Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Date: October 25, 2011 10:30PM
I have no great problem with being identified, but I do not see how it would make any difference. As I said in my previous post, 'M' has in fact written to two of the Directors of the company (who were Jennifer Jack and Chris Jewell by the way) but has received no reply. We can only speculate as to why, but I think it is because he had the courage to add his name.
It is bizarre, but that seems to be the way it works - as soon as you add your name, they go, "aaah, so that is who it is - they have obviously rejected God and must be bitter and twisted, or they are just a hopeless case - no point in replying to them." Really? Any evidence of that? Chris Jewell attended M's wedding a number of years after he had left the church, yet he cannot now even reply to a simple question. Strange behaviour by any measure.
Identifying individuals gives Struthers the chance to "divide and conquer" in this way, blaming the failure on individuals rather than recognising that there are principles involved - principles about how you should treat people for example. The question I would like answered is not "why did you not reply to M", which allows allows all sorts of excuses and imagined reasons but, "under what circumstances do you refuse to answer questions?" which forces Chris and Jennifer to examine their values and principles, not try to blame someone else.
(On a more personal note I must admit I am incensed by examples like this - I can find no way to reconcile Christian teaching with such callous behaviour.)
So, if anyone wants to follow the lead and write directly in their own name, feel free, but I suspect you will not even get a reply. Let us all know if you do, that would certainly be interesting!
I would still defend the right to remain anonymous however - a number of the testimonies on this site are quite tentative, as people begin to explore some very painful experiences. I think it is good that they have that opportunity, and can do so with the safety net of anonymity. While I have no great problem if my identity is revealed at some point, others could have very good reasons for remaining anonymous. I personally have no desire to question their reasons. There could be many, but each person is in the best position to judge their own situation.
I am not sure any of this will make much difference to the leaders however. There is now overwhelming evidence that they are living in a fantasy world.
I do wonder if some of the members might begin to re-examine themselves however, asking what they have actually gained from the smoke and mirrors approach to spirituality. Seems to me the support offered by this forum provides a great opportunity for people to begin to talk about how they feel, whether in or out of Struthers. And that brings me to my final point - I think it has been great that some people still in Struthers have had the courage to make comments n this forum. I am disappointed that none have returned to make further comments on any replies that have been posted, but the opportunity is still there.
I would be keen to continue to provide the opportunity for current members to comment anonymously - either positively or negatively - as open honest discussion is surely one of the key ways to break the power of any closed society.