Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Chesterk55 ()
Date: August 25, 2013 11:27PM

Thanks for that great post Covlass I am in full agreement.


The funny thing is I am fully expecting Struthers leaders to proclaim that this is the "vindication of the Lord."
They could indeed and then look like fools very soon after when OSCR oblige the Struthers charity to live up to its committments and deal with these same concerns and address the embarrasment it has become to the charity sector.

Many Struthers sermons claim supernatural knowledge of why people have suffered misfortune. Invariably (and conveniently) it always turns out to be because they have disagreed with Struthers. The many and various misfortunes hitting those who agree with Struthers apparently have a different source and they are just suffering because they are so righteous, etc.

Most people will realise that to be sub childish gibbering unbiblical nonsense. Anyone who has read the Book of Job for example.

So on the subject of anyone drawing rash conclusions from current events on this forum here is a perspective. Many Struthers people read Max Lucado. The less spiritual among you will recognise a similar story to this from "Charlie Wilsons War".

Max Lucado (In the Eye of the Storm)
The Old Man and the White Horse

Once there was an old man who lived in a tiny village.  Although poor, he was envied by all, for he owned a beautiful white horse.  Even the king coveted his treasure.  A horse like this had never been seen before – such was its splendor, its majesty, its strength.

People offered fabulous prices for the steed, but the old man always refused.  “This horse is not a horse to me,” he would tell them.  “It is a person.  How could you sell a person?  He is a friend, not a possession.  How could you sell a friend.”  The man was poor and the temptation was great.  But he never sold the horse.

One morning he found that the horse was not in his stable.  All the village came to see him.  “You old fool,” they scoffed, “we told you that someone would steal your horse.  We warned you that you would be robbed.  You are so poor.  How could you ever protect such a valuable animal?  It would have been better to have sold him.  You could have gotten whatever price you wanted.  No amount would have been to high.  Now the horse is gone and you’ve been cursed with misfortune.”

The old man responded,  “Don’t speak too quickly.  Say only that the horse is not in the stable.  That is all we know; the rest is judgment.  If I’ve been cursed or not, how can you know? How can you judge?”

The people contested, “Don’t make us out to be fools! We may not be philosophers, but great philosophy is not needed.  The simple fact that your horse is gone is a curse.”

The old man spoke again.  “All I know is that the stable is empty, and the horse is gone.  The rest I don’t know.  Whether it be a curse or a blessing, I can’t say.  All we can see is a fragment.  Who can say what will come next?”

The people of the village laughed.  They thought that the man was crazy.  They had always thought he was a fool; if he wasn’t, he would have sold the horse and lived off the money.  But instead, he was a poor woodcutter, and old man still cutting firewood and dragging it out of the forest and selling it.  He lived hand to mouth in the misery of poverty.  Now he had proven that he was, indeed, a fool.

After fifteen days, the horse returned.  He hadn’t been stolen; he had run away into the forest.  Not only had he returned, he had brought a dozen wild horses with him.  Once again, the village people gathered around the woodcutter and spoke.  “Old man, you were right and we were wrong.  What we thought was a curse was a blessing.  Please forgive us.”

The man responded, “Once again, you go too far.  Say only that the horse is back.  State only that a dozen horses returned with him, but don’t judge.  How do you know if this is a blessing or not?  You see only a fragment.  Unless you know the whole story, how can you judge?  You read only one page of a book.  Can you judge the whole book? You read only one word of one phrase.  Can you understand the entire phrase?”

“Life is so vast, yet you judge all of life with one page or one word.  All you have is one fragment!  Don’t say that this is a blessing.  No one knows.  I am content with what I know.  I am not perturbed by what I don’t.”

“Maybe the old man is right,” they said to one another.  So they said little.  But down deep, they knew he was wrong.  They knew it was a blessing.  Twelve wild horses had returned.  With a little work, the animals could be broken and trained and sold for much money.

The old man had a son, an only son.  The young man began to break the wild horses.  After a few days, he fell from one of the horses and broke both legs.  Once again the villagers gathered around the old man and cast their judgments.

“You were right,” they said.  “You proved you were right.  The dozen horses were not a blessing.  They were a curse.  Your only son has broken both his legs, and now in your old age you have no one to help you.  Now you are poorer than ever.”

The old man spoke again.  “You people are obsessed with judging.  Don’t go so far.  Say only that my son broke his legs.  Who knows if it is a blessing or a curse?  No one knows.  We only have a fragment.  Life comes in fragments.”

It so happened that a few weeks later the country engaged in war against a neighboring country.  All the young men of the village were required to join the army.  Only the son of the old man was excluded, because he was injured.  Once again the people gathered around the old man, crying and screaming because their sons had been taken.  There was little chance that they would return.  The enemy was strong, and the war would be a losing struggle.  They would never see their sons again.

“You were right, old man,” They wept.  “God knows you were right.  This proves it.  Your son’s accident was a blessing.  His legs may be broken, but at least he is with you.  Our sons are gone forever.”

The old man spoke again.  “It is impossible to talk with you.  You always draw conclusions.  No one knows.  Say only this.  Your sons had to go to war, and mine did not.  No one knows if it is a blessing or a curse.  No one is wise enough to know.  Only God knows.”

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: lintar123 ()
Date: August 26, 2013 05:04AM

am so very glad to be reconnected. This forum has to continue. It has helped so many people and will be needed to help others who eventually realise the truth about Struthers. Hope to hear something from OSCR soon. Hope everyone finds their way back .

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Cornelius Dredd ()
Date: August 27, 2013 01:34AM

Like the story, Chesterk55. Isn't it so easy to jump to conclusions, without all parts of the equation?
Hello all...I tried to get the moniker "Ifellaway" but it's not available. Here I am anyway. :)
Glad to be back also Lintar123.
Clive, anything you saved for posterity, I would say, would be worth adding back in, if you get the chance. It'll be hard to slot in stuff without making the thread look completely random, but surely to get some crucial experiences back on display.
Hopefully we'll all get back on, if needed or useful.
Meantime...disappointed at the loss of input, but unfazed and even more determined that we continue to maintain this outpost. (no blame fact only gratitude that you saved as much as you did.)
I bid you good people cheerio for now. Man next door has just died, like now. Maybe I can be useful, maybe not, but I have to be neighbourly..
Regards and happy days to all, Cornelius (once Ifellaway)

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Clive ()
Date: August 27, 2013 06:34AM

Cornelius Dredd
Clive, anything you saved for posterity, I would say, would be worth adding back in, if you get the chance.

I don have any way of telling when the post texts I made copies of were made, so a lot of them might actually be still on here, but in any case i'll just post the lot.

