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UBF Misinterpretation of God's Discipline 
25th-May-2005 11:14 am
This is an analysis of the Chicago UBF’s message on Hebrews 12:1-29. The title of the message is “Divine Discipline.” This message reveals how subtly the messenger changed divine discipline from God’s intervention in our lives to church leaders’ intervention. The following is an excerpt from Chicago UBF’s Hebrews, chapter 12 message.
“Look at verses 7 and 8. "Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. When we learn the holiness of God, America will be established as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. If we don't learn the holiness of God, America will be the land of lawless Sodomites. Most people yearn most for the holiness of God in their souls. They want to imitate the holiness of God. But they fail because they refuse to participate in divine discipline. Those who do not receive divine discipline are illegitimate children to God.”
The messenger’s indication that UBF members choose to participate in God’s discipline changes the focus of the message from God’s work to people’s work. The messenger states that people must choose to receive God’s discipline in order to be considered legitimate sons of God. The messenger writes that those who do not participate in God’s discipline are illegitimate children of God. Thus, to be God’s legitimate children, people must choose to participate in God’s discipline. The messenger misinterprets Hebrews 12:7-8. Those who accept Christ as their Savior have already become God’s legitimate children. Because they are God’s children, God will discipline them. The choice made by people is not to receive discipline, but to receive Christ. Through Christ, people become legitimate sons of God, filled with righteousness and peace, and a blessing to others.
However, the messenger teaches that to be God’s children, people must choose to participate in God’s discipline. The implication of people needing to choose God’s discipline brings a human element to God’s discipline. If people must choose to receive God’s discipline, how can they know when God disciplines them? How can people know when they need to receive God’s discipline and what that discipline will be? People who want to choose to receive God’s discipline may not see God’s discipline in their life or know when God’s discipline will come. If they do not see God’s discipline, they may reject God’s discipline and thus become illegitimate children. How can this problem be solved?
In UBF, the problem is solved with the shepherd interpreting how God disciplines the sheep. Eventually, the shepherd will attempt to convince the sheep that it is God’s will for shepherds to impose discipline upon the sheep. The shepherd uses the pretext of God’s discipline to impose his or her brand of discipline upon the sheep. UBF leaders commonly refer to this as “training.” Sheep who do not meet the standards of the shepherd will be “trained” or disciplined by the shepherd so that the sheep will become obedient to the shepherd and devoted to UBF. When I visited Chicago UBF in 1999, I saw to Koreans planting flowers at the direction of Samuel Lee. They said that it was “God’s divine discipline.” Another shepherd told me that Samuel Lee told him to walk from the Skokie Police Station back to the Chicago UBF Center as “discipline” for a poor testimony. The shepherd told me this “Skokie training” is common in Chicago UBF. Many missionaries and shepherds receive Skokie training.
Hebrews 12 reveals God’s discipline to be something that only God can choose. God chooses to discipline us because he loves us just as a father chooses to discipline his son because he loves him. The son cannot choose to participate in the discipline. People cannot choose to participate in God’s discipline. God gives discipline and we are called to endure it and grow from it. Therefore, when UBF shepherds impose discipline or training upon sheep and call it “God’s discipline” they are taking the place of God in the lives of their sheep. No person has the authority to give God’s discipline to anyone. Any discipline given by people is “People’s Discipline.
Comments 
24th-May-2005 05:27 pm (UTC) - orchestra "training" as "divine discipline"
"Divine discipline" was the exact phrase used to describe the man-made, man-administered orchestra "training" in Chicago UBF. From http://www.ubf-info.de/int/bonn/ismf.en.htm:

Continuation of an old method of Samuel Lee

First of all it should be mentioned that the orchestra training is an old, proven and tested method, introduced by Samuel Lee in UBF in order to supervise, discipline and train primarily the teenagers and "second generation" in UBF, and in order to bind them closer to the group. The buzz phrase for this was "divine discipline". In this regard, like in all others, the UBF orchestra in Chicago had been the big role model for all other UBF centers.


In the context of the whole chapter, it's obvious how often Hebrews 12:11 is misinterpreted and misapplied in UBF to justify and enforce man-made discipline (spiritual abuse).

As pecowas observes, this is a subtle trick employed in UBF the world over: the equating of the will of human leaders with the will of God.
24th-May-2005 07:29 pm (UTC) - UBF misinterpretation of 1 Pe 2:9
When we learn the holiness of God, America will be established as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. If we don't learn the holiness of God, America will be the land of lawless Sodomites.

I see that UBF continues the "spiritual legacy" of Sam Lee's gross misinterpretation of 1 Peter 2:9.

"When we learn the holiness of God, ...?" This also illustrates that UBF (and Sam Lee) rejected the pure gospel long ago and put its hope in its program of "divine discipline."
24th-May-2005 08:41 pm (UTC) - Re: UBF misinterpretation of 1 Pe 2:9
When we learn the holiness of God, America will be established as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. If we don't learn the holiness of God, America will be the land of lawless Sodomites.

This is another example of UBF subtly changing the focus of scripture from God's work to man's work. No one can possibly learn God's holiness. That is why we need Jesus. God makes us holy through Jesus.

But, UBF states that we must learn the holiness of God. This assumes that we have the ability to learn the holiness of God. UBF wants members to believe they must learn the holiness of God as a means to control. UBF teaches members to obey the leaders and be trained by them to learn the holiness of God. Instead of accepting God's gift through Jesus that makes us holy, UBF teaches that people must do some work to be holy. Conviently, the UBF shepherd defines the work his/her sheep must do to be considered holy.
24th-May-2005 09:46 pm (UTC)
Pecowas, you're right, UBF abuses and twists the words "discipline" and "training." They call divine discipline what is actually imposed on people by men. In the Bible, there is no such concept as leaders training and disciplining people in the sense of UBF. When the Bible talks about discipline, it is never discipline excerted by leaders, but by God himself. Even in the old testament, not Mose did discipline the Israelites, but God himself:
Deu 11:2: "Remember today that your children were not the ones who saw and experienced the discipline of the LORD your God..."
Heb 12:5: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,"
The same with "training". This word is never used for the things UBF calls training, but with the meaning of "instruction" by reading the Bible or teaching others the Bible:
1 Tim 3:16 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,"

UBF's idea of trying to change others by their "divine training" is not Biblical Did you ever experience a UBF leader training HIMSELF?

The "training" is also connected with the fixed idea of "raising" disciples.

I agree with exubf: In reality, I think it is just part of the control process rather than discipline. It is not only used to keep people too busy to think, but also to force people in a role of submissive underlings. Cult experts say that people always try to bring feelings, actions and ratio/beliefs in line. If one of these is strongly changed by external influence, the others will follow. For instance, if you create a wonderful atmosphere at a conference where you have good feelings, or are love-bombed, you will start to rationalize that the thing behind is wonderful and start to support it with your actions. If somebody powerfully indoctrinates you to believe he is God, you will act as if he is God. But it also works the other way around: If you act in a way towards a person by following every command and training as if he was God, you will start to believe he is God for you. People tend to avoid "cognitive dissonance," and cults are exploiting it to manipulate them. See point 14 in this helpful article.

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