Today is Independence Day here in the USA. It seems to be the most somber 4th of July I can remember. Quite a few people are exhausted from the culture war that was just concluded by the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision. For me, the 4th of July holds special significance, and will always invoke great celebration for me! July 4th marks my personal day of independence from UBF. Here are some thoughts to mark the day I felt like a mighty eagle soaring above the mountains.
The recent Christianity Today book review of a UBF 2nd gen’s book “The Spirit Moves West” prompted me to get back to a book draft of my own. Rebecca Kim’s book is a fair perspective of some aspects of UBF, but she leaves out the dark side of UBF–the side that we’ve been discussing here in our 18,000+ comments. So today I want to share with our readers some of my thoughts on the CT book review and my new book.
For those interested, I would really like to have more theology related discussions here. I have been learning that a robust and helpful understanding of the Bible is rooted in exegesis, hermeneutics and homiletics (i.e. meaning, application, message). So for today’s Sunday musing, I’d like to share some quotes from my new book and ask: How do you approach the Bible?
Dr. Ben Toh recently posted an article about pride. He asked some questions about pride and on his blog gave some questions to help someone determine what a proud person looks like and feels. Having thought and prayed about it for a while. I feel like I might be able to add my conclusions about humanities most ingrained sin.
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[Admin note: We received the following article here at ubfriends and were asked to share it. This speaks to the culture of burden that UBF shepherds and missionaries cultivate. The burden typically goes up on pregnant mothers. Please read, reflect and react.]
“Answer to Brian’s post June 3, 2015″
Hello, Everybody, My name is Sigrid Goff. I used to belong to Cologne UBF in Germany, then to Washington UBF until 1996 or 1997. I don’t quite remember when exactly I left. I would like to add another item to Brian’s list of UBF’s unlawful behavior posted on June 3, 2015 and that is, child abuse and neglect.
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After reading some of the comments on this site I do agree that the interactions that take place are perfect material for a psychologist to analyze. Sometimes we are talking through or above or below each other, and there is a lot of miscommunication. Our illocutionaries and perlocutionaries don’t always add up. It made me think of the great need we have for intercultural studies and so I wanted to share a short paper I wrote about it recently. The class was called Theology and Practice of Intercultural Ministry.
Because I have found myself in the unofficial, unsanctioned exit counselor role for ubf, people from ubf have contacted me for help at the rate of once per month. From January 2014 until now, exactly 17 people have reached out to me for some sort of assistance in processing their ubf lifestyle. One of the most comon themes is that ubf shepherds tell them that leaving ubf will bring about God’s curse, or at least will mean not having God’s blessing. The teaching is that if you stay you will be blessed, if you leave you lose that blessing. This is such a traumatic issue to deal with that many have been distraught. One young woman who contacted me last year was so depressed over this issue that she had thoughts of suicide and was seeking professional psychology help. She is much better now thanks to the mercy of many people. So today I want to share how blessed my life is after leaving ubf. I share these things not to brag, but to demonstrate my life as living proof that leaving ubf does not equate to losing God’s blessing. If anything, the norm I have seen from those who reach out to me is that after an initial period of turmoil, their lives become notably more blessed.
Memorial Day in the United States is a day of remembering the men and women who gave their lives defending freedom. It is a day of somber remembrance and gratitude. For me, Memorial Day has come to have new meaning. After leaving ubf, I remembered former members discussing the suicides of ubf members. I decided to do my own research, especially about the suicide at Chicago ubf in 2005. I found L-Train reports and discovered that indeed, the former members were correct. There was a suicide in 2005. So I decided to dedicate Memorial Day with an additional meaning–a day of remembering those who chose suicide in the midst of their problems and the burdens placed on them by the ubf lifestyle.
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.