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Practice and theological argument 
8th-Dec-2007 11:01 am
I was in a seminar where I heard a nonsense from a scientist who has a PhD in biology. She claimed that man came from monkey. As a ‘scientific’ evidence, she used the similarity between a monkey DNA and a human DNA. She claimed that they are 99% ‘similar’. So she concluded that they must be ‘related’. How can one conclude ‘relationship’ out of ‘similarity’? When I asked her the question, she said that the ‘similarity’ was based on ‘statistical significance’. Well, but the fundamental question still remains: how can we draw ‘logical relationship’ or ‘logical necessity’ out of ‘statistical significance’? Why should I believe ‘statistical significance’ more than the existence of God? It was very frustrating to have discussion with a ‘scientist’ who is completely blinded by a ‘scientific’ dogma without any critical ability to distinguish ‘logical necessity’ from ‘statistical significance’. Her blind devotion to the ‘statistical significance’ reminded me of all those sincere UBF members. It was like talking to a UBF shepherd who is blindly devoted to the beautiful spiritual legacy of Dr. Samuel Lee. How ridiculous it is to conduct a ‘scientific’ research with no critical evaluation of one’s own scientific belief system! So I visited the website of UBF world headquarters to get some spiritual insight by reading the world class UBF messages. But guess what I found:

“Dr. Samuel Lee often said that putting one word of God into practice was more valuable than knowing ten thousand theological arguments. Jesus helped this man to practice one thing.”

This is another nonsense!!
Comments 
8th-Dec-2007 05:12 pm (UTC) - Part I
I.

I agree with Dr. Samuel Lee that putting one word of God into practice is MOST IMPORTANT. But I don’t think that it is more valuable than knowing ten thousand theological arguments. I think that Dr. Samuel Lee’s claim is as absurd as that of the scientist who claims ‘logical relation’ out of ‘similarity’. The Chicago UBF messenger is also being absurd by presenting Dr. Samuel Lee’s absurd teaching without any rigorous understanding of its implication.

First of all, can we really compare the value of ‘practice’ and ‘theology’? Moreover, can we decide which one is more valuable through the comparison? Consider the situation where only ‘practice’ is emphasized but ‘theology’ is despised. What can happen? Now consider another situation where only ‘theology’ is emphasized but ‘practice’ is regarded as being ignorant. What can happen? When we consider these two cases, the comparison of ‘practice’ and ‘theology’ doesn’t seem as easy as Dr. Samuel Lee’s claim about ‘practice’ and ‘theology’.

Second, did Jesus ever say in the Bible that ‘practice’ is more valuable than ‘theology’? Can anyone show me that the Bible says something close to what Dr. Samuel Lee and Pastor Ron teach about ‘theological arguments’? I don’t think so. In fact, the Bible teaches us that ‘theology’ is as valuable as ‘practice’. Just read the book of Romans. The book of Romans teaches us systematically how a man becomes righteous by FAITH ALONE; we must do GOOD WORKS; we cannot become righteous by GOOD WORKS; we should not be circumcised to be righteous and so on.

As we all know St. Paul wrote the Romans because during his ministry there was a group of people who claimed that one had to be circumcised to be saved BEIDES accepting Jesus as his personal Savior. Actually, being circumcised is a good thing in many ways. So why was it such a big deal to St. Paul? Why couldn’t he just go along with those people to make them happy? Why did he even risk his life to fight against the idea of circumcision? Why did he have to develop a systematic argument about faith and work in the book of Romans? We find many great theological arguments by Jesus himself. For example, he argued that God desires mercy more than other religious activities such as reaching the goal of 12 one-to-ones by using the example of David’s eating the forbidden breads.

Now the Bible does say that we should NOT engage in any ‘useless’ talk or ‘idle’ talk or ‘mere’ talk. So then should we conclude that all ‘theological’ arguments are useless and idle and mere talks? Obviously we cannot say that the book of Romans is mere talk. Therefore we should conclude that there is a BIG difference between ‘theological argument’ and ‘mere talk’. The former is valuable and must be encouraged while the latter is useless and must be discouraged. Then the question is: how is ‘theological argument’ distinguished from ‘mere talk’? This is a job for all sincere Christians. However, the leaders of any Christian organization should not discourage his members from conducting theological arguments by saying “putting one word of God into practice was more valuable than knowing ten thousand theological arguments.” Only spiritually immature leaders use this kind of argument to force his member blindly support him and his agendas. I think that Dr. Samuel Lee didn’t know how to answer this question systematically that he had to resort to his personal charisma ruling his followers powerfully with such nonsense as ‘putting one word of God into practice was more valuable than knowing ten thousand theological arguments’.

