Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb-again ()
Date: March 12, 2014 10:09PM

Hi folks

I'm not sure if things are quiet because there isn't much else to be said that hasn't already been discussed or if perhaps some previous posters and readers have not been able to find the forum again since the domain switch.

I've been thinking about something I recently read which reminded me of the discussion we had 3 years ago, when we talked about the Grace of God and the lack of this being shown in SMC.

We can be fairly certain that being able to see and acknowledge the Grace of God is something you lose when you allow yourself to be corrupted by power. We discussed this too a while back but it's blatantly so throughout history - humans usually become worse 'people' when given too much power over others lives and professing Christians are as susceptible to the temptations of lusting for power as anyone else on the planet.

The true showing of whether a church is built on the Grace of God or not is what the pastors and the congregations are praying for on a regular basis.

The Bible says that God wants to just pour out his love and grace on anyone and everyone and all we need to do is to pray blessings, in His name, on the towns and cities and all the people in them and their livelihoods .. etc. (Leviticus Ch.9 and various other books)

Therefore, in order to receive God's blessings and grace you need to ask for these for everyone around you and even further afield and this should be blessings on EVERYONE not just the people you love.

The problem with false teaching, which is a problem in many other churches too, is that they lose the whole point of what the Bible is really telling our hearts and minds. For me, it can be summed up in Genesis 12:3 - 'As we bless we will be blessed'.

The whole point of praying as a collective is to use God Grace to BLESS everyone, in His name.

Many times, when I attended SMC, I heard more prayers for the 'destruction of our enemies' (which meant everyone who wasn't in SMC) than I did for blessings on the town and it's people and businesses and blessings on the local farms and industries. Yet, the Bible clearly tells us that if we use His name to just ask Him for blessings on our friends, neighbours, local people and businesses then He will 'DELIGHT' in pouring out His blessings on Christian and non-Christian alike. THAT'S some promise and it's a tragedy that more churches and other religious institutions don't practice this more often.

The more we bless others, the more God will bless us. Unfortunately, once some people gain too much control they begin to lose sight of the Grace of God and begin to enjoy basking in the limelight. That's when the hellfire prayers for 'destruction of our enemies' start to become normal and so many people miss out on Gods' real Grace and blessings.

So that's why I think that you can tell the true intentions of a church by listening to what it is they are praying for.

I also feel that the heavy lean toward the teaching profession is to ensure as many of them as possible have a higher than normal influence on a large proportion of young people in their areas. This is the most dangerous thing about these people because we KNOW that they will be influencing and manipulating so many young, pliable minds - brainwashing them with their pretences and desire for control of enough people to keep paying their bills into the future. With absolutely no regard what so ever to the their souls and the blessings God wants to give them.

I do hope the OSCR reach a decision soon and I would hope that the complete closure of the school would be on the agenda because these people are too drunk on their own hype and self-appointed importance to be allowed to have so much influence on so many young lives.

We can only wait and hope.

As always, biiiiiig love and huge huggggggggs to all.
God Bless xxxx

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: TRUTHSEEKER9001 ()
Date: March 19, 2014 08:05PM

I had not intended to post again but I thought I should share this.

I understand some of the leadership are celebrating that the Charity Regulator's investigation has taken over 18 months and is still going.
My understanding is that they will continue to argue and delay any responses as long as possible and if there are adverse findings they will say they are out of date.They believe that afterwards they can return to normal.

There is also a belief that the Regulator does not know the details of all the relationships of the families involved in running SMC and the school.

The leadership have also used Charb's 21 December post to discredit this forum. Charb has previously made an immense contribution to this forum. Although I do not agree with Charb's views in 21 Dec post, I accept they are genuinely held, but right or wrong I believe they are best outside the SMC forum.

Let us hope the Regulator's report is taking so long because they are doing a good job rather than being taken in by the SMC leadership.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb-again ()
Date: March 20, 2014 02:37AM

Hi Truthseeker

Thanks for letting us know but I don't think the length of time taken by OSCR is really something to be celebrated by SMC, I'm sure the OCSR folks know when they're been given the run-around.

