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Chicago UBF Message Bring Focus From Jesus to Men 
29th-Dec-2005 08:51 pm
The following is an excerpt from the Chicago UBF message delivered on December 25, 2005.

"Look at verse 12. “This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” The sign of the great Savior of the world is a baby in a manger. When we want to see the great salvation work of God, we must learn to see the signs. Young missionary Samuel Kim is with us. During the last one year at Pittsburgh, he has grown in the humbleness of Jesus as a shepherd. Shepherd Abraham and Sarah Jeong from Purdue are with us. They are giving their hearts to serve God as a house church in the midst of hard study, work and raising children. Dr. Harvey and Susanna Siy are with us. They have maintained Sunday worship service and one-to-one Bible study with students at the University of Nebraska at Omaha for the last six months. Dr. Joseph and Sharon Schaefer, the most exemplary house church in America, are with us. To human eyes these house churches may look small in the vast land of America. But they are the signs that God is working to raise disciples of Jesus on American campuses and to make North America a kingdom of priests and a holy nation."

The messenger begins the paragraph by quoting scripture in which the angel of the Lord speaks to the shepherds. The angel states that the sign that the Messiah is born is that Jesus will be wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. The point should be to focus on Jesus, our Savior's birth. Instead, the messenger immediately transitions from Jesus to the works of UBF missionaries. The transition is weak at best. The author states that just as the shepherds saw the sign of Jesus coming, we must see the signs of God's work in UBF. The purpose of this scripture is to proclaim the birth of Jesus. The Chicago UBF messenger perverts the message, by focusing on men. Of all days to deliver a message focused on Jesus, it should be Christmas. Even on Christmas, Chicago UBF's message was man-centered.
Comments 
2nd-Jan-2006 05:46 pm (UTC)
This reminds me of many of Sam Lee's horrible X-Mas "dramas." In some, there would be a cut from a (Konglish-speaking) Joseph and Mary scene to a scene in "modern-day" Russia with two UBF missionaries trying to fish "slippery" Russian sheep. Or there would be UBF-isms sprinkled throughout, such as "Shepherd A" and "Shepherd B" (and sometimes "Shepherd C") arguing about whose Bible study folder was the thickest or some character confessing a "marriage problem." They are always trying to interpose their organizational pride onto the Bible.

Though not explicitly stated in this year's UBF HQ X-Mas message, the idea that they wish to convey is that the hope of the salvation of North America is the presence of their tiny chapters, their "manger ministries" in North America.

Ah, pathetic little sect.
2nd-Jan-2006 09:18 pm (UTC) - USA has passed them by
Those families that were singled out as some kind of great sign from God, well, they really aren't doing anything. The most exemplary ubf family has not done anything except spin their wheels in total obscurity. It is a shame that the family has wasted what talents they think they have. But ubf uses the occasional overpraising before a big crowd to fool them into thinking they are really the cat's meow of American Christian workers. At ubf this seems to be a permanent tactic to bind failed people to ubf. Irving Lutzer at Moody said, "You are not what you think you are. Rather, what you think, you are." Just because a ubfin thinks he is something special does not make him/her special. Sorry Joe, you guys aren't really special at all. I think that deep down inside he knows this but won't admit.

I don't follow the of American Christianity, but read that the mega-church is going to take over the Christian landscape in this country. It is very much a result of demographic, economic, and social shifts. Small churches cannot generate enough money to operate in many places in America, as the costs of operation have gone up so high. I think ubf criticizes mega-churches as some kind of quasi Christian phenomena. Reality shows that mega-churches are going to get even more prominent and influential, and small places will become inconsequential. I see ubf as being inconsequential in terms of contributing anything to America's Christian heritage.
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