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another world class poor message... 
22nd-Oct-2005 01:19 pm
This is an excerpt from the latest message from Ubf. It shows the lack of basic biblical hemeneutics in its author.

John’s main task was preaching. His message contents were: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” The word “repent” comes from the Greek word “metanoeo” which means to change one’s mind. This is not merely changing a preference, like changing the TV channel from sports to news, or changing hair color from brunette to blonde. This change of mind has to do with one’s attitude toward sin and toward God. To repent is to stop liking and tolerating sin, and to start hating and renouncing sin. To repent is to stop avoiding God, and to start acknowledging God. Thus defined, it may happen in different ways.

The prodigal son (Lk 15) repented. He thought he would be happy with his father’s money and unlimited freedom. Instead, he experienced shameful failure and loss. Then, while working on a pig farm, he became so hungry that he envied pigs because they had pods. Hunger helped him realize that he was a fool, and his father was wise and good. So he went back to his father. His repentance started with his hungry stomach. For many, repentance follows tragic failure or severe hardship...
Comments 
22nd-Oct-2005 07:49 pm (UTC)
In verse 2, John the Baptist says we should repent for the kingdom of God is near. So the meaning of “repent” is clearly linked to the coming of the kingdom of God. Then the author should have spent more time to understand the connection of “repent” and coming of the kingdom of God. The “repentance” John has in mind is not just “This change of mind has to do with one’s attitude toward sin and toward God. To repent is to stop liking and tolerating sin, and to start hating and renouncing sin. To repent is to stop avoiding God, and to start acknowledging God” as the poor author insists. To understand what John means by “repent” in the current passage clearly requires understanding of “for the kingdom of God is near.” This leads us not necessarily to the study of a Greek word but to the need to understand “for the kingdom of God is near.”

To help understand it, the author now should recall History 100 he took in college. In ancient times, when a new kingdom arrives, people either welcome it by accepting the new kingdom or decide to go against it or just don’t care about it. But regardless of their decision, the rule of the new kingdom is here to stay. The same is true today. Regardless of whether the Iraqi people like Bush or not, his administration is here for another 4 more years. It is interesting to notice that John said, “for the kingdom of God is near.” No one can stop the coming of the kingdom of God. No one can escape from the rule of the kingdom of God. So what is the meaning of “repent for the kingdom of God is near"? John preached this 2000 years ago. So some students will say: "where is the kingdom of God now? I don’t see it". Jesus said in John 3:3, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” In John 3:5, Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.” So it seems that “repent” is absolutely necessary even today to see the kingdom of God and to enter the kingdom of God.

When a new kingdom comes, you must live according to the rule of the new kingdom. You must adopt its practices. When you come to America, you must live according to American standards. Since it is illegal in America to beat up church members for the glory of God, you should not do that. Now at this point it seems to be clear that “repent for the kingdom of God is near” does not just mean changing one’s mind.

The author of the poor message seems to emphasize more the moral implication of the meaning. But based on John’s message, to “repent” means to welcome the kingdom of God and to live according to the fundamentals of the kingdom of God. Then the author should go on to understand the practical implication of living according the fundamentals of the kingdom of God to put the meaning of “repent for the kingdom of God is near” in more biblical perspective. So John’s message delivered 2000 years ago is still alive today for the kingdom of God is near or for the kingdom of God is here. People do not see it because they are not born again.

It seems that maybe the ubf preacher is not born again. Maybe all the ubf preachers are not born again. They think they are born again because they are loyal to ubf system. In fact in ubf, people are considered born again, if they start to attend ubf meeting regularly, start to praise ubf leaders blindly, to become ready to accept ubf marriage, etc.. But the reality is that the idea of being born again in ubf means just that and every practice in ubf is geared to make this happen: make a person blindly loyal to ubf practice. UBf system is not implemented to help people to “repent for the kingdom of God is near” but to repent to attend ubf meeting absolutely regularly, to praise ubf leaders blinbly as special servants of God with special spiritual authority, to accept ubf marriage at any moment, etc.. UBf system is organized to produce only ubf members who will remain loyal but not necessarily to produce born again Christians who can live according the fundamentals of the kingdom of God. But this is typical practice of any Korean churches. Korean churches are interested more in producing loyal members of their own churches rather than helping people to grow as genuine Christians.
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