hmmm

London, KY

#366 Sep 23, 2013
I have a question about the belittling they do toward the end of the walk. They put you down until you feel like you are NOTHING! Then they give you letters to read from family and friends to make you feel better. Can anyone give me answers to this? In my walk in Christianity, I have never once felt like God wants me to be so belittled that it is a horrific feeling knowing what is being said to people is supposed to bring them closer to God. And why if you want to help with the "Walk" you have to pay? God love and Grace is free for each of us to receive. Why should we have to pay for plain ordinary people to tell us what the Bible already tells us?

Since: Apr 13

East London, South Africa

#367 Sep 24, 2013
NOTAFAN,
I responded to your letter today but i think it got lost.Please advise once your wife has returned.
Best of luck,
jimmy Earl
Old man

Cub Run, KY

#368 Sep 24, 2013
I have a relationship with Jesus Christ.a close relationship that does not need to be enhanced thru any kind of cerimony or walk. He did not ask me to join a group or follow a certain preacher or denomination.He said,"FOLLOW ME".There is a Judas in every church and every religious mob.Dont walk any path that the Spirit does not walk before you.
FER

Rockwall, TX

#369 Oct 11, 2013
I doubt the statement by some that research has answered all of their questions about the Emmaus Walk and believe it is a cult. To begin with, anytime a person on the walk wants to leave he or she is assisted in doing so. Emergency telephone numbers are given to all sponsors and specific members of the family are notified to contact the sponsor if a need arises. Also, instructions at the closing specifically state that family and church come before any Emmaus function. As for the research angle I spent 32 years in the military and no one can say that research tells them even broadly what that experience is like without being in the military. You have to be there to know it. My wife and I go to India on mission trips every year and there is no way anyone in my Church who does not go can even remotely understand or grasp the meaning of that experience. The same with Emmaus.
One person felt that he/she could not be away from the children for the 3 day period. Someday those children are going to have to be out on their own. A parent may not always be there to catch them and clutching them that close may not be the best training for meeting the world, not always a nice place.
However, there is no question that the Walk to Emmaus program is not for everyone. I just find it indefensible as a Christian that anyone would be critical of any religious endeavor be it Bible study, revivals, communion, Sunday school, musical instruments, other denominations, or the Walk to Emmaus. Brace up and be less judgmental. If you can't, that's okay, too.
Jay B

Warner, NH

#370 Oct 12, 2013
FER, really? You are going to judge a person who does not want to be away from her kids for three days? Would her being away from her kids "toughen them up" for the not-so-nice world you mention? If she wants or needs to be with her kiddos, I support her all the way. I am very disappointed that, of all the issues we have discussed here, you choose to call this person's parenting into question.
Also, there are many people who have been on the walk who have been critical of it. I am not sure exactly to what post you are referring about the research issue, but remember that criticism of Emmaus is not something that only comes from non-attendees. I have met numerous Pilgrims, former team members, and so on who feel the same way.
Lastly, I believe that it is in very healthy to question religious endeavors of all types. History Is filled with events, traditions, and other religious institutions that have been hurtful, misguided, non-Christ-centered, and so on. It is only thorough questioning, reflection, and prayers that we can try to discern which experiences bring us (and others) closer to God, and those that do not. My faith in how humans implement their faith is not blind, as we are so imperfect.
FER wrote:
I doubt the statement by some that research has answered all of their questions about the Emmaus Walk and believe it is a cult. To begin with, anytime a person on the walk wants to leave he or she is assisted in doing so. Emergency telephone numbers are given to all sponsors and specific members of the family are notified to contact the sponsor if a need arises. Also, instructions at the closing specifically state that family and church come before any Emmaus function. As for the research angle I spent 32 years in the military and no one can say that research tells them even broadly what that experience is like without being in the military. You have to be there to know it. My wife and I go to India on mission trips every year and there is no way anyone in my Church who does not go can even remotely understand or grasp the meaning of that experience. The same with Emmaus.
One person felt that he/she could not be away from the children for the 3 day period. Someday those children are going to have to be out on their own. A parent may not always be there to catch them and clutching them that close may not be the best training for meeting the world, not always a nice place.
However, there is no question that the Walk to Emmaus program is not for everyone. I just find it indefensible as a Christian that anyone would be critical of any religious endeavor be it Bible study, revivals, communion, Sunday school, musical instruments, other denominations, or the Walk to Emmaus. Brace up and be less judgmental. If you can't, that's okay, too.
Phil G

