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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: lintar123 ()
Date: June 19, 2012 11:55PM

Hi Religionless, thank God for people like you who read this website because you, as a wedding guest, have been horrified by what you have experienced as a visitor to Struthers,Cumbernauld. I can only guess that the female "minister "is Diana Rutherford who, unfortunately has been referred to in many of the posts on this forum. Regarding your very correct question about superiors and complaints procedures? In Struthers they don`t have normal structures. The leaders are convinced that they are God in action... and what they say and do to people is quite frankly despicable.. dangerous .. and downright wrong. When my husband and I were married in Struthers many years became obvious that we could not stay in the Church. D Rutherford almost ruined our marriage even then. Too much interference.. too many demands on time.. and money and eventually wrong accusations about me which have caused emotional damage over many years. Please read my previous posts. This woman is also a primary teacher which is worrying. I hope your friends survive and realise the good friend that they have in you. You should read the other articles available about SMC and the associated Cedars School of Excellence. It makes worrying and disturbing reading. These leaders..have never been trained as Ministers.. do not hold degrees in theology... have nothing except a terrible power over many innocent people like your dear friends. Thank you for reading... for speaking up. As you can see, many former damaged myself..have sought answers..have asked for responses from these" leaders". The answers never come.... They have too much to answer for. People have got to care about what is happening. It is terrible. Thank you for caring.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb ()
Date: June 20, 2012 01:10AM

Hi Religionless - I'm dumbfounded by what's going on in the church I used to pretty much LIVE in. The original founders would be turning in their graves right now because although they were strict back in the day, they would certainly not have condoned what is happening now and if D Rutherford is who I think she is then I remember well the day she joined the church at one of the summer camps (I was about 15 or 16 then) and believe me she was not an angel and some of her past exploits would turn your hair white! In view of her own shady past, I think she has no right to judge others and portray herself as 'annointed by God'. The bible says 'Judge not, lest ye be judged yourself' and that applies to all humans, including the leaders of SMC. It's an abomination what is happening in that church and I personally say you are better off not going anywhere near their doors because the kind of attitude they have is sure to destroy you or turn you into nothing more than a slave to bad leadership and even worse life-coaching.

My prayers and my heart go out to those who have been so profoundly affected by this church but you should know that this is not the teachings of God or the bible. God is a forgiving and totally loving God and our sins are dealt with by him and him alone and not by humiliation from such hypocritical and totally misguided people. Those of you who have been told by this woman that she knows stuff about you should take that with a pinch of salt because, in my experience, God deals with us privately and would not be disclosing information to leaders or anyone else for that matter unless it was to show the person love and a path to resolving their issues.

Humiliating people is not showing God's love but man's (or woman's) power over other people. This D Rutherford is full of it in every sense, she can no more hear God speaking to her than I can hear the pixies supposedly at the bottom of the garden! What a lot of tosh!! There are way too many hypocrites on the pulpits of SMC but God will judge them himself when the time comes and I think they will probably get a great shock on that day!

My love goes out to you all and I pray that God will support and comfort you and bring you back to a proper and loving place of worship. It makes me so sad to hear all the stories posted here and on other sites because I know now that SMC is no longer a church in touch with God, or at least certain leaders are no longer in touch with God and, by the sounds of it, are actually batting for the other side... the guy that wants to drive everyone out of the churches and away from God and, in SMC he certainly seems to be winning the battle if you ask me.

My prayers are with you all that he will heal your spirits and show you that he is a loving God and does not belong to SMC or any other organisation for that matter but he belongs to us all, as we belong to him, and is accessible to us all. God bless you.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: June 20, 2012 07:31AM

Welcome to this Forum, CBarb and Religionless.
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!

Re the wedding in Cumbernauld, I wasn't aware that the pastor had conducted many weddings nor that many had split up. Marriages were usually conducted by Hugh Black or Mary Black and took place in Greenock or Glasgow. I have heard some quite harsh teaching being given at wedding services and strong warnings about divorce being given, but I don't hink I've heard as bad as that which you witnessed, Religionless. As has been said already, this type of thing is not commonly found at Christian church wedding services, quite the opposite, in fact.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/20/2012 07:45AM by Rensil.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb ()
Date: June 20, 2012 07:30PM