I'll do one post per "poster" here. The texts are heavily edited by me to focus on what I consider the salient bits.

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saved post highlights for IFELLAWAY
Posted by: Clive ()
Date: August 27, 2013 06:36AM


"Hi all.
Initially I'd like to introduce myself, but can't really. I have family who are still very much "in". I am already the black sheep and "do drugs", drink etc (Actually this is a misconception that I cannot rectify without blowing apart other myths and lies that have been perpetuated within my wider family, since before I was born.) so anything that blows back would affect many more than I know...maybe. I would rather not risk that, at this stage.

I stand before you all as an unrepentent sinner. I applaud those here who have kept the faith alive. Currently, I'm under (medical and psychological) reconstruction. My belief system failed me and mentally, well I collapsed. Part of my recovery involves regulating my "fear of God" and it is easier for me if I have no god. Doesn't mean I don't believe, I want to believe but to come to God (or to stay with God) out of fear, it just don't compute. A God of love would not ask this. Not rocket I spent too many years daring to think this way in secret. How glad am I to have stumbled upon this discussion? Very glad indeed.

I feel an affinity with many here, perhaps know many here, maybe it is just the overlap in stories but I have ended up without faith. I would need heavy ministry indeed to get rid of these demons. Much better I do this in a controlled medical setting than in a meeting at Wiston where kids are present, wondering wtf, and anything could go wrong. My panic attacks and psychoses (sorry, my demonic episodes..) manifest in a unique and frankly, dangerous way. I would actually be interested to know how even Hugh Black would have dealt with this; given the variable risks, I hope he would have instructed me, if not supported me, in seeking qualified, mainstream medical help. Or am I just "not giving myself wholly to God"?

My deepest sympathies go out to those who have been mistreated and left confused, and I in no way doubt your stories or your pain. I note some bitterness has emerged here. But this isn't what dominates the thread. And, given the stats, if it did...that would be expected.

I have fond memories of Wiston and Douglas West, from doing Tinto to having a fly black pudding supper with Mr B (on the proviso that we would both pray that wee bit harder for our strength to resist the tempting yumminess in future...though I think it was Stornoway black pudd though...because I never did achieve the strength...I wonder how Hugh got on before he passed.)
Also I do know that many members of the church are the best people you could hope to meet. Altruistic souls who live to help and serve. What is under scrutiny here is the effect on many, of how the church is run. I can identify..

To the Affected: Please feel free to find me, I may just have some answers for you.
To the Involved: My admiration for you knows no bounds. You are the bravest and most helpful. I thank you for setting up this discussion and maintaining it.
To all: I do not want to cause any offence here. At this point I am just checking in to say "hi all". If anyone feels my input may not be helpful, please say, I held my tongue and thoughts for decades already, I can continue radio silence indefintely, if necessary or appropriate...
I am pro-SMC. I believe the good in the majority of the church will eventually dilute or even extinguish any bad practices. After all, any church and it's teachings has to be organic in nature, because human understanding is this way.

I am not a member and haven't been to meeting or camp for decades.
It is with a very heavy heart (but no surprise) that I read some of the accounts here. I implore the ministers to get in on this talk. It will help many here and I do know you are reading this. You should be aware that many, many silent ones watch this. Your continued absence can only harm the strength of your faith, as you try increasingly harder to hold on to doubting flocks. Please? I cannot speak on your behalf. You can't possibly deny that these accounts are real, whether bitter or not, but you could engage and enrich the conversation, if you wanted to. I know most of you. I know that you must rebel yourself to achieve the degree of change that IS necessary. But it is no more than you asked of us. Maybe it is true then, that you don't practice what you preach, you operate double standards, blindly follow a leader you know in your heart isn't fit for purpose. Make the break now, or I'm coming for the whole org. I will get the necessary publicity and backing voices to shut it all down. You will blame me as the devil's helper but I will know I have succeeded in doing the real work of good.

More seriously, as I read through this whole thing (have only read up to page 12 and as far back as 80); I am noticing some alarming practices involving kids. I am a notorious troublemaker for Renfrewshire's Council. This is the only place in Britain a school could be set up in this way. Correct me if I'm wrong Renfrew Council leaders. I am still watching Good Shepherd too, obviously 2 dead teens wasn't enough. Now it's a third from another "school". I don't see the required change...but that's another front of this war against mismanagent and neglect. I stray from the relevant here...
Lastly today, I ask for help. Accepting my input here would be enough. Involving me would be better. :)

I don't have a problem with God at all, nope never did. Always, I could read and interpret for myself. The good folk I remember at Struthers never tried to narrow or stifle, but they were there to help make sense of stuff. It is as has been said here already. A leadership problem.
My real concern in going through these posts is the treatment some people here have experienced. It is horrible to think that some names I have seen mentioned here, are people that I wouldn't have thought of like that....yet I do not doubt at all anything I've read. It shouldn't be a surprise.
I am somewhat troubled by the apparent lack of safeguards for children. Glasnost is a good policy, and transparency. Especially so in modern times, where safe-caring policies are suppose to protect our kids, wherever they choose to hang out, be it church, school, clubs.

I will be back to answer more fully. I already tried to answer Cbarb, but took so long to write, I logged out and lost the message.

Seriously though, I have much to add, hopefully without too negative a slant. I fear my opinion of the church, as an org, has been hammered. What were fond memories, hmm, it pains me to focus too much on them, in light of some revelations here and other related sites. I am so sorry for those hurt, and want to offer some kind of answers if I can. Because it seems that I was actually quite lucky, I did get out. Some damage to my belief system, granted, but I see a resolution somewhere down the line. In a way, sounds daft, I know, I've got to act as though alone (though we never truly are..). Upon recovery I will be stronger I think.
Day to day, things are fluid. One step at a time.
I am encouraged greatly by your kind words and thoughts. For now, I best hit send (and start tallying up my posts!).

