Current Page: 46 of 152
Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: lintar123 ()
Date: July 04, 2012 04:11AM

Hi Clive and welcome Calvary.
I believe that the vulnerability of human beings is played on and abused in Struthers. I believe that people can make themselves feel anything if they put their mind to it .Mind over matter, all human beings have probably experienced well-being and a sense of pleasure especially if they practice quiet meditation. Very often in Cumbernauld if you were seen to "resist" a "feeling" or not be demonstrative in your response i.e. pray louder in the tongues! or jump up and down! -you were deemed to be "working against God " or "not responsive". Many times I sat in meetings and witnessed hype!! I saw and heard the frantic mutterings of people worked up to a frenzy and I watched DR.... claim that God was moving. I saw her scare young children and older people into frenzied states under the guise that God was moving on them and through them. Now I know it was never the case. It was Diana Rutherford moving and working others up with her. It is dangerous. Making people imagine things or worse making people feel that they were bad and hardened to God, because they felt nothing, is and was cruel. I DONT believe that God is working through these leaders at all. If he is... then why does he have favourites? why does he practice nepotism? why does he allow a school to be staffed by so many people from the one or two families? why do these "anointed" leaders continue to act in a despicable manner e.g. at a recent wedding?? why have they not got their finances in order? and why? oh why? does he not encourage them to answer the questions raised on this forum? OH! I forgot .. no-one in Struthers was ever allowed to ask these basic questions. We all had to accept blindly. We are not making up untruths. We were duped and tricked into giving our time and our money. How else can we feel? Many faithful vulnerable people still attend SMC, still idolise their leaders. I pray that they will be strong and get out. I believe that Struthers is a cult and I believe that control of the minds of innocent people is encouraged. I will never believe otherwise.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Calvary ()
Date: July 04, 2012 05:56AM

Clive,

Was there a "cognitive disconnect" in my post? Either I'm not very good at expressing myself or I'm not logical. Take your pick! Where I do agree with you, is that I do genuinely question whether some experiences I had in struthers were from God or whether it was psychological manipulation. Another point of agreement is that I have often wondered whether the anti-pentecostal groups are right. Fortunately my faith now is built on the Word of God and not on any experiences I have had be they at struthers or any other church. (Sorry haven't yet embraced atheism!). Twice in your contribution you used the phrase "you people" suggesting there was a lot of support for my views when actually NO ONE posted ANY support for my statements whatsoever!

Lintar,

Thanks for the welcome. I agree with a number of things you say above. I, too, saw a lot of hype and a lot of bad practices (as I've already shared) in the Cumbernauld church. People being worked up into a frenzy was common and often the whole thing was for show there was no apparent change in their lives. The idolisation of leaders is ridiculous - it is way over the score. Where I think I disagree with you is that I think, somehow and sometimes, God does work in struthers, occasionally using the leaders despite all their faults and bad practices. Why? Because He loves HIS children and I do believe there are people there who are Christians and do follow God, despite all the abuse.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb ()
Date: July 04, 2012 06:45AM

Hi Calvary

I agree with you, God loves his children no matter how disillusioned or badly guided they might be by their fellow men (or women). I personally have experienced healing and two of my family members were miraculously healed, one so miraculous her doctor wrote a paper on the subject and 25 years on this doctor continues a study on my family member but the condition has never reversed in that time. To be exact, this was a collapsed heart valve which had withered to nothing but on the day of the operation was found to be perfect and in perfect working order. If you talk to any doctor you will find out that this just isn't possible and only a synthetic replacement has ever before cured the condition. Our whole family and Mr.Black, from the Greenock SMC, prayed with this family member on the day before the operation and I know I felt a presence of love and complete joy as the holy spirit moved in the hospital bedroom. There was no hype, no wailing and gnashing of teeth or anything else untoward going on, just a loving family quietly praying together for the healing of our relation. The power of prayer is greater than any other tool God gives us and he does listen regardless of your religion, church, faith or even lack of faith.

