• Report: #306237

Complaint Review: Liberty Church

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  • Submitted: Tue, February 05, 2008
  • Updated: Sun, February 03, 2013

  • Reported By:Cartersville Georgia
Liberty Church
1285 N. Cobb Pkwy Marietta, Georgia U.S.A.

Liberty Church POSSIBLY A CULT CHURCH Marietta Georgia

*General Comment: LIBERTY CHURCH IS AMAZING

*Consumer Comment: A wonderful place to Worship

*UPDATE Employee: What actually happened

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The purpose of this post is just to warn other people about this particular church. In my attempt to get help addressing a moral / ethical issue with a church member who has cheated me out of a sizable amount of money, (for me) I discovered some very disturbing things.

The only response I got back in the end was that is between the person and myself and I could not expect any help from anybody in the church. There is a concept taught today in modern churches that when you have an issue, like mine, that you confront the person and if they wont respond in a moral / ethical way you get other members of the church to mediate the situation.

Resorting to legal means when the person has everything tied up in Corporations is a worthless effort. You can not collect even if you get a judge to make an award in your favor.

In the process I have listened to the first 17 of a 33 set of CDs published from the pastors sermons on Marriage Counseling. I have heard some very disturbing issues that go against what I have been taught in other churches. Some of the material taught is right on but much is not either.

One of the first things I was told members are required to do is to learn about the Free Masons, and denounce them through a prayer process. Here is a quote from somebody I know who did the Breakthrough to Joy program where they do that process from what I can tell.

"I did not know much about the Masons until I said the Free Mason prayer on the website at oaksofrighteousness.org. It is under Free downloads, then Free resources and then Prayers. I read through it with my group leader at church and it helped. The pastor of this ministry said that early death and epilepsy are by products of this"

What I find when I look for information about the Free Masons fits what I have always seen with the Masons. That being they are a benevolent organization, which is highly respected. But not by these folks, in this church. In fact that website is out of New Zealand which I find strange in itself.

I have not gotten to hear it yet but I have been told they practice talking in tongues. Anything I have ever heard about that is it is a cult thing. I did hear a lady do that once and it was totally weird. The following website pretty well confirms what I see as being what this is all about. There are many other websites you can look at too.

The pastor is very dogmatic about demanding you tithe 10 percent to the church. The words he uses, are so intimidating, at least to me, I simply can't believe it. Part of a persons way of tithing in most churches can be accounted for by them volunteering their time too. That is not what I have gotten out of what he says here. I also take exception to his dogmatic stance that you can't give to your own choice of a charity to count as part of your tithe.

In my searching for some help with my issue I couldnt get any response so finally I sent an email to every pastor on their contact list challenging them with the same ideas I am posting here. I didnt get even one response to that challenge. That leads me to conclude the pastor has to have these people under so tight of control they are afraid to question anything he says. They are like the people who followed Jim Jones namely kool aid drinkers is all I can conclude. That is scary.

I firmly believe we will see a lot more of that behavior when what people like those at Calvary Church in Costa Mesa Ca. teach. That being we are in the end times and in the middle of the seven year Tribulation period. Since nobody was ratputred yet we have to conclude that will now occur at the end of the period rather than before. The problem I see is that so many people buy into this that they are not planning for the rest of their lives properly because they believe they are about to be taken out.

We are no closer to any of that coming true than we were 2,000 or 10,000 years ago. This is also what I find disturbing about having a President of the Country who might make his decisions based on Bible prophecy, as stated in the Book of Revelations and made so popular by the Left Behind series of books. George Bush being our current version of such a President and we have at least two in the current political race who are just as scary.

Most "Born Again Christian" churches bad mouth others such as the Mormons, the Seventh Day Adventists, the Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientologists and others, even the Catholic Church as being cults. Do you know that the Church of Scientology put, by far, more volunteers into disaster areas like the Sumumi and Katrina? They have a trained force of 60,000 volunteers, which is more than the United Nations Peace Corp, the Americorp and the Peace Corp combined? Yet they are deemed to be devils. Well something stinks in my opinion when this is going on. I checked out Scientology and I am not interested in joining them but they are not bad. Any group who does good things for other people is not bad and the ones who badmouth them should just "shut up already".

I have checked out other belief systems such as what the Unity Church teaches, and the Church of Religious Science which is an offshoot of Mary Baker Eddy's teachings. The "Course in Miracles" is said, by some pastors, to be the very worst book you can read. However it is all about loving your fellow man so I happen to like it. It follows the teachings in the bible certainly.

Most churches up until the last decade or two didn't believe in Psychologists. They all said if you just pray harder and longer all your problems would be taken away. Sadly nothing can be further from the truth. Thank god for People like John Townsend & Henry Cloud and Dr. Dobson and his "Focus on the Family" organization. They have finally woken up to get people some real help that they need and don't get from just "praying harder and longer". I heard that same thing said basically, the other day in a group at Liberty in fact.

