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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb ()
Date: September 07, 2012 05:16AM

Quote: That realisation was a bitter pill to swallow but worth it for the freedom which ultimately resulted.

A very loud AMEN! to that Chris19. It isn't easy to take when you realise you've been so badly led astray with lies and manipulation but it is so worth it when you do let go.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: September 07, 2012 08:10AM

What happened to lintar123 and her husband was appalling. I agree that they should receive an apology. Theirs is about the worst case of its kind. But many people in SMC were told not to marry a certain person, others were advised to stay single, and others who did marry experienced interference in their marriages from the leadership. There were a lot of broken hearts over the years in the area of relationships. The advice given was to see this as the Way of the Cross and to suffer because Jesus suffered and because going through it would lead to a deeper walk with God. But many were left hurting and many left SMC as a result. I'm just so glad for you, lintar123, that you both got out before anything worse could be dealt to you in your married life.

Yes, there were double standards in many areas, as Cbarb points out, and there probably still are. For example, we were continually told not to keep company with the opposite sex and yet the leaders kept company and went off on ministry trips with a person of the opposite sex to whom they were not married. Young folk were told not to mix with the opposite sex and yet leaders' families were seen mixing and hanging about with youngsters of the opposite sex. OK for some; depends who you are then.

The callousness I mentioned previously seemed to spread through the church because people would receive instruction on how to handle a situation with somebody in need and would only do what the leader told them to. So if a leader said, 'dont visit that person' or 'let them be, theyre just attention-seeking', then the person would take that on board and not help someone. Whereas if they were thinking for themselves, they would choose to help, visit, care for someone in need etc. I was caught up in that thinking myself and that is how I know it exists. Neglecting those who needed support or friendship was always justified in some way and that's how it spread through the church.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Chesterk55 ()
Date: September 08, 2012 04:11AM

It is important that people understand - nothing is being said on this forum in relation to the serious financial losses which was not publicly admitted and profusely apologised for by Hugh Black in 1987 – other than (I think) The Petitor's entirely appropriate guess at how much money was lost. We know about all this because the Struthers leadership stood up and confessed once the damage had been done and their was no way to hide it any longer. We are not the source of the claim something bad and illegal happened – they told us all that something bad and illegal happened and that the leaders of the church were responsible for a huge financial loss.


This is not mainly important in relation to the late Hugh Black. He dealt with and lived with the consequences of this for the rest of his ministry. This is important still today because people in leadership roles in Struthers Memorial Church at the time this happened could have known about this by asking, or “discerned it” and prevented it from happening, and they failed to. Yet these same leaders still today sometimes seem to claim effectively flawless divine knowledge only available to “the spiritual” and dish out this “knowledge” which affects key decisions about the direction of the church and, most alarmingly, seeks to control the specific direction of peoples lives.

This incident demonstrates that the leaders in Struthers, many of whom were leaders in the church at the time of this financial shambles, are not divinely qualified to do any such thing. Their guidance, understanding of God's will for the church and for members is as prone to mistake, failure and utter disaster as is that of any other flawed and fallen human on God's green earth.

Almost all of the present executive were in a position to know about the mishandling of finances, and hear God's voice, and shut down the problem and if they had would have protected Mr Black in the process. They all failed to do so. By not asking questions, by trusting where trust was not warranted, by ignoring (and disrespecting) those who warned them, and by failing to discern the voice of God about the danger they were placing the church in they let the church down and, by failing to protect him from his own folly, they let Mr Black down.

These are not people who should be regarded as infallible or be giving anyone specific advice about how to live their lives (claiming it is - as if - it is from God). This incident demonstrates their shortcomings were, and remain, extremely serious. Since that time the church has contracted in number of branches, number of members and has become a charity focussed on a school and shops rather than one driven by the gospel and outreach. (Apparently the Glasgow church leader – she of “the ipads will bring revival” - has also indicated that the Cedars School is now their outreach – though this is not mentioned anywhere in the school handbook and may be alarming news to some parents). And, according to the most recently available figures, Struthers is, 25 years later, once again in significant debt of £400 000 with no plan to repay this borrowing given in their 2010 charity report and accounts. But perhaps when the 2011 accounts come out shortly this will have been resolved.


