An Evaluation of Tres Dias / Cursillo Weekend Movements

An Evaluation of Tres Dias / Cursillo Weekend Movements

UPDATED 6/24/16

What the Church needs today is unity!”

That’s what I often hear from Tres Dias members and  leaders. While there are many scriptures encouraging believers to be of one mind, one accord, and to live in unity, we are never told to comprise the truth. Ecumenism encourages believers to come together in worship with those adhering to a different gospel (ie the Catholic church). As stated in their own literature, Cursillo, Tres Dias, Walk to Emanuas… weekends (which also go by many other names) are Ecumenical, and Ecumenism is being promoted by the Elite/Zionist/Satanic Cabal, in order to bring about the New World Order’s One World Religion ruled by a false “messiah”.

If you are not familiar with the Ecumenical Movement, I encourage you to take the time to educate yourself on this plan to bring all denominations back under the control of the Roman Catholic Church. It is an integral part of the plan toward a New World Order. A list of articles about the Ecumenical Movement can be found at this link: Ecumenism and Interfaith Movements*.

You just have to experience it!”

I was invited to attend a Tres Dias weekend a while back. I didn’t go. My first reaction was against the secrecy behind the weekend, additionally, being asked to surrender control of my life (no phone, car keys, communication devices) for three days made me completely uncomfortable. My curiosity was piqued and I decided to take a closer look at these weekends. Below is,  I think, a fair and balanced evaluation of this ministry put together by The Center for Apologetics Research.

Among other troubling aspects of the weekends is their use of the term “candidates” for new visitors. This is a term widely used by cults – actually, even satanic groups. To be clear; I am NOT saying Tres Dias is satanic(!) but I do find the use of this term somewhat troublesome.

If you are evaluating Tres Dias weekends, you may want to visit this site and read their information on “Thought Reform”: http://www.rationalrevelation.com/trmethods.html , in regard to the methods employed at these weekends.

Finally, I want to make it clear that I don’t think most of the people leading these weekends are aware of the evil agenda behind Ecumenism or its’ relevance to the weekends. I think their sincere aim is to draw people into a closer relationship with God. My hope is that Tres Dias (Cursillo, etc.) leaders would read through the articles about Tres Dias on this site, as well as purchase an excellent book written by ex-Cursillo leader, Brian Janssen – Cursillo: Little Courses in Catharsis.

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TRES DIAS: A PRELIMINARY EVALUATION

 

After experiencing a Tres Dias weekend, Pastor Billy Hill of Richland Baptist Church relates that “We felt like we needed to send as many of our lay people as we could, and so that’s what we set out to do. And now by doing that we been able to get several of our lay people through. And they have been such a blessing and a help in the ministry. They want to be a part of the ministry. They want to help. And this is something that is new to me. People who want to help, who want to be a part of the ministry. Rather than trying to have to talk people into it. You have people come up and say ‘Pastor let me help. Let me be a part of it’ … . the love and the compassion that I see flowing from our people has been just great!”1

Such testimonials sounded wonderful to Pastor Anatoly Keluzhny of New Life Center in Kiev2 . Like most pastors he was anxious to have his membership more involved in ministry. He wanted his people to better show the love of Christ. So after much discussion, he agreed to support Tres Dias who wanted to organize a weekend in Kiev, Ukraine. He even allowed several of his staff to participate as workers on the weekend.

As time went on, more and more of his staff’s time was spent on Tres Dias, and that left less time for these people to minister in his church. Anatoly was also disturbed by some reports he had heard about strange practices on the weekend. There seemed to be an air of secrecy concerning the weekend that made him uncomfortable. He was also uneasy because of reports from the US concerning problems with the Tres Dias movement. Some churches reported problems of elitism with those who had returned from the Tres Dias weekends. Others disliked the secrecy associated with this ministry. People attending Tres Dias often had very different reactions to the weekend. These groups tended to polarize, some resulting in division within the church — with Tres Dias allegedly at the center of these conflicts.3

