Prepare the way for the Lord

image[ADMIN NOTE: It appears this article was sent into us as a hoax. As such, I have changed the picture. Still, this article does capture the real ideas that make up UBFism. Please read with caution.]

I want to share my testimony from this week’s message because I feel that sometimes the positive things about UBF are not heard on this site. I hope that you will appreciate my humble offering before the Lord. God bless.

In this week’s message, Pastor Ron Ward gives us great insight into how we can prepare the way for the Lord. These are dangerous times and we need an equally dangerous message. I mean dangerous in two senses here: the first is real danger, like living in an immoral and spiritually corrupted time where Christians can become infected by the culture. The second danger is a good one, at least for spiritual people, meaning that God’s word is dangerous to the forces of Satan because it has the power to set people free from his captivity. So in that sense, the words of God from his servant can match the dangerousness of the time that we live in. Also, there is another danger to Christians when they hold onto God’s words. Recently, a Kentucky clerk who was to issue marriage licenses refused to give them to homosexuals on the basis of God’s holy law. She was put in jail, thus signaling the unjust persecution of Christians. She had her own marriage problems being divorced many times, however God forgave all of her sins through Jesus’ precious blood and then called her to serve at the dangerous front lines to pull this country out of depravity. May God be with her and keep her strong.

P.Ron Ward comments about how Dr. Samuel Lee taught for many years that we must have a sense of history. This is why we study the historian Luke’s gospel so many times. We can see the change in culture when we forget the strong Christian heritage of America as PRW noted,

We are living in times of surprising change. Within this year, the 1972 Olympic decathlon champion announced that he is no longer a man, but a woman. This announcement was received with praise by prominent sports networks and media sources. This is compounded by the fact that he, or she, claims to be a Christian. Has our society gone completely crazy? This phenomenon is possible where there is no sense of history. Any student of history knows that great empires disappear when they weaken from within due to easygoing mentality and moral corruption. Seeing this trend in America, Muslim radicals have gained confidence the push their agenda in recent years. Having a sense of history is vital to sustaining a healthy nation. It is even more important to be a healthy Christian.

This is alarming indeed. If Caitlyn Jenner lived in Jesus’ times, he would probably say something like, “You call yourself a lover of God? You cannot be an ‘it’ and claim to love God. Repent and be a man as God made you!” Also, I recently read an article on radical Muslims explaining that they have come to power mainly due to hard economic times which were induced by bad foreign policies imposed by western nations. Powerful nations exploited them for resources so many times until they gave them no choice but to lash out in an outrageous way. For instance, the United States some time ago put an extremist leader into power in Saudi Arabia. Now the Saudis are oppressing smaller nations like Yemen and all the while the US is benefiting from Saudi oil. But from PRW, I learned that all of this is actually due to America’s easy going mentality and sexual immorality so that now Muslims have become proud. In reality, Muslims realize that they can entice thirsty western men by promising that they can marry up to five wives and receive 72 virgins if they blow themselves up. The article I read did not open my eyes to this, but planted a sense of victim’s mentality in the reader so that we would feel sorry for Muslims. Instead, we should resist the sexual immorality and build a strong military to fight against Satan’s forces all over the world! In this way, America can become healthy and great again, thus creating a new history.

PRW’s words are so comforting here,

We can find real hope in God to make a new history. It happens when we accept God’s word with repentance. No matter who we are, no matter how many mistakes we may have made, we can start a new history when we respond to God’s word with repentance. The same is true of our church. As we begin this new fall semester, let’s learn how we can start something new in our spiritual lives and in our community.

I was so encouraged, because in my ministry I have been hurt so much by sheep. So many ran away. I may have made some mistakes, but those were just the growing pains. No matter, I learned that we should put this history behind us and make a brand new history by newly listening to the words of God! As Paul said, “forgetting what is behind…” In this way, I can start a new ministry and look for the Abraham and Sarah of faith on my campus. Through Luke’s study I hope that I may repent and bear the fruit of new disciples. Amen!

Wow, there were so many spiritual foods just in the introduction alone! I asked myself why we were starting from chapter three instead of the first one; I was a bit confused. Then I realized that PRW is challenging us to not be easy-going. He wants us to be spiritual detectives and work hard, even backwards sometimes to figure out the truth. Also our young sheep can grow when they are challenged in this way. Praise and thank God for this training. Now let’s begin the passage.

First, The word of God came to John (1-2)

PRW explains the crazy times of Jesus’ day by pointing out the crazy and weird emperor Tiberius. So many people were crushed and hopeless under the Roman Empire. We can also see this going on in our day, as PRW notes,

Christians should not expect too much from our political and religious leaders. American evangelicals have been disappointed that engaging in political process has not been so effective in the last 30 years. But there is real hope. It is in God.