My family are all god loving and god fearing people and always have been, to the best of my knowledge, but God didn't abandon them just because they were involved in SMC, he just showed them the way to escape the clutches of such a destructive church.

I believe God works in and through people and not through churches or leaders who set themselves up before Him. But being a part of a destructive church does not exclude you from God's love and he will still work miracles and give you spiritual experiences in your personal life, if you let him. Only then will you have the strenght to tear yourself away from such spiritual destruction.

I'm sure there are some very spiritual people in SMC but I think they are probably smothered by the skewed teachings of the church and they just need to let God speak to them personally, and not through the church leaders, to have their eyes properly opened to the fact that there is real and fulfilling spiritual life outside of SMC.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: July 04, 2012 08:04AM

Welcome to the Forum, Calvary, and thankyou for sharing your experiences and thoughts. Please keep posting because many people have found help through reading the Forum postings and it has helped to start or continue the healing process for people who have been damaged by their time in SMC.

I agree with you, Calvary, in your reply to Mandrake, that the other leaders wouldn't do anything about the way things are conducted in the Cumbernauld branch because the leader, DR, is too close to the main leader. Also, there are awful things being said and done in the other branch churches. If you go onto the Latigo site, you can read a critical examination of a sermon given one Saturday night by the leader of the Glasgow church, A. Speirs. Latigo call it The Humiliation Sermon and the things she said about another person are appalling. I have heard similar talks during sermons she gave at Camps and Conferences, where people, including young people and children, were spoken about in a disparaging manner. OK, it may not be done in such a extreme way as in Cumbernauld but it still goes on. The leaders used to keep telling us that they all worked in unity and agreed about the way to do things or way to deal with someone. Perhaps that's not really true. Latigo also examines a sermon given by the main leader; Latigo calls it The Separation Sermon. After Latigo's exposure of the preaching, SMC removed all podcasts from its website over a year ago.

The Cumbernauld church came out of the Glasgow Church and DR was schooled and trained by Mary Black and Miss Taylor. She is doing what she was taught to do and believes she is following the teachings of SMC as she was instructed to do. She also claims to have great discernment and we were led to believe that she had the most accurate discernment of all the leaders. This factor could contribute to the spiritual abuse that's going on and may explain why the other leaders do not question her actions. However, the same teaching she is delivering was previously given by the above leaders. Back then it was the same, relationships were broken up, marriages interfered with, jobs and careers influenced, people were hurt, put down, shunned or ignored; this was long before the Cumbernauld church was started.

What the future holds for them , I do not know. One leader would not criticise another, because they'd feel they were going against God and touching the anointed etc. So they stick together with a misguided loyalty and no-one can ask questions or raise a complaint.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Clive ()
Date: July 04, 2012 11:09PM

Quote
Calvary
Clive,

Was there a "cognitive disconnect" in my post? Either I'm not very good at expressing myself or I'm not logical. Take your pick! Where I do agree with you, is that I do genuinely question whether some experiences I had in struthers were from God or whether it was psychological manipulation. Another point of agreement is that I have often wondered whether the anti-pentecostal groups are right. Fortunately my faith now is built on the Word of God and not on any experiences I have had be they at struthers or any other church. (Sorry haven't yet embraced atheism!). Twice in your contribution you used the phrase "you people" suggesting there was a lot of support for my views when actually NO ONE posted ANY support for my statements whatsoever!

Hi Clive,

Thanks for clarifying things. I have no interest here in “converting” people to atheism. What concerns me instead are beliefs and practices that cause harm. So I DO encourage a healthy and robust scepticism of every claim that fervent believer A will have fellow believers B sign up to. One needs always to be continually on the lookout for naked emperors.

See the thing is, its one thing to believe in god and that he cares for us , quite another to believe that to have unquestioning trust and belief in the teachings and practices of a fellow human being who claims to have some privileged access to the almighty, or who claims to have a revelation from the same, or claims to have the “true” interpretation of the deities scriptures. Down that way we get not only the worsts of fundamentalism but also the kind of cult behaviour we discuss here.