Fortunately senior members of OSCR have been following this thread for some months BEFORE they began their investigation so they are well aware of all posts and the problems and hurt being aired by everyone here.

The fact that SMC are using one of my posts in order to discredit the forum will only be discrediting themselves in the eyes of OSCR since they are well aware of the anguish previously posted here and they are familiar with all other posts (especially the lost posts). So I think that SMC using that one post of mine will just stink of sour grapes to the people at OSCR.

There are guidelines that OSCR have to use when investigating charities and I'm sure they will exhaust all avenues before making a final decision. I'm also sure that they will know exactly how to deal with organisations who continue to try to subvert their investigations but there will be a limit to how much slack they will allow them before insisting on a final deadline.

I have every confidence that the OSCR will do their job and ensure the public (especially children) are not subject to any more abuse by this organisation.

The main thing is that God knows how to deal with false prophets and I trust that He will have His way when it comes to SMC and Cedars School.

We can only ask that God blesses the OSCR with the insight and wisdom to deal with what must be a very difficult investigation.

As always,
Biiiiiig love and huge hugggggggs to all
God Bless xxxx

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Chesterk55 ()
Date: March 20, 2014 09:04AM

Hi Truthseeker9001,

And thank you for your latest post which is very informative.

It would not be surprsing at all if the leadership were saying to the gullible in their congregation that the long time OSCR were taking in their investigations was a reason to celebrate.

As we know - It is not.

It signifies how uniquely bad things are in Struthers Memorial Church. Many, many, many people have warned them for many, many decades the leadership systems were wide open to corruption and the apalling treatment of people was incompatible with any claims of public benefit.

Interestingly Struthers are much more meek in their latest Report and Accounts which came out in October in which they are obliged to warn their supporters and the public that the charity is being investigated by the regulator - so that supporters know there might be risks in giving to this charity at this point in time. There is a second reference where the Struthers charity directors make it very clear they they will cooperate with OSCR and are in "regular contact" with them and will follow whatever recommendations the regulator eventually comes up with.

If they are at the same time saying to the congregation that they expect all will soon return to normal then that seems to be seeking to deliberately mislead them.

That changes will be agreed with an outside body controlling them is a very different message from any one ever given before by Struthers leaders who have always claimed the structure and leadership had no flaws and needed to change not one bit, Rather it was claimed to be both biblical and God appointed. Now will they accept any and all changes the secular men of OSCR require; or stand frim (as we were always told to) and speak up for their understanding of what "God wants"?

The answer is simple. They will do as they are told or will cease to be a charity. If they cease to be a charity their chartable assets will have to be transfered to organisations with similar charitable purposes. Elim perhaps?

As I say they will do as they are told.

So we still hope to see a public complaints proceedure with the possibility of a fair outcome for any past member who wants answers. We hope to see a full list of employees and a recruitment policy that shows how nepotism will be avoided in future. We hope to see a publicly available childcare policy that explains how children and vulnerable adults are to be protected when subject to "deliverance ministry". And how about a simple Struthers teachings and beliefs document so that people know the charity rules before they get involved - or send their children to the school.

And if anything is changed is there to be a seeking to make apologies to those hurt and damaged - as many have claimed on this forum - by the approach now deemed to be outside of acceptable charity practice?

Finally (for now) if the leadership really think that OSCR do not know about the complex family relationships of many of those working in (and benefiting from) the school and charity that would be another foolish and wrong assumption. OSCR know in great detail. In great, great detail. Why would anyone seek to hide the truth anyway?

My guess is that OSCR are taking a long time because the issues are deep, complex and disturbing. No simple direction (such as some charities have had) can be made to change a couple of things within 18 months and that will secure public benefit. There have been a number of specific complaints we know of and OSCR have perhaps received many others. And as cbarb has said this forum is something OSCR know about. If there is an outcome that leaves our concerns unresolved this situation will remain as an almost unique blight on the Scottish charity sector. No one - least of all OSCR - want that. We all want Struthers to live by the rules they signed up to, most especially full transparency.

