Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Date: November 01, 2012 07:51AM
I tend to agree more with Chesterk55's explanation regarding a leader suggesting to a person that they should go for counselling, rather than that it being a sign that things are changing in SMC and there is more openess to outside counselling provision. Again and again, I have heard Grace Gault say in preaching that a lot of psychological help and so-called counselling is ineffective where people's needs are concerned. This is fairly recent and is probably on some of the podcasts which were online, but I couldn't give a reference as to the occasions when she said this. She quoted a research study of people who had survived the Lockerbie Disaster, which found that the people who went through professional counselling did not fare as well in the ensuing years as those people who just got on with things, talked to their friends and family and worked their own way through the trauma. The message she was giving seems obvious: don't bother to go for professional counselling. We have all you need here. Or, what is usually said to one who comes for help: "Just turn to Christ. Just give it all to Christ." Or the leader prays with the person for a short time and that's it all finished and sorted. No.
But the problem is that they don't have all that people need because they are not prepared, as Chesterk55 says, to spend time talking to people who are hurting and troubled, especially if you are not one of their favoured, chosen ones.
I know some people, who were in SMC, who were very troubled by childhood wounds and trauma, or others struggling with anxiety problems. None of them were advised to seek counselling from an outside body; on the contrary, two that I know about, were told not to seek counselling. One of them sought out counselling him/herself because they were desperate and because their G.P. also suggested he/she should. These people did go to the leaders for help but found that the leaders did not have the time to sit down with them and talk through the issues and the persons felt that the SMC leaders just could not help them. This of course, made the persons more anxious and more depressed. I believe that professional counselling, (both secular and christian), has helped them and also the Freedom in Christ course which many churches run. But why can't their church, to which they have been loyal (and given money to aswell), for years, help them?
And I agree, Chesterk55, that people would probably feel and function a whole lot better and happier if they got away from SMC, because being a part of SMC does mangle the minds of many people. So that could be the root of some of their problems for starters.
SMC have never endorsed any outside agency which offers inner healing or counselling, such as Ellel Ministries. Such are frowned upon and looked on as inferior or even dangerous and contaminating, for one reaon only and that is they are not run by SMC and its leaders. Ironically, SMC are happy to have ex-drug addicts, who have come through rehab, as members and to have them give their amazing testimonies on Saturday nights, but to my knowledge, they wouldn't refer a new or visiting addict to a counselling service or rehab facility. Instead they would send them to another church to get referral and support. How odd is that?
I wonder whether the person to whom Squareone refers, has indeed got some support and counselling outwith SMC. I do hope so. I know of people who have left SMC and who have received counselling and prayer ministry and are now doing very well.
I question whether the SMC leaders should be called Pastors at all, because the word "pastor" comes from the Latin word for shepherd, derived from "pascere", meaning "to feed, to look after, to care for." Are they doing this as a good shepherd would do with the sheep under his care? Like Chesterk55, I also know several good, honourable, caring, wise church pastors in other churches. It is possible!