Anatoly came to believe that Tres Dias was threatening the ministry of his church. He decided to cut back on church involvement with this ministry, and announced to his staff that he would not give them permission to participate in the upcoming Tres Dias weekend scheduled to occur a few months from then. Some of the staff strongly objected to this policy and, despite their pleas, Anatoly remained firm in his decision. The result: several of his staff left, and the church experienced a loss of membership over the issue. Now Anatoly warns others about the dangers of Tres Dias. “I am absolutely sure today that Tres Dias is a very dangerous thing. And I strongly tell everybody that you should be aware of this organization, because it destroys the unity of the church.”

Tres Dias organizers insist that their ministry had nothing to do with the conflicts at Anatoly’s church. They attribute the problems to internal politics or heavy-handed leadership. However, other churches in the US have reported similar problems. Was this coincidental? Was there something about Tres Dias that was causing — or exacerbating — conflicts within the church? We wanted to find out for ourselves, so when the local Tres Dias leadership invited researchers from the Center for Apologetics Research to attend a weekend, we gladly accepted. To their credit, Tres Dias was very open and cooperative with us; they not only sponsored us to attend the weekend as full participants, but also supplied us with Tres Dias materials, including instruction manuals used to equip workers who serve during the weekend.

The following is a preliminary analysis of Tres Dias, which we hope will benefit churches that are deciding whether to encourage or discourage their members’ involvement with Tres Dias.

History
Tres Dias (Spanish, “three days”) is part of a larger group of organizations often referred to as “Cursillo” or “Fourthday” movements. Cursillo began in Spain in the 1940s when two Roman Catholics, Bishop Juan Hervas and Eduardo Bonin, designed a program to revitalize the Catholic church in their country. The first “Cursillo” (or “short course”) in Christianity was held in Spain in the late 1940s. Cursillo was introduced to the United States in the 1950s. Protestants attending Catholic Cursillos sought permission to establish versions of the movement for their own denominations. 4 Today, in addition to the Catholic Cursillos, there are several fourth-day movements operated by various denominations. The Episcopal and Presbyterian movements are called “Cursillos.” Via de Christo was organized by Lutherans, and The Walk to Emmaus is run by Methodists. There is also a prison ministry called Kairos. Finally, there is Tres Dias — an ecumenical version of the weekend experience growing out of the Cursillo movement. The first Tres Dias weekend was held in Newburg, New York in 1972. Leaders of these “fourth-day” organizations meet regularly and establish a common set of guidelines by which their organizations must abide, thus reinforcing the essential characteristics of the Fourth-day movements overall.

Because Tres Dias is rooted in a Roman Catholic renewal movement, the weekend experience retains a very strong Catholic flavor. “The dynamics involved, the schedule used, the order of the talks and events, the total content is basically the same as that developed for the first Cursillo weekends held on the Spanish Island of Majorca”5 [sic]. Many of the Tres Dias traditions and vocabulary are drawn from Catholicism. For example, Tres Dias leaders employ classic Catholic traditions like the celebration of the Stations of the Cross. They talk about living “in a cloistered environment.” The subject of one of the weekend talks is “The Sacraments.” That having been said, Tres Dias goes to great lengths to try to not offend anyone — urging workers to “stress those things which the Christian denominations have in common and respect those things which are different.”

“Fourth-Day” Movements
Unlike the original Cursillo and some of its successors, Tres Dias has a strong ecumenical flavor. Its leaders describe Tres Dias as “an ecumenical movement [that] came into being through the energetic and loving support of the Cursillo community.”6 They relate, “One great strength of each Tres Dias community is its ecumenism. On each weekend, candidates and team members including the spiritual directors represent various denominations and congregations. … The ecumenical factor in Tres Dias brings to many Christians a new and irreplaceable growing experience.”7

On my weekend there were “candidates” (new participants, initiates) from a wide variety of denominations, including Baptists, Pentecostals, Lutherans, Charismatics, Orthodox, and even a Seventh-day Adventist pastor. The ministry workers who served the candidates came from a wide variety of church backgrounds, including a Roman Catholic who gave one of the talks (and shared meals with me; there were several interesting exchanges about Catholic doctrine — such as praying to saints — among those who attended this weekend).

