Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Date: August 27, 2013 06:40AM
THIS IS MY SAVED TEXT EXTRACTS FOR RENSIL - EDITED BY ME - APOLOGIES IF BITS ARE MISSING :
"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."
"I was always aware that members were not encouraged to visit other churches or go to other outreaches or hear other Christian speakers. Some folk did, but ended up consumed with guilt and felt they were being disloyal. It seemed that only Struthers had the true pathway. Surely we are one Body of Christ and therefore we should be free to fellowship with other christians from other groupings. Not so, it seemed.
"There have been several posts relating to the Cumbernauld branch of Struthers, but I'd like it to be known that the same controlling, favouritism and banning procedures occur in all the branch churches. Since every one of the leaders follow the same teaching and continually told us how much in unity the leaders are, then it followed that their treatment of members of their church grouping adhered to the same pattern. I was advised to cut contact with an individual if they left the church; this happened to me on 3 or 4 specific occasions. It was hard to take especially if the person is a friend and one whose company you enjoyed. I also knew of people who were banned and of course, you were told not to see them. Because you're held by fear, you just did what the leaders said on the issue. "
"I ... can remember the previous female leaders of whom, yes, we were terrified and were scared that we'd do something wrong and get mentioned from the front (platform) either by name or anonymously.
That's why I wrote in a previous post that recent problems in SMC are not confined to the Cumbernauld church.
I was in SMC before the Cumbernauld church came into being and the same controlling behaviour existed back then and has been passed on. I'm well aware of how leaders intervene in situations and get things changed, often causing confusion and hurt to those involved. If we questioned this, we were told the leader was right and "knew the mind of God". So if you believed that, you submitted in remorse and kept quiet thereafter."
"I perceived, (and indeed had many of these myself) fear and anxiety, paranoia, introspection with accompanying condemnation, low self-worth, indecisiveness, and even depression.
These develop as a result of being constantly told in the preaching that you're not giving enough of yourself, not pressing through enough, not getting the anointing enough and being told you are useless to God until you do these things.
Years passed, you did all these instructions, gave up every bit of yourself and your personal life, and you still felt you were getting nowhere and it seemed impossible that you ever would, so the result is bad fruit like the above in your life.
I know we were told that people who leave SMC haven't "done it all" but this is not true - we gave every bit of our lives over, just the same as these leaders had.
What a lie that is, because when you meet other ex-SMC members who are doing well now in their walk with God and manifesting love, joy, peace, self-control, patience etc etc., you realise what you were taught was utterly untrue and totally negative."
( on callousness )
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.
"I have witnessed a lot of that over the years, especially concerning people with mental illness, which, in a similar way to the epileptic seizure story given by Cbarb, was usually spiritualised. The reason for ignoring someone or showing coldness towards someone was always that that was what God was telling the leaders to do and was usually because the person wasn't making the grade as far as leadership was concerned. These attitudes don't just affect the young, but also elderly members of SMC. I know an elderly member who suffered tragic circumstances and they have been left totally alone with no church support. I don't think they get pastoral visits or phone-calls, despite having supported the church for years, financially too. There are others in a similar position who just get conveniently forgotten.
Doesn't the Bible say, to help widows in their affliction?
( interfering in relationships )
Yes, I've witnessed male/female relationships being broken up causing great pain to both sides, lack of teaching on SMC's views on divorce so that a relationship formed with a divorced person leads to confusion, upset and shunning by other members, marriages deemed to be less important than your service and "call" to SMC, meetings to have priority over caring for your babies and children, breast-feeding discouraged because it kept you away from church meetings. These happen in all branches, not just Cumbernauld and it goes back years so is not a new thing. I was there.
"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. "
"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,"
( suicides )
I know that a number of years ago, a young man with mental health problems and who was a member of SMC, tragically committed suicide. We were all very upset and so were the leaders - rightly so.
It was nobody's fault; as I say, he was mentally unbalanced. So it seems very heartless for the leaders to say to you that you shouldn't hang out with such people (who struggle with life and take their own life),
when it has happened to one of their church members.
Surely compassion is in order and also support for you in your loss and shock. This is what you would find in most other churches which have a close-knit fellowship and where there is a care for the flock. If one member of the Body suffers, we are meant to suffer with them, not ostracise them.