Just got an update re; vulnerable children (and indeed adults). Care Commission currently are responsible for many aspects of care. Certainly anything residential (fee-paying or not).
Legally, all adults spending time with children or vulnerable adults, must have Enhanced Disclosures. (This is not the way I would have it, but in an environment that operates secretively...well, we have learned lessons.)
I have passed on concerns that this is not happening. I have also pre-emptively warned how leadership may try to circumnavigate these simple checks. Transparency and towing-the-line WILL happen. The only other option is for the church to close.
Charity status: seriously under review. A charity has to raise money, not absorb it internally.
I haven't even focused on the school yet. HMIE see it as fit for purpose. Care Commission will act on information as it comes out. The Charities Regulators (in light of recent financial hardships) will be as fair as possible. But if a school characteristically loses money then its viability as an educational establishment is anulled.
Anyway, am I right? The headmistress has 3 family members on her staff. If true....disconcerting. And the IT guy has potentially the ability to control all outgoing/incoming internet traffic.
Nice to see people coming into this discussion. More and more comes to light..
Got that about C&P before submission, Cbarb, thanks chum. I am an immigrant to the internet ( is anyone over 30!).
Rensil (I think..), I have to say I perhaps agree that no dilution will occur and the damage will only intensify. I recall now some older folks who were always in attendance, and good people. But they never bought into the whole idea. Effectively they only were looking for wives and husbands, and were willing to play a role to do so. They never disclose their wealth/income. (Actually I was working in a bank in Maddison when a church member I used to know came in to do his banking. He was so upset at seeing me there, he changed banks and the manager, when I explained the probable reason, was aghast and disappointed....because this was a rich guy, but I'm pretty sure he got more out of the church than they got out of him.) I wonder what percentage of the congregation use the church in similar ways.
Have to home in on "nit-picking". I'm sorry friend, but you have had a relatively positive experience of church life. Struthers go after "a type". Anyone here any thoughts? I notice a pattern of people who are enmeshed. This is the vulnerability I keep referring to. For example...Youngster X has dabbled a bit in drugs/drink. Starts to have negative experiences. Finds God through SMC. Gives testimony and believes everything then told, ever after. Over the years their drug habit grows from one bad trip to daily injecting, anecdotally.
Example may be someone suffering a mental condition (eg, depression). They find solace within a church and maybe get better. Well done them! But I bet their testimony omits any medicines used to achieve healing.
This forum has people who are getting no answers to very serious issues. And many have NOT moved on and found happiness, because questions remain and there is often no resolution. But if you read the whole thing, you would have noticed this of course. I have discerned (!?) no nit-picking at all. Lack of answers leads to further inspection, which may come across as irrelevant or off-point. If only someone in authority would accept call to defend their home church and its flock. Was I a pastor, I'd be here telling truth and listening and offering any help I coud. Just saying...
Either way, this conversation grows and additional points are made. More people see.
A good thing is being done here. It will continue to raise contested subject matter. The truth is already evident, but it needs spread.

Rensil the PVG scheme is implemented across the board. I didn't know that disclosures were always done, even back in the day. I do know that our youth leaders were not shifty with our parents. They'd often come in for a cuppa and chat. Nothing was secretive or furtive. My knowledge of ways and practices of smc are apparently wrong, or at least out-or-date.
However, I have only just told my dad about us bunches of kids sitting about praying in tongues and some other stuff. Had he known some of the stories we were witnessing he would have banned us from attending. The disclosure system is far from perfect or all-inclusive, but it changes as it needs to.
On camps, I remember one guy straight out of Bar L, who was being helped and he was a nice guy, but he had obiously brought his meds with him and when he started slurring and drivelling, all us kids lost interest pretty quick. There is always risk, but churches should help people reintegrate, but how can any system of disclosure apply to camps. I'm sure this guy was under someone's special care, but he could have been a wild card.

Also I remember one poor guy getting a demon driven out. Now to anyone involved in child protection the scenario raises all kinds of worries. I was 10, maybe 11, (there were much younger...) and we were all engaged in praying peacefully while the leaders moved among us drawn to whoever. One adult had hands laid on him and the usual crescendo of encouragement ensued. This time it became a cacaphony. This poor guy was screaming maniacally (It took Mr B and at least 2 other hefty types all their strength to remove him to a side vestible, where nothing was really muffled anyway...) but after what seemed like ages, the guy appeared, composed and started testifying about the demon that had just been driven out.
Take this account anywhere and (even if you do believe that was a demonic incident) which, let's be honest as collective grown-ups here, the guy was probably suffering a psychological illness and should have been in professional care...and not in full view of wiped out kids. It's this kind of thing that remains concerning…

Cbarb, yeah was just going to sum up but you took the words right out of mouth. Great minds? lol
Clive, I hear you. I am not ruling out leadership rebellion. But no matter what, we would hear some more cock-and-bull about why. But please be aware there are many more stories that aren't being told.

This forum provides comfort for those who think they alone in their pain.

I want to share some of the stuff I experienced but have held back, mainly because I deluded myself that someone with authority within smc may have had the best of intentions. I hear nothing.
So posts will continue to overlap, maybe even seem repetitive or just not that serious. But this is all aimed at instigating change. It doesn't happen if we all just sit on the sidelines. We have to field the right team at the the right time. Meanwhile it might seem we are going around in circles, but no, we are not. This is just the public outpost. My personal efforts are done using my real id, in the real world. Reporting details here would be self defeating. smc have retained their silence regarding specific complaints.
Meanwhile I, for one, believe this post serves many purposes, what it shouldn't do is eat its own tail. I found a place to share my own experience. Words of encouragement with genuine support have been timely and hugely useful. I also found out just how much damage has yet to surface.
But a general thread I have got stuck on was child-related policies, or stated lack of 'em. That gets me right up. Great gusto you might have witnessed, but is that inappropriate? (cbarb! you were supposed to keep me on thread sweetie..). Clive don't watch here for results, but I am neither a keyboard warrior nor an e-type. I'm just a good citizen, sometimes...
Seriously though, politicians, police, lawyers, education boards (everyone watch their grammar'n'spelling!!) and all manner of relevant people have watched this unfold. The law is an ass and takes time. If rules are being broken regarding kids, it will stop and blame will be needed. If not, great! Job done.
But there are still the past victims and if sharing here helps: I personally endorse it and hope to share myself. I did think before sending Clive. Thought maybe it sounded too militant, but I was about to start whistleblowing and wanted the leadership to know. Anonymous I may be, hiding I am not. Incidentally, their lack of public response comes across as mass confusion. But I felt I owed them a say...silly me.
Anyway, it used to be that if you had nought to hide you had nought to fear. Times change. We want transparency, with our kids we now demand it and the law backs that stance. No one's privacy is more sacred than any child's welfare. End of. Nobody can ignore this now.
If there are people here who can benefit from dissecting their treatment at the hands of smc, I see no harm it, being able to compare notes and make sense of the unresolved. I welcome it. Ultimately the point remains remains. Ruinous leadership, lives blighted. That's the link. I see it throughout the thread. Am I way off base here?"

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/27/2013 06:38AM by Clive.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: August 27, 2013 06:36AM

Please make distinctions and/or some explanation so that everyone will know what is quoted, date, source, etc.

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Re: saved post highlights for THEPETITOR
Posted by: Clive ()
Date: August 27, 2013 06:39AM


"I was a member of SMC for a number of years and, although I left some time ago, am still confused about a number of things.

