UBF Value System
The value system of the group stems from a mixture of Buddhism, Confucianism and Christianity. These value systems have much good in them, but when mixed together they produce odd results.
If there is anything the group values, it is their heritage. The fastest way to get ahead in the group is to praise this heritage and help justify it. They even created a website to, in their words, "guard Samuel Lee's legacy". Many older members have pictures of Lee on their walls at home, treating him as a Buddha-like historical figure. In Korea, they built a museum dedicated to Lee and his legacy. While UBF claims to be a Christian missionary sending organization, they are more accurately described as a Korean sending, heritage guarding organization. Rarely are non-Koreans sent out as missionaries or treated on equal footing with Korean missionaries in the group, due to the heritage ownership belonging to the Koreans.
Right from the start, new recruits into the group are challenged to give up something. It begins with the challenge to give up one hour per week to attend the group's weekly session, called one-to-one Bible study. This one hour quickly explodes into many other sacrifices of time, money, relationships, and even jobs. The group values those who sacrifice for the group's sake. Typically, those who make a sacrifice for someone or something besides the group are rebuked and/or trained to make sacrifices only for ubf.
The gospel in the group is taught as loyalty. Being loyal to the group and to your appointed personal shepherd is of utmost importance. This loyalty to person and to ideology is the glue that keeps the group together. Such loyalty allows them to weather storms of criticism that flare up from time to time. The Korean missionaries in the UBF chapters often take a low-profile, behind the scenes role in order to foster this idea of loyalty.
To show respect to elders is a deeply rooted cultural aspect of the group. They go beyond the typical Korean sense of honor, however, and bind honor with the Christian concepts of holiness, righteousness and peace. They strive to "keep face" at all costs. They typically dislike public interactions, except when they can use public interaction to protect the honor of the group.
The entire system of UBF is built upon repetition. Meetings are repeated each week, the group’s stories are repeated from generation to generation. The Bible is not so much studied as it is memorized, repeating the same verses over and over again. Those who can endure the repetitious lifestyle are praised as strong. Those who cannot keep up are shunned as weak.