The Walk to Emmaus
Mark

Amarillo, TX

#223 Jul 6, 2012
Mary, first I want to apologize for what was said above. I am a part of the WTE community and want to let you know that this is not the attitude of many in the WTE community nor is it the policy of the WTE. Please forgive the over-zealousness of the above respondent and don't allow this one response to define the WTE. It has been and is a positive spiritual experience for many thousands of believers who have grown closer to Christ because of WTE. My hope is that you will extend forgiveness to us and continue to pray and consider the possibility of going on a Walk.
Mary wrote:
Whoa - "Outsiders?" That attitude is exactly what we are concerned about. Can you say judgmental? People are posting from their experiences. Their voices don't matter? If you are an example of people who come out of WTE...
<quoted text>
Mary

Munising, MI

#224 Jul 6, 2012
Thank you, Mark. Your comment is quite healing.
sara

United States

#225 Jul 30, 2012
Jesus talked with the general public one way and to the ones in his "group" he explained things a little different. Was that a "cult" then? Just wondering.
Keith

Albuquerque, NM

#226 Jul 30, 2012
sara wrote:
Jesus talked with the general public one way and to the ones in his "group" he explained things a little different. Was that a "cult" then? Just wondering.
And he withdrew from the crowds with his group for times of fellowship and private teaching. As for indicting WTE as "divisive," couldn't the same be said of Baptism (do we sprinkle, pour or immerse?), the Bible (KJV? NIV? with/without Apocrypha?), and including instrumentental music in worship? The list of subjects deemed divisive by the Body of Christ is distressingly long. That the list includes WTE is sad.
Jay

Henniker, NH

#227 Aug 7, 2012
Mark wrote:
Mary, first I want to apologize for what was said above. I am a part of the WTE community and want to let you know that this is not the attitude of many in the WTE community nor is it the policy of the WTE. Please forgive the over-zealousness of the above respondent and don't allow this one response to define the WTE. It has been and is a positive spiritual experience for many thousands of believers who have grown closer to Christ because of WTE. My hope is that you will extend forgiveness to us and continue to pray and consider the possibility of going on a Walk.
<quoted text>
Mark, I appreciate your comments, as always. I want to respond to your comment about the earlier comment not reflecting Upper Room policy. That is indeed true, but I continue to maintain the the practices of the Upper Room (and, in turn, of the local communities) do lead to the continuing issues of folks being treated like "outsiders" and walk participants feeling more special than others.
The Walk was (and continues to be) carefully crafted using social and group psychology methods, and uses some (though not all, for sure) of the methods that other exclusive groups use (fraternities, sororities, and even groups that one might consider cults). I have always maintined that WTE is NOT a cult, but the use of certain practices continue to bring that term into discussions - and, in my opionion, until those practices are stopped the ctiticism is appropriate and justified. While I have a good understanding of the reasons the walk was designed the way it was (both through person observation and further research), I feel more strongly over time that it is a manipulative program based on emotionalism and group-induction psychology. I respect the right of others to go and work on team, as I hope they respect my right to disagree with the practices of the WTE programming.
Mary, I think that you have come to a good place to get feedback about the walk. There are some on here who had a great experience on their weekend, and some who have not. Some consider it one of the most impactful experinces of their spiritual lives, and others would quickly rank other experiences above the walk. The Walk is one of many choices for spiritual development, and it may or may not be right for you. Good luck with your discernment process.
Mary

Munising, MI

#228 Aug 9, 2012
Mary, I think that you have come to a good place to get feedback about the walk. There are some on here who had a great experience on their weekend, and some who have not. Some consider it one of the most impactful experinces of their spiritual lives, and others would quickly rank other experiences above the walk. The Walk is one of many choices for spiritual development, and it may or may not be right for you. Good luck with your discernment process.

Thank you, Jay and Mark. Your thoughtful answers are a good reflection on your Father!
Phil G
#229 Aug 16, 2012
The major problem with the Emmaus Walk can be found in the booklet "What is Emmaus?" which is intended to promote the Walk. On page 20 it says to come with empty hands and open hearts, prepared to give yourself completely to the Emmaus Walk.

This blatantly goes against Scipture. We only give ourselves completely to God, not to a program, teaching or weekend.

