How To Improve Our UBF Messages

preacherCritiquing our UBF messages (sermons) at the 2013 ISBC is NOT an indictment against the messengers. To say that a message sounds like the “same old same old” tired UBF messages of old is not an indictment of the person preaching, but simply an assessment and evaluation of how the message sounded to their listeners and audience.

My firm conviction is that any preacher or messenger is most helped when they are honestly told how well or poorly they did. If a preacher does not wish to listen to any unfavorable critique of their preaching, then they will not improve as a preacher, even after decades of preaching. (Saying, “You gave a wonderful message helps no one.”)

My opinion of those who preached and gave their life testimonies at the 2013 ISBC is that they are genuine Christians and lovely people. They willingly sacrificed so much of their life, their time and their family in order to receive countless hours of message training over several months. This fact alone speaks volumes about them. They are surely very humble people in that they willingly allowed themselves to speak WHAT others ultimately wanted them to speak, as well as to some degree speak HOW others wanted them to speak, gesture and perform.

I love UBF people as my brothers and sisters. But a big reason I did not attend the conference is the suboptimal quality of our UBF messages and sermons. The spoken word is the primary instrument that the Spirit uses to transform hearts and lives (Jn 6:63; 1 Cor 2:13; 2 Tim 4:2; Ac 6:7; 12:24; 13:49; 19:20). So if our preaching of the Word is poor or suboptimal or predictable, this does not speak favorably about UBF’s future.

The generally unfavorable comments about this year’s ISBC messages were virtually similar and identical to the comments from other UBF conferences in virtually every continent and country where there are UBF conferences. These comments were suppressed and not welcomed in the early years of UBF. But over the past decade comments about UBF messages are now increasingly articulated more and more for everyone in UBF to read and hear if they want to.

preachingNotImprovingSome significant reasons our UBF messages “sound the same” is because it seems to be recycled from earlier UBF messages written over preceding decades. Also, the so-called “message trainers” tend to be the same people year in and year out for decades. These trainers are older missionaries and UBF staff, whose primary language is not English. Or the trainers are those who have been trained by the missionaries, and whose manner of English speaking has already been unnaturally altered by the training that they themselves have received for years from the older missionary and staff.

A common complaint is that UBF messages are spoken too slowly, and not at the pace and cadence of the way American English is normally and naturally spoken. Also, English UBF messages tends to come across as unnatural, scripted, predictable, formulaic, tired, and “the same as before.” Understandably, these obvious defects and nuances of speaking English are generally not perceived or addressed or corrected by the missionary trainers (or the native trainers trained by the missionary) because spoken English is not their primary language. As the saying goes, “A fish swimming in dirty water does not know that the water is dirty.”

What then can be done? These are some simple suggestions and proposals.

  1. The messenger should read, listen to and learn from many non-UBF sermons (and commentaries) written and preached by renown preachers, theologians and scholars in order to get a sense of the broad scope and broad range of how different Christians preach and explain the same biblical text. This will begin to produce diversity and variation in our UBF messages, instead of always sounding the same. Francis Bacon says, “Reading makes a full man…”
  2. preacher4years_oldLet the messenger write and prepare for his or her own message/sermon in their own way. Most great preachers in history (even from their teenage years and early 20s) wrote or prepared to preach their own sermons by doing their own preparation and research without being “trained” by someone else. Did anyone notice that the unanimously best speaker at the 2013 ISBC is a non-UBF American missionary who has never received any message training in her entire life? Can we learn anything about good public speaking from her?
  3. The messenger’s content should be uniquely theirs and not ultimately those of the message trainer.
  4. The messenger’s preaching must sound like the the messenger rather than sound like the message trainer. Therefore, do not “train” the messenger. This makes the messenger sound like the trainer, rather than sounding like himself or herself. Do not over-train the messenger. Training and over training makes the preached message sound scripted, rehearsed and unnatural, rather than fresh and new.
  5. Replace the 5 oldest “message trainers” with 5 others, preferably those whose primary spoken language is English.
  6. Those who are messengers should be those who believe they are called and gifted by God to preach. They should not just be those who are told or appointed by their UBF leaders, usually on account of their loyalty, faithfulness and commitment to UBF.
  7. To know whether or not one is called to preach should not just be their own desire to preach, or the desire of their leader or shepherd for them. It should include the genuine opinion of their listeners. It is obvious that some Christians are not called to preach or teach (Jas 3:1), but to serve Jesus in some other way.
  8. Allow the Holy Spirit to be the trainer. Trust the Holy Spirit rather than trusting one’s own massive preparation.