Ireland

#371 Oct 12, 2013
FER wrote:
I doubt the statement by some that research has answered all of their questions about the Emmaus Walk and believe it is a cult. To begin with, anytime a person on the walk wants to leave he or she is assisted in doing so. Emergency telephone numbers are given to all sponsors and specific members of the family are notified to contact the sponsor if a need arises. Also, instructions at the closing specifically state that family and church come before any Emmaus function. As for the research angle I spent 32 years in the military and no one can say that research tells them even broadly what that experience is like without being in the military. You have to be there to know it. My wife and I go to India on mission trips every year and there is no way anyone in my Church who does not go can even remotely understand or grasp the meaning of that experience. The same with Emmaus.
One person felt that he/she could not be away from the children for the 3 day period. Someday those children are going to have to be out on their own. A parent may not always be there to catch them and clutching them that close may not be the best training for meeting the world, not always a nice place.
However, there is no question that the Walk to Emmaus program is not for everyone. I just find it indefensible as a Christian that anyone would be critical of any religious endeavor be it Bible study, revivals, communion, Sunday school, musical instruments, other denominations, or the Walk to Emmaus. Brace up and be less judgmental. If you can't, that's okay, too.
I have to say the Emmaus Community responses to negative comments are bizarre and unconvincing, even irrational. First the research angle. According to your point, I would have to attend every cult before I could judge it to be dangerous. I would have to take drugs before I could decide they were dangerous. I would have to experience everything before I could judge it. Very odd attitude.

The Bible refers to the Bereans in Acts as "noble" in character, and they wouldn't even trust what Paul said without checking it out. But that is the Biblical approach God wants us to do. Test EVERYTHING,

Your comment that anyone can leave if they want to doesn't ring true as many have testified otherwise. Since Emmaus officially states every thing no matter how small, is important and those who feel they can't stay for the whole weekend should consider not going.

If parents don't want to leave their young children while they are out of contact at Emmaus, that is normal responsible parenting. It is irresponsible of Emmaus to expect parents to do this and hand over personal family matters to others. This is what a cult would expect and churches should ban all such activity.

Blind acceptance of religious events is folly. This is what Emmaus wants pilgrims to do. Don't judge, put aside mistrust, have faith in Emmaus, have faith in the Emmaus team, give ourselves completely to the message and experience of the walk to Emmaus, cooperate willingly are all comments made during the lay directors talk on Thursday night and ALL OF THEM ARE UNBIBLICAL! Remember God says guard your heart, test everything, beware of wolves in sheeps clothing within the church.

Cults say to trust the people and the team and the program. So what is Emmaus, Biblical or cult like?
Ray

Covert, MI

#372 Oct 13, 2013
And yet Emmaus pilgrims come home happy that they have been able to be cared for with love for 72 hours, healthy, well and motivated.
Maybe the structure you refer to as controlling and manipulative is actually an opportunity to set up the environment for God to speak. When we are constantly talking, we do not get the opportunity to listen for God. Really, is a few minutes of silence here and there deadly?
And let's discuss God's manipulative plan. If you accept Jesus as Lord, you get to go to heaven. If you reject Jesus as Lord, you get to go to the other place. Either way, death will force you to surrender to one manipulation plan or the other. You only have the opportunity to choose which one will 'manipulate' you.
If you ever get to the place where you are willing to be clay in the potter's hands, try out an Emmaus Walk. It may just be an attempt of some dedicated people to give you the opportunity to dream about what heaven will be like.
Until then, if you are going to heaven with me, I suggest that the attitude you currently have will mean that heaven will truly be a culture shock for you...people in love with their God, loving other people... Really? How could they?
Phil G

