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Fabrication of theology by Mr. Samuel Lee 
22nd-Dec-2005 11:01 pm
Fabrication of theology based on personal opinion

This is an excerpt of Mr. Samuel Lee’s message on Matthew 21:1-11

...The leader was unhappy about them and did not bless them. Then soon one of the doctors, who was an anesthesiologist, overdosed a patient for an operation and the patient died. So he lost his medical doctor’s license. Now he is running a grocery store very poorly. Another one, influenced by American relativism, cursed the servant of God. Then he left UBF. After several years, he was in a severe car accident. His body was totally crushed and his hands and feet were paralyzed. The third one got a proper job. But he has rheumatism in his right leg and in his left hand. He suffers day and night. All these events happened when they took God’s word lightly. This is to say that when we obey God’s word, God blesses us; when we disobey, God does not bless us...

I just wanted to consider the structure of Mr. Lee's reasoning a little bit this time.
Comments 
23rd-Dec-2005 05:32 am (UTC)
This excerpt shows some problem in the structure of reasoning by Mr. Samuel Lee. In the first example, he says that when he was unhappy about them and did not bless them, then soon one of the doctors overdosed a patient for an operation and the patient died. So he lost his medical doctor’s license. Other examples take the similar structure as the first one. If symbols are used as follows,

A: He was unhappy about them and did not bless them.
B: Then soon one of the doctors lost his medical doctor’s license.

Then his claim goes like this: when A, B. His claim is clear. He seems to imply that A and B are related. Of course A and B have a temporal connection. But he seems to imply more than just a temporal connection between A and B. He is claiming that A and B have a causal connection in such a way that A caused B to happen. How does he KNOW this? How does he KNOW that A and B have a causal connection so that A caused B to happen? We can consider several possibilities.

1. direct revelation from God
2. empirical evidence
3. theoretical knowledge
4. theological knowledge

We can simply exclude the possibilities of 3 and 4. What if he knows it based on 1? Could he have received direct revelation from God about the causal connection between A and B? I personally think that he could not have and there is some theological support out there for this. (If anyone has any opinion on direct revelation, please put comment on it.)

If his claim is based on 2, he must have had consistent experiences that whenever he did not bless a person, the person always got into a trouble. Even though this is impossible theoretically and theologically, since it is what he claims, he must have consistently experienced this causal connection between A and B in his everyday life. Since he claims to know this, there must be witnesses to his claim in order for his claim to be knowledge based on his experience. Otherwise it just becomes his personal opinion. Since there are some witnesses who can testify against his claim, we cannot accept his claim that there is a causal connection between A and B. Therefore he is claiming his personal opinion to be legitimate knowledge.

What he did here is that he took the temporal connection between A and B and turned it around to claim the causal connection between A and B. Temporal connection might be a necessary condition for causal connection. But it is not sufficient enough to establish any causal connection. For example, he was against reform movement in his organization. Then soon his house was burned to destruction, most of his teaching materials were burned in the fire and he finally died in the fire even though he tried his best to survive. If we follow his logic, we come to the conclusion that he died because he was against reform movement.

What is more dangerous than claiming personal opinion to be knowledge is the fabrication of theology based on person opinion. In final conclusion, he says, “All these events happened when they took God’s word lightly. This is to say that when we obey God’s word, God blesses us; when we disobey, God does not bless us.” This is clearly a theological claim. But when one reads the related passage and try to understand the meaning of “God’s words” in the context, one will find it unclear what he exactly means by it. It seems to me that he is trying to say that his words are God’s words. He seems to claim that his words have the authority of God’s authority based on what happened to the three doctors. He seems to say that they took his words lightly and as a result they got into troubles. This is clearly the fabrication of theology based on his personal opinion about the temporal connection between A and B. This raises very serious doubt on his claim as a servant of God and on the theological soundness of the UBF leaders who glorify him as the servant of God.