Can you add to this list of simple suggestions and advice?


  1. Mark Mederich

    need openness for Holy Spirit work in general all the time (prayer, bible study, testimony, daily bread message, Sunday message, etc) then when special event comes (like conference or bible school) members who have already been moved by God gradually can be more moved by God as to content & style as they research/prepare a ‘special’ message’..

  2. sheepherd1


    There was a time when I thought UBF message was the best because it contained the whole passage from a chapter of the bible,and they put a key verse. I think most churches don’t do that. I remember back then RW would deliver his message and I would enjoy it. But there were times when it became so repetitive and predictable that it would just make you go to sleep. Coming to ISBC, it reminded it still hasn’t changed and it’s not going to change anytime soon.

    Ben, I agree what you suggested what ubf messengers can do to improve their sermons. I say let the messengers be themselves and trust the Holy Spirit’s power and leading.

    I go to a different church now.The way our pastors deliver is really different from ubf. they have small sheets of paper with bullet points that they used to help them preach. Sometimes, they don’t use it but it requires a lot practice just like delivering a public speech.

  3. 9. Discard the message manuscript, unless using a manuscript is really preferred by the preacher. As sheepherd1 states, most contemporary preachers do not preach from a manuscript. My cousin is a pastor, and he says that if he prepares a manuscript, he is focused on reading what is on the paper. If he deeply studies and lays out the content in note form, he is focused on discerning what direction the Holy Spirit is inspiring him to preach.

    10. Read a lot of other books. Reading good books informs our view of the world. My best psychology lesson was reading Crime and Punishment and best sociology lesson was reading Anna Karenina.

    11. Keep up to date with the atmosphere and tone among university students. If you really listen, today’s students are not at all the single-minded, selfish, materialistic, and hedonistic people so flatly portrayed in most UBF messages. They care deeply about people, social issues, equality, and standing up for others. To portray that the before-UBF life has nothing good in it and only UBF 1:1 Bible study accomplishes any good in one’s life is very unrealistic and self-congratulating. Also, realize that to most Canadian/American young people, their studies are not the most important thing in their lives. Their relationships, especially with their family and friends. I heard too many messages that seemed to assume that students mainly just care about their grades and future career prospects, which is really simplistic and not actually true.

    12. Preach topical sermons from time to time. Vary the method of study, utilizing deductive as well as inductive approaches. Preach survey sermons covering large portions of Scripture sometimes and expositional sermons on a very focused number of verses. Don’t be afraid to stray from the conventional UBF three-section format, which easily becomes predictable.

    13. Give yourself sufficient time to prepare. When I was given opportunities to preach on Sundays, I only had a few days while working full time, so only about 20 hours at most. That wasn’t enough time to properly prepare, so I had to use other peoples messages too much and didn’t have my own inspiration to share.

    14. And most important of all: PREACH TO PLEASE GOD, NOT TO PLEASE LEADERS. Message training merely instilled in me an absolute dread of saying the wrong thing, presenting the wrong format, or being not clear enough on the points the trainer thought should be emphasized. It made me so frustrated when I was given the opportunity to preach, encouraged to study and prepare, and then after all the hard work and study, was dictated about what the message should convey. The result: I preached to please the trainer, not to please God or to honestly convey what God placed on my heart. This is the number one in my opinion.