At first, I was a little confused at this statement because we are told that we should respect the authorities which are instituted by God (Ro 13:1, 2) and pray for our leaders that we may live in peace (1 Tim 1:2). Also, for many years we held up Billy Graham as a great world-changing evangelist and even prayed for PRW to be like him. I think we should hold these kinds of people in a special regard. But I newly learned that more than these, we should have hope in God, not merely in men. More specifically, it is God’s word that gives us power and faith to overcome the world. We should find a quiet time to listen to Jesus’s words. PRW gives us a good example,

In order to listen to God we may need to put away our smart phones, ipads and other media devices. Historically, the UBF ministry has been strong because dedicated people have listened to the word of God more than the noise of the world. Recently I worshiped in smaller UBF chapters in Chicago and Canada and had the chance to hear the messages of lay shepherds. It was obvious that they listened to God’s word, and his word was spoken powerfully through them. This is a precious spiritual inheritance. However, listening to others’ messages is not enough. We all need tie to meditate on, digest, and put God’s word into practice. Those who regularly struggle with God’s word maintain a healthy spiritual life. It requires time and energy. We have done this through testimony writing and sharing. Some people, however, have given up this struggle. This is one reason that problems arise in their lives and ministries.

Testimony writing may be the greatest invention of UBF and God’s great gift to the Christian body. Because of it, we have grown to be the navy seals of the Church. I confess that when I stopped writing testimony because of full time work and full time studies and full time ministry, I became lazy and eventually even demon-possessed. I fell into shameful temptations and could not do the work of God. But when I newly committed to struggle all of the demons and spiritual cobwebs and spiders were driven out. I have recently heard of some small chapters struggling spiritually and eventually going to local churches. I was so disappointed because it was obvious that they became full of complaining and laziness because they didn’t hold onto God’s words. May God help them to repent and write testimony once again. PRW notes the miraculous story of Brother Yun. He had no Bible in communist China. But that did not stop him from praying and eventually leading a spiritual revival in China. If this is the case, then we have no excuse. I pray that we may have Brother Yun’s fighting spirit and hold onto the words of God like he did so that we may see a new history of God in America. Amen.

Second, John preached a baptism of repentance (3-6)

PRW talks about how John the Baptist preached and baptized at the Jordan and proclaimed that all, even spiritual-looking people, should repent. He says,

Baptism indicated radical repentance. It meant to turn from self to God in terms of purpose, life direction, value system and desires. It was to renounce self-rule and accept God’s reign. The first step is simply to acknowledge that God’s word is right and “I am wrong” for violating it. It is to let go of excuses and justification and to admit my fault and guilt. It is recognizing that I should change, and not expecting God to change.

These words are so powerful. I did not fully understand the repentance until I listened to this. I used to think that repent meant to feel sorrow for my sins. But I newly learned that it means to admit that I am wrong, that I need to change and that God is right and unchanging. It makes sense because I had so many worldly thoughts before I became a Christian. I learned so many things through the spiritual wisdom of my spiritual fathers in UBF. I was challenged so many times to ignore my own thinking and listen to the words of God and his servants. It was very difficult at first because some directions seemed strange to me. In fact, I rebelled a little bit. But I realized that these were my demons speaking and that I had not truly repented. Now I am a spiritual man of God through many repentances.

PRW also speaks so honestly about one of his failures as a father and how he needed to practice true repentance to shepherd his son. He realized that his own sins damaged his relationship with his son. He felt the godly sorrow because of his sins and through God’s strength he could truly repent. May we all follow such a godly example and be good spiritual fathers and mothers for our sheep. Amen.

We are also encouraged to call sin as sin. We should not be afraid to tell our sheep the truth about their sin instead of being politically correct, as PRW says. I once had a bible student who liked to indulge in homosex. I told him, that is not right before God and explained from the Bible, starting with Genesis 17. He asked why I was so blunt and he was hurt because I did not want to go into a deep discussion about the matter. He eventually ran away. I realize that people want to talk and talk about so many nonsenses, but really it is their way of escaping the truth of reality. God will eventually burn up all sinners with wrath. So we cannot get caught up in useless talking and debates, but instead we must proclaim the word of God which even has the power to heal homosexuals. I remember when first coming to America I saw the gay pride parade. I was shocked and asked, how can anyone be proud of that? We surely have to rescue this nation from extreme immorality which invites God’s wrath.

We should do this proclaiming which leads to repentance to prepare all of our hearts for the coming of Jesus. What is this coming of Jesus like? PRW explains,

The word salvation appears six times in Luke’s gospel. It refers to the coming of Jesus and his work to save his people from their enemies, forgive their sins, and restore their relationship with God. He made a new world, a perfect paradise. Jesus did this through his suffering, death and resurrection. This amazing grace of salvation is good news. Those who prepare the way for the Lord through repentance will be abundantly blessed and comforted.

