Two Things I Want To Say to Every Sheep

fOnce you join UBF bible study, two words will forever be seared into your mind: shepherd and sheep. Everything at UBF depends on this fundamental relationship. The UBF Heritage Slogans, known as the “spiritual legacy” of the UBF founders Samuel Lee and Sarah Barry, depends on the shepherd-sheep relationship in order to propagate the UBF ideology to successive generations. If you had the chance, what would you say to all UBF sheep right now? Here is what I would say.

First: Be a family-centered person!

If there is anything helpful in my recovery from undue religious influence at UBF, for me it was re-connecting with my family. I was told by a UBF missionary that my visiting my brother’s wedding was an act of Satan. Things like this made me cautious and fearful about visiting my family members.

After coming out of UBF in 2011, however, I find that cutting off ties with parents, etc. is more like Satan’s work. Visiting family is in reality more like Jesus’ work. Jesus once visited Simon’s house, correct? Yes there is a family-like fellowship among believers but nowhere in the bible do we find that it is evil to value and cherish and visit your family.

Second: Be your own man or own woman!

Based on a few proof-texted verses from the bible, UBF shepherds tend to teach you that you cannot make your decisions on your own. Always there is a need to at least check your decisions against your shepherd or chapter director, depending on how big the decision is. I say “be your own man!”. The disrespect for a person’s autonomy at UBF chapters is a blatant red flag of spiritual abuse.

I would suggest reading about healthy mentoring. Mentoring often includes many people as mentors, not just one. Mentors are chosen by students, not the other way around. Why should your life be directed by someone you randomly met on campus one day? It is your life. It is your decision. It is your responsibility.

If you had the chance, what would you say to all UBF sheep right now?


  1. You are FREE! (Gen 2:16; Jn 8:32; 2 Cor 3:17; Gal 5:1).

    You are free to come to church or not.

    You are free to come to Bible study or not.

    You are free to come to weekly fellowship or not.

    You are free to come to conferences or not.

    You are free to meet with me or not.

    You are free to visit your family, go on vacations, go to the Bahamas, attend your friend’s graduation on Sun instead of attending worship service, attend your family Thanksgiving meals, Christmas gatherings, New Year reunions, watch the Superbowl, drink beer, etc, etc, etc.

    • I forgot to add:

      You are free to leave West Loop/UBF and go to another church and it wouldn’t change a darn thing with regards to our friendship and relationship.

    • yellowblossom

      It is amazing knowing that I am in fact free and yet I enslaved myself into the system . Why? And how would be best to act now?

      I moved into the common house 6 years ago , and have been moved several times. I was told where to live and where to work. I was told that it’s ok not to be with my parents although both are sick . I was suggested in marriage. All was explained to me that I shouldn’t look at the circumstances but live to glorify God. If I began doubting I was told I was under satan s control. If I began talking about my friends who were not in UBF, I was told there’s no point to such friendships because only two types of relationships should exist: those of shepherd and sheep/ and coworking.

      I bought into all of it and was almost ready to marry…but then… God s voice spoke in my conscience. It wasn’t all good. It wasn’t all great work of God. All the control, the rebuke, the pain…how could that be God?

      The worst is that I told my friend, a sister I loved, something that was inspired by years of training in UBF. And that was not from God. Even in friendship I tried to assume the role do a shepherd. Do we not see how dangerous this is? I most have cried for hours when I finally realized it this week, especially after reading all these posts, testimonies, and books, I cannot be blind to the truth any longer.

      One word: God please have mercy on us

    • Yellowblossom,

      Exactly. We end up thinking that we are the salt, we are the light, and if we don’t speak our ubf-ism, the world around us is going to fall.

      Recently a former Bible student of mine shared what he really felt–that he was tired of me turning everything into a ubf style discussion.

      I thought, why did I do that? I know I did.

      It was because there was so much pressure at every conference, every message, every one on one with my “shepherd”, so much pressure that my student “should” do this and “should” do that and “should not do” other things. Told to me of course, not really to him.

      I thought I was making things easier, but I was coming away with the guilt.

    • +1 Ben!

      Yellowblossom: “how would be best to act now?”

      As Ben points out, the exciting news is that YOU get to decide! Yes YOU! You get to decide how to live YOUR life.

      I might hint and suggest submitting articles to ubfriend about your thoughts on my 3 books :)

  2. Joe Schafer

    As Ben said, you are free to come and go as you please.

    Now if you say that to a UBF shepherd, the likely response is, “Yes, you are free, BUT…” and then he/she will give you a long explanation about why you are not really free, because if you misuse your freedom by not doing the things that UBF wants you to do, you may lose your blessing and all sorts of bad things may happen. They will try to make you feel guilty, as if you owe them for all they sacrificed for you, and so on. In other words, they will try to bind you to them and to UBF.

    Remember that, at the moment before Jesus died, he said, “It is finished.” The text (John 19:28) uses the Greek word tetelestai, which is a legal term used in the first century to indicate that a debt has been paid in full. Jesus has paid your debt. From God’s perspective, you are completely free. As Paul wrote in Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” It is your duty as a Christian to claim your freedom in Christ and reject the yoke of guilt and obligation that anyone tries to place on your shoulders.

    • Excellent clarification, Joe. Of course, any BUT that follows the word free, simply negates and cancels the freedom that the gospel proclaims, and in its place would be bondage.

    • Joe Schafer

      When someone from UBF says, “Yes, you are free, BUT [insert standard B.S. arguments here]” you can respond: “Why are you trying to collect a debt that Jesus has paid in full?”

    • Joe Schafer

      Oh, yes, I forgot. Sooner or later, someone in UBF will play the card of personal sacrifice: “After all the we have done for you, after all that we have sacrificed for you, how can you treat us this way?” To prepare for that moment, read and study this article:

    • ubf has created a theology of sacrifice. This theology is not rooted in orthodox Christianity as far as I can tell, but rooted in the Buddhist concepts of the centrality of sacrifice.

      If anyone a ubf brings up the necessity of sacrifice, I would quote Jesus’ words in Matthew 12:1-8. I would ask them why Jesus repeatedly pointed out that God desires mercy, not sacrifice?

      Underneath the ubf shepherding model lies a strong Eastern religion-like thought fabric.

      ubf missionaries use the bible to teach a modified version of the Four Noble Truths. The ubf 6-stage training model seems eerily similar to the Buddhist Eightfold Path.

      1. All life knows suffering. Nobody gets what they want out of life.

      2. The cause of suffering is ignorance and clinging. Wanting it is the problem.

      3. There is a way to end suffering. By learning not to want it.

      4. This is the way to end suffering: The Eightfold Path.
      Right Understanding Learning the nature of reality and the truth about life.
      Right Aspiration Making the commitment to living in such a way that our suffering can end.
      Right Effort Just Do It. No Excuses.
      Right Speech Speaking the truth in a helpful and compassionate way.
      Right Conduct Living a life consistent with our values.
      Right Livelihood Earning a living in a way that doesn’t hurt others.
      Right Mindfulness Recognizing the value of the moment; living where we are.
      Right Concentration Expanding our consciousness through meditation.

    • yellowblossom

      We are freed wow this is so helpful to read these words! I am so tired of having to explain my every action to my shepherd and to feel like my life is being monitored. I feel hat if UBF wants to be healthy church, they have to stop taking away independence of others. This flows through the entire fabric of the organization. Who is to say that he Korean missionary I met is my mentor till the end of my days? And she did say those exact words to me on several occasions. Only Jesus is my lifelong shepherd.

    • Joe Schafer

      Brian is correct. UBF has created a theology of sacrifice. This is the term that Rebecca Kim used in her book on UBF.

      The problem is that the story of sacrifice told over and over is not the sacrifice of Jesus but the sacrifice of UBF missionaries. Yes, the sacrifice of Jesus is mentioned now and then. But the stories that really move them (the leaders of UBF) and which they use to motivate themselves and others are the heroic tales of their own sacrifice.

      For example, I ran across this recent report on how a UBF chapter celebrated their 25th anniversary. It is a chapter that I know well. I do not intend to single them out, because this kind of thing goes on in many other places. The message was titled “You Give Them Something to Eat.” Here is how the message was described on

      Shepherd David Gates delivered a message based on the Mark 6:30-44 and recapped how God has used the faith of 5 loaves and 2 fish in NJ for the past quarter century. The first part of his message was about the compassion of Jesus based on Mark 6:34. He recounted how NJUBF practiced the compassion of Jesus by sending out two missionaries from among Rutgers University students as a prayer that Americans can learn the compassionate heart of Jesus.

      The second part of his message focused on Jesus’ command in Mark 6:37, “You give them something to eat.” Shepherd David described how NJUBF, over the years, struggled to obey Jesus’ challenge to give, not based on human calculations, but based on God’s compassion by serving campus students and international guests.

      Shepherd David concluded his message by illustrating how God blessed NJUBF’s 5 loaves and 2 fish. God has used the house churches in NJ to feed many Rutgers students; God has used the 2nd generations to teach the bible and feed not only Rutgers students, but also other 2nd generations from around the world; and God has transformed the original bible center into a 120-disciple common life house. God’s disciples in NJ continually struggle to obey Jesus’ command to distribute the bread of life, praying that America may be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

      While his message revealed clear evidence of God’s work in NJ, Shepherd David’s life itself is the living testament of how God’s great world mission work has been enfolding in NJ. Shepherd David is the Abraham of Faith in NJ and faithfully served Rutgers students for the past 20 years. He has established the first house church in NJ and God is using him as a bible speaker for Rutgers students every Sunday.

      How much of this is about the sacrifice of Jesus versus the sacrifice of UBF members? Seriously. The names of Jesus and the gospel are being used as an introduction, a segway, into the real story that they want to tell, the story of what they have done. Is it fair to say that this ministry has veered off course from the historic Christian gospel message, holding up an idealized version of itself as the main thing to be glorified and praised and emulated and worshipped? Yes, I understand this was a 25th anniversary celebration. But I have never seen a group that praises itself as frequently and as passionately as ubf does.

      The North American senior staff got very pissed off at me a few years ago because I sent them an email warning them that they had veered off from the gospel into UBF-olatry. This is eactly what I was talking about.

    • Precisely Joe: “The problem is that the story of sacrifice told over and over is not the sacrifice of Jesus but the sacrifice of UBF missionaries. – See more at:

      My term for this self-aggrandized delusion is “glory-story”. My current church has existed for more than 150 years. But they don’t share any glory-stories. In fact, they don’t rely on their heritage at all. They know that to look backward is to start to die. They focus on today and listen to the stories of people in the present.

    • Joe, that report sums up so many issues. All about us, God using us, lifts up the system as idolatry.

    • About sacrifice.

      Brian, also remember Ecclesiastes 5:1. When you go up to the house of God, draw near to listen, rather than offer the sacrifice of fools.

      What good is it to have all the sacrifice in the world and then mouth off about things you don’t know? And you don’t know at all because you don’t take time to listen?

      This is not just sticking your nose in the Bible. It’s listening to God, listening to people, learning and growing.

      In addition, the idea that if you do these things, God will not bless, very often means, I will not bless you or support you, nor will any of my friends.

  3. “Who is to say that he Korean missionary I met is my mentor till the end of my days?” – See more at:

    Well, the current General Director says so. He shared these things in his 2013 New Year’s keyverse message (before it was removed from online viewing). It appears the link for this 2013 message has since been removed.

    I rebuked Abraham Kim rather clearly in private email for this 2013 message. After receiving my feedback and others (like Ben’s) Abraham changed his message. I cannot find either the original or the changed message, but these words are eye-opening.

    Note the part below where the General Director of UBF says all us “sheep” will give thanks in Heaven to our “shepherds”. I thought Jesus was the one who got the glory in Heaven? Apparently not; a lot of glory seems to be reserved for ubf shepherds who do not “run away”.

    Note: My resignation from ubf was not a declaration the there is nothing good at ubf. My resignation was a declaration that where is no longer anything good at ubf for me and my family.

