised when eventually my shepherd told me that there were lots of pastors and that I should consider campus mission instead of seminary and the more traditional ministry. He went on to say that he had considered being a normal pastor at one time but had decided that campus mission was more important for him to do. I do not want to debate the merits of any particular calling over another, all callings, in my opinion and, I believe, the Bible's, have equal merit. I was just shocked that he was trying to disude me from a traditional pastoral ministry. To his credit, he did seemingly give this up when I emphatically stated that I did not feel called to campus mission, but then again, maybe he never really did give up his attempts to keep me in UBF. Had he succeeded in coercing me to terminate my relationship with my fiancee, I may have stayed in UBF and been "married by faith", etc. I'm sure my hypothetical UBF bride would not have wanted to have a different ministry than UBF.
The thing that really gets to me, though, is their statement--that they think that if someone does not have the same mission as UBF, they are not a fitting partner for a UBF member, no matter what that member's futer plans may be. None of us know what our future mission is anyway. Moses wasn't called by God until after he spent 40 years in the desert (only to spend another 40 years leading people through the desert). What does UBF know about anyone's personal mission from God? They can't. I very clearly remember my shepherd talking about when he'd pray and then he'd get this idea that so-and-so should be a short term missionary to Mongolia, or China, or some other place. They would inevitably go there, though they may not have considered it until that moment and it may not, in fact, have been God's real calling for them. However, there was incredible pressure to trust one's "spiritual mentor" and essentially do what they say. It seems to me now that the Holy Spirit didn't talk to anyone personally about God's plan for that person, only about God's plan for their subordinates (except maybe for the very top people).
Actually, though, my fiancee has a great calling for a missionary, she is studying to be a nurse. Nurses are always needed, no matter where one goes, and they can be great agents of mercy and natural witnesses for the loving-care of Jesus and of the gospel. No, it was graceless-legalism and control that prompted my shepherd to demand that we break-up. UBF seems to forget that God forgives and sanctifies Christians over time, often letting them taste the pain that is cause by their sin first. The fact that we were, are, and will be sinners until the Day of Christ Jesus does not disqualify us from an otherwise permissible relationship with anyone for any reason.
May the Grace and Peace of the Lord Jesus be with you all.