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Holly Lord 
22nd-Jan-2007 11:27 am
Last week I accidentally ran across several discussions about myself on the web, regarding University Bible Fellowship (UBF). That is how I eventually came to this forum. People in UBF would have known me as Holly Lord.

Here are the posts I saw from 2002:

and from 2004:

and from October of 2006:

I have to admit, I was surprised to see that I was not only remembered but also being discussed more than ten years after I had left the organization. I had been involved with UBF for about five and a half years, from 1988 until 1993.

I began to think about my experience in UBF. I read a number of posts by former members, such as those posted at http://www.ubf-net.de/int/rep/index.en.htm and posts on the boards listed above. Many things came back to me which I had forgotten, and I learned things about UBF's abuses that I did not know before. I have posted a testimony about my experience in UBF at http://www.geocities.com/holly.lord/ubf.html.

28th-Jan-2007 07:05 pm (UTC)
I should probably elaborate on this topic a little more, since it was somewhat more complicated than I described yesterday, and the Bible study WAS an issue, just not the only one. And, yes, the "marriage problem" was a major factor, at least in the justification of trying to get me to stay with UBF.

I think I'd have to back up to the beginning. In my family, my parents considered it my job to get good grades, that is, mostly A's, but nothing below a B. I was a fairly serious student, and I liked school a lot.

When I came to UBF, I liked the verse-by-verse, question-and-answer approach. I quite literally knew almost nothing about the Bible, and I found it fascinating. I didn't want to miss a thing, which is why verse-by-verse study appealed to me. I liked the question-and-answer methodology, because it was a familiar format, from my schoolwork. I was entirely comfortable with the idea that there were "correct" answers that Jim Rabchuck (later Terese Bird, John Bird, Jim Rarick, and Joe Schafer) provided. Through such close study, I awoke spiritually. I drank in the Bible and read it from cover to cover. My UBF "shepherds" helped me to make sense of what I read.

I was allowed to go to other churches/meetings/youth groups, if I wanted. I used to go to two local churches, and the sermons seemed insipid. When I attended their adult Bible studies, it seemed like little more than a social meeting with a few watered down scripture verses thrown in. The one youth group I tried was even worse, mostly centering around things like "movie night," with no Bible study aspect at all. Through my limited experience, I judged all churches and decided that other churches' worship and study opportunities were weak, at best. It seemed to me that no one but UBF was serious about the Bible.

My attitude towards UBF became (in a sense) like that of Peter towards Jesus in John 6:68: "Simon Peter answered him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life...'" I really thought that UBF had a corner on the market when it came to Bible study.

When I met Steve, I knew he was different. He was scholarly and informed and serious when it came to Bible study. He wanted to go to seminary. Matthew had gone to a good Christian school for elementary/middle/high school, where he had learned theology. Additionally, the pastor of the church where he grew up taught the Bible verse-by-verse in his sermons along with doctrine.

I began to bring up some of the things with Joe Schafer that I'd learned by studying with Steve and Matthew--particularly eternal security (once you are saved, you are always saved). I know Joe didn't appreciate my input. Because I'd always been in UBF so willingly, for a long time I had not been able to clearly see how much pressure there was to attend everything. I had made excuses, such as, "They want me to be with God!" when it was really pressure to obey the group without question. When I became less interested, I saw firsthand the pressure, then other problems, such as their wrong attitude toward marriage, their wrong teachings regarding eternal security, and so forth. It became clear to me that UBF was a cult. I think I was progressing towards leaving anyway, but Joe's ultimatum, meant to pull me back in line, sped up the process.
30th-Jan-2007 06:39 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for your thoughtful writing about Dr. Joe Schafer and his ultimatum. It is very interesting to me that Dr. Schafer didn't want to teach you the Bible any more because he thought there was a marriage problem.

It is hard to believe that Dr. Schafer who claims to be a Bible teacher told you to leave him because he believed that there was a marriage problem. If he is a Bible teacher, he should bless his sheep when he "thinks" that his sheep met a nice person and continue to teach the Bible to the sheep so that they can develop a godly relationship.

According to this mission report, a UBF missionary in Turkey rebuked his sheep because the sheep was not willing to break up her relationship with her boyfriend. This UBF missionary thinks that he acted according to the truth of God. This kind of UBF theology is very unbiblical. One option that the UBF missionary could have taken was that he could have helped his sheep to develop a godly relationship with her boyfriend until she came to the conclusion that the relationship was not from God. Is breaking up any relationship is the only way from God?

Dr. Schafer and other UBF leaders have very business-minded attitude toward marriage and other relationship includign family. UBF marriage by faith is a way to keep UBF members committed to UBF organization. They think that making a couple marry inside UBF is a good way to make the couple settle down in UBF. In this way, they increase the number of committed members. But the Bible says that the responsibility of any Bible teacher is to honor any human relationship and help sheep develop godly relationship through teaching the Bible deeply to follow God's leading in the relationship. But Dr. Schafer failed to do it. He was only acting as a selfish businessman and did not lay down his business-mindedness to serve his sheep to the end.
30th-Jan-2007 08:36 pm (UTC)
It is very interesting to me that Dr. Schafer didn't want to teach you the Bible any more because he thought there was a marriage problem. -human12

I don't think he expected me to leave.
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