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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 
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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