Another aspect of all this is mentioned by Treetop. I too attended a branch church the next morning to hear the leaders who were charged to tell the congregations the money they had been donating in good faith for years for the work of the gospel had been foolishly squandered. Not seeming too concerned about this the leader then literally bawled and howled about how unjust it was that Mr Black was suffering when he had set out to do no wrong. Not the usual Struthers leader reaction to wrongdoing (real or imagined) of those in their congregations. A double standard which continues perhaps?

Looking back - this was a nauseating display of demands for infinite empathy and forgiveness when the leaders make a mistake, but, as we now know from the testimonies online, preceded and followed by years of doing precisely the opposite to people in their congregations. No sympathy and understanding for them. These church members didn't break any laws but if seeking after God (or worse yet reading the bible) led to asking difficult questions it was met with utter condemnation and complete unsympathetic rejection by the leaders, in the long term devastating and damaging lives. Right up to very recent days it appears this has continued. Unfortunately for them the bible states leaders will be held by God to higher standards of conduct, not lower, than their flocks.

This forum has now reached 603+ posts the vast majority hugely in support of the view that the problems in Struthers are widespread, real and damaging to people. It is worth a pause to remember that all the leaders and all the members of Struthers Memorial Church, as long as they respect the forum rules, are as entitled to post on here as all of us who already have. Where are they? Is it, as it appears, that they are simply not able to defend their own church and its leadership?

Likewise if there is any concern that we have misrepresented the events of 1987 in any way the SMC leadership are fully free and able to place online (here or elsewhere) their version of events for public scrutiny and informed debate. That they have not done this on any subject covered in the forum means that, as with these events, the version presented here will be the only one available to people trying to find out about Struthers. I don't see that as a problem but if they do they are well able to place online any information which will clarify this or any other issue presently being discussed. People should note that for 2 years now they have chosen not to do that. They have taken no steps to answer, or challenge, anything on this forum.

So if that means that people, including their own congregations, now get their information about the teachings, practices and the moral and financial mistakes of Struthers Memorial Church from here that would seem to be entirely their own fault and entirely their own responsibility.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb ()
Date: September 09, 2012 07:18AM

Hi guys

I totally agree that many people deserve at least an apology from the leaders of SMC, but since these leaders believe themselves to be more important than any other human being on the planet it is unlikely that they will be able to admit to their wrong-doing much less provide any public or private apologies for past or present acts. (Except where they were found out and couldn't avoid the scandal).

They have no concience, as previously mentioned, and therefore are beyond any sense of the inconvenience of being wrong. I do actually think they genuinely believe they have some super powers which make them un-reproachable for anything.

If this were not the case, surely we would have been seeing some pro-Struthers posts on this site by now, telling us that we are wrong in our conclusions about the church. The members of the church are well aware of this site although I suspect they are being told to keep clear because this must be the devil's work, since it is not in the least bit flattering to the church. It seems they would prefer to bury their heads in the sand and remain unaccountable to anyone for their failings and abuse of the people in their pastoral care.

Hundreds of people deserve at the very least a huge apology from the leaders of the organisation but that, sadly, is unlikely to be forthcoming unless there was a complete U-turn on EVERYTHING they have been teaching for so many years. Now THAT would be a miracle, don't you think?

Biiig love and God Bless xxxx

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: seekingsusan ()
Date: September 10, 2012 08:49AM

So lets get this all straight. Here we have a church that has as a central core of its doctrine that

* Struthers leaders have a personal relationship with Jesus - and - of course - the Holy Spirit. Everyone should strive to be "IN HIS WILL" at all times. And WE THE LEADERS KNOW HOW TO DO THIS !!!.

* Mr Black, Miss Taylor and Diana Rutherford all stress that everyone in the church should strive to this too. And there must be at least a handful of regulars over the years who actually mastered the art of how to hear gods voice.
What else were all those conferences for if not to teach people how one can hear what god wants them to do. Guidance anyone ?

