On the public websites, UBF chapters almost always display the standard Westminster 11 point statement of faith. They do this to appear normal to the mainstream Christian community and to bolster their claim to be a mainline evangelical church. While it is true that Sarah Barry and Chang-Woo (Samuel) Lee were associated with the Presbyterian church in the 1950's, they broke all ties with the mainline church in 1961 when they founded the UBF group. UBF is in no way associated with any of the seven major Protestant denominations or with the Catholic church. UBF is, in effect, its own new denomination with a curious new religion called UBFism.
Therefore, the doctrine of UBF is difficult to discern. While attempting to document the group's doctrine, some have exclaimed, "Identifying UBF doctrine is like nailing jelly to a wall!". After nearly 30 years of examining the group's teaching, as well as having taken three seminary level classes, I believe I can begin to capture the actual doctrines of UBF. I believe that every religious group will have flawed doctrine to a point, for who has all the answers? Such doctrine is important to understand however, not in order to point out flaws, but in order to interact more successfully with the group members. We can however point out clearly that UBF does not have doctrine that lines up with mainline Christianity. So while UBF leaders claim to have standard Christian doctrine, their claim falls apart when their doctrine is examined. In short, UBF has created their own doctrine.
- The study of the Bible is called bibliology. UBF claims to have an inductive approach to the Bible. For the most part, they do have such an approach, but it is in regard to each passage and not toward the Bible as a whole. They are missing a comprehensive induction method. Therefore, each single passage and each individual book ends up being taken out of context with the rest of the Bible. So I call their approach a singular inductive approach. In the end, this out-of-context thinking turns the Bible into a spellbook to be memorized. Rather than study the Bible using critical thinking and external Christian resources, UBF focuses on memorizing the text, regurgitating Chang-Woo (Samuel) Lee's standard answers to question sheets he created, and repeating various slogans created by Lee and Barry.
The following sections are under construction...
God is an aloof Father to be feared
Jesus is a god to be adored from afar. Jesus is not Lord, the shepherds are.
The Holy Spirit is a vague force. The Spirit is not to be listened to or obeyed unless the shepherd approves.
The earth and the universe is created by God. God is the “first shepherd” who created mankind to be shepherds.
Sin is a disease that can be diagnosed and cured by various disciplines and training.
Salvation is gained by preserving your heritage, which is accomplished by fishing for new recruits.
The best, pure church is only contained among the group.
Jesus will return to reward shepherds and punish sheep-less shepherds and all who are not shepherds.