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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Clive ()
Date: October 20, 2011 07:42PM

I would like to add this as just food for thought.

Is it now the time to consider some of us going “public” on a suitably titled FaceBook page ?. I am not suggesting it replaces this thread, but it would seem to me to remove one major criticism/excuse that could be levelled at posters here - namely that its all done behind cloaks of anonimity.

I realise this would not be easy for everyone, and even I would not go ahead until i knew a sizeable number of us did it simultaneusly. I would guess that some would only contemplate doing so if assured that a whole bunch of us did so “en masse”.

I am also not suggesting at all that once “out there” - those of us on FB reveal who we are on this board here. It can be a “clean slate” where each “friend” if he/she wishes posts their testimony only if they desire - from scratch - with no reference being made to any RR post.

This would be painful for many, but “coming out” like this might prove to be a vital thing to finally get the abuses recognised.

I think this is doe-able though in the following way:

1) One of us creates a “placeholder” page with a temporary name not connected with SMC and agreed in private via private messages here. ( i am assuming FB interest page names can be later changed ).

2) The page gets made totally private so only designated friends of it can see it.

3) We communicate with each other first HERE via private messages until all interested here have “friended” the FB page.

4) Once all are “on board” and in agreement , the page manager changes the FB page name and the page goes live, with ALL its friends real names and FaceBook stuff visible. The page itself needs to then go public. As to whether non-friends are allowed to add comments is up to us. I would suggest yes.

One advantage of the facebook approach is that it is much more convenient eand easy to make an impulsive comment. Also a key factor is that in my experience, since in FB identities are not hidden, FB conversations tend to be much more polite and considered since things are no longer being done behind a convenient veil of anonymity. The danger of flames etc are far less.


Just a suggestion.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: poprvyab ()
Date: October 23, 2011 07:15AM

I would like to add that my real name is also Anthony and I live in Neath in south wales. I want to be open as I have nothing to hide or fear. People need to know the truth about Struthers, they need to be warned. I am quite happy to talk to anybody including people from struthers about my experiences. I love God and all my brothers and sisters both in Christ and without. My only wish is that the truth be known and that people are set free. Those who are still in struthers mearly suffer the same affliction that I once did - deception.
As for a facebook site, I personaly have no problem with being open for all to know who I am an what happend to me. I no longer find it aceptable for struthers to carry on in this unGodly manner, without Love or Grace. I believe the people on this foum should move as one to uniformly condem the actions of struthers in public. This may seam extreame to many on hear, but what else are we to do.
I value all your opinions :)

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: susie ()
Date: October 24, 2011 03:24AM

Hi Anthony

I personally believe that your statement of wanting to go public, is not at all extreme, if it is going to safe others from this kind of deception. We are as one body in Christ and maybe we should all move as one i.e. be in agreement about going public, however some of us will have more to lose than others, we may lose friends and no question about it, we will upset many. As long as we remain in hiding we will not be taken seriously we will remain in fear just as much a prisoner as we were when we were in SMC. I spent years lieing to myself telling myself that everything was ok, in doing this I did myself a lot of harm. It is a bad day for us as Christians if we can't tell the truth.

susie

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: October 24, 2011 07:25AM

Personally, I wouldnt be happy at this point in time with disclosing my identity via a specific Facebook page. One reason for this is that I live in the cenral belt of Scotland and therefore I sometimes encounter people who are still in Struthers as I go about daily life. Also I was in SMC for quite a long number of years and had many experiences there and made connections with many different people. It has taken time to recover from all that and to find a true confidence in God. Revealing my identity could jeopardise any healthy relating to those still in SMC and consequently from helping them to see the truth and get out. Covlass has mentioned the slight connection which you can still have with people in SMC simply becase of Christian networks. This is what I am referring too; not friendships but loose connections.

As long as posters are aware that they may be publicly spoken about from the front by a leader at the Saturday night meeting in Glasgow and that what they write on Facebook may be quoted to the congregation, that is OK. I myself would not be happy to be a part of that. Of course, that is one of the reasons why it is a strange church; in which other church would a leader speak from the front in this way about people who have left? But I can assure you that this occurs. Sounds a bit cult-like to me. Aren't Christian church leaders supposed to be speaking the Word of God and feeding their flock with the Word? Yes!

My position on this may change with time but that is how it stands at present. If other people want to take part in the Facebook page, that's OK. I admire you for your courage. We've all lost friends already and know that people have been told to avoid us anyway.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: October 25, 2011 10:30PM

I have no great problem with being identified, but I do not see how it would make any difference. As I said in my previous post, 'M' has in fact written to two of the Directors of the company (who were Jennifer Jack and Chris Jewell by the way) but has received no reply. We can only speculate as to why, but I think it is because he had the courage to add his name.

It is bizarre, but that seems to be the way it works - as soon as you add your name, they go, "aaah, so that is who it is - they have obviously rejected God and must be bitter and twisted, or they are just a hopeless case - no point in replying to them." Really? Any evidence of that? Chris Jewell attended M's wedding a number of years after he had left the church, yet he cannot now even reply to a simple question. Strange behaviour by any measure.

Identifying individuals gives Struthers the chance to "divide and conquer" in this way, blaming the failure on individuals rather than recognising that there are principles involved - principles about how you should treat people for example. The question I would like answered is not "why did you not reply to M", which allows allows all sorts of excuses and imagined reasons but, "under what circumstances do you refuse to answer questions?" which forces Chris and Jennifer to examine their values and principles, not try to blame someone else.

(On a more personal note I must admit I am incensed by examples like this - I can find no way to reconcile Christian teaching with such callous behaviour.)