Hi Rensil

You're probably right, I was still quite young at the time and you know the young folk never got told anything much and I guess I wasn't really involved in any of the 'bad stuff' although I do remember a particular incident which shook me a lot at one of the camps, when a guy collapsed with an epileptic fit and instead of calling an ambulance the leaders started praying in tongues over him to 'cast out his demons'. As a young kid I was petrified that those demons would find me!! It was years later that someone told me the truth of what happened and shocked me silly!
I don't know what happened with my folks because they never talk bad of anyone and don't allow themselves to be drawn into conversations where they might have to. I just believed they moved on because Dad got a new job down south - although I got married and stayed up here in Scotland and my uncle took over the PG church, but my uncle and aunt also left the church and my uncle went to study theology instead. I guess that made them outcasts too.
That being said, all of my family are now very much happier than they were in SMC, so it was a good move all round and Dad is still cracking jokes during sermons although, these days he doesn't preach so often due to the onset of parkinsons but he's doing well.

I do have fond memories of the PG church though and the Saturday clubs when we would take canoeing trips at Castle Sempel Loch and on Windy Hill or at the swimming pool in Paisley (I think it was Paisley anyway, really old victorian baths with the changing rooms all round the pool side), we did have a lot of fun. Then there were the social nights where we would put on plays (usually written by my Dad) and that was really good fun too. I did love going to the PG church I just hated going to the main church and the summer camps where we practically lived in the meeting hall or the barn and didn't get a lot of free time to actually enjoy the holiday (my name is still carved in a tree or two at Wiston Lodge!!)

It's a sad state of affairs all round really and I hope that you have also found peace away from the clutches of SMC. It's not so easy to shake off the teachings of a life-time and I thank God that my parents are who they are and were sensible enough to get away from it all. Perhaps I don't remember everything too well because I spent more time in the PG church than I did in the Greenock branch.

My brother is now also a pastor and has his own church in Brighton and it's a very lively church, given that he is a fabulous musician and has my Dad's sense of humour in his sermons. Anyway, I wish you well Rensil and thanks for reminding me that things probably weren't so good even back then. Take care and God bless.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Religionless ()
Date: June 20, 2012 09:25PM

Thankyou for all your kind replies, I'm hoping that by showing this website to my friends they might gain some insight into Struthers. One of the reasons that I was so appalled by the service is that the Church I was raised in had a proper old school Fire and Brimstone priest, he was known to refuse to marry a couple if he thought the Brides neckline was too low, but these are things he would sort out before the ceremony and the services would go ahead in the spirit of a wedding ceremony with the respect due to receiving the sacrament of marriage before God. As I was an alter girl and in the Chapel choir, I attended many wedding ceremonies and they were all, joyful and spiritual experiences. I use the name Religionless on here because I do not follow a religion, to be honest there are too many instances of mans interpretation of Gods word getting in the way of Gods message for my liking. What I do practice however, is tolerance and respect for other peoples beliefs, I have friends from many faiths, Rastafarian, Buddhism, Christian, Muslim.... and quite a lot of Athiests who also show the same tolerance and respect for others. Things that are quite devastatingly missing with these Struthers maniacs. However, whilst I am religionless, I am not faithless, far from it, I have an abiding faith in the Big Man and he knows it, so I want to ask you all if you would say a prayer for the Struthers people, for all of them, so that the ones in the congregation can find the path away from these loonies and so that the ones in charge have at least a little piece of grace with them, given by good christians, when they go to meet their Maker.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb ()
Date: June 21, 2012 08:56PM

Hi guys

Being a part of this forum has led me to cast my mind back further and remember days I had long ago forgotten. My own feeling is that the church changed drastically AFTER Miss Taylor became a part of the congregation and, subsequently, a higher leader than Mr. Black. Am I right? Is there anyone here who remembers what SMC was like in the days prior to Miss Taylor's leadership? I believe that was when the sermons began to stretch into hours and hours of self-flagellation and thunderous doom and gloom from the pulpit?
I'm sure I remember a specific change once Miss Taylor became the main leader of the group.

Rensil, I can't work out who you are but I obviously would know you, were you there in the days before Miss Taylor? I do remember that many of the original Portonians and friends of my dad (from school) left enmasse within about a year or two of Miss Taylor becoming leader and these were the guys who gave up their blood, sweat and tears to build the PG church... plumbers, builders and electricians.

Am I remembering this correctly? I would ask my Dad but I don't think he would talk to me about it unless I gave him a reason for asking and I know he wouldn't be very happy about me talking openly on a website about those days so I don't really want to ask him but I'm pretty sure I'm right about this. Can anyone here remember that far back?