Ireland

#373 Oct 15, 2013
Ray wrote:
And yet Emmaus pilgrims come home happy that they have been able to be cared for with love for 72 hours, healthy, well and motivated.
Maybe the structure you refer to as controlling and manipulative is actually an opportunity to set up the environment for God to speak. When we are constantly talking, we do not get the opportunity to listen for God. Really, is a few minutes of silence here and there deadly?
And let's discuss God's manipulative plan. If you accept Jesus as Lord, you get to go to heaven. If you reject Jesus as Lord, you get to go to the other place. Either way, death will force you to surrender to one manipulation plan or the other. You only have the opportunity to choose which one will 'manipulate' you.
If you ever get to the place where you are willing to be clay in the potter's hands, try out an Emmaus Walk. It may just be an attempt of some dedicated people to give you the opportunity to dream about what heaven will be like.
Until then, if you are going to heaven with me, I suggest that the attitude you currently have will mean that heaven will truly be a culture shock for you...people in love with their God, loving other people... Really? How could they?
For a start, there is a big difference between God "manipulating" His plan and man-made manipulative events. WTE is a man-made program and there is no time to listen to God while you are complying with a 72 hour intensive program where you are told what to do and when to do it. That is not giving time for God. It is doing what you are told by people.

Many people do not feel loved by the Emmaus Community and this is why there are so many complaints against it. Agape in Emmaus is only within the Emmaus context. This can be seen when they say the first act of agape is sponsorship. That's cult-type recruitment talk.

People are given the impression they must attent before they can find out what is going on there and that increases suspicion of cult-like activity.

God is not that secretive. His Good News is for ALL to hear, not just those who attend church. So somewhere along the line, Emmaus has reduced His gospel to manipulations and surprises, which can only be revealed when you attend a WTE weekend. That is not God. It is the human failure of control.

Heaven won't be a culture shock for me because it will be perfection. Emmaus isn't heaven and so isn't perfect. I am entitled to point out its failures and not be judged for doing so. The probelm is, the Emmaus Community won't accept that. So the give it a divine-like status which it doesn't have and doesn't deserve.
jgjdkfj

London, KY

#374 Oct 15, 2013
Ray wrote:
And yet Emmaus pilgrims come home happy that they have been able to be cared for with love for 72 hours, healthy, well and motivated.
Maybe the structure you refer to as controlling and manipulative is actually an opportunity to set up the environment for God to speak. When we are constantly talking, we do not get the opportunity to listen for God. Really, is a few minutes of silence here and there deadly?
And let's discuss God's manipulative plan. If you accept Jesus as Lord, you get to go to heaven. If you reject Jesus as Lord, you get to go to the other place. Either way, death will force you to surrender to one manipulation plan or the other. You only have the opportunity to choose which one will 'manipulate' you.
If you ever get to the place where you are willing to be clay in the potter's hands, try out an Emmaus Walk. It may just be an attempt of some dedicated people to give you the opportunity to dream about what heaven will be like.
Until then, if you are going to heaven with me, I suggest that the attitude you currently have will mean that heaven will truly be a culture shock for you...people in love with their God, loving other people... Really? How could they?
Yes,they come home happy. But they also come home with the "I am a better Christian than you" attitude. They go to their weekly group meetings and will not speak to people on the street. They act as if they have never committed a sin and don't want to be seen with a known sinner. I have been in church all of my life and read the Bible many times over and Jesus Christ didn't treat people like that. Agape means love, some should really look into the meaning of the word before they come back from the Emmaus.If you have to pay to go to a public place to "get to know God" something is wrong in the first place.
about to go

United States

#375 Oct 16, 2013
As is with anything, its all in how you take it. I'm not going to refernce a specific comment or opinion. Its saying something of yourself and your relationship with god if u become consumed by "a cult" a strong relationship with the father will speak volumes of what was/was not a cult. You will get out of something what you put into it. If you go to wte and don't experience god. Your relationship with god is weak and needs some attention. At no point did anyone claim this was to recruit new christians, but to STRENGTHEN your faith. Cling to your relationship with gods word and you will come out victorious everytime. For those afraid of secrets or surprises. Your faith is weak. God tests you daily. Do you spend all day complaining about not knowing about your schedule tomorrow? We all live in a world of false security we assume strongly that tomorrow will bring exactly what we have planned, only to find out its all a special little surprise. Trust in god cling to him and no matter your experience you will come out closer to him regardless of the actions of others.
Phil G

