Sunday, May 28, 2017

Testimony by Joachim D. as of May 11th, 2001

On May 10th, 2001, Joachim D., like Andreas P. a long time member of Bonn UBF whose wife also was devoted to the chapter director Peter Chang, confirmed to the director of Germany UBF at that time, Abraham Lee, that the testimony given by Andreas on April 15th 2001 was in accordance with the facts. Joachim supplemented that testimony with further observations he made in Bonn UBF and gives an impression of the circumstances under which the members of Bonn UBF have to live.

What I have seen, heard and experienced in Bonn UBF.

One can say that coworkers are required to show absolute obedience in their relationship to M. Peter [the Bonn UBF chapter director].
Here is one of many examples of the absolute obedience facing a direction given by M. Peter:
For this years spring Bible conference, I was to give a message from John chapter 21. All messengers had to write a twenty page testimony and to memorize by heart M. Peter’s message and the Bible text. In addition to this, all the messengers had to meet every day for about six weeks prior to the conference in the prayer house to pray and then to practice out loud from 10pm to 12 midnight. I was supposed to deliver my message once beforehand at the Sunday service. During that week I wrote about a twelve page testimony and could recite the message to some extent by heart. Nevertheless, on Saturday evening M. Sarah [the wife of the chapter director] explained to me that I would not preach tomorrow. Then she said, that I could continue writing my testimony that evening and laughed scornfully. When she left, I asked what was so funny with that. M. Petrus, her son, who also was there, answered immediately: “Mama is always so happy.” Later M. Sarah returned again and apologized for her scorn. That encouraged me to continue writing my testimony; by Tuesday I had 16 pages and by Wednesday 18 pages, and after another personal prayer time with M. Sarah, where she told me to write 20 pages at any means, I wrote the last two pages on Thursday. After that I memorized the Bible text by heart and practiced the message once again. Shortly before midnight I wanted to leave. M. Peter had come back from Leipzig a few minutes before and sat in the living room eating. I said hello to him and goodbye and went home. I had just arrived and the phone rang. M. Sarah told me that I absolutely must come back and practice the message again because I left ten minutes too early. I said it was enough and that I had to work the next day, and also that I had been working on the message for two weeks every evening and that the heart should be important, and not those ten minutes. When she began to insist and force her point of view on me, I hung up. At half past midnight, the phone rang again. M. Sarah said: “I tell you, that with this attitude, with your self-will, and your individualism, you are destroying the holy vessel of prayer and cannot be used as a messenger of God’s word.”
Once he literally said at the announcements at the end of a meeting: “I am God.” He did not say that he was like God, or that he was God’s servant or God’s representative, but he said, he was God. That was not a slip of the tongue or attribute to his poor German, because right after this statement he deliberately paused, after which he let us decide either to accept this or “go out through the open door now”. At that time no one said a word; all was silent and just stared straight ahead, I did too. In my heart I was shocked and at the same time ashamed to be in a fellowship where the leaders magnifies himself so. Apostle Paul’s words came to my mind where he says: “For I am the least of the Apostles, and am not even worthy to be called an Apostle ...” and, “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst.”
M. Peter occasionally even takes up a wooden club to hit disobedient coworkers resp. to lead them to repentance. The bad thing is not that he hits somebody, thereby showing his authoritative training style (at this point, he likes to distract and to refer to humanists who spoil and ruin their children by giving them too much love - which might be correct, however it does not justify his behavior being complacent in his position and to some extent enjoying his power and authority. I could recognize this motive in his heart, when he once, without apparent reason, except for intimidation and as a demonstration of power, put his club down demonstratively on the desk at the beginning of a testimony sharing meeting of some shepherds. Also, his smiling face in doing revealed to me that he had no interest in serious topics, but that he was simply playing with his power and authority.) When I had previously participated in breakfast fellowship, it happened now and then that a coworker was severely rebuked by M. Peter, and on account of this he had to, for example, run several times up to the nearby “cross mountain”. As soon as the person had risen and had gone out to the door, he was often laughed at. This was all so much different than the seriousness M. Peter had just shown. In my opinion, that was no serious heartfelt sympathy for other’s prayer requests, but instead it bordered on being nothing more than playing with people and arrogance.
According to the direction of M. Peter Chang it is a great privilege when one is allowed to serve him. Also, it is considered good and basic training to serve him so that we can grow and become greater servants of God. His giving and pain suffering spiritual servantship for us (as coworkers always stress in their testimonies) consists downright in helping us to deny ourselves and in developing a close relationship with the servant of God, i.e., in serving him. In this way, he daily leaves the cleaning of the prayer house, his home, to others; every day he lets one of the “house churches” [UBF term for a family of coworkers] cook meals for his family and others at their own expense, likes to be massaged by the woman coworkers after the meals and lets others chauffeur him here and there. For a while I was responsible for providing breakfast. Once, when the meal had not tasted good to him, probably because the bread was somewhat dry, he complained and became angry. I only said, that one was to always give thanks to God. Afterwards I was dismissed from him with sharp words about my sins of ingratitude and self-righteousness, and was immediately excluded from the breakfast fellowship and was degraded to being a spiritual problem. M. Peter and M. Stephanus [his closest coworker] also enjoy going to the sauna. I learned this indirectly from S. Elke [my wife], since she had bought M. Stephanus a bath-towel for the sauna as a birthday gift. I also learned from another coworker that women coworkers had participated in this.
The fact that the so-called “cordialness” occasionally turns into inappropriateness is shown by the following example: S. Elke was already in the last stages of pregnancy with Rebekka. M. Stephanus in front of the coat rack in our center and embraces S. Elke from behind, stroking her stomach and thanking God for the new life in it (or words similar to this, I cannot remember the exact wording). S. Elke was naturally frightened, but tried not to show it. Only in the evening while we were at home, did she tell me about it, and she asked me, among other things, whether I myself would start doing such a thing, for example, to a woman missionary.
“To serve guests,” M. Peter undertook “discipleship training trips“ or “missionary trips” into the alps ten times in one single year. After some coworkers had written about such trips in their world mission letters (every Monday evening), M. Peter one day forbid writing about such trips. A discipleship training trip to Spain had been planned for this April. When the time for preparations ran short, the plans were abandoned. M. Peter briefly commentated after the Sunday worship service: “I repented of my vacation spirit.”
Most households are greatly in debt. In order to sacrifice for the acquisition houses on the Minister Martini road, we were challenged to “voluntarily” give five-digit amounts of money. The house church of S. Peter P., for example, offered DM 70,000 [about $32,000]with the help of his father cosigning for a loan (M. Peter praised this as exemplary at one meeting). Other shepherd house churches offered mostly  DM 50,000 [$23,000]. Everyone had difficulty getting credit. S. Elke and I offered DM 20,000 [$9,000]. At that time I was unemployed and thus not creditworthy at every bank. [Joachim reports here that he even had been indoctrinated to do certain illegal things “by faith” in order to get money for Bonn UBF as soon as possible. To protect him, this passage has been removed.]
Through a hint of some coworkers, I concluded a building loan contract. In order to obtain the building loan as credit, I made false appraisals about the actual value of the building inherited from my grandfather. In order to get the credit as fast as possible, I forged the missing signatures of my sisters and father, “by faith.”
Officially, thanksgiving offerings are always voluntarily given. But they are actually always arranged and determined from “above.” Several times M. Peter told me how high my monthly offering for world mission had to be. If the thanksgiving offering is not as high as requested, then one will be put under pressure through one of M. Peter’s intimate coworkers. One time during my student days, when I gave an offering somewhat beyond my means at that time (with the reason for the forgiving grace of to God on an enclosed note), the next day M. Sarah investigated me why I gave this thanksgiving offering, and asked if I might not have offered it for another special reason.
The monthly world mission offering should be based on trust to each other. I found that alright. But soon a form was presented to me to sign, with something like the following wording: “I herewith promise to bring monthly DM ... for thanksgiving offering.” I rejected this for the reason that it downright gives the impression of distrust to me, but again and again I was pushed to sign with the reason being that it was quite normal. Only in the first years we heard something like an accounting report at the end of the year, but soon this was discontinued.
When we were expecting guests in the upcoming summer, we were supposed to bring a thanksgiving offering already in December the year before from our Christmas bonus salary. Then when in the summer the guests came, we were supposed to give again a thanksgiving offering. When I pointed out that we had already offered for that purpose last year the only response was: “That offering was used for something else.” I still have no idea what for.
For different events, e.g. the birth of a child, finishing a degree, obtaining a job one applied for, special offerings were requested. Recent examples of such offerings include the new grand piano from S. Xenofon and the new car for M. Peter or M Sarah. For example, some coworkers would need a car because of the children or because of the travel distance to work. S. Peter P. works 50 km from Bonn and his car one day broke down. The train connection to his workplace is difficult, and it takes several hours to get to and from there. He cannot afford a car, because he is highly indebted. Some coworkers again and again had problems paying their rent, getting trouble with the landlords, because they were months behind. From M. Peter’s point of view, this is God’s training for coworkers to become independent of their situation. In addition to this, it was forbidden for coworkers to help each other materially, or in even lending to others. Everything had to be centrally run and controlled.
Everything is owned communally. But M. Peter alone uses everything as he pleases. When my grandfather died, I wanted to drive to the funeral. I asked M. Peter beforehand whether I could take one of our cars. He agreed to this. When I met him, for one hour I had to discuss with him about S. Elke not going with me for being “spiritually unclear”. After discussing this back and forth, I accepted that she should stay. After I told S. Elke about the decision for her to stay, M. Peter told me that I also must not go. After discussing this back and forth for another hour he told me that all the cars were being used (which, as I found out later, was a lie). Finally I stopped the discussion and at the last minute rented a car, in order to arrive on time. In the glaring contrast to this, it later happened that the father of M. Sarah (or M. Abraham?, I don’t remember) was once seriously ill, a special offering was arranged for all in order to pay the flight costs to Korea.

About my married life:

Monday morning is the leaders’ meeting; everyone participates in it. Paul [my son], who is one and a half years old, remains home alone until 11am, sometimes later, then he would be fed. Afterwards, S. Elke [my wife] goes to the prayer house to help out there to prepare the mid-day meal. After that, she shops for and cooks food for the high school children’s evening meal which takes place in the “world mission house”. Often it is 5pm before she gets home to feed Paul again. She must then run off, in order to be ready for the fellowship meeting which takes place at 6pm in the center. After that there is World Mission letter writing. When she comes home again around 10pm, she feeds Paul the third time. Often, she is then so tired that she simply falls asleep wherever she sits down. Finally, she mostly cleans up our apartment far past midnight, because the fellowship breakfast of the leading coworkers takes place in our home the following day. S. Elke participates at the fellowship breakfast from Tuesday to Friday, and lately also several times on Saturday. I have breakfast in the center with M. Sarah and some of the other coworkers. On Tuesday and Friday S. Elke works half-days, because we cannot manage with my wages due to the offerings and debt payments. Most of the time she returns from the fellowship breakfast around 9:30am. Afterwards Paul is fed and S. Elke works until approximately 2:30pm. Paul remains home alone. If ever at all, I have breakfast with S. Elke on Saturday or Sunday, however she most often bakes Saturday mornings to have a cake ready for the Sunday service. In the evening I go most often directly from work to fish sheep and then to the center. Having dinner fellowship with my family is a rare event. Instead, S. Elke often brings something for me to eat at the center.
Presently, in some families, husband and wife live separately (S. Fels, S. Andreas, M. Isaac), some have done this for years. That is M. Peter’s training method, to lead spiritually unclear coworkers to repentance. When I arrived a couple of times too late for “Daily Bread,” also S. Elke (via M. Peter) made the suggestion to me, whether I should not move out and get an apartment by myself.