It has been noticeable for example that quite a few posters here who have left SMC, seem to me to have softened their positions on “how to believe” and have become - maybe a little more humble and open to the idea that their own pentecostal view of christianity maybe needs to make room for other ways of being a follower of christ or a “believer". To quote a controversial title from an old BBC drama - Oranges are not the only fruit !.

As to your point regarding my use of “you people” this wasn’t intended to refer to support by others here on your views, but instead the many many posts I read here that seem to suggest that in some way SMC has been a gateway for experiences of gods “presence” etc in a way not found in other pentecostal or non-charismatic churches. First of all I doubt this assertion was ever true. I suspect that many many charismatics have in fact had similar experiences in other churches but what instead has happened is that the SMC leadership - right the way back to Miss Taylor and Mr Black - endlessly planted a “mantra” out there that their church was special, that this was the place to come to when seeking these things.

And of course as is common we have what is called selection bias taking place. Namely we find that al those who attended SMC and did NOT report ANY such experiences don’t tend to go on about it , so their NON experience does not get counted or registered. At the same time those who did experience something special will of course recount this fact endlessly.

And my main point addressed to “you people” was - maybe these experiences were not from god, maybe they weren’t real, and lastly, maybe it isn’t actually healthy to be so obsessed with seeking deep mystical experiences if that requires one to become a “true believer” in a fellow human.

I had the most powerful experience of what one might call the “presence of god” amongst muslim worshippers inside a giant mosque in Istanbul. I’ll leave others here to ponder a while on that.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2012 11:12PM by Clive.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Clive ()
Date: July 04, 2012 11:13PM

Quote
Clive
Quote
Calvary
Clive,

Was there a "cognitive disconnect" in my post? Either I'm not very good at expressing myself or I'm not logical. Take your pick! Where I do agree with you, is that I do genuinely question whether some experiences I had in struthers were from God or whether it was psychological manipulation. Another point of agreement is that I have often wondered whether the anti-pentecostal groups are right. Fortunately my faith now is built on the Word of God and not on any experiences I have had be they at struthers or any other church. (Sorry haven't yet embraced atheism!). Twice in your contribution you used the phrase "you people" suggesting there was a lot of support for my views when actually NO ONE posted ANY support for my statements whatsoever!

Hi Calvary,

Thanks for clarifying things. I have no interest here in “converting” people to atheism. What concerns me instead are beliefs and practices that cause harm. So I DO encourage a healthy and robust scepticism of every claim that fervent believer A will have fellow believers B sign up to. One needs always to be continually on the lookout for naked emperors.

See the thing is, its one thing to believe in god and that he cares for us , quite another to believe that to have unquestioning trust and belief in the teachings and practices of a fellow human being who claims to have some privileged access to the almighty, or who claims to have a revelation from the same, or claims to have the “true” interpretation of the deities scriptures - that THIS is a good and virtuous thing to do with ones life . Down that way we get not only the worsts of fundamentalism but also the kind of cult behaviour we discuss here.

It has been noticeable for example that quite a few posters here who have left SMC, seem to me to have softened their positions on “how to believe” and have become - maybe a little more humble and open to the idea that their own original pentecostal and evangelical positions on christianity maybe need to make room for other ways of being a follower of christ or a “believer". To quote a controversial title from a controversial ( at the time ) old BBC drama series - Oranges are not the only fruit !.

As to your point regarding my use of “you people” this wasn’t intended to refer to support by others here on your views, but instead the many many posts I read here that seem to suggest that in some way SMC has been a gateway for experiences of gods “presence” etc in a way not found in other pentecostal or non-charismatic churches. First of all I doubt this assertion was ever true. I suspect that many many charismatics have in fact had similar experiences in other churches but what instead has happened is that the SMC leadership - right the way back to Miss Taylor and Mr Black - endlessly planted a “mantra” out there that their church was special, that this was the place to come to when seeking these things.