Continues in Part II...
8th-Dec-2007 05:14 pm (UTC) - Part II
Continues from Part I...

II.

Suppose now a UBF shepherd tells his sheep that he would be disobeying God if he didn’t marry a woman presented to him by the shepherd. But the sheep asks his shepherd why he could be disobeying God if he refused to marry her and asks for an answer based on the Bible. Then the shepherd tells him that he should put obedience before useless argument or ‘human thinking’. We all know that this kind of hypothetical situation arises all the time in UBF. Here the point is this: Obedience is a most important Christian virtue but why is it disobeying God when a sheep decides not to marry a woman introduced by a UBF shepherd? If we go one step further, we can ask: is it a sin to marry a woman of one’s own choice? Now let’s ask: is this whole thing just mere talk or theological argument?

Of course in UBF the whole thing is considered just mere talk. So the UBF leaders such as Pastor Ron and Dr. Ben Toh teach their sheep to practice OBEDIENCE! They tell the sheep ‘putting one word of God into PRACTICE is more valuable than knowing ten thousand theological arguments’. So in UBF obeying a UBF shepherd is more valuable than studying theology and the UBF leaders create a spiritual environment in which absolute obedience to the UBF leadership is the greatest Christian virtue. But doing so is a great spiritual sin against God. But the sad thing is that all those who have been born again in UBF do not think so. They think that they have to be loyal to the beautiful spiritual legacy of Dr. Samuel Lee to the point of death. The ultimate goal of UBF bible study and discipleship training is to make sheep remain loyal to the point of death. How can this be achieved? It can be done only through ‘practice’ with no ‘theology’.

In a spiritual environment where ‘practice’ with no ‘theology’ is the greatest virtue, it is ok to violate human rights and it is ok to force a man to divorce his wife to help her spiritually it is also ok to give sheep any kind of brilliant (?) spiritual training such as walking 25 miles on bare feet. A Christian who embraces ‘practice’ with no ‘theology’ will say one thing on email and say another thing on his message like Dr. Ben Toh in this TRASH:

…One woman had studied the Bible for 7 years. But after God blessed her with a faithful husband and several lovely children, she became bitter and unthankful. After she went to another church, she began contacting members from her former church to strongly persuade them to stop Bible study. There was a young college student who was studying the Bible faithfully and struggling to overcome her sinful desires. But this aggressive woman convinced her to quit Bible study. Soon after that, the young woman began wearing very short mini skirts with high-heeled, knee-high black leather boots, which she never did while she was studying the Bible. Then she moved in to live with a boy she hardly knew. I agonized in my soul because this young woman who was gradually opening her heart to Christ was so very badly influenced by this bitter woman…

I considered Dr. Ben Toh a mature servant of God. It is so depressing to read such a childish—yes, Jesus said we have to be like little children—message like this one from a great servant of God. This is not a spiritual food but a poison.

16th-Dec-2007 04:10 pm (UTC) - Re: Part II
I think Ban Toh could make a meaningful effect if he put inhis personal application. Maybe he could share with the group how adultery had personally affected his life, and how he has dealt with it. I think it would be much more edifying than to make personal attack on a nameless young woman. If Ban coul dshare his own story in truth and humility, it could be a benefit to others. How about it Ban?
10th-Dec-2007 11:09 pm (UTC) - The most dangerous thing
Samuel Lee, as do his "spiritual children", often disparaged theology in this way. Practically, I think, this translates to deemphasizing portions of scripture that make UBF leaders "uncomfortable" and repeating the same studies of the same books year after year. If a UBF teaching bothers a recruit, the recruit is told to just obey or is shunned or is booted out (this happened recently in a Central American UBF chapter and elsewhere). The UBF teaching bothers certain thinking recruits because these recruits are interested in correct teaching, in truth. But UBF, as exemplified by that quote about Samuel Lee, thinks correct teaching, right teaching is largely a waste of time. In the online essay, "The Most Dangerous Thing in the World", Rev. Bryan Wolfmueller teaches that the most dangerous thing is false (incorrect) teaching.

http://www.extremetheology.com/2007/10/the-most-danger.html

The lack of interest in correct Biblical teaching is the yeast of Samuel Lee that permeates and ruins the whole batch of dough that is UBF. (Gal. 5:9)
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