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Old 02-25-2009, 04:39 PM
 
3 posts, read 38,358 times
Reputation: 15
Default Is Buckhead Church a cult?

Hello all! First poster here. I just moved to Atlanta from Cleveland, Ohio. I had lived there my whole life, but my husband simply could not earn a living. There are no jobs in the midwest everyone is moving south or west, and that includes companies!

Anyways, to give you a little background about Cleveland, almost 90% of the Christians up there are Catholic (myself included). There is a Catholic church/school on every street corner, and you rarely meet people of protestant faiths (minus Lutherans - seems to be the largest protestant denomination up there).

Anyways, when I moved to Atlanta,it was my first time in the South. I moved into a neighborhood in Buckhead - Castlewood. My neighbors were great - but I noticed very quickly that there are not many Catholics down here as in the MW. Which was fine - I go to Christ the King and love it.

One thing irked me though - many of my nieghbors and many people I have associated with in Buckhead go to Buckhead Church. They kept trying to get me to go, and they said as a Catholic I would love it, and that many Catholics go there and so on.

I thought I would give it a try. I was very displeased with it - and was alarmed when the people there pressured me to get baptized and "born again." One person there even told me that Catholics will not be "saved."

I finally confided in a southern Catholic I knew and she told me the "truth" - She said that the church has no rules, does its own thing, (Hence no denomination name in the title - just "Buckhead Church") and is know locally by some as a cult. She said they especially like to convert Catholics, and they especially attractyoung people becuase of live music, no rules, and a contemporary feel.

I am scared that if I raise my children in Buckhead that they will be persuaded to go to this church. Should I move, or be worried?

 
Old 02-25-2009, 05:00 PM
 
Location: East Cobb
2,205 posts, read 4,020,041 times
Reputation: 854
Southern Protestant churches seem to be much more commonly nondenominational, or unaffiliated with any of the well-known denominations, than is the case in other parts of the US, or other countries.

I have some knowledge of North Point Community Church, which is the parent church of Buckhead. Actually, North Point Ministries is getting big enough that perhaps it's verging on being its own denomination! The theology and worship style wouldn't be to my taste either, but I'm quite sure it's inappropriate to call it a "cult", in the common pejorative use of that term.

Nowadays there are evangelical mega-churches that might attract your children all over the place, and in some parts of the country any kind of active Christian participation would put you in the minority. I think you should do your best to raise your children as well-informed Roman Catholics who are aware of the spectrum of religious choices in contemporary American society, and understand why you think the Roman Catholic faith is best. Trying to move to a Roman Catholic bubble would be a losing proposition.
 
Old 02-25-2009, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC
657 posts, read 844,124 times
Reputation: 476
Quote:
Originally Posted by WonderingSomething1974 View Post
Hello all! First poster here. I just moved to Atlanta from Cleveland, Ohio. I had lived there my whole life, but my husband simply could not earn a living. There are no jobs in the midwest everyone is moving south or west, and that includes companies!

Anyways, to give you a little background about Cleveland, almost 90% of the Christians up there are Catholic (myself included). There is a Catholic church/school on every street corner, and you rarely meet people of protestant faiths (minus Lutherans - seems to be the largest protestant denomination up there).

Anyways, when I moved to Atlanta,it was my first time in the South. I moved into a neighborhood in Buckhead - Castlewood. My neighbors were great - but I noticed very quickly that there are not many Catholics down here as in the MW. Which was fine - I go to Christ the King and love it.

One thing irked me though - many of my nieghbors and many people I have associated with in Buckhead go to Buckhead Church. They kept trying to get me to go, and they said as a Catholic I would love it, and that many Catholics go there and so on.

I thought I would give it a try. I was very displeased with it - and was alarmed when the people there pressured me to get baptized and "born again." One person there even told me that Catholics will not be "saved."

I finally confided in a southern Catholic I knew and she told me the "truth" - She said that the church has no rules, does its own thing, (Hence no denomination name in the title - just "Buckhead Church") and is know locally by some as a cult. She said they especially like to convert Catholics, and they especially attractyoung people becuase of live music, no rules, and a contemporary feel.

I am scared that if I raise my children in Buckhead that they will be persuaded to go to this church. Should I move, or be worried?
People may jump on me for saying this, but in Atlanta many people are very obsessed with what faith you adhere to.

