Brian Karcher is Bitter

brianWhy is Brian Karcher so bitter? How could Ben and Joe forget God’s grace and start bashing UBF so shamelessly on a public website? Why can’t Chris and Vitaly stop posting inflammatory comments that build up no one and only tear down? And why are so many allowing Satan to gain a foothold in their hearts instead of doing something positive to bless the upcoming International Summer Bible Conference?

Language is a powerful thing. It shapes the way communities think and act. Questions like these, which are being whispered in the corners at UBF chapters all over the world, are not value-free. They are so fraught with hidden assumptions and judgments that merely asking them,  one is (knowingly or not) defending the status quo and deflecting attention from very serious problems that affect everyone in the UBF community.

Today one of our Facebook friends posted a link to a 20-minute TED talk titled “Violence and Silence.” The speaker, Dr. Jackson Katz, gives a fascinating 20-minute presentation on cultures of abuse. Although he is speaking directly about violence against women, everything he says can be applied more broadly to any kind of systemic abuse within communities.

 

 

As Sharon and I listened to this talk, we were stunned by how relevant it was to the longstanding problems of authoritarianism and abusive leadership that so many have been discussing on UBFriends. Here are some of the points that really stood out.

  • How communities use language to continually marginalize the abused and deflect attention from the abusers.
  • How bystanders — those who are neither directly involved in the abuse nor victimized by it, but are enmeshed with them in a web of personal and family relationships — need to realize that remaining silent is not a neutral stance, but an act of support for the status quo. Those who remain silent bear real responsibility for the continuation of abuse.
  • The continuation of abuse is a sign of failed leadership. Leaders who allocate resources and set priorities for the institution need to stop pretending to be helpless and take decisive action.

Please, please, watch this video and tell us what you think.

 

 

 

 

38 comments

  1. LOL :) You forgot “filled with an evil spirit” and “heretic going to hell”.

  2. This was a very helpful video. I was actually encouraged by the fact that he mentioned very briefly that the ways bystanders can deal with abuse is to create a “peer culture” that crowd out the culture of abuse over time. I would like to hear more about that.

    I guess I’m a bit challenged by the claim that those who remain silent “bear responsibility for the continuation of abuse.” During WWII, there were “collaborators” who remained silent and perpetuated the abuse, and there were “double-agents” who remained silent in their words, but also silently created rescue efforts behind the scenes. Only when the war was over, did we know all that they had done.

    • Joe Schafer

      John, the way I see it, there are many different ways to speak out. One way is to write publicly about these things on a website like this one. Not everyone wants to do that for various reasons, and I totally get that. Some can work more quietly behind the scenes (I have done plenty of that too). But if the goal is to change the culture to make abusive behavior unacceptable — and I think that this is the goal here — the bystanders who remain silent (of which there are many) need to understand that silence is not neutral. “Collaborator” is a strong word, but in many cases I do think it is passive or even active collaboration.

      You wrote, “Only when the war was over, did we know all that they had done.” A huge part of the problem is that people did not want to know. They willfully closed their ears and eyes. And they actively discouraged knowing by marginalizing and criticizing those who dared to raise questions.

    • bekamartin

      John Y, this is very true and very helpful. I didn’t really see the abuse as abuse until my friends, who joined UBF briefly, pointed out some odd things they saw–nothing glaring, just odd, abnormal–which began to open my eyes to things.

  3. Wow. This video speaks to our ubf context so well. I love the following…

    1. I’m glad to hear a “paradigm shifting perspective”!

    2. “Gender violence is not a woman’s issue”… He says the issues are not women’s issues, they are men’s issues. Yes! And I loved the applause at that moment. [For us it is not sheep issues, it is shepherd issues.]

    3. He says power and privilege is deeply tied to “sentence structure” and how the issues are framed in speech. [For us our ubf-speak is so harmful and is at the heart of the problems.]