Two comments I relate to specifically are the “discernment” bit and the lack of communication with ex-members. In my case, the two are very much related as it was made very clear to me that the leaders know more about me than I do, but they refuse to talk to me. That leaves me in a difficult position – they know more about me than I do, but they will not tell me what it is. I really can't see any way out of that catch 22 situation.

( on Mr Black and the financial losses fiasco )

My understanding is that this was at a time that public companies (BT I think, but I could be wrong) were being sold off. Every member of the public was “being given the chance to be a shareholder” and everyone could apply for a limited number of shares. I have no idea how much, but lets say it was 100 shares at £1 each.

Mr Black thought this was a great opportunity and (presumably assisted by Chris Jewell who was the treasurer) wanted to use the church money to buy more than 100 shares. The problem was that, although the church had the money, each individual could only apply for 100 shares. Solution – ask people in the congregation to sign their name on the application form. The church would provide the money (£100) and buy the shares.

When they went up in price to say £150, which is what was expected, the church would sell them again and retain the profit.

A number of people did sign the forms and the shares were purchased but then fell in value instead of increasing. Result, the church invested something like £1m and it was suddenly worth only £0.5m.

This is not just bad management; it is dishonest, and might even have been illegal. Because it was such a heavy loss, it was of course noticed, but here is an interesting question – would it have been noticed if it had made a profit? If it had made money, I suspect it would all have been “God’s guidance” leading them to financial success.

I think some of the financial problems date back to that time, as I think that a number of people re-mortgaged their house to get the church out of debt. That may be the source of the “interest-free loans repayable on demand” that still appear in the church books (or may not, I don’t know, but how many organisations do you know that are based on loans that have no equity or interest arrangement and are repayable on demand?) It seems to me this whole financial scandal is quite a big issue and, above all, demonstrates that the discernment thing is not real. "

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Clive ()
Date: August 27, 2013 06:40AM


"I also found that rules made by the church leadership can change but with no announcement of the fact or instruction to the members. For example, it used to be that women were not allowed to wear trousers, especially not jeans. Nowadays most of the women there wear trousers including, in the younger women, tight-fitting jeans. Nothing is said. The wearing of hats for women ceased also, with nothing being said; it was just that graduallly women stopped wearing them. Before then, not wearing a hat was said to be a sign of disobedience to the leaders.

Other things concerned me, one of which, not so far mentioned in these posts, is their healing ministry, so much so that people are afraid to say they are ill because that indicates that there is something wrong in your life, or you don't have enough faith or you've lost the healing you had, so basically, it's your own fault. Some people have experienced great confusion and upset on this matter.

I could write more. I know there are other people in Struthers church who are unhappy but are too frightened to leave and that concerns me greatly."

"I was always aware that members were not encouraged to visit other churches or go to other outreaches or hear other Christian speakers. Some folk did, but ended up consumed with guilt and felt they were being disloyal. It seemed that only Struthers had the true pathway. Surely we are one Body of Christ and therefore we should be free to fellowship with other christians from other groupings. Not so, it seemed.

"There have been several posts relating to the Cumbernauld branch of Struthers, but I'd like it to be known that the same controlling, favouritism and banning procedures occur in all the branch churches. Since every one of the leaders follow the same teaching and continually told us how much in unity the leaders are, then it followed that their treatment of members of their church grouping adhered to the same pattern. I was advised to cut contact with an individual if they left the church; this happened to me on 3 or 4 specific occasions. It was hard to take especially if the person is a friend and one whose company you enjoyed. I also knew of people who were banned and of course, you were told not to see them. Because you're held by fear, you just did what the leaders said on the issue. "


"I ... can remember the previous female leaders of whom, yes, we were terrified and were scared that we'd do something wrong and get mentioned from the front (platform) either by name or anonymously.

That's why I wrote in a previous post that recent problems in SMC are not confined to the Cumbernauld church.

I was in SMC before the Cumbernauld church came into being and the same controlling behaviour existed back then and has been passed on. I'm well aware of how leaders intervene in situations and get things changed, often causing confusion and hurt to those involved. If we questioned this, we were told the leader was right and "knew the mind of God". So if you believed that, you submitted in remorse and kept quiet thereafter."

"I perceived, (and indeed had many of these myself) fear and anxiety, paranoia, introspection with accompanying condemnation, low self-worth, indecisiveness, and even depression.

These develop as a result of being constantly told in the preaching that you're not giving enough of yourself, not pressing through enough, not getting the anointing enough and being told you are useless to God until you do these things.

Years passed, you did all these instructions, gave up every bit of yourself and your personal life, and you still felt you were getting nowhere and it seemed impossible that you ever would, so the result is bad fruit like the above in your life.

I know we were told that people who leave SMC haven't "done it all" but this is not true - we gave every bit of our lives over, just the same as these leaders had.

What a lie that is, because when you meet other ex-SMC members who are doing well now in their walk with God and manifesting love, joy, peace, self-control, patience etc etc., you realise what you were taught was utterly untrue and totally negative."

( on callousness )

The callousness I mentioned previously seemed to spread through the church because people would receive instruction on how to handle a situation with somebody in need and would only do what the leader told them to. So if a leader said, 'dont visit that person' or 'let them be, theyre just attention-seeking', then the person would take that on board and not help someone. Whereas if they were thinking for themselves, they would choose to help, visit, care for someone in need etc. I was caught up in that thinking myself and that is how I know it exists. Neglecting those who needed support or friendship was always justified in some way and that's how it spread through the church.

"I have witnessed a lot of that over the years, especially concerning people with mental illness, which, in a similar way to the epileptic seizure story given by Cbarb, was usually spiritualised. The reason for ignoring someone or showing coldness towards someone was always that that was what God was telling the leaders to do and was usually because the person wasn't making the grade as far as leadership was concerned. These attitudes don't just affect the young, but also elderly members of SMC. 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?

( interfering in relationships )

Yes, I've witnessed male/female relationships being broken up causing great pain to both sides, lack of teaching on SMC's views on divorce so that a relationship formed with a divorced person leads to confusion, upset and shunning by other members, marriages deemed to be less important than your service and "call" to SMC, meetings to have priority over caring for your babies and children, breast-feeding discouraged because it kept you away from church meetings. These happen in all branches, not just Cumbernauld and it goes back years so is not a new thing. I was there.

"Many people in SMC were told not to marry a certain person, others were advised to stay single, and others who did marry experienced interference in their marriages from the leadership.