There is one sneaky and clever-sounding theologian named N.T. Wright. He preaches that we should be bringing heaven to earth, through our actions and prayer, even in our present day. This sounded so intoxicating to many people, and I shamefully admit even to me. But here I newly learned that instead we are waiting for Jesus to come and give us the new heaven and new earth and solve all of our sins problems once and for all. Our spiritual task is to sincerely repent with tears so that we can prepare his arrival. We should not get caught up in trying to change this world or make a home in it. We are merely pilgrims passing through. We should be like John the Baptist who lived in the wilderness and shunned the modern society, thus making a way for Jesus to come. God will burn this earth up along with all sinners, so we should look to Jesus to rescue us from this godless environment. The thing that will set us apart from corrupted sinners is our godly repentance. Amen.

Third, Produce fruit in keeping with repentance (7-14)

John allowed many people to come and repent, but he was not easy-going, as PRW explains,

Many people came to him. They heard God’s word through his message. They wanted to drink it in like thirsty deer lapping streams of water. But John did not praise them. Rather, he challenged them sternly by calling them a brood of vipers. Holy John sounds a little like General Patton.

Wow, John was such a powerful spiritual general. He knew that only lip service would not help the people become the true children of God. They had to truly believe and live a changed life. They had to experience ongoing change, in fact. This is what sanctification is.

PRW closes with some practical ways in which many people in John’s day repented. People worked hard, did not extort others and lived as honest people. PRW even gave an example of how he is helping his son to be a hard worker. Instead of taking it easy on his vacation, he worked so hard to teach his son the hardworking mentality. I remember him saying one time that he regularly worked 100 hours per week. He is so hard working to serve so many things, even his family. This surely is the power of God and the fruit of repentance working in him. Also, he is so brave to talk about his family problems through the message. One day, his son will look back and thank him for including him in this message, which is a precious part of the history of God for all to see.

Personally, I was cut to the heart through this message. I remember when I was in Korea, I went to drink soju at night many times throughout the week. I enjoyed the worldly pleasures and wanted to marry and live an easy-going life. But when I came to bible study, I was challenged to be honest with my shepherds confessing all of my sins. This was so hard because I was so used to deceiving people all of the time. I remember one time even stealing money from my college roommate so that I could pay for a fancy perm. But I repented very sincerely of all of this through Bible study with my shepherd. Then, I was given the direction to change my name to Honest. Honestly speaking, this was difficult and my parents thought that it was strange. But now I see the wisdom of God’s shepherds. I can be an honest and hardworking man through Jesus Christ. Now I am a source to help many American sheep to repent and make a new history with God. May God be with our ministry this fall and help us to raise up many new Abraham’s and Sarah’s of faith. Amen!

One Word: Do the hard work of repentance through God’s strength and prepare the way for Jesus

65 comments

  1. Thank you Mr. Rhee for expressing the reasons why I write my books. Beers for every red flag pointed out here.

  2. Honest, thank you for your testimony. While I can’t say that I agree with everything held by UBF, I will acknowledge the importance of a genuine and dedicated struggle to grow closer to the Lord and live in accordance with the Word. Your post reminds me that, despite any negative experiences I’ve had in UBF, there have been many positives as well. Joining the organization did help to fuel a new love for Jesus and a desire to live for him (though not necessarily just in the UBF way). It is an important milestone in my Christian journey and, I believe, a way that God has been building me up to serve Him more earnestly. Also, I heartily acknowledge that the UBF members I know love the Lord and are extremely dedicated to Him.

    That said, I also cannot deny the aspects of UBF that, if not harmful, have been at least a roadblock to my journey. I believe there are ways in which the ministry is unbiblical (what church is exempt from this problem?). One way in particular that stuck out to me from your testimony was the idea that “sheep” who are called to serve elsewhere are seen as committing a great evil and damaging the ministry; they are running away, not following God’s voice. I believe that true accountability and discipleship must be exercised based on freedom and a full knowledge of the commitment involved, with the understanding that such an arrangement may not be lifelong. In UBF, discipleship is gradually introduced in a very secretive way to “sheep” who have no idea what is happening questionable UBF practices like “spiritual order”, “marriage by faith” and “supporting the house of God” are fed to them in place of a proper application and understanding of the Word.

    This comment is neither meant to be a personal attack on you nor a bashing of UBF. The organization does have positive aspects, and I am very grateful for the time God has given me as a member. It is still important to recognize the issues and encourage those who are struggling with God’s direction. I especially appreciate this quote from PRW’s message:

    “As we begin this new fall semester, let’s learn how we can start something new in our spiritual lives and in our community. – See more at: http://www.ubfriends.org/2015/09/07/prepare-the-way-for-the-lord/#sthash.S7jvZvsF.dpuf

    By the grace of God, I hope that we will all seek fresh God’s guidance and His truth in the Word. May God bless you in your walk, and I hope the Bible studies go well!

