I spent in UBF 12 years. Last 8 years I was the right-hand-man of the Director of Moscow UBF, Russia. I was considered as native leader, read many messages in Moscow, at Bible conferences in various CIS UBF centers, such as Minsk, Kiev, Astana and so on. I read several messages on international UBF conferences in US. I did a lot of other things in UBF. You may see my picture on the 2006 UBF wall calendar somewhere in the top left corner.
I am saying all this to show that I was not sitting in the last row all this time. I know the life of UBF from within.
I left UBF in the summer of 2006. I had only one reason – my conscience did not allow me to stay in the organization with the history, teachings and methods of UBF.
I was naïve for many years. I also thought that in UBF there is only one goal – to preach the Gospel. I could endure and overlooked many strange things for years (for example, Samuel Lee called my shepherd and *allowed*?! me to continue my Ph.D. studies). When I had too many questions I had to look into the Bible more carefully, compare critical stories with official history and read all UBF messages and reports I could find. It took about a year to realize that UBF has some systematic problems. (One more example: The letter written by 7 Korean leaders in 1976, one year after I was born, describes almost the same abuses I endured in Moscow UBF more than 20 years later. But UBF calls the authors of the letter rebels to the very present day.) I know that there are individuals mistakes. But I saw the very same problems in different UBF chapters from Minsk to Mongolia.
At first I hoped to change anything in Moscow UBF. I saw that UBF missionaries are hurt by their shepherds in Korea, but they continue to hurt their Russian sheep in the same way they were hurt.
Very soon I’ve found that nobody wants to change anything that really matters. I was talking with several UBF leaders at that time. Here what they said me about UBF problems:
“In Chicago UBF everything was more than good”.
“You are very important person. Keep silent [about UBF problems] to make good spiritual influence”.
But I could not be silent anymore. I saw the big difference between how Jesus or Apostle Paul treated people and how people are treated in UBF. My conscience did not allow me to be the part of the organization that values itself more than the Gospel, rewrites its own history, never repents while not stopping call himself “Kingdom of priest and a holy nation”. I’ve spent my last six months in UBF to protect two sisters (my wife’s “sheep”) from UBF attempts to mold them into the system.
I forgave UBF people for any harm. I remember good things they did for me. I especially thankful to God that he used UBF as the platform to teach me what manipulation and mind control is and how to confront against it. But can a normal church be such a platform? But I see that they continue to deceive, harm and destroy themselves. Not much hypocrisy is needed to corrupt the soul. Most importantly, I see they continue to harm young students thinking that they are “raising Jesus disciples”. Should I be silent?
I did not know what mistakes UBF leaders had admitted before you. But I do see what “spiritual directions” they give to ordinary members these days:
“So we must have faith in God and challenge as Dr. Lee did”. Does it include forcing abortions or breaking the family in the name of training or “special love”?
“Double the number through disciple training ministry by 2010”. Is it official acknowledgment that numbers in UBF are more important than anything else?
Direction like these does not seem even to approach any of UBF system problems.
Now, after 12 years in UBF and a half a year in a normal church, I came to the conclusion that if UBF had no spiritual abuses and misappropriations of money, it would be better to leave it only for what they teach about God and relationship with him. But add abuses, add sexual scandals with UBF leaders that is covered with a silence or UBF (i.e. members) money, add Moon-like “business mission” what one will get?
I doubt that the sum can be called “the hope of America”.
I am very sorry for people who stays in UBF. They do not know what they are doing.
Posted by: AndreyP | February 03, 2007