Three Books for Free

brianjohnkarcher copyAs 2014 comes to a close, I want to share my three books with you that I published this year. Instead of retelling my story so much, it has been very helpful to point people to my books so they can understand me better. So I am offering all three books for free on Kindle, starting Saturday 12/27 and running through the end of the year. Here are some quotes that tell what each book is about. The title of each book below goes to the free Kindle link.

Rest Unleashed: The Raven Narratives









“I then embarked on an amazing journey of recovery from the controlling, guilt-ridden, shame-soaked life we had lived in UBF. I was done with the holy soldier façade. This journey was not so different from the journey of Pi in the movie “Life of Pi” or Truman in the movie “The Truman Show” or the blind girl in the M. Night Shyamalan movie “The Village”. In fact I began watching many movies, especially children’s movies, because I found so many connections with the characters in the movies, such as Tangled. I felt I was Repunzel being set free from her castle tower! Finally I was at peace.

It would take a whole other narrative to tell this journey. So I will just point out some highlights. The journey actually began when I watched Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion” in 2010. Through this, the gospel of Jesus was re-ignited in my soul. I realized that I had believed and preached an upside down, flawed gospel in UBF. I officially resigned from UBF in protest on July 4th, 2011. I chose that day specifically. It was my independence day. I began blogging profusely about my journey, on, declaring my freedom from UBF and exposing the problems I saw. I tried not to fall into the trap of treating UBF people poorly, but at times I just needed to vent. I had kept silent so many times, and so my critical voice exploded on my blogs.” pg. 83

Goodness Found: The Butterfly Narratives









“Recalling the multitude of UBF entanglements (and there are many hundreds more) has been a difficult task because I just want to forget it all. It is embarrassing to realize how much I put up with. But it is also good and liberating to realize how free I am now! No longer do I need to put up with any UBF entanglements or authority.

So what was good about all those years in UBF? My wife and I had to first come to terms with our arranged marriage. Was this good? Is our marriage valid? We both agreed—yes our marriage is before God and is good and valid. The goodness I see in my 24 years of UBFism is that I weaved a cocoon around my life. And that cocoon became the housing for my transformational new life. But what was this cocoon exactly?

As I wrote this chapter I discovered something unexpected. Why did I stay 24 years at UBF if the spiritual abuse was rampant? The best answer may be that I was seeking glory and fame. The cocoon I wove around myself (with the help of UBF shepherds weaving it for me at times) could be called a cocoon of self-glorification. I wanted to be famous. I wanted attention. I wanted to be noticed. I believed the promises that convinced me to join UBF in the first place: your name will be great! You will be a world-class leader! My vision is large and my appetite for self-glory is huge. Yes there was no perceived way out of UBF, but as my grandmother pointed out, I did not want a way out. I wanted glory.

Ironically, I would eventually meet the fate of all self-glory seekers: infamy. I am now the infamous detractor and vocal critic of UBF ministry. Realizing all these things has brought much goodness and peace to my mind. At least I am starting to understand what happened.” pg 73

Unexpected Christianity: The Penguin Narratives









“I return now to that coffee shop meeting in Ann Arbor, with my friend from Toledo UBF. He was one of the leaders there. I hadn’t seen him or other members of Toledo UBF for many years, since we had moved from Toledo to Detroit. My friend was normally the one who would lighten up any situation with his dry sense of humor or intriguing perspectives. But now, the frustration on my friend’s face was real. How could this be? What would cause my Christian friend to be so exasperated? The truth was that I felt just as exasperated. I was still struggling with the growing disconnect between my supposed biblical worldview and the reality happening around me. I was still pondering that Christmas letter from Sarah, wondering how I could display integrity. My friend and I shared our various struggles. We both were wavering about whether we would attend the upcoming UBF conference. My friend’s wife had already declared she would not attend, due to the issues she saw in the ministry.

This decision was problematic. No one in the UBF ministry decided not to attend a UBF conference. Attendance was not explicitly mandatory, but always the expectation was “You want to please Jesus, don’t you?” As if the guilt wasn’t motivation enough to enforce attendance, the consequences of deciding not to attend a conference were painfully inconvenient: you would be labeled as rebellious; you might be removed from some of your duties; you might be given more duties as training to obey; and you likely would be mentioned in the next Sunday message as an example of losing faith. I had seen it many times. The UBF community would turn against its own; shaming and shunning the one perceived to be weak in faith for not participating actively in the UBF mission. My friend now wondered what would happen to his family if he attended the conference and his wife did not. Our UBF worldview was cracking. In the end, we both decided the best course of action would be that we would attend the 2011 Easter conference, hosted by Toledo UBF, and face the consequences.

