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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: June 27, 2012 07:56AM

Cbarb, that is 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.

Thanks also, Chesterk55, for your clarification of the history of SMC. 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). So, as you say, Chesterk55, 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!

Yes, Anthony, 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.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: June 28, 2012 12:18AM

cbarb:

Your last post was not approved.

Please read the rules you agreed to before posting here.

See [forum.culteducation.com]

"The purpose of this message board is not to promote a specific religious and/or political viewpoint. Don't use it to preach or proselytize".

Please stay on topic, which is "Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church".

This is not the place to discuss personal religious beliefs or theology.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb ()
Date: June 28, 2012 10:05PM

Hi rrmoderator

I do apologise, I wasn't aware that my words would be construed as preaching or personal beliefs but I'll be more careful in future. :-)

I do keep the SMC leaders and congregation in my prayers though.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: June 28, 2012 10:16PM

charb:

It's OK to discuss beliefs from the perspective of how a group may distort and/or manipulate people through their beliefs and the bible.

Many bible-based groups called "cults" do spin and interpret scripture in self-serving and manipulative ways.

Discussing the particular way a group does this would not be "preaching", but rather a means of understanding how the group controls people.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb ()
Date: June 30, 2012 12:26AM

Hi rrmoderator

No worries, I get where you're coming from. :-)

What I really wanted to say was that, whether the visions of miss Taylor were true or not, I don't see how you can have a revival by turning people away from the church and, in some cases, even destroying the faith of the people involved.

Perhaps we would have seen a revival at some point if the leaders hadn't set themselves up as 'holier than thou' and therefore closer to God and more knowledgable of God's desires for the church and its people. Surely that is turning away from the fact that Jesus died to enable us all to have a direct communion with God, without the need to consult with a church leader.

It's obvious, to me, that the leaders who choose to lie about why certain members of the church are no longer there cannot be walking with God because I don't believe he would permit church leaders to tell lies in his name.

I remember the 'vision' days well but instead of feeling elated (like everyone else seemed to be) I found myself making excuses to go to the toilet as often as possible just so I could get out for a breath of fresh air. I remember the atmosphere in the church changing dramatically and a real sense of heavy suffocation each time I stepped through the doors. In those days I worried that I must be back sliding or even demon possessed because I couldn't stand the oppressive atmosphere.

Even the tone of the church camps changed and we had to start attending meetings in the mornings as well as in the evenings; before then the only time you attended meetings more than once in the day was on a Sunday. I remember being very embarrassed because I had just managed to persuade a school friend to come with me that year and she nearly went home when she discovered we had to attend church twice a day, every day! (Admittedly, sometimes we would sneak into the woods and hide so that we didn't have to attend the meeting; but there were always people sent out to look for us and sometimes we got caught and sometimes we got away with it!).

It was as if the life had been sucked out of the church and having fun was no longer considered to be godly or holy, everything became morbidly serious and you were certainly not going to enter the kingdom of heaven unless you were a part of SMC. It was a very heavy burden to bear, at the time, believing that only members of SMC would be getting past the pearly gates! Thank God, I don't carry that burden any more!

I only vaguely remember the outreach meeting in Glasgow that chesterk55 mentioned (Maurice Curello) and my feelings were that the leaders disagreed with the clapping, dancing and chanting of the audience who were, I believe, showing their appreciation of God and the speaker's interpretation of the word of God, I might be wrong about this, being so young at the time. However, shows of emotion like this were actively discouraged in SMC; clapping for speakers and dancing in the aisles was unheard of!

Perhaps if the leaders of SMC learned the JOY of God to the extent that they expound the wrath of God, they would make better spiritual leaders and examples to their fellow humans.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Calvary ()
Date: July 03, 2012 12:05AM

After having followed this forum for the past year or so. I've finally plucked up the courage to post something...

I no longer attend Struthers and haven't done so for some years. My experience of this Church was like many other peoples - firstly very positive, then as I learned more and imbibed the teachings the negatives began to become all too apparent... The positive - I was baptised in the Holy Spirit in Struthers, felt a closeness with God that I'd never previously known. I found a desire to pray and an inner joy that I hadn't really found in my Christian walk up until that point.