Whatever OSCR finally report it needs to be public, thorough and potentially stand up to legal scrutiny. My view is that it is taking a long time as Struthers is quite possibly like nothing they have had to deal with before.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/20/2014 09:15AM by Chesterk55.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Cornelius Dredd ()
Date: March 20, 2014 10:58PM

Hi Folks, I hope you all are well. The little bit of radio-silence there didn't worry me at all. I hope nobody here thought
that we gave up...'cause I know I haven't. Don't mind one iota if smc leadership think this is the case...

So we are dismissed as a dead thread(/threat!) then? And are you the indicated example of our irrelevance, Cbarb? I haven't
read these comments. What utter misinformation. My own fault because I can't be bothered keeping on reading lacklustre
blogs that anybody could fire off in 5 minutes. The Cumbernauld branch especially...I mean is a 5 year old writing these
(no offence to 5 year olds!)?

I saw recently about the Aberdeenshire independent school that was shut down, instantly. I didn't even see a mention of
OSCR (don't know if this school was a charity...) but what was notable was the various hitherto unknown to me bodies with
similar mandates. And the powers to do the absolutely severe.

As said though, Chesterk55, this is a convuluted, structurally complex organisation and as one authority reaches the limits
of their particular power; the information is passed around. I agree that OSCR (at least..) have come to realise the octopus
is difficult for them to handle, but they can't ignore it and are not being hoodwinked. Just doing what they do thoroughly.
It is true that many charities fail and get issued directives, but most tick the boxes within 6 months and are then passed
and back on track. Can any part of smc charity ever get back on track?

Also I'm guessing that the school/church entwinement thing is going to be one of the main problems for smc. Awareness of
their shiftiness is way up nowadays anyway. Splitting the two may buy time, but too much damage has already been seen. The
school's reputation will always be affected by smc (even if they were to visibly move apart).

Many other aspects of smc life coming out too, it seems? Openness is really not going to help them dodgy leaders! Good...
it's not supposed to.

Anyway, just really wanted to pop in and say hello. The silence wasn't awkward or ought, I actually thought it seemed like
an ominous prelude to... well, to the future of smc leadership. Which we will patiently watch unfold..

Take care all.
Regards and happy days, Cornelius Dredd

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: March 25, 2014 12:14AM


The SMC leaders may be spouting forth their usual “we are wonderful and God will look after us” rubbish, but they will have to do a lot more than that to get approval from OSCR - they will have to provide externally examinable evidence, something they have never had to do before. Until now, they have not needed any evidence, just a repetition that they have been specially chosen so we should all ignore any evidence and our own conscience and do what they tell us.

It seems to me there are some very clear things that SMC will not be able to hide form OSCR however, for example,

1) Almost everyone employed by SMC is related to just 2 families.
2) The finances are obscure and misleading, making it very difficult to see the reality behind things like (a) loans that have magically reduced by tens of thousands with no mention of loan repayments, (b) transfer of funds from restricted funds to general funds and (c) no information about who pays rent or receives any income related to the mysterious “Fidra operations”
3) There are about 50 people who have publicly claimed there experience of SMC has been of “dis-benefit”. If we assume that around 1 person in 6 takes the time to even search for info re SMC then posts online (probably quite a conservative assumption) then there are more people who feel the organisation has directly affected them in a negative way than there are current members, and I for one do not think all of the current members are benefiting in any way – by some accounts about half of them are depressed!

There is one thing that is in some ways more important however, and that is the question of whether the leaders of SMC are infallible and have this direct line to God. Even if they are criticised on just one thing, and accept the criticism, that proves they are fallible. If they are fallible, then the members of the congregation cannot accept what they say without first testing it.

To me, that is the end of the road for SMC. As soon as it is clear that the things the leaders say have to be tested, not just accepted because they have this superior access to God, the whole house of cards falls down. It is all the emperor’s new clothes – the system only works if no-one questions it. Without their assumed infallibility, they have nothing to offer at all, certainly no moral guidance (see below for comments on the ethics of some of their accounting practices for example). I also seem to remember that there was also a point raised about a girl at the school who was told she could not attend because she was pregnant, but the father of the child (also a pupil) was allowed to continue to attend – how does that work? Where is the moral leadership on that one?

