You seem to be under the impression that the anointing at SMC is the real thing.
1st Timothy 6:11 says "But you man of God flee from all this and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
just to say you don't have to know all the leaders to know if they have God's anointing or not. The thing is all leaders of SMC are trained up in the same way -their way. The leaders who are in position now have been groomed for many years before, to follow their system of things unreservedly. They have their own man made system, they are not building on the foundation of God. They have laid their own foundation, with all that entails. To get the real thing you have to be following the one true God. I am not an expert in the Bible by any means, however I can descern between right and wrong and you do not have to be a Christian to do that. I know many really good people who are not believers not because they chose that, but because of leaders who name the name of Christ like SMC who are false and who give Christianity a bad name. The only answer to the leaders of SMC is to repent and tear down what they have built up and follow the Christ whom they love to name as their saviour. Their is only one way. one truth, and life and it is certainly not theirs.
I have met all or nearly all of the leaders mentioned in seekingsusan's list (previous page). As Susie writes above, they are trained up by previous main leaders and therefore, yes, I agree with Susie, and said it my previous posts above, that they all move in the same "flow", which they call the anointing for leadership. That is a scary thought about it being counterfeit, especially when you consider the many teenagers now under their care, but I think it has to be counterfeit. Also many people experience a new freedom in Christ when they leave.
What Susie says about "knowing them by their fruit" is interesting. I would add some comments re the fruit in the lives of general members of SMC: I perceived, (and indeed had many of these myself) fear and anxiety, paranoia, introspection with accompanying condemnation, low self-worth, indecisiveness, and even depression. These develop as a result of being constantly told in the preaching that you're not giving enough of yourself, not pressing through enough, not getting the anointing enough and being told you are useless to God until you do these things. Years passed, you did all these instructions, gave up every bit of yourself and your personal life, and you still felt you were getting nowhere and it seemed impossible that you ever would, so the result is bad fruit like the above in your life. I know we were told that people who leave SMC haven't "done it all" but this is not true - we gave every bit of our lives over, just the same as these leaders had.
What a lie that is, because when you meet other ex-SMC members who are doing well now in their walk with God and manifesting love, joy, peace, self-control, patience etc etc., you realise what you were taught was utterly untrue and totally negative.
I agree with the comments about all of the branches displaying exactly the same worrying characteristics. The whole leadership model is totally unaccountable, with the central leaders sometimes even having “discernment” about individuals in the branches and giving the local leaders some instruction about what a particular member of their congregation has to do. The local leader then has no choice but to impart this instruction to the individual. The interesting thing is that this “discernment” apparently only extends to people they have met at camps or weekly meetings, so is obviously based on their human perceptions – why would God be limited to those who have been in the same room as the leaders? Guess the local leaders anointing detectors are broken as well, since they simply have to do what the centre tells them.
In terms of those selected for special favour, I am not really sure what the criteria are, but it is certainly not something that works in any sense at all. As Rensil says,
... people who definitely had obvious talents but weren't encouraged, or even allowed in some cases, to exercise or develop these God-given talents. Praise God that some of these rejected folk are now serving God and being useful in other churches and Christian groups.
In case no-one has noticed, one really bizarre thing has happened in the last few weeks. Remember the discussion about what constitutes a cult? Archbishop Laud proposed a definition, I also made some suggestions as to what might constitute a cult, there were a number of related comments then the moderator came in to give the most widely accepted view. All good stuff, but there was another contribution as well. In the sermon of 12 March, Grace Gault, the overall spiritual leader of the church (at 24 minutes and 30 seconds into the sermon) says,
“A cult is something secret and hidden and suspect. We are manifestly open. We are totally above board and have nothing to hide.”
Well, that is interesting. None of us actually decided that Struthers was a cult in our discussion, but Mrs G seems to think it is, because that is her definition and about a month after than pronouncement, Struthers have taken all their sermons and testimonies off their website. How can removing sermons that have been publicly available for years be anything other than, “secret, hidden and suspect”?
Could it be that they have been removed because they cannot stand honest scrutiny? I cannot think of any other reason. "Secret, hidden and suspect" appears to sum it up quite well.
As Mr Black was fond of quoting Mrs G, it seems you are “hoist by your own petard”.
That's remarkable, that they've removed all the sermons and testimonies from their website. That definitely suggests they have things to hide and are worried about scrutiny and analysis of the preaching. Many many churches all over the world make sermons available by podcast. Something wrong surely, if a Christian church can't do this.
Re The Petitor's comment above, I also heard on that sermon, the speaker saying, (not her exact words) "We are not a cult; we are a registered charity and our accounts are open for viewing." This reasoning is false because many cults have or have had charitable status and accounts available for viewing. However, I doubt if there are many SMC members who have ever seen the Church or School accounts. In my opinion, if SMC is not a cult, it can certainly be classed as a spiritually abusive church. There is information online about the marks of such a church and SMC fits nearly every one of the signs.
On the matter of Christian service, we were always told that you stopped all that when you came into SMC because now you were walking in a better, higher way which didn't require outward service but inward devotion and holiness; out of that, service may flow. We were told that people who left SMC and seemed to do well should still have stayed in the Church and then their service would have been even greater and more fruitful, and that they had missed the higher way to God and were moving in their own strength. What?? Judge not that you be not judged, Jesus said.
" Hoist by your own petard" Poetic justice I would say. Something they have made to hurt others is now hurting them...
This may well be a sign of things to come. We live in hope.
One can only hope that the manipulative and dangerous practices and techniques will be exposed by brave people such as Derren Brown has done for greedy and
dishonest faith healers, mediums, pseudoscience phonies, exorcisms and the like.
See the recent program "Miracles For Sale" Here". I've personally witnessed at close quarters many of the "healing" tricks such as leg lengthening, being demonstrated here by people such as Benny Hinn, Morris Cerullo and Reinhardt Bonkke.
It is one of the main reasons I left the pentecostal movement, - even though there are wonderful warm-hearted and
sincere people within it and now attend a fellowship in the Emergent Church ( also known as the "Emerging Church" ) instead.
And here where, mediums and a whole range of other pseudo science practicioners are exposed.
Not to mention other dangerous pentecostal cult-like leaders like Helen Upkabio ( surprise surprise... another "anointed" power obsessed female pentecostal pastor ) that destroy childrens lives, just as pastors in SMC are doing, as well as innocent adults via unfounded cultic accusations of witchcraft:
( Channel 4's Saving Africas Witch Children )
[www.channel4.com] ( How prisons are full of people accused of witchcraft without any real defence or evidence in africa )
I only wish someone like Derren Brown would expose the sham leadership and manipulative tactics of the Struthers Memorial Church.
One of the techniques used within the Stuthers Memorial Church leadership is to instill fear in their followers of demonic influences everywhere. This paranoia allows leadership to enforce an unquestioning attitude and scares children into towing the line.
Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 04/26/2011 08:28AM by seekingsusan.
I think we should be careful not to dismiss every pentecostal-type church as being unhealthy just because some are. Also, just because there can be counterfeit miracles and healings etc like we see on the Channel 4 programme mentioned above, doesn't mean that there aren't genuine ones happening as well. We mustn't throw the baby out with the bath-water, in other words.
We have the Word of God as our guide and it definitely speaks of healing and miracle-working gifts of the Spirit, words of knowledge, laying on of hands etc etc, and I believe these can be in operation in healthy churches. However, I'm aware that this Forum is about SMC, so if we focus on it, I think there has been misuse of some ministries and the giving of "words" and of the deliverance ministry, and also people have been left with confusion and guilt relating to physical healing ministry.
What do others think?