Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: reunvjqt ()
Date: October 07, 2011 03:37AM

In response to your third point - (as a ex Struthers member) it was generally considered and often voiced that they were on a 'higher spiritual path' than other churches

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: October 08, 2011 12:32AM

Hi Anthony
Thanks for posting on this Forum and for having the courage to do so. I hope that you and your family and friends are now fully recovered from your experiences concerning Struthers and have not carried any burdens of false guilt and condemnation with you. I hope you have found a supportive church. By posting here, you've added to the number of people who have been abused by SMC, not just in the central Scotland area but all over the UK. Thanks for your contribution.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: poprvyab ()
Date: October 10, 2011 09:57PM

We are all fine now thanks. We are still partialy conected to Struthers church in South Wales trough churches togeather. It is very difficlult to explain to others the problem with this church, as people think we left because we were offended in some way.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: clare ()
Date: October 13, 2011 12:55AM

Anthony, in your first post you say that you regard SMC as a " highly dangerous cult" , yet in your second post you claim not to have been offended in any way and to be still partially connected with the church.
Would you like to explain a little more because it seems contradictory .

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: CovLass ()
Date: October 14, 2011 08:50AM

I didn't read Anthony's post as contradictory and can understand the difficulty he faces if I am correct in my assumptions. A number of cities run what is known as a "Churches Together" programme, where a several churches from different denominations, work together in outreach events at Easter, Christmas or at certain other times of the year. When I left the Struthers church in Cumbernauld and went to a different church, there was an annual Churches Together event for two weeks every summer. Cumbernauld Struthers was involved in this (in a very small way as they disapproved of many of the activites that went on during the outreach) When you leave a Struthers church and began to attend a new one nearby, I guess there will always be a slight connection, simply because of the networks open to many churches now.

I can understand too, the difficulties arising from the conversation that starts "Didnt you used to go to Struthers?" I found this difficult when talking to people I didnt know very well and it caused me a great deal of stress. Firstly you don't want to pour out your heart to a virtual stranger over what happened to you at Struthers. Secondly you don't want to seem like you are the bitter one. As we've seen from the few pro Struthers posters on this forum, if you leave and complain about them you are branded as being the one who has the problem and being full of bitterness. Painfully aware of this you make a conscious effort not to bad mouth them. Thirdly you dont quite know how to put into words what happened. You perhaps feel like people won't believe you and maybe you are embarrased that you allowed yourself to be treated that way. So with all this in mind, when local people in particular, ask why you left Struthers, you tend to mutter something about it not working out, or that it wasn't the right place for you and quickly change the subject. At least that was my experience.

I guess to some people they will interpret this as you left because you were offended and at one level, they would be right to think that. However I know my experience of Struthers runs a lot deeper than simply 'being offended' and from reading the posts of other ex Struthers members, I assume that this is the same for many, if not all of them too. Leaving a church because you were offended, smacks of you leaving because someone sat in your seat, or the Pastor didn't send you a Christimas card or you didnt like the way he/she always went on about tithing etc. Thats a far cry from the spirtual abuse that many suffered and that lead to them eventually leaving Struthers.

Just to offer some encouragement Anthony, I found that the leaders and many of the other people of other churches are all too aware of the terrible things that are happening in the Struthers churches. I found people from other churches particulalry supportive when I changed church. Perhaps if people do ask questions in the future and they do genuinely want to find out more, you can point them to this site and let them read the experiences of others. Welcome to the forum!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/14/2011 09:11AM by CovLass.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: October 15, 2011 08:34AM

I'm a bit surprised to read in previous posts that Struthers are/were involved with Churches Together events because I don't remember this happening in the Glasgow and Greenock branches. On the contrary, however, the leaders discourage people from getting involved with such events and explain that Struthers church leaders do what they feel God has given them to do and that this does not include joining other churches in outreach-related events or even interceding for them. I have heard this from the front several times and I know that folk in SMC have experienced a lot of confusion over this matter and some have experienced terrible guilt if they went along to such events or got involved with helping there. It was definitely not encouraged at all. On one occasion a number of us were publicly rebuked in a meeting because we had attended a local evangelistic crusade taken by an overseas speaker. We were so humiliated that we dared not do such a thing again and I myself did not go to any similar events for years.