( on Cedars )
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.
( on Covlass's comments on deliverance and misuse of tongues) ,
I have witnessed that happening to people getting prayer at the front. The person is instructed to shout louder and louder in tongues in order for the demon or demons to come out.
If nothing comes out, the person is told to shout even louder (as Covlass has described). Coupled with this, I noticed the person being pushed back and forward in a rocking-chair motion at the same time.
What is behind that way of ministry I just have no idea. The explanation I was given was that deliverance is associated with a rise in the volume of tongues, therefore if we get people to get louder in tongues then they will be delivered.
What?? Where does it say that in the Bible?
Funny thing is, I remember Hugh Black teaching on deliverance and saying that it happened in many different ways and the evidence could be just a sigh, cough or heavy breathing and the demon came out. Shaking and shouting surely isn't the correct approach.
( on repetition )
There is certainly lots of repetition going on in the preaching and teaching at SMC. As Chris19 says above, we were constantly being told that we weren't yet holy enough, committed deeply enough to God, surrendered enough etc etc, which only led to introspection and consequently, discouragement about one's spiritual condition and future.
Certain spiritual giants were spoken about again and again:
Hudson Taylor, C. T. Studd, Amy Carmichael, Madame Guyon.
They were the ones who had "made it" and we hadn't and had no hope of ever becoming like any of these pioneers. Of course we couldn't!
I also remember the following being repeated again and again:
How SMC started and how it had its roots in the Welsh Revival - because Miss Taylor was converted under the preaching of Principal George Jeffreys in an atmosphere of revival.
What I never heard mentioned, or maybe only once briefly during a Bible study on church history, was that the Elim movement which gave rise to the present Elim pentecostal churches, has its roots in that revival too and was started because of the outpouring experienced by Principal Jeffreys and others.
SMC was not the only church movement to come from that. Of course, Elim Churches are never mentioned in SMC because SMC leaders, and consequently the members too, look down on them spiritually as being a wordly church branch where there is lack of holy living and commitment to God.
Actually, nothing could be further from the truth.
( on the singing of a song/chorus over and over again )
this used to concern me greatly because, as young people in SMC, we were told in the meeting that we must look straight at the leader and make eye contact whilst she was leading the singing and we used to have to sing the same words over and over again. This frankly seemed to have the effect not of bringing us deeper into God's presence. Rather, I felt we just went into a repetitive mode similar to rote learning for exams, where the actual content becomes meaningless and isn't doing anything for you spiritually. I've wondered if there was a hypnotic effect at times. If not, it certainly worked as a method of control and drew you deeper in to the Struthers ways and contributed to your desire to obey that leader whatever she said or preached.
SMC write a lot of their own songs, some of which are really lovely, but again, certain lines and words are emphasised over and over again. They also shunned some other Christian choruses if they didn't suit their purposes and frequently changed words in them to suit, or altered the timing of parts of the music.
( on the need for anonymity )
" I feel that you may not understand the depth and seriousness of the things that have happened to those of us who were in SMC for many years and consequently the reasons why we want (yes, need) to stay anonymous at present.
The derision in which people who leave SMC are held by members and leaders is strong, hurtful and unpleasant.
If they know who we are, we will be spoken about and people will be warned to steer clear of us. Do we care? Well, yes, at the moment, I think that it wouldn't be wise to "come out". Because you haven't been "in" SMC, you won't fully know how this church operates. Most of us on this Forum are Christians so we also care about the truths of Christianity, as written in the Bible, being upheld and adhered to, and we want to warn people about any false teaching. We also pray for God to intervene where there is error and control. I also agree with Mandrake that it is a concern when children are involved.
People have spoken before about going to the newsapers with their story but no-one has yet done so. This may yet happen, though, especially with the exposure of SMC's activities on the Latigo site."
( to cbarb )
"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! "
"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.
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).
"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!
( on Ma Jewell )
" I have never heard about the lady you call Ma Jewell."
There's one reason and only one to explain this and that is because she left SMC for good and as you say, spoke up and questioned things.
A lady like you describe, who appears to have worked tirelessly for the Church and given spiritual help and encouragement to young people, should have been celebrated.
Instead she was never mentioned publicly by any of the leaders and I am certain that she was not mentioned at the 60 year celebration event.