Wexford, Ireland

#376 Oct 17, 2013
about to go wrote:
As is with anything, its all in how you take it. I'm not going to refernce a specific comment or opinion. Its saying something of yourself and your relationship with god if u become consumed by "a cult" a strong relationship with the father will speak volumes of what was/was not a cult. You will get out of something what you put into it. If you go to wte and don't experience god. Your relationship with god is weak and needs some attention. At no point did anyone claim this was to recruit new christians, but to STRENGTHEN your faith. Cling to your relationship with gods word and you will come out victorious everytime. For those afraid of secrets or surprises. Your faith is weak. God tests you daily. Do you spend all day complaining about not knowing about your schedule tomorrow? We all live in a world of false security we assume strongly that tomorrow will bring exactly what we have planned, only to find out its all a special little surprise. Trust in god cling to him and no matter your experience you will come out closer to him regardless of the actions of others.
It is not about complaining about not knowing the schedule. It is about being manipulated. We cannot know what events are going to happen in our daily lives but that is different to information being deliberately witheld by people intent on manipulating our emotions.

I trust in God and the Bible as His inerrant Word. In there I find He tells me to test everything, not to blindly trust what I am told. Emmaus says the opposite. It says to give myself completely to the message and experience of the weekend without mistrust. It completely contradicts the Bible and that is before the weekend starts properly.

How can you possibly say that if someone doesn't experience God at WTE, their relationship with God is weak? That is a very arrogant and judgemental statement. Cults use such statements to control their victims. If someone doesn't experience God at WTE and is a strong Christian, what then? In the example I gave, Emmaus contradicts scripture, so it follows those who don't experience God may well have a more obedient an close relationship with Him.

I suggest reading scripture and comparing it with what Emmaus says. And then read what cults say and do and perhaps it will be clearer as to where Emmaus is getting its methods.
just got back

United States

#377 Oct 20, 2013
Phil G wrote:
<quoted text>
It is not about complaining about not knowing the schedule. It is about being manipulated. We cannot know what events are going to happen in our daily lives but that is different to information being deliberately witheld by people intent on manipulating our emotions.
I trust in God and the Bible as His inerrant Word. In there I find He tells me to test everything, not to blindly trust what I am told. Emmaus says the opposite. It says to give myself completely to the message and experience of the weekend without mistrust. It completely contradicts the Bible and that is before the weekend starts properly.
How can you possibly say that if someone doesn't experience God at WTE, their relationship with God is weak? That is a very arrogant and judgemental statement. Cults use such statements to control their victims. If someone doesn't experience God at WTE and is a strong Christian, what then? In the example I gave, Emmaus contradicts scripture, so it follows those who don't experience God may well have a more obedient an close relationship with Him.
I suggest reading scripture and comparing it with what Emmaus says. And then read what cults say and do and perhaps it will be clearer as to where Emmaus is getting its methods.
What I was trying to get across is if you don't experience god in everything you do, then you have weak faith. How can u test anything if you don't walk through it or experience it. They didn't tell me anything I wasn't already aware of. It just reinforced it. I now have a huge group of people from different churches in areas all around where I live.who love god and are Willing to support me and other christians alike to become a stronger follower of christ. Durring the weekend you spend time listening to different pastors from local churches, share the message of gods grace from different angles and teach you how to share that with others in your own community and church, do I feel special because I belong to a organization that supports the spread of gods word? Yes it costs money, so they can pay to rent the facility and provide some of the luxuries you receive. I was never asked to do anything that I haven't already done in my church. It just taught me the importants of those things. I want to appologise if I sounded judgmental. I'm not, I'm stating facts. I never pointed fingers. Only stated that its important to have a stong relationship with god. You may be a member of a church who already has the hang of discipleship. My little church needs a boost in that department as we all do from time to time. I will never deny that there could be people involved with WTE that have taken it the wrong direction or even took it completely out of contex. The deliberate withholding of info "what time is it?" Honestly didn't bother me. I'm still not sure why it would be important anyway. You are at a camp, waited on hand and foot, whatever you ask for is provided (within reason). Its to help you "let go". There is no reason to know the time. Ill say this, if asked, at the walk I went on. They told u. It was a choice to not know so they respected that by not sharing to the group. It very well could be a method used by a cult. But does cooking a steak on a grill make you a chef? No. Does owning a horse make me a cowboy...no. Just because there are some similarities doesn't make it a cult. I've never understood why anyone anyone would reject love, acceptance, respect, etc. Just because of a name or a tradition. Even if you removed religion completely out of the bible itself. Its still a great way to live your life. Why not share it.
PHG