    “What is the inmost heart of God? It is to seek and to save the lost. World mission is God’s heart-beat. Think about God’s sorrow when Christians do little to rescue the perishing people. Think about how God is pleased and comforted when he sees us diligently inviting students and teaching them the gospel. Our one-to-one Bible study is a very powerful tool of evangelism. Therefore most of those who studied in UBF become Christians. When Bible students leave, shepherds are sorrowful. But there are cheers of the angels in heaven on behalf of our shepherds. The Lord will say, “Well done, my faithful servants. You added many members to the family of God.” When we enter the kingdom of God, we will be surprised at so many people coming to us to say “Thank you! Thank you!” Who will they be? They are those who met Christ through UBF Bible studies and all of those who were saved through their ministries. When we serve God’s purpose with a big perspective, we can joyfully serve one-to-one ministry. As we do so, God will raise more disciples who will keep the beauty of our ministries and serve God’s purpose for his whole church.”

    source: Indirect answer to BrianK first open letter in January 2013

    • yellowblossom

      May God have His mercy. As a Christian I want to serve the people with love and grace and truth. Not rebuke.

    • That is the better way, yellowblossom. In a real sense, many at ubf need to experience the love and grace of God in a personal way. Unfortunately ubf trained me to be a master of rebuke. I suppose sometimes they must regret giving me such training :)

    • yellowblossom

      Just read through some of those reports on which usually I don’t pay attention to. Now reading them…I feel this almost rising anger in my heart. I pray Jesus may forgive me and forgive them because really we do not know what we are doing.

  4. yellowblossom

    God bless the ministry but eh must recognize the darkness that looms over this organization…the Holy spirit must work through us. It is not about numbers it’s about people! About loving each other.

    Love your neighbor as yourself. That is my hope for UBF.

  5. yellowblossom

    Jesus is my shepherd, I lack nothing,

  6. yellowblossom

    It’s great that all these things are done in the ministry, but let’s celebrate Jesus , not our good works or boast about our accomplishments. Does everything really need to be reported? God in heaven already knows the content of our hearts . And we will each be answerable to Jesus in the end.

  7. I would say:

    Don’t be afraid to make the decision to stop doing Bible studies and testimonies.

    Your shepherd’s disapproval does not mean God’s disapproval

    God works all things for good, for those who love God and are called according to his purpose.

  8. And also:

    Going to church doesn’t make you more of a Christian.

    Stopping any of your Christian activities does not make you less of a Christian.

  9. I would say,

    Live before God. No, really.

  10. “Why should your life be directed by someone you randomly met on campus one day?”

    From a rational standpoint, you’re completely right. However, in UBF you start to think not rationally, but spiritualize and mystify everything. In that mindset, the day when you met your shepherd on the campus was something very special, some kind of divine intervention into your life. From then on, everything UBF is somehow directly arranged by God that way, everything was magic, disconnected from real life and “the world”. You start to accept the person as your “personal shepherd” ordained for you by God, you see him (but also the director) as God’s servant who gives you direction, as God’s visible representative in your life. God who had been once invisible to you, suddenly becomes very real in the shape of UBF. You start to see the UBF way of living as the way God has predestined for you personally. You start to understand that your calling is the UBF ministry etc. UBF fosters this way of thinking. You repeat it many times with your own words in your life testimonies and weekly sogams. People will applaud and agree that this is the way it is. There is music and laughter, everybody is happy and angels singing in the sky when you’re delivering your life testimony. You start taking all of this for real and God’s work in your life and relly believe it. You can’t even think outside that box any more. That’s the dynamics that is going on. And if this positive dynamics does not appeal to you, then the negative dynamics will certainly get you. This is when they tell you that if you ever leave UBF, i.e. leave the calling by God, you lose your salvation, you lose the meaning of your life, and if you disobey the “servant of God” and “run away,” you will experience an accident, illness or death (yes, this is what Samuel Lee taught and was not even shy to publish in his written lectures a few times – I can quote him again on that again if you never heard it). A Korean couple who left UBF shortly after us struggled for years with the fatalistic thoughts that they stopped going through the “narrow gate” and would now never go to heaven. That’s what’s really going on in UBF. Nobody can comprehend this on a rational level. It’s all hopes and fears projected into the minds of people. From a rational or intellectual standpoint, their messages and all they do on conferences is not very impressive. But if it hits you at the right time in life, it blows your mind because it touches your emotions very deeply and personally. Human beings are based on emotions and social interactions. That’s where UBF excels. Rational thinking is easily overridden when this happens. That’s why it seems impossible to discuss with UBFers in a reasonable way as long as they are still deeply inside that mindset.

    Having said all of this, of course it’s still legitimate to say that God intervened into our lives through UBF, or that he was behind our UBF marriage. But that does not give UBF the right to usurp the place and the thankfulness in our hearts that should belong to God, nor does it imply that everything UBF must be always good, and that we’re now somehow bound to UBF. As the Bible says, the gospel is there to make us free and we’re not bound by anybody, only by God and our conscience. The person or group who “fished” you should not be over-emphasized. I have met someone who came to God when he was “fished” by a Jehovah Witness. Later he recognized the errors in their teachings and joined an Evangelical church. Also, when I know how UBF systematically fishes actually everyone in the campus, then the fact that they fished me isn’t such an unlikely miracle any more. Our director’s wife used to say you need to invite 100 students to find one who is interested. That is the one who is currently in a life crisis or looking for God and will then believe you fished only him or her and God is sending you directly to him or her. Then comes the love boming phase, and then the shepherd training phase, and then you will live in common life, and then you will be married to a UBF person. Other people will not understand why you are “in that Korean cult,” But that’s because they look at it rationally only.

  11. big bear

    First, God is Love. A church that does not love families, love people, and love all the body of Christ is in love with itself. Stay clear of these kind of churches. As a director of UBF and in UBF for 29 years, I lost sight of this. It became all about rules and numbers, I am deeply sorry for those I hurt.
    Second, see the leaders as hurt and pressured people by the organization to earn salvation and unbalanced. Pray for them and invite them to a healthy church with you. Love them. Love wins! I am thankful to God for freeing me from an unbalanced and anti-family church. I serve in a church of love and grace in South Carolina. Our focus is on Christ and to love God and people. Especially our families who are ordained by God. Leave UBF for their mindset controls you and you start being anti-family and think UBF is best church in the world. God has freed you!

  12. The two things I would say are:

    1) When we are in Jesus we under grace and no longer under law. This includes any oral law that has been added onto God’s word whether it be a way to understand or interpret God’s word or in fact an additional set of rules to play by in a certain organization.

    2) Family is important. The family you are born into is important. If UBF people cannot respect your parents, brothers and sisters then it is not worth it. In some sense classmates, neighbours, work colleagues and so on can be defined as family in a sense – just as church members are so. However, family will stand by you in almost all cases. Also, if you are already married, your spouse (children) should not be neglected. Moreover, MbF usually consists of one “weak” and one “strong” in faith. Never, never, never throw your spouse under the bus. You are united as one. If one of you is abused in the name of training, you are both suffering. It is essential you understand the importance of family, unity, support and love in Christ.

  13. Joe Schafer

    Tomorrow’s Daily Bread page is awesome!!!



    Genesis 31:31-55
    Key verse: Genesis 31:42

    May 6, 2015

    First, Jacob overcomes his fear of Laban (31-42). When God called Jacob to return to Canaan, he was afraid of Laban and he secretly ran away from his father-in-law. But now he realized that God was his faithful shepherd and warned Laban to not harm Jacob. He had the courage to confront Laban about his deception and abuse the last 20 years. He testified that God had blessed him in spite of Laban’s trickery and God even rebuked Laban. Jacob could overcome his fear of Laban when he saw God was his Shepherd, who kept his promises to bless him and guard him, even if Jacob was not very spiritual.

    Second, Jacob and Laban make peace (43-55). Before Jacob returned to Canaan, God helped him to make peace with his father-in-law and resolved their problems. They made a peace treaty and exchanged vows. Jacob took his oath in the name of the fear of his father Isaac. He was learning personal faith in God, who brings us peace and protects us from our enemies.

    Prayer: Lord, thank you for saving me from my enemies and giving me peace. Help me to see your hand of protection.

    One word: God is with us and protects us


    Based on this, I would encourage anyone who believes they have been deceived and abused by someone in UBF to openly confront the deceiver/abuser, even if he or she is older than you or has a higher rank than you. (Remember that Laban was the uncle, the owner, the chapter director, and Jacob was the younger man) Do not be afraid of anyone who claims to be your shepherd, because the Lord is your true Shepherd and your Protector. And if you are accused of being “unspiritual” you can say, “No problem,” because Jacob was unspiritual too, and God upheld him.

  14. Best. Daily bread. Ever.

    The connections with Genesis are terrifying sometimes if you’re honest. Laban’s manipulation of family and living situations, not to mention marriage. His idolatry that looks like faith, too.

    What about Abraham and Sarai’s abuse of Hagar? What about Rebekah’s fatally flawed manipulation?

    Or Jacob’s later ridiculous favoritism that nearly destroyed his family?

    I’ve been thinking of subnmitting or blogging a series about these oft forgotten details.

    I really think the Church is in a position to really address the issue of abuse in our time–

    • That would be an interesting series considering that many of the abusive teachings can be found in how Genesis is taught. And Genesis is taught as a foundation of discipleship.

      Dear UBF “sheep”: forget everything you learned from UBF Genesis studies.

    • Charles, ironically, that is what an official ubf teaching presentation says: “You must unlearn what you have learned.” (see the Yoda slides…)

      ubf breaks your identity. When you finally leave, then you have to re-learn the normal meanings of words to get rid of the loaded language ubf indoctrinates you with.

    • forestsfailyou

      A list of some things that were taught to me in genesis bible study:

      Noah’s son disobeyed spiritual order by pointing out his drunkenness.

      Rebekah was right in lying because it was God’s will for Jacob to be heir.

      We should not date and marry whomever God’s servant presents to you like Issac and Rebekah.

      We should marry a “shepherdess” because Rebekah was (she was?…)

      The story of Noah teaches us that one man’s vision can save many.

      Cain’s crime was not giving enough to God.

      I did note. That the pride of the builders of the tower of babel was mostly skipped over. Those who tried to build a kingdom for their own glory. My testimony focused on how the pride of mankind dooms itself and how I need to be ever watchful. The response I got was dismissive, the person mentioning that the focus was on the faith of one man who saved many. I explained that I felt the tower of babel is a more important story.

    • forestsfailyou

      Apologies for my fragmented sentences. I seem to have become careless in my fatigue.

    • So… Genesis bible study at ubf sounds the same as what I was taught in 1987 :)

  15. And I’m sorry, I think I want to add to what I would say to a “sheep” in UBF

    1. Love God. Actually, we don’t love God, but God shares his love with us. See 1 John 4:10, and Jn 17:23-the end. God’s love is more than we could ever love, and he allows us to participate in it. There is no way to actually learn it or do it ourselves. We do what we can out of love, and his love is the thing that wins peoples’ hearts.

    2. Love people. Before there was a church, there was a family. The church comes from the family, the church supports the family in return. They are symbiotic. Our mission includes sharing the truth of God with our family and with the world. Overemphasizing one will sacrifice the other.

  16. Great thoughts everyone. It seems the bottom line is: think for yourself and act according to your own conscience.

    Far too many people at ubf have had their conscience chained by verses like John 21:18. This verse was used to bind so many bright, young, capable people to their shepherd’s whim. It’s time to break the chains.

    • yellowblossom

      In terms of identity ..I would like to point one very interesting observation. When I went to the Well conference, it was completely different from a typical UBF conference. There was Holy Spirit, and life and joy. I was almost shocked to say that this is run by UBF. But I think the reason was…it was done by students, the younger generation. They found identity as God s children and focused on grace of God and his love.

