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Abusing Bible key verse... 
19th-Nov-2006 10:45 pm
It seems that the most widely abused Bible key verse in UBF is Matthew 6:33. The key verse is about "seeking first his kindgom and his righteousness". In UBF "seeking his kindgom and his righteousness" has been established as attending Friday meeting absolutely, attending weekly fellowship meetin absolutely, attending summer bible conference absolutely, attending easter conference absolutely, participating christmass drama absolutely, having 12 one to one absolutely, writig testimony absolutely, marriage by faith, obeying one's shepherd absolutely, sending out 100,000 missionaries etc..

This kind of UBF mindset is not unique. This kind of mindset is very popular among Korean churches and other cultic organizations. The problems is that UBFers have no doubt that things may not be "seeking his kingdom and his righteousness". In their effort to promote their business, UBF leaders practically narrowed the meaning of the Bible keay verse under religious subjectivity. So when they teach "seeking first his kindgom and his righteousness", they actually teach that "serving UBF", "partcipating in UBF work", and "obeying UBF system absolutely" are the same as or more importat than "seeking first his kindgom and his righteousness".
Comments 
20th-Nov-2006 05:35 am (UTC)
Since UBF leaders teach that "serving UBF" is more important than "seeking first his kindgom and his righteousness", they conclude that anyone who leaves UBF is a Satan and anyone who criticizes UBF is an enemy of God.

As we have seen in the discussion of Matthew 17:15-23, one cannot conclude that an individual or an organization is doing the will of God just because he or it carries out religious performances. In the passage, the evildoers pleaded with Jesus claiming that they prophesied in his name, and in his name drove out demons and performed many miracles. They must have carried 12 one to one and performed many miraculous wonders. But according to Jesus, they did not carry out the will of God.

UBF style marriage by faith is not carrying out the will of God. It is not "seeking his kingdom and his righteousness first" either. As Becky confesses in her life testimony, the UBF leaders did not seek his kindgom and his righteousness first in trying to force her to marry a UBF shepherd. Why would they want to do such a thing to a young person? How can they claim that they seek his kingdom and his righteousness first when they are conducting a marriage by force instead of a marriage by faith? How could they rebuke Becky for not seeking his kingdom and his righteousness first when in fact they should be rebuked?

Marriage by force is not seeking his kindgom and his righteousness first. It is seeking UBF business and UBF righteousness first. It is not seeking his kingdom and his righteousness first when a UBF leader criticizes topical Bible study to defend Dr. Samuel Lee's methodology. But I am sure Dr. Schafer did it because he was brainwashed to believe that defending Dr. Samuel Lee's methodology is seeking his kingdom and his righteousness first. But according to the Bible, he committed a great sin against God in his testimony. As Dr. Ahn claimed in his life testimony, is it really seeking his kingdom and his righteousness frist for a married woman to be separated from her husband to serve God's(?) ministry for nine years? In UBF it is. But in the Bible it is not. But Dr. Ahn is proud of his mom's sacrificial(?) life when in fact he should have questioned wheather or not his parents were really seeking his kingdom and his righteousness first.

UBFers do not seek his kingdom and his righteousness first. They seek UBF business and UBF righteousness first. They seek UBF honor and UBF glory. UBFers think that they are seeking his kingdom and his righteousness first because they carry out all kinds of religious performances in the name of seeking his kindgom and his righteousness first. But hidden in religious form is business mind with ambition to control followers absolutely.
21st-Nov-2006 04:33 am (UTC)
We had discussion about problems in Kiev UBF in Ukraine. Take a look at the following example:

* Andrew and his elder brother Ivan were down with influenza and temperature above 39C. Yet, they were commanded to attend a meeting. Ivan did not attend the meeting, therefore his wedding was postponed. Andrew – being younger and not so courageous to decline – attended the meeting that lasted after midnight when there was scarce public transport. After that, he got a sever pneumonia and later bronchitis, which healed completely only after leaving UBF, because in UBF he had never enough time to rest and recover.

Under the situations in which Andrew and Ivan were suffering with influenza and high fever, what should have been done to "seek his kingdom and his righteousness first"?

