Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Ifellaway ()
Date: June 29, 2013 11:40PM

Cbarb, I reckon the cushion may have deflected the worst of the damage. :)
Clive, yes! I really don't know any Christians who think that each prayer will be answered or answered in the way asked for.
I suggest it's more to do with knowing that your prayers are heard..
Answered prayers mean very much to me, thanks.
As you expand you seem almost go faith-bashing. Blind-faith, fundamentalism etc, yes you always make valid points.
But faith is a virtue. I give you a simple, individual example. A man lives for 80 years with no belief in any gods. He believes we are born to reproduce and die.
As death looms he begins to entertain the possibility that maybe there is more. He begins to develop a faith in some kind of system that for him, removes fear of death or death being final. He dies an accomplished hero, like you could only read about,
Is it fairer then to snap him out of his delusions? Make him face the truth in his dying moments or let him believe he's beginning a new journey...
Anyway, you appear to know that there is no god. As a scientist I would have to ask, "have ye seen dis wit yer own eyes?" (no wait! that's my pirate
Not so long ago we couldn't account for most of the universe. Still don't know what is behind the Great Sloan Wall of Avoidance. (or other avoidance zones.)
And it won't be anything that we can even remotely identify, as we still can't adequately describe dark matter, much less so-called dark energy. And even though we've been counting them and watching quasars for over half a century, we don't know what they are except really old!
We have much to learn indeed. I don't believe blind-faith will allow us to survive long enough to get there. But faith, in my humble opinion, is a virtue.
Maybe it's only the faith in yourself to do right and leave the mortal world having done more good than damage. But is that not a virtue?
Sorry, Clive. I seem to have forgot the actual point but I have answered your questions. Also sorry if I seem to lack any serious attitude, sometimes, it's just a way of sharing floor space with different-thinking types. You really do a lot of research and lay it down well too. At times though I worry that you are kind of looking at too big a picture and maybe missing the finer details. Meant as a compliment, naturally. :) Respects.
Regards all, and happy days, Ifellaway

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: June 30, 2013 02:50AM

Clive, you wrote:-

"Every person who has contributed their testimonies here are - in actual fact in no small way - exhibiting scepticism and one hopes questioning deeply the place of "faith" - as it is expressed in religious sects with strong overbearing leaderships. Bring on doubt I say."

Yes, people who have posted their story on here, and who have at one time been in SMC, (unlike yourself who haven't been in it), are indeed questioning the practices of a religious group with strong, overbearing leadership. But it doesn't follow that every person on here has questioned or is questioning their faith in God or in Jesus Christ. I see these issues as totally separate and distinct. I know that not everyone who has left SMC is still following a Christian path and maintaining faith in God, but many, many ARE still committed Christians and are happily serving and fellowshipping in other churches. Their experiences in SMC haven't put them off Christianity or church involvement, nor has it damaged their faith in God. You choose not to believe in God, Clive, but that doesn't mean that everyone who is against SMC and its cult-like practices is a non-believer. We are playing into SMC's hands by suggesting this, because they teach that anyone who leaves SMC has left the call of God and is out of favour with God, i.e. backsliding. This is a total lie.

There are many great churches out there which don't operate in any way like SMC does. The contrast is astonishing, as I discovered after I'd left SMC. I could hardly believe there were such loving Christians, supportive non-controlling leaders and a joy-filled Christian life out there! But there is! And you can have an active, living faith in God, without having leaders telling you what to do and think all the time, or being scared you'll get a telling off for disobeying them.

I am sad when I hear of people who left SMC and who have lost their faith because of their bad experiences whilst in this church. Ok, it's a personal decision for each person to believe what they want to, but if the effects of spiritual abuse in a controlling church like SMC, are the reason for a loss of christian faith, then that is very disturbing to me. I do respect all of your views on here, though. I just hope and pray that everyone is OK and has recovered from their experiences.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: FilthyBackslider ()
Date: July 01, 2013 08:56PM

Hi there.. Been very interesting to read all of these accounts and experiences from SMC.

My family were associated with SMC from the early 80s (when I was but a wean) until the late 90s..