* Being guided by the still small voice of the Holy Spirit is paramount. Struthers-ites are to do virtually NOTHING without first establishing that it is iin accordance with the will of the Holy spirit.

* Mr Black was NOT - repeat NOT doing something from selfish motives. He genuinely wanted to increase the church coffers so as to increase the "work of the lord" - that cant be a bad motive can it ?


* Since the Struthers congregants have been buying Mr Blacks books, going to endless conferences, listening rapt to the secrets of how to sense what GOD wants you do to ( for him ) as taught by Mr Black, Miss Taylor, Diana and others,
at least a sizeable number of these highly trained and comitted sheep ought to be so close to hearing the "still small voice" and being "in tune" with his will - that even if one or more of the leaders from time to time is about to do something majorly wrong, God can
warn one of the others, congregants or other leaders in advance.

AND YET NOT A SINGLE OTHER LEADER OR MEMBER OF THE CONGREGATION GOT A SINGLE FOREWARNING , UNCTION, MOMENT OF DISCERNMENT FROM GOD TO PREVENT MR BLACK MAKING A COLOSSAL AND DAMAGING MISTAKE !!


Is my wee mind being unreasonable for BOGGLING just a wee bit ?


So basically Pastor Diana Rutherford is to be awarded top marks for "sensing' that one of her congregants is secretly a Lesbian ( wrong of course ) and clearly has a knack for sniffing out demons.

But Every single person in this cult failed to be given a slight hint that Mr Black was about to make a mistake ???

Why the answer is very clear. God COULD have chosen to warn someone in strutters about this but CHOSE NOT TO. WHY ?

Because if was PART OF HIS PLAN.

GOD LET MR BLACK BANKRUPT HIS CHURCH BECAUSR HE WAS SENDING A SIGN.

And the sign is

GET OUT OF THIS ROTTEN CHURCH AS FAST AS YOU CAN. I WILL HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS CHURCH.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/10/2012 08:54AM by seekingsusan.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Chris19 ()
Date: September 10, 2012 04:44PM

Quote
seekingsusan


GOD LET MR BLACK BANKRUPT HIS CHURCH BECAUSR HE WAS SENDING A SIGN.

And the sign is

GET OUT OF THIS ROTTEN CHURCH AS FAST AS YOU CAN. I WILL HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS CHURCH.

Seeking Susan, I can see why you draw this conclusion but I don't agree. In my opinion, there was simply a disconnect between secular things and spiritual. As Mr B had an interest in shares and the stockmarket he was left to get on with it because others in the leadership either didn't understand or didn't have much interest in financials - they had their minds on higher things. Despite what was regularly preached about listening for God's guidance in all areas of life, this wasn't what some of the leaders were practising - and from personal experience I know this was true in other areas also. The bottom line appears to be that either they discerned wongly or they never bothered seeking guidance in the first place. Either way it runs contrary to recent postings where the infallability of the leadership seems to be being promoted.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: squareone ()
Date: September 10, 2012 06:11PM

quote

Everyone should strive to be "IN HIS WILL" at all times. And WE THE LEADERS KNOW HOW TO DO THIS !!!. [seekingsusan]


well, those of us who are Christians kind of Should seek to be in His will I reckon, but whether the Struthers leaders know how to' do' it or not they don't really convey to the congregation how to do it in any meaningful way. We weren't directed to read the bible particularily for instance or do private study, it seemed to be more about endlessly giving things up or, more horribly, giving people up. Seeking to be in God's will should probably drive us to be spending time with the same types of people Jesus spent time with and not trying to avoid being tempted or any sort of 'stain' getting on us. We need to be wise, but knowing we're in His will should make us stronger, not weaker!! shouldn't it??


cbarb, I'd Love to see a change of direction in what comes from the platform. Maybe all it'll take is for one leader to see and hear.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: seekingsusan ()
Date: September 10, 2012 07:06PM

“Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. “Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. “But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. “Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. “And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. “He who has ears, let him hear.”

SMC ceased to be good soil many many years ago.