However... in common with many on this forum, my experience was in attending the Cumbernauld branch (and various outreach meetings). I don't know about other branches, but as others have suggested 'Cumbernauld' is ruled (and I mean RULED!) by one person and woe betide you if you disagree with her on anything! In my experience anything that was said in a "Bible" study that didn't correlate 100% with her view meant you were to be looked on as suspicious at best, or seriously rebellious at worst. This meant that for at least the duration of the next meeting (possibly the next two or three meetings) dirty looks were, at periodic intervals, thrown your way. If you're really bad the preaching starts being directed at you. Now, most people would think that any sensible person would laugh-off this childish behaviour, but anyone who has been in Struthers knows it's not so easy. You feel very isolated - this, in my view, is to do with the subtle brainwashing that occurs probably within the first month of regular attendance at meetings. I found that very quickly I came to believe the following (which is time and time again reinforced):

* Struthers is the best Church in the UK (if not the world!), all others are full of compromise and backsliding
* The Church leader in your branch is the best in the Struthers movement
* You MUST be obedient to your leader in all things
* There is no hope for you spiritually if you leave

No wonder it becomes so difficult for people to leave...

Apologies if some of this is just repeating what others have said. I will post some more soon.

I hope this has been helpful for anyone currently attending. There is hope - you CAN be free.

God bless

Calvary

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RStruthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: mandrake ()
Date: July 03, 2012 08:24AM

Hi Calvery glad you decided to post your experiences on the forum. It all helps to paint a picture of what goes on at Struthers Church. But how come the majority of the complaints come from the Cumbernal branch. Surely this isust flag up concerns to other Struthers Churches, surely there has to be sanctions She seems to be a law unto herself. Keep posting Calvwet, the more who di the better, it may help others to swt threalise they not alone and that the fault doesnt lie with them. Keep posting Calvery and God Bless everyone on this forum you are dping the right thing x

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Calvary ()
Date: July 03, 2012 09:19PM

Hi Mandrake

Thanks for your encouragement to share. Although I finished last time by saying to those still "in" that they can be free. I'm still working through the proccess myself and that after 10 years of being away from the place. It gets so deep into your being and there is more pain and hurt now coming to the surface than I realised was there. I think this forum is helping many people to realise that there are so many of us with similar experiences, we can't all be wrong... we can't all be evil personified! (can we?!)

With regard to the Cumbernauld leader I don't think anything will be done as she is too close to the overall leader of the "movement". However, I agree with you, Mandrake, that if i was a leader in say, the Gorebridge or Edinburgh fellowships - which have received very little exposure on this forum - I would be VERY unhappy at the picture being painted of Struthers churches. Imagine a potential convert comes along to your church and feels it to be a friendly fellowship, and is happy with the preaching and the warmth of the leaders, then goes home and Googles "Struthers". They'll find this forum and never return. Now... in one way that's a good thing because they won't go to camps and have to face what many of us have had to face... but what if the leader doesn't follow the EXTREME Struthers way (as practiced by the Cumbernauld leader and occasionally by others in the West of the country), what can they do? If the overall leader of the movement won't do anything about the Cumbernauld leader, then if I was them I think I'd be looking for another church grouping to affiliate with. However... even if these leaders are not as extreme as the Cumbernauld "pastor"mentioned, I don't think they will follow my advice - why? Well, if they've been "pickled" in the Struthers way they may not be able to accept that Struthers is not God's only true church. [They could always be prayed with by the overall leader to make all the nastiness go away!]

I know that there are some on this forum who believe every branch leader has been trained in the same way and believes exactly the same things, and so there would never be any possibility of a split in the church. But I am not absolutely certain of that. In fact,as I understand it, there was a split in the Gorebridge congregation in the late 1990's and this caused Struthers to almost lose the building. Is there anyone who could confirm that?

I think the "discernment" issue is a big one. The Cumbernauld leader controls the church by fear, this is NOT a goldly fear, but a fear of what she might reveal about you. The atmosphere in that church is so unhealthy and the deference to the leadership ridiculous. Apart from the "God's true Church" teaching, I think the reason people stay is all about the anointing and the presence of God.

This is a vast subject... but what I have learned is that anointing does NOT guarantee that the truth is being taught and the presence of God (as experienced in Struthers) does NOT guarantee that truth is being taught. I believe the presence of God and the anointing come from spending a lot of time in prayer with God. But...In my experience, God doesn't teach you theology in prayer times! Your beliefs can be heretical, your ideas of how a church should operate can be majorly skewed, the way you deal with people can be ungracious and unfeeling. You can use the anointing for your own ends. I believe - and I know many here believe - that some of the Struthers leaders have a serious problem in these areas.