There were a lot of broken hearts over the years in the area of relationships. The advice given was to see this as the Way of the Cross and to suffer because Jesus suffered and because going through it would lead to a deeper walk with God. But many were left hurting and many left SMC as a result. "

"there were double standards in many areas, as Cbarb points out, and there probably still are. For example, we were continually told not to keep company with the opposite sex and yet the leaders kept company and went off on ministry trips with a person of the opposite sex to whom they were not married.
Young folk were told not to mix with the opposite sex and yet leaders' families were seen mixing and hanging about with youngsters of the opposite sex. OK for some; depends who you are then,"

( suicides )

I know that a number of years ago, a young man with mental health problems and who was a member of SMC, tragically committed suicide. We were all very upset and so were the leaders - rightly so.

It was nobody's fault; as I say, he was mentally unbalanced. So it seems very heartless for the leaders to say to you that you shouldn't hang out with such people (who struggle with life and take their own life),
when it has happened to one of their church members.

Surely compassion is in order and also support for you in your loss and shock. This is what you would find in most other churches which have a close-knit fellowship and where there is a care for the flock. If one member of the Body suffers, we are meant to suffer with them, not ostracise them.

( on Cedars )

I went to Struthers Church for over 20 years. I honestly had no idea that money from Church collections went towards funding their School. I'm certain that many if not most of the present members are not aware of this; some of them have low incomes and their children attend local state schools; these parents probably could not afford to buy their children ipads and yet, as was said here, they are contributing money to this Church's private, fee-paying school.

( on Covlass's comments on deliverance and misuse of tongues) ,

I have witnessed that happening to people getting prayer at the front. The person is instructed to shout louder and louder in tongues in order for the demon or demons to come out.

If nothing comes out, the person is told to shout even louder (as Covlass has described). Coupled with this, I noticed the person being pushed back and forward in a rocking-chair motion at the same time.

What is behind that way of ministry I just have no idea. The explanation I was given was that deliverance is associated with a rise in the volume of tongues, therefore if we get people to get louder in tongues then they will be delivered.

What?? Where does it say that in the Bible?

Funny thing is, I remember Hugh Black teaching on deliverance and saying that it happened in many different ways and the evidence could be just a sigh, cough or heavy breathing and the demon came out. Shaking and shouting surely isn't the correct approach.

( on repetition )

There is certainly lots of repetition going on in the preaching and teaching at SMC. As Chris19 says above, we were constantly being told that we weren't yet holy enough, committed deeply enough to God, surrendered enough etc etc, which only led to introspection and consequently, discouragement about one's spiritual condition and future.

Certain spiritual giants were spoken about again and again:

Hudson Taylor, C. T. Studd, Amy Carmichael, Madame Guyon.

They were the ones who had "made it" and we hadn't and had no hope of ever becoming like any of these pioneers. Of course we couldn't!

I also remember the following being repeated again and again:

How SMC started and how it had its roots in the Welsh Revival - because Miss Taylor was converted under the preaching of Principal George Jeffreys in an atmosphere of revival.

What I never heard mentioned, or maybe only once briefly during a Bible study on church history, was that the Elim movement which gave rise to the present Elim pentecostal churches, has its roots in that revival too and was started because of the outpouring experienced by Principal Jeffreys and others.

SMC was not the only church movement to come from that. Of course, Elim Churches are never mentioned in SMC because SMC leaders, and consequently the members too, look down on them spiritually as being a wordly church branch where there is lack of holy living and commitment to God.

Actually, nothing could be further from the truth.

( on the singing of a song/chorus over and over again )

this used to concern me greatly because, as young people in SMC, we were told in the meeting that we must look straight at the leader and make eye contact whilst she was leading the singing and we used to have to sing the same words over and over again. This frankly seemed to have the effect not of bringing us deeper into God's presence. Rather, I felt we just went into a repetitive mode similar to rote learning for exams, where the actual content becomes meaningless and isn't doing anything for you spiritually. I've wondered if there was a hypnotic effect at times. If not, it certainly worked as a method of control and drew you deeper in to the Struthers ways and contributed to your desire to obey that leader whatever she said or preached.

SMC write a lot of their own songs, some of which are really lovely, but again, certain lines and words are emphasised over and over again. They also shunned some other Christian choruses if they didn't suit their purposes and frequently changed words in them to suit, or altered the timing of parts of the music.

( on the need for anonymity )

" I feel that you may not understand the depth and seriousness of the things that have happened to those of us who were in SMC for many years and consequently the reasons why we want (yes, need) to stay anonymous at present.

The derision in which people who leave SMC are held by members and leaders is strong, hurtful and unpleasant.

If they know who we are, we will be spoken about and people will be warned to steer clear of us. Do we care? Well, yes, at the moment, I think that it wouldn't be wise to "come out". Because you haven't been "in" SMC, you won't fully know how this church operates. Most of us on this Forum are Christians so we also care about the truths of Christianity, as written in the Bible, being upheld and adhered to, and we want to warn people about any false teaching. We also pray for God to intervene where there is error and control. I also agree with Mandrake that it is a concern when children are involved.

People have spoken before about going to the newsapers with their story but no-one has yet done so. This may yet happen, though, especially with the exposure of SMC's activities on the Latigo site."

( to cbarb )

"CBarb, I think I remember your dad and indeed he had a great sense of humour and used to tell some really funny stories. I note that you think SMC must have changed since these days when you were growing up in it, but I don't think it has changed. It was the past leaders who trained up and produced the current leaders. Indeed, the current leaders talk about "having so and so's mantle". They kept telling us that they were following in the footsteps of Miss Taylor and Hugh Black and were proud to do so. They learned the teaching and the methods of control from past leaders and are just continuing in the same vein as past ones.

I once got instruction from an SMC leader as to how to lead a group and, looking back, I know now that I was being taught how to control and dominate in a subtle way and never to let anyone express their opinion, because I was in charge. I felt uncomfortable about it but did what I was told because the leader told me to. Thankfully, I am out now and free. But in my opinion, SMC has never been OK. What is going on now is the same stuff that went on years ago. There is a wrong spiritual continuum, a thread of twisted teaching coming right on down through the years till now.

Your parents left SMC, therefore they couldn't have been happy with things or they would still be there. So there must have been issues which troubled them back then. I just remember being told that they had left the church. I couldn't understand why, because, to my knowledge, your parents were both very committed Christians who moved under anointing of the Holy Spirit. But we were never given explanations or information about people who left the church and were simply led to believe they must have fallen away from God or slipped down to a lesser way of Christian living. How ridiculous and how far from the truth! "


"very interesting what you posted about sensing a change in SMC in the 60s/70s and about members no longer being allowed to join in with events at other churches and mix with Christians elsewhere.