Because of all that I have seen, and heard about, I choose not to get any more involved with this church as I think it is as close to a cult as I have been exposed to. You can do what you want but just be warned is all.

David
Cartersville, Georgia
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/05/2008 05:31 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Liberty-Church/Marietta-Georgia-30062/Liberty-Church-POSSIBLY-A-CULT-CHURCH-Marietta-Georgia-306237. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 General Comment

LIBERTY CHURCH IS AMAZING

AUTHOR: Angela - ()

I have been attending Liberty Church in Marietta GA for 3 years.  I moved to the area in 2010 from out of state.  I was with out friends or family or acquaintences when I came.  Being that I am a particularly private person in nature, it was hard for me to find a "community" or support network.  I visited several churches, and have attended several different denominations of churches all over the country.  I was drawn to Liberty because of many things.  Most of all I was impressed by how rooted in TRUTH and FACT the teachings are.  Pastor John is a strong personality but he is a humble man of God.  His sermons are not the only sermons we hear, many co-pastors, visiting pastors, even pastors and teachers of different denominations, cultures, backgrounds, countries! I felt very respected and welcomed.  I was never overwhelmed with "churchy" type attitudes, tithing, attendance, loyatly, or anything like that.  This church simply presents the information (God's love and law) and allows its members to make thier assesment.  Each aspect of this church is rooted deep in the Truth of the Word.  

Worship is an amazing experience, but is a different experience for each person.  I am glad this church allows each person to express and experience worship thier own way.  The people here are honest people with honest hearts for the Lord.  There is never any promises, pressure, prying or lying.  We are all human, we are all flesh.  And this is one of the only places where I felt like it was ok to be human.  It was ok to ask questions, it was ok to not understand and it was ok to make mistakes.  I have never felt shunned, rejected or let down.  The support this church offers is so natural and so amazing.  

Everyone has to find thier own "fit" for a church.  PJ and the church staff always encourage everyone to never be uncomfortable, never accept disrespect, and to find the truth on their own through GOD's guidance.  

I am so grateful to the whole congregation and institution that is Liberty, it has been the most amazing blessing in my life to date.

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#2 Consumer Comment

A wonderful place to Worship

AUTHOR: Member of Liberty for 6 years - (United States of America)

I know what a cult is.....and this is not it!! A Church cult by definition are a group of people who believe they are the only ones going to heaven...and this is not the case about liberty Church.  Pastor John has even recruited people for other churches in the northmetro area, he says go to a bible believing church wheather is Liberty or another church, just get plug in.

In Liberty church you are free to come and go, they love you deeply, but hold you loosely, you feel like you could grow more somewhere else.....you are free to go. It is VERY, VERY sad that DAVID's reviews are turning people away from an amazing church, but God is in control.  I pray for him to find peace.  

Many people are turned away from christ because of one or two christians they meet.   They don't really give a try to the real thing ....."JESUS".  This "BAD" review is doing the same thing....you have to go an experience the real thing.

Blessings,
Member of Liberty church for 6 years.
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#3 UPDATE Employee

What actually happened

AUTHOR: John Fichtner Senior Pastor, Libert - (United States of America)

I am the Senior Pastor of Liberty Church. This man contacted me with a very angry email demanding that I rebuke a member of our church for ripping him off.

I tried to graciously explain that we don't mediate business disagreements. and that I don't know both sides of the situation. I tried to graciously suggest that he try mediation through the Cobb County court system. I don't know of any church who would have agreed to his demand.

He wrote me back a very angry rebuking email. I tried once more to explain to him that we can not mediate his business disagreement. When he continued sending me rebuking, angry emails I stopped responding.

To correct his falste statements - here are the facts.

1. In our marriage series we teach that the Lord Jesus commanded the husband and wife to become one and that the strongest calling of every husband and wife is to be in agreement on decisions.  My guess is that this is the point that upset this man and that he believes that the husband should make all of the decisions in the home.

2. We do NOT require members to learn about Free Masons and we do NOT say that early death and epilepsy are because of Free Masons. That is so ridiculous that it is almost funny - if it were not so sad. All of that is total fabrication.

3. We do ask our members to tithe - as do thousands of churches in America. We do NOT make a big deal about it. In fact, in 25 years as that Pastor of Liberty Church I have only taught on tithing two times. Once in a series and another single sermon.

We have been in Marietta for 25 years. We have a great reputation. We love the Lord Jesus and we love our people. We do NOT try to control our people in any way. Our goal is to teach the Bible and help people to know Jesus. Whenever anyone leaves Liberty Church to go to another church
 we always bless them and remain friends.

I have pasted below our Statement of Faith which is posted on our web site. I hope this helps clear up any misunderstandings.
Sincerely,
John Fichtner, Senior Pastor, Liberty Church.