I went to this conference with a mission of my own. I wanted to find out why several friends at Toledo UBF, like my friend at the Ann Arbor coffee shop, had been reaching out to me and sharing their struggles with me. I began to wonder, is there no Christian pastor in Toledo UBF? Is there no one there who could be trusted to speak openly with? So I went to this UBF conference with my family. And I decided test the waters, to ask questions and find out what was going on.” pg. 18



  1. Thanks, Brian. I think that your above excerpts are rather well chosen, apt and quite relatable to those who have felt the authoritarian control, manipulation, shaming and guilt-tripping by some leaders in the church.

    I also think that your very real stories (over 24 years no less!) do help expose certain longstanding bad practices, and that those who care to read your accounts and your books will find the courage to resist, expose and even denounce such unhealthy un-Christ-like, unbiblical, unloving practices.

    Thank God that you have not given up on those of us who are still in ubf, and that you are continually willing to engage us, even if some people will continually refuse to read what you have written—which, if I may add, will be to their own loss and lack of illumination and insight.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  2. Ben, like every other former ubf member I’ve met, I do long for acknowledgement of our genuine, authentic, self-narrative, as opposed to the maddening silence or darts of shame. I’m thankful for our ubfriends who have given an ear to our stories. I would love to “move on” and discuss so many other topics, and I think we will be able to do that in the new year. Still we need to remember there will be new former and current members who need to process their stories.

    I have done a lot of things– I resigned, I criticized, I failed, I shared, I blogged, I visited– but I have never given up.

    Yes indeed, Merry Christmas and happy new year everyone!

  3. in regard to my books, the 5 day free sale for all 3 books on Kindle has started! (Already gave away five books this morning).

    I am about to publish my 4th book the first week in January. This book won’t have anything to do with ubf, however, ubfers might want to process what I’m saying if they want to expand their thinking about the gospel.

    And ubfers might also want to realize that there are gay people at ubf. Some of them have reached out to me. Here is a thought: Can your ubf chapter openly welcome gay people? Why or why not?

    Here is a preview of my 4th book:

    The Lambhearted Lion: Why Christianity Needs Gay People

    “The flaws in our gospel understanding may lead us to believe that God requires moral perfection and is pleased most by our most pious acts. Yet because we experience day-to-day failures, we know that moral perfection is out of reach. Whatever ideals about humanity we may find in the Garden of Eden, such ideals fail in today’s world. When we try to show our reverence for God by doubling our effort to fulfill ideal religious obligations, our church community becomes a masquerade ball where people put on more and more elaborate masks to hide their real emotions, pain or situations. The yeast of hypocrisy spreads. In such a toxic environment LGBTQA people have no place to fit in, and straight people suffer needlessly as well. Suppose the church does attempt to be more welcoming toward gays, what are we welcoming them into? In many cases, we would be welcoming them into a dance of hypocrisy.” pg 45

  4. I just downloaded all 3 of your books on my kindle.
    I’ll read them soon.

    • Thanks MJ! Merry Christmas and happy new year!

      It was awesome to see over 50 free copies downloaded in the first 2 days of the give away!

  5. Hey everyone,

    In honor of mrkimmathclass I am making the following adjustments to my books. If anyone would like to understand my journey from being the #1 ubf fan to the #1 ubf critic, please read my books. If you want to know why I joined ubf, why I stayed for 24 years and why we shut down our ubf chapter and resigned in protest of the abuse, please get my books.

    * All 3 Kindle editions of my books are reduced to $.99 USD for all of May (the pricing may take affect today or tomorrow actually)

    * All 3 Kindle editions are FREE if you purchase the paperback version

    * All 3 Kindle editions may be LOANED to any other Kindle user for FREE

    All of the details about my books can be found on my primary website:

    Unexpected Christianity | Finding Jesus in unexpected places

    • And because ubf likes numbers, the number of books sold/given away is around 300.