    And note that the last point exemplifies the underlying attitude that is so prevalent in UBF: we cannot simply trust the Holy Spirit, but we must control you if you are to grow/bear fruit/please God. That is why I say again, the crux of nearly all UBF activities, including message preparation and delivery, reveals two underlying attitudes:

    1. I can only please God through my efforts (belittles the cross)
    2. Others can grow only through my control (belittles the Holy Spirit)

    To improve messages, start at the root and repudiate these awful heresies.

    • Big like for your comment, Joshua.

    • Joe Schafer

      Joshua, I think you hit the nail on the head with your point #14. As I reflect upon my 25+ year career as a ubf messenger, I now realize that the one subconscious motive that permeated my efforts was a desire to please SL and ubf leaders. I channeled their thoughts and tried to reflect their thoughts back to them to win their approval and praise.

      Sorry to say this, but I think it needs to be said: One of the main reasons why ubf conference messages sound so unnatural and uninspiring and strange to American audiences is that they were never written for American audiences. For decades, the primary audience for every ubf message was SL. Pleasing him was always the goal. The quality of every message was judged by his reaction. One of the easiest ways to please SL was to imitate him, to take his own words, phrases, gestures and jokes and reflect them back to him. After SL’s death, the goal became to please the senior ubf leaders. The best way to please them was to act like SL, channeling his thoughts and mannerisms and jokes and modes of expression.

      I served as a messenger at many conferences, more than I can count. When I prepared the messages, my main concern should have been, “What does an audience of American students really need to hear?” But my actual concern was, “What do SL and the ubf leaders think that an audience of American students needs to hear?” Those are two very different questions.

      In my opinion, the desire to please senior ubf leaders is the main reason why the conference messages sound irrelevant to American audiences. And it contributes to the profound lack of creativity and pastoral imagination.

    • Mark Mederich

      control is the issue: controlling speaker to control listener to control ministry..

    • Thanks for your comment Joe. I laughed while reading it. I joined UBF several months after SL died, but even I frequently wondered to myself if he would have liked me.

      I’m happy to hear your thoughts. Prior to the Purdue conference, you and I were both preparing a sermon on Zacchaeus in a message-training camp in Chicago. You gave me some feedback on my sermon (which was for HBF) and I thought it was funny: “I suggest that you watch the Disney channel so you can learn how HBFers talk.” (Or something to that affect.)

    • Joe, very important point.

      In Germany there is one chapter which always was the most extreme. The chapter leader had built a cult of sorts around himself (no, it was not my chapter, but all insiders know what chapter I’m talking about). And in that chapter, the similarity of the speaking style was the most extreme. Not only in messages, but also in prayer and even normal talking. The influence can last very long. I remember a couple who left that chapter maybe 20 years ago because they saw the problems of the chapter leader. But they had still very fundamentalist views and e.g. home-schooled their children against many adversities, since we have a school attendance law in Germany. The German TV made a documentary about this, and when I saw it I noticed how they still prayed in the style of that UBF chapter. So you see how strong this influence is. For sure the similarity of messages is a reverberation from the time when Samuel Lee was the leader in UBF.

      The wish to please the leader by imitating him is surely one of the reason why the messages are so similar. But this would not explain why people speak in that way even in prayer and even 15 years when the leader is not around. The reason for this is not only fear of the leader but also adoration of the leader and the belief that his way of living is the most spiritual, in short “the way”. This is what makes cults so attractive. You don’t need to make decisions, you don’t need to develop your own personality, you must only follow that one role model, and imitate it most perfectly and you will be automatically holy. So this is a completely different paradigm in the heads of cult members. They behave unnaturally, trying to imitate the leader, because they believe that their “old self” was sinful and evil, so they avoid speaking in their own natural style. UBF amplifies this separation between your true self and the cult self by forcing messengers to wear suit and tie, cut their hairs and shave their beards, often even changing their names (nearly all of the Koreans do not use their own natural Korean names, but sometimes this is also done to native members). So it is no wonder that messengers try to also adopt the new, “holy” self when delivering the message, and be as little themselves (their sinful former nature) as possible. In every UBF testimony you have these two parts, the former kind of living before UBF, and the new living as shining and holy shepherd in UBF, who thinks differently, dresses differently and of course also speaks differently. How does a holy shepherd speak? Well, look at the most holy shepherd you know, Samuel Lee, and imitate him the best way you can. Many even imitated his strange manner of clearing his throat (no joke). That what was going on in UBF, and it is still reverberating.

