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UBF missionary conference report 
9th-Jun-2006 09:28 am
I visited UBF official website to see if Dr. Moreau’s message was posted there. His message is not posted but there are two reports about UBF World Mission Report 2006. One was by John Jun and the other by Sarah Barry. If one reads them, he will find that they are very different from each other.
9th-Jun-2006 02:51 pm (UTC)
Sarah Barry writes the following about the missionary conference.

Special lectures were by:
Professor Ho Im Jun (Han Bando International Institute) –Muslim mission.
Professor Moses Jung– the theory behind sogams. He gave historical perspective showing the place of sogams (testimonies) in church history.
Dr. Scott Moreau–Culture and Conscience. He spoke about the issues revolving around contextulazation on the mission field. He addressed the issue of what is unchanging gospel which cannot be compromised and what is culture, which can be modified for the sake of the gospel.
Dr. David Lee–Internet mission. He spoke about the use of the internet in the missionary task.
Dr. James Suh–Missionary health issues. These were addressed by Dr. Luke Lim– medical problems that frequently arise on the mission field; Dr. Abraham Han– Men’s health problems after 40; Dr. Luke Song–Women’s health problems after 40; Dr. David Park– Children’s medical needs.

Sarah Barry mentions clearly Dr. Scott Moreau. Based on her report, it seems that Dr. Moreau’s lecture must have contained very important issues about the world mission in general. However if one reads John Jun’s report on the missionary conference, he will not find any mentioning of Dr. Moreau by Jun who is the current general director of UBF organization.

Sarah Barry’s report is about the world mission report in general including the missionary conference. Jun’s report is specifically about the missionary conference where Dr. Moreau gave his lecture on ‘contextualization’. But Jun does not mention anything about his lecture. Now I ask a question: why are the two reports so different from each other? Was it because Jun could not understand Dr. Moreau’s English?

Recall that in February, Jun laid out new directions for UBF in his inaugural speech where he emphasized ‘cooperation’ with other Christian community. If he is going to cooperate with other Christian community, shouldn't he pay close attention to what other Christian community has to say to him? He invites Dr. Moreau to speak at his missionary conference. But he mentions nothing about him in his report! This attitude of Jun’s is not consistent with his new direction laid out in his inaugural speech. Instead of listening to Dr. Moreau and reporting about his lecture, most of his report is focused on his own message and ‘theory’ of ‘sogam’.

Jun is clearly focused on preserving the ‘spiritual’ legacy of Samuel Lee by telling his cronies to fabricate a ‘theory’ to protect Samuel Lee’s false theology and in doing so to protect his own power in UBF organization. It is clear that Jun considers cooperation with other Christian community a threat to ‘theory’ behind UBF organization. Could it be that John Jun has no ‘conscience’?
9th-Jun-2006 06:04 pm (UTC) - Sogams do have a precedent in church history.
Professor Moses Jung - the theory behind sogams. He gave historical perspective showing the place of sogams (testimonies) in church history.

(Just so there's no misunderstanding, Moses Jun-Ki Chung is a UBF lifer, though he often deceptively represents himself, at the behest of UBF leaders, as an "outsider.")

I wonder when in church history something like sogams were ever employed, where you pay an annual subscription fee to get a paper copy of a message "manuscript" to base a weekly written sogam on (and you'd better not employ your "own ideas" or "human thinking" in those sogams). When in church history did people have to attend mandatory meetings to listen to 2 hours of mandatory sogams that sound pretty much the same (because of that manuscript thing)?

I think the closest thing to the concept of the UBF sogam in church history might be the Catholic sacrament of confession, where your "Shepherd" is the Priest (without the guarantee of confidentiality). I wonder if Jun-Ki Chung mentioned that.

Thinking back on it, the sogam is a vital part of the UBF program (which is why its importance would be buttressed at an important UBF meeting). The weekly confession in sogams is an effective means of keeping recruits in a constant works- and performance-oriented mindset. Maybe there's been a backlash of sorts against the weekly sogam program lately?

As an aside, I know of at least one UBF USA recruit who was pressured into attending this meeting in Seoul--against the wishes of his parents, of course--by equating his attendance with "following Jesus."
9th-Jun-2006 06:43 pm (UTC) - Re: Sogams do have a precedent in church history.
Yes, the role of the sogam in UBF should not be underestimated. It is one of the main instruments for manipulation, in various ways.

I think the closest thing to the concept of the UBF sogam in church history might be the Catholic sacrament of confession, where your "Shepherd" is the Priest.

But anyway the Catholic sacrament of penance (confession) does not even come close to what UBF is doing:

Catholic penanceUBF sogam
private confession to God in presence of a priestshared publicly, in front of the group
confessional secreteven private sogams are shared with leaders, fellowship circle etc.
oral onlywritten only
confession of personal sinsalso confession about mission success, weak performance etc.
based on personal lifebased on predefined Bible passages, questionaires and corresponding messages by leaders
individual confessionstandardized style
associated with absolutionno absolution
frequency according to necessity, e.g. once a yearweekly, compulsory exercise
Sacramet necessary for all believers alikeLeaders don't share their sogams, confess to nobody

10th-Jun-2006 08:37 pm (UTC)
Men’s health problems after 40; Women’s health problems after 40;

Seem like odd issues for a self-proclaimed "student church", right? I think UBF is already starting to experience serious problems with the aging membership. In 20, years they will have issues like "financial problems of those who gave all their money to UBF and have no pension fund" on the agenda of the mission report ;-)

One thing that has certainly changed in UBF is that at least they shyly speak about some of their problems or defend their practices like sogams and invite outside speakers. Samuel Lee would not have done such things. He would have dismissed any health problems with the answer that people should work harder and have faith and overcome all sorts of problems. Nothing to speak about. So this is somewhat different now from UBF speaches in the times of Samuel Lee.

But we know that this is not a serious attempt to change things or to even reconsider things, but rather an attempt to appear more "normal" to outsiders and insiders. Samuel Lee would never have tried to justify Sogams with church history. Why? Because he knew pretty well that you cannot justify the practices in UBF. He knew pretty well that it makes no sense to defend the undefendable. If anybody criticized him or UBF, he would simply not answer. That was a clever tactics. He would not allow a discussion of his leadership and the UBF practices. They were beyond discussion. They were like "axioms", things that cannot be questioned and discussed anyway. Real cult leaders know that as soon as you start to speak out the "unspoken rules" or beliefs of the group, their ridiculousness and wrongness becomes apparent. They are enforced by training, by behavior, by subtle authoritarian and group pressure, by repetition, by messages "between the lines", but never directly mentioned. So as cult leaders, Barry and Jun are only 2nd class. They are enablers, poor copies of a genuine cult leader like "Dr." Lee, who had this inborn keen sense of how people can be manipulated effectively.

It's interesting how they perform this "egg dance" (does this word exist in English?) of on the one side pretending to be different from Samuel Lee's dictatorship and ideas now, that they "change", and on the other side how they claim to fulfill his "spiritual heritage". One of their many inner contradictions.

And I also doubt that they would ever speak about such issues as arranged marriage. Imagine this: "Professor Moses Jung– the theory behind arranged marriage. He gave historical perspective showing the place of arranged marriage in church history." This will never happen. Currently they don't even know whether they should defend this practice, or simply deny that they are applying it, as they usually do towards the media.
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