Los Angeles, CA

#378 Nov 2, 2013
not all that wrote:
The Walk is not a walk. It is confinement for part of 4 days.
I would never do it again. Unfortunate that it is so drummed up to be something that is really not that great.
I think this may be better for unchurched. I personally learned nothing and the spies that they have at each table makes the experience so fake.
WTE is not better for the unchurched. It is not meant to evangelize but to strengthen and refresh leaders serving in their churches and communities. I think it is there-in that lies the problem, it isn't for everyone, and many sponsors think it is just a spiritual retreat that everyone needs to experience. Its not. It's a refresher course in the basics, so not learning anything new shouldn't be surprising, but since God's Word never comes back void, and all talks are based on Scriptures, I am confused at the prideful attitude you have that you "personally learned nothing." Nothing??? Did you not see the servant leadership displayed and exemplified to you/for you? Everyone that works the WTE is sacrificing thier time and serving the Pilgrims in love. And spies? Really? Give me a break.
PHG

Los Angeles, CA

#379 Nov 3, 2013
_Ummm_ wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C ults_in_Our_Midst#Singer.27s_S ix_Pre-Conditions_for_Thought_ Reform
Perhaps somebody with experience would discuss these conditions, as could be applied to a short event like The Walk to Emmaus. From what I've heard it sounds quite similar in nature and intent, but I have no first-hand experience.
"Keep the person unaware of what is going on and how attempts to psychologically condition him or her are directed in a step-by-step manner". They tell you the first night and the first morning what you will be doing. What has led you to believe otherwise? 15 talks- 5 a day, a short 'basics' refresher course on Christianity. 3 mealtimes with all the food and drink you could possibly hope or not hope for at your desire. That is so weird. I can see how it seems like a cult eating 3 meals a day. You also get to discuss the talks which are Scripture based AND disagree or agree all you want. Oh my! Sounds so cultish and manipulative!!
"Systematically create a sense of powerlessness in the person." For all of the points under this heading: you are at a venue- usually a church...for 72 hours, surrounded by the "Emmaus Community" (whoever has been through the event and chooses to serve for that particular time) NO one is forcing them!! I would say most people don't come back and serve in this manner, most hopefully serve at their own churches and communities, which is highly encouraged. but some do come back and give their time to bless others.not because they get paid, or accolades or anything, just because they love Jesus and serve in a his name. He says love one another, doesn't he?? Soooo cultish!!! Pilgrims do not have to pay a dime! Emmaus is a totally self-supporting ministry that if you can contribute and feel so led, so be it, but it is not required to go or to serve. Worldview is not attacked at the WTE. The worldview of those in attendance is suppose to be Biblical already. If they feel attacked, then maybe it is because they have an un-Biblical worldview.
"Manipulation of experiences can be accomplished through various methods of trance induction, including leaders using such techniques as paced speaking patterns, guided imagery, chanting, long prayer sessions or lectures, and lengthy meditation sessions." While there are some 20-30 minute talks, there is no trance induction. I'm so sure. Lame.