      What we observe in the way how messengers speak even today is only one symptom of the simple fact that UBF under Samuel Lee clearly was a cult.

  4. big bear

    great points…Ben….I think the messages would be better if Ubf would learn from others….dont read messages….speak freely by Holy Spirit….and dont preach to force people to commit to ubf but in love and truthful

    • sheepherd1

      One more thing, is it necessary to bash people, especially former Ubf members in UBF messages? It seems to me most UBF messages are filled with spirit of pride.

    • Good question, sheepherd1: “is it necessary to bash people, especially former Ubf members in UBF messages?”

      Some may wonder why former members bash ubf so much. Why do I bash ubf so much? That’s easy: I was trained to bash people. Out of my 24 years in ubf, 20 years was filled with messenger training. I was trained to bash historical Christianity, to bash Christian pastors, to bash so-called “hallelujah” Christians, to bash so-called “nominal” Christians and most of all to bash anyone who disagreed with the ubf heritage.

      I am learning how to rid myself of this bashing mentality. But it is difficult to undo 20 years of bashing training. One thing that has helped me thus far to undo this training has been to reverse the bashing. So by bashing ubf in an anti-ubf way, I avoid bashing Christians and release a lot of pent up energy. Bashing either way is not healthy, I know. But that is how ubf trained me to be for 20 years.

  5. I see lack of rich imagination in the sermons of UBF. Preacher’s mind lacks flexibility, and never go beyond our common sense with no depth.
    They need to learn from a professional preacher.
    I want to introduce the book about preaching:
    “Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages” by Haddon W. Robinson (Author)
    This book is pretty well written.

  6. Ben, I agree with every point you make. I also agree with Green/Chris, sheepherd1/bigbear/joshua/everyone… However, the biggest issue is that ubf lectures have overwhelmingly been lectures about a specific ideology derived from the bible. Those lectures lack connections to orthodox, historical Christianity and are normally void of emotion.

    I just sat through 13 world class lectures about Christ-like leadership at the Willow Creek GLS. I cried at each one. My heart raced with excitement and anticipation. I am inspired to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    And that’s the number 1 issue, the first and last, the whole ball of wax. People can get lectures about the bible or about the best way to live anywhere. But preaching a sermon means declaring the gospel messages, surrendering the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus and demonstrating an effervescent, unquenchable, undeniable love for God and for humanity.

    And you do not need words to preach a sermon about the gospel. Check out David Garibaldi’s sermon (which was one of the highlights of the 2013 GLS for me).

    • sheepherd1

      Thanks for sharing Brian. That gave me teary eyes.

    • The gospel of Jesus does that :)

      I am still breathless and nearly speechless after the 2013 WCA GLS. I’ll share my thoughts on the summit in tomorrow morning’s article here. Andy Stanley was just amazing. I believe he just single-handedly preached a sermon that will ignite Christianity in North America like we’ve not seen in a long time.

  7. savedbygrace1

    UBF messages cover way too much material at one time. This leads to a couple issues. First, since there is so much text and time limits, the messenger must sacrifice depth for timeliness. Also, it enables the manipulation of the text for the leader / speaker’s purpose. A messenger may move quickly through a verse or linger on it depending on intent. It always amazes me how every chapter of the Bible can be shown to teach ubf traditions. This observation is because last passages give messengers too much liberty in the way the handle God’s word. I think if a messenger struggled with just 2-3 verses at a time, messages would be more powerful and allow for God to speak for Himself.

    • This is really good advice, savedbygrace1. The problem is that such things work in the opposite way in the mind of a ubf messenger. As a ubf messenger, I was terrified of “one verse messages”. Only 3 verses? Yikes!