  3. Dear Mr. Rhee, I’d like to thank you for illustrating to the many who frequent this site – a good picture of what a cult can do to a person who has been brainwashed by its harmful beliefs. You sir, are a prime example -As in medicine, the best method for preventing destructive cult involvement is preventative education. You gave us a lot of preventative education with your twisted cult like thinking.

    Why don’t you focus on yourself instead of trying to make everyone else like you — Korean. We are not interested in the gospel by Samuel “cult leader” Lee — instead we are interested in the true Gospel of Jesus which gives us eternal life through His Holy Spirit.

    I am sorry if I sound too emotional, it is just that – this is the same kind of false gospel jibberish that was spewed upon those victims (which included a 6 year old girl) who were sexually abused in NYUBF. UBF tries to make up its own gospel according to Korean culture, confucianism and so much more… it’s truly sickening and I am sick and tired of these liars spreading their hatred and abuse in the name of a Holy and righteous God.

  4. Mr. Rhee, in regard to your desire for a holy and pure society, would you honestly consider what C.S. Lewis wrote? Any thoughts on what Lewis says?

    “One of the marks of a certain type of bad man is that he cannot give up a thing himself without wanting every one else to give it up. That is not the Christian way. An individual Christian may see fit to give up all sorts of things for special reasons–marriage, or meat, or beer, or the cinema; but the moment he starts saying the things are bad in themselves, or looking down his nose at other people who do use them, he has taken the wrong turning.”

    ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

  5. “We can find real hope in God to make a new history. It happens when we accept God’s word with repentance.”

    Yes, that’s true. UBF can make a new history when it accepts God’s word with repentance. For instance, repentance for ordering abortions, as Samuel Lee did. Mr. Rhee, when do you expect this will happen?

  6. Charles Wilson
    Charles Wilson

    Was this made using the Ubferator? http://www.ubfriends.org/2015/09/03/the-ubferator/ It also reads like one of Joe’s satirical daily bread testimonies.

    What Honest shared is supposed to be the good things of UBF? It’s heart-breaking that this is real. It’s also angering. Honest’s conclusions reflect many of the recent discussions here. The way demons and evil spirits work among UBF people makes you wonder if the Holy Spirit is taking sabbaticals from believers or was even dwelling in and with them in the first place. I find the conclusions here to be so ridiculous and out there, and yet not surprising at all from a UBF member.

    • “Was this made using the Ubferator?”

      No it was not. Honest honestly believes this article will improve the quality of ubfriends. Not even I could make this up.

  7. “We are also encouraged to call sin as sin.”

    So when does UBF start to call a sin like ordering abortion a sin? When will it start to repent for this and so many other sins? Sins commited not as normal sinners, but as people who claim to study the Bible and claim to have authority from God? Aren’t such sins a thousand times worse than sins commited by non-Christians who do not know about God and do not claim to be God’s servants and ministers?

  8. “We should not be afraid to tell our sheep the truth about their sin instead of being politically correct, as PRW says.”

    PRW should start telling the UBF leaders about their sin. But of course he is too afraid to do that. He prefers to talk about the speck in the sheep’s eye, paying no attention to the plank in the eye of his own church and the leaders who brainwashed him. So pathetic.

    • Wow great point Chris – “PRW should start telling the UBF leaders about their sin”.

      Negligence is one of the most dangerous attributes for a leader to have.

      Example: One of the last days I went to a UBF Sunday “worship” service… the so-called pastor quoted John 8:32 “Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

      After service, I approached this so-called pastor and said, “what about the truth about your sons? who were sexually molested? what about the truth about all the children who were molested… will the truth set them free?”

      To which his response was a typical UBF cult answer, “Oh no! we can not mention those things – those things will not solidify the body but rather will separate the church”

      I responded, “so I guess the truth won’t set you free” and I walked away.

      You wonder why your bible students left you and hurt you so much? look at the plank in your own eye and stop worrying about how everyone else is sooooo sinful and possessed by demons by not writing ridiculous UBF testimonies.
      Try being honest with yourself your family and friends and really seek Jesus – not “Samuel-Lee-Jesus” but the real Jesus who died for you and me.

      I am sorry if my words offend you or anyone else – but wow! read what you wrote man! open your eyes!

  9. “If Caitlyn Jenner lived in Jesus’ times, he would probably say something like…”

    While I am not a fan of pretending to know what Jesus would say or do, Mr. Rhee, I am quite certain Jesus would NEVER say what you claim to such a woman. I am quite certain Jesus would be having a big party with all the gay and transgender people kicked out of Christian homes.

