I am not Anti-War, I am Pro-Peace

fr“I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”- Mother Theresa

Change your words; change your worth

In an earlier article, I mentioned how language dictates reality In this article I will talk about how words change worth. The other day, I was watching a clip about Adam Braun the author of “The Promise of a Pencil.” His book describes his personal journey of starting a “for purpose” business that has opened 200 schools around the world, and he started with only $25. In the book he says, “Change your words, change your worth.” This is why he uses the phrase “for purpose business” instead of “nonprofit.”

For Purpose Business

Once Braun was casually conversing with a business man. It was very engaging until the end of the conversation when the man asked, “So…what do you do?” Once Braun said, “I run a nonprofit…” the man zoned out and lost interest. At that moment, Braun realized that the word nonprofit was not benefiting his cause. He realized he needed to create a new term because no one describes their business/product with a “non.”   For example, no one calls a car company a “non aviation company.” Therefore, he coined the term for purpose business. We say what we are. Just as Mother Theresa would not identify with an anti-war demonstration, but she would participate in a pro-peace rally.

I’m not anti-ubf; I’m pro-Church (big C)

There has been pushback on this blog because of accusations that those who submit articles here only “bash” ubf and try to tear it down. As if the only discussion here is about how bad UBF is. One person asked, “Why is Dr. Ben still in UBF if he complains about it on ubfriends?” I’d like to counter that notion by saying that ubfriends is not anti-ubf. Quite the contrary there is discussion on this forum from both those inside UBF and outside UBF. UBF does not define a person. For example, I am associated with UBF, that’s where I go on Sundays, but my allegiance is not to UBF. My allegiance is to Christ first and foremost. I write not to destroy UBF. It doesn’t matter to me whether one stays or leaves. What matters to me is if one is growing closer to Christ or not. (And growing in Christ can take place outside of UBF.) Furthermore, it is possible to critique one’s church and still love it; it is a critique of love, not malice.

The Church (big C) is much bigger than the organization founded in the 60’s by SL and MB. The church is the entity mentioned in Daniel 2:44-45,

“In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.  This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand.”

The Church is God’s social experiment that began 2000 years ago and spans over time, space, culture, ideologies, etc. The Church is the living body of Christ in Asia, Africa, Europe, the US and even within you and me (Luke 17:21). It is much bigger than UBF. What a privilege to be a part of the body of Christ.

To conclude

Choose your words wisely. As M. Theresa said, “As soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.” She wouldn’t go to an anti-war demonstration, but she would attend a pro-peace rally. Personally, as a vegetarian, I am not anti-meat; I’m pro-broccoli. (I live in a house of meat-eaters). And as a closet feminist, I am not anti-men, I’m pro-women. I will spend my time and energy encouraging women to use their voices and speak up. Do not be defined by what you are not, but by what you are.

Are there any words, that you need to change? Are there any negative messages that others tell you or that you tell yourself? How can you make them positive? Comment Below. Share your story.



  1. Thanks MJ, for this perspective. I appreciate the sentiment. I think this demonstrates that you have a rather healthy view of your life and the ministry.

    You question is valid, and I need to answer similar questions: ““Why is Dr. Ben still in UBF if he complains about it on ubfriends?” – See more at: http://www.ubfriends.org/2015/08/17/i-am-not-anti-war-i-am-pro-peace/#sthash.BriGWtwl.dpuf

    Why should I expect people to believe me? Should they believe the BrianK who was Mr. ubf? Or the BrianK who constantly bashes ubf?

    The same can be asked of ubf. Which ubf do I believe? The ubf that claims to be a mainline church with roots in Presbyterianism? Or the ubf that pushed me out for sharing one honest conference report?

    These are the things I delve into in my new book. As I examine the 7 stages of identity transformation, one stage is what I call “Discovering a New Mirror”.

    You see, when you break free from UBFism in a healthy way, as you mostly have MJ, you can say “I am pro-Church, not anti-ubf”. But for those of us leaders who went through the shunning process and experienced a painful boot out the door of a ministry we loved and NEVER intended to leave, we cannot say that. It may take decades for me to arrive at such a place.

    After the mirror of UBFism shatters, and the mask of the happy shepherd falls off, we former leaders find that there is another mirror– the anti-ubf mirror. It is common for us former members to use all our ubf training against ubf. It is a coping mechanism. We were trained to be sneaky and harsh while keeping up appearances, and so we lash out in the same way we were treated as we were escorted out of the ministry and pushed to either leave or submit.

    So for me, I am still mostly anti-ubf. I know I need to continue recovering and find the redemption that is possible, but for now I remain outside the visible Church and strongly anti-ubf. I really do want to see the ministry collapse. I really do want people to leave. That is where I am at and may always be.