      I loved the long passages. Why? Because we had to read ALL the verses “responsively”. I loved this because I had long parts of my lecture that I could just quote the verses :) And there was less time for me to speak :)

  8. So here is something that came to mind tonight. Ben asked how to improve the ubf messages. Here are two suggestions:

    1) Perhaps the best way is to let messengers be themselves!

    I have 20 years of ubf messenger training. Yet I was known as the worst messenger in ubf. I always tanked. My messages were the most boring. Only at the end of my tenure in ubf did I start to have a couple breakthroughs. Why did I have those breakthroughs? Because I rejected the dictation given to me by my shepherd. I finally just couldn’t handle being trained to do those stupid hand motions and horrible messenger sounds.

    2) Preach sermons which declare the gospel with abundant love for people and for God, present Jesus as Lord and show passion with God’s measuring line and God’s plumb line!

    So many times I was so confused and frustrated as a messenger. Last year I finally figured out why. Isaiah 28:17 shot lightning bolts through my veins: “I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line; hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie, and water will overflow your hiding place.”

    I had been measured by the wrong measuring line! I had been centered on the wrong plumb line! My house was built on Confucian values. I was being measured by obedience. I was expected to plumb my life on loyalty–loyalty to my personal, lifelong shepherd and loyalty to the ubf heritage and founders.

    For 20 years I failed as a ubf lecturer because of these things. It wasn’t because I was so bad, but because I was never allowed to be myself and to explore the gospel of Jesus. So I could barely read a scripted 30 minute lecture that had mostly been dictated to me.

    Because I’m learning all these things now and because the Spirit has been guiding me into all truth, I could now preach gospel sermons for hour after hour, all night long, with no script!

  9. Oh and here’s a suggestion… stop wasting messenger’s time during messenger training with quackery.

    For example, one time I was trained to make demon sounds. I had to read certain verses in the voice of a demon. And I had to listen to other “messenger helpers” give it a try.

    • sheepherd1


      Actually in Chicago UBF, RW would make certain sounds like choking someone and others.I actually enjoyed it and I thought it was funny and so did others.

  10. One more… don’t make the messengers stay up all night for no good reason. Most messengers I was with those 20 years were demanded (not asked, but required) to stay up all night or stay in the messenger training room until they collapsed and had to sleep on the floor. Then as a messenger I was too tired to know what was going on, so I just accepted the new dictation of my message in the morning. That is asinine. Stop it.

    • Mark Mederich

      if it was a game to tire you so you would accept the prescribed message, then it is a practice from the pit of hell that must be absolutely repented..
      it would be more ‘manly’ & less ungodly to just require someone to give the prescribed message, without playing games/wasting time & energy to get there;
      then someone could simply agree or disagree; others would see it for what it is
      (silly & maddening; crude manipulation with total disregard for person who is just tool of ‘religious machine’..)

  11. It’s difficult to say much critically, but rather to agree on what is stated above! :)

    But, I will add that the stubborn refusal to bend on the messages is all part of the mechanism for UBF teachings over the Bible.
    > “Template manuscripts” establish the primary bible studies of SL
    > Such manuscripts are used in benchmarking systems for 1:1 Bible studies and Sunday messages
    > Once we have had a Bible study we are required to accept the key points as understood through prepared questionnaire
    > After hearing the Sunday message we all must
    a) Share an identical moving account from what we heard in a so called ‘One word’ of what the messenger had said
    b) Prepare testimonies as identical to the manuscript as possible, which of course include sincere repentance for one’s sins

    Where is the nuance when we are benchmarking all of our reflections in this way? There is none, except from the few who unwittingly step out of turn. Or from those who deliberately do so. Either way, the atmosphere leads us to seek belonging and acceptance and recognition – therefore we just SHUT UP! and follow the order of things.

    The impact of stale messages has terrible consequences for the congregation. When I read Paul’s letters – it tells me that Paul had a burning heart for Christ and also for sin. His words address what the church needs be it rebuke or be it love. (The first example had been seen in Jesus’ rebuke of the religious leaders at the time.)