Testimony by Werner K. as of June 4th, 2003

After ten years of membership in Bonn UBF and almost another ten years of mental struggling with the experiences there, Werner K., the formerly so called “ancestor of faith” of Bonn UBF, decides to write about his experiences in the cult and the difficult time after leaving the group. His report affirms the previous charges against the leader, Mr. Dae-Won (“Peter”) Chang, and warns urgently of the system and personal cult built up by him, including the difficulties connected with the traumatic departure, but it also encourages persons affected to dare leaving the group and shows that and how such a departure is possible, even if you almost have to stand on your own.

My Experience with Bonn UBF – Spiritual Rape and Slavery

With this open letter I am addressing everyone being in contact with Bonn UBF. I recommend you: “Leave Bonn UBF – immediately and without prior notice, you are in danger. Your life is at stake. You are playing with a fire which will burn you up.”
To all prisoners in Bonn UBF I say: “Nobody will set you free. You have made the wrong decision. Get up and go away. The suffering will continue for some years. But it is worthwhile. Otherwise the suffering will never end and you and others will be miserable until the end of your life in this world and maybe longer. It feels good to make your own decisions again. The right to decide is a gift given to mankind only. It is where you are forced to develop a personality. If you decide to give this birth right of yours to another person, your personality and your soul is ill and will be much more ill in future. If you don’t decide to make your own decisions, nobody will help you.”
I know what I am writing here. I was caught in Bonn UBF for ten years. I was the first German active Bonn UBF recruit. That lasted from 1984-1994. If UBF is a cult, then Bonn UBF is cult in extreme. If staying in UBF is costly, then staying in Bonn UBF is even more costly. There you get the “hardest” UBF training. There you find the “best” faith. If every believer would be a prince in eternity, then Bonn UBF members would be kings and gods. Bonn UBF leads to bondage, it consists of spiritual rape and slavery. Bonn UBF is a work of man and has nothing to do with faith. It leads to serious emotional problems, complete loss of reality and can afterwards lead to even suicide and psychoses.
First I was invited to a Bible study. My teacher was Mr. In-Hong [“Stephanus”] Park, the right hand of Mr. Dr. pharm. Dae-Won [“Peter”] Chang. It took an hour to answer the questionnaire, about an hour one-on-one conversation and another hour of reworking everything. One month later the Sunday service came added to that. Then group Bible study was added. Then leading a group with preparation of a sermon was added. Then the Bible work every early morning was added. Then participation in more groups with others was added. Then participation in the coworkers’ Bible studies with preparation, conversation and rework was added. Then apartment-sharing (living together with other UBFers only) was added. Together with this, common meals and common leisure time programs were added. Then daily invitation (the “fishing” of students on the campus) was added. Then added to that were group loud prayers at noon and in the evening. During my years of university study, the whole day from 4 or 5am in the morning until 10pm in the evening, all seven days of the week, was planned out by others completely for UBF, without a single free day in the whole year. I am stressing this because it is a common way of brainwashing to feed the recipient day and night without pause with manipulating information. Sooner or later the recipient will break down and will act obediently like a robot. When I once spoke about a sin problem, it was told to me openly that the best would be to do some work like cleaning or doing something else in obedience to Dae-Won Chang. Jesus or having faith had no role in solving this problem according to Bonn UBF.
This is how a typical preparation of a sermon went: I was given a passage of the Bible and a sermon already written out in full. I wrote my interpretation and the personal application to me. I showed it to a UBF Korean, my interpretation was always changed and corrected. Then I wrote the sermon once more. After repeating several attempts of writing and correcting, my interpretation was literally a copy of the sermon given to me in the beginning. The many pages of my personal meditations would be squeezed into one sentence. For instance, if the sermon on February 1 was on John Chapter 3, then my main sin problem in my life was the one of Nicodemus, and my life testimony for example: “I was a theorist and now I am believing from my heart.” The next week was about haughtiness, and my main sin problem in my life was haughtiness. My life testimony that week was: “I was the most haughty person, but now ...” If it was about the walk through the red sea, my main sin problem in my life that week was that I didn’t have any faith, and my life testimony was: “I used to be unbelieving to walk through the Red Sea, but now ...” Now I can see that the “message training” was nothing more than indoctrination, with the contents disguised as a “sermon.”
According to Bonn UBF interpretation the whole Bible is only about one thing: Jesus gave his life for you; now give everything to Bonn UBF– your money and your time and your very being. If you don’t, you are ungrateful and lost. If you don’t know what amount of offerings shall be given, then you must look on the chart that lists amounts of offerings and give at least as much as the others are reporting. How far can this go? I was pushed to give at the first day of the month out of so-called “faith” my monthly salary on Sunday – DM 1,000. At the next Sunday service my bag was empty and I could not offer anything. This was denoted as unbelief. I was told to borrow money. The tithe in Bonn UBF was ten tenths in the first week and then every week another tenth. If you have something – give everything to Bonn UBF and God will give you back. If God gives to you, then give this also completely to Bonn UBF and He will give you back. I have once calculated and came up with offering money in the magnitude of DM 100,000 which I gave within ten years. The largest single amount was DM 10,000.
A Bible study went like this: I told my opinion. I was listened to. I was agreed with at first. Then a different opinion was told to me, the one of the leader. I wrote something about the passage. If it contained the opinion conveyed to me, my writing was approved and I got the right to share it in front of the group.
There is a psychological method that is similar. The first thing is to listen. The second is to simply repeat what you heard. The effect is a feeling of being understood. This method is very simple, so I suggest that you try it out with somebody. You will see, you need no Bible and no Bonn UBF shepherd love and no care in your heart. But people will like to share with you even their most secret thoughts very soon.
There is also a psychological method that is based on giving praises. Tell other people what they should do to receive your praises. All people like to be praised. They will go farther and farther beyond their own limits, if you only act smartly using this method.
At first the experience of community in Bonn UBF is sweet. The method used is called “love bombing.” It is used in a lot of cults and sects. Let’s consider about a typical freshman in a foreign city with only a few friends. Consider a group of 10 Bonn UBF officers. Give clear order to this group: Be totally nice to the new recruit. Tell him he is always right, whatever he does is very interesting. Invite him for a meal, do sports with him. Do his hobbies with him, spend much time with him. Don’t instruct him. Let him do what he wants but be there and report to me. Let me see your daily written reports for one year. Then I will tell you, what you shall say to him and when. Bind him to you, no matter what it takes. How would the student feel after one year of being treated like that? Grateful, loved, obliged, and totally bound to these UBF people. He won’t ever think about criticizing Bonn UBF, he won’t leave, and he will be ready to do anything for Bonn UBF. During the love-bombing a young person loses his reasonable thinking and normal expectations, and can enter into a false reality about UBF. They are so nice!
How does it go on after this? Are you grateful enough for Jesus who gave everything? What is everything for you? What is your heart set on? Shouldn’t you abandon everything to give it to Jesus and UBF? Well, I decided to go along with their program, I decided to always use one hour more per week for Bonn UBF. But in a short time I gave up my hobbies, my friends, my family. At every Christmas and Easter, at every birthday, the UBF “coincidentally” raised the question whether I should love God more than people, and just as “coincidentally” every UBFer around me decided to spend the weekend only with the Bible. For ten years I spent not a single day with my parents unless they came to attend a Sunday service.
I stress this because there is no spiritual community in this world including monasteries that claim it to be a necessary condition to have no contact with your family and your friends for the rest of your life. It is absurd that it is claimed to be a kind of Christian respect to your father and to your mother not to visit them at their birthdays or any other time – not even going to their funeral. I know that Bonn UBF argues here. But there is no place for arguing here. The Bible says that it is not right to act like that. Common sense tells you that it is not right to do so. Nobody ever claimed that this would be right. Only Bonn UBF does.
Finally I decided to put my own marriage “in the hands of God,” but in UBF this means to trust Mr. Chang to decide who is the right woman, and when is the right time to marry. I also decided to give my life to work as a Bonn UBF man abroad. My future life was totally submitted to Bonn UBF.
Training is a concept that is necessary in sports. Bonn UBF transferred this idea to their religious life. Bonn UBF training in faith then meant things like this: Getting up at 5am in the morning, lining up outside in the middle of winter, running up on the “cross mountain,” a hill located in Bonn, running down the hill again, sitting down for Bible study until 6.30am, testimony sharing in groups – seven days a week – everybody takes part, except Mr. Chang. Knee surgery on both my left and right knee still bear witness of this “training.” Or running to the university as a group wearing suits and ties, carrying our Bibles, yelling loudly: “Bible – Germany – world mission!” At least one time it happened that I was mistaken for a member of a paramilitary group operating in Bonn. Or there was what they called “dead dog training”: Like eight people would stand around the person to be trained, who is kneeling. First the eight scream at him, accusing him of his sins. Then they beat him and kick him. Then they take him and carry him away and throw him somewhere. Everything has to be accepted by the victim. The only reaction permitted is crying. Or another training: Punishment without cause. You would get the command for instance to run or to stretch up the hands into the air. Or perhaps you are told to stretch out your hands forward and you receive blows on them with a stick. Or perhaps you don’t get the blows yourself, but another person is beaten in your place. And it is told to you that he is beaten because of your sins. The only reason given for the punishment is this comment: You know why! You are then asked “Why?” You say something, you must say something. You are given the same punishment again. This can go on for up to half an hour, holding your hands up or some other torture, but you don’t know why. The result is the destruction of the inner being of the victim. You can also call it torture. It is all about abuse of spiritual power.
I would like to note here that Mr. Chang by no means had invented all these methods himself. Mr. Dae-Won Chang regards himself as a copy of Mr. Chang-Woo Lee, the founder of the UBF. All his sermons are word-for-word translations from Mr. Lee. The respective orders in Chicago were always given as current direction in Bonn, too. Every kind of “training” which had been used by Mr. Lee had also been used by Mr. Chang. Even the methods clearly identifiable as torture, which were already reported by Korean UBF members in 1976, were used in the group of internals in Bonn UBF. When many years after my departure I read about these complaints for the first time, concrete examples returned to my mind of how all these methods had also been used in Bonn UBF. In effect, Chang and Lee were like two copies of the same person. There were virtually no differences. Every prayer had to begin like: “May God bless missionary Dr. Samuel Lee, bless Pastor Abraham Lee, bless God’s servant (‘enslaver’ would be more fitting) missionary Dr. Peter Chang (he wanted the doctoral degree to be mentioned in the prayer and the title ‘God’s servant’ to be put in front of himself), ...” It was even claimed that this form of praying could be derived from the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus. But in reality it only shows the blatant hierarchical structure with several levels of spiritual leaders, though actually according to the words of Jesus all should be brethren and thus stand on the same level. It also shows that UBF is dangerous in principle since it embodies a system in which problematic practices and teachings are copied very effectively from top to bottom. Mr. Chang in Bonn is only a particularly consistent copy, merely refined in details, of the prototype personated by Mr. Lee in Korea and Chicago, who is emulated everywhere in the world by UBF. Bonn UBF is, in this sense, by no means atypical for UBF in general. Quite the contrary, Bonn UBF is just a particularly distinctive and in an evil way “sophisticated” instance of what UBF fundamentally constitutes. If you want to know what UBF is like in full consequence, then you may have a look at Bonn UBF. I in this respect I do not only strongly warn of Bonn UBF, but of UBF in general, even if the abuse may be more subtle or less extreme in some UBF chapters.
I mentioned that Mr. Chang never participates in any special training. Mr. Chang is to be treated at every possible occasion as somebody who is not an equal among equals. But exactly that would be the right identification of a Christian leader.
Bonn UBF recruiting system: All members are expected to actively recruit new members. A student dormitory is visited every day. Every attempt to recruit someone had to be accounted for, and the room they are living in are written down on the checklist. All have to be contacted, no matter how. Every contact with new recruits is reported to Mr. Dr. Chang on written reports. Every UBF co-worker writes down a complete report on all his day’s activities, with all contacts and all conversations with students every day, in order to monitor the new recruit process. The rules of decency and manners are suspended. Visiting students too early or too late is ignored. The reports and monitoring are so vital to UBF control that they are shared every day in the group meeting. There is tremendous pressure to report daily successes at these meetings. Coworkers have to produce many appointments with new recruits, if not, then they have to visit a dormitory again on the very same day. In my time, Bonn UBF was banned from entering all of the dormitories, however the UBF people defied the ban.
Bonn UBF has a sequestered living arrangement, where UBF members must live. This life requires giving up all privacy, sleeping on the floor until 5am, rolling up your sleep mat and being together with Bonn UBF members perpetually. I had no private room, not even my own bed, no privacy, no private relations to the outside or with each other, unless for purposes of Bonn UBF.
Bonn UBF calls themselves such a “great” ministry that in all time of history there wasn’t any comparable church community before Bonn UBF from which you could learn anything. There wasn’t and there is still no other preacher or teacher that could be of any use to listen. Who shall believe this actually? How should something like that be possible? I stress again that the Bible and even simple intellect say that this is not right. It is a contradiction in itself to believe that on the one hand history runs like this, that spiritual truth was given to the disciples by Jesus, but since then there was not even one person identified in history as a true follower, and on the other hand to believe that spiritual truth was given to the now dead Mr. Lee from Korea, by him to Mr. Chang, by Mr. Chang to Mr. XY and by Mr. XY to me. What is claimed here to be conclusive, is even not conclusive in itself.
Living in Bonn UBF means: Pick a Bible passage every day. Put your name in the place of the central figure. Ask yourself how you can write a comparable story and do this. The pressure to “become” the Bible character is indescribable. You also will follow your typically German inclination towards focusing on yourself and find more sins in yourself than you ever imagined. Perhaps you must kneel before Mr. Chang. But you will not come closer to Jesus and bow before him. You could even try to gain acceptance that you want to enter a monastery and want to call that your way of life. You will never get an OK by Bonn UBF to such a plan. They would tell you that even going into a monastery would be betraying God’s love and mission etc. Contrary to all other assertions it is not all about Jesus. It isn’t all about God. It is all about you: Your life, your time and your money, your future, your hopes and the destruction of these. When they are taken from you, they are garnered to UBF for their ulterior motives. Your future and your standing before God mean nothing to the UBF leaders.
It is a challenge to get out of Bonn UBF. For about three years after leaving I awoke in the night, bathed in sweat with nightmares, in which I held the always same conversations with Mr. Chang for hours again and again. Over years every first thought when getting up was like that: “I have betrayed God’s work. I am like Lot or Cain or Judas. I am damned eternally. I can change nothing to this. Good morning.” or “I have betrayed God’s work. I am like Lot or Cain or Judas. I am damned eternally. I can change nothing to this. What shall I buy for breakfast today?” or “I have betrayed God’s work. I am like Lot or Cain or Judas. I am damned eternally. I can change nothing to this. What shall I learn for my examination today?” I learned to say to myself: “I have betrayed God’s work. I am like Lot or Cain or Judas. I am damned eternally. I can change nothing to this. Stop. I don’t condemn myself. What I feel doesn’t matter. What I think doesn’t matter. Today, I am not able to clarify this. I will think about it when I will be normal again. Now I go shopping.” Meanwhile, it has become considerably better.