      The one hope I have now is that the younger generations would b able to lead a healthier UBF. It should be run by students don’t you guys think? Fresh new ideas and joyful energy in Jesus. If this is university bible fellowship why are the Korean older missionaries at the top? I just started to realize this.

      Our hope may lie in the young people and second gens.

    • “The one hope I have now is that the younger generations would b able to lead a healthier UBF”

      Yellowblossom, I don’t know whether to laugh out loud or to cry. You are correct. However so many of us leaders were pushed out of ubf partly because of that very reason: we advocated turning over leadership to younger people! We even dared to say that students (who are adults btw) should be leading things, even being chapter directors.

      The problem is twofold.

      1) The 1st gen ubf Koreans are one step ahead of you. Yes the next generation is the key–but only the next generation of Koreans. For example, ever hear of “EMPNG”? This stands for “Empowering the Next Generation of UBF”. They have a website and everything (note the number of Koreans in the picturs): Also take a look at this survey

      2) The 1st generation Koreans have abused their authority. So many of their own Korean 2nd gen children have rejected ubf and left. Right now ubf is in the continuing “fourth crisis” situation, starting in 2011. The other 3 crisis situations (1976, 1989 and 2001) exposed the same things we are exposing. Take a look at this letter from 1976 reformers to Samuel Lee. This is exactly what I would want to say to current ubf leaders:

      “We have wrongfully thought you are the spiritual father of UBF. You take advantage of your authority as the spiritual father, teacher and leader of UBF. However, God, our lord, is the only father, teacher and master. We are all brothers (Matthew 23:8-11). We understand that you should be respected as a spiritual father to establish spiritual order. Saint Paul also called Timothy son. The equality in UBF is, however, broken. Under the broken equality, calling you a spiritual father leaves UBF members in the relation of master and servant. You are nothing but a cult leader because you tried to become God. As a result, Satan works in UBF in several areas. We cannot but conclude that your words and deeds are tied up to the evil spirit of lying, killing, and fear (Roman 8:15).”


    • One more thing. Think you know what “junior” and “senior” means? Think again. At ubf, “junior” could mean someone up to 60 years old.

      Some people may still think of me as a young, rebellious 20-something “junior leader”… the reality is we have a 20 year old daughter!

    • yellowblossom, “When I went to the Well conference, it was completely different from a typical UBF conference”

      I would suggest asking many questions about the Well. Why did the 1st gen Koreans have a hissy fit when they learned Joe Schafer was going to speak? Why were they so afraid of the non-ubf Holy Spirit speaker? Why did they take away leadership of the Well at one point? There are so many questions. Everything good about the Well was attempted to be squashed by the “spiritual leadership” at ubf.

  17. bekamartin

    I just realized, after reading this article, that the living situation I am now in is the exact living with sinners and serving sinners that Jesus would have done. Not that I am saying that I am like Jesus–not at all–but I realized that I asked my nonbelieving friend to live with my daughter and I solely to help her have a home. It also was meant to give me a break on the rent and utilities, but that didn’t happen, as she didn’t pay. But I let her and her 2 children live with me so that she would have a home and so that she could see God’s love for her. I never preached at her, although I thought about doing that many times. I did put up scriptures on the walls as an encouragement and a testimony of the glory of God, but I never preached at her. In my past life as a UBF shepherdess, I totally would have preached at her and incessantly invited her to Bible study and even have impromptu Bible studies with her. These actions might have chased her off so that I wouldn’t have had to pay her rent and utilities all these months and taken her to court to evict her, but they wouldn’t have been Christ-like. Jesus lived with and served and loved and listened to his nonbelieving ones. I also prayed for her and her 2 kids so much, that they would see God’s glory and either repent or run in fear. Hopefully, repent. I haven’t been always kind and patient, losing my temper and being very very cold to them in my anger. But these very reasonable human reactions also showed that I myself am not “a super great Christian”, as this woman accused me of trying to act like, but I replied that I never tried to act like a super great anything, because I am not a super great anything. I am human and a Christ follower and my roommate is seeing this lived out before her as she is misusing my kindness. May God be glorified as the great glories and holy and righteous God, my God, my righteousness!

    • crystal park

      Shepherds (missionaries)!
      1. Don’t sacrifice your time with your family in the name of helping sheep. You would feel very resentful when they don’t give what you want. They would feel very buderned when they realize what you sacrificed for them as if they owe you something great. Then they can no longer live before God as they are.

      2. Don’t try to control their lives. It is to promote your safety by keeping them in what you want them to do or to be. Why do you seek your safety issues from others whom you met randomly.
      You’d better seek in Jesus!

    • beka, it is great to hear about your sharing your life with those in need. Often we preach the gospel best without using any words. One test of whether you know the gospel of Jesus is this: could you share the gospel without using the bible? I am glad to hear that you are doing just that beka!

      crystal, yes that is a good perspective. What would we say to shepherds at ubf? I would share two verses: Jeremiah 23:1 and Ezekiel 34:2.

  18. Here is one more thing I want to say to all ubf “sheep”.

    Please record video or audio of problems you see at ubf. Or just record your 1:1 study on your iPhone.

    I will post these here anonymously as long as no personally identifiable information is attached. The public deserves to hear and see what goes on at ubf behind closed doors. Keeping a documented record of things you notice is very easy and very helpful for finding out the truth of a matter.

    For example, on May 6, 2011 a high-ranking Korean ubf missionary sent me this email and told me to speak up via email. This was BEFORE I resigned from ubf.

    Date: Friday, May 06, 2011 11:05 AM
    To: “Brian Karcher (Detroit)”
    Cc: ——
    Subject: Re: Conference report and external observations from Detroit


    I understand why you are comfortable with e-mail discussions. So keep sharing your ideas and thoughts in e-mails. .

    I have spoken much over the years, but you have not had chances to do so.  It is time for me to listen to you and you speak up.

    So you should have chances to speak more.

    Although I may not respond to you all your e-mails, .please keep sending it. 

    Thank you.  

    Be well.


    Then after I did begin speaking my mind, such as about the 1990 house breakin, I got this warning to STOP speaking my mind via emails on 12/19/2012 from the same high-ranking ubf Korean missionary:

    Voicemail warning to stop sending emails

    Oh yea, and once you start speaking your mind freely and honestly, be sure to keep all Christmas cards :)

    • Note that the email above from 5/6/2011 is what sparked my 5/14/2011 sharing of My Confession about the 1990 breakin on ubfriends, all while still “IN” ubf. Speaking your mind honestly and sharing matters of conscience is a deadly taboo at most ubf chapters. It was in Toledo.

    • As fair warning, I should point out that anyone willing to do this should become familiar with the US laws:

      I for one am willing to risk ubf lawsuits and jail if it means exposing ubf as a cult. I live in Detroit and a ubf lawsuit would be their last act on American soil.

    • Joe Schafer

      By leaving you a voicemail, this person gave his full consent to the audio recording of his voice. The recording was made by him and given to you. There is no reasonable expectation of privacy here.

    • Yes, Joe my recording is a voicemail left on a cell phone carrier network, so I’m not worried. But I think future recordings should be aware of the possible pitfalls to this approach.

    • Joe Schafer

      However, if you take this voicemail message and turn it into an artistic recording (say, a rap or hip-hop piece) then he might be entitled to 50% of the royalties.

    • LOL yes! Let’s autotune this!

    • I must have an odd sense of humor. I could not but chuckle and smile when I heard the voice mail, which I found thoroughly amusing and hilarious for so many reasons! Sorry if others do not think so.

    • Brian, you might be causing some people to become even more paranoid: Not only do they HATE emails (which can be forwarded and God-forbid “mass emailed” to others), now they can’t even leave voice mails, which can be recorded and posted on UBFriends!

      This is just too funny! (Brian, can you attach a hilarious smiley here for me, since I don’t know how to do that.)

    • yea Ben, it is so tough to control people in the 21st century. Somehow, it used to be much easier to do that in the past :)

  19. HappyPinnky


    You might as well post voicemails about problems that you find with yourself and in your own family and in your past. Sorry if this sounds mean. But meanness is what makes this site fun right?

    Sorry, I won’t rethink what I said nor apologize.

    Are you guys this idiotic? I’m still in my young twenties, so sorry this sound very disrespectful.

    The voicemail was funny though :).

    • You don’t sound mean, HappyPinnky. You sound like someone trying to make sense of all this madness. Yes that voicemail is hilarious…. if only it was a joke…

    • HappyPinnky

      I’m not saying this to insult you. But if you want us to take you seriously, show us what kind person you are today.

    • I am who I am. I’ve already shown you who I am. I won’t change or conform to be some ideal person however.

    • What should we do on this site? Praise leaders for what we see as spiritual abuse?

      How should people change on this website?

      How can we address the issues of abortions, spiritual abuse hidden in UBF in a way that is comfortable for UBF members?

      This site is indeed mean if UBF is your life, because the flaws of UBF that you can’t talk about while in UBF are exposed. But if you can think about your involvement in UBF apart from your identity in life, I think you’ll see this site differently.

      Is the advice in this thread really bad though, on an objective level? For example, I recommended UBF students to not be afraid to stop doing Bible studies and testimonies and say so to their shepherd and that if they feel so led they should make this decision freely because doing these things don’t add to your salvation. Is this advice mean? I really think it’s good advice that a follower of Christ in UBF needs to know. Because the more you are in UBF, the more this fact is forgotten. And I would challenge any reader to speak up if you think otherwise.

  20. HappyPinnky

    By the way,

    In my twenty years of experience, I never heard that someone visiting someone’s relative was an act of Satan. In fact a a lot of relatives of our sheep would start attending the cult themselves.

    It is also wrong to say be a family centered man. It’s more correct to say be a balanced person. If you preach all day, that is a problem. If your cuddle with your wife all day, that is also a problem. You need both and in balanced manner.

    In my church as far as I know, if any sheep wanted to change Sheperds it was okay to do so. I changed mine and so did several other people.

    • Yes HappyPinnky, I would tend to agree with all this. You are clearly a rogue ubf chapter.

    • HappyPinnky, it is great that you created a safe bubble in ubfland. You can live in that bubble all you want. But don’t you care about what is going on elsewhere in ubfland? What about yellowblossom’s comments here? Do you care that this person is experiencing the same kinds of things we have been discussing on ubfriends for several years?

  21. HappyPinnky

    Sorry to disappoint you Brian, but in fact my chapter is not Westloop style, although we began heading that way in a good sense.

    In fact, our chapter was and is still considered as super dead dog training style, to the point where even senior leaders talk about director’s strictness.

    I was always surprised to hear from seniors that my dad is way too 1970 strict and classical.

    What’s funny is that, I’ve thought that our chapter was typical at best.

    • Aren’t you a chapter director HappyPinnky? It is so hard to tell exactly when you are anonymous. How can your chapter be both “super dead dog” style and yet you say “sheep are allowed to change shepherds”? Both cannot be true.

  22. HappyPinnky

    Have I met weird people in ubf of course I did, but they are a fringe.

    I have recently met Peter Chang of Bonn, and until this time I thought I had negative thought about him, as he is known to be ultra strict. But at least from conversations he does sound quite open minded.

    Brian, I am just curious what chapters are you referring too specifically,

    Cause I’ve been in as many cheaters as you were, and I’ve never heard someone recalling that going to visit your parents is act of devil worship?

    And on top of European and American chapters, I visited plenty of korean chapters as well.

    • “quite open minded”

      LOL LOL LOL haha hehe hoho… I can’t stop laughing. You cannot base judgment on a Korean to Korean (senior to junior) polite, keep-face interactions! Of course you can say such things.

      In regard to family visits as Satan’s work, probably it was only me. But the sentiment is expressed thousands of times, even in the reports.

  23. HappyPinnky

    I find it interesting that people like you and Joe spend good quarters as apologists of UBF and not turned into foremost critics.

    Which side of you should I beleive and why?

    Why were defending ubf in the first place? Was it because of recognition or you believed in what’s you believed?

    Why are you bashing ubf? Is it because of of hurt or you believe in what you beleive?