This is almost a waste of time answering your concerns, because they are based on false assumptions...but you asked for a first-hand experience. Believer's are called to love one another. It has been my experience numerous times that at least in my WTE community, this is what goes on. Love, worship and prayer. Encouragement in the Lord. It does not get into doctrinal differences but focuses on the a unity we have in Christ as Savior. Also, people have left if they wanted to or needed to. People who haven't been, CAN come and see. Everyone's personal individual experience is different in the same way one's experience to anything is. We are all different people. Some don't like to sing...they don't sing in church, they don't want to song at Emmaus. so don't. What is the big deal?? There are no secrets. And you don't need a Bible because they give you one. It's with you the entire time. If someone doesn't open it the whole 72 hours they are there, it probably says more about their personal walk with God than the Walk itself.

Since: Feb 14

Location hidden

#380 Feb 19, 2014
My experience was dreadful and confusing.

After reading these posts, the irony is blinding. Defenders are quick to say that those opposed need to yield to the move of God at WTE and that those who have negative things to say about their experience have control problems ... that they should have just gone with the flow of the Holy Spirit (which in this case, is the way of the WTE).

The irony is that the entire experience is manufactured from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave. There is no room or time in the strict program of events for the Holy Spirit to insert anything.

Obviously, not every walk is exactly the same. And also just as obvious, not every one's perception or definition of 'control' or 'manipulation' is the same, either. But I saw first hand on my walk when one pilgrim didn't melt into tears during 'Dying Moments', she was psychologically manipulated into believing that she was quenching the Holy Spirit. That she wasn't listening to God. That SHE had a problem with God's authority. She was in essence, berated.

What a horrible thing to do to a person. How judgmental and cruel.

If I had it to do all over again, I'd speak up LOUD and clear and I'd make a lot of noise in the poor woman's defense. I regret standing idly by, unable to speak. Just another mute in a sea of "sheeple" on the WTE.

Since: Feb 14

Location hidden

#381 Feb 19, 2014
For me, turning over my watch in and of itself was not an issue. The retreat centre location was undisclosed. It was another thing that wasn’t a particularly big deal in itself.

Unfortunately, when all the factors came together (i.e., the retreat centre had no windows, we were not allowed to go outside, being a bit sleep deprived and not knowing the time) it quickly became a source of significant discomfort.

I can’t speak scientifically to the effects (psychologically or physically) on a person when all these factors come together. I only know from personal experience that I found myself feeling physically effected and disoriented as the hours ticked by and therefore, rather than ‘blessed’ by ‘not having to worry about time’ or where I was, I was actually preoccupied with those things.

Yes. I prayed about that. Yes. I surrendered myself to the process and to God. I continued in submission to the end of the retreat … But in the end, this turned out to be a negative experience replete with anxiety.

When I asked to know the time and expressed my reason for wanting to know, they still wouldn’t tell me nor would they allow me to walk outside. Had I been able to step outside at regular intervals, I believe that would have been enough for me to be at ease.

On my retreat, pilgrims were encouraged to ask for anything that would make the experience better and if they could, the Emmaus workers would provide it. A snack, a jacket, a pad of paper, coffee, pain reliever … So, why not the time?

If anyone can give me a reasonable answer to that question, it would be appreciated.

Since: Feb 14

Location hidden

#382 Feb 20, 2014
Kathy wrote:
<quoted text>
4.... where 2 or more of us gather in His name He is there.
One of our Table leaders[TL] took ill, blood sugar 20 she had 27 angels looking over her and now she is out and about.
Going to try to make this short...
1. TL - ill - would have died if at home alone
2. Board Rep[BR](me)- doing same talk for next walk and was prepared 2 1/2 months early -
3. BR - stepped in as table leader and gave her talk
4. BR - had to step down from next walk due to wanderings of an Alzheimer's husband.
There is so much detail I don't have room for, but let me tell you walking thru this experience and seeing how Jesus had prepared everything in advance will forever be on my mind and my heart.
Kathy, As a Christian of over 35 years, your words in your post are all too familiar.

But I'm unclear about a number of your points in this post.

