Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Date: June 07, 2013 02:31PM
I was just reminiscing and thinking about the days when SMC had some semblance of a normal healthy church about them, at least to a greater extent than they seem to have now - before commercialism raddled their spiritual brains. I do remember all the instruments, in the early days... you know, Hugh Gilchrist on the coronet, Hugh McConnachie on the trombone, Bobby Cleary on the oompa loompa tuba, Morris Offord on the French horn, there was also a hawian guitar and autoharp and I think at one point there were violins too and a few trumpets. I used to love 'getting down with the trumpets', oh and the old squeeze box by, was it Eileen Morrison? And, if I remember rightly, a big lanky guy called George who played the bagpipes, not to mention the regular pianists like Bobby Morrison. Do they still have all those musicians, or other musicians getting down with the trumpets? I know each church will probably have a regular pianist but do they still have a proper musical band like they used to? If not, is it because the musicians just don't exist in the congregations any more or is it deemed unholy now?
I may be remembering wrongly but I'm fairly certain that the musical band stopped being asked to play before I left church and, I think, around the time Miss T went off her head. But I could be wrong about that although I can't seem to remember the band playing for quite a while before I left, although I was a rotten backslider for a bit and might have missed some meetings that they actually played at.
Also, Rensil, as I was looking at your list of past guest speakers I was thinking that I do remember Elizabeth Austin and I remember there being a big hoohah over certain things she'd said to people although I was too young to be told the actual detail of the hoohah but I do remember feeling embarrassed for her by the way people were talking about and rubbishing her. Even at that young age I found myself wanting to ask how people could profess to be Christians and yet gossip so unkindly about someone who, in my young view, was vibrant and obviously a very Godly person. But I found, in all my time at SMC, that gossip was rife among the people and there was always someone pointing the finger at someone else who they believed was less holy than them for this, that or the other and it seemed that certain people just couldn't wait to daub-in other members to make themselves feel more important and holy. It was one of the major reasons I decided that church and God were not for me, if it meant you could speak unkindly about others and ignore God's teaching about removing the barn from your own eye before removing the straw from your neighbour's eye (I paraphrase here, being too tired to try and remember the actual verse and too lazy to go and look in my Bible - but you get the meaning?). I just could not stand the volume of gossip which went round the church like wildfire and was very often, as we all know, completely wrong!
I myself became the subject of such gossip, shortly before I left the church, it was unkind, uncalled for and waaaaay off the truth of the matter but the gossip was so much juicier than the deed that nobody cared very much about the truth. Including HB who was told the truth but didn't bother to make it public knowledge and quell the gossiping, so I can only assume he disbelieved the truth or didn't care enough to stop the gossips. Either way, I threw in the towel and decided that kind of life was not for me any more, and I thank God that I did because I found a much fuller and more wholesome life elsewhere.
The thing is, I didn't realise it at the time, but now I'm more ancient and a lot wiser and I can see that the gossiping is actually encouraged by the leaders as another form of control over the people. The word 'clique' is used often but the sense of the word is twisted in SMC to make it something that is desirable rather than something to be avoided (as the Bible instructs us). In fact I'm pretty sure I remember someone posting here, sorry I can't remember who, regarding DR telling people to strive to be part of the 'clique' as in 'the chosen few'. Now to my mind, 'the clique' consists of all those members who take great pleasure in gossiping about other members of the church. These are the people who will wheedle their way into friendships and trusts with other members in order to gain any juicy naughties which they can then relate to the pastor who will announce it from the platform, the following Sunday, as some divine insight into that person's life. What it all boils down to is just plain old-fashioned gossip but it's used as a form of psychological control over the congregation, some of whom seem to be too stupid or blind to see it for what it really is and are actually dumb enough to believe that these leaders have some divine knowledge known only to themselves.
Even I could see, as young as I was at the time, that the leaders were listening to and acting upon gossip that they heard among the ranks although I didn't understand the mind control aspects of it at that time - I just wondered how professing Christians, who felt they were holier than everyone else, could stoop to perpetuating gossip among the congregation on the one hand, and then turn round and tell us kids that gossiping is a sin? How do you make sense of that when you're young? So much of what went on and still goes on in that church does not make one iota of sense no matter what way you look at it. I can only assume that those who are left in the church and still believe this NONsense are not very sensible people themselves or don't have enough faith in God to trust that he will give them a rich life outside of SMC.
I do hope that more people will come to their senses though and maybe even TEST the divine knowledge with a red herring or two, as another poster here did before realising that the knowledge was not as divine as the pastor would have everyone believe. It would be fairly easy to let something slip to one of the 'clique' and see how much moss the rolling stone gathers before it reaches the bottom of the hill.
We live in hope!!
As always biiiiiig love and huge huggggggs to all
God Bless xxx