    • Read my 3 books and you will understand my answers to all these questions. I don’t want you or anyone to believe me–I want you to think for yourself and act according to your own conscience. If that means ubf is glorious and great for you, so be it. The reality is shockingly different for other people though, especially for us non-Korean native sinners.

    • Also read any book about cults and you will understand.

  24. HappyPinnky


    I’m not saying it is. I’m saying that is what eve mother chapter leader say about my church. Yet in this radical cult! we had so many parents join us cause they liked it! even those who came up at first and called our director a cult leader! and threatened p! ended up serving in our church.

    We even had several couples marry to different church members and some married online.

    And I did not know that we are so strict until I met other cheater leaders, and that’s when inbound out that our chapter is ultra strict.

    Brian, I’m directors son. Maybe I’m biased.

    Even when you talk abot division that happened in our church, when precisely 1/5 of church left, they left because they heard about abortions in America and not because of ubf trainings and etc.

    One thing that is true is that our director would sometimes discourage people from going home to 1000 kill termed away if conference was in 3 days and they did not prepare the messages. He would tell them, since you as a Amin messenger, get your message ready first and then go home since conference is in 3 days. I think this is what every commonsensical person should do.

    • All that is great to hear HappyPinnky. I don’t deny such things happened as you say.

  25. What chapters am I referring to?

    There is a list of ubf chapters where reports have surfaced

    I am speaking of every ubf chapter that teaches KOPAHN and is not Westloop or Waterloo or Penn State (yes Penn State is on the old list, Joe already repented and redeemed their chapter, if it even exists.)

    • HappyPinnky

      By the way, why is they website to pen state ubf not working?

    • HappyPinnky

      Yeah Brian, after being in my own chapter and thinking it typical, when I visited those chapters or met their cult leaders, I thought, man ” why are they so liberal.

  26. HappyPinnky


    As someone who is familiar with multiple cultures, as in I grew up in them. I can understand why some natives would be hurt.

    I heard recently that Korean professor in this country said that he would slap people with a stick if they got their answers wrong. The natives were giggling and shocked.

    But his act was not strange in Korea,

    Brian, I have serious question that I asked you before but you refused to answer.

    I asked you why are you not willing to go to your current denomination leadership and ask them to release manifesto in the name of their denomination apologizing to all third world countries for the heinous thought perhaps unintentional yet systematic abuses that western missionaries have caused to indie heinous people such as racism, cultural demolition, im posingwestern interpretations of bible, causing them to have complexes, and helping imperialism?

    Why are you only selecting ubf, why not also select Presbyterian church usa, epsispcaplina church and Anglican chruch and etc,

    • My current church has done nothing of the sort. They have already publicly repented of issues they had in the past. My current church has not treated me in any bad way that would prompt me to write 3 books or 3000 blog comments.

      “Why are you only selecting ubf, why not also select Presbyterian church usa, epsispcaplina church and Anglican chruch and etc,”

      Only ubf trained me with cultic indoctrination techniques. I have no relationship with any of those churches.

    • “But his act was not strange in Korea,”

      BINGO! We are NOT in Korea. At least I am not. ubf Koreans need to wake up and stop smashing the American, German, Russia, Ukranian, Mexican, Chinese, etc. cultures. Either that or get on a slow leaky boat home.

  27. “Brian, I’m directors son. Maybe I’m biased.”

    Whether you realize it or not, when you’re the director’s son (in contrast to the director’s sheep, co-workers, members of the chapter), you basically have “the best of both worlds.”

    Though this is somewhat of a broad sweeping generalization (which means that not every director/leader is like this), there clearly are two standards: one for sheep/regular members of the chapter, and another for the children of the director/elder/senior missionary.

    Members/sheep are expected to basically “just obey” and don’t challenge or question the leader…or else…

    As the child of a director, you can do that, and you will not be shamed, marginalized, excluded, gossiped and slandered behind your back, have love withheld, called Satan, demon, devil, pig, etc. Why? Because your parents still love you even though you did not “just obey.”

    Even if you leave ubf, you are still loved, accepted and regarded as part of your family and rightfully so. But if you are not a 2nd gen and you leave ubf after some years, then your experience is what many on ubfriends and on other ex-ubf websites have shared repeatedly.

    For many, the process and experience of leaving UBF is worse than the reasons why you decided to leave UBF. This obviously needs to change.

    • HappyPinnky


      Don’t misunderstand me, yes I was treated extra good by many people. Yet, I am telling of what I have observed myself.

      And yes, I also had times when up contrary to your saying I was treated pretty bad.

      And yes, I’ve seen how even seconds gens of famed pastors are bashed as well.

  28. HappyPinnky

    Really it’s funny,

    Cause as I told I have a lot of friends outside of ubf, and I found it amusing when intervarsity director is treating hillsong or campus crusade as cults.

    Brian, maybe you dig deeper, it is a well known fact that western Churches and major denominations while having done much good, have done terrible attrocotites in the past, yet I’m not aware of any of them publishing manifesto denouncing and apologizing on their knees to third culture barbarians.

  29. HappyPinnky


    Unfortunately that is what all missionaries regardless of race are doing. Do you know how critical people here are against American misionaries? Don’t get me wrong, I love American culture more than anything cause I grew up in it.

    I’ve seen firsthand of the sins that American missionaries have commited here. And they are great people. Should I tell them to go home?

    • I wouldn’t tell them to go home, but I would confront them gently and respectfully with grace and truth. If they refuse to listen, then you’re done what you can do.

      UBFriends is doing what we can. But if others choose not to listen… A refusal to listen is especially sad when there are continuing subtle or blatant authoritarian abuses that are ongoing, as yellowblossom has so eloquently shared over the past one week. Likely, countless more are just silent readers, or they fear commenting (especially if they’ve not the director’s son!).

  30. Brian, where did you find this exubfjc website of Joe C.? I don’t think I ever heard of it. If it’s the Joe C. of Chicago UBF, then I know him for the two decades that we were in the same chapter.

    Looking at the website, I found this interesting article about Kiev, Ukraine:

    • HappyPinnky


      You talk yellowboossom. Do you even know him.

      What makes me laugh is how when someone anti ubf emerges, you go my gosh look how much abuse ubf is causing and when 10 people stand up, you go, you are ignoring the reality.

      Can you start start being more objective?

      Do you even know critics.

      Isn’t it normal to be accused of all kinds of things?

      Let me give you an example of how one can turn his story around.

      When I was a leading intervarsity group, we had to impose at end trainign similar to ubf.

      One day, one main leader was always late to church meetings and was fooling around with his girlfriend. I gently rebuked him in privately several times.

      One day he began gossiping that I was controlling and abusive. Was? I

      How come so many other legit organizations such as campus crusade and intervarsity are vilified as cults by many ?

    • As far as I can tell, no one on ubfriends have ever said that the problems of UBF are unique to UBF. But our concern is about UBF since this is where we have spent most of our Christian lives: myself – 35 years since 1980, Joe 30 plus years, Brian 24 years (+4 since he left UBF in 2011 but has remained actively engaged). That’s almost 100 combined years for the three of us!

      Obviously other ministries have issues too. But none of us are involved in those other ministries.

    • Yes it is that Joe Chang Jr. most former ubfers know his story.

  31. HappyPinnky

    Ben, Joe, and Brian

    I don’t think you have credential to speak on behalf of korean misionaries and tell to go home or not. Yes, you were leaders of ubf but you were nevere missionaries yourselves so you can ever fully know and understand the difficulties that happen.

    Brian, I think indeed we should get all barbarian missionaries rounded up and free America from missionaries disease.

    • No one, as far as I can tell, is trying to speak on behalf of Korean missionaries, or telling them to leave. But yes, we are addressing some of their bad un-Christian behavior, which they do not like and are upset about.

  32. HappyPinnky

    Well if you really love them, and want to be effective in persuading them, I recommend going and taking some course from Scott Moreau, and doing it in eastern style.

    Ben, it will easier for you since you are Asian.

    We can do that for the sake of our oriental brothers and sisters right?

    Because your methodoly of criticsm is very un doable among orientals

    Trust me, I lived in different cultures so I know what I’m taking about.

    • Funny that you should mention Scott Moreau. When I went to the 2006 World Mission Report, he gave a short presentation on intercultural communication, which was quite illuminating. One missionary proceeded to publicly and sharply criticize Scott’s presentation in the Q & A session. The missionary’s reasoning was that we only need the Holy Spirit when communicating the gospel; that understanding intercultural dynamics has no bearing on whether we communicate the gospel poorly or not. Granted, he was free to disagree, but I didn’t, at the time, understand why he was so angry at Scott’s point. It was pretty shameful and what’s telling is that no one apologized for the missionary’s behavior. Come to find out a short time after that, quite a few missionaries hold a similar sentiment as that missionary, i.e., “culture? we don’t need no stinkin’ culture!”

    • HappyPinnky, I do agree with you here. But though I am Chinese/Asian/Oriental, I’m probably more American in my disposition.

      Also, according to various personality tests, I also have the “most offensive” personality type: being choleric, autonomous, polemic, confrontational, blunt, saying things like they are.

      I’m actually trying to change here and scale back some of my frontal approaches. But according to my wife, I’m not doing a very good job of trying to be more restrained!

      So yeah, thanks for this advice, which I do want to continue to work on by God’s help, mercy and grace.

    • Regarding Scott Moreau, I did hear his excellent presentation to UBF about a decade ago that contrasts American culture with Korean culture. The most memorable thing was one older missionaries surprising private comment to me right after his well communicated hour long presentation: “Scot Moreau is immature.” I was simply floored and speechless!

    • Joe Schafer

      I know Scott Moreau and coauthored an article with him that presented UBF in a sympathetic light. We delivered it twice at meetings of the Evangelical Missiological Society. Then I took material from Scott’s textbook and other books on missiology that he suggested, synthesized it, and presented it to UBF leaders on several occasions, including a staff conference in Chicago four years ago. I did it in an eastern style, adding the usual deferential language to acknowledge their seniority and kiss their butts as they always expect. It made no discernible impact in their thinking. For thirty years I spoke to UBF missionaries in their preferred style and it made little difference.

  33. HappyPinnky

    But yes, we are addressing some of their bad un-Christian behavior – See more at:

    Ben, you see the Robert with you guys is that you have ingrained western versions of what it means to be a Christian act or christian version of love or acceptable version of lifestyle.

    But Asians or Africans may have very ideas and expressions of what it means to love.

    In west, public rebuke is an act I’d humiliation perhaps, in other countries,public hollering is. An act if love.

    So by demanding missionaries and ubf people around the world change your ways, you are perhaps unconsciously imposing ethnocentric western ideals and superiority.

    One interesting story: once an American missionary teacher at our school forbade korean kids from bowiing or staring away from teacher when talking. In that way he was imposing and destroying korean culture.

    So perhaps you should not criticize korea ubf Indonesia ubf here and there, without understanding their culture and context.

    • “So by demanding missionaries and ubf people around the world change your ways, you are perhaps unconsciously imposing ethnocentric western ideals and superiority.”

      Wow, can you be any more daft? The missionaries that came to America had the responsibility, the onus was entirely upon them, to first understand American culture and adjust. But instead, they remained ignorant of this (besides eating a big mac and drinking a Sprite every week) and moreover got livid, frustrated, irate, belligerent, etc. when Americans didn’t acquiesce to Eastern thought/culture. American culture was criticized to the extreme by these missionaries and you mean to tell me that Americans should be the one’s apologizing for not understanding another culture? Please, go smoke your pipe somewhere else.

    • I’m not disagreeing with you here either. I’m also not saying that American missionaries in other countries are doing a better job.

      But nonetheless don’t you think that Korean missionaries IN AMERICA should humble themselves and adapt to American culture, rather than expect Americans to adapt to Korean culture??

    • “But Asians or Africans may have very ideas and expressions of what it means to love.”

      As David and Ben already explained, it’s the matter of missionaries ot find out what the expression of love is in their mission field, not to blame the culture that they are trying to target for not understanding them.