You quote scripture saying, "Where 2 or more of us gather in His name He is there." But I've wondered for decades now, and maybe you can answer: What exactly does that mean? Isn't he there with us when we are alone, too? Do groups change his presence ... even a little? Is He more powerful when there are more of us? Does he listen more attentively? Do better miracles?

You say a TL took ill and there were 27 angels. I'm curious about the number 27. How do you arrive at that number? How do you know if there were any angels at all? Did you see them? Did they speak? Did the entire Emmaus group witness 27 angels?

I'm curious too, about all the prayer that went into that walk in July. Wasn't there a team of people praying for each and every person who would be on that walk? And isn't illness something the prayer team prayed against in preparation for the walk? I was asked to be on an Emmaus prayer team, and it was my understanding that we would pray for the health and wellness of everyone on our list, among other things.

If they did pray that way, why'd the TL get ill in the first place? Sure, we could dialog about the benefits of walking through adversity, or how at the TL's expense, the rest of the group got to see Jesus at work. But is God really that limited that someone must fall ill in order for him to WOW us? Can he not perform a miracle without making or allowing someone to become sick? And the BR being ready to step in ... is that really the best act of awesomeness God has? What makes a BR being prepared to take the TL's place miraculous anyway? These folks do these talks all the time. I would imagine that just about any BR would be at least somewhat prepared (with or without a miracle) to step in. At least, they SHOULD be! Where's the miracle?

The thing about the reasoning you have expressed regarding the TLs illness,(if she'd have been home she would have died) is that, for one thing, you don't know that, and for another, I have an atheist friend who experienced something very similar last year. Had she been home at the time of her incident, things might have been different. So .... did God intervene?

I'm just saying Kathy, that these kinds of things happen every hour of every day to people all over the world of all faiths and to people of no faith at all. We miss an accident by a hair, we avoid a tragedy because we were running late, we got well when we should have died. And the opposite happens at the same rate; we die when we should've gotten well, we have accidents, we get hurt. Christians, Muslims, Atheists, Jews, Mormons, you name it. We're all experiencing life - the good, the bad.

I'm not trying to be contentious at all, I'm really not. But having been on a walk, I know how revved up the emotions get and how desperately we WANT and in fact, NEED to see a move of God. You're primed, you're ready and expectant to see God at work and because of that, even the most ordinary of events can become extraordinarily miraculous in that environment. But we have to ask ourselves, is what we're experiencing REALLY God at work?

Since: Feb 14

Location hidden

#383 Feb 20, 2014
WHAT DO YOU THINK?

I have a theory about the types of personalities that are ripe for a WTE retreat and the types who should never go … and I’m curious about what others think - in particular, Emmaus lovers.

For me, I think it comes down to personality type: Extrovert (some might say Type A) VS Introvert. In this post, I’ve used a broad brush stroke of generalities … There are always exceptions to these sweeping statements, so if you can forgive that, read on and tell me what you think:

An Extrovert loves undivided attention. Speaking into a microphone & participating in skits would be considered fun for them. Everyone is watching, listening, and they cannot wait until it’s their turn to be in the limelight again.

The Introvert doesn’t care for being the centre of attention. The idea of standing behind a microphone with all eyes on them is about as welcome as a root canal. Participating in skits would likely make them feel sick to their stomach and they’ll sit in dread of their next turn at bat. The attention causes anxiety.

The Extrovert loves to be in charge and often over extend in this area. Therefore, they need breaks from the stress of being in control of everything all the time. The WTE is just the right amount of down time for them to recharge in that regard. Since they are often “all or nothing” kinds of people, relinquishing everything at the door for a limited amount of time would likely be appealing.

The Introvert may be a leader, but in far less encompassing ways, being leaders more by example in servanthood and in smaller doses. They don't want to control everything all the time, but they do like to have control of their privacy. So, as an example, having to be escorted everywhere, including the restroom, could be terribly unnerving and perceived as invasive.

An Extrovert gets energy from others, therefore the non-stop talks, skits, fellowship, and conversation would be right up their alley. They love crowds, have a lot of friends, and don’t typically like being alone for long periods of time - being alone is emotionally draining. For them, bunking with buddies, eating with crowds, & meeting new people is energizing.

