Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
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.