To do otherwise is to leave the mind open to whatever is fed to you.
newspaper boy
#230 Aug 16, 2012
Historical truth of Christ is a page on Facebook that provides facts for Christians to defend their faith or if someone just wants to learn more about Christianity. If your interested like and share this link www.facebook.com/HistoricaltruthofChrist
cerious
#231 Aug 17, 2012
when and what day is the Emmaus Walk i want to know and where at
Mark

Amarillo, TX

#232 Aug 31, 2012
cerious wrote:
when and what day is the Emmaus Walk i want to know and where at
Cerious - I'm assuming you live in the Monticello, KY area. My understanding is that there are multiple Emmaus communities but I believe the closest would be the Lake Cumberland Area Emmaus community. Their website URL is http://www.lcemmaus.org/ . They have walk dates listed.
Judy

Burkesville, KY

#233 Sep 7, 2012
I too went on this walk and if it hadn't been for the pastor there and a few others, I would have left the next day. I loved my alchol. So I wasn't doing what I needed to do for Christ and I hated my life. A friend tried for years to get me to go and finally I went. I didn't want to be drinking so the last few days before I went, I took medicine to keep me from drinking and to help me sleep. The meds I took didn't take to well with me or with each other. The first night on the walk, I had dreams so real, I actually thought it all had happen. No, I should not have went in that condition, but the devil was fighting me so hard not to go, that he made me more determined to go and to stay after that first night. Some of the people there working in conference and Agape didn't want me there. They tried to treat me bad and did because of my first behavior. Thank God for the true Christian people that were there! Instead of letting these women offend me, I prayed for them and still do. Not all people are who they say they are, but true Christians can feel that about others. Their souls bond. You can actually feel the ora around them. Christian people don't judge you, they try and help you. Like I said some, just a few though, thought I should have went home. I stayed and now my life has changed so much. Yes, I left the walk and stayed sober for a couple of months, then fell off the wagon, but my husband also drank and that made it so hard for me. So I talked him into going on the Walk and praise God he hasn't been the same since. He went to church with me but wouldn't open up. But he did there because it was all men who alot were going throught the same thing or something similar. We both are so happy and so much has changed in our lives. We are so blessed and I see why the devil fought me so hard about going and tried so hard even through some of the women there to get me off that mountain. The devil knew how my life and the lives of others would change and it did! Big time. I was like a chain reaction. My faith is through Jesus Christ, not that mountain or anybody else. It just took the difference, that 72 hours with the Lord alone that made the real difference. Its just like with any church, you have those who are church people and those who play church. I will forever thank them that talked me into staying. They too knew God had a plan and I needed to stay to find out why the devil fought me so hard not too. Going is just like doing anything else in life. Alot of people just want to go and see what it is like to be without a phone, tv, family and just concentrate on your life and the Lord. He will bless you for it. No, you don't have to go to know the Lord. You don't have to go to Israel to know Him either but alot of people including me would love to go. God bless you all. I hope everyone would give it a try. Its definitely an experience and you do seem to bond with those who have been or went on your walk because you spend 72 hours with them and I guess thats why it does feel special. It is something you won't forget either way. Again God, bless and I love you all!
Phil G

Wexford, Ireland

#234 Sep 7, 2012
Judy,

I am glad the Lord blessed both you and your husband on the Emmaus Walk. However there does seem to be a couple of contradictions in your post. You mention 72 hours with Lord alone yet you were obviously not alone. How can you be alone with the Lord with so many others there?

You say you don't have to go to know the Lord but hope everyone gives it a try. When you can know the Lord outside of the walk, and be just as blessed by Him, why should you give it a try?

I can see you have had a wonderful experience but are you concerned about the fact you are now part of the world wide Emmaus Community which does not allow Christians who have not done a Walk to become members?

The Emmaus Community requires that you give yourself completely to the Emmaus Walk rather than completely to God. Does this concern you?

I trust your experience was real but can you be sure when the whole weekend was a very controlled environment?

Considering Candlelight was supposed to show how much people and God love you, was your husband allowed to be there?

These are just some questions I have concerning anyone who loves the Emmaus Walk so much, they feel the need to pressure others to go.

I pray the Lord blesses your life as much as he blesses mine without the Walk. By the way, I have gone to Israel and loved it.
a fellow christian

London, KY

#235 Sep 21, 2012
There is no secret to the walk, it is not about a group of people coming together and sharing as much as you setting aside 3 days to focus on your relationship with Christ at the same time others are focusing on their relationship with Christ. The not having outside communication and no clocks, are all about you having no interferrence between you and God as Jesus did in the garden of Gethsemane. Time should not matter if you have made the committment to set aside those 3 days to focus on your relationship with God. Specifics are truly unimportant as each person, depending on where they are in their christian walk, receives different blessings. The teachings are biblical. You are definitley encouraged to open, read and study your bible. Even though about 50 attend each walk it really isn't a group thing. It is a very personal thing and private sometimes not secretive. Many come off the mountain shouting it is made easier to experience this while surrounded by only christians and agape love. No Cult. I pray for the one who said it was to try to tear down a part of building up the workers in the field. Most do share the experiences with God they have with others it is just that the unchristian world isn't as receptive of the sharing of God's agape love. We call the rest of your life after the 3 day walk your 4th day. The whole community lifts each other up in prayer as we continually all walk in our 4th day. Lord my prayer is that Satan's tongue trying to tear you down will not win. That eyes would be opened and hearts as well to be filled with your agape love. What a different world it would be to as the movie Pass it forward would be put into place with your love, word and works. Thank you Lord for giving me the words to acknowledge you as Lord and Savior of my life, take me and use me for your glory. Amen. Have a Blessed night and life.
Phil G

