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God's glory or God's punishment? 
28th-Apr-2006 09:33 pm
In his recent message, John Jun uses John 11:1-16 to teach his people how to deal with family crisis. This time he teaches UBF people that a family crisis is for the glory of God.


“…How did Jesus respond when he heard that Lazarus was very sick? Look at verse 4. “When he heard this, Jesus said, ‘This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that Gods son may be glorified through it.’” Jesus proclaimed that the sickness would not end in death. A philosopher, Keirkegaard wrote the book, “The Sickness Unto Death” based on this passage. He said that sickness that ends in death causes despair. Mary and Martha thought that Lazarus’ sickness would end in death and they worried and despaired. But Jesus said that Lazarus’ sickness would not end in death but God’s glory. Jesus said that God would reveal his glory through the troubles in Lazarus’ family. What can we learn from Jesus’ word? What attitude should we have when we face an unexpected crisis? As children of God, we should not fall into fear or assume that the sickness will end in death. We must remember Jesus’ word and accept it. In times of crisis we should not despair but rather glorify God. It is the opportunity to do God’s work and reveal God’s glory. Here the sickness does not refer only to physical sickness but also spiritual sickness. When this sickness infests the family, we must consider it for God’s glory, grow in faith, and glorify God…”
29th-Apr-2006 03:20 am (UTC)
But in
his another message
on natural disaster based on Luke 13:1-15, he said that natural disaster is God’s punishment and warning against sinners.

“…How did Jesus look at this? Look at verses 2 and 3. "Jesus answered, 'Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.'" Jesus answered that those Galileans received punishment because of their sins…”

As if the two messages by Jun were not confusing enough,
the founder of UBF, Dr. Samuel Lee, claimed that people suffered all kinds of crisis because he did not bless them.

“…The leader was unhappy about them and did not bless them. Then soon one of the doctors, who was an anaesthesiologist, 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…”

Now suppose a UBF member faces a family crisis. Then according to Jun’s message on John 11:1-16, it is for the glory of God. But according to Jun’s message on Luke 13:1-15, it is God’s punishment and warning against his sin. As a bonus interpretation of his family crisis, Dr. Samuel Lee’s message will point out to him that he is going through the crisis because he did not receive blessing from Dr. Samuel Lee when he was still alive.

So the poor UBF member falls into a theological mess. But what will probably happen is that if the UBF member has been loyal to UBF, Jun will use his message on John 11:1-16 for him; if he has not been loyal to UBF, Jun will use Luke 13:1-15; if he has not been obedient to UBF leadership, Jun will use Samuel Lee’s message. How convenient!

Why this theological mess? First of all, I think that UBF leadership does not recognize this mess in UBF theology. There is an old saying in Korea: an earring attached to nose is a nose ring. This seems to be exactly what Jun is doing. He puts a crisis in the context of John 11:1-16. Then it is for God’s glory. He put the same crisis in the context of Luke 13:1-15. Now it is God’s punishment. Samuel Lee puts it in the context of his own theology. Then it happened because he didn’t bless someone!

This theological mess in UBF seems to be due to the fact that UBF leaders, Jun and Samuel Lee and many others, do not have rigorous enough training in theology to distinguish “essence” from “accident”. As an earring attached to nose can still be an earring that happens to be attached to nose, one cannot conclude that an earring attached to nose is a nose ring. The “essence” of being an earring may not be related to where it happens to be attached.

Jun and Samuel Lee do not have rigorous theological training on the “essence” of God’s punishment and on the “essence” of what it means that a crisis is for the glory of God. So what they seem to do is that if a crisis happens to appear in John 11:1-16, then it is for the glory of God; if it happens to appear in Luke 13:1-15, then it is God’s punishment; if someone happens to disobey UBF leadership and runs into a crisis, then it is because Samuel Lee or Jun did not bless him; if someone happens to leave UBF and runs into a crisis, then again Jun will think that it is God’s punishment according to Samuel Lee’s false theology.

In conclusion UBF theology is not based on the “essence” of the Bible truth but is based on accidental conditions in relation to UBF system. So the last thing to do when in a crisis is to discuss it with UBF leaders. They will use it to make anyone remain commited to UBF under the control of UBF leadership in any accidental conditions of the crisis in relation to UBF system.
29th-Apr-2006 06:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this very good analysis. I would add that they do this contradictory teaching not only because they are not theologically educated, but they also do it on purpose.