    I love his sentence structure example (which seems to be how you got your title, nice work Joe.) In his fictitious example, notice how the blame and focus shifts from John (who is the problem) to Mary (who is not the problem). He calls this victim blaming. I call it turning the tables.

    “John beat Mary.”
    “Mary was beaten by John.”
    “Mary was beaten.”
    “Mary was battered.”
    “Mary is a battered woman.”

    At the end of the translation above, Mary has a new identity as “the problem”. That is so harmful.

    And now we can see one value of this blog. We put the spotlight back on “John”, the source of the problems which is the ubf directors and the ubf heritage/ideology.

  4. I liked the lecture too. When I talked to the chapter director while leaving ubf I spoke about so many things, SO MANY things. I mentioned India leaders leaving ubf, I mentioned Toledo leaders leaving. I asked, “Why could I learn about these things from ubfriends and not from you or ubf leadership? Do you want to say that ubf has no problems?”. I shared it already that the director laughed and said, “I think it is all YOUR problem”.

    I don’t think that India and Toledo leaders left ubf because of me.

    While listening to the lecture I thought that yes the directors are men in power in ubf. But you know now I don’t think they are in power. They are nothing. Yes, that simple, just nothing. Who are they? They deceited me and others for many years that they are God’s servants, that they have an authority from God. They are not. They are cult leaders and decietful cowards and “worriors”. And as human beings in a foreign land they are nothing, just proud and stupid foreigners. Joe mentioned that once he stopped fearing ubf leaders and they seemed to wish to have no relationship with him. What kind of power do ubf leaders have? That power dissappears when they see people don’t fear them. And I am happy to see and understand that it is a very good thing that in the US American leaders are speaking up. And I feel that I should speak up and not as a victim of abuse only but as a native man in power.

    I recognized myself as a bystander who was silent when my wife was abused in ubf. Now it makes me furious. I agree with the statement that men who were abused or saw an abuse become men who abuse. I even see myself in the sentence “Vitaly beat a ubf director”.

  5. Great video. However, sorry, I don’t agree with the title of this article, “Brian Karcher is Bitter.” At least “Mary is a battered woman” is a factual statement (albeit just part of the whole story) in the context of Katz’s presentation. The times I have met Brian over the last several months he hasn’t come across as very bitter to me. I do agree though with how the focus often gets shifted onto the one bringing up issues rather than those who might be the perpetrators.

    • Joe Schafer

      I don’t agree with the title of the article either. But I’ll bet it grabbed your attention!

    • David Bychkov

      the title is funny, though could be seen as weird a bit, but it makes sense after watching the video. the title exactly hits the point.

  6. “John beat Mary.”
    “Mary was beaten by John.”
    “Mary was beaten.”
    “Mary was battered.”
    “Mary is a battered woman.”

    “UBF missionary abused Brian.”
    “Brian was abused by UBF missionary.”
    “Brian was abused.”
    “Brian was embittered.”
    “Brian IS bitter.”

  7. Being silent about abuse in UBF is being complicit. I painfully acknowledged this a few years ago.

  8. And why the heck does the guy have to use “John” and “Mary” as examples?

  9. Great video. The silence among UBF leaders has gone on all too long. The frustrating aspect of UBF leadership remains that even if senior elders discuss and acknowledge something as bad they certainly do not express that to the younger members. It is in itself pride.

    John and Mary are being used here as generic male and female – just like in missing/dead John and Jane. I love the title of this article. It does grab the readers attention for many reasons. The use of sarcasm is pleasing.

    I suppose it could also be called: “To remain is the greatest adulation and to leave is the greatest betrayal”

    Please note: the misuse of “remain”. Where I worked the owner used the word “remain”, when really he should have used the word “detain.”

    If we are “bitter” it’s because our eyes were always open or have been opened. The video explains very well the symptoms among people who allow abuse to occur. If we stand silently we are also responsible. Why should we bless the upcoming ISBC? Will 4:00am daily prayer turn things around?

