I was reading Galatians Chapter 6 today and it reminded me of another point.
Galatians Chapter 6
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions.
Lots of things I could say about this, including the reference to carrying each other’s burdens - which is yet another verse that does not seem to have made it into the Struthers version of the Bible. There are quite a few people on these pages that can testify to that!
The verse that actually caught my eye was v4 however, “each one should test their own actions”. This is something Mr Black claimed was important – he would often say that everyone had a decision to make and that “not making a decision” was in fact making a decision.
I wonder if anyone still believes that, as it seems to me that there are dozens of people who sit in the pews every week not making a decision to visit other churches, to talk to other Christians about their faith, perhaps even to leave Struthers. They read the information on these web pages and know things are not right in SMC, but simply avoid making a decision about any of these things. But, as Mr Black would insist, that is not actually avoiding a decision, that is making
That is the thing that most concerns and disappoints me about Struthers, not that they have some things wrong, but that they wear people down so much that they do not even follow simple Biblical instructions like “each one should test their own actions”. The attitude seems to be closer to, “Why do you keep challenging things? Could you not just leave me alone to be happy in my escapist fantasy?” A moment’s thought will confirm why I don’t need to answer that.
I actually come across another example of this ridiculous indifference to something wrong on the “about” page of the Cumbernauld website where it says:
While officially the Executive Council has been replaced by the Board of Directors, in reality the task of overseeing the work of the Fellowship continues as it did previously with Mrs Gault carrying the overall responsibility for the work, supported by the other directors and the members of the whole Fellowship.
That basically says they are lying to Companies House, telling them that they are set up as a democratic decision-making body but they are not. Is that not just a bit bizarre? Should they not have the courage of their convictions? If the organisation does not actually have a decision-making Board of Directors, why not just say so? Why tell one thing to Companies House and another to their members?
They would of course lose their charitable status and the associated tax breaks if they were honest, but that is surely a small price to pay. And as I quoted from Mr Black above, “not making a decision is making a decision” so they are deciding to deliberately lie about their governance.
This is quite simply appalling. I know a number of people who have quit their jobs over this sort of issue, losing their security and livelihood because their principles are more important than their financial security. In the case of Struthers, it seems the opposite is the case – they have no problem with lying about their governance structures if it improves their financial security. What? Have they really fallen so far? Will none of the Directors challenge this? This actually brings the whole Church of Christ into disrepute.