You already think too much from the point of “doctrine” and “what is true”. UBF leaders don't think that way. They don't care a straw about doctrine and what is true, much less about *consistent* doctrine. All they are interested in is *effect*, how they can influence and manipulate people. That's all these sermons and lessons are about. They are not about teaching any truth or doctrine. They are about manipulating people. If you want to manipulate people, it is clever to feed them with confusing things. Their purpose is not that they shall understand the Bible. If they would understand the Bible, they would not need you as a leader any more.

It is their declared system “not to have a system”. Because they don't have a system, they can interpret things as they like in any given situation. I.e. if Samuel Lee dies in a fire, he will be like a martyr. If a UBF dropout would die in a fire, it would be God's punishment. Etc.

That's also the reason why they never have topic based Bible studies, sermons, lessons or daily breads. All of them are always and exclusively passage based. This is to avoid any systematic teaching on any issue.

Because the members have no system and are in a theological mess, they will accept anything the leaders say in a given situation.

I think your wording “theological mess” is very appropriate for the state of confusion of the typical UBFer. Often also what they teach in theory and what they teach in practice is contrarious. In theory, they may sometimes teach sanctification by grace, but in practice, they always teach sanctification by works and obedience. In theory, they may teach you shall not divorce, but in practice, they order divorces and even abortions. However, what is important for the poor member is not what they teach in theory, but what they teach through practice. That is the teaching by which they live and which is really deeply and subconsciously rooted in them.

And this subconscious teaching through practice is not about the Bible, not even about any religious or theological issues. It is a purely group- and leader oriented teaching: UBF=good, everything else=bad. Obedience=good, criticism=bad, giving to UBF=good, taking time for things besides UBF=bad. (Quoting Orwell’s “Animal Farm”: “Four legs good, two legs bad”.) That’s the essence of their teaching. All the other stuff is only a Biblical façade, but “UBF=good, rest=bad” is the true core of their teaching.
29th-Apr-2006 07:15 pm (UTC)
Quoting Orwell’s “Animal Farm”: “Four legs good, two legs bad.

This is funny. You are right UBF teaches "Four legs good, two legs bad." But the problem does not end there. Depending on the accidental conditions, UBF also teaches "Four legs good, two legs better!" (in this case 'rest=four legs' but 'UBF=two legs') as we can see in Jun's messages and Samuel Lee's messeges on a crisis and God's punishment. In UBF divorce is sin in one occasion but the same divorce is also for the glory of God in another occasion. UBF is very inconsistent by skillfully changing itself between 'four legs' and 'two legs'.
29th-Apr-2006 08:25 pm (UTC)
UBF also teaches "Four legs good, two legs better!

I forgot to mention one more thing UBF teaches to those who are critical of UBF. When UBFers are faced with criticism, they often say something like this: "Four legs, two legs, all legs are not perfect!" What they means is that UBF also has its shortcomings as other churches do. This is often what I heard from UBF leaders about their abuses and crimes. Very convenient. But if you give some thought on their rationale, you will realize that they are not actually admitting their being imperfect in their teachings and practices. What they are really trying to say is that their being imperfect is actually ok because everyone else is imperfect. So their conclusion is that criticizing UBF is irrational since no churches are perfect or no legs are perfect in this case.
29th-Apr-2006 07:57 pm (UTC)
So the poor UBF member falls into a theological mess. But what will probably happen is that if the UBF member has been loyal to UBF, Jun will use his message on John 11:1-16 for him; if he has not been loyal to UBF, Jun will use Luke 13:1-15; if he has not been obedient to UBF leadership, Jun will use Samuel Lee’s message. How convenient!

Further, the interpretation of each passage by UBF leaders will change depending on the UBF members they are trying to manipulate. UBF messengers take any passage that comes up and apply it diffrently according to the "effect" they want to have on each member. If a UBF member does not attend the Sunday worship service, than whatever passage is studied at the next 1:1 Bible study, the shepherd will find a verse to rebuke the sheep for not attending. If the message was based on the Magi visiting Jesus, the shepherd would tell the sheep that just as the Magi were faithful to visit Jesus by any means, the sheep must attend the worship service by any means. If the message was about Jesus' death on the cross, the shepherd would focus on how the women followed Jesus to the cross, so the sheep must attend the worship service.

UBF leaders use the passage-based study because their purpose is to fit whatever agenda necessary into whatever passage comes up that week.
29th-Apr-2006 09:09 pm (UTC) - knowing the Bible correctly leads to...
Dear Human12,

Thank you for succinctly pointing out this ubf machinated confusion and double talk. You cannot be refuted because you use their own words to expose the wrong and even heretical teachings at ubf.