And of course as is common we have what is called selection bias taking place. Namely we find that al those who attended SMC and did NOT report ANY such experiences don’t tend to go on about it , so their NON experience does not get counted or registered. At the same time those who did experience something special will of course recount this fact endlessly. One needs also to note that since SMC leadership made it very clear that their congregants were not to visit or even fellowship with other christians in other charismatic churches, the chances of them coming to realise that actually these “presence” experiences are commonplace in other churches too are minimal. The SMC leadership has done everything in its power to scare people into believing that their temples are the true house of god. And naturally their people come to believe this since they know no better. They have been groomed to remain ignorant of how their own church really stands when compared to others.

And of course if anyone there dared to ask the question of how such a church that is blessed with the most powerful “presence” of the holy spirit - how this very same church has singularly failed to make new “fishers of men”. In 30 years of sustained “holiness” their growth has been minimal. Have they been a shining beacon to others in Struthers in a way not manifested by other churches ? have SMC been the vehicle for countless becoming “saved” ? If so one ought to ask questions why those myriad of “saved” clearly haven’t ended up growing the SMC’s membership ! 300 people over what ? 30 years ??. So the Holy Spirit at SMC seems to place high priority on mystical experience but very little on
everything else. By your non-fruits shall ye be known!


And my main point addressed to “you people” was - maybe these experiences were not from god, maybe they weren’t real, and lastly, maybe it isn’t actually healthy to be so obsessed with seeking deep mystical experiences if that requires one to become a “true believer” in a fellow human claiming authority or special access to god on all these matters.

I had the most powerful experience of what one might call the “presence of god” amongst muslim worshippers inside a giant mosque in Istanbul. I’ll leave others here to ponder a while on that.



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2012 11:41PM by Clive.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb ()
Date: July 05, 2012 06:32AM

Hi Clive

I get what you're saying but I think that the people who post here are not the ones who need to hear your words. I believe the people who post on this site have realised that spirituality doesn't just reside in SMC and this is why many have found the courage to get out into the world and away from the church. Back in the day the congregation of SMC numbered something in the region of a thousand souls and people were regularly being 'saved'. This has dwindled drastically over the years because the leaders of SMC are too self important to believe that anyone outside of the church can possibly be experiencing a spiritual life.

This doesn't mean that we are all looking for miracles and wonderful experiences, although some of us have had these experiences in the past, but it means that we recognise the fact that God moves throughout the world and not just in SMC.

It is difficult when you have been brainwashed for so many years to be able to break out of the mould and recognise that, no matter where you are or who you are, you are just as likely to experience God working in your life as any other person in the world.

It has been a niggle over the years that some of the hype and weird feelings I experienced in SMC may not have been real or may have come from the opposite end of the scale but that doesn't mean that God was never around, he was certainly there in some instances and people did occasionally get healed physically, there's no denying that. The important point, for me, was that I realised that people were being healed or having wonderfully spiritual experiences regularly all over the world without having to be a part of SMC and God was moving and apparent in many different churches and religions.

We are focusing here on SMC and experiences felt within that church but that doesn't mean that we don't recognise that God is everywhere else and that SMC do not have a monopoly on Him.

It is sad and unfortunate that the leaders of SMC seem to be more important than God and, as such, probably prevent His work in the lives of their congregation but they will answer to Him eventually and, in the meantime, all we can do is pray that the majority of the remaining congregation get the gumption to stand up and say 'enough is enough!" and take control of their own lives and their own walk with God.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, religion has nothing to do with your own relationship to God and is merely man's way of keeping people apart instead of bringing them together. I for one believe that God doesn't give two hoots what religion you follow or what part of the world you come from he just wants you to hear him and live the way he intended you to live.

Living a spiritual life doesn't mean you are always looking for amazing experiences and miracles in your life, it just means that you recognise that the Essential You is in fact spirit (or soul); that part of you that continues after the body dies, and that part of you needs to be fed just as the body needs to be. But the feeding of the spiritual part of you comes from your communion with God himself and has nothing to do with any other human being on the planet, even if they do think that they have some special and better connection to God than you do.