To leave Bonn UBF also means to be a “clean slate” initially. What do I believe? I don’t know. What is ethical? I don’t know. What about eternity now? I don’t know. How do I develop a relationship? I don’t know. How do I get and do I keep a job? I don’t know. How do I handle money? I don’t know. Whom can I trust and whom not? I don’t know. It requires patience and time to cope with this. 43.800 hours of experiencing a horror trip, wavering between suicide or eradicating Bonn UBF like a dangerous virus to be exterminated from earth. Shedding tears about so many years that are really completely wasted for nothing. Condemning my own folly to make myself a slave. Despairing of being alone now. Despairing that nobody can understand my story. Despairing of still feeling the need to find a help in somebody else, but experiencing my own inability to give a little trust in somebody else again. Despairing of realizing my inability to ever have faith again and having no vague idea how this could change some time. Despairing of the deep feeling that I will never be able again to give something to somebody without the thought of being exploited again. Despairing of realizing how enormously distorted my thoughts have become in this time, whenever I listen to a conversation – realizing that I have no idea what is talked about, what would be my point of standing, and how I will ever get an own point of standing. It took a couple of years. I can hardly express how it happened. But what I can say is that I have endured, I am still alive and have peace of mind. It is possible. It also can happen to you to endure and be happy again.
I am Werner K., the Bonn UBF so-called “ancestor of faith” of 1984-1994, also called “Abraham.” I knew who I was, why I was there, what was right, what is in eternity, who is God, I had the answers to all questions. So I thought. The ten years from my 19th to my 29th year of life have been the steep price for making quite bizarre experiences in my life. It has taken close to ten years once more to straighten out my life again. Twenty years are many for a 39 year old. If I would do something to return the pain of twenty years, I would not only write an article. What happens when a man pays back for twenty years of suffering is a theme of many movies. My paying back would have had elements of many of these movies. I have forgiven Mr. Chang and Mr. Park. Without forgiveness, the rage inside me would have led to a running amok with subsequent suicide. I know that other UBF recruits actually committed suicides in similar cases. How large the number really is, is not known, since many UBF dropouts disappear impoverished, lonesome and emotionally confused. Life is most basic. Having peace in my acting is important. Not looking back is helpful. There is a floating of thoughts into more and more deeper despair. This floating can be stopped. It is possible that you speak to yourself, that today you are that ill that you cannot correctly deal with this and to decide to think about it again not before the next day or the next year. You are spiritual ill. You have to accept this. But you can be healed.
If it had lasted for five years less to get my life straight again, there would have been criminal charges against these UBF leaders, in which these gentlemen would have been confronted with a prison sentence of many years. Unfortunately, the statute of limitations oppose making a report now.
Contrary to the claim of Mr. In-Hong Park who is spreading lies here – I know that he is conscious about telling lies in front of God, because Mr. Chang who is esteemed as God’s servant by him has told him to do so (what an insanity – you can very much conclude the opposite from the Bible) – I have I left Bonn UBF because I became conscious about the fact that, whatever Bonn UBF was, in any case it was not the work of God. I say without a doubt that God is my witness that I never wanted to convince my bride to leave Bonn UBF together with me. During one year of engagement I never even had a talk with her. Mr. Park claims I convinced her of leaving. But how should I convince her, without talking to her? When I stand to being that much enslaved by Bonn UBF, why should I not speak the truth about such an unbelievable detail. The Mr. Dr. of pharmacy Chang, who lets himself be addressed only as “servant of God,” had autocratically determined before that God would send me out to Africa instead of Russia. He had furthermore determined that God’s plan for my marriage had suddenly changed. He was forcing me to hand my life completely over to him instead of God. Obviously there was a UBF rejection of life out of grace, and instead make my life a never-ending obligation to make other people completely submit to Mr. Chang, by hook or by crook.
Dae-Won Chang has a Ph.D in Pharmacy. He likes it when students believe that he has a Ph.D. in theology. He is the leader of a membership corporation. This legal from is often misused to avoid paying taxes. Every single rule of the law about a membership corporation is broken because nobody else than Mr. Chang alone directs everything without informing the rest of the members. It is common practice since centuries that in every free church there are detailed reports for the community members how the money offerings have been used. In Bonn UBF there is nothing like thas. Let us make a very conservative calculation: 52 Sunday offerings not less than 10 EUR multiplied with the number members, let’s say 30, to have an average for the first ten years. The sum is 15.600 EUR. Add special offerings of co-workers, let’s say 15 people giving at least 50 EUR, and one offering per month and at least four special offerings at conferences and four other special offerings for birthday, New-Year, Christmas and Easter which sums up to 15.000 EUR. 30.000 EUR per year is the minimum, more probably the annual income is twice or three times higher. Seems that to be a “servant” in Bonn brings free living (members pay the rent), free traveling (members pay all tickets and costs), free supplies (members pay all food and stuff), and 30.000-90.000 EUR per year without paying taxes. I call this individual Dae-Won Chang because this is his birth name. He calls himself “Peter.” But Peter was a servant of God. I call my ex-main-manipulator In-Hong Park, because this is his birth name. He calls himself “Stephanus.” But Stephanus was a servant of God. God’s judgment of those who are deceitfully calling themselves shepherds and misleading God’s flock is just.
I was a student in Bonn in 1984. In-Hong Park invited me for Bible study. I was not a believer. After four weeks there was the summer conference 1984. I was chosen to be a group Bible teacher and to share a so-called life testimony. Taken by surprise, however, helpful and a little bit proud, I accepted. After the meeting I was raised into the rank of a “shepherd.” I was the first one who was won over for co-working in Bonn. In return, I was required to lead the Sunday service and thus also not allowed to miss. When I was absent once it was explained to me that I had loaded an unpardonable sin on myself. It was impressed upon me to do this never again. Otherwise I would lose my position as “the first shepherd.” Soon afterwards I was required to lead a weekly Bible fellowship. It was impressed upon me that Jesus gave his life for me and I had to give my life for Jesus now. The first step had been one hour of Bible study, the next, one hour of Sunday service, added to that one hour of writing testimony, one hour of preparing Bible study, one hour leading a Bible fellowship, one hour writing a sermon for the Bible fellowship. The next step in giving my lifetime to Jesus was mandatory morning meetings. Later, the daily hour of inviting people at noon and in the evening and the participation in other events were added, altogether seven days a week a program from about 4am in the morning until about 11pm. When initially I gave only pennies as offering money, I was asked where my heart was. When some time later I gave my tenth regularly every month and additional money on Sundays and at other events, I was asked again where my heart was. It was conveyed to me that, if I hold back only DM 10, I trusted on this, and not on God. So I gave 100% of my monthly goods (about DM 1000) at the first day of the month and was coerced to take bank loans to be able to make an offering at the following Sunday service. When I had finished my university study, I was advised to pressure my parents for an early inheritance. Chang also publicly coerced me by saying that other Germans had given huge sums of money at their graduations, he pressured me to give at least DM 10-20,000. I did this. The sum was used to buy the first single family house in Bonn under the name of Mr. Chang. After only six months of Bible study I was already engaged in the daily fulfillment of various obligations, so that the next step was moving into a UBF common life apartment. This resulted in breaking off every contact to my family and friends. UBF members believe that there are those who are “inside” – meant saved and called for UBF world mission – and those who are “outside” – thus lost and gone astray and forever condemned. There was never any privacy. Over years I had to get up at about four or five o’clock every morning to clear my bed away since co-workers came to keep morning service. I didn’t have my own room, my own time, or my own thoughts. The brainwashing followed a scheme: At first I was given the text of a UBF Sunday message for example. I was told to write my testimony based on this message. Also my life was always adapted to the current message. If the topic was immorality, then my testimony was: “I was the most immoral, but now I am saved and give everything for ‘God’s work.’” If the topic was haughtiness, then I was the most arrogant, but saved now etc. My life became an empty shell which was always adapted to the word of the preacher. The sometimes twenty pages of personal discussion was finally shortened to one sentence: From black to white, and every deviation from the original text was corrected by and by. After sometimes ten attempts to write a sermon of my own, as a result the original Sunday message came out, word-for-word. But now with the feeling, that it was my own message.
During every single year of my ten years in Bonn UBF I at least one time felt intensively moved to get out. Every single time it seemed appropriate to me to talk to my “Bible teachers” about this. Every time I was reminded of everything God or his people had done and which personal vows I had handed in. Every time I finally stayed.
Eight years after my decision for a “marriage of faith” in compliance with the message, my companion was introduced to me. Engagement was celebrated with 200 people and endless sharing of life testimonies. The central main concern was that my fiancée and I had to repent for believing that marriage had something to do with spending some time together and being close to each other, and that we had to decide in front of everyone to subordinate our marriage completely to the “work of God,” and e.g. agree to become Missionaries on different continents for an undefined time after marriage, or also to be any time, to any extend at Mr. Chang’s command at his back and call. Mr. Chang had founded the family of Mary S. in this way. She was told to marry one man initially. She accepted this as God’s will. Then she was told not to marry him. She accepted this as God’s will. Then she was told to marry a different one. She accepted this as God’s will. Then, on the day after the wedding, she was separated from her husband for over five years. She accepted this as God’s will. This is a cruel game, and many despair of it. This very same non existing married life was already destined for me. It isn’t biblical at all. God knows that husband and wife need each other, that they belong together. God created the marriage. Mr. Chang disestablished the meaning of marriage by declaring that the most spiritual family is the one which is the most non-existent one, preferably in two different continents. People who practically behave as if they were God are usually committed to an psychiatric institution and are not respected as a preacher.
My decision for world mission to Russia was changed after ten years. I had spent ten years of praying – and we prayed much every day – for the mission to Russia. Then a memorable event took place. A meeting was summoned without prior notice; as usually everybody was anxious, having the uneasy sense that something would probably happen to one of the attendees. The foreboding proved correct. In a loud “prayer” Dae-Won Chang at first made very clear that none of the attendees made anything right, nobody understood anything, etc. Then he autocratically gave new “directions,” i.e. commands. I was the one for whom he had reserved a very special new direction. In his “prayer” he couched it in the following terms: “I am thankful that shepherd Werner decided to obey God absolutely and to go to Africa carrying out world mission among the people sick of AIDS and he would die there.” When he thanked that I had already decided for Africa mission, I remember that even the other coworkers were flabbergasted and bemused and looked at me, since they had heard something different during all the years up to that very moment. There had been no discussion whatsoever about this, and I had never thought about something like that. To this “prayer” I could not say Amen. The way Mr. Chang gave this direction and by the expression on his face he showed that it was now all about how I submitted myself to him. He did not only expect something like an answer. What he expected was instantaneous, unconditional submission to this change of plan without further queries and without any possibility of speaking about it, being ready to sally forth on the same evening. I refused. Even after ten years of round-the-clock indoctrination and manipulation, it was clear that something was terribly wrong here.
During this one year of “engagement” the male “missionaries” around me supervised me and the women “missionaries” took care of my fiancée, and they managed to prevent any spending of time together. As hardly believable as it is, but in my one year time of engagement I did not spend one single minute alone with my fiancée. The UBF excuse was that both of us had to deepen our relation to God instead of to each other. Both of us had practically to learn to obey Mr. Chang whether we wanted it, understood it or not. Then finally my fiancée was instructed to inform me that the engagement was canceled since I did not repent for “immoral desires.” Without warning, the plan for my life once announced as the “plan of God” was changed.
The God of the Bible is unchanging. His plan is not changeable. When he puts hope and mission in a man’s life, every single page of the Bible tells us that he never fails or changes his mind. That is why people can have faith and rest in him.
The plan of Bonn UBF for one person is always changeable. When there is a direction to do this or that, then this can change every hour in any possible or impossible way. That is why people in Bonn UBF are full of fear and restless. It can happen after a meeting that the plan to be a preacher at the next conference is changed and the one thing to do is to bring some four other people to the conference or stay at home. It can happen that you are directed at 7 o’clock in the morning to be ready to go for a conference in America two hours later. It can happen that you quit your job with 50.000 EUR annual income at 7.30am by phone, pack your Bible and toothbrush at 7.35am and are on the plane at 9am – just to get the new direction in the afternoon to stay for six months in Chicago to be trained. It can happen that you go to sleep at 1am deep at night and are woken up at 3am already, because Mr. Chang found the daily report unacceptable and his direction is to write down God’s work in your life on twenty pages starting now, having to finish before 6 o’clock in the morning. The sold result of the “faith-building-machinery” Bonn UBF is fear. The deeper the fear of existence the farther you co-work with them.
I left Bonn UBF some months after these two events. The history of Bonn UBF, once built upon my life-story (as the “Abraham of faith”), was rewritten overnight, my face painted over on pictures from the past, they spread stories that I was addicted to drugs again and was “going on my way.” One of this is falsifying history, the other a lie. Falsifying history is a method used by the Nazi regime and other dictators.
I declared my leaving in written form and demanded DM 10,000 back from Bonn UBF. I have in fact got this sum (approximately a tenth of the money paid to Bonn UBF) in installments. It appears to me like a hush-money in retrospect. Anyway it made me wonder for years how I should assess this all. In this time most of the criminal offenses which I could have charged have passed the statute of limitations. The payments were paid secretly. Even Andreas P. didn’t know about this and was surprised about it when I later told him.
To confront myself with my situation meant to acknowledge that I had lived on the dark side of the moon from 1984-1994 as my brother described it very aptly. I have had no chance to follow the news in the world around me. Television and newspapers were declared as unbiblical. It took over five years to compensate this gap in my life, to compensate this feeling of being lost in time and space and to tie up again to reality, to understand, what others are talking of and to react in a normal way, not like a man who had been taken through a time-warp. The most difficult thing was to build up a value system of my own and to find my own viewpoint. My family granted the needed support especially in the beginning. It was them that I could give a little trust at first and began to start my life again.
I have repeatedly tried coming clear with the bad experiences from this time. It took until today for my inner wounds to be healed to the point that I am able to write about it without rage and anger. The damages lasted for ten years to this day in order to write with a sufficing distance about ten years of spiritual rape. UBF was slavery veiled into a spiritual gown, and it still takes place, not in Afghanistan or in Iraq but in Bonn, Germany, directly among us. Spiritual rape means that people transform other people to become their tools by exploiting their desire for salvation and love. The damage resulting from this is lifelong suffering of the persons affected, far-reaching inability to develop their own simple confidence or faith, and brings about complete disorientation lasting for years.
A law-suit on account of bodily harm would be totally inadequate for this spiritual crime. If the full amount of the deeds of Mr. Chang should ever become object of a lawsuit or criminal proceeding, then the main charges presumably will be maltreatment, and keeping dependent people in bondage, i.e. modern slavery, as well as tax evasion amounting to millions. But in such a law-suit, which would be about prison sentence for more than ten years, the system of legal safeguards may turn out to be unequipped for such cases of systematic bondage over many years. To bring this case to judgment would need some witnesses who leave Bonn UBF and bear witness not much later. But the witnesses are victims spiritually raped for years, manipulated in extent, kept in existentially fear. As in my case it most probably will take years and years until each victims has developed the needed confidence and strength. For me to have peace it is enough to know that in the book which Bonn UBF knows and preaches it is written that false preachers are destined for the deepest of hells. This hell exists already now in the life of these people. How restless must a person be who feels obliged to demand God-like absolute obedience towards himself in deeds and thoughts, without the power of God and without the grace of God, in order to realize that the reality differs from this megalomaniac desire to the greatest extent possible and he can change nothing to this?
I cannot estimate whether it can be prevented that people like Mr. Chang and Mr. Park manipulate others to voluntary bondage. But even if it is difficult and takes a long time, it is possible to get out of Bonn UBF. And it is worthwhile to take your own life into your own hands again, to make your own decision and to lead a spiritual life.
Werner K.