    And I am quite certain Jesus would sound more like this. You see, what pissed off Jesus was not the prostitutes, for he ate and drank with the likes of them. What pissed off Jesus was people who claim to see but are blind. Jesus would sound more like this:

    Woe to you, teachers of the Bible and Shepherds you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

    Woe to you, teachers of the Bible and Shepherds you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

    Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone shares their feelings, it means nothing; but anyone who shares their testimony is bound by that oath.’

    Woe to you, teachers of the Bible and Shepherds you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your weeekly salary. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—- justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

    Woe to you, teachers of the Bible and Shepherds, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Shepherd! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

    Woe to you, teachers of the Bible and Shepherds, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

    Woe to you, teachers of the Bible and Shepherds you hypocrites! You worship on the tomb of Lee and decorate the graves of the righteous.

    You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore I am sending you ubfriends like Joe and Ben and John A. and Brian’s books. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your Bible houses and pursue from town to town.

    • You know Brian, our chapter studied this very passage some time ago and I almost made the same connection (but chose not to for fear of human thinking). What a retort!

  10. “There is one sneaky and clever-sounding theologian named N.T. Wright. He preaches that we should be bringing heaven to earth, through our actions and prayer, even in our present day. This sounded so intoxicating to many people, and I shamefully admit even to me. – See more at: http://www.ubfriends.org/2015/09/07/prepare-the-way-for-the-lord/#comment-19342

    So come on now Mr/Ms. Rhee. Are you seriously expecting us to believe this? Is this a big joke?

  11. >> I want to share my testimony from this week’s message because I feel that sometimes the positive things about UBF are not heard on this site. I hope that you will appreciate my humble offering before the Lord. God bless. >>

    Okay, Honest. Are you going to engage in a dialogue or take the path of just about every other UBF member who has jumped on this website? You have dropped an article here and will most likely come back at least once to see the consequence. If ubfriends is not so positive then do engage and try to make it more appealing. Btw, I would hope that you are using sarcasm, because you are anything but humble. You are full of UBF clichés and I thank God that I did not have to sit through a meeting just to listen to such repetitive nonsensical meandering. Sorry, what passage were you hearing that Sunday? I could not quite get the point or the meaning because Jesus was obscured by your romanticised picture of UBF and repentance.

  12. Joe Schafer

    This testimony is way over the top. No, I didn’t write it. But I think it’s a hoax.

    • Joe Schafer

      It appears that someone who is familiar with Ron Ward and Chicago UBF was amazed by RW’s recent message on Luke chapter 3, by how bad it was, and decided to call attention to it by posting this well crafted fake testimony.

      Any one of these paragraphs could plausibly have come from a UBF missionary’s testimony. But the overall structure doesn’t seem right. It’s not boring enough. It doesn’t step through the passage verse by verse. And it mentions PRW by name too many times.

    • Joe Schafer

      Another giveaway: The quoted paragraphs from RW’s message were explicitly attributed to RW. If this were a genuine UBF sogam, the author would have just inserted passages from RW’s message without attribution. (What Westerners call plagiarism.)

    • When i first saw this, i was actually kind of happy that a missionary would share their testimony here. But then as i continued it just seemed too outrageous, like does anyone actually think like this? I could see bits and pieces of it being said/written but a steady stream of that just seems a bit odd. Maybe it was somebody who was trying to mock Ron ward. I’ve heard stories about not a few people sending emails to him blasting his messages and even some people who would call him in the middle of the night or at dinner time to vent their frustrations over his messages. At any rate, let’s see if mr. Rhee responds.

    • Ok, that would explain a lot. I thought the admins knew the identity of the author and assumed it was real.

      Anyway it seems we are all becoming victims of Poe’s law here.

      By the way, why do some Koreans use the spelling “Rhee” and some use “Lee” in English? In Korean it’s the exact same name, isn’t it?

    • Joe Schafer

      why do some Koreans use the spelling “Rhee” and some use “Lee” in English? In Korean it’s the exact same name, isn’t it? – See more at: http://www.ubfriends.org/2015/09/07/prepare-the-way-for-the-lord/#comment-19351

      Yes, I believe so. The author’s pseudonym is a clever way of expressing dismay at how awful RW’s message was. “Honestly, Pastor Ron…”

      Poe’s law is a real phenomenon. It’s why people are regularly duped into thinking that stories from The Onion are real news.

