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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Uncertain ()
Date: March 15, 2011 11:20PM

Thank you ThePetitor and Treetop for your replies. They have helped me a lot. The hardest thing for me would be losing the friendships I have formed over the years but I know that in time the friendships I have begun to form in another church will deepen and you're right - there is real holiness and commitment in other churches too.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: CovLass ()
Date: March 16, 2011 02:52AM

Uncertain

Just to encourage you, since my experience of Struthers church and losing my then closest friend due to what happened I was very upset. I missed her friendship and still do. This was made worse due to the fact that I was living in Scotland, over 400 miles away from family and friends back in England and she was the only friend I had at the point I left Struthers.

However I made some good friends in Cumbernauld when I joined another church. Since moving back to Coventry I have now formed a friendship with another lady whom I would now consider to be my closest friend. The best thing about this friendship is I know it is not dependant on what church I go to, how 'spiritual' I am perceived to be or anything else. As a Christian, if she feels I need pulling up about a faith issue (as we all do from time to time) she will speak to me about it and do her best to encourage and support me. I know that whatever I say to her in confidence will remain so and likewise I would not share anything she tells me.

Yes it is hard to leave long standing friendships behind and it is sad that this should have to be so. However there is 'life after Struthers' Not a lower level of life or a lesser walk with God. I know that I, along with many others here will testify to the greater freedom to serve and worship God and experience his love and grace, coupled with a freeom from undeserved guilt and condemnation.

God bless you

CovLass

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: March 18, 2011 08:15AM

I went to Struthers Church for over 20 years. I honestly had no idea that money from Church collections went towards funding their School. I'm certain that many if not most of the present members are not aware of this; some of them have low incomes and their children attend local state schools; these parents probably could not afford to buy their children ipads and yet, as was said here, they are contributing money to this Church's private, fee-paying school.

I also found that rules made by the church leadership can change but with no announcement of the fact or instruction to the members. For example, it used to be that women were not allowed to wear trousers, especially not jeans. Nowadays most of the women there wear trousers including, in the younger women, tight-fitting jeans. Nothing is said. The wearing of hats for women ceased also, with nothing being said; it was just that graduallly women stopped wearing them. Before then, not wearing a hat was said to be a sign of disobedience to the leaders.

Other things concerned me, one of which, not so far mentioned in these posts, is their healing ministry, so much so that people are afraid to say they are ill because that indicates that there is something wrong in your life, or you don't have enough faith or you've lost the healing you had, so basically, it's your own fault. Some people have experienced great confusion and upset on this matter.

I could write more. I know there are other people in Struthers church who are unhappy but are too frightened to leave and that concerns me greatly. It is good to see this Forum as, yes, you do feel you're the only one.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Archbishop Laud ()
Date: March 19, 2011 08:10AM

I listened with interest to the Saturday night sermon of 12 March. It features an attack on this web-site. I'd like to make several points:

1. The speaker is correct to deny that SMC is a cult. Please see my previous postings. SMC is not a cult, because SMC is theologically sound on core gospel truths. It is not a cult, but an excessively insular church.
2. And it is woefully at sea on many peripheral issues.
3. The speaker criticises anonymous epostings. But come on, that is the way on this medium. Moreover, SMC speakers are themselves experts at anonymous character assassinations. That has been their way from the start.
4. The speaker asserts that criticism of SMC is akin to speaking against the Lord's anointed. Another category mistake. We are offering what we think are measured and legitimate criticisms and we believe that we are in God's will. Or at least we are sincere.
5. The speaker claims that SMC is open, like a charity. Hardly. Its leadership acts in an inscrutable, unchallengeable and sometimes apparently arbitrary manner.
6. The speaker says that reasonable doubts will be respected if they are brought to leaders alone. Not true. See my last posting. What happens, in my experience at least, is that you get a sermon - suitably veiled in references - preached at you the following week.
7. Is it not the case that the Struthers leadership is so fragile that it cannot live with anything other than near-total yesmanship? That is not leadership of adults, it is how you lead ... children.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: CovLass ()
Date: March 19, 2011 11:16AM

I have just listened to the same sermon that Archbishop Laud mention, also with great interest. Id like to pick up on a few points and ask a few questions of the Struthers Leaders regarding what I have heard. The first point Id like to make regards the speakers saying that they (I presume she means the leaders) may have made some mistakes. Do she mean by this, that there may have been mistakes made in the way some or all of the contributors to this forum have been treated? If this is the case will the person who made the mistake be seeking reconciliation and forgiveness?