      But the real answer that needs to be given here, and I did this already hundred times on this website, is that in reality people know pretty much what love and abuse is, not much different in Korean culture. That’s why it were Koreans who complained about the abuse. All the three reform movements of 1976, 1989 and 2001 were driven by Koreans, and their major complaint was spiritual abuse. So stop fooling around with us. This is not a matter of culture, but a matter of spiritual abuse. Read the open letter of 1976 and then come back.

  34. HappyPinnky


    As far as I’m aware, ubf is changing and it’s on tis track. When people here demonized it though, I amazed that when I talk about positive changes, some like Chrisy will accuse of being sneaky.

    Ben, you don’t know fully what missionaries went through. True they have much to repent, but you guys need to give them time to breath.

    My parents for one, are well respect in christian community in a Country we are in and in. Korea despite the fact that we are from ubf cult.

    Yeti do you know the credible sufferings my parents went through? Being also it killed, dying almost three times, starving, getting their kids attacked racist jobs, kids unable to still adjust.

    Do you know how many tears they have shed for not being able to spend enough time with their kids although they were desperate to do so because drug addict was clinging for help to missionaries.

    Yes, from worldly point of view, I can accuse my parents of being neglectful of juggling twelve hours jobs and ministry. I have seen their pain and tears.

    I was very bitter, yet now I’m thankful that my parents loved that way of always putting gods ministry as top priority. Gods blessing poured out in amazing ways.

    If you Brian, Ben and Joe think you had miserable lives of neglecting your family, that suffering is nothing compared to the suffering that missionaries like my parents lived through, so stop whining.

    • I know you directed your comment to Ben – but I want to make a helpful suggestion to UBF missionaries. I think this will really help them.

      Why don’t you share these sufferings in your heart on this forum? The part that we never saw in UBF. I don’t really believe they have suffered more.

      The impression is still in UBF students all the time that UBF missionaries suffer more and therefore we should give them a spread of credit. I want to actually know what your sufferings are like. I won’t critize you whatever you say – I am genuinely intersted in knowing. I would be happen that I am proven wrong that in fact they suffer more than us who have left.

    • HappyPinnky

      David said

      “Wow, can you be any more daft? The missionaries that came to America had the responsibility, the onus was entirely upon them, to first understand American culture and adjust. But instead, they remained ignorant of this (besides eating a big mac and drinking a Sprite every week) and moreover got livid, frustrated, irate, belligerent, etc. when Americans didn’t acquiesce to Eastern thought/culture. – See more at:

      Yeah David I am pretty darn serious.

      The problem is that cultural adjusting is not just matter of decisions, it’s pretty stinking hard even for cross cultural kids like me.

      So since you have African roots, why not volunteer to go to Kenya for 2 years and well see how well you adjust.
      As I told you if you are not a missioanry don’t criticize with the experience of arrogance.

      The problem today with too many western Christians is that they are too comfortable, sensitive, and family centered. My observation. Go to Islamic countries for few months and see how missionaries love there.

      You will start being grateful. Most of them don’t have time and opportunity to take a nice picture that you have with your kid, cause they get their heads cut of before they get that chance for their faith.

    • HappyPinnky, I want to applaud you on your inimical argumentation style. First, you assume to know other’s personal experiences of hurt and pain, perhaps for the sake of minimizing or outright ignoring these events, and then you proceed to turn around and play the emotion card. Well done.

      Appeal to Pity: (also “Argumentum ad Miserecordiam”). The fallacy of urging an audience to “root for the underdog” regardless of the issues at hand (e.g., “Those poor, cute little squeaky mice are being gobbled up by mean, nasty cats that are ten times their size!”) A corrupt argument from pathos. See also Playing to Emotions. –

    • HappyPinky, I’ve always said repeatedly that our Korean UBF missionaries are among the most generous, hospitable, loyal, faithful and sacrificial people that I personally know. I’ve always commended them highly for this during my 35 years of UBF life and still do.

      The story of your parent’s love and sacrifice for mission is beautiful in countless ways that I’ve also heard many other 2nd gens from various countries share. This is surely God’s marvelous grace to you as their children.

      But I don’t believe that we are whining on ubfriends when we simply state some glaring faults and weaknesses and blind spots of UBF, and especially of some older old school senior leaders.

      Yes, their sins does not entirely negate or cancel the good they have done. But as Christians and as a church (or parachurch organization), it is inexcusable if they refuse to humbly acknowledge their short-comings, prior mistakes and sins. This refusal is also arrogant and does not display the humility of Christ.

    • 1. You really don’t know anything about my roots and where I’ve been in the world.

      2. You placing the onus on the culture which is receiving the missionaries to understand their culture, is severely misguided. I don’t understand how you can’t see the flaw in that type of thinking.

      3. “Most of them don’t have time and opportunity to take a nice picture that you have with your kid, cause they get their heads cut of before they get that chance for their faith.” I’m not saying that this doesn’t occur, but on the whole, I think you might be over-generalizing here.

    • “The problem today with too many western Christians is that they are too comfortable, sensitive, and family centered. My observation. Go to Islamic countries for few months and see how missionaries love there.”

      Like Samuel Lee did?

    • “UBF missionaries are among the most generous, hospitable, loyal, faithful and sacrificial”

      Sure. The most sacrificial people are at the very bottom of the pyramid-shaped UBF hiearchy however (yes, there are also Koreans at the bottom). These are not the people about whom we complain. If you get to the top of the pyramid, you meet people who did not work with their own hands for nearly their whole life – like Samuel Lee, who lived in a large house paid by the ministry, sent his children to elite universities from whatever money, had people who did everything for him, and never went to Africa or an Islam country as a missionary, but considered the rich 1st world nations at that time, US and Germany as his mission fields in the 1970s. Another example is Peter Chang, who owns several houses though he never had a proper job in Germany. My chapter director also quit his job and lived with his family from offering money. And that despite the fact that he was the one who did the least work in our chapter. He did not even go “fishing” or 1:1 studies like all the others. Nor did he write or share weekly sogams. He was always exempt. The abuse usually oritinated from these people who had too much time at their hands which they used to control and manipulate and “train” other people.

  35. HappyPinky, the problem I see is that it seems that UBF is demanding perfection on the part of its accusers before it wants to listen. At what point will UBF people say – OK this method of criticism is finally right, now we will listen.

    You may not believe this, but people on this site and who hav left UBF are not lazy or dumb people. We are hardworking and made many meaningful efforts to reach UBF people and tell them what was obvious to hurt why we were hurt. But they have rejected us and now you are just demanding that the method of criticism needs to be improved. I think it is more probable that UBF just doesn’t want to listen. We have tried our best in God’s sight, I believe this.

  36. HappyPinnky

    Ben said

    But nonetheless don’t you think that Korean missionaries IN AMERICA should humble themselves and adapt to American culture, rather than expect Americans to adapt to Korean culture?? – See more at:

    Of course missionaries have the obligation. But you seem again adaptation is easier in words than in practice.

    When went to America, I was so touched by missionaries efforts to adapt. But you see no matter how much they try , it will never be enough for natives.

    Whenever, my parents try to act natives, I tell them stop trying and just be korean, because your trying is leading you nowhere.

    There is a lovely American family that I know, and some people were criticizjf them for being too American. Yet, I see their daily effort of trying to adjust,

    Ben, this something you will understand when you yourself live and try to adjust in different culture.

    I’m a cross cultural Kid who GRE up in 4 cultures simultaneously. Yet for me adapting is still a major challenge.

    My point is have grace of missionaries and give them time to process.

    Don’t just read ex ubf accounts here and there because, I can verify that many of them are exaggerating and misconstruing, although mnay are true and worth of addressing.

    • Thanks for your comments, HappyPinky. Again, I’m not disagreeing with you. But people who are hurt and wounded will express some of their pain and wounds in their communication and/or commenting.

      UBFers call it “bashing.” You have called it “whining.” But many on this site regard it as being real and being HOT – honest, open and transparent.

  37. HappyPinnky


    Have you tried ever to go up to korean elderly missionaries and kindly ask them out for tea and hear out their challenges? Have any of you?

    I’ve done it and they pour out.

  38. HappyPinnky

    David that’s the kind of replies I get from people who spend too much time in scholarly activities. I guess we can not relate to each other.

    I’m sure your pain is real and I am not minimizing it, but I don’t missionaries pain is any less.

    • Good day, HP. We are at an impasse that I don’t think is worth attempting to traverse at this point in time.

  39. HappyPinnky

    David sorry,

    I’m not aware of rally of augmentation. I just know ad hominem. People here are not as literate, cause we don’t have money to attend schools.

    So I ask you speak simpler.

    • “People here are not as literate”

      May I remind you that the “U” in UBF and UBFriends stands for “university”? So it should be fair to assume some literacy.

      If you don’t know certain logical fallacies, then it’s a good opportunity for you to learn. Today, it’s very easy – Wikipedia can help you when you don’t know a word or a concept. All of us here on UBFriends are learning a lot through these discussions. And “being willing to learn” was one of the core virtues a good UBF sheep was expected to have.

    • HappyPinnky

      Chris may I ask you to not intervene without knowing the context?

    • “Chris may I ask you to not intervene without knowing the context?”

      May I remind you that this is a public forum? You answered David publicly, so I can add my opinion publicly as well.

  40. HappyPinnky


    What do you mean they do not recognize their mistakes.
    I have heard plenty of apologies and regrets From infamous Chicago center even.

    • Why would the “infamous Chicago center” (your words) ever need to apologize to you? As far as I can tell, they didn’t abuse or misuse their authority over you, right?

    • HappyPinnky

      I meant they expressed regret over how they treated other people to me

  41. Happy,

    While I was in UBF, no I’ve never done that. I was truly under the impression in UBF that UBF missionaries really worked harder than I have and simply deserve a sense of respect that I don’t deserve. I question this now that I have been out of UBF.

    I would find it hard to believe that UBF missionaries would share to me about their sense of failure while I was a UBF sheep. My shepherd who was close to me during Bible studies was mainly to go through the Bible study and that I learned what I was supposed to learn.

    What am I actually supposed to ask in your suggestion? I mean the wording. “Sir, tell me how hard and heavy your life has been since you decided to be a shepherd.”. I already know they have a tough schedule of 1-1 Bible studies. And there are deep personal questions that are simply not thinkable of asking, Happy. I could never ask a random missionary about what they think of UBFriends. The moment I do, all eyes will come staring. If you ask why there are accusations of abortions in the ministry during lunch, goodness gracious you will stop the entire lunch.

    That was how I honestly felt about the culture. Do you find this to be true for you? Are you comfortable with talking about UBFriends over lunch?

    • And one more thing – thanks for replying to my comment.

    • HappyPinnky

      Yeah, Peter

      Getting missionaries talk especially if you are a junior is hard. But there are ways. I don’t how I should explain this but it worked me number of times.

      When I go to Korea, I feel the whole society is cultish, controlling, uniform it’s and etc. That’s why I don’t feel like korean although I am korean.

      All I am aksing is, missionaries are aware of criticisms and rebukes. So now just gently pray for them and ask The Lord to open their blind spots,

      Couples of years ago, I was doing exactly just that constantly criticising. Yet, that did not change anything.

      Only, when I started listening and adminiring their positive sides, did they begin to change.

    • Happy,

      I really did my best to bear with them. I don’t know what further I could have done. I did pray for them. I remember at one point doing this. I guess that time was not right. I made with my best effort trying to talk sense with them, but they couldn’t understand where I was coming from.

      I’m no longer in contact with any of them. And yes I don’t have good feelings about them.

      During UBF I tried to look past these things. But I couldn’t contain my conscience anymore, no matter how hard I tried.

      Therefore, being able to read this forum had a great for help for me since I’ve left. I know you find this place rather mean, but I find it a place of honesty – I really do.

  42. HappyPinnky

    Ben, David, and others

    As I said many times. I am in many ways with you in regards that ubf needs to improve.

