Posts Tagged ‘relativism’

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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A humble suggestion

October 14, 2004

If you have belonged to a church for a good period of time, and in the course of discussions about said church and its leadership, you find that you cannot answer questions of morality that a 9 year old could answer, it may be time to evaluate your continued involvement in said church.

Bible Study, Prayer … and Abomination

January 30, 2004

It’s the quality more than the quantity of Bible study that matters. Also, it’s more what you pray for rather than how much you pray or even how earnestly you pray that matters. There are enough cult leaders and their earnest devotees who have years of Bible study notes piled from floor to ceiling in their offices and living rooms. They pray, or at least claim to pray for an hour or more every day. Yet, what is the product of all this Bible study and prayer? They commit and/or condone abominable acts and teachings that disgrace the name of Christ. They scour the Scriptures, looking for anything to justify the sins of leaders whose sins cry to heaven. In this, they drag God down into the mire of their peculiar moral relativism. Bible Study, prayer … and abomination.

I know of a long time UBF man who has his UBF Bible study material filling two 8 foot tall bookcases in his living room. Of course, this material just rehashes the same UBF “canon” (Lee’s interpretations of Ge, Mt, Mk, Lk, Jn, Ro) year after year and decade after decade. He also seems to get up early everyday and pray for a good while. But this same man has been fiercely loyal to Samuel Lee and the Lee family to this day, even after living in fear of Lee for years, even after witnessing Lee’s abuses against so many others and even against his own children. He has a daughter who has a chronic health condition and whose son has autism. I guess he prays earnestly nearly every day for her and her son. But what comes of this prayer? One day he tells his daughter that he has had an epiphany: If she has another child (though she’s already had two C-section births) then her chronic health condition will go away and so will her son’s autism. Is this what decades of faithful UBF Bible study and prayer is supposed to produce?

How can people who have seemingly studied the Bible faithfully for decades hold to such a shallow and superstitious view of God, that God punishes people for leaving UBF or for giving “not respectable” offering amounts or for being “rebellious” toward “God’s servants” or various other things that are considered “sins” in UBF? How can they believe after all that Bible study that God can somehow be “appeased” through big offerings or other such acts of “penance?”

The Most Disturbing Thing

January 9, 2004

The most disturbing thing, the most disgusting thing to me and one of my biggest breaking points with UBF were the attempts by UBF’s defenders to drag the God of ABSOLUTE goodness down into the mire of UBF’s RELATIVISM when it comes to the sins of their leaders. They take a God of absolute goodness, who gives us moral absolutes which reflect His holy character and use Him to justify their moral fudging about the leaderships’ sins. They justify the inhumane and cruel “directions” of these leaders and the resulting tragedies because “all suffering and pain is to be seen in light of God’s sovereignty and perfect wisdom.” They say, “Nothing happens apart from God’s will,” not even the evil “directions” and deeds of these leaders. God’s absolutes, given in his Word, should allow us to draw a line, to distinguish between good, wise counsel vs. evil, self-serving “directions” of a leader. Yet they say that trying to apply God’s absolute standards of good and evil to a leader makes us “relativistic.”

Understand then that my break with UBF isn’t just over the acts of one man or a few men. It’s more fundamental than that. My break with UBF extends to the theological.