Are you in a Christian ministry?

chBefore we publish MJ’s excellent new article, I want to share a few mid-week thoughts. Ben’s recent comment about being HOT (honest, open and transparent) prompted me to come up with a top 10 list, Letterman style, to find out if your ubf chapter is a Christian ministry or not. Can you be HOT at your ubf chapter? These 10 statements are normal and healthy. Even a really messed up Christian church would have little concern over these statements. What does your ubf shepherd say about these things? Can you share some of these things every Friday in your testimony (or reflection, sogam, whatever they call it now)?

Top 10 Things to Say to your Shepherd

In my experience and observation, these are the statements that will tell you right away if you are dealing with Christian pastors. I have said most of these things (so be careful about where this will take you). There really are some traits ubf leaders do not like.

As I continue refining the final draft of my latest book, I claim that ubf is a Korean Bible cult and has much confusion about their organizational identity. Of course not all ubf chapters are cultic. But my list of redeemed chapters is very short. In fact only Westloop Church is on the list because there is no Penn State ubf that I know of and I have not personally confirmed Waterloo ubf as being redeemed.

So then, drum roll please…here are some statements to share repeatedly to find out if you are in a Christian ministry or you are getting junk food from the pulpit on the altar (well at ubf the pulpit is called the lectern and the altar is called the stage).

10. The Holy Spirit is my shepherd, my teacher and my counselor.

9. What is the gospel?

8. The best example of Jesus’ mission statement is in Luke 4 and John 17.

7. Pope Francis is a Christian.

6. The Holy Spirit prompted me to stop fishing *

5. I’m going to spend this Sunday with my parents.

4. I learned so much from Ben Toh and Joe Schafer’s articles on ubfriends.

3. I found my soulmate and we plan to get married in two years.

2. I’m taking a good job in another city doing what I love to do.

…and the number 1 thing to say to your shepherd:

1. I just read all of BrianK’s books.

[the drawing in this article is by my mother:]


* Number 6 would probably cause a Christian pastor to be confused. The word fishing is loaded language that only ubf insiders understand.


  1. Joe Schafer

    Nice article.

    Penn State UBF (legal name: University Bible Fellowship Church of State College, Inc.) does exist. It is a charitable organization in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a federally recognized tax exempt 501c3 organization with no legal ties to UBF headquarters. We own an awesome building at 318 S. Atherton St., State College PA and are seeking to use our resources to benefit the community in tangible ways. Today we are registering two additional names under which we will do charitable work. Taproot Kitchen will foster training and entrepreneurial activities for adults with intellectual disabilities, and The Meetinghouse on Atherton will manage the use of our property for community groups. In the future, we may also start a third initiative, a regional center for Christian unity (in partnership with ACT3 and the Institute for Christian Unity). More details to come.

    Other statements that I have shared that got me blacklisted.

    * Samuel Lee (or fill in the name of your chapter director or fellowship leader) is not my spiritual father.

    * America was a Christian nation long before UBF missionaries arrived.

    * I am a postmodern North American Christian.

    * Jesus’ ministry was not dedicated to raising Bible teachers.

    * Jesus did not emphasize one-to-one Bible study. Nor did the apostles.

    • Thanks Joe, I think my list is 2 then, if we count separate entities.

      Those are indeed statements that will get you blacklisted. Maybe those should be on the next list, “Top 10 ways to earn dead dog training”.

    • Joe Schafer

      one more…

      * traditional UBF-style messages and Bible study materials are of low quality

  2. forestsfailyou

    I have done several of these things. Fun times!

  3. True answers I have received when in the UBF cult.

    10. Only Korean missionary can receive Holy Spirit. Koreans then become shepherds of American sheep.
    9. The Gospel us to be “faceful” to UBF and go to campus for “fishing”
    6. Refer to question 9
    5. How can you spend time with your parents? They are not in UBF. Pray for them to be saved through the UBF ministry instead.
    4. Ben Toh and Joe Schafer are heretics do not listen or talk to them.
    3. You must marry by “face” your shepherd will contact one “faceful” Korean shepherdess from Korea who needs visa.
    2. Your job is going to campus and attending SWS.
    1. Never ever under any circumstance speak to Brian K. He is not UBF man.

  4. Breaking free from the UBF cult is only the beginning. Afterwards comes actually/physically escaping and then the painful process of reversing the harmful teachings from your mind and daily routine.
    It’s obvious that the longer someone stays in a cult like UBF… it becomes more difficult for them to remember who they were before the cult took control of their mind. (Brian K is covering some of this in his newest book). In other cases i.e. a UBF cult-born child or “second Gen”, their entire personality was purposefully made and created by the UBF cult. I have met many UBF born zombies who awoke from deep sleep and who actually managed to escape… Later to struggle with the battle of having no idea who they are at all! They would confess that their whole existence, everything they thought they knew, had been a lie.

    But as I have come to find it is the psychological aftermath of life in a cult that is all too often the silent killer.

    • Good points cm. There is a lot of holy paint on the ubf discipleship training program. We can see the true nature of UBFism from the dropouts (as Chris likes to call us :) When you drop out of the KOPAHN lifestyle, there is indeed a lot of psychological aftermath to deal with.

      So while it may be difficult for people to call ubf a cult because of what they do and all the holy paint, it is easy to see that the label fits when you talk to the former members. Almost all former members do not want to talk about ubf at all anymore. They just want to forget and move on. I am really grateful for people like you, cm, and about a dozen of us former members (former leaders actually) who are working to change things.

      Side note: All the former member material will soon be safely preserved on the dark web in onion sites.