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Chesterk55 ()
Date: June 23, 2012 07:14AM

Re: Cbarb

Being a part of this forum has led me to cast my mind back further and remember days I had long ago forgotten. My own feeling is that the church changed drastically AFTER Miss Taylor became a part of the congregation and, subsequently, a higher leader than Mr. Black. Am I right? Is there anyone here who remembers what SMC was like in the days prior to Miss Taylor's leadership?

Hi Cbarb

I think you have a point.

The Struthers members reading this forum will all be saying to themselves that you are wrong about this because Ms Taylor was part of Struthers from the beginning. She and Mr Black were among the 5 who originally split from Elim in Greenock (a church which continues to prosper). 3 soon split away as the original 5 had a disagreement among themselves about the nature of faith. This left Mr Black and Ms Taylor soon, as you say, joined by your dad and some younger people. Based on the fact that there was a recent 60th anniversary week night meeting this schism with Elim happened in 1952 and the Greenock church was purchased in 1955 when I think the congregation was about 12.

Then for the next few decades the church ran outreach and mission, expanded and was very active in inter-denominational activities. Mr Black claimed that at one time he had virtually every church in Greenock involved in a joint inter-church outreach. And the Struthers youth frequently travelled to other churches, often with Mr Black or some of the younger leaders, to sing and take services. Visiting speakers at Struthers meetings were more common and the church grew to around its peak of 17 branches.

But then at some point (which I think was probably in the mid to late 70s) Ms Taylor decided that God had spoken to her and instructed her that Struthers was now to cease involvement with other churches and proceed on its own. The claim was ministries and leadership would appear from within the congregation and this would meet all the possible future needs of the members. The mission focus remained but became Struthers exclusive (such as university Struthers groups set up to compete with the Christian Unions). Having visiting speakers from other churches was not encouraged and people were pressured not to attend meetings outside of Struthers. You may not remember the Maurice Cerullo visit to Glasgow but many people still do and the leaders indicated that “good” Struthers people would never again miss a Saturday night meeting to go to something like that – good or bad. As ever this was claimed to be not what they wanted but what God wanted.

Personally I think this may have been the worst thing that ever happened in Struthers. It left people with no recourse to help from the wider Christian world. The leaders theory was that God was going to provide all that the congregations needed from ministries within Struthers. In practice it meant you were now on your own. If a leader did not have the marriage advice, child-rearing knowledge, bible understanding, or answers to difficult questions to help you in your life and faith you were not going to get any. To look outside was seen as betrayal so people had from this point to pretend they had everything they needed. As a result, for example, people did not get the marriage counselling available in the wider Christian world (and provided by trained people in most churches) and marriages suffered as a result. It meant isolation from much help that was available and which people genuinely needed.

Worse it led to the bizarre situation that when you went to the leadership for help but did not feel the help you got was sufficient you found yourself at odds with what Ms Taylor had said would happen. So now you were the problem! It was a self fulfilling road toward lives remaining in weakness and confusion and decline in Struthers. All with the purpose to isolate and control the membership.

But done as ever claiming God had told them “spiritually” once again to do something the bible did not support.

As you say something did change at that time and many people with a mission focus and who understood and valued the wider Christian world would not want to be involved in a mystical and blinkered version of Christianity and may well have decided to leave at that point. Many certainly did in the years following. It did coincide with Ms Taylor's increasing platform presence. Mr Black once said it had taken years for him to persuade her to even attend the church camps. As you say later she dominated these occasions.

“when the self-flagellation and thunderous doom and gloom became the norm.”

You have a great turn of phrase.

As you say some of those who left “were the guys who gave up their blood, sweat and tears to build the Port Glasgow church... plumbers, builders and electricians.” These people, and many of us on this forum who also gave a great deal of time, effort and money are not really the right audience for the Madame Guyon and Jesse Penn Lewis type of mystical feelings based fanciful overcooked alleged spirituality they substituted for New Testament Christianity.

It was of course all claimed to be for a purpose to see in a revival that would change Scotland. You haven't been around since the early 80s. I can confirm that 32 years later no such revival has yet taken place. And the focus of the leaders time and energy and the money in Struthers has moved on to running a private fee paying school and 2 coffee shops. Meanwhile the number of churches, the number of members and more recently (according to Latigo) the income have all declined.

And the revival the leadership promised would come as a result of people remaining unquestioningly loyal to the Struthers way appears to be less on the lost horizon than ever.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb ()
Date: June 23, 2012 11:36PM

Hi ChesterK55

Thanks for the confirmation. I knew I had experienced a real change in the church at some point, a heavy suffocating atmosphere that suddently seemed to take over the Greenock church.