The way I see it, the only thing the SMC leaders ever had was the claim to a unique communication line with God. Once the OSCR report is published, I am convinced that, whatever the issues, it will be clear they are fallible. That means they will require checks and balances in the system – complaints procedures, proper scrutiny of the finances, the ability to hold the trustees to account etc – perhaps even a way to sack leaders that are not effective – I would love to see the criteria they draw up for that one!

Re the comments on the ethics of their accounting practices that I referred to above, I enclose below two quotes from the forum in May 2012 , (thanks cbarb for continuing to include the link to the recovered posts in your messages). I hope Kelvin is still listening in and is still thinks it is a good idea that questions and the OSCR response is published. I look forward in particular to his post-publication comment about whether the use of the word “when” was indeed appropriate.

@Chesterk55 Your suggestion is an interesting one. I think the complaints/allegations people on this forum do make ought to be put to OSCR and the detail of the complaint posted here also, with any answer you receive. The question is, when OSCR allows SMC to retain their charitable status will you accept that they have been cleared of any financial impropriety or will it be business as usual?

First, welcome to the forum! It is good to have you on board.

I don’t know how others would respond, but I for one would be happy that there was no financial impropriety if this was the outcome confirmed by any independent authority. One of the real issues with Struthers is that it is accountable to no-one, denying even basic human rights like the right to a fair trial. A bit of external scrutiny has to be good and its conclusions should be welcomed, whatever they are.

In terms of the accounts and the OSCR, I think there are some other issues however. The way I read the Latigo article, it is not so much about financial impropriety as about Christian ethics (or just ethics if you prefer). For example, why do they show donations falling form £605k to £580k in 2010 then work from a different starting figure of £467k falling to £441k in 2011. That may not be illegal, I don’t know, but it sure is misleading and, in my view, is unethical.

If this is a genuine mistake, that is not a problem in my view. They know the accounts are being examined publicly, so all they need to do is post an online explanation and apology. I don’t know about others, but I would accept that and would think well of them for being so honest.

Similarly, the comment in the accounts about “new members joining the charity” may be true but I suspect that even greater numbers are leaving. You may expect a politician to make a one-sided statement like that, and OSCR may have no objection to it, but I do not find it sits well with an ethic of honesty.

Also, as the Latigo site says, ‘to claim the “vast majority of funds come from personal giving at services” is clearly wrong.’ That seems pretty clear and in accord with the evidence. I doubt OCSR will have much interest in where the funds come from as long as it is legal, but I would again argue that it is misleading and dishonest, and that does not sit well with any Christian ethics I know of.

According to Chesterk55, none of this will be the real test however, the real test will be “If Struthers can demonstrate sufficient benefit to the public”. Well, I am not sure the jury will take long on that one – banning members of the public without a reason or a chance to appeal, creating trauma in the lives of those brave enough to leave, dragging a high proportion of those who remain into clinical depression, and perhaps even brining the name of Christ into disrepute through a misleading set of accounts – I can’t see any benefit to the public there.

Finally, you have asked that “when [an interesting choice of word, you obviously know something that OSCR themselves do not yet know!] OSCR allows SMC to retain their charitable status will you accept that they have been cleared of any financial impropriety?”. Other than the fact you use "when" rather than "if", I think that is a fair question. Can I ask you one in return – IF OSCR does NOT allow SMC to retain their charitable status will you accept that they ARE guilty of financial impropriety?

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: seekingsusan ()
Date: April 04, 2014 10:18AM

I came across this website which relates to calvinist megachurch Mars Hill and the overbearing pastor there Mark Driscoll.

Driscoll has publicly apologised. Something we are yet to see from Diana Rutherford and other top SMC brass


Of course the only difference here is that SMC has never been anything close to a “megachurch”.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/04/2014 10:21AM by seekingsusan.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb-again ()
Date: April 06, 2014 01:15AM

Hi Seekingsusan

Thanks for that, it does show that at least some people know about the Grace of God.

It's such a pity that I honestly can't see that happening from the SMC platforms. But who knows? God does work in mysterious ways and wouldn't it be amazing if the leaders of Struthers Memorial Church got a change of heart?