Testimony by Paulus E. as of May 25th, 2001

After Peter Chang had categorically denied all negative reports about his leadership in Bonn UBF, and after he had directed Bonn women coworkers, who are totally dependent on him, to write lengthy counter-statements on Korean UBF web pages, Paulus E., another former Korean coworker of Bonn UBF, having experienced the problems himself, felt obliged to comment on the accusations in an Internet letter written to the director of Korea UBF, John Jun. His letter to John Jun written on May 25th, 2001, was published on the web site in June 2001. Although Paulus E. confirms the truthfulness of the accusations against Peter Chang, he still does not seem to be free of the psychological influence Peter Chang had on him. He still uses the strange UBF language and thinks he has to be thankful to Peter Chang. The main topic to learn for all Bonn UBF members was to be eternally thankful as well as totally dependent on and obedient towards Peter Chang, the leader. Obviously this is successfully instilled in the members. As could be expected from a UBF director, John Jun predictably did not take any measures against Peter Chang after this letter.

Dear Shepherd John Jun,
Independent of my opinion about the reform movement in UBF, I love you and shepherdess Sun-Ji [the wife of John Jun] just like my coworker [wife] M. Grace and respect you very much. [UBF members call their spouses only “coworkers” to show they are not “family centered” which is considered negative in UBF.] You conducted our wedding and blessed our house church [UBF term for married couple in UBF]. You have always been interested in my health and have encouraged me personally when you visited Germany. [Paulus E. obviously was trying to be as nice or diplomatic as possible to get John Jun to consider what he and others have written about Bonn UBF, however it did not help. His letter was ignored as all the others.]
I am writing this letter in order to comment on the Bonn UBF ministry independently.