Actually I did not know this had occurred because I wasnt in SMC before Miss Taylor became chief leader.
I'm sure that a large majority of people who are in SMC now do not know about this happening, because of course we were never told the bad bits or that anything negative was ever done since the movement started.
I am sure also that the majority of people who attended the 60 year celebration do not know that this happened as they assume Miss Taylor was in complete charge from the start.
As you say, many folk from back then have left SMC, so the church now has many people who joined up in more recent years.

Just to clear up further, regarding the timing of things, in the book which Hugh Black wrote about Miss Taylor entitled "E.H. Taylor, A Modern Christian Mystic", which he transcribed from Miss Taylor relating accounts of things to him, the vision which she had about a work, i.e. the development of the Struthers movement is described. HB writes that the date of this vision was "not recorded but was between 1962 and mid-1964".

This is the vision where God told her that "no stranger would teach His people and God would raise up from the midst of the company those of His choice" and that they would "not become dependent on visiting speakers".

So I am presuming, Cbarb, that this is what you saw happening in SMC and explains the change which occurred thereafter, and confirms Chesterk55's account.

Miss Taylor was a very reserved, shy person and apparently hardly ever left Greenock or spoke to strangers. (She said so herself).

"it took Mr Black ages to get her to travel out to Camps at Wiston. At the same time, we had to scrape up our small amount of pennies and get to Camps, or we got a telling off for not attending! We couldnt say we were too scared to go!

( on Ma Jewell )

" I have never heard about the lady you call Ma Jewell."

There's one reason and only one to explain this and that is because she left SMC for good and as you say, spoke up and questioned things.

A lady like you describe, who appears to have worked tirelessly for the Church and given spiritual help and encouragement to young people, should have been celebrated.

Instead she was never mentioned publicly by any of the leaders and I am certain that she was not mentioned at the 60 year celebration event.

She should have been! I remember your parents and your uncle and aunt and I missed them after they left SMC.

I'm sorry if this hurts you, Cbarb, but we were told in sermons in the late 80s that people who had left had fallen from "the high road" or the "high calling of God."

When I left SMC, of course, I was able to see that this was totally untrue. As Lintar123 points out, she was spoken about publicly from the platform after she left aswell. This is how SMC leaders behave and this is what they pass on to the members who in turn believe the lies about people. "

"That is so good to hear about Ma Jewell again. I am amazed but not surprised really that she has been air-brushed out of the Struthers story and was not mentioned publicly or privately after she left. I have a story involving a wet dish-towel too but not a happy one.

Myself and another young person were washing the communion glasses, after the meeting, in the church kitchen at Greenock. We were working away, talking a bit, but not laughing or larking about.

Miss Taylor came into the kitchen and glowered at us. We then heard her speak to another adult who then came to us and said that Miss Taylor wanted us to leave the kitchen because for some reason, we werent fit to be handling the emblems of the Lord.

Emblems? We were washing small communion glasses! So, filled with fear, we left the sink and went out of the kitchen.

The other adult then said to us at the door that Miss T wanted to handle the emblems herself and wasnt happy about us doing so.

A verse oft-quoted in SMC is "Be ye holy, who carry the vessels of the Lord". Maybe this was an application of the verse by her. (By the way, I'm sure that is not the meaning of the verse).

Of course, we knew, or had been told, that Miss T could see things that we couldn't, so we thought she must be right. We were left with the impression that we must be so sinful and impure that we weren't qualified to wash these glasses, as they were communion ones. It kind of reminds you of the Pharisees and their cup-washing regulations, which Jesus condemned. The incident just made us feel under condemnation. It was years later before I volunteered to wash the glasses again.

Furthermore, I would never dream of treating young people in that manner especially young people who are well-behaved, committed to the Church and helping out in the kitchen. "

( on praying for SMC )

"many of us do pray for the people and leaders in SMC. The result has been more people seeing the truth and leaving, plus the exposure which this Forum has provided. Yes, we'll keep praying because we know God is in control and He is grieved over what's happening."

( on Diana Rutherford )

When I wrote about DR's discernment and the accuracy of it compared to that of the other leaders, I wasnt meaning that I thought it was ok and that I believed her discernment was always accurate and from God.

I well know that it is not always accurate and that many people have been hurt through being told things that she had discerned and that were not the case.

I know people who were told they needed deliverance but that they couldnt get it because they were either enjoying the sin or were not serious about getting rid of their problem. Again, it was always the person's fault never that of the leader who was ministering.

Pointing out people in a public gathering and speaking about their sin and need of deliverance, which has been discerned by a leader, is very upsetting for people. In most other churches where discernment and revelation gifts are in operation, the person in need will be taken quietly aside and counselled and ministered to in private.

Again, on the matter of other churches, I have felt a strong presence of God and a strong anointing of the Holy Spirit in other churches. This is in no way confined to SMC, as the leaders and many members believe it to be and say it is. There are other Pentecostal churches around and other churches which pray for revival to come. SMC is not the only one.

Yes, I know that DR received training and counsel from Mr Black aswell, but for the more spiritual aspect of things, it was Miss Taylor and Mary Black because they both claimed to move in the discernment and revelation knowledge realm too. I remember we were told that Mary was never wrong in her discerning of things in someone or her predictions about people's futures. What a claim to make and what a terrible pressure to put on someone in ministry. I know for certain about situations where she was wrong and about judgements she made about people which proved to be incorrect, but this was never mentioned.

( on singing in worship groups )

I remember at times, we were cajoled into singing and singing and singing a particular song at the tops of our voices, until we were almost hyperventilating and /or out of breath.

We were instructed to look at the leader who was leading the singing and make complete eye-contact with her ( yes, always a 'her'! ) and if she speeded the song up then we had to follow, and vice versa if she slowed down.

Thus I came to realise that the congregational singing was very controlled and as a result, it lacked life and meaning. If I listen to it now on a CD, it sounds flat. In contrast, when I hear the singing in other churches, it is far more free and happy, not tight and ordered as it was in smc. If someone doesnt sing, well, that's OK. Loud or soft, it's OK. Nobody is going to tell you off. And such singing and worship is spirit-led, anointed and fulfilling for those of us who sing.

( on the 10 cities vision )

"I remember the 10 Cities vision of DR and, to my knowledge, you're right that it doesnt seem to have come to pass.

She boasted at the time that God had given her the towns which make up North Lanarkshire before local government had called the area North Lanarkshire.

It reminds me of Miss Taylor's vision of the Fountain where she predicted the Struthers movemnt spreading out from Greenock over the central belt of Scotland and beyond and leading to branch churches being set up all over the place. As you can read in Latigo's article about "How many menbers does SMC have?" many of these branch churches which were set up in the 70s and 80s eventually closed and are no longer in operation.