Doctrine
Many people have asked our researchers whether Tres Dias is a cult. From a traditional theological standpoint we would emphatically answer “No!” While we may not approve of some of the Catholic and Ecumenical influences on its theology, we would not describe Tres Dias as “cultic” in its beliefs. In fact, its doctrinal statement8 seems quite typical of what one would expect of any evangelical Christian ministry.

Although the teaching on the weekend was not cultic, I was disappointed at the quality of much of the material presented during the rollos. In one of the first rollos, on the theme of grace, the speaker merged the concepts of justification and sanctification. In one of his illustrations he compared conversion to Christianity with putting on a Tshirt. He had a T-shirt that was given to him several years ago by his daughter. He accepted the gift, but he never put on the T-shirt. It remained in the package. Then he took out the T-shirt and put it on. He then said it was not enough to accept God’s gift; one must put it on. I felt that this message — which should have clearly presented the gospel — served instead to confound and confuse the message. In fact, I did not hear a clear presentation of the gospel on the whole weekend, although at several times during teaching sessions it would have been quite natural to do so.

In another message entitled “The Church”, we were encouraged to accept our brothers in Christ in other denominations and break free from our denominational prejudices. The speaker constantly reminded candidates that we are all part of one church and that we need to act in unity. Unfortunately, the Tres Dias speakers never defined exactly who is (or is not) part of the church. Though they talked about the church having one Lord and one baptism, they never talked about us having one faith (cf. Ephesians 4:5). Theology, as in many ecumenical movements, was downplayed — leaving listeners with the distinct impression that doctrine is unimportant. In contrast, it is essential to identify those who we are supposed to recognize as brothers and sisters in Christ if we are to encourage others to pursue spiritual unity beyond their denominational walls. (Does this include the Mormons? There was a Seventh-day Adventist pastor at the meeting; how am I to relate to him? What about members of the United Pentecostal Church, which denies the Trinity — are they my brothers in Christ? As a protestant, should I relate the same way to other Protestants as I do to members of the Roman Catholic or Orthodox faiths?) The over-simplification of this complex matter could have a very negative impact on the average church member.

On the other hand, the talk on “The Sacraments” was quite good. The speaker started by comparing the Catholic idea of sacraments with the protestant idea of ordinances. The speaker did an excellent job at reviewing the material — showing the commonalities and differences between the catholic, protestant, and orthodox view of each practices commonly referred to as sacraments by the Catholic and Orthodox church. He was careful to explain the protestant viewpoint in each section, showing how this was different from the Catholic and Orthodox beliefs. I thought this talk was very balanced.

The quality and content of teaching given by Tres Dias speakers will probably vary greatly from one weekend to another. This is because the outlines of the talks provided in the Tres Dias training manual are quite general — giving speakers wide latitude in how they approach the subject. Since Tres Dias is an ecumenical effort, pastors should expect the teaching to reflect a wide variety of denominational influences — Baptist, Lutheran, Church of Christ, Catholic, etc. — as well as a mixture of both conservative and liberal theology. Many of the Americans who served during the weekend I attended came from backgrounds that were considerably more liberal than is common in Ukrainian protestant churches.

The attitude of Tres Dias attendees toward the teaching is also noteworthy. Even though I was told repeatedly that Tres Dias had transformed the lives of those who attended the weekend, those who attended invariably said something like “I didn’t learn anything new”9 or “There wasn’t anything new.”10 People talk more about “the Tres Dias Experience” or “experiencing the unconditional love of God.” People referred to the experience as “mind-boggling,” “transformational,” or “an encounter with the living God.”

Whatever was impacting people, it had little to do with the teaching. What exactly is this Tres Dias experience that has such power? What compels people to testify that their lives have been transformed after attending a three-day retreat?