I just want to say, that those who get out of ubf and boldly attempt to learn the Bible correctly, well, they will find the correct Bible teachings. And once they do, they will never regard the ubf with respect ever again. I believe the ubf rejects studying theology and doctrine because it will make people independent of ubf influence. Who, if they came to believe sound doctrine and were of sound mind and clear conscience, would want to be in a group that stubbornly rejects sound doctrine? (I am talking about ubf)

What could be a worse activity in life than teaching the Bible falsely and wrecklessly? I think it may be even worse than murder.

And I don't blame ubf because it has a Korean flavor. There are so many excellent Korean people. However, the Koreans who lead and support ubf just don't happen to be excellent people or excellent Koreans. Rather, the ubfKoreans have given Koreans a bad name in so many places for so long, shame on them.
30th-Apr-2006 05:48 am (UTC) - Re: knowing the Bible correctly leads to...
The true nature of UBF is like that of a political machination. Its sole goal is to convert a precious soul to a committed UBF soul under the absolute control of UBF system. They employ any necessary means to this end even violating human rights. UBF Bible teachers are not making disciples of Jesus. They are making disciples of UBF. Disciples of Jesus would not violate human rights. But disciples of UBF would violate human rights to make anyone committed to UBF system. Spiritual growth in UBF is measured by how much one is committed to UBF system. Consider UBF marriage by faith.

What Samuel Lee did when he was alive was not to serve Jesus' world mission command. As most Korean pastors are obssessed with making their church members committed to their own churches, he served himself by making everyone absolutely committed to his organization and by making everyone absolutely obey him. He did this not through sound Bible study based on sound theology but by using brutal poliical machination and "divine discipline". Many innocent people bought into his sales pitch because they really believed that they were serving God not Samuel Lee.

I also personally believed that making disciples of Jesus meant making disciples of UBF. Through one to one bible study, "divine training" and attending all kinds of meetings, I truly believed that making disciples of UBF was making disciples of Jesus. But now I believe that a pastor or any church leader who is trying to make anyone a disciple of his own church or organization is a thief stealing a Jesus' sheep. Samuel Lee was a thief who stole so many Jesus' sheep for his own glorification. Based on his messages, we clearly see that John Jun is a thief who is poised to steal Jesus' sheep to fatten his organization.
30th-Apr-2006 08:24 am (UTC) - Re: knowing the Bible correctly leads to...
True. That’s the sad essence of UBF. It made me really sad when I recognized this; it was a big disappointment. My second and maybe even bigger disappointment was to learn that UBF leaders and their indoctrinated members never would change this system, even if they know it’s bogus and if its defects and perversions are obvious. These were the two big strokes for me in the time of the 2000 reform movement.

With other words, they are winning souls “by force,” by manipulating and overruling the souls, by eliminating or transforming their personality, by a kind of spiritual rape of the soul. This operating on people by force (that God Himself never does) has two consequences:

1) As you said, the soul is not won for God, but for an organization. The soul is not loving and obeying God, but men. The soul lives out of fear instead out of joy. The soul does not understand the true God, but believes in a distorted and perverted image of God and in a theological mess. Ultimatively, the soul will become corrupt and a leader or at least defender or passive supporter of an evil system. From a UBF point of view, the best follower is the one without a soul and a conscience, one who blindly obeys, a man who will divorce his wife or a woman who will have aborted her child, without any remorse, if the leaders commands to do so. From the beginning, I felt that the “Abraham of faith” in my UBF chapter was like a robot.

2) Many souls are also hurt by the spiritual abuse. If they ever will leave UBF and start to live a normal Christian life again, they will have a hard time to ever trust other people or even God, and they will need a long time to deal with their hurt and wounds. (I said *if* they ever will leave UBF. Many souls are already dead. They cannot even perceive any pain anymore and they will never leave UBF, no matter what. You can appeal to them, talk to them, write letters to them, paint the injustice and falsehood and lies of the system before their very eyes – they won’t react, they are dead souls, as the title of a novel by Nikolai Gogol says.)

The soul is the most precious part of any human being. But UBF ignores the souls of people, they only want to exploit the “work force” of their people to enlarge their organization. They play with and trample on the precious souls of the people they “invited.”

Again, in short, spiritual abuse is so bad because it 1) deforms the precious souls, and 2) hurts the precious souls.
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