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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Clive ()
Date: September 06, 2012 04:10AM

Quote
squareone
had to google that...Popov? Popoff?....the faith healer guy? or some reference to Rentaghost? though am not sure why either would spring to mind

Peter Popoff is a disgraced pentecostal preacher who was exposed for faking "words of wisdom" at his supposed faith healing ministries. How ? he was found to be getting the lowdown on
people in the audience through a wireless feed to his earpiece, from - i seem to recall his wife.

After he was found out, as one would expect he was forced out of his "ministry".

But now he's back. Amazingly he still had loyal followers even though he was proven to be running an utter scam.

Rather than abandoning such people, it seems that only a few followers of such pentecostal "fallen celebrities" ever decide to actually bite the bullet and admit that they might just have put their faith in the wrong religious personality or movement, far more common is that people just find some way to rationalise these peoples "mistakes" and accept them back into the fold.

And now he is back, selling small vials of "miracle spring water" and debt cancellation kits, then asks his viewers to send small donations. In return, Popoff promises -- as a messenger of God -- to heal and unlock the secrets of financial security and wipe out all debt.

[abclocal.go.com]

I also came across this article today which I think sheds some light on matters..

[blogs.discovermagazine.com]-–-why-shaking-someone’s-beliefs-turns-them-into-stronger-advocates/



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/06/2012 04:17AM by Clive.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: lintar123 ()
Date: September 06, 2012 06:21AM

I think the sad thing is that Mr B did what he did. I dont believe God told him to do so. He wouldn`t have. I was there with my husband in Greenock on the night he divulged to the congregation. We remember the shock.. the sheer disbelief that one so "profoundly God Led" could have done what he did. But... he was human. Not led by God in this misdemeanour , surely.Many houses were sold off to help with re-payment;if it was ever made. Awful!!
Those ones too,(current leaders) who claim to be otherwise(led by God) are more dangerous. They make people think they should be living a certain kind of life!! They nearly ruined mine. They nearly ruined my marriage... the life of my husband.. and possibly the lives of our children. Thankfully , after years of devotion to them??? we saw the light and got out. God has repaid us wonderfully. My husband gave his all to that place.Years and years of devotion. I supported him and yet was warned not to marry him ?? Thankfully we have had 27 years of happily married life. (outwith Struthers). . Cannot believe why anyone still supports it. Why cant you read what is true on this forum? Why cant the people respond? Are they too scared? Stand up for what you believe in! There isnt any doubt about our experiences. We are not making it up. It happened. I wonder if the epileptic/ or even the diabetic who was in the hypo and prayed with for demons to leave him during a meeting, can re-call the event! ? No, but probably many on-lookers can. I have vivid memories which will NEVER leave me. Many others must share them.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Treetop ()
Date: September 06, 2012 06:28AM

I was part of the church at the time of the money scandal and this is what I remember. Mr. Black approached people and asked if they would give their name for the church to buy shares. They were given a brief explanation and a paper to sign, taken away by Mr. Black, which I presume was a shares application. Shares were paid for by the church which was to reap any profit, but they were purchased in private individual's names. Was that allowed?

I found out later some of the people who were asked to give their names to buy shares. Looking back it seemed to me that only the "sheep" who wouldn't raise questions were asked. If this was the case it is particularly disturbing as trusting people were unwittingly coerced into taking part in a questionable financial activity.

It was all forced into the open when huge losses were incurred on shares. I was not present at the Saturday evening meeting to hear the announcement and take part in the vote on whether Mr. Black should remain as leader, but I heard what our branch's church leader announced to our congregation the following morning at the Sunday service. It went like this:

"Mr. Black is terribly upset about a financial mistake he has made, causing the church to lose a considerable amount of money. He and his family have their bags packed, ready to leave their home, so it can be sold to pay for the mistake. He explained that he was also ready to step down as leader at the meeting last night. People stood up and voiced their support for him. A vote was taken, and he was overwhelmingly voted to remain as leader."
The branch leader tearfully voiced full support of Mr. Black and assured us it was a genuine mistake.

