Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: July 19, 2011 03:32PM


As has been suggested in the other responses, I think there will be as many answers as there are individuals. Whether the contributors here are satisfied is not really the issue though, is it? These issues existed before this forum made them public, and the issues will continue to exist even if this forum dies.

The main question to me is (1) What does GOD require of the leaders in Struthers, not what might we want?

If you do want to solicit the views of the contributors here, the supplementary question I would ask is (2) what are some of the actions we might suggest to support this reconciliation?

I repeat my comments from an earlier that we are just witnesses to all of this. If they continue to abuse people, I am sure that witnesses will continue to come forward. If they take steps to resolve issues, I would hope that witnesses to that would come forward as well. I do not think this is a whether we are satisfied, which reduces it to a human vs. human conflict. I just don’t see it that way. This is about an organisation claiming to be a work of God but unwilling to apply basic Christian principles.

With regard to q1 above, I just cannot get away from Matthew 5 v 23 – If you are brining a gift to the alter and remember your brother has something against you, leave the gift and be reconciled with your brother. That is not what WE want, that is what GOD wants. There is no way they can avoid a direct command from Christ Himself. To me it is really simple – they either act on this command or they consign themselves to a life of uselessness.

With regard to q2, I know what I would do. I would immediately follow Matthew 5 v 23, getting in touch with everyone I could to understand their grievances and seek to resolve them. Part of this would be a public invitation for people to get in touch if they had any questions. Another part of it would be setting up an independent panel to hear any grievances. I would look at the “10 warning signs” on this RickRoss website and make a statement about how we were going to address each one, and I would also look at the latigo site and respond publicly to any policy questions there. Finally, I would suggest every member takes 25% of the time they spend in Struthers to visit other churches, then set up internal groups to report back on what they had found and whether any of the good practice elsewhere should be adopted by Struthers.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Clive ()
Date: July 19, 2011 08:02PM

Regarding the question on the film The Godfather, Im not really sure what the relevance is to this thread

It has to do with the arbitrariness ( and hypocrisy in my mind ) with which Struthers leadership pronounce one thing to be "Kosher" yet another not.

It has to do with the famous "in the world but not of the world" distinction and how christians should apply it.

It has to do with whether its allright for an adult to read shakespeare ( is it ? ) but not watch any movie that depicts a sinful activity. Whether it is ok to read books but not watch TV or a particular movie ( or go to the cinema ).

It has to do with whether one should first examine the past life of an artist, as well as their beliefs, and only deem such an artists works "Kosher" if the persons life meets Struthers Criteria.

It has to do with whether its ok to view a nude painting or sculpture ( is it ? ) but not watch "The Godfather"

It has to do with whether in some mysterious way, reading or viewing a work of fiction, somehow lets "satan in".

I would be curious for example to know if Mozart or Beethoven are forbidden to be listened to, after all - both these people indulged in activities and lines of
exploration and thought that go against christian teaching and in some cases really were quite disgusting.

It has to do with whether a christian who populates their own personal library with nothing but literature obtained from the local christian bookstore - ( and in the SMC case of course - every book Hugh Black ever wrote ) actually learns any more about how to live the christian life and "True Spirituality" than another christian who maybe prefers to keep their religious book collection to just a few bible translations and then stocks his/her library with some of the finest literary works the world has produced.

How much about the real human condition can someone soaked and limited to nothing but the way of struthers really know about the human condition and how to speak to it, if they are forbidden from actually interacting with anyone outside the "fold" - unless of course its absolutely necessary to earn a living, survive, or preach to someone. ?

Consider all this half rhetorical if you wish, but I am definitely interested in the answers.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/19/2011 08:14PM by Clive.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Clive ()
Date: July 19, 2011 08:32PM


I would also look at the latigo site and respond publicly to any policy questions there.

Wouldn't it be better for any SMC leader to make their responses to the Latigo site here ?.

If the creator of that site is already one of the posters here ( hint hint ) and makes explicit the link between their "nom de plume" here and that site - then
we can all discuss the latigo questions in public here.