My personal opinion about the Bonn UBF ministry

My name is Paulus E. I was sent out to Bonn UBF by the Jeon-Ju UBF center as a student missionary in October 1988. From then I was a coworker in Bonn UBF for almost 10 years until August 1998. Because of the relationship problem between M. Peter Chang and my family, my health problem, and because of my studies I was sent out to the Aachen UBF center. During those 10 years the ministry in Bonn grew very much, outwardly. From 1994, I studied for a doctorate at the technical university in Aachen (Aix-la-chapelle) which is located approximately 100 km from Bonn. I stayed in Aachen during the week and came to Bonn on the weekends and served the work of God [UBF is always called “the work of God” no matter how large the grievances are]. In September 1999 my family moved to Berlin, and I finished my doctorate in November 1999. I was looking for a job but did not succeed, so we had to return to Korea in June 2000 because of the visa problem. I am working at the Chang Won university now.
During my mission life in Bonn I cooperated very closely with M. Peter Chang. I received much love and serving from M. Peter Chang’s family, which helped me to overcome all difficulties in the initial mission life. Especially, they comforted me much when we were in great suffering after the death of our second child, Maria [see also the testimony of Andreas P. about that issue]. I cannot forget either that M. Peter took care of my children when I was in Aachen because of school studies and my coworker [wife] had to go to work. [This was easy for Chang because he has no job and is paid by the coworkers, so he had a lot of time to care for the children.] I am a debtor to him for his love both spiritually and humanly, and I am always thankful for that. [Yet he just wrote that his family had a “relationship problem” with Peter Chang. The contradictions caused by life in Bonn UBF are amazing. Paulus seems to be still not free from the “culture of thankfulness” of Bonn UBF towards the leader.] I was in Bonn for 10 years and my coworker [wife] 15 years. Therefore, we have love for and an interest in the Bonn ministry and for the coworkers there. I express my opinion about the work of God not because of my human feelings but due to my conscience of faith, and I have in mind only the missionaries, shepherds and sheep in Bonn, with whom I have worked together.
I worry much about the influence of the Internet, which has been taken advantage of during the reform movement. The Internet has been used as an effective means to spread the opinions of the reform movement, but the mutual slanders have led to negative results, and I worry about that. [The Internet was not only used to spread the opinions of the reform movement, but to reveal serious evils in UBF, and unfortunately, most of what reformers and ex-members wrote was not slander but the ugly truth. UBF members tend to use the term “slander” not for statements which are false, but for statements which are painful to hear.] Therefore, I was somewhat reluctant to write on the Internet. I have read the letter of M. Susanna P. from Siegen UBF on the Internet. I learned on the Internet that M. Peter Chang denied M. Susanna P.’s allegations during the chapter director’s meeting in Germany. M. Josephine, the sister of M. Susanna, wrote a counter-statement on the Internet and said that the letter consists of 100 percent lies from her sister, M. Susanna, invented by Satan. I recently read the report on Bonn UBF written by S. Andreas P. I also heard that M. Evodia of Bonn UBF had denied the facts that S. Andreas had written about in his report when S. John Jun asked her about it.
I intend to tell M. Peter Chang my personal opinion about some points in Bonn UBF that I regard as problematic from a spiritual point of view. My family was mentioned in S. Andreas’ report. M. Evodia is the coworker [wife] of S. Josef with whom I had one-to-one Bible study. I came to the conclusion that the time has now come to personally comment on the problem in Bonn UBF.
Since I have returned to Korea I have been asked by many coworkers whether the letter written by M. Susanna about Bonn UBF accurately depicts the reality of Bonn UBF. Without consideration of whether the incidents reported by M. Susanna and S. Andreas in their letters should to be judged as right or wrong, I can answer that the reports about the Bonn UBF incidents are 100 percent factual. There are some events which occurred after I moved away from Bonn. But I can say that M. Susanna’s reports are not lies because I saw all of it happening in my 10-year mission life there, and M. Susanna and S. Andreas, whom I both personally know, do not lie. By this I mean that their statements are neither exaggerated stories nor lies brought forward with the intention to spread evil gossip about M. Peter Chang. I worked in Bonn together with M. Markus and Susanna P. in the same period of time and experienced all the events together with them, as S. Andreas explained. If I was to recount all the incidents in Bonn UBF once again, they would become even more concrete and greater in number.
The problem is that M. Peter Chang and M. Josephine and M. Evodia (perhaps all coworkers in Bonn) deny the facts, although all these are really facts, and how they view those same facts is so different.
First: They believe that M. Peter Chang is doing everything he does out of faith with a shepherd heart and for the spiritual love relationship, for the ministry of raising up disciples and the world mission. This means they think everything comes out of good motives and that God himself is bearing all the weaknesses and faults of the servant of God (M. Peter Chang explains it often that way). [This is not restricted to Bonn UBF only, it is how all UBF members view the “excessive actions” or “weaknesses” or “imperfections” of the “servants of God.” In the same way all atrocities done by Samuel Lee had been tolerated. To lower the ethical standards for church leaders is a reversal of biblical teachings such as James 3:1.] They also think that the true problem lies in the person who does not accept God’s training. Therefore, they can regard M. Susanna and S. Andreas as those who do not understand the shepherd heart of M. Peter Chang and are ungrateful. They regard their reports as Satan’s attack which is not worth being mentioned.
Second: M. Peter Chang helps the coworkers to serve his own ends. To achieve this, he tries to develop his relationship with every single coworker deeply, but he cuts off the relationship to the center in Korea from which they are sent out and also to other chapters in Germany. They may deny it, but in my opinion, the missionaries and shepherds in Bonn are not mature enough in their personal relationship with God. (I couldn’t grow spiritually in Bonn, too. Saying this I do not deny that the Bonn coworkers are dedicated. I also have a personal love relationship with most missionaries and shepherds).
I do not believe that M. Josephine wrote such a letter with a clear conscience of faith, slandering her own sister and her brother-in-law. Although she may have written or typed the letter herself, you can conclude from her statements in her second letter that somebody certainly dictated the contents to her. Even though M. Josephine may be appreciated momentarily as a courageous woman of faith by the Bonn coworkers and by M. Peter Chang for such an “act of faith,” she will certainly have to suffer from her guilty conscience when she gets older and more mature in faith. When I think about this, it hurts me very much. M. Evodia, who recently visited Korea, is a missionary from the Myeonryun UBF. She respects S. John Kim [the director of that chapter] very much. Although she came to Korea after 9 years of mission life and loves the coworkers in the Myeonryun UBF and S. John Kim very much, she was made to return to Germany without meeting them even once. In the past, when M. Stephanus Park, M. Abraham Ju and M. Ruth Ju came back to Korea, they were not permitted to to visit the Sunday worship service in the Myeonryun UBF although they were from that center, but they had to attend the service in the Daegu UBF instead and return to Germany. Although M. Peter Chang thinks that through this he would help his coworkers to become uncompromising men and women of faith, I believe that there are areas in a person’s life of faith that no other person should be allowed to control.
The reason that the Bonn coworkers are severely handicapped, hardly growing in a personal relationship with God, lies in the fact that M. Peter Chang is in the middle of the spiritual life of all coworkers. In the name of the “love relationship,” M. Peter Chang is standing between God and me, between my wife and me, between my children and me, between my coworkers and me, and between my sheep and me. In Bonn UBF an environment is prevailing where the faith of a coworker is measured by their good relationship with M. Peter Chang or loyalty toward him. In such an environment, which is furthermore an environment which is completely insulated from the outside world, people cannot be expected to write anything other than what M. Josephine wrote or speak anything other than what M. Evodia spoke.
The coworker [wife] of S. Andreas is S. Andrea, a German UBF shepherdess. At present, M. Peter Chang seems to use S. Andrea as a means to train S. Andreas. We heard that she told S. Andreas that he was not allowed to come home or sleep with her until he repented. S. Andrea came to the Cologne UBF together with M. Stephanus Park and said that everything is only S. Andreas’ problem of faith. How convenient it would be if you could solve spiritual problems by such artificial methods! In this hour I think about it once again: I know the efforts of M. Peter Chang – like a mother giving birth – for the shepherd family of S. Andreas [Paulus E. falls back to Bonn UBF language again]. Therefore, M. Peter surely knows their prayer topics better than all the others [a person’s “prayer topic” means a person’s “problem” in UBF language]. However, by such interference [by Peter Chang], the spiritual order in a family and the love relationship of a married couple is ignored. S. Andrea, who has formed a house church together with S. Andreas [in other words, they are married], has first the obligation to be the wife of S. Andreas before she is obliged to be a coworker of M. Peter Chang. Since the foundation of their house church [their marriage], 10 years have already passed. Even if a house church is unsatisfactory, one should help them in a way that the married couple can solve problems with one heart and grow to become an independent house church. However, when such inhumane methods are repeated used, to try to solve family problems or to serve the work of God, how can a house church arise which is God-centered and independent? The reason why I talk so much about the house church of S. Andreas is not to enlarge the events but to say that all house churches in Bonn UBF are treated like this: The respective spouses who are closer to M. Peter Chang [mostly the wives] are the central figures in the Bonn ministry and everything runs according to the pretext of the “God- and mission-centered house churches.” Therefore, the program during the day and throughout the week is set up in such a way that the married couples do not have time at all from morning until evening to be together as a family.
Third: The sanctification of the position as “the servant of God.” In Bonn UBF an equality exists, which is that a visible servant of God is equal to the invisible God and that the word or direction of the servant of God equals the word or direction of God. No single person is allowed to say anything contrary to the opinion of M. Peter Chang. If communication with the outside world through the eyes and ears of the coworkers is consciously and unconsciously controlled and their mouths are manipulated according to the will of the director, then the director will be the one who is later criticized the most. M. Peter Chang is a man with zeal who has given his life for the world mission. I personally respected him highly and wanted to become such a leader like him. You can always err if you are doing something. However, what is happening in Bonn UBF are neither problems of small human errors nor of misunderstandings. They are rather fundamental problems. In the environment of Bonn UBF all missionaries and shepherds in their prayers or weekly testimonies call M. Peter publicly “God’s servant missionary doctor Peter Chang.” You can hear it frequently when praying together with Bonn coworkers. I do not say that using such a title is bad. But such a method of separating himself from the other coworkers as someone special, and trying to maintain his authority and spiritual order, hinders the development of a trusting and love relationship with the coworkers. M. Peter Chang should avoid this practice and take care that the coworkers are not thanking and praising him for his dedication and his spiritual struggle in such a fixed form in each of their testimonies.
When I meet my friends’ parents in my native country [S. Korea], I call them “father” or “mother” as I call my own parents, and I say “grandfather” or “grandmother” to the older ones. Then I am happy. When we were living in Bonn my son asked me: “Daddy, we have our grandfather and our grandmother in Korea. Why then do I have to address M. Peter Chang as ‘grandfather’ and M. Sarah Chang as ‘grandmother’?” I could only give this short answer as his father: “Because all the other children call him that.” If his son, Petrus, gets married and his grandchildren call him “grandfather” and M Sarah “grandmother” it would not be the slightest problem. But making himself to be called “grandfather” by the teenagers in the Bonn UBF and manipulating the spiritual relationships in the ministry in such a way with no biblical basis for doing so is not commendable at all. While I was in Bonn I never saw him writing Daily Bread, and he actually appeared for the early morning prayer only a couple of times, although he stressed the early morning prayer and Daily Bread to the other coworkers again and again. [Writing a short testimony based on “Daily Bread,” a devotional published by UBF, is actually supposed to be a compulsory morning exercise for all UBF members.] On such rare occasions when he attended the early morning prayer hour, he behaved like a king who has pity on his people and extends them great mercy [by his mere presence]. He should stop such a behavior as quickly as possible. On the pretext of wanting to cement a [“spiritual”] love relationship with the married women missionaries he would be massaged by them and have his toes treated by them. [It is reported that one shepherdess even had to undergo a training in foot care to treat his athlete’s foot]. He should also stop this practice. If he would let male coworkers do such things, it might be permitted. But if he needs do such things late in the evening behind a closed door, he should stop doing it immediately for his own conscience and for the conscience of the women missionaries and their husbands, and he should let his wife, M. Sarah, who is a nurse, do such things. As he always preaches that we should be on guard against bad influences, otherwise many others might be tempted, he should live according to his own preaching.
If the position of a leader in a church is protected as if it was something sacred, then the members who are following him cannot be allowed to stand against his ideas and his actions in anything. Therefore, the reaction of the Bonn UBF members is understandable, that they deny all these facts, as is the case with M. Josephine and M. Evodia.
Now I would like to say something about the financial problems that S. Andreas mentioned in his testimony. At that time I was managing the purchase of the first prayer house (at present the apartment of M. Peter Chang). After we left Bonn I heard that two more houses had been purchased and registered under the name of M. Peter Chang. M. Peter Chang often said during the meeting announcements [the informal statements made at the end of UBF meetings] that God blessed him so richly because he had faith regarding the provision of material things. In reality it was the poor student missionaries and women missionaries who earned and sacrificed their money by working as cleaning ladies, and the shepherds and shepherdesses who borrowed money in spite of their poverty and sacrificed it to God. This should be clarified as well before it becomes too late. Our life of faith and our overall life is no theory. [Practical aspects of life such as study or livelihood or child education may not be neglected in a church by a the leader who is simply demanding “you shall live out of faith” and not allowing time to care for those practical aspects, as in Bonn UBF.] If the monthly income and expenditure and the bank balance of every missionary family and every shepherd family is checked accurately, then it will become clear what kind of situation the Bonn coworkers are in. The fact which S. Andreas mentioned in his testimony, that he had no more money for daily life two weeks before his next monthly paycheck, also applied to us [our family] in Bonn. Since the coworkers’ borrowing money from a bank is strongly encouraged by M. Peter Chang as an act of faith, and coworkers very often have to bring special sacrifices [offerings] exceeding their financial limits, they are losing the possibility of bringing offerings to God with a grateful heart. This should be changed, too.
I have heard that all chapter directors in Germany, independent of whether they are for reform or not, want to solve this problem. [This was actually true. However, the non-reformers later backslid and worked together with Peter Chang again, according to the direction of Samuel Lee.] This clearly shows the animosity of M. Peter Chang towards the coworkers in other chapters. Bonn UBF needs to stop striving for outward growth in order to appear better [than other German chapters], and they need to put behind them the fixed way of thinking that all disgraceful news about Bonn UBF is just malicious gossip caused by others’ jealousy over the Bonn ministry and M. Peter Chang. The unbiblical factors which are behind the uniformity of the Bonn coworkers, which are apparent during every European Summer Bible Conference, should be recognized by the Bonn coworkers themselves.
With the present visible fruit [in Bonn UBF], M. Peter Chang has the illusion that his faith and the Bonn ministry are exemplary and the top ministry in raising up disciples and world mission. He should wake up from this one-sided delusion. Those who have a different opinion than M. Peter Chang or had a conversation with him on some matter have noticed that he always says something like this: “This is a misunderstanding. This is the work of Satan which always appears where the work of God is done.” If he continues to regard the advice of the people around him as misunderstandings or the envy of Satan which is not worth any consideration and keeps identifying himself as a prophet suffering because of the accusations of Satan, then in the course of the time Bonn UBF will be isolated regardless of the present visible fruit and become a lifeless ministry, like stale bread, centered around M. Peter Chang and then finally perish.
Dear S. John Jun, so far I have written to you of my opinion on the situation of Bonn UBF. Since the situation of Bonn UBF is reported in greater detail by M. Susanna P. and by S. Andreas, I have tried to write down my opinion about it and tried to explain why the testimonies of several witnesses about the same events can be so different from each other. I hope that my letter can help you to understand better the situation in Bonn UBF and the rising problems among the chapter directors in Germany and help you in solving the problem of Bonn UBF in a way pleasing to God.
I thank God that he has done a great work of salvation in Korea and in other countries in the last 40 years [UBF members like to overvalue their ministry and neglect all others in such a way] and has used us for his work preciously. I thank God that he has used M. Samuel lee, M. Sarah Barry, M. John Jun and innumerable servants of God and coworkers and their dedication preciously in this work. May God have mercy on this work and continue to work among us so that our ministry can be used as a vessel for Korea and world mission in the 21st century as well. Thank you for reading my unsatisfactory letter to the end.
A debtor to your mercy,
Paulus E.