She should have been! I remember your parents and your uncle and aunt and I missed them after they left SMC.
I'm sorry if this hurts you, Cbarb, but we were told in sermons in the late 80s that people who had left had fallen from "the high road" or the "high calling of God."
When I left SMC, of course, I was able to see that this was totally untrue. As Lintar123 points out, she was spoken about publicly from the platform after she left aswell. This is how SMC leaders behave and this is what they pass on to the members who in turn believe the lies about people. "
"That is so good to hear about Ma Jewell again. I am amazed but not surprised really that she has been air-brushed out of the Struthers story and was not mentioned publicly or privately after she left. I have a story involving a wet dish-towel too but not a happy one.
Myself and another young person were washing the communion glasses, after the meeting, in the church kitchen at Greenock. We were working away, talking a bit, but not laughing or larking about.
Miss Taylor came into the kitchen and glowered at us. We then heard her speak to another adult who then came to us and said that Miss Taylor wanted us to leave the kitchen because for some reason, we werent fit to be handling the emblems of the Lord.
Emblems? We were washing small communion glasses! So, filled with fear, we left the sink and went out of the kitchen.
The other adult then said to us at the door that Miss T wanted to handle the emblems herself and wasnt happy about us doing so.
A verse oft-quoted in SMC is "Be ye holy, who carry the vessels of the Lord". Maybe this was an application of the verse by her. (By the way, I'm sure that is not the meaning of the verse).
Of course, we knew, or had been told, that Miss T could see things that we couldn't, so we thought she must be right. We were left with the impression that we must be so sinful and impure that we weren't qualified to wash these glasses, as they were communion ones. It kind of reminds you of the Pharisees and their cup-washing regulations, which Jesus condemned. The incident just made us feel under condemnation. It was years later before I volunteered to wash the glasses again.
Furthermore, I would never dream of treating young people in that manner especially young people who are well-behaved, committed to the Church and helping out in the kitchen. "
( on praying for SMC )
"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."
( on Diana Rutherford )
When I wrote about DR's discernment and the accuracy of it compared to that of the other leaders, I wasnt meaning that I thought it was ok and that I believed her discernment was always accurate and from God.
I well know that it is not always accurate and that many people have been hurt through being told things that she had discerned and that were not the case.
I know people who were told they needed deliverance but that they couldnt get it because they were either enjoying the sin or were not serious about getting rid of their problem. Again, it was always the person's fault never that of the leader who was ministering.
Pointing out people in a public gathering and speaking about their sin and need of deliverance, which has been discerned by a leader, is very upsetting for people. In most other churches where discernment and revelation gifts are in operation, the person in need will be taken quietly aside and counselled and ministered to in private.
Again, on the matter of other churches, I have felt a strong presence of God and a strong anointing of the Holy Spirit in other churches. This is in no way confined to SMC, as the leaders and many members believe it to be and say it is. There are other Pentecostal churches around and other churches which pray for revival to come. SMC is not the only one.
Yes, I know that DR received training and counsel from Mr Black aswell, but for the more spiritual aspect of things, it was Miss Taylor and Mary Black because they both claimed to move in the discernment and revelation knowledge realm too. I remember we were told that Mary was never wrong in her discerning of things in someone or her predictions about people's futures. What a claim to make and what a terrible pressure to put on someone in ministry. I know for certain about situations where she was wrong and about judgements she made about people which proved to be incorrect, but this was never mentioned.
( on singing in worship groups )
I remember at times, we were cajoled into singing and singing and singing a particular song at the tops of our voices, until we were almost hyperventilating and /or out of breath.
We were instructed to look at the leader who was leading the singing and make complete eye-contact with her ( yes, always a 'her'! ) and if she speeded the song up then we had to follow, and vice versa if she slowed down.
Thus I came to realise that the congregational singing was very controlled and as a result, it lacked life and meaning. If I listen to it now on a CD, it sounds flat. In contrast, when I hear the singing in other churches, it is far more free and happy, not tight and ordered as it was in smc. If someone doesnt sing, well, that's OK. Loud or soft, it's OK. Nobody is going to tell you off. And such singing and worship is spirit-led, anointed and fulfilling for those of us who sing.
( on the 10 cities vision )
"I remember the 10 Cities vision of DR and, to my knowledge, you're right that it doesnt seem to have come to pass.
