The following is an excerpt from the Toledo UBF message delivered on May 29, 2005.
“Paul’s message was so clear and powerful; it drew two distinctive responses from the audience. The people of Pisidian Antioch were deeply touched by Paul’s message. They invited him to speak again on the next Sabbath. After the meeting was over, many who heard the message followed Paul and Barnabas home. They wanted to know more about the grace of God. On the next Sabbath, almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. However, when the Jews saw the crowds of Bible students, they became jealous and began to speak abusively against Paul and Barnabas. It was a painful moment. Paul and Barnabas had brought the life-giving gospel to the Jews through the Holy Spirit, but the Jews rejected it. Not only so, they became enemies of the gospel. We are familiar with rejection from fishing and 1:1 Bible studies. We recently experienced small persecution through Fox News. God helps us not to be discouraged or angry with people. God helped us to become stronger in our faith and commitment to preach the gospel.”
The message is based on Acts 13:13-52, which discusses some of Paul and Barnabas’ mission work. Paul and Barnabas preached to the people in Pisidian Antioch. Many of the people accepted the gospel and wanted to learn more. Some of the Jews within the city persecuted Paul and Barnabas.
This excerpt reveals the uses of deception and manipulation of the gospel to justify and glorify UBF. The messenger compares students declining Bible study with UBF and the television report about Toledo UBF with the persecution received by Paul and Barnabas. Acts 13:49-52 says “49The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. 50But the Jews incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. 51So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium. 52And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Paul and Barnabas were persecuted for preaching the gospel that Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world and rose from the dead. Jewish people did not want to accept Christ, so they would beat, arrest, and then drive gospel preachers from their cities.
This contrasts sharply with the treatment of the Toledo University Bible Fellowship. 1 Peter 2:18-22 says “18Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. 20But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” In this passage, Peter made an important point regarding suffering. It is commendable to bear unjust suffering. However, no one should receive credit if they are beaten for doing wrong. When people “do wrong” they should be punished. UBF has “done wrong” on numerous occasions. Therefore, television stations who report about UBF’s wrongs are not persecuting UBF. Students declining to study the Bible with UBF are not persecuting UBF. UBF arranges marriages, misappropriates funds, and requires obedience to human shepherds before Jesus. When fishing, UBF deceives students by claiming they only want to study the Bible with students. In reality, UBF wants to raise students to be members of UBF so that they will in turn recruit and raise up more students to be members of UBF. UBF preaches a false doctrine of obedience to UBF leaders and submission to UBF leaders rather than God. Churches cannot claim that they are being persecuted when victims of that church speak and write about how they were mistreated and abused. UBF cannot claim to be persecuted because victims of spiritual abuse, false doctrine, and arranged marriages and divorces bring the truth about UBF to light. UBF is reaping what they have sown.