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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Daisy69 ()
Date: February 07, 2024 05:50AM

It’s double standards. Members are expected in Church every Sunday whatever the circumstances. If you don’t turn up, it’s followed up.
The leadership go on holidays no questions asked.
I don’t believe the leadership have a direct line to god, to know all our sins.
It’s disturbing spiritual abuse.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: February 10, 2024 02:06AM

O, Petitor, you made me laugh so much with your comment about hair-dye not changing what’s at the roots! Hilarious! But true.

Daisy69, I appreciate your sharing your experiences at Struthers on here. I hope you are recovering well after leaving SMC. Please don’t think about returning. You have definitely made the right decision to leave and you’re right about the spiritual abuse that goes on in SMC.

You asked about spiritual abuse occurring in the Cedars house. Well, it’s the same as what goes on in the Church and how people are treated by the leaders, with the added elements of having to hand one’s money over to help with the upkeep and rental of the house. I know there were some teenagers who went to live there and had to hand over their College bursary to Alison Speirs, who was in charge of Cedars house, leaving them with very little spending money. To me, that is cult-like. There were other residents, in their twenties and thirties who had to contribute to the mortgage and upkeep for the lower part of the Cedars house after that was purchased. Television was not allowed and only particular radio stations could be listened to, ie no pop or light, romantic music.

Other spiritual abuse included monitoring of relationships and dating, and having to attend all or most of the Church meetings. They had a large people-carrier type of vehicle which was used to transport Cedars house residents up to the meetings in Glasgow because Alison Speirs was the minister there. I know that people who became ill didn’t always get sympathy and there was a pressure to get healed. (But only God can heal). I do know that Mary Black once got involved, when a resident who was ill for a time, was being treated unkindly in the house. Cedars house had its own GP doctor who is a member of Struthers. If anyone needed medical input, this GP was called in to the house. So they didn’t even have to go to a doctor they didn’t know. For a time, a number of Cedars residents were teaching students and they got jobs at the Cedars School after it expanded and moved to the present, larger building.

Just to say, Daisy69, Conversion therapy is not law yet. It is only at the proposals/consultation stage in Scotland so not in law yet. It would affect other churches too, not just Struthers. Some of us on here are still committed Christians and involved at healthy churches.

Going foreign holidays is a relatively recent activity in Struthers, so much that nobody thinks about the rights and wrongs of it anymore. But in previous decades, none of the main leaders ever went on holiday. If they travelled, it was to carry out a Mission or speak at a Christian conference. Hardly any of the congregation went holidays abroad either as it was deemed to be worldly and pleasure-seeking. Sunbathing was mocked many times by Hugh Black and Mary. Funnily enough, it would be OK to eat a lot and eat unhealthy food, but it was wrong to sunbathe! Things have changed in that regard, concerning foreign holidays.

@The Petitor, it was Mary Black who often spoke against using makeup and hair dye, as well as against wearing earrings. Miss Taylor had rules about clothes, ie no denim jeans, or trousers for the women.

You’re correct, Daisy69, in saying that the leaders and many of the congregants have double standards. But remember that they are the holiest, most sanctified church on earth! Not.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Daisy69 ()
Date: February 19, 2024 06:06AM

One of the most disturbing aspects of the church, is that they claim that mental illness, is healed through deliverance. They encourage members, who have serious conditions, to stop taking medications. They then sell it as a miracle to new members.
It’s basically, putting others at risk.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: FatHippo ()
Date: February 21, 2024 06:01PM

Starting the Cedars school was always daft to anyone looking in. They took kids out of their state schools who already attended Struthers on Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday morning, Sunday night, and sometimes also midweek, and drove them out to Greenock every day to make sure that they were neck deep in Struthers indoctrination all day during the week as well – just in case all weekend wasn’t enough already. Those kids’ brains must be completely fried.

It's truly tragic that the school has to be subsidised by the congregation. The money would be far better used in initiatives that show tangible results – like feeding the homeless in Glasgow and Greenock for example.