    I think the worst recurring theme I can see in all the comments can be summed up as: “You can take the Korean out of Korea, but you cannot take Korea out of the Korean.” It’s an old example and argument long found from the previous reforms, but it is true. If you talk to young generation Korean missionaries in UBF, (depending on chapter of course), you may find strong opposition to the leadership style of older generation. There is a minority of some older generation leaders who want to listen and make change, but we know from their contributions that it is not easy. We all know through the evolution of time that culture and habits do change.

    To use a personal example, when my parents left Europe at the end of the 1960s they remember what was up until that time. Subsequent visits made them realize that they had an older generation understanding of what it meant to be European, which included their morals and values etc…

    I am not in anyway implying that we should be culturally sensitive. I am rather building on what Vitaly has already stated above. The tactics of the older generation worked before because they were most commonly with other Koreans of similar age. The generation in Korea now as we know from reports is tougher to keep in the UBF framework. We also know that the majority of Sarah and Abrahams of faith in foreign countries have almost all left UBF. They left not by personal choice either. Some were told to leave, yes. But I also see voluntary departure as the same as being told because the embittered, abused, battered person is ostrasiced to such a degree that there is no longer a point to stay. After a life commitment to UBF people are allowed to have a flood of emotion. God gave us both rationalism and emotionalism. But when you make simple observations that even a child can make, it is clear enough.

    It is ironic how shepherds desire to have Bible studies with students but never submit themselves to a personal relationship. I concur with Martha from the other discussion – there is no love. Rather, Bible study is a duty, and where there is duty love never enters the relationship. Conversations are never about what the student might be going through or doing. They are instead carefully crafted dialogues to get the student to do some service in UBF in way of testimony, daily bread etc…

    I once stopped during a Bible study during a bit of conversation with my shepherd. I gestured to my left and said, “God is here! Right here! Stop repeatedly saying God! Talk to me! I want you to talk to me!” (Maybe paraphrased, it was such a long time ago.) This is how UBF handles abuses, ‘God this….’ and ‘Jesus that…’ but no one actually wants a true relationship with their students. They want the students to be vulnerable by sharing weekly testimony and maybe even daily bread testimonies, revealing many personal situations and events. However, they will not allow themselves to be vulnerable or accountable – ever! I once said in sadness that it is not our business about the spiritual condition of senior leaders and I maintain it as an ongoing crisis. Senior leaders do not need to address the congregation for abuses past/present because they have delusions of grandeur.

    A voice raised for change is often the voice that gets shut down by the many people who are aware of the situation but remain silent. Uniformity is so strong in UBF that silence is pronounced judgment on your brother and sister.

    • Good observations. The obsession with Bible study and the professed subordination under the Bible as ultimate measuring stick and the fact that they are college graduates, i.e. people who should be able to think rationally, should make it actually possible even for old time Koreans to understand and overcome their cultural habits. When the Bible clearly says authoritarianism and pride are sins and it is necessary to repent of sin, and you claim you are commited to the Bible teachings, then things should be actually pretty easy. The tragedy and irony is that these people, who value obedience above all and demand obedience from everybody, are actually not obedient to the Bible teachings at all. In reality, they don’t care about the Bible. They even order abortions or divorces and re-marriages, or tolerate and cover-up such things. Just read all the testimonies starting with the 1976 letter. If you really believe the Bible is God’s word, you can’t do such things. At the same time they arrange and advertize their “Bible” conference. It’s a shame and an irony.

  10. Joe, thanks for sharing this video. Truly, language shows the way communities think. Language is also a powerful tool in marginalizing the abused and deflecting attention from the abusers. I watched the video with my wife and my sister and realized how at the end the victim suffers character assassination and the perpetrator receives protection. Often time the victim of sexual abuse is called prostitute, while leaders find excuses to protect the perpetrator. All credit to the system of perverted justice and power of the language.

  11. Joe Schafer

    Yes, AbNial. When abuse happens, language and culture and ideology often work together to protect the abusers while marginalizing and punishing the ones who were abused and the ones who expose the abuse.

