"But obey him anyway…"

(Related: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

From a document back in 2001 when there was this thing called a UBF reform movement, 2. You may not understand everything he says or does right now. But obey him anyway, you will experience God’s will. [Seems almost like a perversion of Mt. 6:33, doesn’t it?]

This is another popular explanation by which UBF tries to convince people to obey Samuel Lee. Whether or not it is a valid assessment is only a secondary issue. One must carefully analyze in what context this advice is usually given. (By the way, this is Sarah Barry’s favorite counseling to those who question Samuel Lee’s authority.)

Yes, that was Barry’s favorite bit of counsel in her role as enabling mother to Sam Lee’s role as abusive father. From the 1970s onward, someone would be bothered by Sam Lee’s abusive behavior and go to her (or be sent to her), and she would proceed to “sooth” and “comfort” them in this way as they complained to her.

(As someone wrote before: “[Barry] turned into the classic codependent enabler–a role she played to perfection for years, always deflecting criticism from Sam Lee [abusive father] and acting as a ‘safe’ outlet [‘comforting mother’] for those of us who needed to complain.”)

She was dispensing this “But obey him anyway…” theology of hers in her many years at the Evanston “Prayer House” by Northwestern University when a Northwestern recruit named Kevin Albright was “being raised” there. (See Barry’s own “History of UBF.”) Later, Albright would write what I have quoted here:

Once Dr. Lee [Sam Lee] gave me a direction to give away my black [African American] sheep. Reluctantly I did so. Then God gave me 3 NA [white American] boys to study with.

Whose theology resulted in this example of Chicago UBF’s systematic racism? It’s Barry’s theology, no? Yes, it is. Doesn’t Barry, the teacher and leader, bear the greater part of the blame here? Yes, she does. (James 3:1) “But obey him [a UBF leader] anyway…” This will be Barry’s “spiritual” legacy.

And to think that she once wrote a thesis in her pre-UBF years advocating racial integration in Southern churches.

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