Struthers Memorial Church and the last online sermon






A year ago in March, after several years of placing all their Saturday, camp and conference sermons online in an archive covering 3 years, the leadership of Struthers Memorial Church decided to remove all their online sermons from their website.


This followed the final one they placed online – preached on 12 March 2011 the main subject of which was an attack on this website and the RickRoss website.


When the 12 March sermon originally appeared online there was a very comprehensive demolition of its contents by several posters on the RickRoss forum Struthers discussion. Its content, its self serving approach, its poor grasp of biblical teaching and its foolish claims were all addressed very effectively and the manipulative techniques behind its false message very thoroughly exposed.   


After this no more Struthers Memorial Church sermons were placed online; and every previous sermon plus all the testimonies which had been on for many years were also taken off their website.


Why was the online sermon archive removed ?


In the absence of any public explanation for this we have been left to speculate why this was done.


1  The very thorough demolition and exposure of the weakness of this 12 March 2011 sermon showed it to be a wholly inadequate response to the online concern about Struthers Memorial Church. This in itself must have been embarrassing to the leadership and a cause of great concern among those who attend SMC.


2  It would be reasonable for the Struthers leadership to expect that further sermons would be similarly looked at – both new and those archived – and that more indefensible things would be exposed.


3  The same weekend this was preached we placed an article on this website looking at the humiliation sermon of 12 February 2011 which drew attention to quotations from the speaker on that occasion which have led to utter astonishment at the cruelty, unprofessionalism, and (it has been speculated) possible slander coming from the Saturday night Struthers platform. It is possible that those with legal training in the church advised that this sermon should be removed as it personally attacked the character (not the actions but the character) of an identifiable visitor to the church school in a very cruel and unpleasant way.


4  The following week we noticed the usual brief summary of the 19 March 2011 sermon was placed online though the recording never subsequently appeared. This summary referred to something akin to "God moving over a community like a tidal wave". The week after the tragedy of the Tsunami in Japan this may have been thought by some people to be an inappropriate and tasteless image to base a sermon on. We would agree.


5  The 12 March 2011 sermon contained threats claiming that since God was in a particular way on the side of those leading Struthers those speaking against the church would be silenced by God. It was clearly stated that to express a view that any things had been done wrongly in Struthers was the same as for someone to be “critical of God”. Several hopeful examples of verses relating to old testament punishments were given (as they were in the Humiliation sermon) - all ludicrously out of context - seeking to claim that the speaker believed God would act instantly to smite and silence those behind the websites.


The threat that God will silence people who question Struthers leaders


It is interesting to note that, 15 months later, it is not the critics of Struthers that have been silenced.


Neither us nor the other forum questioning Struthers had to take any of its material offline. We have not in that year had to remove one word, one claim or one fact. More than that - both websites have grown significantly in content, readership and support.


The threat that God would silence those critical of His work came from the leader of the Struthers churches. She claimed that those who are in opposition to the work God wants to do will be publicly humiliated and silenced (citing an old testament incident as her authority to claim this). After these threats were spoken on 12 March 2011 it was Struthers Memorial Church who were within days publicly silenced in that they seemed to feel they had to remove all their online sermons and testimonies.


People should note that.


We do not believe God or the bible forbid questions, debate and expressions of concern about church leaders conduct in the new testament era. We do not believe God will smite those who have a different view from us.


We do believe, as we indicated in our article Update – one year on that the bible does contain Matthew 7:2


For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.


Perhaps the measure Struthers Memorial Church were using, as revealed in this sermon, was the measure God used against them. They declared God would publicly  silence those who spoke against His servants. In this sermon they spoke against those operating the websites and compared their motives and their actions to those of the devil. After the Struthers group leader did this this they were unable to keep their words online for fear of public scrutiny.


As we say - perhaps in this God judged them by their own standard and applied it to them - as He says in His word He will do.


Our attitude


In case that raises a question about the attitude of the people writing these articles - we have continually invited questions and comments on all the articles and sections on this website. We value and appreciate and can learn from debate. We believe our opinions are valid and others have valid opinions which we can examine, learn from and debate. We do not hold Struthers to a standard of conduct to which we do not hold ourselves.


Quite the reverse. We have invited them to respond to our published articles and answer the questions we have raised, tell us if there are any factual errors so we can publish any corrections and we have invited them to explain their teachings and beliefs.


As at June 2012 they have not responded to us in any way.


They seem to hold us to a standard of conduct which requires us to regard any action, statement or claim they make as if their words held the same weight as scripture. We do not accept that view and cannot because the bible does not allow it.


They seem to expect that because they claim to “only move on the explicit instruction of the Lord God of Hosts” (a direct quote from the punishment threat sermon) that places them beyond accountability, or even challenge, for any harsh word or harmful action of theirs. It does not.


They cannot defend this from the bible, and their leaders make claims about what God will do - which do not then reflect what God actually does.


To ask about this does not make us “critical of God” as bizarrely claimed in the 12 March sermon. It makes us quite properly, biblically and appropriately question the validity of the failed claim; and the reliability of the speaker who made the failed claim.


Our hope for those attending Struthers Memorial Church


We hope that people attending Struthers who have been waiting many years for many of the “prophetic words” to come to fruition will understand what has happened here.


These same attendees are those being asked in the 2012 new year word to carry on working hard and pouring in their life’s energy and resources until the Struthers “task is finished”.


Though they, like us, may not be clear what that “finished task” will look like any more.


We do ask those still attending Struthers to consider what has happened here.


  • Who has been silenced?


  • And who has provided you with important facts and new information about the church you attend?


We would encourage you to support prophets whose words come true, to support teachers who teach and demonstrate mercy and not punishment, and to support leaders when all of their words can be made public. We think this would be preferable to continuing to support those leaders who have to hide their sermons from the wider public to remain in charge and in business.