The Introvert gets energy from time alone. Crowds are draining & energy zapping. Meeting new people can be daunting, they prefer a few close friends instead. Non-stop chatter is exhausting and without quiet time to contemplate, an introvert can become irritated and cranky.

If I’m in the ballpark, the WTE is great for extroverts and awful introverts.

This is why I think it’s critical that a sponsor shouldn’t sponsor anyone he/she doesn’t know really well. And IF they do sponsor a known introvert, they need to be very forthright about every single thing from the public speaking demands, to having friends and family visit at the end and all the lavish attention in between before they sign on the line.

SO … what do you think?
Jay

Warner, NH

#384 Feb 20, 2014
[QUOTE If anyone can give me a reasonable answer to that question, it would be appreciated.[/QUOTE]
That is a great question, and I am not sure there is an answer that will satisfy you (or me!). My best sense is that people do not want to tell you - either out of some sense of tradition, to a loyalty to an "Emmaus code" (my term), or they have control issues. Who would not tell a person who is uneasy what time it is? Makes me shake my head ....
My second answer is that this uneasiness is all very intentional, all part of the build-up of emotions over the weekend. I do not think team members all want to play with your head, but keeping time a secret is one way they keep folks off balance - and (it is hoped) primed for an emotional release as the weekend progresses. I really appreciate different opinions about these issues - I am a frequent reader of this stream, and like the dialogue - but those who do not see that the weekend is a manipulative one really leave me puzzled.
Jay

Warner, NH

#385 Feb 20, 2014
[QUOTE
This is almost a waste of time answering your concerns, because they are based on false assumptions...but you asked for a first-hand experience. Believer's are called to love one another. It has been my experience numerous times that at least in my WTE community, this is what goes on. Love, worship and prayer. Encouragement in the Lord. It does not get into doctrinal differences but focuses on the a unity we have in Christ as Savior. Also, people have left if they wanted to or needed to. People who haven't been, CAN come and see. Everyone's personal individual experience is different in the same way one's experience to anything is. We are all different people. Some don't like to sing...they don't sing in church, they don't want to song at Emmaus. so don't. What is the big deal?? There are no secrets. And you don't need a Bible because they give you one. It's with you the entire time. If someone doesn't open it the whole 72 hours they are there, it probably says more about their personal walk with God than the Walk itself.
[/QUOTE]

These are tough issues, and they bring up such strong reactions in different folks. I understand how people who got a lot out of their weekend are supporters of Emmaus methods - that makes sense. And, those who are critical seem to have something there too - there are lots of folks who have felt manipulated, turned off, overly controlled, and marginalized by Emmaus or its members. That concerns me, and I have never been involved with another retreat/experience in my life have had that sort of feedback. Sure, folks have come back from a random retreat thinking it could have better - but Emmaus feedback is troubling.

As I have said before, but I will say it again, I do not think that Emmaus is a cult by the strict definition, but is uses manipulative techniques and operates, in many ways, like a (most Methodist) fraternity/sorority. There is clear membership (you are in or you are out), traditions that are kept secret as much as possible, special greetings for members, emotional build-up to "membership entry" (Candlelight), trinkets (the cross) that you get but no one else is supposed to get, and so on. Membership is key, belonging to the community is key, and being a member makes one feel special.

I believe that our faith and our churches should be unifying. They should serve to bring us together with God. Programs that divide us - that include members-only greetings and members-only ceremonies and so on - just don't cut it in my book. In the end, I am not really swayed by how many people have a great time there. To use an extreme example (to which I am NOT comparing Emmaus - let me be clear on that), I am sure that there were dozens of folks at Jonestown who thought they were close to God, who were doing his work, and who were making the sacrifice that He wanted them to make. Just because they were feeling joy and connection, does that make what happened there right? Again, I know that WTE and the People's Temple are galaxies apart, but the point remains - simply saying that people came back feeling joyful and spirit-filled is not enough. We have to also look at the methods.

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