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Date Posted: 10:27:58 10/12/04 Tue
Author: Joe
Subject: Re: UBF Doctrine
In reply to: Brian Karcher 's message, "Re: UBF Doctrine" on 18:28:44 10/11/04 Mon

>>One of the biblical passages often used to justify
>>UBF's much-criticized practice of leader-ordered and
>>leader-arranged marriages is the Genesis 24 account of
>>Rebekah and her marriage to Isaac. Rebekah is seen as
>>exemplary because she made a choice to marry a man
>>"sight unseen." An unmarried female member of UBF is
>>seen as "obedient like Rebekah" if she can declare
>>that she will marry anyone, any time, anywhere in
>>obedience to the "servants of God" (her leaders).
>Yes, this would be an act of faith (Hebrews 11:1). Not
>many can make such a pure decision of faith.

The fact is that many women in UBF have been pressured and forced to make such a "pure decision of faith," which nullifies any faith on their part because faith requires the freedom that Rebekah had. That freedom was the freedom to say, "No," with no consequences involved.

Like "gospel", "disciple" and "prayerful", "faith" can also be a loaded word in UBF. Chris has well described the "faith" required in UBF's marriage by "faith" in this archived posting: http://rsqubf.fortunecity.net/discuss/archive/5106.html.

There were elements of parental involvement in the account of Isaac and Rebekah's marriage that are plainly missing in UBF's model of arranged marriage. Let me repeat that: arranged marriage.

>>Indeed, UBF members have been notified by leaders that
>>they will get married, whom they would marry, when
>>they would marry and where they would marry just one
>>week or less prior to the marriage date set by the
>Certainly, someone will cite examples of this
>happening. This is what I refer to on my website as
>the Korean/oriental influence that has at times
>affected some marriages.

Look no further than the beginning of Rebecca Kim's story or Emily Wexler's story or Donna's or Kate's to see the manipulations and games that UBF leaders play with peoples' hearts before and after the UBF marriage. The truth is, even Korean churches would see UBF's practice and teaching of quick arranged marriage as strange or abhorrent, just as they Moon's Unification Church as strange or abhorrent. The cultural influence excuse is largely a copout for those who think they know Asian culture from being in UBF a long time.

>I also agree that the
>marriage process in UBF is more involved

"more involved"? Nice euphemism for "the leaders set the date (e.g., Oct. 9), time, place (e.g., Chicago), identity of bride and groom, length of honeymoon, and more."

>than most
>churches, who typically only perform marriage
>ceremonies, sometimes without even knowing the people
>they are marrying.

Huh? Besides UBF, I've been at two churches for some length of time. All the marriages therein involved members of the church (as bride and groom, or as bride or groom). You're talking about people renting churches and hiring a minister for weddings.

>Most marriages I am familiar with in UBF, though, were
>quite different from what you describe. They had a
>preparation committee and made personal decisions.

Again, you are fooling no one who has been through a UBF "marriage by faith" like me. We went through a "preparation committee" meeting that lasted an hour and a half at most. Our preparation consisted of memorizing verses and creeds. We were asked how many "sheep we fed." At that preparaton meeting that took place a day or two before the wedding, I knew squat about my bride-to-be, even after being in the same chapter with her for 2 years. And this chapter was the world headquarters of UBF. Yeah, I made a "personal decision" to go through with a marriage to a girl of 20 years of age who I did not choose, who was chosen for me, who knew just as much nothing about me.

>bottom line is that you are responsible for your own
>marriage decision.
>In the end, each person must give
>an account to God--individually.

...A standard unspoken self-absolvement of responsibility clause used by UBF when a "marriage by (blind) faith (in people)" goes terribly awry.

>I think it is good
>and healthy to involve your pastor or shepherd in the
>marriage decision.

More euphemisms. See above. It's amazing that you continue to try to "normalize" UBF practices and paint such a rosy picture of such practices as "marriage by faith" when the evidence and history would convince many a thinking person that it is otherwise with UBF.