    In recent years, several cases involving violence against women and children were brought to my attention. I won’t go into any of the details here. Nearly a year ago, I sent details to the ubf Ethics Committee and pressed them to do something about it. I urged them to start talking about abuse at ubf staff meetings, to create explicit policies for handling allegations of abuse, and to begin mandatory training for all chapter directors and staff. For a brief time it seemed like something might actually happen. But then it stalled, and I haven’t heard anything more about it. This is exactly the kind of thing that can and should be done up at the upcoming ISBC. There ought to be mandatory sessions for all ministry leaders on preventing and handling abuse. This would make an ISBC truly valuable. But it won’t happen there, because everything in the program is supposed to be “encouraging” to the missionaries, and sheep are never supposed to see or hear anything that even hints that there might be any problems in the ministry. These things have been regarded as inappropriate even for staff conferences. The culture of silence and denial is quite extreme.

  12. “In recent years, several cases involving violence against women and children were brought to my attention. I won’t go into any of the details here. ”

    This statement made me feel so sad. Although I am not aware of such examples of violence, it is particularly disturbing to me that although the leaders were, they chose to look the other way. Is that not like the picture of the priest and Levite who turned away from the hurt and nearly dead man on the road to Jericho? Did Jesus not use the parable of the Good Samaritan to expose the religious leaders’ lack of true love for God and man while the Samaritan who didn’t ‘traditionally’ espouse the Biblical teaching actually carried it out in the Spirit of the law? So in pursuing a ‘So Loved’ theme for the conference, isn’t the UBF leadership showing a lack of love for the bleeding and DYING man on the road to tend to their religious activities?

    One thing I remember and cringe about UBF is hearing personal testimonies of shepherds and missionaries who left their babies soiled in dirty diapers to tend to religious activities. As if this practice wasn’t bad enough, it was shared with the sense that it was the right and noble thing to do for the sake of mission and proving that one loved God more than one’s family. I remember thinking “man this is awful!”, however the creepy thing was that i felt UBF as a whole condoned this. Otherwise why share this as an act of personal sacrifice?

    Please UBF, stop condoning or ignoring these allegations and admissions of neglect and abuse! Do the right and loving thing by dressing the wounds of those hurt by bad UBF practices and theology. I would think more of you for helping the wounded rather than putting on a ‘powerful’ conferences! By not doing anything, you are leaving those genuinely hurt by UBF to die on the side of the road. I’m not being melodramatic because these are Jesus’ own words about what it means to truly love God and one’s neighbors. The culture of abuse and the silence of the abuse must stop now.

    • jen, indeed, UBF leaders who won’t confront this reprehensible behavior are acting without love both for the victims and the perpetrators. Both are dying on the side of the road–the victim from the abuse, the perpetrator from not being held accountable. As I’ve said before, this behaviour demonstrates that UBF leaders care more for the fantasy world of UBF than they care for themselves, their families, their congregants, their leaders, or their Lord.

      Jesus said that whatever we did not do for one of these little ones, we did not do for him.

    • Mark Mederich

      I think some need Holy Spirit to set free from human bondage: if someone is so busy trying to accomplish some mission, they can’t even notice dying person, much less help. Honestly they are so busy counting & trying make thinks happen. The real issue is trust. Do we trust God to do His work if we simply let His word work in us? (& simply share His word with others so He works in them?) Problem is then He alone gets the Glory, so we have to let go of glory..

  13. This long exerpt is from Rick Warren’s Devotional. It makes me appreciate what I found in Ubfriends that was missing in UBF- a safe place to dialogue about the brokenness and hurts experienced in UBF that one cannot share openly in a culture that’s all about raising fruitful and faithful shepherds. Sorry for attaching it to this post but I found it so encouraging of the nature and purpose of Ubfriends- building friendships.

    Healing Choices: Authentic Friendships

    In Biblical fellowship, we should experience authenticity.