It was suggested in the sermon that the people responsible for writing on this forum and on the Latigo site are just bitter and their sole purpose in writing this is to tear down Struthers church. I know that for myself and for many of the people I have spoken to either via this forum or elsewhere, that this could not be further from the truth. Many people have been deeply hurt due to the way they have been treated. One contributor said they had asked time and time again for answers but were shunned by the leadership. Im sure that many of the wounds could be healed by a simple acknowledgment from the leaders themselves that they were wrong. That they acted harshly and they showed some of the all covering love which the speaker mentioned in her sermon/ Personally I am far from bitter. I am simply moved by hurting people and if sharing my experiences can help someone then perhaps it hasn't all been in vain. However I suppose its easier to dismiss someone as bitter and twisted with a hateful spirit, than try and answer difficult questions.

The speaker also mentions the anonymity of the comments. Firstly I dnt think it would be rocket science to work out who I was. Also just because a person does not want to reveal their identity does not mean that something is not true. Reporting crimes can now be done anonymously as the police have realised some people are afraid to speak up for fear of repercussions, but nonetheless they feel something should be done. People may hide their identity on here because they have family members still in Struthers and they dont want their views and comments to have an adverse effect and them. They may also be afraid of other repercussions, or it may be because they feel the attitude will be "Oh its him/her" We know them, theyre just bittter about this, or they have demonic influence or whatever. We have already seen that anyone who speaks up about what has happened is dimissed as bitter and doesn't want to live a holy life or submit to godly leadership.

My final point for now is that the speaker makes great emphasis on how people shoud not speak out against a work of God and how God will protect his own. However towards the end of the sermon she speaks out against other churches and leaders. In fact my friend pointed out to me that on the 26th February the introduction for that sermon, preached by Diana Rutherford says " ... There is danger in many churches of leaders entertaining the church." We have heard it said on tis forum that Struthers leaders are very wary of most other churches, saying that they are full of 'wolves in sheeps clothing' I wonder if the leaders could explain why it is ok for them to openly criticise other works of God, where people are being saved, healed, set free etc whilst claiming that if anyone speaks out against them the Lords hand will be against them?

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: March 19, 2011 06:16PM

Well, since everyone seems to be listening to the sermon of 12 March, thought I would get in on the act too. I have just listened to the sermon and noted a number of interesting points and phrases.

1) The preacher actually says, “seeds of bitterness”. Now what is that? Is it bitterness or isn’t it? From what I know about people who have left Struthers, including what I read on this forum, there is no bitterness, just a desire to help others live without constant fear. But the speaker does not say bitterness, she say “seeds of bitterness”. This appears to be another example of the claimed discernment that says, “see, you do not think you have any bitterness, but I can see the seed there just waiting to grow.”

2) “If you hear a revival that is not spoken against, have another look to see if it a revival.” Fair enough, but all bikes have 2 wheels. That does NOT mean that all things with 2 wheels are bikes. Being criticised does NOT mean you are doing things right. Struthers is frequently claiming an affinity with some of the great Christian movements or individuals while practicing the opposite.

3) “Amy Carmichael was criticised… when she sought to right wrong” Absolutely! But what wrong is Stuthers trying to right? The only wrong I can ever see them trying to right is the “wrong” of questioning the leaders. They are not standing up against child abuse, slavery or oppression, they are baking cakes for coffee shops. If Amy Carmichael was in Scotland today, the injustice she might be standing up against is the injustice recounted by many of the contributors to this forum.

4) “If you have a question, you can come and ask about it”. Not in my experience, and obviously not in the experience of many others. Struthers has effectively rewritten a number of verses in the Bible.. Verses like, “If you bring a gift to the alter and realise a brother has something against you, leave the gift and go to apologise to them” has been rewritten as “if you are speaking to a brother and realise they have something against you, leave the brother and go to the alter”.

5) The first 20 minutes is spent emphasising how God will protect His work and His Church. I have no problem with that – seems a perfectly reasonable thing for a church to say. Later on however, there are references to how God will protect Struthers in particular. Other than the (presumably legitimate) claim to be part of the overall Church, there is absolutely no link between the two that I could find. The final statement is “the protecting wings are here” so confirming that all of the general rhetoric about God protecting His work is now being specifically applied not to the Church in general, not even to Struthers in general, but to the specific meeting. Once again, there is no attempt to explain how Struthers might be following God, complying with His guidance, but an unsubstantiated assertion that God is on their side.