    • “Or the ubf that pushed me out for sharing one honest conference report”

      Wow, Bk reading your comment makes me indignant, not at you, but at UBF or PH or whoever did what they did to you. Reading things like this (and speaking from my own experience) I’ve made the observation that Christians can be the worst people of all. This is because they have the word of God which often makes them think that they can take the place of God. For example, some Christian Pastor once said, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.” (I’m not sure what the context was, but I think it was because of the legalization of same sex marriage.) But why is there this vehemence towards the LGBT community? Why is there so much vehemence from Christian to Christian? Why do we treat our neighbors like dirt and gossip and slander if they dabble in pre marital sex, or curse or read certain books and write certain blogs. I’m really tired of the inconsistency and the facade of love. Anyways, I write more about it in my to-be-published article “They want Christ, not Christians.” Once again thank you for your honesty, openness and transparency. We can always rely on you to keep it real. It’s so refreshing and I greatly appreciate it!

    • Thanks MJ. Your next article will be published this week. We really appreciate these thought-provoking and challenging thoughts!

      That conference report is here: 2011 Easter conference report

      I decided to just share my feelings with no filter. Within 2 hours I got an angry phone call and was told I was spiritually dead. Things went downhill from there because I continued to be more and more honest. The explosion then happened because I was honest and public about my confession of sin. This did not go over well…

    • Oh and looking back my big “spiritual problem” was that I said I learned from the Holy Spirit and not from the ubf lectures… try saying THAT in your testimony!

  2. “Why is Dr. Ben still in UBF if he complains about it on ubfriends?” – See more at: http://www.ubfriends.org/2015/08/17/i-am-not-anti-war-i-am-pro-peace/#comment-19038

    Such interesting questions and statements often cause me to smile and chuckle to myself.

    I’ve never thought that I “complain about UBF.” That is what others say that I do: complain. But my own thought is that I am simply addressing what I believe is absolutely crucial, but which for the most part has been ignored, dismissed, swept under the carpet, suppressed, minimized, justified, rationalized, etc. As long as this is ongoing, I shall continue to speak the truth as best I can, and hopefully do so in a “kind and gentle” way, if that is at all possible.

    So perhaps I could say that I am NOT and have never been anti-UBF but PRO-HONESTY (or pro-HOT).

  3. Maria Peace
    Maria Peace

    It’s only natural that you are pro-peace MJ when your last name is Peace. I wanted to be anti-Russia with the war being waged in Ukraine but I realized that they too are suffering in this hellish conflict. The prefix anti or non are passive or negative prefixes, while pro is something active and positive. It remains me of the golden rule of Jesus and Confucius. Jesus’ is “do to others what you would have them do to you” while Confucius’ “what you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others.” I can hate and ignore those who hurt me or the people I love, or I can love my enemies. Last weekend with fasting and prayers, we sent 2 of our sisters to the East of Ukraine to help one village. Many of those living in the East are pro-Russia and anti-Ukraine. Our sisters are pro-Ukraine. But when they went there they were pro-Jesus. When they went with this mindset they could serve the people there even though they didn’t agree politically. Jesus truly is the one who breaks all barriers among people.

  4. “I decided to just share my feelings with no filter. Within 2 hours I got an angry phone call and was told I was spiritually dead. Things went downhill from there because I continued to be more and more honest.” – See more at: http://www.ubfriends.org/2015/08/17/i-am-not-anti-war-i-am-pro-peace/#comment-19043

    Brian, I think it is the first time I read your 2011 conference report that “started it all.” It is actually refreshing to read what you wrote, because it was HOT: http://www.priestlynation.com/2011-easter-conference-report/

    It is sad that likely few who are currently in UBF are able to share freely and honestly as you did…and survive, even to this day.

    The reason you were basically “ousted” since that report is sadly so obvious. It has literally little or anything to do with Christ or Christianity…but everything to do with an untouchable pride and ego that has literally gone on unchecked for decades…and you touched it simply by being HOT!

  5. “It has literally little or anything to do with Christ or Christianity…but everything to do with an untouchable pride and ego that has literally gone on unchecked for decades…and you touched it simply by being HOT!”

    I second that notion. It took a tremendous amount of chutzpah, guts, and emotional resiliency to say what you said. You were touching upon a pride/ego that has been festering for decades, as Ben said. I wouldn’t touch that with a 10-foot pole. Once you go near it, you get burned. It’s the elephant in the room that no one is allowed to notice; it’s the ostrich with it’s head in the ground pretending there’s no issue; it’s the man behind the curtain in the wizard of Oz; it’s the emperor’s new clothes that everyone is too scared to point out is non-existent, except for the little boy with the chutzpah. Kudos to you.