    Authentic friendships are more than superficial, surface-level chit-chat. They involve genuine, heart-to-heart, sometimes gut-level, sharing.

    These friendships develop when we get honest about who we are and what is happening in our lives. They develop when we share our hurts, reveal our feelings, confess our failures, disclose our doubts, admit our fears, acknowledge our weaknesses, and ask for help and prayer.

    Unfortunately, this level of authenticity and intimacy is the exact opposite of what we find in many churches. Instead of an atmosphere of honesty and humility, we often become involved in pretending, role-playing, politicking, superficial politeness, and shallow conversation. We begin to wear masks, keep our guard up, and act as if everything is rosy in our lives. These attitudes are the death of real friendship.

    It’s only as we become open about our lives that we experience authentic fellowship. The world thinks intimacy occurs in the dark, but God says it happens in the light. We tend to use darkness to hide our hurts, faults, fears, failures, and flaws. But in God’s light, we can bring them all out into the open and admit who we really are.

    This is the way we grow spiritually and be emotionally healthy. The Bible says, “Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed.” (James 5:16 MSG)

  14. Jen, I’m really glad to hear from you. Thanks for participating. Your words are honest and sincere and they need to be heard.

    “We begin to wear masks, keep our guard up, and act as if everything is rosy in our lives. These attitudes are the death of real friendship.”

    I don’s want to wear masks, keep my guard up and keep silent about what I really think and feel. I want real fellowship and friendship. I’m glad that I can have that here, across the miles… Thanks again.

  15. @AbNial: “Language is also a powerful tool in marginalizing the abused and deflecting attention from the abusers. I…realized how…the victim suffers character assassination and the perpetrator receives protection.”

    @Jen: “Instead of an atmosphere of honesty and humility, we often become involved in pretending, role-playing, politicking, superficial politeness, and shallow conversation. We begin to wear masks, keep our guard up, and act as if everything is rosy in our lives. These attitudes are the death of real friendship.”

    The language used for anyone who leaves UBF or who DARES to critique UBF are the following: bitter, ungrateful, unthankful, proud, unfaithful, relative, negative, UBF bashing, slamming his shepherd, forgets God’s grace, breaking spiritual order, rebellious, abandoning God’s mission, family-centered, full of complaints, ran away, etc. There is virtually little to NO REDEEMING FACTOR in anyone who leaves UBF or critiques UBF. Such people are presented and regarded in UBF as though they are the worst kinds of human beings in the universe.

    The language used for UBF missionaries are: sacrificial, loving, loyal, faithful, exemplary, humble, absolute, united, servant of God, full of thanksgiving spirit, gave up their beautiful homeland Korea, serving selfish sheep, live among natives who despise them, denying themselves, taking up their cross, doing everything for world campus mission, mission centered, doing their best to raise leaders, etc. UBF has painted a picture that UBF missionaries are the best Christians. Therefore any allegations against UBF’s abuses cannot possibly be true and has generally been categorically rejected since 1976. Even if there is some truth about UBF abuses, “THERE IS ALWAYS ANOTHER SIDE TO THE STORY.”

    Will such use of loaded language change?

  16. @Ben: When language is used as a weapon, it can only fire when its loaded.

    However, I’m very thankful that it seems that my family hasn’t been the target of much character assassination after we left UBF. Of course, I don’t know what’s being whispered in the rumor-mill, but it seems that generally, we haven’t been targeted or bad-mouthed too much. I’m thankful for that. Strangely, actually, I feel that I have more of a voice now then before, and people seem to listen to what I have to say with greater seriousness. My wife told me that I’m not a compliant yes-man anymore, and she can begin to respect me more as a man.

    A favorite saying of UBF messages was “a dead fish, just following the streams of the world.” Ironically, that is how I was: a dead fish that just followed the streams of UBF.

    • My wife told me that I’m not a compliant yes-man anymore, and she can begin to respect me more as a man.