>[Unlike the Genesis account of Isaac and
>>Rebekah in which their parents played a large part in
>>the choice of marriage partner, in UBF the role of the
>>"marriage candidate" recruit's parents in the marriage
>>decision is usurped by the recruit's "shepherd" and
>>ultimately by the top leaders of UBF.]
>It is a challenge of how to involve parents,
>especially those parents who may have condemned UBF
>ministry before marriage.

Another "challenge" for UBF, I see. Funny how everything you call a "challenge" for UBF is something that UBF has no intention to change.

You concede that UBF involvement has hurt many a parent-child relationship.

>I have seen time and time
>again how parents were involved in a constructive

Yes, parents are at least invited by their UBF-marrying kids. They show up, most of the time. What choice do they have really, when they are concerned about their kids? All through the 90s, I sat looking at these poor bewildered parents sitting through the 20 minute wedding ceremony in Chicago UBF. The next set of parents would come in and sit through the next 20 minute ceremony. Repeat 3-5 more times for the same night of weddings on Sam Lee's birthday.

I recall a young Yvonne T. pleading with her mother over the phone from the Chicago center, plainly lying to her mother that she was "in love with" Nick T. with whom she was arranged to be married on short notice.

Oh, and two words: arranged marriage.

>>The neglect of children and family, a practice that
>>UBF has been accused of in the USA and Germany, is
>>often justified by comparing one's family and children
>>with Isaac, whom Abraham chose to sacrifice in Genesis
>>22. A UBF member's commitment to the group is seen as
>>exemplary when they can "give up their Isaac," that
>>is, when they are willing to neglect family life and
>>even the care of their children to participate with
>>full zeal in the UBF ministry.
>Certainly someone could cite examples of this behavior
>happening somewhere in UBF.

There are some old discussion threads floating out there about the neglect of children of UBF. Someone should post those on the site.

My experience is this:

In the late 70s, my 5-year old sister would come home by herself from morning kindergarten to an empty apartment and stay there alone until I and my other sister came home at the end of the school day because my mother was busy at the center basically being a maid for Samuel Lee. Then we'd see our parents usually after 10 pm. Do you suppose that that kind of neglect was what God had in mind when he told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac? Just so you know, I don't feel sorry myself. But I do feel sorry for the children in places like Bonn UBF.

Here's a Toledo experience from the 80s (Author: Desiree):

I was witness to Korean missionary women in Toledo leaving their children (babies) on the floor in locked apartments, in a bad neighborhood, alone wrapped in nothing more than a baby blanket and diaper, while they were on the UT campus "fishing" for their "sheep" quota for the month. They did not celebrate children's birthdays, or keep photograph albums of their growing up years. They did not take the children to the hospital when they needed to, and they OFTEN went without feeding children because they forgot. They were to busy with meetings or campus fishing. Some children in Toledo were neglected to the point that as babies their teeth rotted out of their mouths, and in one tragic case a young toddler was struck by a car and killed (while left unsupervised.) Did these women know what they were doing was WRONG. Yes, and they as much as said so through tearful sogam sharing on a weekly basis. They wanted to be good mothers, but the UBF system did not, (and does not now) condone motherhood. The UBF system is
based Strictly on numbers. Sheep =$$$$$, education =$$$$$, sacrifice by UBF "missionaries"=$$$$$. Whose pockets are lined with this money? Samuel Lee's family, Sarry Barry's, and a whole cast of despicable vipers who have been known to lie, cheat, twist the Gospel, force abortions, beat male and female members, starve members and neglect the youngest most precious of all, resources ...their own children.

Here's a confirmation of the previous Toledo experience (Author: "aon"):

The problem of unattended children went on into the 1990's, in that Toledo neighborhood. Eventually the neighbors got wise to the situation and started calling the police on a regular basis. Did anything change ? No. They still left the kids alone by faith.

The Johns Hopkins News-Letter article is mainly about child neglect.

Of course, there is also the special problem of Bonn UBF.

