Since I just again heard the excuse "no church is perfect" by a UBF member, I am reposting something I wrote one year ago:
When I thought about UBF in the past, I often stumbled over one point that is still a mystery for me. This is UBF’s schizophrenic concept of “absoluteness” in their demands of mission life vs. their relativism when dealing with sins and failures of leaders and the organization.
I guess you all know what I mean with UBF’s heavy emphasis on “absoluteness.” I tend to believe that there is no other group in the world that puts so heavy emphasis on this word. They demand absolute obedience
towards the “visible servants of God” in UBF and claim you have to have an absolute attitude
in serving world mission.
Just google for “"absolute attitude" bible
” and the first page of links will all be from UBF messages! Nobody else in the world seems to teach so much about “absolute attitude.”
And we all know what UBF associates with having an “absolute attitude”: You have to attend the UBF Sunday service, your 1:1 Bible study or the current MSU conference by all means. You should neglect your family, parents, children, job etc. in case of need. If you fail only one time, God might already condemn you. I remember how we had a sogam sharing session and one Korean missionary had to work overtime and missed the train, but she had so much fear to come too late that she took a very expensive taxi (though she was poor), and just arrived 5 minutes before the end. And UBFins feel very proud to have such an “absolute attitude.” They believe that is the difference between them and the other Christians who are not real Christians in their eyes. They also believe this “absolute attitude” is the thing that makes them favored by God.
I would have much to say about this stance which sounds Christian, but which is not Christian at all if you look more closely. At least in the way UBF understands it, it is wrong and has much to do with works-righteousness, with pride, with elitism, with an unspiritual kind of fear of God (fear of condemnation, fear of not being able to please him). We should admit we can never be “absolutely perfect” anyway, and there are no “absolute laws” of worship service etc. given by God. He wants us to grasp the essence of his laws, the principles, not to obey these laws like robots absolutely without fail.
But I don’t want to discuss too much about the problems of an overemphasis of having an “absolute attitude.” My point is the blatant deviation from the principles of “absolute attitude” when it comes to non-UBF issues, the sins of UBF leaders and failures of the organization, and the blatant discrepance you can find in this.
Here, we are confronted with an extreme relativism, indifference, casualness and situation ethics. Biblical commands and principles can be violated without problems. We saw UBF leaders justifying and using lying, deception, covering up, abortion, divorce, defraudation of the revenue etc. When it comes to the problems of UBF, they may say “No organization is perfect.” Or when it comes to the sins of the leaders, they may say “simply forgive and forget, and move on.” No “absolute attitude” visible here.
Again: I have never met any organization or church with such a heavy emphasis on “absolute attitude” on the one side, but on the other side such a blatant relativism when it comes to dealing with the own problems, biblical truth and biblical commands. It’s just mind-boggling. The tremendous gap between claim and reality in UBF is still perplexing me, actually it’s more of an abyss than a gap. For me, this extreme hypocrisy is more then disgusting.