The Biblical View of God’s Servants, Ministry and Family Analysis by Andreas P. as of June 2001

After writing his testimony in April 2001, listing some of the grievous things he experienced in Bonn UBF, Andreas P. wrote another article, trying to analyze in which way the practices of Bonn UBF contradict the biblical teaching, especially challenging the concept of “the Servant of God” and how in Bonn UBF relationships in the ministry and the families should look like.

The cause for writing the following testimony were my questions: To what extent is the ministry of a “Servant of God” as it is practiced in Bonn UBF justified in light of New Testament teachings, and to what extent do the members of the ministry owe absolute obedience to the “Servant of God,” and what are the limits for church leadership? Absolute obedience [to the Bonn UBF director calling himself “the Servant of God”] among other practices is justified by citing the position of Moses in the Old Testament, whom God made a God for the Pharaoh (Ex 7:1), whom the people believed (Ex 19:9) and who was defended by God with clear signs when the people grumbled against him (e.g. Korah, Dathan, Abiram in Num 16, Miriam’s leprosy in Num 12). They also refer to the positions of Joshua and Samuel through whom God gave clear instructions to his people and even the king, with disobedience resulting in death and rejection. From the New Testament Paul, who described himself as a servant of Christ, is used as an example to justify the position of the “Servant of God” in the ministry. I now want to study in the light of the Bible to what extent the office of a servant of God as described in the Old Testament is still valid after the coming of Jesus, and how Paul himself regarded his position as a servant of God and practiced it.

I. Priesthood of All Believers

Moses was the man through whom God spoke to the people. After Moses, God appointed Aaron, the first high priest, as a mediator for the people, and, in addition, he appointed more priests. The priests served God in the temple. They were priests of the Old Covenant. One of the last priests of the old covenant was Zechariah. When he saw the newly born John the Baptist, he sang a song of praise. Luke 1:68,74,75 says: “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people ... to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.” In these verses the priest Zechariah proclaims a fundamental change in priesthood:
1. We serve God without fear: The priests of the Old Covenant could not simply enter the Most Holy Place to come before God, but only the high priest once a year and even this not without blood (Heb 9:7). But at the death of Jesus the curtain of the temple was torn in two, and we are allowed to come to God as we are. Our relationship with God was changed completely. Paul writes about the new relationship with God: “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’” (Rom 8:15). Because we are already justified by the blood of Jesus and have become the children of God we need not be afraid of being condemned eternally. The reason for our service [to God] is not the fear of eternal condemnation but the gratitude for having received the eternal life already.
Therefore, it is fundamentally wrong if a church leader threatens church members with eternal condemnation in cases where a certain goal is not reached or even in cases where a church member does not obey his church leader. If a church leader depicts the church members according to how they have “struggled” (number of Bible studies or worship service attendants, obedience to the leader, etc.) as “children of the devil,” this contradicts in every regard the teachings of Jesus.
2. All Christians have a calling as servants of God: In Bonn UBF the church leader is given the title “ the Servant of God.” Although sometimes other members who are delivering a sermon are called “servants of God” also, this is done with a completely different connotation. If, for example, Bonn UBF members speak about “the Servant of God,” they are referring only to M. Dr. Peter Chang. In his position as “Servant of God” he demands absolute obedience and claims infallibility for his decisions, even in cases where his decisions are wrong, on the grounds that God works through his servants and that God bears the mistakes of his servants.
There needs to be order in a church. There are also different offices. Paul writes in Ephesians 4:11: “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, ...” But there is no distinction any more between the “servants of God” as mediators and the “ordinary people” who do not know God, as was the case in the Old Covenant. Jesus himself says in Mt 23:8-10: “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ.”
3. The position of a servant of God: From what has been written above it follows that the position of a servant of God does not consist in ruling over others. Of course, nobody in Bonn UBF would claim that M. Peter is ruling over them. Instead of “ruling,” they use the words “give direction,” which is, however, the same in effect. When we say, “I have received direction” or “God has given me the direction” then everybody knows that this means nothing else but “M. Peter has said.” When we say, “I have received a new direction,” then this means “M. Peter has changed his opinion.” If somebody, however, does something without “direction” or the consent of M. Peter he is said to be “high-handed.” When some German UBF shepherds once prayed together without being instructed to by M. Peter, we had to “repent” for our “high-handedness” by running up to the “cross mountain” repeatedly as directed by M. Peter. In Bonn there is practically no other “direction” than the one decided by the “Servant of God.” The possibility that somebody could find a direction on his own, guided only by the Holy Spirit, which does not agree with the direction of M. Peter is completely out of the question. Thus, M. Peter stands on the level of a mediator between man and God. But after the death and resurrection of Jesus there is nothing left any more which separates us from God. Jesus is the mediator. If M. Peter places himself in the position of a mediator, then he places himself in the same position as Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and all who obey him are idol worshippers.
It is interesting to look at the positions of Paul and Peter, who are always referred to as examples of the position of the “Servant of God” in the Bible. In none of his letters does Paul demand obedience to himself under the threat of punishments. The places where he threatens to use his authority and to come with a stick refers to his intention to deal with those who have sinned in a special way (2 Cor 13:2). They do not refer to those who did not write testimonies or write them on time, to those who are tired or to those who do not share his [Paul’s] opinion.
Apostle Peter introduces himself in 1 Peter 5:1 as a fellow elder. Nobody would deny that Peter held a very special position, yet he considered his own position as only a fellow elder.
4. The attitude of a servant: What attitude did Paul have based on his identity as a servant of God? Paul writes in 2 Cor 4:5: “For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.” Paul preached that Jesus Christ is the Lord. Jesus must be the Lord over the individual person and over the family and over the church by guiding us through the Holy Spirit. Paul’s attitude as a servant is far from demanding obedience to him or material forms of “gratitude” toward him. Quite to the contrary, Paul regards himself as a servant of the people for Jesus’ sake. In 1 Thessalonians 2:6,7 he writes: “We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.” Paul never thought that he had to receive special respect or gratitude because of his devotion. Paul never served himself and did not look out for himself, but he was a servant of Jesus Christ, a servant of the people.
When Paul together with Barnabas cured a paralyzed man in Lystra, the people wanted to sacrifice to them. Paul and Barnabas were horrified about that and could hardly get the people to stop sacrificing to them (Acts 14:8-18). The “Servant of God” in Bonn, however, enjoys being honored by the people by letting them constantly thank him and also give him large sacrificial offerings such as cars out of gratitude for his “dedication” and “bearing pain like a mother giving birth,” and he has never made an attempt to stop this. [Peter Chang likes to compare his “training” of the members with a mother giving birth in allusion to Gal 4:19.] He even directs the coworkers to do all this. This shows that he has a desire for honor and recognition which is only due to God and Jesus Christ, and he has an attitude toward honor and recognition which is not compatible with the examples of the servants of God in the Bible.
Peter writes about the attitude of the servants of God in 1 Peter 5:2,3: “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers – not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” Peter’s spiritual authority did not come from his position but from his practical example.
5. Conclusion: The office of the “Servant of God” as it is practiced in Bonn UBF has no biblical foundation at all. It simply applies concepts from the Old Testament, especially the position of the servant of God Moses, to people living today, in this case to M. Dr. Peter Chang. This is suppressing the truth of the priesthood of all believers and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In this way, the position of M. Peter has become higher and higher until he has become for the Bonn coworkers even the mediator between God and the people, claiming to be the only one who is able to give proper direction. By having supported this practice to this day, I have actually become an idol worshipper, and by my example I have also encouraged others to see M. Peter as a particularly authorized servant of God. I confess this guilt in front of God. May God help all coworkers in Bonn to recognize the truth and no longer live under the power of M. Peter so that Jesus alone can become Lord over our ministry and so that each of us is able to serve God without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. Amen.