My own impressions are that the matter was kept in-house and was not reported to the authorities to investigate.
-I never heard that the full amount of money lost was ever revealed to church members to this day.
-I think the "vote" on Mr. Black remaining as leader was just a public show of hands, but I may be wrong on that – can anyone who was there on the Saturday evening remember?
-I don't think there was prior warning that this announcement was going to be made, so only the people who happened to be at that particular Saturday meeting got the opportunity to "vote."
-I don't think the Black family sold their house to pay for the losses
-and I don't know where the money to pay for the losses came from in the end.
Can anyone out there clear these things up for certain?

I totally agree that christians should be forgiving and that Mr. Black should have been forgiven. One can presume that learning a lesson of humility like that in life would make him a better person and more compassionate leader.

However, what I find astounding is that Mr. Black was allowed to remain heavily involved in the church finances – indeed that he did not remove himself from that area of church government! Any properly run organisation could have protected its financial integrity and reputation by removing someone who had committed a mistake of this magnitude from all future financial decisions. This does not even seem to have crossed the leaders' minds and certainly was not an option presented at the "vote."

The issue is not simply one of christian forgiveness. Let's be clear - the church left itself open to further suspicion and the possibility of future financial mistakes (eg the money lost on self published books) by failing to deal properly with questionable financial actions committed by its main leader.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: September 06, 2012 06:37AM

Some very interesting posts in the last couple of days - thanks to all of you. Re the financial crisis, Cbarb is correct when she says that it is a subtle form of mind control and also fear which keep people in SMC, no matter what happens. I know that was definitely the case with me. Yes, lots of us decided to forgive Mr Black and continue to be loyal and support the church when that shares crisis hit. It was truly an awful time; it was like some disaster had hit the church and everyone was upset. Many people left, some lovely and very spiritually-gifted people who were much missed. It took time for the church to recover from that - maybe it never has, as someone was saying.

The other terrible result of this crisis, though, was that we were told again and again, over the ensuing years, by the leaders that the people who had left had had something in them - a weakness in loyalty or commitment to God - and that was why they couldnt weather the storm when it came and had left the church when this crisis hit. The teaching was that if you were totally loyal and sold out completely to God (God, although they meant to themselves, the leaders), then no matter what happened or who made a mistake, you would rise above that and stay in the church and still submit to the leaders. Because they were right, as The Petitor points out. And I believed all that at the time. It wasnt until years later that I saw that was a total lie. Many of those who left because of that crisis went on to excel in christian service and leadership elsewhere and are still doing well. One could say that they were the ones who showed integrity, honesty and moral uprightness by not supporting a wrong move. Like Cbarb, I didn't know for years either, that people had been asked to sign forms so that the church could buy shares. This was kept totally secret (unless you were asked to sign a form).

Clive, that is why it was wrong what Mr Black did. We are talking about a church, not a company or family. Church members give their money freely. The problem was that he controlled all the money and there wasn't a group of other elders or whatever to sanction it, as other churches have. I believe SMC set things right after this crisis happened because of pressure from other professional people in the church. A salutary lesson was learned. Maybe God allowed it all to happen so that it was brought out into the light.

No, Squareone, the people in SMC aren't mindless. There are some very intelligent folk in the church. And we've all been in it ourselves! As Cbarb explains, it's mind control in a subtle way which keeps people looking to leaders and gives them a kind of false sense of security. Anyone of any intelligence level or any personality type can be subjected to manipulation and mind control through fear. It is often people who are seeking for the best and the highest who fall victim to it.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: blackwatch ()
Date: September 06, 2012 07:51AM

Here's a fact. The leader of SMC are not annointed. They don't have any insight and they're not chosen by God. They're jumped up delusional power hungry control freaks who, outwith of SMC, would be absolute nobodys. Taylor was a perfect example of this. The only reason the leaders have the level of power and control that they do is because the ordinary members give it to them. Why? Because they (the members) are blind to the truth and one of the hardest things for any human to do is to seriously look at what you believe and stop and think that you might be wrong. Add to this the fear factor and you've got a something very powerful going on.