Latigo show that the numbers attending present branch churches are not that high and that the movement is not spreading out all over the place from Greenock. So what's happened regarding that vision? What are the leaders' thoughts on that one? "

( on Mr Black and Diana Rutherford )

Yes, I think you're right that Mr Black did not always agree wiuth DR's ministry style and the pointing out of people in a meeting.
I felt though, that he was always over-ruled by Mary Black and Diana because they were felt to have more spiritual insight and revelation, so he let them have their way often.

It stemmed back to him being over-ruled by Miss Taylor for the same reasons. Again, it's this concept of women being in charge and getting their way. Of course, after Mr Black's death, they didn't have to worry about that anymore. The other leaders must think DR is OK to do as she does.

( on why why SMC members support for their leaders and don't leave )

I think it is a combination of fear, insecurity about leaving a comfort zone, subtle manipulation by the leaders, spiritual soul ties with leaders, and being in a vulnerable condition, it's all these which can keep people in SMC. Knowing they can't and mustnt question anything, fear that God will punish them if they speak up or leave, these keep people in SMC. I totally agree that we each have a responsibility for our own life and beliefs. And that is the frightening thing, that people seem to lose that individual sense of responsibilty and the ability to think for themselves and to be themselves, when they join such a church with a controlling leadership.

I noticed that there were many people in SMC who take on the traits of the leaders and become controlling aswell, in their relationships with others. That is frightening too because it means that people's personalities could be changed just by being controlled by abusive leaders. I did see personality changes and I probably underwent some too, which explains why it can take years to re-adjust to normal life after leaving SMC. It's a type of mind control.

I don't think it's a simple matter to expect people to take responsibility, if they have become embedded in an abusive church for many years. Let's hope that more do question things and decide that they want more for themselves out of life and discover that there is life out there. For young people who have been brought up in SMC by their parents, they have to decide if this way of being is OK for them or not. Many kids did leave when they reached their mid-teens, so these ones have been able to take resonsibility for their own lives.

( to a poster who still attends SMC member but has grave reservations about it )

"you have recognised, as many of us did as well, that there are wonderful Christian teachers and preachers out there in other churches, who base their teaching on the Bible and who study the Word and explain what it is saying. Don't be afraid to leave Struthers if you are unhappy with what is being taught there. As many who have posted here have said, there IS life after Struthers.

Yes, you may lose friends but you will make new ones.
Yes, you will be leaving the familiar and comfortable zone behind, but you'll find freedom and new life in Christ outside of Struthers.

There are many lovely Christian people out there who will help you and befriend you and let you be "you" as God designed you to be. Please be careful, Blackwatch, because I believe that SMC can be very damaging to a person, both spiritually and emotionally, and perhaps mentally aswell. Many of us on here can testify to that. But healing and recovery is attainable.

Praying for both of you. I agree, Squareone, it is SO important to keep reading the Scriptures in order to know what is correct teaching and what is error.

"I read that you are still in smc and yet you are having doubts and questions about the teaching and the manipulation. The very fact that you are on here and also enjoying listening to sermons from elsewhere, shows that you are not entirely happy with the way things are in smc and yet you say you do not want to leave - at the moment anyway. This surprises me. I hope you have not swallowed the lie that there are no good churches out there, at least none as good and holy, or none who practice holy living, as much as those in smc. This is indeed a lie.

( On Cedars School )

No, Cedars School doesn't use the Accelerated Christian Education scheme. To my knowledge, they follow the Scottish Government's Curriculum for Excellence programme which is the same as all the state schools follow. Cedars wouldn't get any pupils in if they taught way-out or Struthers doctrines, so they keep to the normal scottish curriculum. They teach evolution in Biology and not creation, for example. Chesterk55 has explained the situation regarding the establishing and operation of Cedars School perfectly, so if you don't know much about it, please read and digest that recent post.

Before the School was set up, I remember hearing that one of the reasons why SMC leaders wanted to set up their own school was because there was too much sexual activity going on openly at school amongst pupils in state schools, and they wanted to protect children from that. Whilst I'm not saying that this couldn't happen, I know that it is extremely rare and any such behaviour would be dealt with appropriately and efficiently by teachers in state schools. In addition, after Cedars school started to take teenagers up to 5th and 6th year, many of whom come from non-Christian families, they will have had to discuss sexual matters in school. So that reason doesn't have substance now either.

Chesterk55 is right that they had to start taking non-church and non-christian kids in order to keep it going financially. This was said publicly by leaders aswell. The school has kids from very wealthy families, who may never set foot in an SMC church except at the Christmas dramas. SMC do consider the School to be a form of outreach, though; they have said so. I believe they try to invite school pupils to the youth meetings at SMC. And they don't do much in the way of other outreach. You're right, squareone, that the fees are lower than other private schools. This helps them to attract parents looking for a small private school. But as Chesterk55 points out, they have the church collection-plate to supplement (or more) their income and they don't tell people that. Squareone, you can read the explanations about the financial side on the Latigo site where you'll find analysis of the accounts. I realise you know people in the school and church and you are finding it hard to believe. So did most of us on here; we were committed christians seeking a walk with God and got duped, as Cbarb describes."

"Re the church-school connection, back years ago when the school was set up (1999), there was a lot said in church meetings about the school and I believe there still is. As quoted previously, there is the Humiliation sermon as an example. Yes, Cedars School has been described by the Headmistress, as "our outreach". So they are closely connected.

It's highly possible that the SMC teachings are subtly or even directly passed on to the Cedars pupils. I certainly noticed arrogant, "better than you" attitudes in some SMC children who went to Cedars School; when in the company of children who weren't at the School, say, at a kids' meeting or Camp, they were not friendly and welcoming towards the other kids and I had to intervene at one point.

The people in charge denied that anything was amiss. SMC children who were at state schools and not at Cedars were OK at mixing. As lintar123 points out, they are in such a closed community; parents/teachers/children all inter-linked. So how can they learn to mix with those outside? But it's supposed to be an Outreach, didn't they say??

( On the Mr Black share purchase disaster )

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).

"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. "

"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.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Clive ()
Date: August 27, 2013 06:41AM


Fairly recently, I had the great privilege of sitting under the ministry of a pastor who had been properly trained in biblical scholarship.

His exposition of the word was a real eye-opener to me.

Why? Because it was totally different from the sort of 'teaching' we get at strutters. This was a structured, methodical, intelligent and faithful interpretation of the passage.

I can honestly say I have NEVER been exposed to this type of preaching before - it was simply in a different class.

For now, I remain where I am but I continue to read this site and the latigo site with interest. Incidentally, I know of at least 1 person who is privately recording the Saturday night preaching.