II. The Foundation of the Church is the Gospel

a. We were called to be free
There are many aspects of freedom in the Bible. God gave Adam the freedom of choice (Gen 2:16,17) because only in personal freedom is a real relationship with God possible. Furthermore, we find freedom from the sin (John 8:31,32) and also freedom from the law (Rom 7). The Gospel frees us to praise God. It frees us from the pressure to do well by giving us certainty of salvation. The Gospel allows us to have a fellowship of love and it makes us the light and salt of the earth.
In this freedom all of us together form a body whose head is Jesus (1 Cor 12). Every part of the body receives instruction from the head and not from the hand or the eye. The fellowship of Christians is a fellowship of love. Many brothers and sisters in Bonn fear that without the strong authoritarian leadership of the “Servant of God” the ministry would soon perish from lack of restraint and individualism. But this denies that every part of the body is in direct contact with Jesus. This connection comes from the Gospel.
How can we have this freedom now? Jesus says in John 8:31b,32: “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” By “my teaching” Jesus did not mean the various teachings or key verses with which we have to “struggle” [in Bonn UBF], but the teaching which he gave to the Jews before (John 8:21-29). It means the Gospel of the death and resurrection of Jesus. The Gospel gives us true freedom (Rom 6:14). The Gospel puts us under grace and this grace gives us true freedom from sin. In what regard have we failed to attain this freedom arising from the Gospel in Bonn UBF?
1. The coworkers in Bonn are still living in the law: This statement can best be proven by the testimonies we are writing every week. As a rule, the testimony ends with the confession of various sins and, based on that, making a decision as to how we would like to struggle to do better next week. After one week we then notice that we have not been able to keep our decision. Therefore, we repent of this and thus we are in an endless circle, not being able to fulfill what we intended to do or what M. Peter told us to do, repenting again, deciding anew again and so forth.
Now somebody could argue that this is just the meaning of living by grace. On the one hand, he could say, I am living by grace because I always “come to God” with the same “sins” every week, and on the other hand, grace and apostleship belong together so that the many demands on us are coming out of the grace.
So how can I know whether I am doing things by grace or whether it is the law making me do it? If something is not a law, one should be allowed to not do it if one wants to please God more or honor the name of God more by not doing it. Because I believe, for example, that the name of God is honored more when I sleep sufficiently and am awake rather than walking around tired the whole day, nobody should have the right to accuse me if I sleep sufficiently. If something is not a law, then I should not have to be punished for non-compliance.
But how does this work in Bonn UBF? First, there is the “testimony.” If it was not a law, then I would be allowed to occasionally not write a testimony on Sunday evening. Likewise, if the testimony was not a law, then those who have not written a testimony or have not finished one on time should not need to stand in the back of the room with their hands in the air as punishment while others are sharing their testimonies, and they should not have to finish writing their testimonies or have to rewrite their testimony before they are allowed to go to work. If the writing of the “Daily Bread” [a morning ritual in UBF] was not a law, then why does so much quarreling exist in the families about the issue of getting up early and coming to the Daily Bread? The prayer topic of having twelve one-to-one Bible studies has become a law, too. How often do we repent for not having struggled enough to fulfill our prayer topic?
Paul said to such Christians in Galatians 3:1-3: “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?”
2. The coworkers in Bonn do not have the freedom to decide: I know that this statement will immediately trigger opposition in many of them: “Of course I can freely make decisions!” But how large is the room in which you can move according to your own decisions? If the only possibility is to “decide” to follow the direction of M. Peter, or if M. Peter is allowed to cancel every decision of any coworker, then where do we have freedom to make our own decisions?
Hudson Taylor [the missionary to China] is respected very much in Bonn as a servant of God (this time in the real meaning of the word). In a book report about Hudson Taylor Samuel Ju said one day that Hudson Taylor always got up at four o’clock in the morning to meditate on the Word of God deeply and gain strength for the day. When he [Hudson], however, noticed that he was tired the whole day, he decided in prayer to go to bed early at nine o’clock every evening. He thought that he could serve God better that way and he was free to make that decision. All coworkers in Bonn were also “free” when they decided to get up at four o’clock in the morning. But except for M. Peter, nobody is free to decide to go to bed at, say, nine o’clock in the evening or perhaps to go to bed at eleven o’clock and get up at six o’clock instead. [The coworkers usually have to attend a very long program in the evening or write their “testimonies” during the night to have them ready for the testimony sharing session in the morning.] When the coworkers later noticed that they could not get up at four o’clock, M. Peter gave the direction that 4:59am can also be regarded as four o’clock.
This is only a small, even ridiculous example. How often I witnessed that M. Peter has canceled even important decisions made by others. The problem with this is not even whether my decision was right or wrong. Because God loves us, he gave us even the freedom to make wrong decisions. However, M. Peter is always interfering in our decisions, sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly by the program [because the program leaves no time to do anything else but what Peter Chang has decided].
I would like to give an example here which many have experienced in a similar way. By the grace of God, at the end of my studies when I received my diploma, I decided not to pursue a doctorate and to quit my job at the Max-Planck institute [which would have allowed him to continue his scientific work]. At first, M. Peter supported this decision. But after I had quit my job, M. Peter changed his direction. According to his direction I decided to pursue a doctorate. Because I got a scholarship I also decided to do a proper doctorate and to study diligently for the glory of God. Part of the doctoral study involved attending a compulsory lecture which always took place at three o’clock. I decided to attend this lecture. After about three weeks I received the direction of M. Peter to pray together with S. Joachim for two and a half hours every afternoon at three o’clock. Although I told M. Peter that I had to attend that lecture and asked him to move the prayer hour to a different time he insisted on three o’clock. As a consequence I had to give up my doctoral study, saying it was my own decision, and finally even believing it was my own decision.
All of this is not the freedom that the Gospel brings. Paul writes in Galatians 5:1: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” He also writes in 2 Corinthians 11:20: “In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or pushes himself forward or slaps you in the face.” In the same way we in Bonn allow our lives to be completely determined by the “Servant of God,” being forced to keep various laws, being humiliated by being called “pigs” and “dogs,” “children of the devil,” “Gestapo candidates” or “candidates for the insane asylum,” never having the right to say “no” to anything he is saying.
Why are we doing such things? Why did the Christians in Corinth let this happen among themselves? Because it is easy and comfortable to push all decisions and, with it all responsibility, away from ourselves to the “Servant of God.” In this way, not only he, but all of us and I most of all have become guilty. In this way we have allowed M. Peter to adopt more and more the position of the “spiritual father,” and we have become more and more dependent on his decisions. Perhaps we can now justify various wrong deeds in front of people by saying “Well, M. Peter said...,” but in the end, every single one of us will stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Therefore, we have to learn to make our own decisions again by independently asking for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and, thereby, receiving direction from God to live out our lives in freedom.
The second reason why we have forgotten how to make decisions on our own is that when facing an important decision we do not have the time for personal prayer by ourselves, nor do we have time to wait until we are sure that we have found the will of God. Again and again, M. Peter also presses us to make decisions “by faith,” even publicly (e.g. after the worship service), and we must make decisions immediately without thinking about it in prayer only because of M. Peter’s suggestion. Therefore, we often make rash decisions due to the suggestion of the “Servant of God” only in order not to be regarded as unbelieving. It is true that many men of God like Abraham, Isaiah or the disciples of Jesus made immediate decisions by faith. But the will of God was clear for them since God himself spoke to them. Just by itself, the frequent “change of direction” by the “Servant of God” shows that this his directions are not the directions from God because God does not constantly change his directions. But a person who has already promised publicly, for instance, to give a certain “sacrificial offering” or to not help his parents on the farm on Sundays any more will have a hard time taking back his promise when he later recognizes that it was wrong to make such a promise. In this way King Herod became the murderer of John the Baptist because he wanted to keep his rash oath out of pride (Mt 14:9). Jesus, however, warned us not to make rash decisions even if they are for the Kingdom of God. He said in Lk 14:28,29: “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, ...”
3. Freedom misunderstood: There is also a misunderstanding of freedom in Bonn UBF by which freedom from the law also means freedom from governmental [civil] aws. This is repeatedly justified with Peter’s statement in Acts 5:29: “We must obey God rather than men!” But Peter is referring to laws and governments which oppose the law of God, such as unjust governments in Communist countries where Christians are sometimes forced under torture to deny God or tell the names of fellow Christians. Peter is not, however, referring to all governments and laws. Unfortunately, many [member of Bonn UBF] have lost this distinction. I remember the crisis of conscience that S. Michael had when he had to feign an illness in order to come to a conference on time. His conscience told him what was right. But with a misconception of freedom and “by faith” he called in sick at that time. Today, it is no longer a problem for him and for many others to call in sick on every occasion. We go late to work and lie in order to get vacations or credit, all in the name of the freedom we received. This is not the freedom that Jesus paid for on the cross. [Some Bonn UBF members are said to have exploited their company and their good-natured bosses way too much, raking in all the benefits but doing nothing for the company. In a similar way the German social system is exploited as far as possible by many coworkers. They are living at the expense of hard-working people, but they are despising them because they do not work for the “Kingdom of God”.]
b. We were called to a fellowship of love
What should a community look like that has Jesus and his Gospel standing in the center? In the Bible the church is compared with a body whose head is Jesus and whose parts are all connected to each other, as Col 1:18 says: “And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.” We find the love that existed in the fellowship of the first Christians described in Acts 2:42-47. Because of this warm fellowship of love, the Christians enjoyed the favor of all the people and the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:47).
In John 13:34,35 Jesus says: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” We are recognized as disciples of Jesus by loving one another. Our mission, i.e. bringing those who are lost to salvation, is first accomplished by learning among ourselves to love one another as Jesus has loved us. Then sheep will like coming into our community, then the outward growth of the ministry will be the fruit of our love for each other. Jesus loved his disciples not by giving them “training” but by serving them unconditionally and carrying all their faults. Before Jesus gave his disciples the command to love one another he himself washed their dirty feet, not only the feet of Peter but even the feet of Judas Iscariot who betrayed him afterwards. The love of Jesus was a love which is warm, always patient, always hoping (1 Cor 13), a love with which he even loved his enemies.
c. We were called to be the salt and the light of the earth
Jesus said in Mt 5:13: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” Being Christians we have to exert a good influence on the world. 2 Peter 2:12,20 says: “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. ... But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.”
As Christians we are persecuted because of our faith. [UBF members like to call legitimate criticism “persecution,” which every true Christian has to experience and thus is only proving the correctness of what they are doing.] But how is it to our credit if we are persecuted for doing evil deeds? How can we exert a good influence when we call ourselves Christians but do not even live our lives in the world properly? How is it to our credit if we are persecuted for not having cared enough for our children, if money which had been collected for a specific purpose is spent by the will of the chapter director for other purposes, if one cannot trust our word because we might have received “a different direction,” if families who are living in the same town suddenly have to live separately [by the chapter director’s order], if we are regarded as unreliable at work or fall asleep at work or suddenly have to appear at work with a bald head according to the direction of M. Peter as in the case of S. Xenofon? These are not “misunderstandings” that we should be proud of, but “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles” because of it (Rom 2:24)!
How then can we be the salt and light of the earth? The word of Jesus about the salt of the earth in Mt 5:13 follows immediately after the Beatitudes in Mt 5:1-12. In the Beatitudes those who are praised as blessed are those who recognize their spiritual poverty in front of God and cry because of their sins and accept the saving righteousness in the Gospel. The Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. They will experience forgiveness and comfort and moreover see God and have a close fellowship with him. Even if they are persecuted for the sake of the truth, they can be happy. The righteousness in the Gospel makes us blessed and the blessed salt of the earth. In Mt 5:16, Jesus says: “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” If we compare this with the fruits of the Holy Spirit in Gal 5:22,23, we recognize that it is the Gospel and the Holy Spirit which change us in a way that we can be used as the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Not by training, not by a wrong concept of “obedience by faith” to the “Servant of God” do we become the salt of the world, but by the Gospel and by the Spirit of God working in us. Therefore, we must study the Gospel first and take plenty of time in doing this. Then we will also bear the fruits of the Spirit and will be used as the salt and light of the world.