I think the majority of people who post here have recognised their own spirituality and that of their fellow humans around the world, otherwise they would not have had the gumption to say 'enough is enough!' and walk out of SMC for good.

Prayer is our best tool and can be very powerful if enough people are praying for the same thing and I believe that God will hear our prayers for SMC and, who knows, maybe one day we will be posting more positive messages about the church on this forum, God willing.

God bless you all and those who are still in SMC. xx

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Calvary ()
Date: July 05, 2012 06:33AM

Hi cbarb

I agree with you 100%. God is sovereign, he can decide to heal or not to heal and he can heal people of all faiths and none. We may not understand why He acts in certain ways, but who are we to question God? It was good to hear of the healings your family have experienced - whether they were attending struthers at the time or not. Often, just because the leadership of a church is abusive, it is easy to write–off everything and everyone connected with that church. In my opinion, God doesn’t do that. He loves His children no matter what they do.

An appeal… To any struthers leaders reading the last sentence above… please read the story of the lost son (Luke 15). Next time you think about castigating a child of God from the platform for their PERCEIVED failings, remember the father in the story (who is a picture of our Heavenly Father and who was dealing with a son who had REAL failings) didn’t abuse the son, he didn’t tell the son to sit outside for the next couple of days to show he was sorry, he didn’t ignore the son completely, he didn’t give the son dirty looks for a day and then ashen faced say well if you really want to try again you can, but you’d better behave. NO, he was “filled with compassion. He ran threw his arms around his neck and kissed Him”.

A true Christian leader should not be a doormat, but at the very least they should have some compassion.

I know the above appeal will probably fall on deaf ears… but, for the sake of those still bound…

Hi Rensil

Thanks for the welcome and pointing me towards the stuff on the latigo site. I had read it before, but it was good to refresh my memory re the abusive style of other leaders, and in particular the Glasgow church leader. I do know the history of the Cumbernauld church and recognise that DR has been trained in the Struthers way by previous generations of leaders. I noticed you didn’t mention Mr Black as being involved in her training, but as she tells the story, at one point he spent a lot of time mentoring her... However, in later years I believe he may have had some reservations about her ministry style. (I might expand on that at some point in the future).

The issue I want to focus on is your comment on the discernment of the Cumbernauld leader as being the most accurate of all the struthers leaders. This was certainly championed in Cumbernauld, often while “preaching” she would speak about what she called “Mr Black’s drum roll” which was the fact that she could see people’s spiritual condition just by looking at them. She also knew what specific sins they had indulged in and what they needed deliverance from. In addition she would also get “words of knowledge” about specific situations. I personally believe she may have some gifting in “words of knowledge” but am very suspicious as to the extent of her discernment. CovLass has shared her testimony as to how DRs discernment can be way off beam. I’d like to share another story which shows a complete lack of discernment.

(Note: I am absolutely convinced of the truth of this story however I am not person “A”. Person “A” told me this to warn me about person “B”. Knowing person “B” as I do, I have very little doubt that the flowing is true…)

Person “A” goes to Struthers in Cumbernauld but doesn’t have a car. Person “B” regularly gives “A” a lift to the meetings. “A” and “B” become relatively good friends. “A” likes “B” but is a little concerned because “B” seems very close to DR. “A” has no major problem with DR at this stage but is not ready to tell DR all their weaknesses and struggles. Tentatively “A” tells “B” one or two areas in which they are struggling a little – nothing too detailed or too revealing (just general issues like struggling to spend enough time in prayer, etc). In the next week or so “A” notices that the issues mentioned to “B” seem to come up in the “preaching” but the “preaching” doesn’t appear to be specifically directed at “A”. So unsure, “A” sets a trap and decides to tell “B” that she has a major sin problem. Deliberately picking an issue that she has absolutely no problem with whatsoever; she ‘confides” in “B” telling “B” how the issue grips “A” but that she’s not ready to go for prayer for it yet. Sure enough “B” spills the beans to DR and “A” goes along to the church the following Sunday and waits… “A” is subjected to a sermon directed pretty much solely at them, DR rants and raves about the evils of this particular sin, (which “A” has absolutely no interest in) and on this occasion “A” tries to look a bit guilty!!