Kiev UBF commanded the two brothers to attend the meeting even though they were suffering from influenza and high fever. Obviously, the Kiev UBF leaders thought coming to the meeting under such situations was "seeking his kingdom and his righteousness first". But is this what the Bible teaches us to do? Does the Bible teach us that the two brothers should not have rested skipping the meeting? It is hard to imagine that the God of rest would command the two brothers to attend the meeting even though they were suffering from influenza with high fever of 102F.

The Kiev UBF leaders might have thought that they were being ABSOLUTE about their attitude of seeking his kingdom and his righteousness by commanding the two brothers to attend the meeting. But was it "seeking his kingdom and his righteousness" less to have the two brothers rest under given conditions? Isn't it "seeking his kingdom and his righteousness" more to have the two sick brothers rest than to tell them to attend the meeting?

The UBF leaders might argue that the work of God might not make any progress if everyone is allowed to skip the meeting when he is sick. Or They will argue that no one can become a disciple of Jesus if he cannot overcome his influenza by "faith". This is UBF business mind disguised in religious zeal.

Just consider what happened to UBF work. When Dr. Samuel Lee insisted on his own unbiblical theology, he failed. His work of life time divided into two and his death was not glorious one either. Dr. Samuel Lee and his supporters did not seek his kingdom and his righteousness first. They sought their own glory and honor through UBF. They used UBF to glorify themselves as many other unscrupulous religious leaders have done.

UBF leaders in their blind zeal to glorify themselves have twisted the meaning of the Bible. They have turned "seeking his kingdom and his righteousness" into "protecting UBF authority and UBF traditions". They are evil-doers. When the Kiev UBF leaders told the two sick brothers to attend the meeting, were they really seeking his kingdom and his righteousness?
21st-Nov-2006 05:00 am (UTC)
When Dr. Samuel Lee insisted on his own unbiblical theology, he failed. His work of life time divided into two and his death was not glorious one either.

I think that Dr. Samuel Lee didn't know that he was getting old and God was preparing a new generation to replace him. This is the principle of history in God: a new generation always replaces an old generation. Under this scenario, what could be "seeking his kingdom and his righteousness"? Dr. Samuel Lee and his supporters tried to continue to protect their power and authority by telling the young generation that obeying them was "seeking his kingdom and his righteousness". But didn't John the Baptist say, "He must become greater; I must become less"?

But Dr. Samuel Lee didn't want to become less than the new generation. The problem that the current UBF has between old generation and young generation is very similar. The old generation doesn't want to become less. But the young generation doesn't want to become less either. Both of them want to become greater by "seeking his kingdom and his righteousness" in their own way while sheep suffer not knowing what to "seek".
21st-Nov-2006 11:40 pm (UTC)
Dr. John Jun gave a speech based on Haggai 1:8. He says:

The work of building cannot be done with just thinking. First, we have to go up into the mountains. Even if we are pierced by thorns, we must go up into the mountains to find proper trees.

This is typical UBF theology of "seeking his kingdom and his righteousness". Clearly one cannot interpret Haggai 1:8 as Even if we are pierced by thorns, we must go up into the mountains to find proper trees</u>. When God told the people "Go up into the mountains", did he mean that his people should not mind being pierced by thorns as Dr. John Jun preaches? Do we seek his kingdom and his righteousness more by enduring being pierced by thorns? Do we show the utmost respect to God when we do not mind being pierced by thorns?

God said in verse 7, "Give careful thought to your ways." God was appealing to "careful thought" of his people. God is not like a irrational dictator who only gives command and expects blind obedience from his people. We can reason with God. God can reason with us (except Dr. John Jun) It is not recommended but we can choose to disobey God too! (One must give very very careful thought before he decides to disobey God!) Seeking his kingdom and his righteousness is not like throwing oneself into thorn bush and enduring the pain of one's flesh being torn apart. But this is what UBF theology recommends.