I myself drifted off in the mid 90s, largely because I had become so sickened and suffocated by the culture in SMC, and also felt sidelined and ignored because I wasn’t one of the shining examples who were trailblazing the ‘youth’ of the church at the time.

I don’t think – with hindsight – that I ever really felt a part of Struthers.. I even went so far as faking my baptism in the spirit just to get them off my back… my fakery went entirely undetected (and one of the big supremos was in attendance!) so perhaps that speaks volumes…

When I left the church I found myself faced with a stark personal choice.. should I seek a happier, more nurturing church.. or did I give way to the nagging feeling at the back of my mind that I simply didn’t believe anyway. I chose the latter path, and have never regretted it..

I do however retain a real respect for people of profound faith – but I have little but pity for the hardcore SMC people… Such a tortured bubble in which to exist. It’s no life.

Anyway.. good to hear that my experiences aren’t unique, and glad to see so many people have moved on so positively in their different ways.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Ifellaway ()
Date: July 02, 2013 12:04AM

Haha, good one... Filthybackslider, welcome here. Smc gave you your name too, just like me?
Nope, you are definitely not alone in your experiences. It's looking more and more like we are the majority, sadly. (or finally..)
But yes I too babbled nonsense just to get the numerous shaking hands off my head and shoulders. But I felt no guilt or guile. Significant or not...
I certainly didn't feel God was judging too harshly. :)
But I do have the utmost respect for good souls guided by their faith, in whatever form.

Hey, if you have a bath will you just be Backslider? lol

So you've witnessed smc in action and you see it for what it is. Yet you have nothing against people having a religion. That is exemplary tolerance and fundamental respect for fellow humans' individuality.

"I think it's fair to day I liked ole Andy right from the start, though he ended up costing me a pack and a half of smokes."

Regards Filthybackslider, Ifellaway

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: CovLass ()
Date: July 02, 2013 07:59PM


Have you ever seen the film Bruce Almighty? I refer particularly to the part where Bruce (who gets to be God for the week) answers YES to every prayer and absolutely chaos erupts. I'm not claiming that film as a theological masterpiece, but it does highlight an issue that you bring up. You seem to think that if one prays and the answer does not come as expected then this is a failure on the part of the of the person who prays. I suspect that you may have got this influence from Struthers. They tell the congregation that if the leaders pray for their healing/deliverance etc and this doesn't happen, it is the fault of the individual.

The fact is "YES" is not the only answer available to a prayer. For example, if I am praying for the weather to be hot and sunny next week because I am gong on holiday, yet the farmer in my holiday destination is praying for much needed rain for his crops. So God has a dilemma. Does he give me the holiday weather I want or does he provide rain so the farmer can feed his children? Ok a pretty simplistic view I know and life is complicated and there are things we don 't understand. I don't know of one genuine Christian who claims to have all the answers. Neither do I know of one genuine Muslim/Hindu/Humanist/Atheist/......... who claims to have all the answers.

With regard to belief and faith, it can be used for evil and for good. Yes many wars are fought over religion (although I think man's greed has a bigger part to play) However, most of the charities we have in this country we started by Christian men and women. It was Christian men like William Wilberforce who stood opposed to the slave trade. Even if we had no faith or belief system in God, people would still fall out and fight. Get between a bunch of Liverpool and Man United football fans with no police presecnce if you don't believe me on that (but make sure you bring a crash helmet lol)

At the end pf the day Struthers have a somewhat skewed slant on prayer. You say

"If only SMC congregants would fall into line wrt holiness there would be a revival. If only SMC-ers really really really prayed hard."

You have pretty much hit the nail on the head. Everything that happens or doesn't happen is a direct result of the effort SMC members put into prayer and living holy lives. Actually if things do go well it is down to the leaders, but if things go wrong it is the fault of the congregation.

Life would be very dificult to live if we did not have faith. You get on an aeroplane and you have faith that the pilot can actually fly the thing. You have faith in the engineers that built the thing and that the ground crew have done the relevant safety checks. You have faith in your doctor when you are ill. Perhaps if you had a bad experience of flying you may be reluctant to fly again. Especially if the air crew blamed the passengers, because one of the engines fell off in mid flight (sound familiar?)

