This is a followup to the "Adoptions of Convenience...
" post. There has been ample testimony about Samuel Lee's disregard for ethical behavior over years and decades. What's really bothersome is that part of Lee's legacy is teaching disregard for ethics from the pulpit and also training people to disregard ethics as part of so-called "discipleship". For example, the following paraphrased account of a UBF-arranged international marriage is from another friend:
At a certain point in my life, I was frustrated with the UBF life. My
parents thought I was getting ready to split, so they used the common
tactic of offering a marriage. And I--with no real social skills, no
prospects and a feeling of crushing loneliness--said yes when they
proposed 18-year old ________ ____ from _____. She had previously been
arranged in her early teens to marry another guy, who rejected the
whole idea and left UBF soon after going to college.
I agreed to sponsor her as my "fiancee" so she could get a visa. I met
her for the first time at the airport in ____ after she flew over from
_____. I'd never spoken to her or even written to her before. As we
were told to, we went to get legally married in Court to get the
immigration process started for her; she was 18 years old. Immigration
law dictated that we live together for at least 2 years and provide
proof of this after 2 years; this was to prevent sham marriages for
immigration purposes. My parents and UBF leaders had us live separately
for those 2 years instead. She lived in ________. We did as we were told
and lied to the Immigration Service that we'd been living together. We
never actually even touched each other until the "official" wedding 2
We weren't the only couple who were told to flout immigration law like
This account of a UBF marriage process is messed up in a lot of ways, but notice the UBF leadership involving the marriage candidates in the execution of what amounts to immigration fraud. What the hell is this? This is training. "Obey, even if you must lie and break the law." "See? God blessed you when you obeyed by faith."
Again, in a reputable church, you will probably hear that scrupulously ethical behavior is part of the Church's witness to a watching world, that ethical behavior that exceeds the world's standards of ethics is God's will. But in UBF--as modeled by UBF's founders--ethics are seen as an obstacle to the fulfillment of God's will, i.e., "mission".
P.S. UBF marriage defenders have stated that "marriage by faith" helps people maintain "purity". What is pure about the above account?