What is the gospel?

For over two decades I thought I knew the gospel. I believed the gospel, preached the gospel, taught the gospel and shared the gospel. But it occurred to me sometime around 2009 that I could not articulate the gospel. The more I tried to answer the question, what is the gospel, the more elusive it seemed. Almost every Christian talks about the gospel. We say it is necessary, critical, essential, obligatory and primary. But what is it?

Continue reading →

Are UBF Leaders Cult Leaders?

Question. Brian asked a legitimate question on a previous post Spiritual Bullying: “Does Mr. Ludy explain what many senior UBF leaders have been doing for 50 years?” Ludy describes in great detail the multiple characteristics of controlling and manipulative cult leaders in A Cult Leader’s Worst Nightmare.

My answer (which may please no one) is: “No, but … UBF has (what cult groups have called) cult-like behavior.” Why?

UBF leadership is authoritarian and hierarchical. Authoritarianism invariably results in cult-like behavior by both the Christian leader and their members. For 2 decades as a UBF fellowship leader, I practiced most, if not all, of what I describe below. I am convinced that many in UBF can relate to or have personally experienced the following (If this is not true, please refute and categorically contradict!): Continue reading →

Philippines UBF: Richness in Poverty

“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God” (Lk 6:20).

Check out this 12 min video picture montage of my 6 week stay in Philippines UBF. It was made by Jes of Antipolo UBF.

Mini Revival. Many new students are coming to Antipolo UBF, a church plant of Philippines UBF initiated 3 years ago by Dr. John Talavera (a Professor of Anatomy and Physiology) and his wife Hannah. I led Bible studies at their fellowship meetings 6 times over 6 weeks. 40 to 50 students came each time (15 student leaders among them), many of whom are new Christians. Almost all are younger than 20. 75% are girls. When I was returning to Chicago, we had exuberant, extended farewells at their Fri fellowship, Sun dinner, and Mon fellowship that included saying good byes, handshakes, tons of pics, much laughter, individual hugs, and even all together collective bear hugs which I had never experienced before. This “goodbyes” happened 3 times. Continue reading →