Welcome to the fourm FilthyBackslider. Your story about pretending to speak in tongues did make me smile. Although this is another example of the complete LACK of true discrenment by the Struthers leaders. They could not discern the bottle of whiskey in Ifellaways pocket, nor could they discernt that you were not filled with the spirit and were in fact just speaking complete gobbldegook. However, they can discern that I am supposdely lesbian and that a young boy with epilepsy was in fact, demon possesed (and to think we sat, terrified, thinking they were about to reveal our deepest darkest secrets.)

Anyway nice to here from you

God bless

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: CovLass ()
Date: July 02, 2013 08:21PM

Hey folks

Yeah it.s a pretty uneventful day for me and I'm catching up on the posts after having been mega busy, so I thought I give you two posts in one day lol. Actually I came across this post on another part of this site and thought it was really relevant to those who have wondered if this is all worth it sometimes, especially when we are accused of "just being bitter" and told to "get over it."

The post is written by a guy called Mark Scheiderer on the "Ex members of John MacArthur's church" forum. His post reads:

"For what it's worth: I am the only one who has ever left the headquarters of a small Charismatic/Pentecostal CULT (by the name of End Time Handmaidens and Servants - see my report at (link) who has written about it. I've been told for years ( by people who are still in the cult AND people who left the cult ) to shut up, that I'm bitter, too let God handle it, etc. I IGNORE THEM ALL BY THE GRACE OF GOD AND KEEP ON EXPOSING IT!!

I started exposing it in Feb./Mar.,1992 and the leader finally died on Jan. 13, this year! Now, based on what I see with regard to YouTube views, hardly anyone is watching this cult's videos on the net, while, conversely, hits on my site have increased by 10 times in the last month alone! I think people have lost the fear of "reading a report of someone who is bitter" ( as they had been told for years by the (now dead) leader) and are getting the TRUTH for themselves to judge.


Thankfully some people have lost the fear of Struthers leaders and hopefully many more will. It has been nearly 3 years since Clive first responded to Ohio's original post and we have had 125454 views. Interest is growing. On the 14th May I noticed that the viewing statistics were 113987 views. Less than 24 hours later there had been 114415. Thats 437 views in less than 24 hours and 11467 views in the last 6 weeks or so. People are still taking an interest, in fact the interest is growing.

Once agin, if there are people who are struggling and needs help, please get in touch with either myself or someone else.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: July 04, 2013 07:42AM

Welcome to the Forum, FilthyBackslider. Thanks for posting. I'm glad you've enjoyed reading the contributions on here and that it's made you realise you weren't the only one to experience such things. I hope this has helped you.

I actually found it hard to write your name, FilthyBackslider, because I don't believe anyone should be called Filthy. I understand where you're coming from, though, and realise your name represents the way you feel SMC would label you and is probably a bit tongue in cheek. We are all labelled as backsliders on here and if we've left SMC anyway - LOL!
I know you don't believe now, but, if Jesus were to meet you in the street or pub tomorrow, He wouldn't call you filthy. He doesn't see people in the same way as SMC leaders do, as I had to learn and get into my head since I left this church. Anyway, welcome.

Covlass, thanks for your update on the number of views of this Forum thread, especially over the last 2 years. It is quite startling, really! Despite the fact that whenever I meet SMC folk at the shops (the ones who still speak to me!) they always assure me that folk in SMC do not read this Forum because they are completely loyal to the church and have been told not to look at it. Who is viewing it then? Must be a lot of folk in the whole wide world who are interested in finding out about a wee, insignificant church in Scotland with a couple of even smaller branches in England! I don't think so. SMC are reading it. They must be. And the large number of people who have left SMC over the years are probably reading it. I do pray for SMC, Covlass, as you once suggested, and know others who do too.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb ()
Date: July 04, 2013 11:47PM

Hi guys

Nice to be back, I was moving hoose and off-line for a wee bit.

Clive, just to answer your point about my 'firm belief', I chose to believe 'firmly' that we are capable of a lot more than we actually do at the moment. It's scientific fact that we only use a small percentage of the total capacity of our brains - what do you think the other, unused, 70 odd percent might make us capable of?