The Holy Spirit gives his own the sense of discernment to be able to sense when something is wrong. And clearly, given the huge number of people who left this church over the years but did NOT simply backslide but ended up in healthy, growing churches, many of his own acted upon the spirits direction and left.

Any opportunity for those seeds to grow started being choked by the leadership decades ago. And not only was this sensed by those that wisely left this church, but God also gave us clear signs and made it evident to
those that have ears and eyes to see - that this was not his holy place.

While the SMC likes to de-emphasise our god-given critical faculties, those in the SMC WERE in fact given enough very clear hints that something was wrong with this church over the years.

Mr Blacks fiasco was one of the signs. God let this happen. He looks after his own.

God wanted to show those within SMC that placing so much faith in human leadership - to the point where one stops thinking for oneself and asking god directly whether something is right or wrong, but instead simply blindly accepts whatever another human says from the platform, or in person - say - with a form and pen ready in hand..

that this is ANATHEMA.

No-one has been sanctioned by god to simply become a blind follower of some charismatic leader to the point of their faith life simply becoming blind unquestioning obedience of whatever a FELLOW HUMAN says.

God chose to punish those in the congregation for doing so, rather than show spiritual and emotional courage and leave.

The Old Testament is full of examples where Israel simply refused to follow god, but followed man. How did god react ?

He sends them a calamity.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 09/10/2012 07:09PM by seekingsusan.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb ()
Date: September 10, 2012 08:07PM

Hi guys

I really think that some people were more in touch with God than the leaders and did try to warn the leaders that things were going awry, at various times throughout the church's history. However, these people were drummed out of the church for questioning 'the word of god' and sadly, the church continued on its dark journey and those remaining in the congregation were told the most awful lies about those who had been 'shunned by God'.

I have heard of at least one person who discovered (or was told by God) about the stock market fiasco before it became a problem but was totally ignored by Mr. B and admonished for not having 'faith in God'. That person left shortly after the discussion with Mr. B and, as usual, was denounced for being evil and having questioned God's will.

Clearly God was sending a message to stop this damaging move but those who supposed themselves to know God's will better than anyone else ignored the warning and carried on with their own agenda. And this has happened on several occasions throughout the church's history, where a member of the congregation has heard the still small voice and spoken up to the leaders about what God has put on their hearts.... NONE of those people, that I know of, are still in Struthers today.

I'm afraid the only lessons you will learn at SMC are how to IGNORE God's voice in favour of the voices of the people on the platform. Sad but very true!

SMC leaders continually break many of the 10 commandments, most importantly "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself". I find it difficult to understand how they can claim to be Godly people when they can't even follow the most basic of God's commandments to us for a healthy, Godly way of life? Perhaps they believe that the 10 commandments don't apply to Struthers because they are above and beyond every other human being on the planet?

God didn't say you should only love your neighbour until the leaders of your church tell you they are not worth loving;
or that you should only honour your mother and father if they attend SMC;
or that you should have no other God before Him except for the "annointed ones of SMC";
or that you should not take his name in vain except when you are standing on the SMC pulpit and pretending to be speaking His words;
or that you should not steal unless you want to gamble on the stock market in the hopes of growing your or your church's wealth;
or that you should not bear false witness unless you want the church to shun someone you don't like.

In fact, there is no restriction set on ANY of the commandments, we are told to live by them for all of our lives and not just until it no longer becomes convenient to follow them.

The important thing for us is not to become despondent because we don't see any changes happening but to continue to trust that God will have his way in his own time and we need to be supporting the remaining congregation in prayer. Lift them up to God and trust that he will open their eyes and ears to an understanding of the atrocities they are being led into by some very unscrupulous people.

Much love to all and prayers for a brighter future for SMC
xxx

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: squareone ()
Date: September 10, 2012 08:09PM

quote

God chose to punish those in the congregation for doing so, rather than show spiritual and emotional courage and leave.
[seekingsusan]

am not entirely sure what is meant by this, forgive me. But I do agree that God does discipline those He loves.. for a time and always with a view to restoration.

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