Enniscorthy, Ireland

#236 Sep 22, 2012
a fellow christian wrote:
There is no secret to the walk, it is not about a group of people coming together and sharing as much as you setting aside 3 days to focus on your relationship with Christ at the same time others are focusing on their relationship with Christ. The not having outside communication and no clocks, are all about you having no interferrence between you and God as Jesus did in the garden of Gethsemane. Time should not matter if you have made the committment to set aside those 3 days to focus on your relationship with God. Specifics are truly unimportant as each person, depending on where they are in their christian walk, receives different blessings. The teachings are biblical. You are definitley encouraged to open, read and study your bible. Even though about 50 attend each walk it really isn't a group thing. It is a very personal thing and private sometimes not secretive. Many come off the mountain shouting it is made easier to experience this while surrounded by only christians and agape love. No Cult. I pray for the one who said it was to try to tear down a part of building up the workers in the field. Most do share the experiences with God they have with others it is just that the unchristian world isn't as receptive of the sharing of God's agape love. We call the rest of your life after the 3 day walk your 4th day. The whole community lifts each other up in prayer as we continually all walk in our 4th day. Lord my prayer is that Satan's tongue trying to tear you down will not win. That eyes would be opened and hearts as well to be filled with your agape love. What a different world it would be to as the movie Pass it forward would be put into place with your love, word and works. Thank you Lord for giving me the words to acknowledge you as Lord and Savior of my life, take me and use me for your glory. Amen. Have a Blessed night and life.
This would all be very well, accept you are not on your own. People keep controlling what you do or don't do. Plenty of interference there! What good is it to leave behind your phones clocks etc when people keep interrupting your walk with God? They stick rigidly to a schedule which you cannot opt out of. How can you focus on your relationship with God when you cannot have that time alone with Him?

God's Agape love does not exclude those who have not done an Emmaus Walk, but at Emmaus they are not included in Candlelight etc.

As an Emmaus pilgrim, you join an exclusive worldwide community. Non-Emmaus pilgrims cannot join this community. If it is not secretive, why do so many pilgrims get the impression that they have to keep the secrets so as not to spoil the surprises? If my experience of God is dependant on surprises, then it's not a real experience!

The What is Emmaus? booklet emphasises that you give yourself "completely to the Emmaus Walk". This is not Scriptural. You give yourself completely ONLY to God, not to a teaching or a weekend. It also encourages pilgrims to keep attending Emmaus groups and even encourages congregations to encourage pilgrims to keep attending Emmaus groups. They should be attending their churches, not the Emmaus groups if Emmaus does what it claims!

You may say there is no cult, but you cannot deny Emmaus use cult-like techniques to control the pilgrims.

The What is Emmaus? booklet even places the blame for any negative impressions of Emmaus firmly at the feet of unsupportive leaders or members whose influence is narrow or negative.

Please stop trying to defend Emmaus. Try accepting the problems it causes instead. These are not imagined problems. They are caused by the way Emmaus operates.
an emmaus walker

New Kent, VA

#237 Sep 26, 2012
Sid wrote:
Sorry guys but "the walk" as they call it around where I live is very secretive. Those who go come back as the chosen ones.
I hear the same rote answers: "its like a birth day party, you don't want to spoil the surprise." they must teach that line on the walk
Those who go on the walk are not "chosen ones". We are all chosen ones. The walk is an individual journey to reconnect with God. We don't talk about it because we don't want to influence your journey. We each respond to and take away from the journey different things according to our individual spiritual needs. I wouldn't use a birthday party.......I would say its more like a good book or movie........you dont want to spoil the ending.
hippie

London, KY

#238 Sep 26, 2012
Phil G, you seem to just have a rub against Emmaus. I have been to countless christian conferences where there was a set schedule and the conference was "controlled". Each time I came away refreshed and on fire to do something through my local church.

If you have problems with that type of set up, forget Emmaus and move on. That doesn't make you any less of a person for doing so. On the same hand, don't judge people that actually get something out of experiences like Emmaus or other christian conferences that use a schedule.