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/christandpopculture/2013/10/why-we-confuse-the-onion-for-the-news/

    • Charles Wilson
      Charles Wilson

      Thanks, Chris. I had not hear of Poe’s Law before. What is authentic seems too ridiculous to be so, and what is fake seems too ridiculous to be anything but authentic. Even still, despite often knowing the intent of UBF materials I read by certain people, it is still unbelievable. Anyway, it seems my initial hunch was right about this article being fake. I had the same feeling while reading as when I read AW’s response to Joe’s open letter to the UBF President, especially since it was submitted anonymously. That one turned out to be authentic. :(

    • You think that you are so smart, huh Mr. Harvard grad? Well this is real to me :(

    • Joe Schafer

      Praise and thank God for granting HonestRhee the gift of ad hominem. As you know, it’s one of the many gifts of the Spirit mentioned in the New Testament. At a future UBF Leadership Workshop, please lead a session on how to build excellent coworking relationship through ad hominem. And then you may teach us how to write deep Bible based message through non sequitur. May God raise one billion Bible teachers like HonestRhee until the United States and all nations become a kingdom of priests and holy caliphate. Amen!

    • I think many chapters no longer say this. But may God honestrhee make Amerheeka a kingdom of prheeiests and a horhee nation!

    • What is this ‘ad homonem’? Is this related to something gay? And you want me to share about these shameful things in a blessed conference workshop? O boy, the secular society has to some strange things to you, Joe. And a holy caliphate!? I stand with the second best republican nominee, Ben Carson, when i say that a Muslim president would lead to such a most tragic thing. You know, i like Ben Carson, but it is a shame that he never became like Martin Luther King Jr. Ground-breaking brain surgery, gifted hands, blah blah. Why no charismatic bible-based speeches like the greatest black leader ever?

  13. When I read this, I thought that he wanted to have some fun by getting a rise out of the UBFriends audience. I’d have to say that he succeeded.

  14. Joe Schafer

    More reasons why this has to be a hoax…

    * That paragraph about Caitlyn Jenner and radical Muslims has some very sophisticated satire. It takes RW’s words at face value and tries to follow them to their logical conclusions, which are ridiculous. RW never supposes that his words are going to be analyzed logically. Missionaries don’t do that.

    * How many missionaries are familiar with N.T. Wright?

    • So you agree then that i am very sophisticated? Pshht, tell me some things that i don’t know already. And many of us are getting glorious seminary-level education through internal ubf courses. You are so out of the loop, dude.

  15. Ugh, if this is a hoax, then I apologize to everyone for wasting your time and getting your blood pressure up.

    Before posting an article, I confirm some things, such as the person has a real (or real-sounding) email address, is willing to make a ubfriends account and replies to my email.

    This “honest” person did all of that. If they are joking around, then then that means they spent quite a bit of time coming up with this clever article, made a fake Gmail account, made a fake ubfriends account and replied to my email that they would answer questions posed to the article.

    I guess I should have known a Korean missionary would never have been so friendly and would never use such good English.

    • Joe Schafer

      No apologies needed. This was a pretty good satire. The joke isn’t really on us; it’s on UBF, which is so easy to parody.

    • Charles Wilson
      Charles Wilson

      Or, if you consider joke being on both “sides” UBF and ubfriends, it’s even cleverer. The first part is the article and the second part is the comments. Like performance art. Non-dualistic thinking.

    • The only joke here is that no one was able to appreciate the glorious depth of my sincere testimony :(

  16. This is yet another layer of burden we former members have to watch out for. Just after leaving ubf, a ubf shepherd from the west coast friended me on Facebook, claiming to be a former member. He ignored my questions and just pumped me for information about who the “anti-ubf” people are. I didn’t give much info because it sounded so suspicious. A few days later he de-friended me and I never heard from him again.

  17. “By the way, why do some Koreans use the spelling “Rhee” and some use “Lee” in English? – See more at: http://www.ubfriends.org/2015/09/07/prepare-the-way-for-the-lord/#comment-19354

    Koreans typically cannot pronounce both “r” and “l” properly. Their language does not distinguish between these sounds. They seem to do better with “l”, but not sure.

    So some will invite you to Biber study or help with their Engrish. So I’m guessing that depending on what the immigration people heard, they became either “Rhee” or “Lee”. (more info)

  18. Joe Schafer

    On a related note…

    I happened to glance at yesterday’s Daily Bread. Someone has been taking the standard, predictable DB teachings and dressing them up with copious amounts of American evangelical clichés and mixed metaphors It’s kind of funny, in an odd sort of way. If I didn’t know better, I might have thought this was a parody.

    ####

    GOD IS BUILDING A TEAM

    Exodus 4:18- 31
    Key verse: Exodus 4:29-30

    September 7, 2015

    First, a decision of faith to obey the Lord (18-23). God gave commands and Moses simply obeyed, setting off as God directed. Moses never debated with God or insisted on understanding everything first. He simply obeyed. It is basic that anyone answering the call of God must have an attitude of trust in, and obedience to God as they live by faith.

    Second, God is forming his larger team (24-31).