      +1

      A favorite saying of UBF messages was “a dead fish, just following the streams of the world.” Ironically, that is how I was: a dead fish that just followed the streams of UBF.

      +1

    • Isn’t it irony? God gave us “life” through ubf, and then ubf took the life away, leaving us “dead fish”!

    • lostnfound

      joshua, After your family left, there were many questions about your chapter director, not about you. Many people questioned his practices, motives, and character. I think he has also been reflecting on his failures in light of your leaving. But I think he was just carrying out UBF practices in the way he was taught and trained.

    • @lostnfound: Yes, I agree; it is really unfair to point the finger at him and say, “It’s all your fault.” I don’t do that. It’s really the whole paradigm of UBF that is to blame, which failed both of us in various respects.

    • Wasn’t it just 10 years ago that Joe, Ben, Joshua and myself were the “beloved darlings of ubf”? Weren’t DavidB and AbNial and Chris and Vitaly (and the others who left and comment here) “such exemplary shepherds”? Who has been absolutely committed to the ubf heritage more than us?

  17. To be fair, as many have already expressed previously, UBF (as God’s instrument) did give life to many, perhaps even to all contributors and readers of UBFriends. Likely, it will continue to give life to many or some “new sheep,” even at the upcoming international conference.

    But as many have already stated, somehow this “life giving” stops, decreases, declines, diminishes or degenerates after a period of time.

    I believe that UBFriends clearly and “messily” addresses why this is happening, which some UBF leaders seem quite reluctant to do.

  18. The glory came and went. We all need to learn the message in Petra’s song “Beyond Belief“.

    Like Peter on the mount of transfiguration, we want to build shelters when we see Jesus’ glory. But that’s not the will of God. We must continually seek Jesus’ glory, not our glory or the glory of our church.

  19. Darren Gruett

    Is that really Brian? He looks pretty happy to me.

    By the way, Brian, that is one my top three all-time favorite songs.

  20. Yes that is me, Darren! Oddly while I was a ubf shepherd, I usually skipped over that song on the Petra CD. I just couldn’t understand it. How could the glory ever depart from me and this ministry? That is how I used to think. But now of course I LOVE the song!

  21. More lovely words of encouragement about me from this weekend:

    “Brian! What you are doing is not Reform movement. You can reform where you are. Don’t try to divide among believers. Reform yourself. You think you are doing what Martin Luter did. Your articles look very childish, not reasonable at all. Keep talking the same things over and over again. How many years? In stead of complaing or trying to mislead people, just focus on changing yourself, not others. It is pathetic.”

    “If you have intelligence, you woukd understand. Reform your self first and pioneer your own church. Show us good example. That will be the best way. It is simple.”

    “Brian,
    You reminds me of one bible student who studied several years but later turned out that he belonged to one of famous cult group. His intentuin was not bible study or learning Jesus but stealing God’s flock. I hope you are not but you act like him. Why should I leave my good church?”

  22. Charles Wilson
    Charles Wilson

    Brian, I’m saddened that you’re receiving these comments. I watched the video the article addressed, and the use of language is spot on with Katz’s observations:
    “Dominant groups are rarely challenged to think about its dominance…the ability to go unexamined, lacking introspection” [~3:40]

    Such comments to change yourself, not others, and to prove your way is right by being great on your own firstly, then UBF might listen to you–I heard all these before in regards to those who speak up on this site. But I don’t buy it. And I think such comments betray UBF in the areas of “change” and “authority.” How many reports and testimony highlight how people are changed by UBF, by their shepherds, and so on? How people are changed is the very format of the UBF life testimony. UBF can brag about how people are changed, but UBF is not subject to change, to examination and introspection–at least, that is what these comments to you are saying. And this, not by outsiders, but the very people who are/were in UBF throughout most, if not all, of their adult life and supported UBF’s agenda. If we listened to people based on their performance and their “good example,” then many should be called into question. Yet, such language unfairly undermines any “good example” someone may have shown in the past. I wonder how many are encouraged to go pioneer their own church outside of being hostile or accusatory, but in earnestness and sincerity, with support from their chapter. So hearing such comments makes me ashamed and angered to be part of this church.