I do remember visitng other churches in the surrounding areas, in the early years. I made some good friends in those days in the Elim and Nazarene churches and I was really upset when we stopped attending these 'Outreach' services because I enjoyed them so much. I'm glad my family left the church and I'm pretty sure there was something that went on between them and Ms.Taylor/Mr.Black in the run up to them leaving. but they don't talk about it and they still have quite a few good friends in the church.

Personally, I don't attend any church now because I've come across too many hypocrites in churches but I still have my faith and know that God loves me whether I'm in a church or not and, as I've said before, I think religion is designed to keep people apart rther than bring them together. I think it's important to love and respect people no matter what background or religion they come from but it doesn't excuse the fact that many people who portray themselves as 'being close to God' couldn't be further away from him because they can't see beyond their own noses.

I only have to know that God is real and that if I fall and ask for his help, he'll catch me and that's good enough for me to stay wholly faithful to him. Apart from that, I have witnessed miracles and healings over the years which has only helped to strengthen my faith in him. I'm no angel I have to admit and have made many regretable mistakes as I've stumbled through life but the one thing that has been, and always will be, constant in my life is the knowledge that God is always there and I only have to stop and listen to find answers. It's when I'm not listening that things start to go wrong and then I realise that we aren't meant to struggle on our own through hard situations but that the problems we come across are intended to strengthen us and our faith in the God who made us. That's the shining light in my life and I know I only have myself to blame when I make bad decisions and shut my ears to his advice.

The wonderful thing is, regardless of what SMC teaches it's congregation, God will NEVER turn his back on any of his children and we only have to reach out and let him take over to find peace and wholeness in life. It doesn't mean we'll never have any problems in life coz we're only human after all but it's great to know that we can put it all in his hands and let him guide us through the hard times as well as the good.

People who have lost their faith due to bad and hurtful dealings with cults and churches should realise that God is still there for them, he doesn't live inside a church or a religion but inside the heart of every one of us and, while we might not always get the answers we want, we only have to ask for his help and he will resolve situations and problems for us in his own way, but to our eventual advantage (even if we don't see the light at the end of the tunnel immediately).

Isn't it good to know that God's love is more constant than night turning into day? I actually look forward to dying, not in a morbid way, but I look forward to finding the freedom form earthly problems and the everlasting spiritual life beyond this one. That said, I'm still glad to be alive for just now though!

God bless you and love to you all, especially to those of you who are hurting and confused - keep your faith in him coz he hasn't deserted you.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: mandrake ()
Date: June 25, 2012 08:46AM

What an absolute disgraceful abuse of power and an atrociously un-.christian way to conduct a wedding ceremony. It is shocking that D Rutherford is allowed to continue to behave in this manner and bring her own prejudices into the church and everyone is expected to just go along with her ravings, because that is what they are. It is amazing the volume of posts that have been made on this forum about Struthers Church but even more amazing that the majority of the concerns are for the church in Cumbernauld, ran by Diana Rutherford. If the other church leaders do not behave in this way, surely they should be defending themselves on this forum and taking Di Rutherford to task. As mentioned before there does not seem to be any checks and balances in place to redress this problem. The only way out of it is to leave the church and even though you will be denounced as not being godly enough, it is not true and you will find a more welcoming church congregation elsewhere, I think, having read all the entries on this forum we have to say enough is enough. I read somewhere that Spirituality is the seeking of understanding where as religion is the seeking of reward. There is no spirituality in Struthers church and the only people getting rewards are the self anointed leadership. Shame on them. Stay strong in God's love and he will show you the correct path which is not the path which the leaders in Struthers church are on. They are being Psychologically cruel to people in God's name showing neither compassion nor empathy. AS mentioned before Di Rutherford has not led a blameless life;" let he who is without sin cast the first stone" The church should be the coming together of like minded people searching for truth and understanding in God, leaders should be guiding hands and not denouncers of other people.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: poprvyab ()
Date: June 26, 2012 12:28AM

I believe we should should walk in Love and ask God to open the eyes of the Struthers leadership to their wrong actions and behaviour. We should pray for them on a daily basis. We all need to deal with them in Love, they have decieved themselves and need our prayers in order to be free from their delusions.
Are we all commited on this forum to deal with them in Love and to pray for them daily. They truely need our prayers as much as we need to pray for them, as all of us have hurts.

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