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UBF=God 
7th-Jan-2006 03:47 pm
Dilbert
The "UBF=God" equation is really at the heart of the whole UBF calamity.

It stands short for the following beliefs:

UBF is "God's ministry"
UBF leaders are "servants of God"
UBF leaders convey the will of God to you
UBF leaders' commands to you are God's commands to you
UBF leaders' orientation is God's orientation for your life
You need to obey UBF leaders as you would obey God
Training by UBF leaders is training by God
etc.

What is "faith" in UBF? Actually it is faith in "UBF=God."

I think this problem deserves its own thread.
In the comment section I will explain more.
Comments 
7th-Jan-2006 02:48 pm (UTC)
First, why do UBF members believe "UBF=God"?

I already gave some reasons in a different thread,
but I want to repeat and extend because it is so important:

1) By a false inductive conclusion:

Because people see many things which are or at least appear to be godly, and see that God works in UBF, they generalize that UBF=God. They don't see the fact that a lot of ungodly things happen behind the scenes and that God can also work in an ungodly environment. Or with other words: A church can be godly in some aspects, but very ungodly in others (see all the letters of the NT, and revelation).

2) Because of the repeated indoctrination:

All of UBF's 1:1 teachings, messages and testimonies base on the axiom that UBF=God. If you hear this nearly every day over years, it simply becomes a part of your subconscious. If you repeat a statement often enough, you start to believe it is a fact.

Take any UBF sogam or life testimony. You will notice that where you expect "UBF", "God" is placed. It is always "God did this" and "God did that" when UBFers talk about what UBF did to them. This way the equation "UBF=God" soon gets a part of the members' subconscious. (On the other hand, if friends or parents or you self do something, then it's "Satan").

3) Because of having been invited by UBF:

Many members have been invited by UBF when they were sitting in a desperate mood in the dormitory. Some had even just thought "if only God would interfere into my life" or things like that, when the missionaries knocked on their door. Therefore, they believe this invitation was a supernatural, miraculous sign that God has chosen UBF as the instrument to save them, and in the following only UBF is the path to God as well. This is again a false inductive conclusion. Also, they ignore the fact that UBF members actually knocked on nearly *all* doors of the dormitory. You will always find somebody who is just desperate, particularly among students. It would be rather miraculuous if you would not find anybody, if you knock enough doors.

Sarah Hong once frankly explained to me that to get one Bible study candidate, you simply have to invite 100 students. It's actually probability calculus, but from the view of the person invited it is like a miracle. The following love bombing does its share to make the new recruit believe angels from heaven have knocked on his/her door.

4) Because of emotional experiences in UBF:

While the last factor affects the recruited members most, this aspect also affects the 2nd gens. It is undeniable that many members have very emotional, personal, touching spiritual experiences during conferences or Bible studies. Everybody is sure this is an encounter with God and the Holy Spirit, even if this is often dubious. If you feel emotionally high and feel close to God, this can be only a feeling and must not mean that God is really happy about you. But let us assume this is really God and the Holy Spirit dwelling in you. I will not deny that this cannot happen in UBF as well. But from here, the false inductive conclusions follow again: If the Holy Spirit dwelled and worked in me during a UBF conference, UBF must me "God's ministry". So: No questions and criticism of UBF allowed, "UBF=God" reaffirmed. I noticed that this thinking is really at the core of the 2nd gens motivation to defend UBF.

I also often heard the following argumentation: "Would you deny that I can feel the Holy Spirit as well? Do you think I am not born again? Do you think I am lost because I am in UBF?" This is of course a rhetorical question and they get very upset about this, because salvation in UBF is unsure enough anway. And I assume that many of them are really born again. If you admit this, then follows: "So where's the problem (since UBF is an organization that produces born again people)?" A lot of fallcies are in this conclusion: The Holy Spirit is the one who does it, not UBF; the problem is not with these 2nd gens, but with the organization; the end does not justify the means; and last not least the question is not only whether they are born again but whether they will mature or become corrupt or dependent Christians.
8th-Jan-2006 06:35 am (UTC) - Christians also get caught in that web.
3) Because of having been invited by UBF:

Many members have been invited by UBF when they were sitting in a desperate mood in the dormitory. Some had even just thought "if only God would interfere into my life" or things like that, when the missionaries knocked on their door.


Previously churched Christians also unfortunately get caught in this net of "having been miraculously invited by UBF." It happens too often. I've heard this in too many of their sogams. More than the unbelieving student, it's the young Christian student who is looking for a "Bible study" group to join on campus. When they meet UBF they think it's an "answer to prayer." In this way, they get sucked into a group that gradually tries to subvert the gospel that they believed before they joined UBF.
9th-Jan-2006 01:25 am (UTC) - Re: Christians also get caught in that web.
I was also desperate when I was fished in to UBF. I grew up with no friends at school and a miserable family life. The only way I survived my high school years was through the love and support of my church youth group. However, since they were a group for high school students, I was unable to stay in the group after I graduated. When I met Teddy Hembekides on the OSU campus in June 1982 and started going to 1:1 and group Bible study with him, I thought I had found a group like the church youth group. It wasn't until I had been there a year or that I began to see behind the love and concern with which I had been initially greeted. Even after beginning to see what was really going on, it took me another seven years to reach the point where I finally decided to leave for good. And, unfortunately, along the way I recruited my younger sister into the group. Thank God she left on her own a couple of years after I left permanently in June 1992.
8th-Jan-2006 04:54 pm (UTC)
I also often heard the following argumentation: "Would you deny that I can feel the Holy Spirit as well? Do you think I am not born again? Do you think I am lost because I am in UBF?"

This question is horrible.
For one, it blames you for being spiritually too blind to recognize the other's spiritual condition (which UBF leaders claim to know very well for their "sheep"), trying to put you into a spiritually inferior position. If you swallow this pill, they've got you in "second row".
Two, it blames you for lacking discernment on spiritual issues. If you swallow that pill, the discussion is closed, what does someone without discernment have to say?
Third, it's begging the question. They make a lot of assumptions and claim that those things follow from the permise. It only works if you follow their path of logic. It also puts the burden on you to make a ton of long-winded explanations when all that happened was they make a few assumptions.
If you eat this pill, you're in for a tedious discussion that gets you off on endless rabbit trails. Even if you make all your points well, you'll be spending at least half an hour before you can get back to the issue of UBF, and by that time, they can claim to have lost focus or needing to get on...

A simple suggestion here would be to just turn the pitchfor back at the wielder:

"Would you deny that I can feel the Holy Spirit as well? Do you think I am not born again? Do you think I am lost because I am not in UBF?" And then let them answer, because they made the presumption that God and UBF are linked. Let them explain how UBF=God, and you're still born-again. Let them explain how UBF = God, and God works outside UBF. Let them explain how you, being a born-again, spirit-indwelt believer, are worth less than a member of UBF who claims to be exactly level with you.
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