Posts Tagged ‘barry’

Moral relativism

October 25, 2004

(Quoted from a now dead link) “Moral relativism asserts that nothing can be truly wrong (in every circumstance, in every culture); the answer to the ‘is it wrong?’ question is always, ‘it depends.’ Moral relativism cringes at the word ‘evil’, because in a world without true right and wrong, evil is too strong a term. For example, a terrorist to one person, is a freedom fighter to another: so says the relativist. This line of thinking diminishes terrorism.”

One of my sisters has observed, and I have to concur, that moral relativism and moral fudging is rampant in UBF. Early on in UBF, defending the inexcusable actions of someone like Sam Lee became more important than the truth. Very recent [2003-2004] examples of a very modern form of moral relativism have been found in UBF leaders. For example, in answer to a question about abortion put to her in August of this year, Sarah Barry seems to channel many a modern liberal politician:

Date Posted: 18:09:43 08/19/04 Thu
Author: Joe
Subject: Barry and reverse indoctrination
In reply to: Amy’s message, “Re: Talk w/ Sarah Barry” on 23:03:11 08/04/04 Wed

>Amy: It’s [Harvest Bible Chapel]
>really great. The teaching is so bold and
>powerful. Now I would like to ask you some questions.
>What do you think about abortion?
>
>Sarah: Well, in my opinion it’s wrong; I’m against it.
>But you know me; I never got married. I never had the
>chance. [Here she promotes the mythological image that Sam Lee built of her. She must believe her own myth.]

[The above conversation took place at the 2004 UBF international conference at Michigan State University. Kudos to Amy for her courage.]

Indoctrination is a 2 way street. The cult leader–whether a religious cult or system like N. Korea–indoctrinates the cult members to see the leader as having amazing qualities that put that leader on a higher plane. The cult members, in turn, through endless over-the-top praise, indoctrinate the cult leader to live in their fantasy.

UBF members have heaped so much over-the-top praise for Barry so many times for so many years, mentioning her “decision” not to get married as if that qualifies her for some kind of sainthood (“Her Holiness”, “Reverend Mother”), that it seems to have gone to Barry’s head in some sort of reverse indoctrination. For no good reason, Barry brings up her unmarried state in conversation with someone (Amy) who already knows, when it has nothing to do with the topic being discussed, abortion. What does Barry think? That, as a rule, every woman who gets married contemplates getting an abortion?

The first part of her answer to Amy’s question is also quite telling. “Well, in my opinion it’s wrong; I’m against it. But…” This is precisely an example of the modern relativism, applied to the issue of abortion, that people such as Francis Schaeffer and Chuck Colson have warned Christians against. It’s a sign that Barry’s understanding of and respect for objective truth has been fundamentally obliterated. Perhaps years of defending UBF-ordered abortions in the USA and Korea has resulted in this “evolution” of Barry’s view of abortion toward modern moral relativism. Perhaps it’s the influence of a number of “pro-choice” medical doctors on the UBF Board of Directors, who themselves may have turned to moral relativism as a result of years of defending Sam Lee.

Then there was the following astounding comment about abortion in 2003 by Kevin Albright:

Date Posted: 22:18:38 02/02/04 Mon
Author: Amy Young
Subject: Re: The UBF response
In reply to: Chris ‘s message, “The UBF response” on 16:55:43 02/02/04 Mon

Last summer at UBF’s conference at Wheaton College I asked Kevin Albright (Fellowship leader at Northwestern Univ [and a UBF staff member])- what he thought about Samuel Lee making Rebekah Yoon get an abortion. He said the word “abortion” is not in the Bible and that in his opinion abortion is wrong, but that’s just one person’s opinion. I told him, “Neither is the word “Trinity” in the Bible, but you believe in that don’t you?”

Interesting that Albright would utter his textbook morally relativistic position on the campus of conservative, evangelical Wheaton College. One wonders what kind of reaction he would get from the vast majority of Wheaton College students, faculty and staff [in 2004]? A poll of UBF’s leadership including people like Albright would yield similar modern relativistic positions on abortion, a symptom of the relativism that is common in the upper echelons of “Bible-believing” UBF.

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Common elements in personality cults

September 21, 2004

I recommend reading this recent article (unfortunately no longer available) about the N. Korean personality cult.

I’m not going to say that Sam Lee and Sarah Barry were deified in UBF [of course, the N. Koreans would also deny that they deify the Kims], but the personality cult was definitely in evidence. How many homes in UBF do not have at least one picture of Sam Lee and Sarah Barry framed prominently somewhere, especially that blown-up black and white photo of Barry as a “southern belle” or “Mississippi princess” from the 50s? At least in the home I grew up in, their pictures were framed and placed very prominently. It’s as if they were part of my extended family.

Mother Teresa and "Mother" Barry

September 3, 2004

Were you there one Sunday when Sam Lee compared Sarah Barry to Mother Teresa?

Author: Joe
Subject: Mother Teresa and “Mother” Barry
In reply to: Truth seeker ‘s message, “Happy are those who abandon little children!For” on 16:31:44 07/10/04 Sat

>ALL THIS WITH THE BLESSINGS OF MOTHER BARRY!
>What did Mother teresa do on the contrary? She
>picked up abandoned children of calcutta slums
>and treated them like gifts from God,
>irrespective of whether they were born to hindus
>or moslims.

To top it all off, I was there in 2001 when Sam Lee, during his rambling Sunday announcements, stated that “Mother” Barry was better than Mother Teresa. Why? Because “Mother Teresa only served one nation but ‘Mother’ Barry is the mother of many nations.” It’s amazing how overtly Moon-like Lee became toward the end of his life.

BTW, Mother Teresa gave much of herself to the poor and set an example of giving. By contrast, “Mother” Barry’s message is “keep on giving to UBF without fail.”

Selective recognition of leadership cults

February 10, 2004

For two consecutive years, 1999-2000, Samuel Lee ordered all Chicago-area UBF chapters to gather at the World Buffet restaurant in Niles, Illinois to throw a big birthday bash for Sarah Barry. Thousands of dollars were spent for Barry at these events, and she was lavished with gifts, but more disturbing to me was all the unbridled praise, not praise for God, but praise for Lee and Barry. On the World Buffet karaoke stage were featured song and dance numbers and skits(!) dedicated to Barry. In 1999, I had to be part of one these dance numbers. A Wright College “performance” included incredibly syrupy praise for Barry as an “angel from above.”

Cut to 2002. Barry makes a 5-figure contribution to a North Korean relief organization in the name of the now deceased Samuel Lee. The contribution opens the way for Barry to take a guided tour of North Korea. She goes there and comes back with a report that says something to the effect that she witnessed a leadership cult in North Korea.

Cut to later in 2002. Barry declares in a letter that the leadership cult in Bonn is an “exemplary” UBF chapter that many other chapters should emulate.

Incidentally, Lee ordered a similar birthday bash for my father at the World Buffet in 1998.

What would Jesus have thought of these World Buffet bashes where leaders were lavished with gifts and praised to the heavens?

In UBF terms, such idolatrous veneration and “hero” worship is called “thankfulness”, thankfulness which is supposed to silence any and all criticisms, valid or not, in the name of “spiritual order.”