The Tres Dias Experience
The best part of Tres Dias is the experience of bonding together with people from many different Christian denominations. I met some wonderful people during my Tres Dias weekend, and enjoyed getting to know people who I might not otherwise have met. I always enjoy getting together with people of different denominations and cultures and worshipping God together. It gives us a glimpse of what it might be like in Heaven. For many people in Ukraine, this was the first time that they had this experience, and this was a great blessing. There are not many ministries in Ukraine that are bringing people of different denominations together.

While attending a Tres Dias weekend one experiences a number of things that may seem unusual yet harmless:

• Candidates receives public recognition, usually in the form of hearty applause, many times throughout the weekend.

• Candidates are not allowed to wear a watch.

• The people one comes with are assigned to different rooms and seated separately in the lecture hall — removing the candidate from his or her friends.

• Candidates receive small personal gifts many times each day.

• The leaders and helpers have their own vocabulary (you are greeted with the term “De Colores,” lectures are “rollos,” gifts are “palanca,” the ministry workers are called “chas,” and those attending the weekend are called “candidates”).

• Ministry workers outnumber candidates by 2 to 1.

• Candidates must sing the “De Colores” song loudly and enthusiastically before they are allowed to eat at mealtimes.

Interestingly, there are significant parallels between such methods and well-known cult-recruitment techniques. Groups such as the Unification Church of Sun Myung Moon (whose followers are known as “Moonies”) have employed similar tactics to “convert” people in a “camp” or “retreat” setting. Cult recruiters realize that in a “camp” situation they can control the environment in a way not possible in everyday life, and this provides an opportunity to influence potential converts through the use of powerful social forces. Recruits may not perceive the use of such techniques, or they may simply find them strange. Yet respected sociologists and psychologists regard these as effective methods of coercive influence or mind control (also commonly known as “brainwashing”).

Cult Researcher Geri-Ann Galanti, Ph.D. explains that “Because popular models of brainwashing are derived from the thought-reform processes used by the Chinese communists on prisoners during the Korean War, anything not involving extreme physical abuse or deprivation is not thought of as brainwashing. This outdated and inaccurate stereotype remains as one of the barriers to recognizing and understanding brainwashing in the context of cults. Contrary to this stereotype, the techniques used by cults are also used to socialize individuals as members of society. Although the process is much more intense and manipulative during cult indoctrination, it is not outside our sphere of comfortable recognition.”11 Some behavioral scientists reject the notion of mind control, seeing cult methods as closely related to the ordinary forms of persuasion that commercial advertisers use to sell their products. However, whatever one calls it, these are the techniques that cults use to convert people, and the deliberate use of such social manipulation seems unethical even when the motive is allegedly good.

Undoubtedly, the most unusual aspect of the Tres Dias weekend is the use of these techniques. I have never experienced a Christian-led program that reminded me so strongly of the persuasive techniques employed by cult recruiters in isolated camp settings. Let’s review some of the techniques commonly used by some cults and see how these were implemented in the Tres Dias weekend.

Disorientation
Cultic movements use many techniques designed to disorient potential converts. We are all creatures of habit, and removing us from our accustomed routines increases the chances of conversion. This can be done by altering our normal schedules, changing the places where we spend our time, or by putting us around different people. Bringing us to a camp or retreat does this quite effectively.

• During a Tres Dias weekend candidates are required to remove their watches.

• Organizers also remove or cover all clocks in the facility.

• Candidates are not given any schedule of events. People normally structure their routines around time, and the removal of this element is quite powerful.

• Tres Dias assigns the seats all candidates sit in — for both lectures and discussion.

• The leadership also makes all room assignments. (The Tres Dias manual specifically instructs the organizers to separate candidates from their friends and to put them with new people. This separates them from the people they usually associate with.)

• Tres Dias people speak a different language — using Spanish terms like palanca, chas, pescadores, as well as the “fourth day.”

