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  • Writer's pictureEric Navas

UBF’s History of Vainglory

As you will see in this article UBF has a history of vainglory even before it broke of from the Presbyterian Church.

This is an article on UBF back when it was still part of the true church. As you can see through the article there are roots of UBFism. [] This is commentary from my friend in Germany who first leaked out the content. () This is my commentary.

Article in “The Way”, IFES Singapore, No. 2 1971, p. 29-32, a quarterly magazine for East Asian students edited by Chua Wee Hian.[Style and content suggest the article was written by Sarah Barry.] (This might have actually been written by Chua Wee Hian, someone that Barry hired to make UBF look authentic.)

Alive & Growing (If you look at UBF’s attendance record you can see the opposite is true)

The Story of U.B.F., Korea

It is in the cities, the capital cities that national movements normally begin. This was not so with the University Bible Fellowship of Korea. It had its beginnings in the rural district of Kwangju.That was in the autumn of 1961. Mr. Lee Chang Woo was pastoring a small church in that district. Miss Sarah Barry, a Presbyterian missionary, was engaged in village evangelism. They saw College students wandering aimlessly after their lectures. They did not seem to have any direction in life. (info on how Barry and Lee met would have been very insightful) No church was reaching out to them with the hand of friendship and the life-giving message of Jesus Christ. Both were concerned and they began to pray.A young medical student Mr. C. S. Chun was asked whether he would like to study the Bible. “Sure, if you will teach me how.” That was the start. Chun invited his class-mates along. It wasn’t a dull book after all. In fact after a few weeks of intensive study where they were allowed to ask questions (by ask questions they are going by the question sheet) and discuss, they were confronted with the living person of Christ. In simple faith, they trusted Him and that was the beginning of the University Bible Fellowship.The students grew in their faith. With encouragement from Mr. Lee and Miss Barry, they began to “fish” for others. Several students were wonderfully converted including a gang-leader.Before long, they were impressed by the term “missionary”. This was the envoy of God to men and women. (This doesn’t apply to everyone) The students felt that they should be God’s missionaries on their campus. But what about other campuses? Should they not travel with the good news like the early disciples whom they deeply admired? [The obsession with titles and the pride of being someone special and being able to teach others though still being wet behind the ears characterize UBF to this day.]

First Missionary Centre

So it was in 1964, when a team of students went to survey the field of the College at Cheju island, 200 kilometers from Kwangju. They realized that someone must stay to pioneer the work and a senior student who was then graduating was asked to be the students’ missionary. (note that it is the “students’ missionary” not “God’s missionary”) With this move of faith, new centres began to spring up. After the Cheju Centre, there were centres at Chonju, Taejon and Taegu. It was towards the end of 1966 when the work commenced in the capital city of Seoul.

A Bible Movement

The UBF is primarily a Bible centred movement. (Check out “IS UBF really Bible Fundamentalist?”) Students take the Word of God seriously; they seek to obey its commands and claim its promises. [At first glance, it might appear so. But in reality UBF is not Bible-centered, but man-centered. In effect only the instructions of the leaders and the goals of the organization, not the teachings of the Bible, are taken seriously and followed.]At the Centre, various activities are held almost daily. (This is done so that members have little to no time to critically think about what they are learning and teaching in UBF) The day might begin with meetings for prayer. Sometimes there is a series of Bible expositions delivered by one of the staff members. But the highlight is always the group Bible study. (No the highhlight/emphasis is one-to-one bible study) For the leader it means careful study [of the message of the top leader, Lee Chang Woo] and diligent preparation. Non-Christians are at first skeptical of studying the Bible. But in some centres, the bait or attraction is English Bible classes. (This shouldn’t be bait to get students to come. As you can see here early on cult tactics are being used) After a few weeks, most students would also attend and take part in the Korean Bible studies. Here, they are able to learn about the Christian faith in their own language.Christian students in the UBF are sometimes described as “shepherds”. They have to feed the lambs. (No. To subtlely emphasis one’s calling of God to others leads to the violation of people’s vocation in God) Older Christians are expected to help the younger ones. Together they become “fishermen” in that they will attempt to win their fellow students to Jesus Christ. [After this, however, they are taught Jesus Christ alone doesn’t suffice to become a true Christian, that they have to start working in UBF, offering their money and their time and winning over more members for the organization. In reality it is less about Jesus Christ and much more about recruitment of new members.]At Vacation Bible Schools which are held in the Summer and Autumn, senior students are invited to give lectures on one of the following books: Genesis, John, Luke, Acts and Romans. (The reason why these books of the bible are emphasized is because they actually fit UBF’s agenda) Those attending the classes have to do research on their class projects. (In UBF doing your own research on the bible and seeking bible commentary is frowned upon. In fact if you use bible commentary in testimony sharing you are either reprimanded despite the fact that it’s not a sin to do so or you are given the silent treatment) Good research is read to the class followed by rounds of applause. [This publicly shown recognition by the group – as long as one remains in conformity with the system – is another bait used to keep students in UBF and mold members loyal to the party line.]Speaking with conviction, Mr. Lee stressed, “Our aim is not just to teach the Bible but to make Bible teachers. (What should have been the aim is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ whether they are a bible teacher or not. Also just because someone is a bible teacher doesn’t me that they are actually teaching the gospel of Christ) Right now we are studying the Gospel of Mark. We mimeograph notes and study questions on 13 lessons. (Mimeograph is basically what people used before typewriters) I give the weekly lectures. The students must go and find their sheep to teach and pray with. We used this method last term in the study of Genesis and we (by we Lee is referring to himself) found it extremely worthwhile.”