    But unlike you, I already see positive changes. So yes, even my dad who is considered an ultra in ubf said that ubfriends should exist, and when I urged him to take more of control, he insisted that younger natives should do so.

    I’m also seeing this in other chapters around here. And I saw this in the states,

    So why is bashing continuing.

    Criticism is good even harsh is good. But not when you spend decades doing that.

    That is my point. Why can’t we work hard in our chapters and in our communities and show the rest of ubf community what we should be like?

    Like the reason why I respect Ben is that although I don’t agree on everything, he is trying to create a good model, so is Hyde park which I love and admire, and Waterloo.

    Because this constant bashing only hardens peoples hearts and it’s harder for them to repent.

    • Happy,

      I don’t think the full extent of where UBF has gone wrong is realized yet. On your side, it may seem that things are improving. But you may not see our point of view. You may not understand we are saying needs to change.

      People were really really hurt. The pain people have experienced from leaving is very great. And as long as the full extent of that pain is not understood by UBF members, but rather are ignored and dismissed with “We are already improving in ways that we can see”, then the pain remains.

  43. HappyPinnky


    Yes, a lot people got hurt. I was also hurt in ubf and even more so outside of ubf, maybe that is why I came back.

    But I remembers pondering upon my hurt, and it did not lead me to anywhere good. Only when I briught my pain to Jesus did I recover. I don’t know of people who hurt me still admit or not, and I don’t care to be honest. Because Jesus forgave me uncountable amount of sins, so why can’t I forgive 20 sins they commited against me.

    I was attacked by racist gangs several times. I was spit at? Harassed and etc. In this country that I live. Yet,I chose to come back and even see the people who almost killed my parents and me with new eyes. And now I love them and now I serve them. I am not asking for their apologies. Because Jesus did it for them.

    When I studied bible with mother Barry, this topic of anti ubefers came up. She admits that a lot mistakes happened and things that were wrong. Yet, she says that those who were hurt can only be healed by Jesus.

    I too have seen how some Christians who are hurt hold on to that grudge for years and become un recognizable. That is the fate I don’t want for anyone even for fierce critics of ubf. A want them to receive ultimate healing to to shine in their loves for Jesus.

    Our church recently rejoiced when one member who left bitter and was hurt is now starting a new reformed Calvinist church. Isn’t that great?

    And I look forward to the day when we can all reconcile. But that time, is not to us, only God can decide that. Whether this will happen in our lifetime or in life to come.

    • Happy, thanks again for your comment to me.

      I tried to bear the hurt too, and bring to Jesus so to speak. I did this multiple times, and I could go on. At one point, things just went broke because the same things kept coming back.

      Now I don’t mean to sound holier and thou, but things like being attacked physically by groups I don’t find as aggravating by what I went through. It says in Proverbs, if a man’s body is weak, his spirit sustains him. But a crushed spirit who can bear? (paraphrase) The pain that ex UBFers feel is much deeper than physical pain. Think more of the book of Job.

      To be very honest with you now: I don’t think UBF’s apologies will really decisively bring healing. In a sense, God is at the helm of everything, if you belong to Him. In the book of Job, the hurt Job found comfort in a vision of God’s amazing wisdom, and not through his miserable comforters apologizing.

      But there are some who will take all this and say therefore you should no longer say anything against UBF, and that all these criticism are wrong. Don’t you find this insensitive? Is it a wonder why UBFriends posters don’t react positively to this line of thinking?

    • Yet, she says that those who were hurt can only be healed by Jesus. – See more at:

      Mother Barry said that to you, but Jesus did not say that. See Matthew 5:23-24. Oh yeah and that new command Jesus gave (John 13:34). Those words by Sarah Barry are just a cop out from paying attention to the hurt and lives of real people because then real abuses would have to be admitted and confronted.

  44. HappyPinnky

    If they the ubf don’t want to listen, then why do we need to keep banging the dead horse?

    Just leave the fierrrrrry judgment.

    I would do that

    • Why? Because real people are involved here. That’s what I saw at stake while “in” UBF and speaking out, and why I am still concerned and continued to speak. The lives of real people are at stake here. But because your experiences as a Korean director’s son who is “multicultural” and had Bible studies with Mother Barry is different, this should all be dismissed.

      Here’s an American saying for you, “Get your head out of your ass.”

  45. HappyPinnky


    Your efforts were not aimless. They did not change then, but I hope they will change.

    I’m sure Gods reward will be great.

    I respect a lot American and British missionaries who came to Korea, by the way if you got to. Korea Ubf they will make you visit American missioanry graves and pay tribute. Seriously.

    What is interesting is that when first American missionaries came, no matter how hard they preached, nothing seemed to change. Yet, decades after revival began.

    So yes, I do respect people like Joe, Brian and Ben for their sincere efforts in trying to improve things. I think those who stayed and trying to change are their fruits, and I mean it, although I do sound overtly harsh sometimes.

    Who knows, I’m also living with the possibility that one day I’ll be also kicked out. But if that happens may that happen. But after experience on other ministries and churches, I am happy to be back for now. God knows what lies ahead.

  46. HappyPinnky

    Hello Charles,

    I would recommend you to avoid ubf draining your life.

    Life is short so you told them once, 2, 3. So now it’s time to take care of your life. Those inside will take care of internal people.

    Oh by the way I’ve never put my head in my ass. It won’t fit. And it stinks there

    Sorry for being multicultural, directors son, and studying bible with mother Barry. I shouldn’t have disclosed such details.

    • “And it stinks there”
      Exactly! And you’re bringing here.

      “I would recommend you to avoid ubf draining your life.”
      Good advice. That’s one reason why I left.

      “Those inside will take care of internal people.”
      Why do you assume this? Really, you act like no one here has been on the “inside.” We were “those inside.” Your assumption is stinky and unfounded.

      “Sorry for being multicultural, directors son, and studying bible with mother Barry.”
      More stink right here. These are not unique qualifications, nor do they put you above everyone else who has years of experience on you.

  47. HappyPinnky


    Yes, because of I was directors son, I don’t think I even had the same pain as you did.

    I recently rebuked a senior leader for favoring second gens over others, and this man to my surprise said that une should repent of this.

    But Peter, I am not annoyed by people saying bad things. If anything I’ve said tons of bad things.

    But what is worse, is when people keep on dwelling on it.

    Couples years ago I suffered from OCD about my body part. It literally ate me for 2 years. On,y when I stopped looking in a mirror for 1 year, did in get healed and no longer brothers me as much.

    Same here. I don’t know people here, but pain is real and I am afraid that the more they dwell, it will get worse.

    Don’t think of me as mr. Pro ubf. Ubf has huge defects, and sometimes I ask myself why I’m here. But at the same time, I try to love it señorita leaders, and young people people equally, but it’s hard.

    • Happy,

      How should people “not dwell” on the pain? Would you say by no longer reading or posting on this website?

      Do you feel that the main purpose of the collection of articles on this article are mainly about dwelling on the past pain?

    • The reason I ask is that if you take a look through the many articles, much are very good insights about the freedom of the Christian life which would benefit UBF in a million ways.

  48. HappyPinnky


    Being multicultural, in some ways it does have leverage. I’m not trying to impose my superiority, just my multinational observation.


    I people here getting healed through criticizing for years and axes, then great. But I doubt that is the way Christ want us behave.

    It’s my opinion. So far, I have seen those who left and who got healing. Their way was different.

    If you believe me ask trained psychologists. They would affirm.

    So far I don’t think people here have found complete healing and joy. Not all of course.

    I pray the do though even for Charles, even though he is a bit mean.

    I do think their pains are real. I hope and pray that their life can shine more than ever before.

    • Joe Schafer

      “Only when I briught my pain to Jesus did I recover. – See more at:

      If you are an example of what recovery looks like, I hope and pray that I do not recover.

    • Happy,

      In my opinion, based on my opinion and what I see, much of the discussion on this forum is related to trying to re-understand what the gospel is, and trying to understand what we thought we already knew and just assumed. I unfortunately am not diligent enough right now to give you a link to something here, but really they do exist and can be easily found.

      Things like what is grace, sin, the Holy Spirit, and its relational effect in our lives, I have to be honest, are not talked about at all in a meaningful way in UBF. And they are pondered on here. And of course, people here will comment on their prior understanding while in UBF (which is the part which you may find distasteful).

      I am willing to bet if you were engaged in the pure biblical discussion of these past topics, you would get a lot of good out of it.

  49. HappyPinnky

    I hope you do.

  50. HappyPinnky


    That is why I loved coming here. It was fun and inspiring to talk about things.

    But you you know it yourself that this website has really changed. Instead of talking about how to encourage one another, there is more bashing than before.

    Even second gens who are not korean and want change talk about how they won’t come here until some people stop hijacking this place.

    I got angry today, because of the immature way Brian and did to this missionary.

    I dont know this missioanry, but they way you guys laugh at him is so wrong.

    I would encourage those who laughed, trying going to foreign country and learn the language. And speak at the level he did.

    I don’t think I want to engage here anymore, because I’m not getting anything of use.

    • Happy, though you say you understand, you keep insisting that anyone who shares how they were hurt and abused by ubf as “bashing” and “whining.”

      When I and others tried to express to Mr. Kim how rude and disrespectful his comments sounded, you then accused us of “laughing at him,” when that was not at all what I attempted to do.

      It seems to me that you are just determined to call anyone who shares some abuse from ubf as “bashing” and “whining,” and anyone who tries to correct a ubf missionary as “laughing at them.”

      Maybe you do not realize what you are intending to communicate, but this is what it seems to me. Is it just me??

    • HappyPinnky

      When anyone repeatshe same thing 1000 times, I would go nuts.

    • Happy,

      May I suggest something: I think people in UBF have allowed UBF to take a very unhealthy position in their identity. If you are in UBF, why are you afraid of being overly critical about it? It is just an organization you are in, and God may call you out of it to join another. When you chose to become a Christian, was UBF part of the story? Come on, God forbid. So if not, why is it so interwoven in your identity now?

      I think it is because of this that many are offended in UBF. It’s because such a deep part of them that they can’t bear to see analyzed. And that is what differs from people here, people here don’t see that way about UBF anymore, and they will be free to say what is on their minds.

      If what I’m saying is true, please suggest to me how anyone here can make this place more accomodable to people in UBF. If UBF is so dear to you, how can we say anything about it? There is nothing we can do.

      Do you think it’s right for UBF to be so close in our identity?

    • One last thing and this is important:

      I have also had things in my life which I mixed with my identity in a way that was not wise. I apologize to you, if you do feel actually offended because I have not understood who you really are. We all have idols in our lives, and it’s not in any wisdom for me to look down on you.

  51. Happy, say if your sister or some girl you care about was abused physically, emotionally or sexually. Then she is groaning and lamenting over her horrible experiences that happened over a period of time. This groaning might last for years, if not a lifetime, depending on how severe or harsh or long lasting the abuse was.

    Are you ever going to say, suggest or hint to her that she is “bashing” her abuser, or “whining” about what her abuser did to her?? Or that she should “just get over it” and “move on” with your life and relationships??

    • HappyPinnky


      I would go to abused and tell him to repent and hand him over to police. Whether he repent or not is his problem.

      I would listen to her for a good period of time, but if she does it for years and years, I would think she needs to encounter The Lord. This what Ravi Zacharias was saying.

      My mom was almost died in hospital three times because of idiotic doctors. She choose to let it go in name of Jesus and now she is a happy and healthy women.

      I don’t the evidence that people who pour out here we getting better at all.

      Yes. Listening is important but not when it goes on for years. Merely listening won’t do anything.

      Ultiamatley, I would tell my loved one, let go of it. I would do that to myself.

      The more you think and reflect the more that person or memory has power over you.

    • HappyPinnky


      You also assume that everyone who was left ubf and is hurt is the victim. Who deserves apology. And in this case you assume that ubf is the abuser.

      There is truth that some left with pain and were hurt. But also many who left are a users themselves.