Where was her discernment?

Hi Clive

I think the story I’ve just related may suggest someone could be in the “naked emperor” category. What do you think?

I would agree that many people become more humble and more open minded when they leave struthers. If you’d had to work in the same place as me when I was going to struthers I’m sure you’d have thought that I was a raving fundamentalist who was full of myself, with no concern or compassion for anyone else. It was all about my spiritual well-being. I’m embarrassed when I think about it now… Now I recognise “oranges are not the only fruit”!

I also agree with much of what you say about the isolationist emphasis in struthers and the fact that many people don’t realise that “presence experiences” as you called them, happen in other Pentecostal and charismatic churches too.

It is an interesting point you make about powerfully experiencing the “presence of god” in a giant mosque. This is why, as I said before, I wouldn’t base my faith on experience (which can involve all sorts of strange practices to make people feel things and can include, for example, mass hypnotism), but instead squarely on the teachings of Scripture.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Clive ()
Date: July 05, 2012 11:10PM

Quote
Calvary


Hi Clive

I think the story I’ve just related may suggest someone could be in the “naked emperor” category. What do you think?

Hi Calvary ( apologies for calling you Clive earlier btw ! )

I think you hit the nail on the head.

I used to be a fundamentalist too once upon a time but ( in my defence ) my church didn’t exhibit any of the traits I could see in SMC leaders early on in the 80s that I encountered back then.
Its saddening in fact to see that much of what I instinctively just sensed to be disturbing, wrong and cult-like has now turned out to be even worse than I perceived. In fact its the one case where I could arguably claim a little discernment here myself ;)

It would be good to hear from a poster who can recount similar stories concerning other potential “emperors”. For example I’ve seen very few posts here recalling incidents with Joan Jewell and her church, yet she seems to have been very influential in all of this too.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/05/2012 11:20PM by Clive.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: July 06, 2012 07:20AM

Calvary,
when I wrote about DR's discernment and the accuracy of it compared to that of the other leaders, I wasnt meaning that I thought it was ok and that I believed her discernment was always accurate and from God. I well know that it is not always accurate and that many people have been hurt through being told things that she had discerned and that were not the case. I know people who were told they needed deliverance but that they couldnt get it because they were either enjoying the sin or were not serious about getting rid of their problem. Again, it was always the person's fault never that of the leader who was ministering.

Pointing out people in a public gathering and speaking about their sin and need of deliverance, which has been discerned by a leader, is very upsetting for people. In most other churches where discernment and revelation gifts are in operation, the person in need will be taken quietly aside and counselled and ministered to in private. Again, on the matter of other churches, I have felt a strong presence of God and a strong anointing of the Holy Spirit in other churches. This is in no way confined to SMC, as the leaders and many members believe it to be and say it is. There are other Pentecostal churches around and other churches which pray for revival to come. SMC is not the only one.

Yes, I know that DR received training and counsel from Mr Black aswell, but for the more spiritual aspect of things, it was Miss Taylor and Mary Black because they both claimed to move in the discernment and revelation knowledge realm too. I remember we were told that Mary was never wrong in her discerning of things in someone or her predictions about people's futures. What a claim to make and what a terrible pressure to put on someone in ministry. I know for certain about situations where she was wrong and about judgements she made about people which proved to be incorrect, but this was never mentioned.

The story you have related about Person A and Person B rings very true for me too. That kind of thing was common in the Glasgow Church when Mary Black was the leader and I think I have heard of it happening in some other branches too.

Options: ReplyQuote
Current Page: 46 of 152


Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This forum powered by Phorum.