In addition, those in SMC who are University and college students, are not encouraged to get involved with Christian Union activities but to have a separate SMC meeting within the establishment. Whether this still occurs, I do not know, but it most certainly did. Also, in past years, Christian Union leaders got to know what SMC was like and stopped inviting the SMC leaders to be speakers at the main meetings.

I realise that the position in Wales may be different as the branch is distant from the main churches in Scotland and perhaps they believe it is a good thing to be involved with other churches in order to build up the group. This position may not necessarily be maintained though, if information eventually spreads about the abuses. Yes, it is hard explaining to other christians why you left if they don't know the facts. Thanks for your clearly expressed and useful encouragement to Anthony, Covlass.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: hV8lI7eP5e ()
Date: October 19, 2011 02:55AM

I have been looking through this forum and see people like myself that have and still are coming to terms with their life after smc. Can I ask how do we help those still locked in, how do we help the children there and of the future. Is there a governing body for churches or is local government such as social work responsible. How can we help?

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: CovLass ()
Date: October 19, 2011 09:11PM


I agree it is a concern as now out of it we can see the damage it does to people and especially how it messes up the heads of some young people. In terms of what can be done, it depends who we are talking about helping.

As far as Im aware there are not any universal governing bodies for churches with the uk. Depending on ones denmoniation, there may well be an overseeing body. I currently attend an Assemblies of God church and if there was a problem with my leadership I could approach the overseers at Assemblies of God and ask for their intervention. The same can be said of all mainstream churches on the UK. Church of England, Baptist, Methodist etc. There is even an organisation called the Evangelical Alliance, where independent evangelical churches can voluntarily sign up to be guided by their principles. As we know, Struthers is a totally independant group of churches and they have no overseers except those they put in place themselves. People chosen to be overseers will be selected on the basis of their wholehearted acceptance of Struthers leadership

With regard to helping adults, I think the best thing we can do is to keep open the lines of communication on this forum and on the Latigo site. This way, people will know they are not alone, they are not the only one and that there is help out there if they want it. Also simply 'being there' for friends and family who are involved in Struthers and should they decide to leave, being non judgemental and supportive. Of course, for those who are still believers, a good dose of prayer will also go a long way. As much as I disagree with and can see the harm that is being caused to many through Struthers, I also respect that they are adults and they make their own choices and decisions. I think there are a number of books and articles that may be helpful to those with friends and family in a destructive church and Im sure these can give more advice. Possibly a moderator will have some suggestions as to which books/articles would help.

With children I think it's a case of making parents aware of the kind of mental and emotional abuse that can go on within Struthers, particulary towards more vulnerable young people. Once again I think pointing them to this and ther Latigo site may help them to see more clearly what really goes on, particularly if they are not a part of Struthers themselves but their child goes to the meetings.

In addition to this, I would say that if one has reason to belive that a particular child is suffering any kind of mental, physical or emotional abuse through the Struthers churhes (in fact any church) then my advice would be to contact the local Social Services department with their concerns

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: assokssmeaway ()
Date: October 19, 2011 11:20PM

I have been following the discussion on this site for some time but have been reluctant to comment as my involvement with SMC brings back painful memories. I also feel ashamed I did not do more to question what was happening at the time of my involvement. However if my comments added to many similar ones can help or warn others I feel I have a duty to speak up.

I do not intend to post anything that will identify individuals.I do not intend to contribute on a regular basis.

Not all the contributors on this site may have valid complaints but I believe there are too many with similar points of view for there not to be cause for concern about the SMC leadership.