Its fascinating to hear about converted atheist Alison Speirs leaving the church. If anyone ever finds out the details why, please do post here. I wonder if the remaining church members have been ordered to forget about and shun her now, like so many of us have experienced? Or will she be spared and given special treatment by the new leaders. Surely inside she must be feeling terrible, lost, and fearing for her eternal salvation, given what she told all of us for so many years – that Struthers was really the only church ‘holy’ enough to get one into heaven.

When I was a child at camp in Biggar I once got summoned to a room, inside was Alison Speirs and an empty chair. She told me that there was all sorts wrong with me spiritually. I had to confess my crimes; what was it that I was doing that had invited the devil in? I had no idea what I had done; seeing as I’d never asked the devil to take over my soul. She kept asking me what bad and worldly activities I was partaking in. Eventually I realised that I had to give some sort of answer if I wanted to get out of the room without creating a scene, so I blamed listening to non-Christian music. This reason was deemed satisfactory, and after getting told off for this I of course also got into trouble for denying doing anything at first. The summer camp was a week of extremely slow, painful mental torture, carefully planned and executed by the church and its leaders.

So Alison Speirs, now that you are no longer deemed to be Struthers-level material, put yourself in that chair and ask yourself: What is it that you did that let the devil into your life? What is it that made you stray from God, and most importantly, Struthers? Did you accidentally listen to the Stones on the radio? Did you watch The Traitors late one night when everyone else had gone to bed? I’m just asking from a position of care and love… its time for you to sit in the chair, just come onto this forum and confess what you did!

I’m sure the departure of Alison Speirs will be a gReAt loSs to tHe SoUl aNd inTeGRitY of Struthers Memorial Church.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: standbyfive ()
Date: February 24, 2024 03:05AM

I attended Struthers for several years as a teenager back in the 90s. Honestly, I miss those days a lot. If I didn't live in a different continent now, I think I'd probably want to go back.

Was it a cult back then? I don't think so. Is it now? I don't have any way to know, but I doubt it. I think what it was, and still is, is a group of diverse people who don't always agree, without any real formal structure of leadership or constitutional framework, all earnestly trying to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and often getting it right. Often, but not always.

I do think some cult-like behaviours emerge from that kind of society, though. I think some members were over-willing to surrender control of their lives to the leadership, and some of the leaders perhaps accepted that responsibility when they should have found ways to teach personal growth instead. I think an atmosphere of joy was promoted and achieved, but a strange kind of joy that was very serious and often disdainful of humour. I think there was an unspoken, even unintentional shunning of former attendees.

I guess I was shunned. At the age of sixteen I made the mistake of falling for a girl outside church, who was a Mormon, and on exactly two occasions I accompanied her to her church for a social event. That was the extent of my involvement with the Mormon church, and indeed it was the extent of my relationship with the girl in question. I don't know how Struthers people became aware of this, but they did, and I was suddenly no longer welcome. My friends were no longer my friends. I was almost physically hustled out of the coffee shop when I went to buy a CD.

If I had been a stronger, or wiser, or more mature person I think I would have been able to remain at Struthers, but I was a sixteen year old and instead I just stayed away, feeling sad and bitter. I soon joined the Church of the Nazarene, which I have been faithful to ever since, and I remember how different it felt to be in a more mainstream church, easier, more friendly... it was a huge relief. But I also missed the shared experience of deep worship that I knew at Struthers, and that I have never found anywhere else since.

So, I'm no Struthers fanboy. They hurt me back in the day. But still, I'd go back in a heartbeat if I could. I'd go back with my eyes wide open, aware of the flaws and weaknesses of any human organization, aware that Struthers is not exempt from them, and most of all, knowing that whatever its faults are they are not the result of some deliberate master plan to control people, but merely the human failures of good people trying to do what they believe is right, and sometimes getting it wrong.

So, no, I don't think they're a cult. I think they're just a group of people, a church, who share a particular deep and mystical experience of worship, and whose leaders don't always have the experience or judgement to handle complex situations well.

I will say that the rise of Andrew Jewell as a leader gives me a lot of hope for the future of Struthers. He was my close friend, back in the day, and he is a genuinely kind, patient, and funny man.

I suppose I might be able to answer any questions anyone has about those days. I even know who owned Cedars :D

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