I think some of the posters here - in their complaints about SMC are still thinking a little within the same old mindset of the SMC and maybe still need to break free from it.
Firstly I wholeheartedly agree that one of the major problem in Struthers was the over emphass on the leaders. They were alwys right, could never be questioned, acceptance/rejection from them equated to acceptance/rejection from God etc and that is totally unhealthy. It is also identified as one of the characteristics ofa cult. Reading some of the other non Struthers related posts on this forum I see the same thing being repeated within many other groups.
The thing is, many of the experiences people have about Struthers, only make sense from a Struthers mindset. I now also go to a healthy church and if I go forward for prayer and am prayed with by a member of the ministry tea and not the pastor I dont even give it a second thought. I know its not a delberate act on his part to shun me, punish me or in some way to make a statement to the rest of the church that Im not good enough because he hasnt prayed for me.
However in Struthers it was a deliberate statement. People were left standing at the front of the church like lemons whilst those praying, refused to pray for them and in many cases wouldnt let anyone else pray for them either. This was used as a form of control, a form of punishment even. I recall a situation where a young protege of Diana had done something she disapproved of. This guy who had once received all the attention now had this withdrawn until he presumably fell back into line. And its not just prayer I talking about but any kind of help, guidance or anything else that relates to the duty of a pastor.
Yeah when you were in Struthers you soon got to learn that if you got prayed for by leader X Y or Z you were seen to have been somehow accepted and if you didnt, you just wernt cutting the mustard with God. The leaders cultivated this and used it to control people. This is the basis of my complaint against Struthers, that they used the word of God and peoples genuine desire to reach out to God and grow deeper in him to control them. Perhaps this didnt come across too well in my previous post and it sounded like I was just sore because I didnt get prayed for by the leaders as often as I wouldve liked. Thanks for picking up on important point and helping to clarify the situation a bit more.