I CHOOSE to believe that if we could tap into that 70 odd percent of our brain-power we could all connect, with startling results - such as moving Mt. Everest to London!
I used the word 'prayer' but I could just as easily have said 'if enough people THOUGHT about moving Everest to London, it could be accomplished' and I choose to believe that this is what is meant in the words of the Bible. God says WE have the power to do great things and I believe this is through our spiritual connection to every other living thing on the planet. I believe that, through the ages, the inherent power of the largest portion of our brains has been brainwashed out of the human race, by those who seek to control and profit from a less effective and less powerful human race.

However, just because 'I firmly believe' all this doesn't mean I expect everyone else to believe the same and my belief certainly doesn't come from SMC or from my parents but from my own research into many different religions and beliefs. In fact, with what I firmly believe I would be branded a witch or worse by those in power in SMC :-)

My views on life and belief in a higher power are probably more a mixture of Kabalistic and Wiccan - so I would definitely be drummed right OUT of SMC for that alone!

Hi FilthyBackslider, lovely to hear from you and welcome to the family - I too made a lot of pretence in SMC just to be accepted and I think you might be surprised just how many folks in SMC do exactly the same thing!! I'd be willing to bet my last Rolo that the majority of those still in attendance are 'keeping up appearances' in this respect.

But isn't it great to be FREE from the confines of church walls and manipulative leaders? :-)

As always
Huge love and biiiiiig huggggggs to all
God Bless xxx

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Clive ()
Date: July 06, 2013 06:04PM

It's scientific fact that we only use a small percentage of the total capacity of our brains - what do you think the other, unused, 70 odd percent might make us capable of?

Hmm... sorry cbarb, you have the ability to google. There is no excuse for just going on believing every urban myth or bad idea that been passed on in "believer" circles through the years.


I also suggest that before that "idea" pops into the head concerning something weird or whatever, go and google SNOPES and check up on there about it.

Someone else here seemed to be putting out the old straw man chestnut that I KNOW that there is no god. It sounds like the old canard that basically goes along the lines of
"unless you can categorically PROVE that [ INSERT MY FANCIFUL SUPERNATURAL CLAIM HERE ] is false, then I have every reason to carry on believing [ INSERT MY FANCIFUL SUPERNATURAL CLAIM HERE ].

I am very happy to live in a state of uncertainty and probabilities. Being sure of things is not something that interests me. Being simply curious in things is far more interesting and more importantly - produces results.

Now for a little levity in answer answer to some of the "deepities" i've recently read here in answer to me, I present a wee Storm.



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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Ifellaway ()
Date: July 07, 2013 12:21AM

Clive, are you trying to lower the tone? This forum is quite well-known for it's diversity and our ability to resolve and discuss issues,
You just suggested Cbarb believes in basically every little fantastic tale...though you forgot to mention some actual examples.
Anyway, it has been proven that thought can cause kinetic energy. So we can move things with "the force". :) Just got to get rid of wires and other visible tec...
I haven't provided links because I'm sure you'll know this already.
"Someone" was me, Clive. It's only a pretend name so you don't have to pretend to forget it..
You put out the old straw matey, just read your own posts. lol
I agree that we should all be allowed to believe whatever( assuming no harm is intended to others), but you seem to have belittled the opinions of others with your superior, all-encompassing knowledge of the wide world.
I just showed you a mirror, that's all. You want to make statements... I merely questioned your authority and general knowledge of the universe in it's entirety. You grudge me this. Cool! I'm over it. Water under etc. However I am still rather poorly convinced. Not your problem..mine.
Anyway, off to check your Storm link.

One other thing said you were an "unherdable cat". But, I may be wrong, you seem to be here trying (unsuccessfully..) to herd people towards how you think. Given that this forum (not our thread!) has faced inevitable criticism for trying to favour atheism and not allow free speech unless it is geared towards atheism, are you herding or sharing your opinions? If you are merely sharing opinions then you will now be aware that you are in fact doing it in an unhelpful, disrespectful way (being a clever guy, you probably knew this afore you posted).
Please be clear if you have a question for me, as convoluted querying gets you convoluted replies, that probably don't succeed in answering.
Live well, Clive
Regards, Ifellaway

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