I'm not sure about holding my breath for it though :-)

These testimonies and apologies are very moving though and makes me think that perhaps there's a wee bit of hope yet!

As always, biiiiiiig love and huge huggggggs
God Bless xxx

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: April 11, 2014 07:30AM

Thanks for all your recent posts, folks. And for the up to date information, Truthseeker9001, on what the leadership are concluding and saying regarding the OSCR investigation.

Honestly, they just never seem to change! The still believe that everything is OK and they turn things round to make themselves look good by saying they are celebrating the fact that OSCR is investigating them. I doubt whether there will be any apologies given by SMC leaders, that would be similar to the ones given by Mark Driscoll and also given by politicians when they've made a mistake which affects the public.

I know that, recently, various singing-groups from SMC have been taking part at local charity events and a fundraising concert was held in the Greenock Church in aid of the Erskine charity. Is this SMC trying to demonstrate that their work is of benefit to the public and to their local community, as a Charity is supposed to do? Well, that's good, I guess, but I hope the members would, as a result, become less insular and less critical of other churches and Christians, and be more involved with their local communities, whilst no longer holding an attitude of superiority. I'm not sure that's what will happen, though, in the long run. Let's hope it helps to open the eyes of members who aren't sure about things and are perhaps wanting to leave SMC.

So the SMC leadership, and most likely many members too, are still reading this Forum thread then? Yes, they must be if they have picked up on C-barb's post of 21 December. Yet, the leaders tell people not to read this Forum and many say they don't ever read it. Therefore, this thread must be worrying the leaders and they don't like what is being posted here. It is very typical of them to pick on something said or done which is a bit out on a tangent, and highlight it as proof that someone is in the wrong or is not following their ways. This distracts people from the real issues. I have seen this happen in SMC, where a "way out", irrelevant occurrence or behaviour is pointed out to prove such and such, with the result that always the leaders are right and the other or others are in error or unholy or not making the grade. So I think this is why they've picked on this post by C-barb because the subject matter is not about SMC itself, but about views on world affairs and threats.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb-again ()
Date: April 12, 2014 03:02AM

Hi Rensil

Good to see you.

I'm not really surprised that SMC are rushing to show how charitable they are. I don't think they have any choice when they're trying to impress the OSCR and keep their charitable status. I wonder how long it will last though in the event of a favourable decision by OSCR? Will they keep involving outside organisations in their activities, or will it just fall by the wayside as soon as they get the OK? The school is really the most worrying part of the organisation and I do hope the OSCR will see through any attempts to create fog over that one.

Unfortunately they've held the forum up to ridicule because of me and for that I do apologise to everyone. However, although the post was off-topic, it was still related to SMC - the fears expressed in the post would not have been so ingrained in me had I not been subjected to years of 'demon-talk' and 'exorcism' while attending SMC in my most impressionable years - even after all these years of being away from such destructive teachings there are still times when the worm stirs in the brain. Imagine a child growing up in an environment of devil worship - well, growing up in SMC probably wasn't much different apart from the God and the chicken sacrifices.

I am sorry guys but, like I said before, I wouldn't expect the OSCR to hold much against us because of my post since they have been following the forum for longer than they have been investigating Struthers and they are well aware of all the other posts over the past 3 years or so.

The members of Struthers may well be enjoying ridiculing us over it but that's what they've been doing all along anyway and those who have had serious doubts have also been following the forum for a long time and know that the December post was out of character and off topic so it's unlikely to stop them doubting what they are being taught in SMC.

The post I made in December was a visual representation of what was going on in my head and I'm not alone with having bouts of feelings of insanity and hopelessness. My closest friend and many others I know who grew up in Struthers (not all I hasten to add) occasionally experience bouts of not just a low mood but an inexplicable fear and withdrawal, when thoughts or nightmares about demons and the end of the world plague you.

My friend and I discussed this at length on many occasions and the common thread led us back to the constant barrage of demon possession talk, exorcism practices, being constantly told you would never make the grade with God anyway and the ultimate fear of not being able to get to Heaven unless you were a member of SMC.

