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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: seekingsusan ()
Date: July 17, 2011 10:23PM

As well as the use of “holiness”, the other tool often used as an excuse for overarching authoritarianism is the constant use of the “Enemy” metaphor.

One finds this at work in authoritarian states - be they marxist or fascist, as well as abusive churches throughout the ages.
And very often politicians and leaders desperate to fasten their grips on power - will search hard for or just invent - a new enemy in order to maintain the levers of power.

This is why forming links and emphasising similarities instead of differences between churches is so anathema to such people as SMC.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/17/2011 10:28PM by seekingsusan.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: clare ()
Date: July 18, 2011 01:08AM

Maybe the fact that all the sermons are gone from their web- site means that they have decided to examine themselves.
Humility , would demand it i think.
If they are sincere but mistaken, they should also seek contact with the people who have been damaged by the church/leaders, to find out what their grievances are.

I find mixing church with business always a little suspect, the "Cedars school of excellence"? I am talking about.
Its an unfortunate name , its sounds elitist, for the priviledged few , it should just be called the Cedars school, Where is the humility?

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: July 18, 2011 06:06AM

Re Clare's post about looking after the body because it is a temple of the Holy Spirit and practising what you preach, I came across a quote from Martin Luther. Luther argued that marriage is part of God's divine plan. To those who tried to prevent or limit the way of marriage and make that way seem less holy than a celibate state, he wrote, "It is a pity that men should be so stupid as to wonder that a man takes a wife, or to be ashamed of it, when no one wonders at his eating and drinking. Why should this necessity be an object of doubt and wonder? It is best to comply with all our senses and give ourselves to God's Word in whatever He wishes us to do."

Emphasising self-denial and so-called holiness in some aspects of natural life whilst having no focus on self-control in other aspects of natural life speaks to me of hypocrisy.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: CovLass ()
Date: July 18, 2011 08:42AM

I hope to aybe offer my opinions on Clare's comments below

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clare
Am i totally nieve i dont understand how what i thought were deeply annointed people can seemingly be responsible for so much damage? How is it possible to stand infront of people in Gods name and get things so wrong!! surely they must be genuine mistakes or they are in very grave danger if they have knowingly done damage to some of His children. Arent there scriptures warning against this very behaviour. I keep thinking it must be us who are mistaken , misguided or too sinful to stand the annointing . I am flabergasted i keep having to repost what i am thinking because i am not sure if its me that is in the wrong here?

It becomes possible when you, or those around you, set you up as infalliable. It becomes possible when you think you can never be wrong, can never be questioned, can never be called to account on your actions. It becomes possible when you think genuine questions and concerns are an 'attack of the enemy' It becomes possible when those members of your congregation are too scared of you, or the consequences that await them, for them to say any different.

This is what is being taught at Struthers. The leaders are 'anointed' by God and therefore untouchable. They teach and probably believe that because of such an anointing, they are unable to make mistakes in the area of ministry (Im sure they'd admit to making mistakes such as forgetting to lock the car etc .. but in minstry - they never make mistakes) Questioning is discouraged and frowned upon. Members are 'strongy advised' to seek the 'guidance' of leaders when making moderate and important life decisions and the leaders word is always right.

Yes there are scriptures that warn about the dangers of thse kind of things Proverbs 16:18 says "Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall." There are verses about how leaders should act, how disputes are to be handled within the church, about how a weak brother should be restored gently by those who are spiritual, not beaten into the dust and ostracised.

Most of these scriptures are overridden by the use of the scripture from 1 Chronicles 16:22 "Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm" This has been wildly misquoted. In context we have Kind David singing a song of praise, where he tells of how God protected Abrahams offspring when they were small in number and wouldnt allow anyone to harm them. They also use the story of how David knew it was wrong to kill King saul as God had anointed him. That's great in theory but Im not looking to physically harm, let alone kill anyone.