You know what? There is a time coming in this country when people in churches will simply no longer be able to make claims of having supernatural abilities. And that, after all is exactly what the leaders think they have. From having secret God-given knowledge of people's sin to being able to heal illness adn a whole host of other super powers in between, when you make these claims, and people believe them, it puts individuals in a position of power. Fact is - they've got nothing. Absolutely nothing and there's a day coming when claims to such abilities will be vetted and monitored and people won't be able to make these claims without seriously and explicitly backing them up. I welcome it - it will protect the vulnerable and stop the abuse. For example, just about every healing I know of in SMC is exaggerated airy fairy make believe. The day they bring out someone that's had down's syndrome all their life (or something of similar seriousness) and we see them healed and transformed, then they can make their claim. All we get is backache and depression and flu and nonsense like that. And all the while people sit there and go 'wow'. It's seriously low-key unimpressive claptrap.

A few people wailing and some half decent singing and people think this is annointing? It's total delusion. Spend a bit of time reading up about group behaviour and how to create an atmosphere and influence people and you'll see how easy it is to do. The so called annointing is entirely created by the group and they don't even realise it. Anything that has any emotional content is extremely powerful and moving. If people want to continue to believe that's the holy spirit, then let them. It's frankly boring and uninspired and make-believe for adults. The SMC so called 'annointing' is nothing but a pale shadow of what God actually does when he moves. How do I know this? I read it in the bible. The God of the bible doesn't just get a few folks locked away in a building crying and singing and wailing in tonques then make them think something amazing has happened (when really it hasn't). The God of the bible actually does truly, tangible amazing things.

cbarb your're right. A good orator can get peolple to say and think and do things. In recent months I've come to see the platform as a powerful and abusive tool. It's one person standing up and spouting forth whatever the heck they want and they get to do this because they are 'one of the annointed ones'. And people give them this power by sitting and listening.

As for tottie black, he should have stepped down and resigned in shame and humility. He disgraced himself, he disgraced the church and he disgraced the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, I agree, he was only human but he was guilty of the most blatant hypocrisy. You almost couldn't make this stuff up. It's like an episode from a soap opera. Had he been a politician, he would have been made to resign but no such standard is to be found amongst God's 'annointed'. He certainly wasn't giving up his empire, nah, that would just be passed down the family, a bit like the monarchy but without the style and the dignity. Vote or no vote, he should have resigned and at least retained some shred of dignity.

Lintar. Every time I read your posts I am moved by the way you have been affected. How dare they tell you not to marry. It's shameful and disgusting and depraved. Who do they really think they are. I would love to know how such knowledge and intuition is received and presumably tested. Does the individual just get a feeling in their belly or does the thought just enter their head? Or is there another method? I mean, surely with such life-changing advice they would have gone to great lengths to ensure that it was God speaking and not their own thoughts, ideas and whims? How does one tell the difference? Oh that's right, it's another special power isnt it? It's a crock of bullpoo. It's a disgrace, an absolute disgrace and you are owed the humblest of apologies.

To the leaders of SMC who don't want to read this thread but just can't stop looking - it's time you showed a little respect and humility towards the many who have been deeply hurt and scarred in the name of Christ. I trust and pray that your power trip will slowly, but surely, come to an end.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: squareone ()
Date: September 06, 2012 02:38PM

decided to have a read of this bit of the bible as I thought it might have something to say and this bit seemed quite relevant to this discussion

Revelation 3


“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars

“I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. 3 Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.


4 “Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. 5 All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine.


6 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: September 06, 2012 03:11PM

Wow, some amazing posts. Thanks for the additional info Treetop and others.

A really relevant quote from scripture there as well squareone. It would be great if those in SMC take it to heart. I suspect the leaders will miss the point and think they are the ones unsoiled by evil (verse 4) but that is not how I would see it. I am sure that there are many who fit verse 4, but they won't be the ones who appear on the platform.


I have also been looking at scripture and have my own reference- Luke 19 v 1-9 which is the story of Zaccaeus the wealthy chief tax collector ( a bit like the struthers leaders really - they tax the congregation and give it to the school). I was particulrarly drawn to the word of Zaccaeus "Look Lord, Here now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount".