    God’s work is never done by one person. It requires a team. Here we see a spouse, a brother and community elders. Behind every great man is an even greater woman. God helped Moses by inspiring Zipporah to circumcise their son. When Moses was too weak to do the right thing, his wife stood in the gap. God brought two brothers together. Aaron saw God’s hand and committed himself to the mission. Siblings may be part of the team. Vision casting among the elders is essential. It is important to get all the community elders on board with God’s plan. The team joined in worship.

    Prayer: Lord, help me work with other members of the team you have formed so that you may be glorified.

    One word: God is building a team so get on board!

    • I thought the OW would be: Just obey and God will bless you with many obedient coworkers!

    • Joe Schafer

      “coworkers” is so old school. Now they are multigenerational vision team members. Ben, get on board.

    • This is the best thing that i have read on this website. Quality writing :)

    • Praise God for M. Rhee! Your comments convince me I am so wrong and all this reform talk is my fault. I caused so much problem for the work of God on all American campuses. Your words are so profound that I will remove all my blogs and unpublish all my books. I will get on God’s team from now on! Praise God! Now I can get back to sitting on my folding chair for hours every week until the deep words of God produce a boil on my butt! Maybe I will even become so holy from your next article M.Rhee that I will go into a coma for the glory of God! Praise God!

      May God make America a kingdom of priests and a holy nation on all 561 American campuses and how ever many campuses there are in Canada and all campuses around the world may fall like Jericho to become a kingdom of priests and a holy nation for all 1:1 bible students to taste the delicious food of the Holy Spirit for making America a kingdom of priests and a holy nation! Amen!

  19. Poe’s law not withstanding, to give credit where credit is due, HonestRhee was witty enough and knew exactly what and how to write in order to get a furious kickback from the UBFriends audience. He is likely chuckling right now.

  20. For the last name Rhee or Lee, some chose to be “Rhee”, others (I for one) go for “Lee”. It could be “Yi” as well which is closer to the Korean pronunciation. As for the testimony, I thought it was well written without regard to the contents – too good to be written by a Korean missionary. Now I feel betrayed if it is indeed a hoax. Dang, good way to start a new season after Labor Day!

    • Welcome back WhyLee. Glad you are still reading. Yea I feel betrayed too… someone’s gettin some dead-dog training!

      In any case we have a REAL article from gc in the queue. That should generate some real discussion.

  21. A hoax? Drat. I was hoping for some honest dialogue. Well, that’s too bad. It does seem there are parts that are specifically tailored against the temperament of this website; I thought it was serious though. Shoot.

    • Yes a hoax :) I should have known a Korean ubfer would never, ever in a million years document their beliefs so clearly. I have heard nearly all of those things said, and many of them are in ubf lectures, but they are extremely careful to never reveal their true beliefs in a public document.

      I do however, have some real prayer topics lists and some private documents from some Korean ubfers… their #1 prayer topic? To unite North and South Korea. So perhaps there is some political purpose underneath all the holy paint?

    • Well, I wouldn’t go so far as to accuse UBF of an ulterior political motive. We have both acknowledged that people in the ministry are very sincere at least in their desire to serve God, even if the structure is corrupted. I would pray for North Korea more often as well if I were in the position of the Korean missionaries.

      But as for never revealing beliefs, I agree 100%. I touched on this in my first comment. When questioned about a practice, there is never a direct explanation but always a work-around. “Sheep” can only accept such things after months of this gradual process and countless proof-texts. It is all very convincing when you hear it revealed this way by a missionary or a shepherd, but if it were spelled out plainly for what it is it would be (and is) shocking to the majority of Christendom.

    • You’re right, Hertoa. The “unspoken rules and practices” are unspoken because as soon as you articulate them or even write them down, it becomes obvious how completely unbiblical and ridiculous they are. That’s why they always prefer to stay vague and not teach directly, but by letting people slowly get aquainted and learn the rules only from reading between the lines and copying behavior, from rebuke if you break the rules and appreciation if you follow them.

  22. hope that you will appreciate my humble offering before the Lord. – See more at: http://www.ubfriends.org/2015/09/07/prepare-the-way-for-the-lord/#more-9528

    To Mr. Rhee, whatever your motivations are, I hope you didn’t do this lightly. It is a serious sin if you did make this up before the Lord. PLEASE DO NOT CALL HIS NAME LIGHTLY.

    • Joe Schafer

      The author intended this to be a satire. Satire is a writing technique for exposing wrong attitudes and beliefs. Some of the authors of the Bible used satire. For example, the Tower of Babel story in Genesis 11 uses satire to mock and undermine the religion of Babylon.

      I don’t believe the author of this article was mocking God. I think he was motivated by fear of God. I believe he wrote this to point out some very serious problems with RW’s message.

