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St. Francis re Preaching the Gospel 
19th-Jan-2006 08:21 pm
I served--uh, spent--two years in a parochial school (7th and 8th grades), and one thing that did stay with me, and which I try to remember positively. It was from St. Francis of Assisi, and it said, "Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary use words." How would UBFers (missionaries and shepherds) cotton to this suggestion?
20th-Jan-2006 10:42 am (UTC)
Yes, UBF talks too much and does too little. A Christian life should also consist in practical help for those people around you who need your help (your "neighbours"). But it should be balanced. You should also be "prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have". UBF members believe they are elitist Christians whose time and money is too precious to spend it for people in need, parents etc. They only invest time and money if it serves the UBF organization. They do not really evangelize, they do it only when it serves to recruit new UBF memberss. They would never go to a hospital or old people's home or jailhouse to preach the gospel because these people cannot be recruited as member. They even kick out "uncle sheep" because they are not useful for UBF.

I remember a discussion with a Cologne member in the time of UBF reform who quoted St. Francis of Assisi as "only bless others". With this he wanted to say that we should never utter loud criticism and swallow everything the UBF leadership does.

I don't know whether Francis really said this, but "only bless" is surely not a Christian teaching. Did Jesus bless the Pharisees in Mt 23? Did Paul bless Bar-Jesus in Acts 13? And even UBF does not follow this teaching. They do not bless their dropouts and critics and sheep, particularly "black" sheep. They apply "only bless" selectively only to leaders.

UBF is so selective in what they learn and apply from the Bible and from Christian ancestors.
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20th-Jan-2006 05:32 pm (UTC) - Actions speak louder than words
Today's devotional from Homeword: Actions Speak Louder Than Words

The early church father St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.” The following story communicates how actions often communicate more than words. (see link below)

20th-Jan-2006 07:41 pm (UTC) - St. Francis of Assisi
Hmmm. While he served the poor and needy, St. Francis of Assisi was against reform in the Church and did not hold leaders acccountable for known sin and challenge them to repent. While UBF leaders could certainly learn from him his brotherly love, I think UBF leaders are like him in respect to where his loyalty was.


See excerpt:
Soon Francis started to preach. (He was never a priest, though he was later ordained a deacon under his protest.) Francis was not a reformer; he preached about returning to God and obedience to the Church. Francis must have known about the decay in the Church, but he always showed the Church and its people his utmost respect. When someone told him of a priest living openly with a woman and asked him if that meant the Mass was polluted, Francis went to the priest, knelt before him, and kissed his hands -- because those hands had held God.

20th-Jan-2006 11:08 pm (UTC) - Re: St. Francis of Assisi
Yes, that was the personality of Francis von Assisi that this Cologne member wanted to point out as a counter concept to the personality of Martin Luther. You should understand that Cologne is a city dominated by Catholicism.

Of course, if UBF really would be consequential, they should all be Catholics and not Protestants.

I think in this aspect, Francis was not truthful and no good role model for any Christian. I also read that he had a conflict with one of the monks in his order, and he did not even want to forgive and bless him before he (Francis) died saying that he had violated the rules (tradition) of the order. Francis did not even follow his own teachings or applied them selectively. In this, Francis was very UBFish. I don't think he was so holy as he is always depicted.

An even worse case than Francis was St. Ignatius Loyola. He is famous for his saying "If the church proclaims that what seems black is white, we ought to believe it to be black" (I think that's even written in his "exercises"). He taught absolute obedience to the church very much like UBF.

The problem with UBF is that if they really would follow their own teaching, they should be all Catholics and condemn what Luther had done (thought without the reformation the Presbyterian church and UBF would have never emerged). UBF is a can of inconsistencies. Truth, truthfulness, logic al reasoning and things like that have no place in UBF.

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