Well leaders of strutters, what about it? Rensil says:


Quote
Rensil
I know an elderly member who suffered tragic circumstances and they have been left totally alone with no church support. I don't think they get pastoral visits or phone-calls, despite having supported the church for years, financially too. There are others in a similar position who just get conveniently forgotten. Doesn't the Bible say, to help widows in their affliction?


Hmmm, sounds like they have cheated someone of at least a weekly visit. By the standard of Zaccaeus, you should pay that back by visiting four times a week. That would be a start.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: squareone ()
Date: September 06, 2012 04:18PM

quote

I suspect the leaders will miss the point and think they are the ones unsoiled by evil (verse 4) but that is not how I would see it. I am sure that there are many who fit verse 4, but they won't be the ones who appear on the platform. [ the petitor]



yeah, I read it the same way you did Petitor, then afterwards thought the same as you did in your above quote. What can you do eh? If they have no ears, they have no ears!!

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb ()
Date: September 07, 2012 12:29AM

Hi guys

Thanks for the insight, Treetop. This was very enlightening and explains a lot - I also wonder if the whole affair was strictly legal?
I'm not entirely surprised that only a select few were asked to sign up to the share deal because many, I'm sure, would have questioned the legality of this never mind how it stands with what the church teaches.

Squareone and Petitor, I totally agree. We have all heard the way these so-called leaders twist the words in the Bible to suit their own purposes and even actually make stuff up to support their way of thinking. Plenty of evidence of this on the Latigo site too. But spot-on scriptures definitely, God does see everything that's going on in SMC and the current leaders need to be brought to their knees in humility.

But, as Clive and Blackwatch say, it's the people who give them the power. If all the members of the congregation were to test their own beliefs against the Word Of God as written in the Bible they couldn't fail to question the vast majority of what they are being told from the SMC pulpits, particularly those who know many of the people who have left and yet fruitfully carry on God's work away from SMC. Surely they must be asking themselves the question 'If these people who left have something wrong or unholy in them then why is God still blessing them all so richly?' and in spite of what is said about them within the church walls.

The very fact that these kinds of slanderous words are coming from the pulpit in the first place is reason enough to question why on earth you are still sitting on one of their pews, the longer you sit there and ignore the truth the more of an affront you are to God. The whole "annointed ones" fiasco is utter tosh, this is the same thing that charlattan mediums claim to be able to do and they also relieve you of your cash for the priviledge of making a fool of you.

Sadly, I don't think a single thing will change unless the whole congregation come to their collective senses and realise they have been believing so many lies. Those who have already realised but remain in the church are probably those who have been there so many years they just can't bring themselves to let go because they are afraid of what the future will hold without the crutch of SMC to lean on.

Like Clive's example of Peter Popov, some people need to keep believing even after the lies are exposed because they can't or won't admit to themselves that the beliefs they have held so strongly and for so long are completely wrong. If they just let go they would see that real life BEGINS after SMC.

Luv and hugs to all and God bless xxx

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Chris19 ()
Date: September 07, 2012 04:29AM

My understanding of the shares scandal was that a professional with a financial background outwith the tight leadership group heard about the scheme to have members apply for shares on the church's behalf. He was appalled and indicated an intent to involve the authorities over the questionable legality of what had happened. From what I heard Mr Black was distraught about the whole thing, not just the losses but the possibility of legal action over what had turned out to be a costly and naive plan.


Like others on this forum I can forgive an error of judgement but what was much more damaging to me was the relentless teaching which encouraged the erosion of any sense of self-belief and confidence. Mercy was not bountiful in SMC but condemnation was. I never fully bought in to the leadership claims that they knew what God's plan was for my life and that failure to obey would mean I would never find true happiness, but even as the doubts strengthened it was difficult to leave. As is the case in the secular world, sometimes it's hard to bring a relationship to an end, even when it is an abusive one. It was only after I left that I began to realise the extent of the lies and manipulation. That realisation was a bitter pill to swallow but worth it for the freedom which ultimately resulted.

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