Seems to me this forum is a far better place for any SMC responses than a site under the control of one individual.

So - "come out, come out whoever you are!" who are you ?.

I simply find it inconceivable that the latigo creator would be able to stay away from this forum!.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: clare ()
Date: July 19, 2011 09:52PM

I think the Latigo creator is Covlass, oups! was that already obvious ? Well Covlass your posts on here have the same well thought out, well researched and passionate arguments .

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Clive ()
Date: July 19, 2011 10:42PM

I beg to differ.

Whoever it is I would like to thank him ( i think its a HE ) for all the effort to put together that site.

It could do with a bit of a visual "face lift" though.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/19/2011 10:52PM by Clive.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: clare ()
Date: July 19, 2011 10:59PM

Agreed on the "effort" part, tremendous amount of work went into all that research and commentary.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: July 20, 2011 01:00AM

Hi all, seems to me that the best way to resolve any questions about latigo is to ask him/ her/ them.

There is an email address on the latigo site, so I have sent a brief message drawing their attention to the recent posts and asking if they wish to comment. I will post any reply without editing in any way.

Clive - I did not mean that the Struthers Leaders should necessarily reply to the Latigo points on the Latigo site itself - I just suggested they should reply publicly to them. I agree this RickRoss forum would be a good place for the Struthers Leaders to publicise and allow discussion on their replies to the points raised on Latigo and elsewhere.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Archbishop Laud ()
Date: July 20, 2011 04:47AM

I was interested by Clive's question about The Godfather, and I think that if someone asks an honest question in this forum they should get some responses. Some have done this, but let me add a few thoughts of my own.

1. I saw The Godfather when I was a teenager so I cannot remember much about it. However, I watched The Godfather III recently, one sleepless night.
2. The Godfather III struck me as a nearly great film, profound, vivid and moving. Some of the scenes, however, may be unnecessarily explicit. (I fastforwarded on the grosser scenes.) Truly great art conceals.
3. There is much in it that should be of interest to Christians. The Boss's sudden confession to a priest, who had sensed his guilt and urged him to 'seize the moment' to unload his burden of sin, is extremely well-crafted and -acted, as good for my money as any paragraph in Shakespeare or Shaw.
4. It also made me think a lot about the whole issue of membership, and also 'fate'. People are born into crime families and have little choice but to continue therein. They are trapped from the start. The US church, for all its grandiloquence, would seem not to have enough faith to try to rescue them. I googled 'mission to mafia' and there are zero hits (forgive the pun!). Shame.
5. But aren't really tight churches a bit like the mafiosi in this respect? You are either totally and irrevocably in or ... dead in the water. It is not only SMC, you get the same mindset in Westboro Baptist and some Brethren groups.
6. But God, I believe, wills a much more open-door approach.

Anyway, thanks Clive for your stimulating question and for the other comments on that thread.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Treetop ()
Date: July 20, 2011 06:30AM

A great many posters here seek to preserve their anonymity – as do I – and I imagine we all have our own reasons for that. I suppose the Latigo site will be no different.

Clive, please allow me to mention another film – or indeed one scene of another film. At the end of "Spartacus," when he reveals himself, everyone else gets to their feet and proclaims "I am Spartacus!"

Well, after reading the Latigo site and identifying with all the questions there, and in the same spirit as Spartacus' brothers-in-arms, I would be inclined to say "I am Latigo!"

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Clive ()
Date: July 20, 2011 11:15AM

Thanks Archbishop L for your replies concerning The Godfather. It was exactly that sort of replies i was hoping for, albeit for the third instalment not the first.

I think one very important thing you raised - or so it seemed to me is the way in which such movies can help one empathise rather than demonise. How one can be made for a brief period to imagine in a small way how it would be to to be “put in someone else’s shoes”.

Treetop - no-one here has revealed their true identity and i’m not suggesting any change in that principle.
All I’m suggesting that the person who wrote the site tell us which “pen name” here they post as. Just Make the link.

However regardless of all that , i enjoyed your use of “I am Spartacus!”

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/20/2011 11:18AM by Clive.

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