I first became involved with SMC over 25 years ago and it was only after I moved away that I began to slowly question SMC's teachings and behaviour. Even now with limited contact with a number of SMC members from what I hear I do not think things have improved.

Most ordinary SMC members are sincere,honest and caring. A few are naïve or easily led but I have seen even strong and intelligent people change and accept some very dubious teachings and behaviour from SMC leaders.

I have seen, and know of other, good family and friend relationships ruined on the basis of a few words from an SMC leader with no justification or explanation.Often it just looks as exercising power for its own sake perhaps to test and reinforce that a leader is always right and must be obeyed.

I see no point in repeating details of my concerns about SMC leadership already expressed by others but I share many of them – especially in relation to the refusal to explain or accept questioning of teaching or decisions,the lack of openness,use of discernment,lack of support for non favoured or vunerable members,and the fostering of an isolationist community.

Who is benefiting in how SMC is lead? Are all the members? Or just the leadership?

Is SMC run like a cult? You must make your own judgement.I know what I think.

My only advice to any SMC members is to try to have the strength to step back and take a detached objective view of what you are being told. I would also add that there are many other good,supportive,Christian communities.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: October 20, 2011 05:11AM

First, welcome to all the new people who have posted on the Forum – Anthony, Free indeed, SMCedars and truthseeker9001. Four more people – I wonder how many others there are out there!

I think it is great that people can post here in whatever form they want. Some provide a very full story, which could easily identify them, some confirm their hurt, but do not want to post regularly, some are appalled by what goes on but do not want to go into detail. Seems to me that is great – what is happening is that people have the opportunity to speak about their experiences, and the one thing the church cannot do is “divide and conquer” telling everyone it is their fault and they are the ones failing in some way. Not true! There are now too many people with similar stories to make that credible. If it was the case, there would not be so many testimonies to people who have left Struthers then found healing and a deepening relationship with God.

Others may disagree, but I also think it is good that people can come on and speak positively of their experience. I may not agree with what they say but I would defend their right to say it. I only wish those in Struthers would do likewise, defending rather than attacking the right of free speech.

One person mentioned earlier, “M” has taken a different line, not wanting to make any comments about Struthers online, but passing on a very personal story about some events in the past. M has now also taken some direct action, writing in his own name to two of the Company Directors with some straight-forward questions (these letters perhaps being the reason M has not wanted to associate himself with any online views). In spite of Mrs Gault’s assurances from the platform, these questions have not been answered so, if you are in the Church, let’s be clear about one thing – leaders themselves pay no attention whatsoever to what is said from the platform. To me this is the worst form of hypocrisy – preaching to others but not being willing to take any action yourself. Little wonder there are so many testimonies to lives being damaged if this is the level of integrity.

Finally, I might a year ago have agreed with truthseeker that most ordinary SMC members are sincere, honest and caring. That is becoming increasingly difficult to believe however. Yes, the leaders carry the main responsibility, but there is also a responsibility on individuals. If any individual is sincere (= “free from pretence or deceit”), they must read the testimonies on this forum and take them into account. It is not possible for them to be free of deceit without reference to the fact that the vast majority of people who come into contact with Struthers are damaged by the experience.

If any individual is honest (= “honorable in principles, intentions, and actions; upright and fair”), they will examine their own beliefs in the light of the information now available online. How can they claim to be fair without examining all of the evidence?

If any individual is caring (= “displaying kindness and concern for others”), they will surely want to create a user ID and post on this site to convey how much they care and how sorry they are about all the hurt that has been caused. They will certainly not want to be part of a system that promotes such abuse.

So, yes, the majority have I am sure been motivated by positive characteristics in the past but it seems to me that all of the info now available online changes that. Any person who is in Struthers now has a choice to make– do I give up Struthers, or do I give up being sincere, honest and caring? If there is a way to keep both, I can’t see it, but happy to listen to any explanation of how it might be possible.

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