As far as Emmaus reunion groups, they are meant to be something extra besides church. Nothing more. They NEVER take the place of attending your local church services or your church outreaches.
Phil G

Ireland

#239 Sep 26, 2012
hippie wrote:
Phil G, you seem to just have a rub against Emmaus. I have been to countless christian conferences where there was a set schedule and the conference was "controlled". Each time I came away refreshed and on fire to do something through my local church.
If you have problems with that type of set up, forget Emmaus and move on. That doesn't make you any less of a person for doing so. On the same hand, don't judge people that actually get something out of experiences like Emmaus or other christian conferences that use a schedule.
As far as Emmaus reunion groups, they are meant to be something extra besides church. Nothing more. They NEVER take the place of attending your local church services or your church outreaches.
Of course loads of christian conferences have a set schedule, but how many don't allow you to leave the premises or have contact outside? How many don't allow you to opt out of parts of the conference?

As for the reunion groups, the "What is Emmaus?" booklet states that ideally pilgrims should serve Christ and humanity through the church but to persevere in spiritual growth by paricipating in the Emmaus follow up groups. What's wrong with spiritual growth in their church?

Then this same booklet says that congrgations should publically affirm and acknowledge pilgrims for their involvement! Why?

"What is Emmaus?" places the blame for any negativity at the feet of unsupportive leaders and narrow or negative influences by members - just as you have done to me.

Have you read this booklet? You would get the impression that without Emmaus, the church is just going through the motions.

As I said before, people need to stop defending Emmaus and acknowledge the problems it causes. I would love to forget Emmaus and move on but the fact is that once Emmaus comes into a church, it permeates through it until those who refused to go feel like second class Christians left out of some great blessing which can only be found at Emmaus.
Phil G

Ireland

#240 Sep 26, 2012
an emmaus walker wrote:
<quoted text>
Those who go on the walk are not "chosen ones". We are all chosen ones. The walk is an individual journey to reconnect with God. We don't talk about it because we don't want to influence your journey. We each respond to and take away from the journey different things according to our individual spiritual needs. I wouldn't use a birthday party.......I would say its more like a good book or movie........you dont want to spoil the ending.
You see, this is the problem. What blessing from God are you going to spoil? You can't ruin God's blessing on my life or anybody elses life by telling the great secrets of Emmaus! God blesses me in His way and His time, not according to a program devised by man.

Why do Emmaus advovates think they are going to spoil something by telling us all about the weekend? As far as I can see, if we all know what happens, we won't bother going and that is what will be spoiled!
Jay

Henniker, NH

#241 Sep 26, 2012
Phil G wrote:
<quoted text>
You see, this is the problem. What blessing from God are you going to spoil? You can't ruin God's blessing on my life or anybody elses life by telling the great secrets of Emmaus! God blesses me in His way and His time, not according to a program devised by man.
Why do Emmaus advovates think they are going to spoil something by telling us all about the weekend? As far as I can see, if we all know what happens, we won't bother going and that is what will be spoiled!
Phil, I agree with you strongly on your points. I have had the same discussions with people, and it can be frustrating that people on both "sides" of this issue seem to be deaf to the points of the other side (myself likely included in that at times). I have found a very few folks who are still active in Emmaus, are critical of some of its practices, and are trying to change things from within - but mostly people have defenses come up right away.

I often use the comparison to a fraternity or sorority (something I know well, as I work in higher education), and I see the same issues with those groups. People on the outside of a Greek group often see their practices and think they are strange, manipulative, or overly secret, while members of the groups most often defend these practices. I believe that Emmaus is manipulative and based in emotionalism, but I know that people who are deeply involved in Emmaus will often not admit that - and might not see it. How hard it could be for someone who had a great time on the weekend to peek behind the curtain and question its practices? So, I think you should keep making your points, but know that folks may have a hard time seeing things from your perspective.

Lastly, someone responded to one of your posts with a message (and I am paraphrasing here) that, while you have these strong feelings about Emmaus, why can't you simply leave it alone and let those who enjoy it keep doing so. My response to that point has always been - as long as Emmaus is a ministry/program of the Methodist Church, of which I am a member, I will always have a right and responsilbity to speak my mind about it. Church resources are used on Emmaus, and I support the church with my dollars and energy. So, until Emmaus becomes truly independant (and it will likely never do so), I will keep speaking out. And I hope you do too!
Keith

Albuquerque, NM

#242 Sep 26, 2012
My pilgrim walk was 12 years ago, and I was on the team for a walk two weeks ago. I might get disagreement from this, and so be it. But I would say, Phil G- you should not go on a walk in your current frame of mind, and possibly never. The purpose is to share God's love, not debate it. You might privately consider that the time of the worship service I assume you attend, and the service itself, was devised by man. This was done with prayer, as are walks. If I tell you every word the pastor/priest/etc will speak at the next service you attend, it's possible that the impact on you will be reduced, or that you won't "bother" going. Some people like happy surprises. Some things "devised by man" are inspired by God, and devised and conducted with prayer, and intended to further His kingdom on Earth.

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