We need to remember that the Apostle Paul said that if anyone preached another gospel let them be eternally condemned. We also need to remember that Paul publicly rebuked Peter for his hypocrisy over eating with uncircumcised believers. At the end of the day I have been in leadership and its hard. You make mistakes. You hurt people, most times inadvertantly. You try your best to serve God and serve the people he has put in your care and when you make a mistake you dont try and cover it up, blame someone else or close your eyes, stick you fingers in your ears and shout "LALALALA I'M NOT LISTENING" No, if you have hurt or wronged someone you go to that person and try to make amends. If what you said needed to be said and they are weak in the faith you help and support them to grow in God. You dont pick and chose those you nurture. If God has chosen to show them his grace and mercy, who are we to treat them harshly.

If the Struthers leaders have made genuine mistakes, let them make amends. If I thought I had caused someone to stumble or fall away from God by my actions, particularly as a leader, I certainly would do all that was in my power to make that right. Perhaps a verse from Micah should have the word on this

Micah 6:8
He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to act justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: July 18, 2011 04:20PM

Quote
clare
Am i totally nieve i dont understand how what i thought were deeply annointed people can seemingly be responsible for so much damage? How is it possible to stand infront of people in Gods name and get things so wrong!!

...

I keep thinking it must be us who are mistaken , misguided or too sinful to stand the annointing . I am flabergasted i keep having to repost what i am thinking because i am not sure if its me that is in the wrong here? Comments please on here or private are welcome. Clare


I think this is one of the key questions that keep people trapped in Struthers. I struggled for ages with this dilemma – “they can’t be right, so much is unscriptural and abusive, but they can’t be wrong, they have this wonderful anointing.”

If you look through this thread, you will see that people have reached a number of different conclusions regarding these apparently contradictory conclusions. Some suggest that Struthers is targeted to a particular group, for example young females, and others think the whole experience is just false. I am not 100% sure, but my view is that they have one particular tool in their toolbag, and no understanding of any of the other tools Gods has given us (see my comment on April 9 2011, which can be found on page 13 of this thread).

If this is the case, it would explain why people feel that Struthers do have some sort of experience, but why the movement as a whole is totally ineffective, with no growth over 20 or 30 years.

In one of your posts, you said, “I think there is a lack of wisdom.” Exactly. One definition of wisdom is, “the right application of knowledge”. To me, that is exactly where Struthers sits. They do have some knowledge, but little wisdom, as they do not apply that knowledge correctly.

Mr Black used to say, “we don’t steal sheep, we just grow grass”. Well, if that is the case, why build fences around the pasture, stopping people from leaving? I don’t know if Mr Black’s line was true at one time, but it is certainly not true now. If the leaders really believed they “only grew grass” they would say, “right, lets have a month where we have no meetings. Use the time to visit other churches and see for yourself what they have to offer. We are so sure that what we have is better that we know you will all come back here hungry for the real spirituality.”

They can’t do that, because they know that almost everyone would find that there is more spiritual life out there than in the Struthers microcosm, and no-one would come back.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: July 18, 2011 04:22PM

Clare, I am also interested in your comments that:

Quote
clare
Being a leader of anything puts a particular responsibility on you to be open to srutiny, have maybe higher than average standards of conduct , and especially to set the example, to live , what you preach.

Being a leader of a church puts an even greater responsibility seeing as they are dealing with peoples souls.


One of the things that concerns me is that the Struthers model is upside-down. Instead of the leaders having more responsibility and having to be more careful than others, they quite literally “load people with burdens they can hardly carry, and… will not lift one finger to help them” (Luke 11 v 46). Did you know for example that Mr Black used to meet the other Struthers Leaders for lunch in a pub? How many people in the congregation would feel guilty about going into a pub? Why is there one rule for the leaders and another for those in the congregation? Is that what Christ taught – that the leaders are beyond sin so can do what they want?

You are also right that Mr Black and his daughter Mary were overweight, and it is indeed interesting that, of all the things cited to be given up, excessive food was never one of them. Is that not strange? All sorts of examples were used in preaching and in testimonies – TV, alcohol, makeup, relationships, job opportunities, wearing a hat (from the biography of John ‘praying’ Hyde, I recall), fashionable clothes… but never gluttony. Strange that in all the years, I have never heard of anyone being asked to give up excessive eating or their enjoyment of food. Must just be a coincidence, I guess.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Clive ()
Date: July 18, 2011 07:45PM

I would like to ask two questions:

1) What would you all consider a sufficient and proper response by SMC to put matters at rest ?. For example would an official apology here be enough ? or should there be a public statement of repentance made in front of their members- say in greenock or at a conference ?. In other words what is required for aline to be finally drawn on all this ?.