In fact, I ran into these people from Buckhead Church while I was working in Atlanta last year. For reference, I am a non-practicing Catholic who disapproves of any organized religion. This woman, her husband and her teenage son approached me in Lenox mall. They were shopping at the Energie shop and asked my opinion on something to buy their son.

For those of you who don't know, Energie is a rather expensive brand, and they were buying all these clothes for their son who is in a band at this Buckhead Church. I'm not sure if the husband was a minister there or not, but if he is they are making some $eriou$ bank.

They tried to get me to attend. I've never been "invited" to go to a church, much less in the middle of a trendy mall. I honestly felt uneasy, as I thought they were going to damn me to eternal hell for saying that I don't subscribe to any church anymore. So I told them that I was Catholic. That even made their case more urgent. The wife got all flustered asking her husband to write down directions to the church from Lenox, and in the midst of their confusion I bolted.
 
Old 02-25-2009, 05:16 PM
 
Location: sowf jawja
1,887 posts, read 4,802,076 times
Reputation: 893
we have a lot of these type churches in south GA as well. they're not really cults, just illusioned.

they give the typical "tickle the ear" sermon and pass out the collection plate.

i could tell you some very disturbing stories about them.

all these pastors just want to be the next joel osteen.

i'll pass.
 
Old 02-25-2009, 05:37 PM
 
369 posts, read 700,450 times
Reputation: 97
All churches are cults!

cult

/kʌlt/ [kuhlt] –noun 1. a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
 
Old 02-25-2009, 05:37 PM
 
162 posts, read 190,794 times
Reputation: 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by WonderingSomething1974 View Post
Hello all! First poster here. I just moved to Atlanta from Cleveland, Ohio. I had lived there my whole life, but my husband simply could not earn a living. There are no jobs in the midwest everyone is moving south or west, and that includes companies!

Anyways, to give you a little background about Cleveland, almost 90% of the Christians up there are Catholic (myself included). There is a Catholic church/school on every street corner, and you rarely meet people of protestant faiths (minus Lutherans - seems to be the largest protestant denomination up there).

Anyways, when I moved to Atlanta,it was my first time in the South. I moved into a neighborhood in Buckhead - Castlewood. My neighbors were great - but I noticed very quickly that there are not many Catholics down here as in the MW. Which was fine - I go to Christ the King and love it.

One thing irked me though - many of my nieghbors and many people I have associated with in Buckhead go to Buckhead Church. They kept trying to get me to go, and they said as a Catholic I would love it, and that many Catholics go there and so on.

I thought I would give it a try. I was very displeased with it - and was alarmed when the people there pressured me to get baptized and "born again." One person there even told me that Catholics will not be "saved."

I finally confided in a southern Catholic I knew and she told me the "truth" - She said that the church has no rules, does its own thing, (Hence no denomination name in the title - just "Buckhead Church") and is know locally by some as a cult. She said they especially like to convert Catholics, and they especially attractyoung people becuase of live music, no rules, and a contemporary feel.

I am scared that if I raise my children in Buckhead that they will be persuaded to go to this church. Should I move, or be worried?
To allay your concerns, I am a member of Buckhead Church and it is far from being a cult. In fact, in my estimation, there are more people who attend Buckhead than are actual members so that is not a sign of a cult where there is immediate pressure to join.

As far as your friends comment that "the church has no rules, does its own thing" that is far from the truth, as well. The doctrinal foundation of Buckhead Church is the Bible and all activities of the church are filtered through the Church's Mission statement which is "To lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ."

Also, as a native Southerner, I often feel like I am in the minority, as there seem to be more Northern transplants in the congreation than Southerners and the majority of these transplants seem to come from Catholic backgrounds. They don't feel tricked or coerced into joining or being involved with the Church. The Church has a class called "Starting Point" in which people are free to ask any question they may have.

Finally, for you personally, I can see why you were displeased with your experience when you visited the church - many protestants coming from churches with traditional services are not pleased with it either. The loud rock music and smoke machines are just too much for them, too!

However, getting back to your original post of concern, I think that Buckhead Church (which has about 6,000 attendees on a weekend who come from a broad area) is hardly taking over Buckhead and is the least of your worries of living in Metro Atlanta. Have you heard about the high crime rate we have?
 