I feel like I'm in a good place mentally and spiritually right now - it's what i would describe as an 'awakening'. I'm in no rush to leave as I'm considering the idea that perhaps God can use me where I am, who knows.

I've found a couple of really fantastic sources online for listening to great teaching and I honestly feel like I'm being fed the proper meat of the word.

If you've never heard someone who can actually preach and teach, I guess you'll never know what you're missing and that's certainly the posistion I've obviously been in.

Looking back now, i'm amazed at just how much of the preaching at SMC is pretty mean-spirited and oppressive. HOW DID I NOT SEE THIS?

Also, in comparison to what I've been listening to, a lot of what is said is actually fairly poorly delivered.

In the context of a 'good meeting', people might feel that the preaching is decent but listening back to a recording and examining individual points is a great exercise.

It's so much easier to separate the wheat from the chaff and frankly, most of what you're left with, a lot of the time, is chaff. I've been able to share these resouces with 2 other people so far and it's up to them I guess to come to their own conclusions.

A very close friend of mine (not in SMC) has been something of a confidante and a support to me over the last 18 months.
Even talking about some of my doubts and fears has been a huge step.

This friend has close connections with a family who were recently considering sending a child to Cedars.
Our mutual friend asked if I would be willing to talk which I subsequently did.

I should stress that THEY asked to talk to me. Guess what? They had some misgivings as a result of reading info on this thread and in fact, that is how I know about it!

Praise God for Google!

"I gave a very fair and balanced account of my experiences at SMC (hey - there is some good stuff in there you know) but in the end, they chose not to go with Cedars.

It's great that people are sharing their knowledge and experience on here. You just never know how and when you are helping someone else."

"As I said previously, the standard of the teaching compared to the rambling we often get at SMC is night and day. Have a listen when you get a chance! "

"I'm more angry than pained and perhaps a little ashamed at having allowed myself to be manipulated. I also feel a deep sense of loss at having cut myself off from other christians and other teaching but I'm gradually changing this.

On another subject, I have always loved the singing and the music at Struthers.

I was listening to a really challenging sermon recently (sorry can't remember where) about the use and influence of music within church.
This has got me thinking about how formulaic and just how effective the music can be. What I've always thought to be the holy spirit and an annointing is most probably an emotional human response to the music.

It's just something i've started to think about but I'm already wondering if we're not just duping ourselves buy creating an atmoshere through music.

Onother aside - someone I barely know (but knows that I go to SMC) told me about this thread and said that I should read it. I didn't let on that I knew about it."


"I'm afraid I don't share the optimism that either big changes are going to happen or that the whole thing is going to crumble. Apart from perhaps toning things down slightly from the platform, it's business as usual at SMC.

Any other church would have been upset at the posts on here and also the information on Latigo and would have addressed them. To simply ignore the issues raised is deeply and profoundly un-Christian. For now, that is going to continue. I'm sure that some people actually see it as a badge of honour as though they are being attacked for 'doing the work of the Lord'.

On a personal level, I will never again allow another human being the level of control and influence that I have done in the past. I'm getting my spiritual mind and my Christianity back.

"There's no question or doubt, I will be leaving Struthers. I'm not struggling to leave or wondering whether I should or not, i'm going.

I'm not having second thoughts or thinking about how I tear myself away or pondering how I will survive without them, i'm well down that road.
I'm not allowing myself to be influenced by the teaching, I get my spiritual food from elsewhere (see my previous post).
There are times now where I sit and listen to what's coming from the pulpit and have to stop myself from laughing out loud.

I appreciate the genuine concern for my wellbeing but i know where I'm going and what I'm doing. I've got some work to do before I go and that is simply to help others to open their eyes and hopefuly leave too.

As far as the comments about the school go, I'm sure most of the individual teachers are doing a good job. But that's not the point. The school is a product of and affiliated to a church with an ethos and worldview that has been brought into question by people on this site and latigo. The school only increases their sphere of influence.

"Here's something that might cheer you up. I had a phonecall tonight from someone i know in another church. A group of christians from that church had a prayer meeting specifically to pray about the SMC situation. As far as i know, it wasnt announced publicly but there was still a number of people there."


"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 nobodies.

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 and 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 anointing?

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.

"A good orator can get people 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.

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: Clive ()
Date: August 27, 2013 06:42AM


I hear what you're saying about anger, Merciful7 and how thinking it all through can consume and not help.

I don't want to live my life angry either but I'm finding it more helpful and healthier to at least direct my anger in the right direction and not inward as I've been doing where it turns into either rage or depression,
neither of which I want in my life either.

Not to be vengeful or anything like that but to simply acknowledge that the blame lies where it lies.

I'm very glad you have found God as He is despite all the bad stuff you've been through. It's amazing... and you are so right when you say that grace is the key.

Grace is what saved me and my prayer is that grace is what turns this awful situation around.

I didn't say Rensil, but thank you for praying for me, that means a lot to me.

( on changes in SMC over time )

I saw incremental changes in the time I was there in the way people were treated, even in the way I was treated.

What I'm not so sure of now is if they were just superficial changes in response to what was being said on this forum, which I knew nothing about until a few months ago.

I hope for real change.

Not that they're able to enjoy the freedoms of foreign holidays, TV, fashion etc which, yes, they are now...but the inward change that makes us more like the One we say we love.

I grew up in a home that had all the 'don't' rules. We had no TV, weren't allowed out to play on a Sunday, were dressed like goodness Knows what and don't even Mention that
you might like to go to the cinema with the rest of the youth fellowship etc, etc.

It was embarrassing and we stood out for all the wrong reasons, but at the end of the day these things left no lasting damage in themselves.

My parents wouldn't adhere to any of these rules now. I think they might even watch TV on a Sunday! :) and that's just fine with me. But more importantly, they're also kinder,
less judgmental, less stressed and less full of guilt and fear.

Which is even more fine with me as it's the lack of or presence of these things that do the real damage.

Somewhere along the way they found out about Grace and chose it over Law.

Am rambling but I think all I'm trying to say is that I believe this can happen in this case too.

Grace can humble and grace can heal. And wouldn't that be good?

( Mr Black shares fiasco )

I wasn't around at the time of the shares fiasco but I know a few right-minded people who were around and who were and still are disgusted with the whole affair and the way Struthers is about money in general.

I know some people left not long afterwards too and who could blame them!
However I can't in my heart of hearts say I think that those who stayed and forgave Mr Black were wrong to do so when they presumably believe that forgiveness is at the heart of Christianity.
Both groups did what they thought was right. Or was the group who stayed just mindless?

Find it hard to know what to think of the folks still involved, they don't seem mindless people to me

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