UBF theology discourages giving careful thought before one throws himself into thonr bush. UBF discourages sheep from giving careful thoughts before obeying his shepherd. It is considered secular and humanistic attitude. According to UBF theology, one shows highest quality faith when he obeys his shepherd absolutely (blindly) without any thought or without any question.

Even our father Abraham "reasoned" when he offered Isaac. Hebrew 11:19 (NIV) says, "Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death." I don't like calling Christianity religion because it somehow sounds so human to me. But I agree with pope Benedict when he said that unlike other religions Christianity is religion built on reason. So I agree with him that Christianity requires sound theology.

Suppose someone has zeal to seek his kingdom and his righteousness first but does not have sound theology. Then he will preach that one should not mind throwing himself into thorn bush to seek his kingdom and his righteousness. Isn't this exactly what Mohammed preached? Mohammed's theology teaches that faith should be spread by sword. So Dr. John Jun's theology is equivalent to Mohammed's theology. Dr. John Jun is trying to raise disciples of Jesus by sword.
22nd-Nov-2006 05:38 am (UTC)
Dr. Joseph Schafer wrote the following in this message.

One thing I learned about postmodern people is that they really don’t like it when a leader tries to appear strong or holy or confident. In our typical UBF message style, we try to be very convincing and make absolute statements. With a loud voice, we say, “Jesus is the way!” But the typical response of a postmodern person is, “How can you be so sure?” To them, it sounds arrogant and presumptuous. “Who are you to say that you have the truth?” They are taught from a young age that all human authority is false because all human beings are flawed, and no person has the right to tell another person what to believe of how to live. This characteristic of the younger generation is deeply ingrained and represents one of our greatest challenges as we seek to train and raise disciples. Many young people immediately leave UBF when they sense that our ministry is hierarchical. They hear about shepherds and missionaries and senior shepherds and chapter directors, and soon they find out that they are “sheep.” To their minds, all people are imperfect and should be regarded as equal. What should we do about this? Don’t know. I have no answer.

I am not an expert in postmodernism but I think what he describes here about postmodern generation and UBF seems to be accurate. But I don't understand why someone who can accurately point out the problems of postmodern generation and UBF criticizes topical Bible study. What the postmodern generation needs is a rigorous theology and rigorous Bible study of topics of any concern. UBF Bible study is very superficial. Dr. Samuel Lee's messages and other UBF messages copied from Dr. Samuel Lee's messages are full of nonsenses that can drive out any postmodern people away from the Bible study.

Short but rigorous topical Bible study is more appropriate for postmodern people. In this way, their fundamental reasoning structure must be challenged gracefully. As long as UBF leaders try to stick with Dr. Samuel Lee's methodology and continue to copy his messages, they will not recruit any postmodern person. To seek his kingdom and his righteousness in this postmodern world is to divorce themselves from Dr. Samuel Lee's theology and his methodology. But they are determined to inherit Dr. Samuel Lee's absurd legacy in this postmodern world.
22nd-Nov-2006 12:14 pm (UTC)
They are taught from a young age that all human authority is false because all human beings are flawed, and no person has the right to tell another person what to believe of how to live.

So is this teaching false or not? Does he want to say that UBF leaders are not flawed and never abused their authority or never will? Does he say that certain persons have a right to tell other persons what to believe and how to live? Even God doesn't do this, does he? But even if perfect trustworthy human authority existed (one that should be allowed to control us), how would we be able to recognize such authority and discern it from illegitimate human authority? Simply because people claim they are "God's servant"? Even UBF people have to choose whom to obey: The Pope, Benny Hinn, or Samuel Lee? How do we make such a choice when it is not allowed to question authority? UBF's teachings are completely inconsistent, contradictory and irrational.

"Dr." Schafer laments that "To their [non UBFish] minds, all people are imperfect and should be regarded as equal." But sorry, Mr. Schafer, this is exactly what the Bible says. All people are imperfect and should be regarded as equal.

"There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Rom 3)

"But if you show favoritism [i.e. don't regard all as equal], you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers." (James 2)

"But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers." (Mt 23)

"From one man he made every nation of men, ..." (Acts 17)

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." (Gal 3)

Jesus and the Bible teach differently from Mr. Schafer and UBF.
22nd-Nov-2006 04:43 pm (UTC)
They are taught from a young age that all human authority is false because all human beings are flawed, and no person has the right to tell another person what to believe of how to live.