    And yet these comments are sobering because I have to question if I am doing the same thing. Am I of the thought that I and what I have is “good” and not subject to examination and change? If so, then I need to change! I know have been this way in the past and have hurt others.

  23. Charles Wilson
    Charles Wilson

    The part of the video on bystanders and relating victims to those we care about, made me think about another comment I’ve heard about UBFriends posters: “If we listen to them, they will just keep asking for more and will not be satisfied.” This just results in people not being listened to at all. But so what if “victims” ask for more? If we cared for them, even problems and when concerns are voiced, why not listen more? At what point are we disconnecting from people and not caring for them?

  24. Thanks Charles. Yes these comments are sobering. Self-awareness and listening to examination are signs (I think) that we have a conscience.

    I’m not innocent here, for those comments were said to me during a 3 day, 193 comment Facebook discussion with some ubf people. In some sense I provoked those comments.

    I’ve heard those comments about me before, but the new one is about me being the cult member. That is new.

    So I have to take a step back. I don’t think I am creating any organization. But this person perceives me and the rest of “us guys” as forming an organization to destroy ubf. That spells collusion to me.

    If there is anything I want to avoid, it is collusion.

    In any case, the though occurred to me from this discussion: what is my mission? I seem to be cursed (blessed?) with wiring that makes me desire a greater purpose, a higher calling, a grander mission for my life. At the moment the only purpose I seem to be qualified for is to be a thorn in the side of the ubf organization.

  25. bekamartin

    Brian K, also Andrew Martin was glorified for his book of his personal testimony in UBF. Now he is shunned.

    • Yes Beka, that is sad and unfortunate. It is also the reality thousands have faced, mostly from the same 20 or so ubf directors. It is the ubf shepherds who need to see their blind spots, and to read Jeremiah 23:1-40.

      We all agree there is something good about ubf ministry; surely we all experienced something good there. But who will address the elephant in the room? The issues are about what ubf leaders do to you after you complete the six stages of training, after you have a family, after you experience troubles in life, and most of all when you feel you want to leave.

      What will ubf shepherds do if someone wants to leave ubf? What will happen if someone is called by the Holy Spirit to leave ubf? Each person and each family has the right to make their own decision and no one deserves the shame and shunning ubf directors have practiced up to now.

      I touched on this topic some in my first book, the Raven Narratives:

      “During this holy soldier period of life, I rarely connected with the outside world, rarely watching TV or reading the newspaper, rarely visiting home and never reading Christian material. We considered ourselves the best of the best of Christianity, and as such we didn’t need any help or ideas from anyone. We only connected with other Christian people or books in order to affirm that we were the best. We saw flaws in everyone we encountered, claiming to be spiritual doctors who could instantly and correctly diagnose anyone’s sin problem. We saw ourselves as the marines of the Christian world, going out to conquer the nations with just the bible. We prayed repeatedly to change each nation into a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. We lived austere and morally upright lives. Our first motto was “We are soldiers of Jesus Christ.” Our second motto was “We are soldiers of Jesus Christ”. And our third motto was “We will willingly suffer for Jesus Christ.” We looked down on all other Christians, belittling them as “hallelujah Christians” or “nominal Christians.” When someone left UBF we considered them as falling away from the faith. We shunned them, explicitly deciding not to talk to them. Former members were viewed as poisonous, and Christian pastors were weak, compromising sinners who failed to obey Jesus’ world mission command to go and make disciples. We did however recognize Billy Graham, but only because he once made a statement that he wished he could have spent more time with people personally. So we imagined that we were better than even Billy Graham, because we interpreted his comment to mean that his life was a failure and that he wished he could do UBF style one-to-one Bible study. I see this as utter arrogance and un-Christ-likeness now.”