A Movement of Prayer

Preceding each meeting, students pray together in pairs. After each gathering, they will exchange brief notes on what and how the Lord (by Lord it is Lee not Jesus) has spoken to them. Prayer follows. This is the secret and powerhouse of the UBF — believing prayer. (This is actually how UBF controls its members)They pray too for their students and graduates who are scattered all over the country. They have special intercessions forthose who are studying and working abroad in West Germany and U.S.A. Their eyes are also on the world, God’s field of action. Recently, the students collected U.S.$3,000 for the East Pakistan refugees. [UBF normally doesn’t care about what is happening in the world or problems in its own environment, but only cares about itself. Such fundraising for charitable purposes are rare exceptions in UBF and became even more rarely in the course of the time. By occasional collections for such purposes UBF obviously wants to gain an appearance of charity and calm their own conscience. The extremely seldom collected money for charitable purposes is ridiculously little compared to the sums of offering monies which regularly and continuously are collected for purposes of the UBF, as also mentioned below. Above all, one cannot even be sure that fundraising for charitable purposes in UBF is used for the stated purpose in the end. Already in 1976 the first complaints were made by UBF chapter leaders about misappropriation of such offering moneys to a great extent by Lee Chang Woo.] (If you do your research on UBF’s “charities” you will find no documentation that the groups UBFa donated to received the money)As they look beyond their own shores, Mr. Lee says, “Through our programme of lay missionary training we are working and praying that we may share in God’s work of evangelising the world. (God’s work is misleading for it is actutally and unfortunately Lee’s work) For many years we have prayed for Southeast Asia. Although the door now seems closed, God has opened a wide door to Europe and America. As Paul prayed for Rome, we are praying now for the United States.”

Good Stewards

Stewardship is repeatedly taught in the Scriptures and in obedience, students and graduates of UBF give systematically, regularly and liberally for the Lord’s work [this always means UBF]. Today the UBF supports 13 staffworkers and runs 10 centres. (Even back then numbers have been emphasized.) In addition they give to missionary work [in UBF] outside their own country. Students are not ashamed to work with their hands to earn money for the Lord [UBF]. In the past the girls have sold candies and embroideries in the streets of Korea. The boys have worked as shoe-shiners. The dedication and discipline of members often attract non-Christians to consider Christ. (This is quite false for many members of UBF are actually Christian or Catholic or have some background of one of the two)All conferences and Bible schools are self-supporting [this means the students must pay registration fees]. The National Conference is attended by 600 students and the Bible schools in the different centres averaged 180-200 members.Staff workers meet regularly for prayer, study, consultation and honest evaluation. (If evaluation was honest in UBF then they wouldn’t go through such trouble to hide material such as this) Junior staff are given on-the-spot training in the more established centres.Co-operating with the Scripture Union the UBF writes and publishes Bible study notes. These notes are used by UBF members and by the churches. [The cooperation with the Scripture Union consisted merely in that UBF translated their Bible reading notes “Daily Bread” into Korean language. But before long, Sarah Barry stopped using the expositions of the Scripture Union and started to write her own comments supporting the one-sided Bible interpretation of UBF, which were then sold under the same title “Daily Bread” to the UBF members. After this, the Bible reading notes of the Scripture Union, which are still published today, were not used in UBF any more.] (Nowadays UBF plagiarizes their daily bread from The Navigators a Christian organization)Looking forward to the future Mr. Lee says, “Not only do we want UBF to produce lay Bible teachers for the Korean church, but we want those who go abroad to go as a lay Bible teachers, too. We hope by 1981 we could have a UBF conference in the USA (because many students go there) with at least 400 lay missionaries and their American sheep.” (The conference did happened around 1981 but the numbers were probably inflated which is a typical practice in UBF.)Source:

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