Old 02-25-2009, 05:38 PM
 
3 posts, read 38,358 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by back2dc View Post
They tried to get me to attend. I've never been "invited" to go to a church, much less in the middle of a trendy mall. I honestly felt uneasy, as I thought they were going to damn me to eternal hell for saying that I don't subscribe to any church anymore. So I told them that I was Catholic. That even made their case more urgent. The wife got all flustered asking her husband to write down directions to the church from Lenox, and in the midst of their confusion I bolted.

This is similar what happened to me. Once I told my neighbors i was Catholic, thier eyes lit up, they became even more persistent, and offered to drive me and find and pay for a babysitter for the children if I would go with them, and went so far as saying that this was a "branch of the Catholic Church" to get me to go!
 
Old 02-25-2009, 05:44 PM
 
7,852 posts, read 11,964,061 times
Reputation: 2590
Let's clear some things up...

1. Atlanta is the center of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, which in 2006 numbered over 650,000 members - most of which reside in Metro Atlanta. (Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

2. The actual percentage of Catholics in metropolitan Cleveland is 28% - not 90%. (AskACatholic.com - The Catholic Apologist's Daily Prayer)

3. Buckhead Church is part of North Point Ministries, which oversees 3 Megachurches in Atlanta - one of which has 23,000 members. "Members and attenders are encouraged to develop intimacy with God, community with insiders, and influence with outsiders." (Buckhead Church - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

4. There are Megachurches in Cleveland, too. You didn't move into a new and different world.

5. Yes, Buckhead Church is a cult, as are all denomination of all religions. Definition: "cult - a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies." That pretty much covers them all.

6. There is no need for you to associate with these people that you feel are pressuring you to join their church or that you feel might convert your children. First of all, I would recommend politely informing them that you are happy with your religion and you would appreciate it if they would back off with the conversion attempts. If that doesn't change anything, stop associating with them - you are free to associate or not associate with whoever you choose, no matter where you live.

7. I would skip to the second choice and not associate with anyone like that. I have lived in Atlanta for a few years and have never been bothered by anyone like you describe - nor would I tolerate it. If someone started that junk I would cut ties with them...period.
 
Old 02-25-2009, 06:38 PM
 
Location: East Cobb
2,205 posts, read 4,020,041 times
Reputation: 854
Quote:
Originally Posted by RainyRainyDay View Post
... I'm quite sure it's inappropriate to call it a "cult", in the common pejorative use of that term.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mm42 View Post
All churches are cults!

cult

/kʌlt/ [kuhlt] –noun 1. a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaconJ View Post
Let's clear some things up...

5. Yes, Buckhead Church is a cult, as are all denomination of all religions. Definition: "cult - a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies." That pretty much covers them all.
mm42 and DeaconJ, you are evidently well acquainted with your dictionaries but choosing to appear less well acquainted with present-day American vernacular. My comment (top) was intended to allude to the fact that the original meaning of "cult" was not pejorative. I suspect you both already know that's not the currently popular meaning. Dictionaries list the popular usage plainly intended by the OP, e.g Merriam-Webster has " a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious". Insisting on the original meaning of "cult" is like insisting "gay" simply means "happy and excited". You might as well try to hold back the ocean's tide.
 
Old 02-25-2009, 06:41 PM
 
Location: St Simons Island and Atlanta, GA
12,449 posts, read 17,912,168 times
Reputation: 5420
Quote:
Originally Posted by back2dc View Post
People may jump on me for saying this, but in Atlanta many people are very obsessed with what faith you adhere to.

In fact, I ran into these people from Buckhead Church while I was working in Atlanta last year. For reference, I am a non-practicing Catholic who disapproves of any organized religion. This woman, her husband and her teenage son approached me in Lenox mall. They were shopping at the Energie shop and asked my opinion on something to buy their son.

For those of you who don't know, Energie is a rather expensive brand, and they were buying all these clothes for their son who is in a band at this Buckhead Church. I'm not sure if the husband was a minister there or not, but if he is they are making some $eriou$ bank.

They tried to get me to attend. I've never been "invited" to go to a church, much less in the middle of a trendy mall. I honestly felt uneasy, as I thought they were going to damn me to eternal hell for saying that I don't subscribe to any church anymore. So I told them that I was Catholic. That even made their case more urgent. The wife got all flustered asking her husband to write down directions to the church from Lenox, and in the midst of their confusion I bolted.
What, you're using this to attack the way that all Atlantans think? Unbelievable. That church probably represents 1% of 1% of 1% of this city. Please.
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