She boasted at the time that God had given her the towns which make up North Lanarkshire before local government had called the area North Lanarkshire.
It reminds me of Miss Taylor's vision of the Fountain where she predicted the Struthers movemnt spreading out from Greenock over the central belt of Scotland and beyond and leading to branch churches being set up all over the place. As you can read in Latigo's article about "How many menbers does SMC have?" many of these branch churches which were set up in the 70s and 80s eventually closed and are no longer in operation.
Latigo show that the numbers attending present branch churches are not that high and that the movement is not spreading out all over the place from Greenock. So what's happened regarding that vision? What are the leaders' thoughts on that one? "
( on Mr Black and Diana Rutherford )
Yes, I think you're right that Mr Black did not always agree wiuth DR's ministry style and the pointing out of people in a meeting.
I felt though, that he was always over-ruled by Mary Black and Diana because they were felt to have more spiritual insight and revelation, so he let them have their way often.
It stemmed back to him being over-ruled by Miss Taylor for the same reasons. Again, it's this concept of women being in charge and getting their way. Of course, after Mr Black's death, they didn't have to worry about that anymore. The other leaders must think DR is OK to do as she does.
( on why why SMC members support for their leaders and don't leave )
I think it is a combination of fear, insecurity about leaving a comfort zone, subtle manipulation by the leaders, spiritual soul ties with leaders, and being in a vulnerable condition, it's all these which can keep people in SMC. Knowing they can't and mustnt question anything, fear that God will punish them if they speak up or leave, these keep people in SMC. I totally agree that we each have a responsibility for our own life and beliefs. And that is the frightening thing, that people seem to lose that individual sense of responsibilty and the ability to think for themselves and to be themselves, when they join such a church with a controlling leadership.
I noticed that there were many people in SMC who take on the traits of the leaders and become controlling aswell, in their relationships with others. That is frightening too because it means that people's personalities could be changed just by being controlled by abusive leaders. I did see personality changes and I probably underwent some too, which explains why it can take years to re-adjust to normal life after leaving SMC. It's a type of mind control.
I don't think it's a simple matter to expect people to take responsibility, if they have become embedded in an abusive church for many years. Let's hope that more do question things and decide that they want more for themselves out of life and discover that there is life out there. For young people who have been brought up in SMC by their parents, they have to decide if this way of being is OK for them or not. Many kids did leave when they reached their mid-teens, so these ones have been able to take resonsibility for their own lives.
( to a poster who still attends SMC member but has grave reservations about it )
"you have recognised, as many of us did as well, that there are wonderful Christian teachers and preachers out there in other churches, who base their teaching on the Bible and who study the Word and explain what it is saying. Don't be afraid to leave Struthers if you are unhappy with what is being taught there. As many who have posted here have said, there IS life after Struthers.
Yes, you may lose friends but you will make new ones.
Yes, you will be leaving the familiar and comfortable zone behind, but you'll find freedom and new life in Christ outside of Struthers.
There are many lovely Christian people out there who will help you and befriend you and let you be "you" as God designed you to be. Please be careful, Blackwatch, because I believe that SMC can be very damaging to a person, both spiritually and emotionally, and perhaps mentally aswell. Many of us on here can testify to that. But healing and recovery is attainable.
Praying for both of you. I agree, Squareone, it is SO important to keep reading the Scriptures in order to know what is correct teaching and what is error.
"I read that you are still in smc and yet you are having doubts and questions about the teaching and the manipulation. The very fact that you are on here and also enjoying listening to sermons from elsewhere, shows that you are not entirely happy with the way things are in smc and yet you say you do not want to leave - at the moment anyway. This surprises me. I hope you have not swallowed the lie that there are no good churches out there, at least none as good and holy, or none who practice holy living, as much as those in smc. This is indeed a lie.
( On Cedars School )
No, Cedars School doesn't use the Accelerated Christian Education scheme. To my knowledge, they follow the Scottish Government's Curriculum for Excellence programme which is the same as all the state schools follow. Cedars wouldn't get any pupils in if they taught way-out or Struthers doctrines, so they keep to the normal scottish curriculum. They teach evolution in Biology and not creation, for example. Chesterk55 has explained the situation regarding the establishing and operation of Cedars School perfectly, so if you don't know much about it, please read and digest that recent post.