    As I remain in UBF one thing bothers me more and more – UBF messages have for me begun to mock life and mock sin and mock rejoicing and mock….
    All the failed attempts for drama leave me with a bitter feeling of histrionics. Let the messengers be themselves!

  12. It is quite interesting that Greg Lewis (I don’t think anyone will mind me using his name), in giving the “boring” business announcements sounded so normal and natural and even interesting–without any “message training,” while some messengers sound so unlike the way normal people in America speak, despite countless insane hours of message training.

  13. How to improve messages? One way is to engage your mind. There is too much repetition and too much binary thinking in ubf lectures. They need to expand their minds to understand Scripture better, such as with lateral thinking.

    For example, my wife sent me a bunch of lateral thinking situations. Here is one:

    A father and son were involved in a car accident and rushed to hospital. On seeing the unconscious young boy, the surgeon exclaimed, “Oh no, that’s my son”. How can this be true?

    • Is it that the father involved in the accident is the boy’s grandfather?

    • Oh, the surgeon is his mother! Wow, that really shows preconceptions!

    • Yes, the surgeon is the son’s mother. The situation is introduced as “father and son”, which re-inforces the typical thought (among men at least) that a surgeon is a man. Although it may be uncommon for surgeons to operate on their own children, it would be the most logical choice. If your wife is a surgeon, of course you would take your son to her.

      Without lateral thinking and overcoming our own biases, we are left with illogical and contradictory conclusions.

  14. Here’s another one:

    You just moved to a new area and need some dental work done. There are only two dentists in town and you visit them both. The first has a brand new surgery facility, looks very well presented and is good tempered. He has excellent teeth himself. The second has very bad teeth, a rather untidy surgery room and is constantly in a bad mood caused by a chronic toothache. Which dentist do you decide to go to and why?

  15. Wow! I love this, guys. I realize that I need to overcome my binary thinking and develop lateral thinking! I am quite humbled.

  16. How do you assess good preaching? These are excellent questions from Joe.

  17. At the West Loop Church worship service in Chicago yesterday (8/18/13), Abraham Lincoln of Boston UBF gave a spirited and joyful sermon about the ever present grace of God entitled: I Am Having A Bad Day.

  18. Thanks Chris for the link to the 2009 European SBC. I noticed Dr. John Jun’s Closing Message on Mt 28:19-20a, entitled “Make Disciples of All Nations.”

    I wonder how that compares with David Kim’s Closing Message at the 2013 ISBC based on the same verses with a similar theme of “Go and Make Disciples.” His message can be downloaded at the bottom of this page link: So Loved Conference Programa.

    It is now interesting to me that even though the theme of both conferences are quite different (The Hope of God vs. So Loved), yet the closing message is the same.

    Though the 2013 CMI ISBC Conference Program looks like that of UBF’s program, their closing message is no longer an imperative like that of UBF’s closing messages:

    • Joe Schafer

      Ben, it’s no accident that the CMI conference did not close with a message about obeying the world mission command.

      If you examine what the reformers wrote back in 2000 — before they were actually kicked out of ubf, as Chris has clarified — one of their primary objections was that ubf developed an inverted approach to the Bible, replacing the “gospel of grace” with a “gospel of mission.” They wrote:

      “Accordingly, UBF’s dominant hermeneutic was shifted from grace that compels believers to ‘mission and obedience.'”

      Of course, UBF messages continued to give lip service to grace. But in practice, that grace was presented and used mainly as a stepping stone to the obedient life of mission. I find that observation very insightful. Here is a link to the USA reform confession of 2000.

  19. Joe, As you know, UBF never denies grace. But it seems that we do not dwell on grace, but quickly move on to “better things,” such as mission or discipleship. Someone posted on facebook an interesting website called Wicked Shepherds! I guess they are not trying to pull back any punches.

    The article posted is about Legalism being the basis and foundation of Spiritually Abusive Systems. Perhaps, so called “message training” is a way of legalistic control that results in our UBF messages all tending to sound basically the same no matter what text of Scripture is being preached.