  23. Joe Schafer

    Does anyone listen to the quiz show Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me on National Public Radio? It airs on Saturday morning. In one part of the show, they read four or five outrageous stories that appeared in the news during the previous week. One of the stories is a hoax, but the rest are true. The contestants are supposed to identify the hoax. One could easily set up the game with paragraphs from UBF messages.

    • Never heard of that show, but we did do that game as an icebreaker. It would be fascinating to do with ubf lectures. But as we see, the line between fantasy and reality is so blurred by ubf teachings that it would be a very difficult game to play.

      I have thought of this game though, where quotes are presented as “from a ubf lecture or North Korean propaganda?”

  24. Reading this again, I must admit this article has flashes of brilliance. And this raises an excellent point– we ought to criticize PRW’s lectures. They are atrocious.

    I want to point out a correction though. The article mentions “starting with Genesis 17…”

    Genesis 17 is about circumcision, so this must be a typo :) Probably the author means Genesis 19, the story of Sodom.

    Genesis 19 is a common passage thrown at gay people. Those who say Sodom was destroyed because of homosexuals are Biblicaly illiterate and have fallen prey to wild stories made up about Genesis 19. See Richard B. Hayes book “The Moral Vision of the NT”. Hayes is non-affirming, but on his thoughts about Genesis 19, I very much agree with him.

    What was the sin of Sodom? Well we just need to read Ezekiel 16:48-52. Surely sexual sin was involved, but that was not the primary sin of Sodom. And what was that sexual sin in Genesis 19? It was gang rape. So yes God is not happy with gang rape, but I see no evidence God is so angry with gender and sexual minorities. And we cannot use Genesis 19 to condemn our gay or transgender or lesbian friends and family.

    Furthermore, as Hayes points out, Ezekiel says that Israel’s sins are TWO TIMES as bad as whatever sins Samaria or Sodom and Gomorrah committed.

    • Or put another way, one teaching from Genesis 19, in light of Ezekiel, is this: The hypocrisy of religious people is twice as bad as homosexual gang rape.

    • Hmm, i can’t think of anything worse than homosexual gang rape. I think I’d take religious oppression over that any day, but that’s just me..

  25. forestsfailyou
    forestsfailyou

    Whoever did this is legendary.

  26. Haiser Eskandaryan

    “I was so encouraged, because in my ministry I have been hurt so much by sheep. So many ran away.”

    > This is BULL**** . Sounds pathetic! Sounds depressing! Sounds resentful! Sounds disgusting! Sounds flat just like everything I heard over 11 years of being in UBF! No heartbeat! Flatline! How many ‘sheep’ were hurt because of you!!? You UBF people always preach selflessness but that statement itself shows so much selfishness! So many ‘ran away’ because of the spiritual bullying that was going on. News Flash – you are not God! I heard that pathetic ‘my sheep left me’ , ‘my sheep ran away’ , ‘my sheep this’ , ‘my sheep that’…It ain’t sheep problem! It’s your problem ‘Honest’Rhee! At least live up to your name! Be honest for a change! Listen to your ‘sheep’ first before listening to anything or anybody else.

  27. This testimony makes know sense. I don’t understand how it is portraying positive things about UBF.

    The parts about homosexuality and Islam are shallow. How can someone think so degradingly about fellow human beings. And in the one word, how is repentance hard work? What type of repentance/salvation is being talked about here? One earned by works or one given by grace alont?

    Christianity is not about sin management. That is not what Christ taught. Christ taught a relationship with Him. If you read this Honest Rhee, could you explain how this testimony shows “positive things about UBF” and what your understanding of the gospel is?

    • MJ, this testimony turned out to be fake/satire – “Honest Rhee” was just a wordplay/pseudonym. The uncanny thing was that it was difficult to distinguish it from reality, because it reflected well enough how many UBF people think. Also, all the quotations from a RW message *were* real.

      Btw, now I think the name “Honest Rhee” should have given us a hint – while it is realistic that UBF gives names of aspirable virtues to its members, a name like “Hard Working Rhee” would be much more plausible. Honesty is not really considered a virtue in the world of UBF.

    • I know that there is a missionary named ‘Work Hard’ Yoon. I wonder how these missionaries can explain to their children the origins of their names while expecting them to keep a straight face. I mean there are names like Fighting, Sweety, Point, etc.

    • Although, my initial bible teacher, who is Korean, wanted to dub me shepherd Denzel Washington. True story. I didn’t have a problem with that.

  28. Hilarious!

    I will call you Denzel, from now on;).
    Where is your article about “A Fellowship of Differents,” btw?

    Did you finish the book?
    I’m waiting for your article.

    • Hey mj, got tied up working on a few other projects. I have an article based on some things from one of Francis Schaeffer’s books that i want to post as an intro article to the fellowship of differents series. Will get around to that soon.