III. The Christian Family

God created man, and he created them male and female. God created the woman to be a helper suitable for him. I would like to think about the Christian family in two points now.
a. The relationship between husband and wife
Jesus said in Mathew 19:5,6: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” This verse indicates a very close relationship between man and woman which is so close that they are one flesh. This relationship is so close that nothing should stand between them – including the “Servant of God.” Unfortunately, M. Peter is standing between the spouses in almost all families in Bonn, and the spouses’ relationship to each other is defined only through him. There is an atmosphere of distrust in the families. What I am telling my wife is surely reaching the ears of M. Peter, too.
In Bonn, M. Peter is teaching that there may not be any emotional relationship between husband and wife and that the relationship of the spouses to him must be stronger than the relationship with each other. If M. Peter goes for a walk with a married (not to him) woman, takes a journey with her, lets himself be massaged by her, lets her cook meals for himself, lets himself be served in various ways by her, then this is considered quite normal in Bonn UBF. But if a husband in Bonn UBF would ask his own wife to do such things for him, then this is looked upon as a sin against God, as a “family centered life.” In this way M. Peter managed to destroy almost all spousal relationships among the married couples, or he did not even let them develop a relationship at all. M. Peter is able to control every family completely this way. He is Lord over the family, separating families at will and frequently even threatening that he could send the Korean wives of German UBF shepherds back to Korea at any time.
M. Peter justifies this by saying that marriage was founded exclusively for the mission of God or for the cooperation with the “Servant of God.” Having a joint mission is surely an essential factor which holds the marriage together. But first, mission is not everything in a family, and second, we must ask what the mission of the family is.
Genesis 2:18 says: “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’” The first reason for God’s creating the family was so that the man should not be alone. This shows that God created man and woman for each other. This also means that they must have fellowship with each other. It is informative to see the reasons that the Apostle Paul gave for marriage. He writes in 1 Cor 7:1-5: “Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
In the eyes of Paul the first reason for marriage is to avoid sexual offense. A clearly regulated relationship between the husband and wife must exist. Separations should happen only for a while and also only if both want it. Paul does not approve of long separations, lest Satan tempt the married couple. But the opposite view is held in Bonn, that separating the spouses leads to repentance and to a deep relationship with God.
What now is the God-given mission of a family? In Bonn, the marriage is established only with the goal of “working together with the Servant of God” and to “lay down their own necks [lives] for him” (Rom 16:4). It is characteristic of Bonn UBF that nobody refers to one’s wife as one’s wife or of one’s husband as one’s husband, but they always refer to their spouses as “coworkers.” The word “marriage,” which is often used in the Bible, is replaced by the term “house church” which does not appear in the Bible even a single time. “House church” originates from a misinterpretation of Rom 16:3-5 [see also 1 Cor 16:19 and Col 4:15] where it is said: “Greet Priscilla and Aquila, ... Greet also the church that meets at their house.” Here it is said, “Greet also the church...”. Priscilla and Aquila were never a house church, but there was a church that met in their house, which means that Priscilla and Aquila lived together in their own house and invited “sheep” to their house.
What is the concrete mission that God has for the family now? Rom 8:29 says: “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” It is our first mission to grow in the image of Jesus, so that people around us may be able to see Jesus Christ through our life and through our inward fruit. Gal 5:22,23 says: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” It is our prime mission to bear this inner fruit by the work of the Holy Spirit. However, qualities like patience, kindness, goodness and gentleness are branded as “humanistic” in Bonn, and they are trying to eliminate such characteristics from the families and the coworkers and, instead, exert mutual pressure to lead “a mission-centered life,” where mission means the “cooperation with the Servant of God.”
Marriage is even much greater and much more precious than this. When Jesus spoke about the inseparability of the marriage, of the two “becoming one flesh,” he did not say a single word about mission. The mission is important, and God’s great blessing for us. However, the basis of the marriage is not the cooperation with “the Servant of God,” but the marriage is an absolute, independent of that. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 7:12,13: “If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him.” The fact that married couples in Bonn are not allowed to live together if one of the spouses is not “spiritually in order,” by the opinion of the “Servant of God,” is due to an unbiblical view of marriage.
But what should a family look like according to Jesus? In Ephesians 5:21-33 Paul writes about wives and husbands. Verse 24 says: “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” – and not to the “Servant of God!” Verses 25 and 28 say: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her ... In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” The relationship between husband and wife should be a really deep love relationship. If the “Servant of God,” however, makes sure that husband and wife have no time for each other, then he is an obstacle to a marriage that pleases God and is not acting as a servant of God. Even if I or somebody else has no time because we have Bible study with twelve sheep, it is still my duty before God to make time for my family. However, what prevents married couples in Bonn from having time for each other is not even the mission, but it is the program which is set up by the “Servant of God,” which is laid out in a way that contact with one’s spouse is kept to a minimum in order to prevent the development of a personal relationship between the spouses in the name of a “mission-centered life”.
b. The bringing up of children
Ephesians 6:1,4 say: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ... Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” These verses clearly attest that the bringing up of children must be the responsibility of the parents, particularly the responsibility of the father. Children must be brought up by their parents even if others, such as “the Servant of God,” believe that they could do a better job. Children need the love of a father and a mother. Nobody can replace this love, including the “Servant of God.” However, this order is systematically undermined in Bonn UBF. Many churches offer programs for children, but these are neither mandatory nor happen against the will of their parents. I do not have any say as a father in Bonn UBF concerning the education of my children and their daily schedule. When I told my son that he must not beat his sister, even if “the Servant of God” had permitted him to do this, he simply declined this. Because of this I even had to endure being called “a murderer of my children, one who abused his children in a worse way than one who molests them” because I allegedly had planted disobedience (i.e. disobedience towards M. Peter!) into their hearts.
And independent of whether M. Dr. Peter Chang educates our children well or badly, he is not the father of our children, and he also treats his own children differently from the way he treats others’ [coworkers’] children. His sons Petrus and Johannes have taken part in the German musical contest “Jugend musiziert,” and Johannes even won a first prize in the nationwide contest. This is completely all right. When Samuel Ju, however, wanted to take part in it, he was forbidden to participate immediately before the event. The bringing up of the boy Samuel by the priest Eli is frequently used as an example from the Bible [to justify the Bonn UBF children’s not being brought up by their parents but by Peter Chang]. But when you look at the sons of Eli (1 Sam 2:12-17), the question arises whether Eli cared for the education of Samuel at all, and if it really was a general principle, Hanna should have brought her other children [1 Sam 2:21] to Eli as well.
The actual reason why M. Peter has to take care of our children is that we have no time to bring up our children or have fellowship with them because we are kept so busy by the “program.” Our little children and babies, for instance, have to stay at home all alone the whole morning because of the breakfast fellowship of the women with M. Peter, and they are again left alone in the evening during the testimony sharing and prayer meetings. However, the education of the children is also the task and mission of the parents. Now if a daily program leaves no time for the parents to bring up their children, then it is against the mission which we have received from God. As parents we not only have the right to bring up our children but even the duty to do so before God. However, we are deprived of both this right and duty by M. Peter who does not allow us the time to care for our children and bring them up in the Lord. Therefore, the bringing up of children must be put back into the hands of the parents again in Bonn UBF, and parents must be allowed to take care of their children without being hindered by the “program.”
In this analysis I have talked much about M. Peter. I do not have any aversion or enmity toward him. Without him I would not have been able to study and would not have been able to marry a woman as wonderful as S. Andrea either. [Again we see the exaggerated thanksgiving culture which benefits the leader in Bonn.] But this must not prevent me from speaking the truth any longer. I and many others bear the guilt and responsibility for allowing the situation in Bonn to develop to its current state, where, apart from God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit, there is a fourth Person, the person of the “Servant of God.” M. Peter has many good qualities. For this reason and because of my thankfulness and because I accepted God’s calling to be a progenitor [“Abraham”] of faith in Bonn UBF, I simply cannot be silent as in the past and, by my silence, continue to sin against M. Peter, the missionaries and shepherds and our children. But I must now speak the truth. I have known the truth already for a long time but out of cowardice and a desire to obtain honor and recognition from people – particularly from M. Peter and of my wife – I have gone along with everything and encouraged many to do so as well. But I thank God that he has heard my prayer and that he has opened my eyes and has given me the courage to speak the truth. I pray from my heart that all coworkers in Bonn including M. Dr. Peter Chang will know the truth and build their lives of faith on the word of God again, and thus obtain the freedom which the Gospel gives us. I pray that we can build a ministry which pleases God, which can be the salt and light in our times, a ministry that we and our children can be proud of.

Testimony by Joachim D. as of May 11th, 2001

On May 10th, 2001, Joachim D., like Andreas P. a long time member of Bonn UBF whose wife also was devoted to the chapter director Peter Cha...