Should I stay or leave?
The most heated, passionate topic on the original UBFriends.org website was about leaving UBF. The article entitled “To Stay or Not To Stay?” generated the all-time most comments for any article on the site. Some argue you should stay in order to help reform the group. Others argue you should stay in order to remain obedient to God’s calling on your life. Others argue that you must leave.
The best and most healthy advice may in fact be: ask a different question. Christianity is not about being on the “inside” with special blessings. Nor did Christ call his followers to form some sort of elite, secret, isolated group with special insider language. Yet this is precisely what UBF leaders have created. The leaders have exerted undue religious influence on college students during some of their most vulnerable times. The new student recruits are age-regressed and trained to be loyal to their personal, life-long shepherd. Thus, the decision to leave or to stay becomes paramount in the minds of UBF members.
Making decisions, in a normal organization, is not so difficult. Authoritarian and cultic organizations setup the false dichotomy that equates remaining loyal with obedience, and leaving with disobedience and shame. Furthermore, the answer to the question of leaving is entirely your decision. It is good advice to make your own decision, whatever that may be, and face whatever consequences that decision carries.
Readers should be aware that a recent trend since 2010 is for members to become secret agents of reform from within the group. Such people believe UBF can be salvaged and are working to change the group for the better. Such reform efforts have traditionally failed at UBF. Many former members conclude that the UBF system is so seriously flawed that the system cannot be reformed to a healthy state.