So, if anyone wants to follow the lead and write directly in their own name, feel free, but I suspect you will not even get a reply. Let us all know if you do, that would certainly be interesting!

I would still defend the right to remain anonymous however - a number of the testimonies on this site are quite tentative, as people begin to explore some very painful experiences. I think it is good that they have that opportunity, and can do so with the safety net of anonymity. While I have no great problem if my identity is revealed at some point, others could have very good reasons for remaining anonymous. I personally have no desire to question their reasons. There could be many, but each person is in the best position to judge their own situation.

I am not sure any of this will make much difference to the leaders however. There is now overwhelming evidence that they are living in a fantasy world.

I do wonder if some of the members might begin to re-examine themselves however, asking what they have actually gained from the smoke and mirrors approach to spirituality. Seems to me the support offered by this forum provides a great opportunity for people to begin to talk about how they feel, whether in or out of Struthers. And that brings me to my final point - I think it has been great that some people still in Struthers have had the courage to make comments n this forum. I am disappointed that none have returned to make further comments on any replies that have been posted, but the opportunity is still there.

I would be keen to continue to provide the opportunity for current members to comment anonymously - either positively or negatively - as open honest discussion is surely one of the key ways to break the power of any closed society.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: clare ()
Date: October 26, 2011 03:53AM

Maybe it appeals to the younger generation but I am not in favour of the facebook page, please , lets not reduce the serious issues here to the level of "face-book" This forum is quite adequate .

If the SMC leaders dont have the common decency to reply to letters sent to them personally, they are certainly not going to reply on here, Latigo, and" never in a month of sundays" would they post on FB ( in my opinion). It would however give them opportunity to 'look down on ' folk as they do from the platform and make some superior sounding comment about what depths we have all sunk to .
Lets keep the dignity .

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Clive ()
Date: October 26, 2011 05:45AM

It is clear that for the many reasons stated by others, now is not the time. However I would not be so quick to write off facebook as a juvenile medium.

It was indeed this medium that helped to bring down three dictatorships with hopefully more on the way. More than a tool for teens i would say.
The “petitors” on such FB pages put their lives on the line and of course many if not most exposed their identities. But it was a great tool for freedom and change.

But clearly now is not the time, and I think if we were to do this it should be as “together” as possible.

Welcome by the way to Anthony, SMCEDARS and truthseeker9001.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: hV8lI7eP5e ()
Date: October 27, 2011 01:58AM

Thanks for responding to my entry Covlass and to all for welcoming me to the forum. I am very concerned about the smc churches after being a member for many years I left not too long ago but really struggling to get my life together. I unlike many of you have been unable to go to another church. As you probably know anyone leaving smc is branded a backslider and it’s how I feel I just don’t feel worthy and as such not living as I should. I am however clinging to my faith and continue to pray for my friends and family, and anyone that may need a little prayer. The reason I asked about governing bodies for churches is because I find myself in an unbearable position. I did try to go back for a while but the guilt that I felt was too strong to bear, because I could not attain the level of commitment that is required in smc. My young teenage daughter is still a member of the church and after I left everything was all right for a while. My x-wife who is also a member of smc and I are no longer together and my daughter lives with her. So here is my unbearable position since coming back from summer camp this year my daughter has refused to have any contact what so ever with me, no explanation what so ever. My wife spoke to me telling me she would see what she could do but no progress at all, 3 months of no contact at all with my daughter. I have no evidence that my daughter has been encouraged to break from me other than we had such a good relationship before, so why break it. I just feel that after these camps, to break all contact, it’s just too much of a coincidence. I fear for the children of smc and at my wits end as to what to do.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: October 27, 2011 07:40AM

smcedars

My heart goes out to you in these circumstances. It is unfortunately all too common an outcome where Struthers is concerned. Part of the problem is that it can be so insidious. Your daughter may indeed have been told directly not too speak to you - they certainly do that at times - but, as you say, there is no direct evidence of that. What may well have happened is that there has been a sermon about how all the congregation are imperfect and it is their fault that revival has not come. This is then followed by a message about giving up what is dear to you - "sacrificing it on the alter of God" and "coming out from among them and being separate", so that you can be closer to Him. No mention of verses like, "By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, that you have love one for another."

As far as I can see, there is no evidence that this approach works, as the church is not growing in any way and seems to be more and more isolated from any reality. Most of those who have been around for a while manage to get on by ignoring the messages from the pulpit but young people are really influenced by what they hear. I know because, like many of the people here, I accepted all that was said and gave up any sort of normal life.

The good news is that things can move on. In my case, it was many years before I could attend a church again, but I am now active in a caring church where people grow rather than stagnate. As the testimonies on this site show, many, many people do leave and find life and reconciliation. I really hope that you daughter finds the true peace of God and moves on from the Struthers smoke and mirrors version of spirituality.

I only wish I could offer practical advice to go with the hope, but I am really not sure what might be done in these circumstances. Perhaps a dozen of us could all go alone one night and pray publicly for the hypocrites that heap burdens on others while never lifting a finger to help!

All the very best to you and your family.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: susie ()
Date: October 29, 2011 04:21AM

Hi smcedars

I know how you feel I have also lost two of my family to SMC. I can only now forgive the abuse that the SMC leaders put me through, but taking my children away and using the name of God to do it, I can't forgive that nor can I forget my own children.
I do hope that there will be for you a reconciliation with your loved one. I fear for the young people in SMC, my heart goes out to their parents. The thought of this happening to others keeps me posting on this site, hoping that people will read it and be warned about their own children before it is too late. God bless you.

Susie

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