2) What should be the proper response of a spirit filled christian to the question: is "The Godfather" a great movie and why/why not ?.

Concerning 2) by the way i am not being flippant. I believe the answer tells one a lot about the mindset, maturity and wisdom of the responder.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/18/2011 07:49PM by Clive.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: clare ()
Date: July 18, 2011 11:34PM

Clive could you choose another film? i'm sure you are not being flippant but i have only seen it once , i dont remember much of it ( grin)

I get the feeling from the short time i have been reading everyones posts thats its not as simple as just making an apology, either here or at camp or Greenock.
There would be doubt of its sincerity, it would be dissected to shreads and wouldnt close the subject at all . Saying a "blanket" "sorry" to everyone is a bit easy? dont you think, because it shifts all the responsibility onto those who have been hurt .
" here's your aplogogy, we've done what was asked , we have absolved ourselves ,now deal with it "

Unfortunately they are a law unto themselves , if it was Cof E or S (!) (sorry i'm a Brit) or i could mention a large number of other denominations , a group of this size who have grievances could have them heard by the Bishop, Archbishop ,a panel of clergy , the church synod , etc etc, whos job it is among others to keep church leaders on the "path" as far as doctrine etc. There is no-one to whom we can go at struthers is there.
So at the end of the day maybe its up to each individual here to put it to rest when they can, and leave struthers in Gods hands .
Thats very easy to write i know, and will not be easy to do .

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: clare ()
Date: July 19, 2011 02:19AM

Well fellow" posters" i just went to the Latigo site and read enough to convice me that , what i first thought is true , its up to each person here to come to terms with what has happened to them at the hands of struthers and find a way to move on with Gods help.
In my opinion an apology would be an empty gesture .
Who are the authors of the site? is it some of you guys?
May i confide that i havent been to any church for years, so i'm out of practice at listening to sermons and i noticed that the content of the excerts of sermons on the site sounded more like the personal opinion of a misguided individual than the inspired delivery of an exhortation to the people.

I am so surprised about everything that i have read in the last few days .

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: CovLass ()
Date: July 19, 2011 03:04AM

Clive

I guess the question is, what enables anyone to draw a line under any sort of abusive behaviour? I will use the example here of an abusive domestic relationship, where the man is violent and verbally abusive towards his wife. Im no expert but Im sure there are many cases of domestic abuse where the abuser (male or female) will apologise after they have been abusive, only for the abuse to reoccur at a later date. To come to a place where a line could be drawn under things and the relationship to continue, there would have to be la genuine recognition of abusive behavior, lasting change and guidelines in place to minimise the chance of the abuse reoccuring.

And so it is with Struthers. Im with Clare, that I doubt whether a statement from the Struthers Leadership, on this forum, or read out at camp would really cut the ice. Yeah sure, an apology would be a start and It may well appease those who have been hurt in the past. However unless there is a real change of heart, a change in the way things are done and people are treated etc then a line is never going to be drawn under things. Even if every person that has been abused up until now, stopped commenting on this forum, even if they stopped hurting, how long would it be, under the current system of Struthers before someone else was hurt?

As for me, I have long since given up on the hope of any apology or recognition of abuse. As Ive said before, Im not writing on this forum as a form of revenge or therapy. Yes I have found some solace in knowing I was not the only one and reading thers accounts has helped me come to terms with what happened. I presume that this was one of the aims in mind when creating this forum. My purpose now, is to try and offer friendship to those who have been hurt and provide a warning to those are at risk of being hurt.

Regarding the question on the film The Godfather, Im not really sure what the relevance is to this thread and can't really offer an opinion on it as Ive never watched it. Im not really much of a film buff

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