You see, even although we know for a complete and certain FACT that what SMC are teaching is anti-Biblical and unholy the 'worm' still lives in the brain and occasionally rears its ugly head. I don't know if it's the same for people who joined the church as adults and then left but certainly of those of us who grew up in the church and spent our earliest and most impressionable years in the church the 'worm' once planted is not so easy to dig out.

It's like learning to write, once learned very few people are able to write with the other hand even although it is possible to do so.

On another note though, I was looking at an article recommended on the Latigo site about the Jezebel Spirit inhabiting the church. I hadn't actually made that Biblical reference before although I have, in previous posts, slammed the leaders of SMC for exactly these failings. According to this article, the Jezebel spirit can be recognised by the following 6 characteristics (quoted from the article):

1. The Jezebel spirit has a huge ego and wants to meet its desire and need for power. The Jezebel spirit does this by assuming false authority by any means possible. With this false authority the Jezebel spirit not only fulfils its need for power, but also gets tremendous ego satisfaction as it continually manoeuvres for a high position on any hierarchical totem pole — either real or imaginary.

2. The Jezebel spirit will continue and continue to proclaim their authority. The Jezebel spirit has to do this because it has no real authority. So they have to continue to remind others that they have Godly authority. Usually their group claims they have been granted a mandate by God Himself in some specialized area and that because of this others must obey their commands. Look for this insistence upon having authority granted by God with the claim that because of this others must become their followers. To make things easier for themselves, these Jezebel spirits will usually mark off some area of “specialized ministry” so they can focus on it. This way, they don’t have to have a broad understanding of the Bible, God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. After all, they are “specialists” who hear from where you don’t hear, so they are in charge of that area of “speciality.” This is really simply a variation of the Jezebel spirit claiming false authority.

3. The Jezebel spirit is quick to attribute any “problems” others point out to them as being caused by the person who brought it up. Remember, the Jezebel spirit “leader” claims to hear from God in their area of self-proclaimed “speciality” of God and you don’t. So, regardless of what the Bible says about something, they have “special revelations” from God and so they are the ones who will decide what’s a problem and what’s not a problem, and what’s right and what’s wrong. Again, a variation of the “false authority” theme.

4. If you attempt to remain loyal to Christ and His teachings, instead of the Jezebel spirit leaders teachings, you will be made the object of their wrath. You will be openly scorned, ridiculed and embarrassed. If you then say that you will leave their organization, or do so, there will be follow up by the Jezebel spirit leader and followers with overtones of impending doom for you because you are un-teachable. And so, the false authority theme continues to develop.

5. You will soon realize that the Jezebel spirit and/or their organization operates in an atmosphere of secrecy. Since they have an exclusive hotline to God, usually in their “specialized area of ministry,” they have exclusive knowledge that you don’t. You are to simply follow their leading and must not question their exclusive “truths.” The Jezebel spirit will constantly be springing surprises upon their followers in any and all areas you can think of. Because of their secrecy and their “surprise techniques” you and the other followers will be kept in a constant state of suspense, always aware that things can change at any moment in time, without any indication of such. The Jezebel spirit cannot afford to be honest, because that would jeopardize their false claim to authority. They cannot openly declare their policies, because the Jezebel spirit has only one policy — control through power over others. If they should somehow become transparent in their manipulations and intimidating tactics, then they will claim you have created a “problem” and will treat you as described in the third characteristic discussed above.

6. The Jezebel spirit will purposefully exclude the total counsel of God as stated throughout the Bible. The technique of taking scriptural verses out of context and stringing them together to create false doctrine is a speciality of the Jezebel spirit. In this way the Jezebel spirit can continue to claim they have an exclusive hotline to God on their particularly selected and segmented “area of speciality.” The subject of the prophetic ministry, prophets and prophecy is one of their favourites. If the people who follow the Jezebel spirit can be persuaded that they are hearing the words of a prophet, they will be much more inclined to accept the controlling tactics of Jezebel.


The article goes on to describe controlling tactics but if you want to read it you can find it at this link The Jezebel Spirit

It's a very interesting read.

As always biiiiiiig love and huge hugggggggs to all
God Bless xxx

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/12/2014 03:11AM by cbarb-again.

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