I hope to participate in the upcoming ubfriends book club. But in the meantime, maybe we can also have a movie club. The movie Tangled was the most significant movie that helped me make sense of my shepherd/sheep relationship at ubf. Here are my thoughts on the movie that visualizes one part of my life extremely well.
Hey ubfriends community, how’s about we form a good ol’ book club on this site? After seeing some of the theology-related comments and perusing some of the old articles, I realize that this could be a great place to hold discussions on a book. The first step would be to agree on a book to read and choose a start and finish date. Then, we could each take turns writing an article on a given chapter of the book and have the whole community dialogue in the discussion section. We could even do a final video chat to close out the discussion. These are just my ideas, but if you’re interested, let’s work out the details in the comment section below.
Someone astutely pointed out here in the latest blitzkrieg of comments that one key issue between many of those who criticize ubf and many of those who promote ubf is the view of the gospel. Over the years, ubfriends has discussed the gospel quite a lot, and yet such articles about the gospel tend to generate very few comments. Should we not have a clear understanding of the gospel if we claim to be a Christian? I say yes.
Once 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.
It is no secret that this website has become a place where people who have had bad experiences in University Bible Fellowship gather to share their stories. But this website is open to all, and anyone is free to write or comment. Those who want to defend UBF are welcome to share their thoughts as well, and even though the exchanges can sometimes look ugly, there are times when grace and compassion and love and mutual understanding can break through.
As promised, here is my third installment in my three part article series. I am well aware of the provocative title in this third article. This is intentional because as a non-Korean UBF shepherd for over 20 years, I found only two ways to share my perspectives with Korean missionaries at UBF and to raise issues and pains of conscience with them. Those two ways are to 1) use the cult label and 2) leave, or threaten to leave, UBF. Here is my attempt to comprehensively and concisely share my thoughts on this subject.
I was prompted yesterday by Ben’s comment to share how much I love the church at Westloop UBF.
Let’s cut to the chase. Let’s all take a step back and process what just happened here on ubfriends and at ubf the past several weeks. The main event that just happened in ubf is the election of the new General Director. In the past, the GD was just chosen by a few leaders, I mean “by God”. But now ubf has instituted a voting process. Not surprisingly, this vote has impacted our ubfriends virtual community. Here are the facts that I am aware of. Of course I am biased, so if you see something I don’t, please chime in an clarify in the comments. In order to correctly process Alan’s (aw) comments to me, we need to take a look at the context of that comment. That context begins with the recent election of the new ubf General Director.
After at least 10 years of thousands of hours of private conversations between Joe and many UBF leaders in Chicago and around the world, the President of UBF reaches out to Joe. This is what happened as far as I can tell.
A bit of disclosure is in order here: Since September of last year, I haven’t been attending church on a weekly basis. I’ve attended Catholic Mass a few times and have taken communion and have also had ongoing conversations about the Bible and life with others and have done my own personal study on biblical topics, but nothing like being plugged into a faith community on a regular basis. To some this may be disconcerting or off-putting, like who takes a half a year off of church and then preaches a sermon? But I thank Rhoel for reaching out to me and befriending and simply talking to me on a human-to-human level. One thing that I really appreciate about the West Loop community is you all’s desire to understand and practice the gospel in a loving manner. So I thank you all for accepting me and giving me the privilege to speak here today. I don’t take this lightly and I don’t want to waste your time, but instead I want to hopefully communicate an important point about the gospel that I think we, including myself, often miss. I’ll attempt to make my point in thirty minutes or less and end with a nice cherry on top which is an example from my own life.
Did you know Cs Lewis once gave a commencement address? Cs Lewis is largely regarded as the most influential Christian in the last century. If you could give a commencement address what would it be? For those apart of churches, especially evangelical ones, I think the gospel message would be a priority. For those outside the church, tolerance and personal achievement would be at the forefront. And that is what is so startling about this address. For someone who is such a Christian giant his address doesn’t touch on any topics that would even begin to come to mind in a pastor or evangelist. Continue reading →