I have more to share and will post again soon.
God bless you all, Calvary x

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Clive ()
Date: July 03, 2012 11:56PM

Quote
Calvary

Apart from the "God's true Church" teaching, I think the reason people stay is all about the anointing and the presence of God.

This is a vast subject... but what I have learned is that anointing does NOT guarantee that the truth is being taught and the presence of God (as experienced in Struthers) does NOT guarantee that truth is being taught. I believe the presence of God and the anointing come from spending a lot of time in prayer with God.

Forgive me for being ever so slightly sceptical about this presence and anointing business, but there seems to be a total cognitive disconnect here.

Do you think god approves of SMC or and its behaviour and teachings or not ? What people here seem unwilling to admit in any way whatsoever is that maybe all these spiritual experiences didn't emanate from god.

Maybe SMC and its style of preaching and worship just lends itself to heightened emotional experiences. From my memories of their meetings and leaders long ago there was a very effected vocal style of prayer/prophesy carried out which even an outsider will sense, setting up a mood of fear and “awe”. It is simply naive to think that all of this wouldn’t induce psychological experiences.

To suggest that the holy spirit on the one hand has somehow has continually decided to flood this sect with anointing and “presence” while at the same time disapproving of the leadership style and its modus operandi makes no
sense at all. Its as if people here are admitting that SMC have some access to some magic holy spirit elixir or spell that comes from god, But at the same time claiming that god doesn’t approve of the church that invokes that spell.

I am assuming here that if you people have misgivings about SMC and thus left the church - you therefore believe that god DOESNT approve of the SMC sect.

Or is there no connection at all between what a congregation does and believes and god deciding to give them the “presence” ? Is god happy to make Hindus and mormons feel his presence too, even though they worship the wrong god ?
Have you all suddenly turned ecumenical or Unitarian ?.

Maybe you need to go to India and talk to all the followers of gurus over there who will also happily recount their tales of their gods presences. Its a very simple thing guys. Every person who gets a spiritual experience links it to whatever religion and religious leadership they were in when they experienced it. And the experience is nearly always used to back up the authority of the religious leadership they happen to be following.

Do you people seriously not think that god is fully able to decide for himself when to give his people anointings or not ?

Lets go one stage further and invoke godwins law here. Its as if god thoroughly hated Hitler and the Nazi party - yet is perfectly happy to carry on giving its Nazi part members wonderful experience of himself, EVEN if those same Nazi members who get this experience don’t repent in any way and continue to be loyal Nazis right up to when they die.

Remember that the conclusion that the current SMC congregation that still worships there hold to right now is that the reason they get so “Blessed” with these wonderful religious experiences - Presence, etc - is because they ARE in the will of god. The SMC believe all their in fillings and presence are a vindication from god. Period.

Either admit that maybe youre all actually in the wrong and left the church for the WRONG reasons, or be honest and admit that maybe these feelings didn’t come fro god in the first place. Is it so hard to admit that maybe
we humans are able to experience all these things merely by psychological and emotional manipulation and how our brains are wired ?

Oh and of course there is the other option - which I doubt many of you will consider either - since no-one likes to admit they were so deceived - maybe SATAN did this. Maybe these feelings of anointing, presence and the like
actually come from Lucifer himself.

Maybe those hard line calvinists and anti-pentecostal protestants have a point....



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2012 12:20AM by Clive.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Clive ()
Date: July 04, 2012 12:38AM

Quote
Clive
Every person who gets a spiritual experience links it to whatever religion and religious leadership they were in when they experienced it. And the experience is nearly always used to back up the authority of the religious leadership they happen to be following.

Of course I need to correct and nuance myself here - I should have written something like

“ A person who gets a spiritual experience USUALLY links it to whatever religion and religious leadership they were in when they experienced it. And the experience will also often be regarded as vindication of the authority of the person who served as a ‘channel' for delivering the experience. “

Now we can all of course think of or mention exceptions that prove the rule, but thats what they are - exceptions that prove the rule. And there is a wealth of research going all the way back to William James that shows this all to be very much the case time and time again.



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2012 12:48AM by Clive.

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