6) “We have made mistakes” OK, so what are they? Are we talking about accidentally spilling a cup of coffee or of ruining lives? Would you like to name some of these mistakes, so that we know what you are talking about? Do any of these mistakes relate to people on this forum? If so, why not join the forum and apologise directly?

7) I think the final point made by CovLass is really important. Struthers spends a huge ant of time criticising other churches - remove the log from your own eye before removing the spec from others!

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: anonymousfornow ()
Date: March 19, 2011 06:59PM

The thing that bothers me most (I had a quick flick through it, haven't listened to the sermon in full) is that she says we don't understand them, we don't understand what they stand for or why they do what they do. That couldn't be further from the truth, most of us here did it! We've been there and done the things she says we don't understand ourselves. We do understand them, we just object and question, and a Church that is "open" should be willing to respond to the questions that have been posted online, rather than shun them as bitterness or an attack.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: CovLass ()
Date: March 19, 2011 09:47PM

Just to pick up on a point thay anonymousfornow has said about asking questions. The reason that people have come to this forum or have written/read articles on the Latigo site is precisley because they have not had their questions answered and furthermore have been banned or ostracised for persistantly seeking an answer. They have then had many years of seeking answers to these questions. The Struthers leaders refuse to answer and the Struthers members are told to have nothing to do with ex members. So where do people go with these questions?

I qutoe CrazyMixedUpKid from January 17th

"All I have asked for over 25 years is for someone to sit down with me as an equal and talk to me, to explain why certain decisions were made, what I had done wrong, what I was meant to do, and try to respond to some of the question I have about standards. Is that really too much to ask? ... All I am asking for is an adult conversation, without any pre-conditions being imposed."


I have read the "Question of questions" article o the Latigo 214 site where it takes quotes from a sermon preached at the SMC summer camp in August 2010. The speaker says that she gets annoyed when people ask lots of questions and then likens that to satan asking questions of God, strongly suggesting that if you ask to many questions you have the enemy working in you.
(http://latigo214.info/page10.html for those who want to read it)

As anonymousfornow and others have pointed out, there ahs been much attempted 'justification' by saying people don't understand whats happening, people have a seed of bitterness, people werent really part of us, people are being used as a tool of satan to come against us, people don't want to submit to God and live holy lives, people don't want to submit to leadership and wish to remain in rebellion etc etc etc. Its always the fault of other people. People who's only 'crime' was to ask questions and to go on asking questions (for which they still don't have n answer from SMC leaders) even after they leave.

Thankfully I believe God has heard the cry of his children and provided a place where they can find refuge, get some answers and regain that peace. The speaker is right when she says God protects his children - He protects ALL of them!

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Archbishop Laud ()
Date: March 19, 2011 11:48PM

To follow The Petitor's useful (and often amusing) points about Amy Carmichael - oh and thanks, CovLas, for picking up my whole thread about the 12 March sermon - can I say something?

The speaker held up Amy Carmichael as a model. This has been a recurring theme for decades. But I would like to suggest that this is a major source of the errors we are alleging in the way Struthers is run.

Amy C's Dohnavur fellowship was not in my view a suitable model for a western church today (or even then).

She ran it like a nunnery. She blocked children under her care from going into higher education - 'the Lord has not led us that way' - thus keeping them unquestioning, adoring and controllable. She kept her people apart from other Christians. She inculcated a ghetto mentality. She claimed everything she did was divinely led. She was unaccountable. She was well-meaning, but, frankly, a liability.

So perhaps some of the criticisms fellow missionary professionals levelled at her were valid.

Is it any wonder that Struthers is the way it is if that ropey pattern is being followed? It is fantasy Christianity.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: lorna ()
Date: March 21, 2011 06:23PM

Hi all,

Just wanted to come on and share some really positive experiences I've had at Stuthers Memorial Church.

Through the ministry there I have come to know Jesus as my Saviour, Baptiser and Healer and have entered into a close personal relationship with Him. The presence of God in Struthers meetings is something I enjoy and has helped me grow in my relationship with Christ.

I'm not here to answer questions or to start an argument - I just want people to know that there are those of us who enjoy Struthers Memorial Church and are experiencing an ongoing deepening of spiritual life in a thriving, busy, growing church in the heart of Scotland.

God Bless you all,
Lorna x

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