      Do you know of any atrocious things some did when the left? You guys probably aren’t aware of any stories of how sheep mistreated Sheperds or missionaries. Maybe it’s time to dig up those as well.

      Ben I can say for church

      80 percent who left don’t deserve any apology

      10 percent who left deserve an apology

      10 percent I’m not sure

      If you are so insistent on ubf apologizing, them gather up ex members so that we can mutually apologizing time and conference. That will work better.

      But of course, there are those who have left and they deserve sincere apology.

    • mrkimmathclass


      You should know that when they said that they were abused, many of them did bad things in ubf and left ubf saying bad things against ubf.

      And some of them couldn’t do the ministry successfully and blame ubf system and Korean missionaries for their failures. Some of them don’t say harsh words but pretend very intellectual and enjoy other teammates say violent words.

      Think about it.
      If they were abused for long time, why didn’t they talk to the person directly. They all were in America, not in Korea. They were mostly Americans, not Koreans.
      I also have been seeing many Americans here. But, I couldn’t dare abuse anyone. I couldn’t force anyone to marry against their will. Even in Korea, it is not possible at all.

      In America, we all have free will. Nobody can control anybody. Have you ever tried? But I saw this, a person hated a pastor because the pastor didn’t listen to the person and the person’s idea. The person left ubf and say that ubf is full of darkness and evil.

      Of course, not all the cases. I don’t know which one is true and which one is lie. Many of them lie and manipulate their story. I also saw some cases with my own eyes, but those cases were not by the leaders. And because of those cases, you call ubf cult. It is absurd.

      I know this might offend these people and they will pour out so many bad words against ubf again.

      But, honestly, this is how I felt while I have been here. Many people are blindly criticizing ubf and don’t accept other opinions at all. They don’t want to discuss about how to resolve the cases. But, they just say, “I am abused, I am abused. So, you should be punished.”

      This is my rude opinion.
      However, I apologize to those who were really hurt and abused.

    • mrkim,

      “Nobody can control anybody. Have you ever tried?”

      Yes many in ubf have tried and succeeded in controlling people. It is called cult manipulation, B.I.T.E. model and Lifton’s criteria for abuse. It happens all the time at ubf. We have hundreds of documented cases publicly available. There is also the Stockholm effect.

      Have you heard of the term brainwashing? Do you know where that term originated? Guess what– Americans captured in China and Korea during the Korean war suddenly turned against America and claimed they made their “own decision”. Such prisoners in Korea were able to be returned to their normal state when removed from the sleep deprivation, indoctrination and shaming.

      The same observable and quantifiable evidence can be found at many ubf chapters.

    • Mrkim,

      You ask: why don’t they talk to the person directly.

      Many have, but there is a reason why your suggestion of honesty won’t work in UBF. The reason is because UBF missionaries will not stand to the idea that their sheep are accusing them of anything. Can you imagine the conversation?

      “Before we study Matthew again in this 1-1 Bible study, I would like to say that I think you a spiritual abuser. Let’s stop doing 1-1 and talk about this”.

      You have to be really blind to think that this works in a culture like UBF.

  52. HappyPinnky


    Il repeat myself for fourth time.

    I am not at all against bashing or criticizing.

    My point is ” look, those inside who listen and who do not listen are sickly aware of what critics are saying okay” ? I was with you, not anymore, because as someone who wants things to be changed desperately, I am completely sick of the way you guys do it. No one in this world wants to be called cult and expect the person to listen.

    Ben for example, if I constantly called you an ” idiot, bastard, oriental monkey and holler my lungs at you etc” ( I would never say it).

    Would you ever listen? Tell me?

    That is kind of criticism I often see here.

    The Problems I see are two.

    1. Incessant bashing.

    2. Mocking and insults.

    My point is I heard enough I heard from Chris for more than a decade. I can give oral presentation on what’s Brian said on this forum.

    I have spent 4 hours today on this forum chatting and most you spend 20 times more. This is not Normal.

    So if people are aware of what is being said for over decades, why repeat yourself.

    Is this forum for enlightenment or for vomiting?

  53. bekamartin

    I have read many of HappyPinnky’s comments in many topics and I have to say that he sounds like a child of abuse and oppression, justifying his abuser/oppressor. Just my opinion.

    • Agreed. HappyPinnky pointed out he hears these things: “1. Incessant bashing. 2. Mocking and insults.”

      Well the only bashing, mocking, insults, namecalling has come from HappyPinnky and mrkimmathclass. They are the ones calling someone a “pig” or “stupid”.

    • HappyPinnky

      Nice insult

      Are you a wife of Andrew Martin?


      That made me laugh seriously.

    • You are treading on thin ice, HappyPinnky. Don’t go there or you will be banned.

    • HappyPinnky, that’s really a very very low blow. I am very very sorry that you are resorting to such low tactics, especially considering that you are an honorable Korean UBF director’s son.

    • HappyPinnky

      So who is my oppressor?

    • HappyPinnky


      I don’t know what admin found so insulting ?

      I meant that I laughed at the abuse you thrown at me, but is genuinely inquired whether you knew such person, whose book was a great piece of spiritual strength to me.

      I hope I did not insult you in anyway.

    • Oddly enough, I’m with HP, here. I think it was easy to misconstrue that comment.

  54. “80 percent who left don’t deserve any apology”

    Well just about 100% of those who left do not want an apology. What we want is repentance. What we want is honesty. What we want is acknowledgment. Oh and we do not want to be called stupid, blind, foolish pigs just because we do not glorify ubf.

    That’s rub, isn’t it mrkim and HappyPinky? The ONLY thing you care about is if we ubfrienders glorify ubf or at least shut up and go away.

    Well I for one will never glorify ubf. I will only shut up when the Spirit tells me to.

    • HappyPinnky

      Today you say you were personally not hurt, tommorow you say you are so hurt, today you say ubf should repent and apologize, tommorow you say you don’t care if ubf repent or not, one day you say I’m free to say anything, and you will listen, tomorpw I speak up and I get thrown labels in matter of two hours, today I spent 5 hours trying to listen and interact, and now they want to ban me.

    • “today I spent 5 hours trying to listen and interact”

      And this is from your very first comment in this forum:

      “Are you guys this idiotic?” –

      Nice communication skills ya got there.

    • “Today you say you were personally not hurt, tommorow you say you are so hurt, today you say ubf should repent and apologize, tommorow you say you don’t care if ubf repent or not, …”

      I don’t think this has been said by the same person. You seem to believe that all UBF critics must have the same opinion (out-group homogeneity effect), but you need to understand that there are different people here who have different opinions. Personally I think UBF should repent, I have always said so and never changed my opinion. First step however is that UBF admits the abuse and rehabilitates the reformers, starting with the Korean senior shepherds of 1976.

    • Also, regarding personal hurt: Yes, I have been hurt personally. But it is not the factor that drives me to still talk about UBF. My personal hurt has been healed. You seem to believe that people who criticize UBF must still be hurt and bitter. If I’m bitter then it’s not because of my personal hurt, but because of what UBF has done to others and the fact that UBF has still not officially acknowledged its wrongoings and that the UBF system that hurts people is still in place in glorified by many, even if some changes and adaptions have been made. Can you imagine that people outside UBF care about the wellbeing of others, not only themselves and their own personal feelings?

    • +1 Chris. My thoughts exactly.

    • Joe Schafer

      It’s wrong to assume that, because Chris and Brian and I and others post comments here, that we have an unhealthy obsession with UBF and are holding on to bitterness and that we need to move on to something more productive. Readers who do not know us personally have no clue what we do with our time. Through this website, you can see a narrow slice of someone’s life. It would be a huge mistake to assume that the narrow slice is the entirety. Telling Brian or Chris or me to be quiet and move on an get a life is rather silly, because each of us really does have a life, and our lives are actually much better and much healthier than when we were deeply involved in the organization. Instead of assuming that you know why we participate in these discussions, it would be better to ask us why and take us at our word.

    • Great point Joe: “Readers who do not know us personally have no clue what we do with our time. – See more at:

      For example, things I’ve spent my time on recently:

      – helped pack 7,000 pounds of beets for the needy
      – watched my boss rapell down the side of a building
      – talked and prayed with Randy Reese, founder of VantagePoint3
      – worshipped and talked and cried with Matthew Vines
      – played Skip Bo with my family
      – enjoying becoming more and more family-centered!
      – went to a romantic hide-away resort with my wife :o

  55. “So now just gently pray for them and ask The Lord to open their blind spots,”

    Ok fine HappyPinnky. But how are we supposed to deal with their verbal abuse? financial abuse? sexual abuse? How about their shunning and publicly shaming our friends? I watched over 100 of my friends be shamed out of ubf and I sat by doing what you say, thinking I was so righteous.

    Do we just stand by quietly praying while the plane crashes into the mountain like the Korean airlines’ pilots?

  56. HappyPinnky

    To admin

    For what? For what shall I be banned?

    I was just curious cause I read a book called crossing the Red Sea by Andrew Martin and wanted to make a compliment on that book. I was touched. Why would be banned?

  57. If there are 3 +1’s to this comment, I will ban HappyPinnky. We can always unban after a timeout.

    • HappyPinnky

      Go head. I shall reappear as new person.

    • Ok so there will be no banning today. Good. I love this community.

  58. HappyPinnky

    Ben what are you taking about?

    Being called the son of oppression and abuse is okay?

    I just wanted to ask if her husband authored the book that I like. Is that a lowly question to ask? Why?

    Ben I think you need to work on being more balanced in your rebukes. Maybe you should also rebuke bekka for harsh words as well. Don’t you think?

  59. HappyPinnky


    Unfortunately, I am losing the respect I had for you. I’m offended at how you are so harsh at me for inquiring why I’m being called a son of abuse which to me sounds like same as son of a b.

  60. HappyPinnky

    I’ll be happy if you erase me. Cause I got addicted to discussions here. At least you won’t have anyone from pro ubf ers.

    Men, I love I get all kinds of labels, son of abuse, son of oppression, put your head your head in the ass, go smoke a pipe, glorious ubfer,

    Where is admin in all this.

    Ha I forgot, this place got hijacked.

    • “Do not post anything that a reasonable person may regard as obscene, offensive, hurtful, mocking, demeaning or condescending. Welcome others.”

      HP, I apologize for telling you to “go smoke your pipe somewhere else”. I think that I speak for everyone here when I say that you’re free to smoke your pipe here if you like. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. No, seriously, I have no ill will toward you. Thank you for the illuminating dialogue. Be well. – David

  61. HappyPinky,

    We all have violated some of our commenting policies at different times. But you have violated ALL of our commenting policies repeatedly since you joined recently.

    Please take a timeout and re-consider how you are interacting here. We will tolerate breaking some of these policies, but not all of them.

    Commenting Policies

    Anyone who visits this site is welcome to post comments, but we reserve the right to remove material that does not conform to the following guidelines.

    Be concise. Avoid long-winded comments, and do not include large sections of text from other sources or from other pieces that you have written. If there is something lengthy that you want to say, consider submitting it as a contributed article.

    Be humble, and don’t preach.

    No matter how right you think you are, you may still be wrong.
    Be kind.

    Do not post anything that a reasonable person may regard as obscene, offensive, hurtful, mocking, demeaning or condescending. Welcome others.

    Many people are shy about posting their views in public because it makes them vulnerable to criticism. Allay their fears, and accept newcomers into the fellowship of this website with grace.

    Restrain yourself.

    After posting one or perhaps two comments about a topic, please stop and give others a chance, so that the discussion is not dominated by a small group of individuals.

    Speak only for yourself. Do not claim to speak on behalf of others.

    Be a good listener. Do not dismiss what others say merely because their background or style of communication may be different from yours.
    Take others at their word.

    Comment on the substance of what has been actually said, not on the person who said it, nor on what you believe may be a hidden meaning or motivation behind what has been said.

    Treat people as individuals.

    Avoid stereotypes and sweeping generalizations.