Now that I think about it again, I am not exactly sure if this is what postmodernism teaches or if this is Dr. Schafer's impression about postemodernism. I usually don't give too much credit to Wikipedia but one article on Wikipedia claims the following:

To some critics, postmodern skepticism appears similar to relativism or even nihilism. Defenders of post-modernism would argue that there is a distinct difference, however: while relativism and nihilism are generally viewed as an abandonment of meaning and authority, postmodern philosophy is generally viewed as an openness to meaning and authority from unexpected places, so that the ultimate source of authority is the "play" of the discourse itself.

Assuming that this claim is accurate about postmodernism, postmodernism does not abandon any kind of authority. It wants to give a place to other types of authority that has not been traditionally considered an authority. It questions traditional authority not to abandon it but to consider the ultimate source of authority by questioning traditioanl authority.

But in general UBF setting, questioning established authority itself could be considered an attempt to abandon the established authority or a compromise. The UBF leaders consider it a terrible threat to undermine their established authority. I think this further leads to misunderstanding of postmodernism. This also leads to further division between the old generation and the younger generation in UBF hierarchy.

We find in many places of the Bible that there is authority established by God that should be respected in the world. I think there is no denying that authority estalbished by God should be honored. So the question is not whether or not there exists authority. The question is how it should be exercised. And one good thing that postmodernism brings into this generation is that it makes us think about the ultimate "source" of authority. The ultimate source is of course God himself. The ultimate source of authority is not Dr. Samuel Lee or a UBF shepherd. I think that that much is what we can get out of postmodernism.

So if we can somehow present to the postmodern people that God is the ultimate source of authority and they can trust him and not a shepherd, working for postmodern generation could be a lof of fun. But it requires more rigorous study than the superficial Bible study in UBF.

23rd-Nov-2006 04:34 am (UTC)
To their minds, all people are imperfect and should be regarded as equal. What should we do about this? Don't know. I have no answer.

Shafer has "no answer" to a problem that isn't a problem at all. This is indicative of the distorted reality that he lives in in UBF. He confuses postmodern people with people who can see the signs of cultic activity in UBF and leave as a result.

Further evidence of his distorted reality is his offering Sam Lee (again) as an example of a "good shepherd" who didn't try to look like strong leader and didn't demand respect from those under them, a shepherd who did not try to look like a saint but tried to look like a forgiven sinner. Huh? What reality is Shafer living in? This is about as realistic as the North Koreans' portrayals of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. Who is helped by these continued distortions of the person and life of Sam Lee?

Overall, this essay by Shafer reads like a call for a UBF that is more sensitive to what UBF thinks of as "postmodern" attitudes. The UBF message "performance" shouldn't be so repetitive and boring, it should be more conversational. The UBF shepherd should "look" and "sound" more humble. But the biblical mandate for the Christian community, based on Jesus' teaching, to be equals, to be brothers is rejected. To be clear, the UBF of today continues to say no in practice to the clear teachings of Christ. In UBF terms, to think "outside the box" means to make UBF performances flashier for the younger people of today, but like Shafer, no one dares to question or venture "outside the box" of the authoritarian coersion and control program that has been UBF's trademark.
1st-Dec-2006 05:15 am (UTC)
Shafer writes: "Many young people immediately leave UBF when they sense that our ministry is hierarchical. They hear about shepherds and missionaries and senior shepherds and chapter directors, and soon they find out that they are 'sheep.' "

Interesting admission that UBF is indeed hierarchical. It has been and is fiercely hierarchical. The Baptist church I currently attend has missionaries and former missionaries, but they don't insist upon some place in the church hierarchy, they aren't placed on some pedestal above the "ordinary" members of the congregation. They would never try to get between the congregation and Jesus by exalting themselves or other men. They see themselves as "sheep" like the rest of us, with Christ as our Shepherd. This is proper and biblical, unlike UBF.
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