23rd-Dec-2005 12:05 pm (UTC)
You are right, this passage is full of "indirect" teachings. They are indirect, because you have to "conclude" them from the story. Nevertheless they are very clear from the makeup and order of the sentences. These teachings are:

* Samuel Lee has to be considered as “the leader.”
* You need the blessing of the leader. If the leader does not bless you, your life will go awry. You may experience a terrible accident or sink into poverty. In any way, you will suffer awfully. This may happen immediately or only after years.
* The leader will bless you if he is happy about you. If he is not happy about you, he will not bless you. So you better do everything to make the leader happy.
* God’s blessing upon you happens through the leader.
* The leader’s word is God’s word.
* You need to obey the leader as you would obey God.
* You need to take his words very seriously. Try to read his mind to make sure you completely obey him and make him happy. Don’t take his words lightly.
* The leader won’t bless you if you do not obey him.
* etc.

All of these are typical teachings of cult leaders.

Be aware that these teachings never are spoken out or written down directly. If they would write these teachings in direct form

"I, Samuel Lee am the leader. My word has to be equated by God's word. I will curse you if you don't obey. etc."

then it would be too obvious he is a cult leader and something is wrong.

No, cults never teach directly. They don't even want you to be aware in your reasoning that there is a "teaching" or a "rule". Instead, they want to implant these teachings in your subconscious mind. That's why he does not try to "prove" these rules or back them up with theological arguments or concrete reality check or anything (note the names of these people are not given and most of the story is pure fiction). They need no proof because these stories are not intended for your ratio, but for your subconscious. People are kept in cults by perpetual subliminal fear that something goes wrong if they leave. But they shall not be aware of this fear in their ratio. Cult people are driven by emotions, fears, the subconscious, affections etc. but not by sound reasoning and they learn that reasoning is bad anyway.

The same is true for all "rules" of cults. Books about spiritual abuse stress call them "unspoken rules" because they are alway taught indirectly and never spoken out directly and clearly - because as soon as you do this you will recognize how ridiculous, legalistic or superstitious they are.

That's why it is also very difficult to reveal cults as cults, because these teachings are never propagated officially in writing. Here, you will find a nice orthodox statement of faith instead and no mention of these other hidden teachings and rules.
23rd-Dec-2005 02:48 pm (UTC)
We see the similar structure of reasoning in this 2001 New Year Address by Mr. Lee.

Since I left Korea, I visited Korea every year and visited each chapter. Each time I went to Korea, so many missionaries were sent. When I talked about Russian pioneering while the Soviet Union was still behind the Iron Curtain, students responded and smuggled themselves into Russia through Hungary UBF. And Russian UBF was started as soon as Gorbachev opened the gate to Russia. In 1985, at the Korean World Mission Report, we prayed to pioneer the Soviet Union within ten years, by 1995. God opened the door to Russia five years earlier. So we could have the first conference in 1990 in St. Petersburg.

He claims that he was the one who had the vision of pioneering Russia. Then when he and UBF people began to pray, miraculously Gorbachev opened the gate to Russia. In many meetings, I heard him credit himself for breakdown of Communism in Russia. He visited Moscow and prayed for Russian people. Then five years later God opened the door to Russia. Here again he turns a temporal connection into a causal connection. His visit to Moscow and his prayer caused the collapse of Russian communism.

His claim is true if all the blood of Russian Christians since the Russian Revolution had less value than his one time visit to Moscow. His claim is true if all the prayers of Russian Christians and of any Christians in the world who prayed for the spiritual liberation of Russian people were less earnest than his and UBF people’s prayer. His claim is true if there was no political effort by world leaders to bring peace in the world since the Russian Revolution. His claim is true if no Christian leaders or pastors except him ever visited Moscow before him to prayer for suffering Russian people. His claim is true if there was no organized effort by Christians in the world to encourage and support the suffering Russian people especially the Russian Christians before he and UBF people started to have the vision to pioneer Russia. His claim is true if God disregarded all these efforts but his one time visit to Moscow.

At this point we cannot but raise serious doubt about Mr. Lee’s spiritual sanity. He is so crazy about self-glorification.
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