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What Does the Bible Say About..Encounter?

What is your opinion on encounter? I mean like the whole going to the woods for three days and having no contact with the outside world and confessing all your sins to the leaders?


There is value in going somewhere alone with just those that believe as you do. Jesus tried to do it himself (Luke 9:10). There is definitely value in any chance you might have to study God’s word with other believers. There is value in time away from the everyday world. Otherwise God would not have given the Jews the Sabbath.

The main thing I find fault with in the scenario you describe is “confessing all your sins to the leaders.” Don’t get me wrong. There is value in confessing our sins to one another. “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16) The problem I have with such encounters is that there are usually people there from more than just one congregation. We should confess to “one another,” but I am not sure that includes people who do not know you, and you do not know that you can trust. The place to be confessing one’s faults is in the local congregation, with those who are dedicated to helping their own.

The other problem I have with such times is that the benefit is usually short-lived. These times tend to be emotional. You want to start over. You want to confess your faults. But weeks later you have lost that emotion, and usually any motivation to change. That motivation comes more from members of a congregation that you interact with on a frequent basis.

The concept of such an encounter is not bad. Sometimes the experience is good as well. Frequently these things are of little lasting value.