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The truth and Anamgol UBF 
17th-Jul-2006 11:49 pm
I found a Sunday message on the website of Anamgol UBF which is considered most elite UBF chapter in the UBF world. Anamgol UBF focuses on recruiting students in Korea University, one of the top five universities in Korea. Mark Yang used to be the director. I don’t know who the current director is and who wrote the message. I wanted to discuss problems of this message because it is based on John 8:31-32 and they happen to be my favorite key verses in the Bible. I want to discuss them in the comment section with the following topics:

I. Some comments on my English translation
II. Issues related to the author’s presentation of Kant and Critique of Pure Reason
III. Issues on the author’s interpretation of ‘truth’ in John 8:32
IV. Concluding remarks
Comments 
19th-Jul-2006 02:42 pm (UTC) - passage here was not studied
I cannot write so logically like human12, but do have a few words to express here.

The Bible passage is dealing with several topics, including, truth, disciples, set free. I see several very disturbing subliminal ubf messages here. One of them is the way the student and the teacher set about in their pursuit of truth. The student sounds very dark and nihilistic, basically saying that if the teacher can't answer his particular question the way he likes, then the class should be disbanded. The teacher's response is equally nihilistic, "It also meant that he did not have any meaning in his existence as a teacher." ubf is saying his only possible response was to drop out of teaching, sell ice cream and trinkets, and live without meaning or direction. This is classic ubf.

Also, the ubfin has de-emphasized what normal Christians would emphasize here, and that is how to have eternal life in Jesus Christ. A genuine Christian would only emphasize the points that Jesus as the truth is radically different from other views about what is the truth, and most people couldn't care less about what Kant thought of as the truth. Most people now think truth is whatever they want it to be (relativism and subjectivism). But truth is actually found in Jesus, that he came from the Father and thru Him we have eternal life. This is the Bible message. Who cares what Kant says? I think ubf prefers to not think or talk about eternal life, they believe that the work of ubf is much more important than eternal life.

I think ubf is also emphasizing the student and teacher emotional problems because ubf believes that a Christian has to struggle to get to the truth as if it is the world's greatest secret, tho truth is pointed out so obviously in the Bible. A sort of Buddhist struggle to attain enlightenment is required for each person at ubf. Here the ubfin ignores any concerns about salvation and eternal life, which does not require a struggle for enlightenment. ubf does not emphasize or confirm anyone's salvation. In contrast ubf is constantly emphasizing their works, both real and imagined. At ubf not enough work means going to hell, but only for the followers, not the leaders. ubf struggling is that of the flesh and not of the spirit.

It is kind of funny, but the ubfin mentions the guy entered the seminary, which is weird because ubf hates seminaries and does not allow anyone to attend and become normal.

Also, ubfin violated the most basic rule of Bible study by destroying the context of the passage. There is no attempt to discuss Jesus' words in the context of his time, and then our time. Bible passages have more than one context, but all context has been violated here. For example, the historical context. There should be some talk about this teaching within the Jewish historical teaching about truth, to the original audience in their own setting. However, the ubfin has nothing to say here. To our astonishment, the ubfin jumps to a scene in recent Korea, and introduces Kant, who is couldn't be more totally out of context.

Proper Bible study methods are not employed at ubf. This message is pure garbage.
19th-Jul-2006 11:08 pm (UTC) - Re: passage here was not studied
VI. Concluding Remarks

Thank you Nick. You seemed to have mentioned all the points I was going to talk about in my VI. Concluding Remarks. Although I might have used different words and mode of discussion if I had to write my concluding remarks, I am happy that someone else has already showed in a better way all the problems of the Anamgol UBF message that I was going to do in my concluding remarks. So with your permission, Nick, I want to use your argument as my concluding remarks.
20th-Jul-2006 01:39 pm (UTC) - please
Dear human12,

Please, we anxiously await your concluding remarks and deep commnetary.
20th-Jul-2006 08:43 pm (UTC) - Re: please
As I stated in the previous post, I do not have anything further to raise as an issue other than what you have already talked about in your post. But if I were to say something, I would talk only about the student’s question and the Anamgol author’s attitude about the question.

The Anamgol author seems to be very sympathetic with the student. But what is very ambiguous to me is this: Does he sympathize with the student himself or does he sympathize with his question and his request to end the lecture?

As you also mentioned about the student’s question, the question sounds very weird. I mean, what kind of question is that? Does he even know what he is asking? The student’s position, as the Anamgol author understands to be the most important part of the question, is: “What does its being truth have to do with me?” I think it is very important for an insurance agent who handles an insurance claim that what is claimed must agree with what has actually happened. Otherwise, it becomes a false claim. But then the student would ask: “So what? What does it have to do with me?” It is important at least to me because too many false claims will raise my premium in the long run. So I would prefer an insurance company that has very good policy against false claims.

The student would ask again: “But is this something that I should die for?” Since I think nobody can answer this question in a reasonabe way, let’s try to answer it in the following way. I want to borrow Kant’s idea from his another book Critique of Practical Reason in roder to vindicate him a little.

What is going to happen if nobody cares about whether an insurance claim is false or not? Let’s say the insurance agent is too tired to investigate the accident. So he just take the claim as it is and processes it thinking that just one time would not make big deal. Now suppose that every insurance agent in Korea does the same. What is going to happen? Suppose nobody cares about whether recent economic statistics from the Korean government is false or not; nobody cares about whether the recent earnings reports from Korean companies are false or not; nobody cares about whether recent mission reports from the Korean churches are false or not. What is going to happen? It is easy to see that Korea as a nation will collapse quickly. Now the answer seems to be obvious to the the student’s question: “But is this something that I or the insurance agent should die for?”

What does the Anamgol UBF author sympathize with in the student’s question? Actually I still don’t know even after I spent sometime to translate his message. I feel that Pastor Kim, the student and the Anamgol UBF author are trying to “milk a billy-goat while holding a sieve underneath” according to Kant’s expression.

I think that what they are doing is deeply rooted in Korean culture in which truth is not absolutely upheld but authority and connection to authority prevail over truth. For example, an insurance agent hides something false about his home-town friend’s claim to cover for him in return for a favor from him later; if a business man such as Samsung CEO has a connection to government authority, he can get away with any false data on his company’s earning report; if a church leader such as Mark Yang is favored by a church authority like Samuel Lee, he can get away with his adultery. Church members do not care about whether Samuel Lee doctored a picture to make 2-story auditorium look like 3-story auditorium as long as they experience religious high through God’s grace and blessing during the conference.

Under this kind of cultural atmosphere, an autonomous individual who can exercise his independent judgment based on his clear conscience is ridiculed. Instead an individual who cab be easily put under the control of tribal authority and who is very manipulative in achieving practical benefits is praised as a successful person. So although there are namy reports about false teachings, unspiritual and unethical practices in UBF, once you are in UBF you cannot distinguish truth from falsehood since you are basically embedded into the mindset of this Korean culture.
20th-Jul-2006 11:45 pm (UTC) - Re: please
Oh, one more thing. I think the best part of the movie, A few good man was when the general cried out "You can't handle the truth! I am going back to my barrack." The movie makers portrayed in a very funny way how some people like Samuel Lee, John Jun, Mark Yang, Peter Chang, and the Anamgol UBF author distort the truth with their authority, which is called boolsheetting with authority.
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