    Do not spread rumor, gossip or hearsay, and do not malign the reputations of others.

    Do not post sensitive personal information about yourself or anyone else.

  62. HappyPinnky

    Dear admin,

    In that case I I sit that everyone gets banned for a while except for Ben, cause I can say a that his composure and way of interaction is Christ like.

    In think others have violated policies more than me. Or do ubf critics get more quota?

  63. HappyPinnky


    I agree with what you say.

    I have also seen examples those who for all wrong reasons, yet they want to blame the system.

  64. This is to both HappyPinnky and Mrkimclass:

    I think that you all would agree that arguing back and forth with people on this site is not accomplishing anything. And it seems as though you both are spending a considerable amount of time crafting responses to some of the comments. My suggestion, totally up to you, would be to spend that time instead writing an article which explains some of the positive changes you’ve seen in the ministry.

    HappyPinnky, it seems as though you want to remain anonymous, so perhaps you can’t speak on specifics in your chapter. Nevertheless, I think that you can speak about events in some detail and omit identifying information like dates, the names of place and people, etc. I personally would love to hear accounts of positive developments in UBF. Also, since you seem to be well-informed about inter-cultural issues, why not write an article on this? You could share a lot from your own personal life experiences. I am actually very interested to learn about this topic and I think that you could provide us with some valuable insight.

    We may never see eye-to-eye, but I promise that I will listen and respond with feedback in a charitable manner.

    • HappyPinnky

      Thanks Brian

      I need to repent much today as well.i do get emotional, but that is a great suggestion.

  65. HappyPinnky

    Sorry, I meant david

  66. HappyPinnky

    This is my last comment for today, but I would like to share some positive things I learned from commentators here.

    1. It’s true that conversations got bit ugly at times and sometimes way to blunt. I for one got emotional. But, specifically thank Ben and David for having a composure of a gentlemen and almost always interacting in a calm and very pleasant manner. These are the qualities I would like to learn for future.

    2. I am touched by Ben’s genuine desire to listen to people and their pain. In other words, compassion.

    3. I also want people to know here that I genuinely care for their well being. I’m thankful to people like Joe who despite their popularity and recognition dared to challenge old systems and wrongs, and as long as I stay, I hope to promote Christ in all things. But it will take time and perhaps painful moments. I can never compare my experience with those of Ben, Joe, and Brian knowing the countless hours and experiences they had within UBF, only The Lord can fully understand the sweat and labor you did.

    4. I hope that Lord will bless you all abundantly in this life and in next.

    5. May you all forgive me for my immature attitude at times. I will work on myself.

    • HP, thanks. Let’s be friends.

    • Thank you for your gracious words, HP. I’m far from perfect as well, so let’s try to continually extend grace toward one another as we communicate what’s on our hearts and minds. God be with you and, if you are willing, I hope to hear some of those positive reports in the near future :)

    • “This is my last comment for today, but I would like to share some positive things I learned from commentators here.”

      Thanks HP for posting this. Sometimes I think it would be helpful to meet in person. If you ever visit Germany and want to talk with me, le me know. Maybe we can arrange something.

  67. Thanks for commenting Happy. I think you would have to agree, despite the disagreements, you got to speak your mind. This is a positive that many in UBF can’t do in their current environment.

  68. HappyPinnky

    I forgot one thing as well. Like all of you I do pray that wrongs commited by UBF may be repented of and apologized GENUINELY and new principles based on clear biblical principles implemented and seek reconcilation. I really hope this can occur in my lifetime. And I do pray that those hurt may be restored and used by God to bring forth Gods healing to thousands who were hurt and abused.

  69. Okay, I have almost caught up with this thread of dialogue, but I must go soon.

    HappyPinnky, Welcome! Thank you for getting involved in the dialogue. No matter how people are rubbed by your comments at least you have become transparent and we have learned more about you, your objective to participate and also some insights that you might bring.

    I don’t think Brian was trying to make racial comments by uploading the voice message. He clearly provided an email from 2011 telling him to communicate by email and then when he raised a sensitive topic in 2012 was probably emailed not to send any more mail. After that, he was called with a voice message telling him it was a warning, but he was not told what the warning was for, only just that his correspondence had gotten to sensitive in nature. He was not told about forthcoming consequences either, just about a warning.

    I only regard the multi-cultural matter with moderate recognition. Okay, so, the experience is experience. It was not read in a book somewhere. I too am multi-cultural. First, I have mixed parents…one British and one East European. I grew up in Canada and never really accepted the local culture, but of course I have a closer outlook to a Canadian, while still having an understanding for the home countries.

    For the past four years I have lived in Korea with my wife and children. Yes, I am still part of UBF. Yes, I experienced many terrible things back in Canada UBF. Many of which I cannot excuse, however, I will say this. I am always thankful for the day I met the missionary who came to invite me to Bible study in 2002. I love him and his family despite problems that we had over the years. But, I cannot accept UBF the system and institution. In ignorance, abuses occur and only the people involved are to blame. However, we have come to a time and place when cover ups and silences, even law suits to keep people quiet….these have gone on for too long!

    Some want corporate repentance and others want UBF to be shut down. You cannot undermine people on account of experience as a director’s kid. In many cases, the people here have a greater respect for you, because they can only begin to imagine your upbringing and experience. But, such respect will be lost if in fact you don’t listen up. Listening, can be frustrating due to the repetitive complaints and comments etc…

    But this is not new. When I first joined online in 2012 it was the same atmosphere and topics. In fact yellowblossom has been going through some of the old articles and threads and has had her eyes opened that NO! No, she is not alone. Many other people experienced the same things and also agree that it is not right.

    I don’t want to discuss church and missionary history, because too much of it is interconnected with national superiority. Historical events are marred by cultural supremacy over others, even in the name of God. But, UBF has been going since a new, more recent period and should at least make an effort to remove elements of Korea at the interactive level among foreign countries. I already said before about corporal punishment being normal and acceptable until the previous government just prior to Park.

    In Korea, my life has not been the easiest and I do understand Korean somewhat, but I have no time to prepare language due to my children and daily duties at work etc…I also had more than 10 years of intensive preparation back in Canada including, my work, friendly relationships, landlord and yes, UBF. Through many things I have experienced Korean culture…I can usually see where Christian culture and Korean culture meet. I have even lived with my mother-in-law on more occasions than I can count.

    I don’t want to express my qualifications to dialogue about intercultural matters. Please take heed of Chris. He did and he will always call you to position your eyes on the reform movements of the past. They were parented by Koreans and not foreigners. People in other countries just add to the support, but the actual initiatives are found among the Koreans themselves. Which means that there is and always will be a disagreement about how to address matters of spirituality that do not necessarily cut across cultural differences.

    Anyway, I am very long, but I am out of the loop. I am in a different time zone and cannot join in when everyone is chatting…so, regretfully, I am a late! Thank you very much HP! We need more dynamic in this dialogue and the beauty here has been found in your growing transparency and present desire to respond. Nothing has been worse in the past couple of weeks than the silences surrounding many topics that have been raised since the reply to Joe’s letter.

  70. HappyPinnky
    I am sorry for you and your family had been through to live as ubf missionary family.
    Imagine the late Samuel Lee kicked your father out of ubf after all the efforts and sacrifice and labeled him as a ‘rebel’, ‘proud’ and ‘satan’ because your father said “wrongs committed by UBF may be repented of and apologized GENUINELY” Or imagine that Samuel Lee ordered your mom not to sleep with your father until your father repent for what he said to Samuel Lee. Imagine that because of that event, you mom become mentally ill and your dad become depressed and no ubf members are allowed to talk or visit your family by the order of Samuel Lee who said that he is training your parents.

    I believe Joe, Ben Brian and others at ubfriends will stand with your family and speak for you against Samuel lee while other good missionaries are keeping sacrificing themselves for ubf ministry or for themselves.

    • vmi, I think I get what you’re saying. Making your own suffering greater than others (and so putting their down) as HP did, is a dangerous thing to do. Whether some suffering is greater than others or not, to take away from another person is demeaning, dismissive, and egocentric, whether intended or not. This kind of thought was something I saw a lot in UBF. Sacrifices were always announced and measured up against another person, especially someone who had some complaints. I did it as well. The funny thing is that those sufferings were all caused by UBF, not necessarily from the world because my faith or mission. Granted, some people do have it rougher, but we can’t be dismissive or hold our own sufferings above others. It’s dangerous. Just as you said, we should imagine the sufferings of others as our own–to empathize with others in a genuine way.

      The problem I do have is when I’m told to honor and have compassion for missionaries’ for their suffering simply because they are missionaries. I did not, nor anyone else I know, ask any missionaries to go to a foreign land to “save” me and suffer for me. I can appreciate what has been done. But don’t go somewhere, invite people into a group, and then when those people speak about how this group has hurt them turn and demand that they be honored and respected for their great sacrifice, acting as if they’re a victim suddenly and others are not. It’s a convenient way of getting praise and honor in good times and in times of suffering and not being concerned about the people that were being “saved.”

  71. I hope ubf leadership may follow at least these protocol if they want to apologize to someone.

    The Forgiveness Protocol

    1. Say you are sorry.

    2. Make an inventory of how your behavior might have hurt or harmed someone. Ask that person if the list is complete, and correct your list to reflect a complete account of the costs of your behavior.

    3. Say you are sorry again. Be prepared to say this many times.

    4. Tell the other person exactly how you understand the costs of your behavior, and allow the other person to vent, elaborate, or reiterate as needed so that the other person really feels heard.

    5. Clarify with the other person if the behavior was a simple accident, a mistake, a mistaken calculation of costs and benefits, or a deliberate deed. This part is not easy and takes time and attention. “Thoughtlessness” is one of the most common sources of problems, and may reflect recurrent self-centeredness. Intentional acts of revenge or malice also require great insight to acknowledge.

    6. Humbly ask forgiveness. Describe your inner state of guilt, remorse, sadness, grief, anger or whatever.

    7. Describe what you have learned from the incident. Show insight and awareness, or yourself and your mistake, and the other person and his/her pain.

    8. List what you will do or change to avoid a repetition of the incident.

    9. Clarify what penalties to expect if you make a mistake, or transgress again. Discuss what each of you will do to avoid a repetition.

    10. Say you are sorry, yet again.

    • vmi, this “Forgiveness Protocol” is great. However, it still only covers an “incidental” wrongdoing. Sure, we have many cases in UBF, where people wronged each other and where following this protocol is necessary and will help a lot. But it will not solve the problem fundamentally. We have another component here which is the systematic wrongdoing caused by the UBF system. It’s not incidental or accidental, it’s intrinsic in the system. As long as you follow the shepherding/discipling paradigm, as long as you advocate authoritarian, unaccountable leadership, as long as you follow certain teachings such as “mission over everything” etc. these incidents will always pop up. They are only symptoms, not causes of the illness. We’re not dealing with incidents of abuse that happened in the UBF system and were caused by the UBF system, we’re dealing with the UBF system itself.

    • Chris. I agree.
      I think step 7 and 8 may include systematic wrongdoings and false teachings you mentioned.

      On top of this protocols, we may need to add more steps as a body of Christ.

  72. Mark Mederich

    2 things: CHRIST ALONE IS THY MASTER (no mere man ever qualify) &

  73. Hey everyone if the threats against you by Korean ubf missionairies gets too much or you need serious help, you can reach out to FACT:

    I just have to say after this week’s private discussions with some former members that some Korean ubf missionairies are the most despicable human brings I’ve encountered. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then thank God you don’t have to experience the guilt and shame and threats that some ex ubf people endure.

    • To state the obvious, there are obviously many UBF missionaries who ARE genuinely gracious, humble, meek, gentle, godly saints.

      It is simply just so very sad and unfortunate that that those who are abusive, authoritarian, unaccountable, contemptible, condescending and arrogant, that are causing endless pain and wounds to genuine and sincere UBF Christians, simply because those “despicable” missionaries believe that it is their absolute God-given right to “control their sheep” according to their own agenda and expectation.