STATEMENT OF FAITH
 
We are an assembly of followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, with a fellowship that is autonomous, evangelical and charismatic, affiliated with Reconciliation Ministries. We view ourselves as called of God to share in mutual Christian care and practical cooperation in carrying out the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ. We affirm our commitment to both local church autonomy and inter-church cooperation as biblical norms for our life and ministry. We also affirm our call to work in the spirit of love and unity with all true believers in our common ministry within the Kingdom of God.

THE BIBLE. We believe the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, to be the only infallible, authoritative written word of God. (Jer.30:2; Heb. 2:2; Rom. 4:23-25; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet 1:20-21.)

GOD. We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Gen. 1:26; Ex. 20:1-5; Deut. 6:4; Isaiah 63:9-10; Matt. 3:16, 17; 28:9; Luke 3:22; John 17:3; Gal. 4:4-6).

JESUS CHRIST. We believe in the deity of Christ (Matt. 1:23; John 1:1-3), in his virgin birth (Matt. 1:18-23; Luke 1:35), in his sinless life (II Cor. 5:21; 1Pet. 1:19; 1 John 3:5), in his miracles (Mark 1:23-26; Luke 5:1-11; John 2:1-11; John 4:46-54), in his vicarious and atoning death through his shed blood (John 3:14-17; Heb 10:10-20), in his bodily resurrection ( Matt 28:1-6; 1 Cor 15:3-8), in his ascension to the right hand of the Father (John 20:17; Acts 1:9), and in his personal return in power and glory (Matt 24:27-31; Luke 21:27-36) to judge the living and the dead (John 5:28-29; Acts 24: 14-15).

MAN. We believe that all are born with a nature to sin (Romans 3:23, 5:12, 7:14-17; 1 John 1:10) and must be ?born again? to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matt 19:25-26; John 3:3-8; 2 Cor 5:17; 1 Pet 1:23).

SALVATION. We believe that the terms of salvation are repentance toward God for sin, and a personal, heartfelt faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, which results in regeneration of the person. This salvation is entirely by grace of our Lord and not of works. Works are excluded except as FRUIT of salvation (Acts 3:19, 20, Romans 4:1-5, Romans 5:1, Ephesians 2:8-10).

LOCAL CHURCH. We believe the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a Body of believers who have been baptized in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; who are under recognized, delegated authorities; and who assemble to worship, carry forth the Great Commission, and minister as the Holy Ghost leads. We believe the local church promotes regular fellowship with other believers and a commitment to a local church with regular participation in its activities is important for personal spiritual growth (Matt 16:18; Matt 28:19, 20; John 17:11, 21:12; Acts 2:40-47; 20:28; Rom 12:4-5; Ephesians 4:11-16, 5:22-32, I Timothy 3:15; Heb 10:25).

ORDINANCES.
We believe that the two ordinances of the Church are Water Baptism and the Lord's Supper.

WATER BAPTISM: Immersion in water in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Matthew 3:15, 16, Matthew 28:19, 20, Acts 8:38, Romans 6:1-4). A symbol of identification with Jesus Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.

LORD'S SUPPER: A memorial of the death, resurrection, and Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 22:13-20).

HEAVEN AND HELL. We believe the Scriptures clearly set forth the doctrines of eternal punishment for the lost and eternal bliss and service for the saved -- Hell for the unsaved and Heaven for the saved (Matthew 25:34, 41, 46, Luke 16:19-31, John 14:1-3, Revelation 20:11-15).

HOLY SPIRIT. We believe the Holy Spirit to be the third person of the Trinity whose purpose in the redemption of man is to convict men of sin, regenerate the repentant believer, guide the believer into ALL truth, indwell and give gifts to believers as He wills, that they may minister as Christ would to men. We believe that the manifestations of the Holy Spirit recorded in I Corinthians 12:8-11 shall operate in the present day churches which yield to the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 11:13, John 7:37-39, John 14:16, 17, John 16:7-14, Acts 2:39-48).

We believe that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance, is for all believers as promised by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:11) and Jesus (Acts 1:4, 5, 8) and Peter (Acts 2:38-41), was witnessed by the early disciples of Christ (Acts 2:4, Acts 10:44-47, Acts 19:1-6), and is evidenced by many present-day disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.

DIVINE HEALING. We believe that God has used doctors, medicines, and other material means for healing; but divine healing was also provided for in the Atonement (Isaiah 53:5) and may be appropriated by laying on of hands by elders (James 5:14-16), laying on of hands by the believers (Mark 16:18), by the prayer of an anointed person gifted for healing the sick (I Corinthians 12:9), or by a direct act of receiving this provision by faith (Mark 11:23).

PRIESTHOOD OF BELIEVERS. We believe that each believer is a priest of the Lord (Revelation 1:6) and has direct access to the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ. Each person must believe for himself, be baptized for himself, obey for himself, and answer to his Creator for himself.

GOVERNMENT OF THE CHURCH. We believe that the New Testament Church should be apostolic in nature and is governed by delegated authorities. These authorities at LIBERTY CHURCH, INCORPORATED are set forth in Article IV of this charter. 
 

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