Up to the year that I evacuated Chicago, I had to leave my 3 year old and 1 year old with a Korean UBF grandmother who spoke no English and was taking care of up to 20 other kids! This during the 3-4 days of UBF conferences.

>To give up your Isaac is a
>Biblical principle. The point, however, is not to
>neglect children, but to have the correct priorities
>and value system.

A UBF defender, like yourself, on this discussion board, said something to the effect (while calling us "heretics" because we disagreed with him): "We must not love God less by not neglecting our children." The point is: UBF teaching (not biblical teaching) makes it possible and justifiable to neglect one's children. And that has not changed, though concerned neighbors' calls to the cops may have changed the outward behavior. It's the inner change in the heart that counts, right? That heart in UBF and UBF defenders has not changed.

>>Samuel Lee, the late director of UBF, was often given
>>status akin to Moses, a "visible" representative of
>>God, who knew God's will at a much greater level than
>>anyone else in the group. It followed then that UBF
>>members who tried to challenge the abusive and cultic
>>elements of UBF under Lee's leadership were compared
>>to Korah and his followers (Numbers 16) or Aaron and
>>Miriam (Numbers 12) and were said to be "rebelling"
>>against "God's chosen servant."
>Yes, I respected Dr.Samuel Lee as a servant of God.

Well, what can I say to that? You forgot to add: ... and if he ordered me to make a 2 hour walk barefoot in the dead of winter because I failed to bring the promised number of Sunday worship service attendants, I would have prayed about it and then absolutely obeyed him every time.

>>Romans 1:5 is often quoted by UBF leaders to equate
>>grace and apostleship, such that a person's acceptance
>>of God's saving grace is constantly called into
>>question if they are not participating in the group's
>>main mission of recruitment. Apostleship, as UBF
>>defines it, is the only fruit of grace that UBF
>>recognizes, contrary to what Paul writes in Romans
>>12:6-8. As Samuel Lee often stated, "Those who have no
>>mission (UBF apostleship) have nothing to do with
>I agree, those who have no mission have nothing to do
>with God.

And they wonder why they are called a cult. See Ward's comment on UBF's unhealthy and self-defeating "prioritation" of spiritual gifts.

>This mission is not required to be "serving
>in the UBF ministry" though.

See Ward's comment on UBF's unhealthy exclusivism.

>>Jesus' pre-ascension command to Peter to "feed his
>>sheep" (John 21:15-18) is interpreted into the demand
>>on all UBF members to perform constant UBF-style
>>evangelism, which is called, not surprisingly,
>>"feeding sheep." UBF-style evangelism is an activity
>>in which UBF shepherds "feed" the sheep (recruits).
>>The result is that a person who is successfully
>>recruited tends to become assimilated into UBF's
>>pyramidal authoritarian structure, a structure in
>>which a sheep remains a sheep to his shepherd and his
>>shepherd's shepherds, regardless of how long he
>>remains and serves in the organization.
>Jesus' command is a command for those who would follow
>him to obey. I don't see that there is an "exclusion
>clause" for someone who doesn't want to feed Jesus'

Remember, this whole thing was my short take on Bible misinterpretation in UBF, and the UBF misinterpretation of John 21:15-18 is obviously a major one since "feeding sheep" is so important in UBF.

>A shepherd/sheep relationship grows and matures
>as any other. It is true that a student will not be
>above his teacher, but will grow to be like his
>teacher: Luke 6:40 "A student is not above his
>teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be
>like his teacher." (NIV)

This is a remarkable attempt to justify a pyramid hierarchy and, at the same time, try to make the reality of the strictly and fiercly hierarchical structure of UBF magically disappear with the wave of another Bible verse.

How well would that verse work if we used the KJV or the ASV or the DBY?

"The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master." - KJV

"The disciple is not above his teacher: but every one when he is perfected shall be as his teacher." - ASV

"The disciple is not above his teacher, but every one that is perfected shall be as his teacher." - DBY

This response will be posted on my blog with some proper interpretations of Romans 1:5, John 21:15-18 and Luke 6:40 by some reputable Bible teachers.

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