    • Joe Schafer

      Ben, one thing I’ve noticed is this. After the word “grace” appears in a UBF message, it will soon be followed by the word “but.”

      A typical example would go like this.

      “We are saved by grace alone. God gives us the marvelous grace of forgiveness. But we must not use God’s grace as an excuse to [commit sin, become lazy, …]”

      You are right; we do not know how to just dwell in grace.

    • I like the statement from that article “legalism is the morphine that numbs the pain of uncertainty.” The first decision I made totally on my own in my whole adult life was to decide to follow God’s leading away from UBF. It was the scariest thing I ever did, because it was the first time that I didn’t have someone telling me what to do in order to please God.

  20. forestsfailyou

    I have noticed there is a tendency to try to change my English to make it more “manageable” to korean ears. My sentence structures are already complicated for English speakers because I tend to read a lot and am college educated. I resisted such efforts, but to my sorrow found nobody understood what I was saying. There is a reason this editing occurs. It occurs because there is no point in me saying in a testimony:

    “Dante may have found himself lost in a dark wood, but he ended up in heaven. Likewise no matter how terrible my life seems to be I must keep grounded in my convictions. But my boast cannot be that my correct convictions are due to my expert insight… All of us who are mature should take such a view of things.”

    If nobody knows what I am saying. I realized lately that if they realized what I was saying they would be very concerned. I feel justified, because my testimony is not to missionaries. It is to God. There is no loss in the missionaries not understand what I am saying, because it not meant for them. If they want to know they will learn English. After one testimony I heard that my testimony was “refreshing” “not laced with UBF terms”, but sadly “She didn’t understand what you were saying in parts and you spoke too fast.”

  21. forestsfailyou

    I will say I wrote my life testimony in very simple English for the Philippines. I tried to speak slowly. In short, I tried to accommodate them.

  22. Forests, accommodating your language in a foreign land is normal and respectful.

    What is harmful and horrible is when a missionary demands the mission field to conform to his/her language. That is one of the most irritating things about ubf. Still today, after some Koreans have bee in America for 3 DECADES they play the f’in “oh I no speaka Englisha” card. That’s a load of crap.

    One of my first and MOST joyful, liberating. exhilarating, exuberant, extemporaneous, spontaneous, and amazing moments was when I returned to speaking fluent English!! After 24 years in ubf I walked like a Korean, smelled like a Korean, talked like a Korean and thought like a Korean.

    The freedom issue was resolved in America 238 years ago. And there are still American soldiers dying for that freedom and I’ll be damned before I let ubf take that freedom away from any more young people.

    I sing “Born Free” every day to remind myself that I am an American and proud of it.

    And I welcome ubf missionaries to Detroit anytime.

  23. In case anyone didn’t notice, Eminem was a big source of my inspiration during my “exit process” from ubf… I have no apologies and I’m not afraid to say what I want to say (which was my vision of myself in my basement blogging and emailing back in 2011-2012). All this was while ubf just stood there and watched me burn.

  24. big bear

    Forests…agree with bk on this…frankly korean missionaries dont Care about your testimony…they are simply trying to catch you in some sin so they can manipulate you and pressure you to conform to their self righteous standards…all abusive ministries use same format

    • forestsfailyou

      I am not disagreeing about “what they do” I am saying “why” they do it. I agree that they want to diagnose “sin” problems. But I have a hard time believing that a Korean understands “I do not believe that Genesis chapter 24 sets up a divine imperative to marry. We should realize that the God who created us will not justify us without us, but he does not regulate his imperatives to certain old testament characters. We are to become as Issac only so far as he became like Christ.” I said that one time. They had no idea what I said. If they had realized I was condemning their proof texting they would have said something.

    • The direct approach might be better:

      “Genesis 24 does not teach marriage-by-faith. Stop pretending you are one of the bible characters. You are not Abraham. I am not Isaac. We can learn from Isaac yes. But Isaac is not Christ. We live in the year 2014 AD not 2014 BC.”

    • If that doesn’t work, just play a video. Here’s a good one: Done.