Before the School was set up, I remember hearing that one of the reasons why SMC leaders wanted to set up their own school was because there was too much sexual activity going on openly at school amongst pupils in state schools, and they wanted to protect children from that. Whilst I'm not saying that this couldn't happen, I know that it is extremely rare and any such behaviour would be dealt with appropriately and efficiently by teachers in state schools. In addition, after Cedars school started to take teenagers up to 5th and 6th year, many of whom come from non-Christian families, they will have had to discuss sexual matters in school. So that reason doesn't have substance now either.
Chesterk55 is right that they had to start taking non-church and non-christian kids in order to keep it going financially. This was said publicly by leaders aswell. The school has kids from very wealthy families, who may never set foot in an SMC church except at the Christmas dramas. SMC do consider the School to be a form of outreach, though; they have said so. I believe they try to invite school pupils to the youth meetings at SMC. And they don't do much in the way of other outreach. You're right, squareone, that the fees are lower than other private schools. This helps them to attract parents looking for a small private school. But as Chesterk55 points out, they have the church collection-plate to supplement (or more) their income and they don't tell people that. Squareone, you can read the explanations about the financial side on the Latigo site where you'll find analysis of the accounts. I realise you know people in the school and church and you are finding it hard to believe. So did most of us on here; we were committed christians seeking a walk with God and got duped, as Cbarb describes."
"Re the church-school connection, back years ago when the school was set up (1999), there was a lot said in church meetings about the school and I believe there still is. As quoted previously, there is the Humiliation sermon as an example. Yes, Cedars School has been described by the Headmistress, as "our outreach". So they are closely connected.
It's highly possible that the SMC teachings are subtly or even directly passed on to the Cedars pupils. I certainly noticed arrogant, "better than you" attitudes in some SMC children who went to Cedars School; when in the company of children who weren't at the School, say, at a kids' meeting or Camp, they were not friendly and welcoming towards the other kids and I had to intervene at one point.
The people in charge denied that anything was amiss. SMC children who were at state schools and not at Cedars were OK at mixing. As lintar123 points out, they are in such a closed community; parents/teachers/children all inter-linked. So how can they learn to mix with those outside? But it's supposed to be an Outreach, didn't they say??
( On the Mr Black share purchase disaster )
Yes, lots of us decided to forgive Mr Black and continue to be loyal and support the church when that shares crisis hit.
It was truly an awful time; it was like some disaster had hit the church and everyone was upset.
Many people left, some lovely and very spiritually-gifted people who were much missed.
It took time for the church to recover from that - maybe it never has, as someone was saying.
The other terrible result of this crisis, though, was that we were told again and again, over the ensuing years, by the leaders that the people who had left had had something in them - a weakness in loyalty or commitment to God - and that was why they couldnt weather the storm when it came and had left the church when this crisis hit.
The teaching was that if you were totally loyal and sold out completely to God (God, although they meant to themselves, the leaders), then no matter what happened or who made a mistake, you would rise above that and stay in the church and still submit to the leaders. Because they were right, as The Petitor points out. And I believed all that at the time.
It wasnt until years later that I saw that was a total lie.
Many of those who left because of that crisis went on to excel in christian service and leadership elsewhere and are still doing well.
One could say that they were the ones who showed integrity, honesty and moral uprightness by not supporting a wrong move.
Like Cbarb, I didn't know for years either, that people had been asked to sign forms so that the church could buy shares.
This was kept totally secret (unless you were asked to sign a form).
"that is why it was wrong what Mr Black did. We are talking about a church, not a company or family. Church members give their money freely. The problem was that he controlled all the money and there wasn't a group of other elders or whatever to sanction it, as other churches have.
I believe SMC set things right after this crisis happened because of pressure from other professional people in the church.
A salutary lesson was learned.
Maybe God allowed it all to happen so that it was brought out into the light. "
"the people in SMC aren't mindless. There are some very intelligent folk in the church. And we've all been in it ourselves!
As Cbarb explains, it's mind control in a subtle way which keeps people looking to leaders and gives them a kind of false sense of security.
Anyone of any intelligence level or any personality type can be subjected to manipulation and mind control through fear.
It is often people who are seeking for the best and the highest who fall victim to it.