• The Tres Dias weekends are sequestered — meaning that you only see males on the men’s weekends, and women (with the exception of a few pastors who serve as spiritual directors) on the women’s weekends. They go to great lengths to isolate you from members of the opposite sex (even workers at the facility) to enforce this aspect of the
weekend.

• There is a period of silence from the evening meditation on the first night until the end of the first meditation the following morning. Candidates are not allowed to speak to anyone (including their roommates) during this period of time.

• Programs can run from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m., with no free time except for occasional breaks (limited to 5 to 10 minutes). This tires out the candidates — lowering their resistance to change.

By itself, any one of these elements might not seem very unusual or suspect. However, combining them all can cause
a strong sense of disorientation in the candidates.

“Love Bombing”
One feature of cultic recruiting is the use of “love-bombing.” Galanti explains: “A basic human need is for selfesteem. The Moonies utilize a technique known as love bombing to capitalize upon this need. Basically it consists of giving someone a lot of positive attention.”12 You receive scores of positive attention at a Tres Dias weekend. It starts when you arrive at the bus and someone takes your bags — which are delivered to your room by a chas when you arrive. Throughout the weekend there are people there to serve you. You are introduced to chas who prepare your meals and wait on you while you eat. Others wait on you bringing you drinks and snacks as you attend the lectures. Throughout the weekend you receive many gifts called palanca — notes from people who are praying for you, candy left on your bed, bookmarks hand-drawn by children from someone’s home church, hand written letters from various chas telling you what they appreciate about you, and a variety of other items including pins, key chains, cups with the “De Colores” rainbow, and much more. Candidates are called forward by name (usually accompanied by vigorous applause) eight times in the Tres Dias weekend. As with the disorientation techniques, singly any of these would not seem unordinary, it is the combination of all of them that has a powerful effect on you and your behavior.

Role Influence
The roles we are assigned have a powerful effect on our behavior. “By assuming situational social roles in a setting, we can be led unwittingly to take on companion roles in the various scenarios being enacted: if she wants to play ‘guest,’ we become ‘host’ … Once we become ensconced in some social role, our behavioral freedom is compromised in subtle ways. Interviewees answer but don’t ask questions; guests don’t demand better food; prisoners don’t give commands; audiences listen … Expectations about what behaviors are appropriate and permissible within the structure of a role can come to control us more effectively than the most talented persuader.”13

The first thing that struck me about Tres Dias was the reference to participants as “candidates.” That seemed strange; why did they choose this word to describe those who were attending the weekend for the first time? (When I think of the word candidate, the first think that pops into my mind is someone competing in an election. I couldn’t help but wonder: Exactly what am I running for? It is also used informally for someone who is trying to attain something. I might be a candidate seeking to acceptance by some advanced school or seeking to join an exclusive club. It gave me a sense that I did not yet measure up, or would somehow be tested during the weekend.)

On the promotional video one pastor says that Tres Dias was sort of “camouflaged.” On the surface it seems “silly” or “light-weightish.”14 As the events progressed during the weekend he attended he saw that there was more depth to it. People get this impression because some of the things done on the weekend are normally done only with children’s ministries. One good example is singing “De Colores” — the theme song of Tres Dias. The song describes roosters singing, hens clucking and chicks saying “pio pio pio pio pi” — all accompanied by hand motions. This brought to mind Galanti’s description of the Moonie camp. “My overwhelming response to my experience that weekend was that I was having fun. It was like being a child again. Most of the time not spent in lectures was passed by eating, playing games, and singing songs. … It was nice to be a child again with no responsibilities except to have a good time and learn a little. Children tend to experience things more on an emotional level rather than on an intellectual one. Certainly that particular approach was stressed during the weekend; it places the recruit in a vulnerable position and helps strip him or her of the power to resist those in authority, those who are trying to influence him or her.”15

It was interesting to note the “role pairs” that were used during the weekend:

• First, they were the hosts, and we were the guests. One is personally invited to attend the weekend. (Attendance at the weekend is not open to all; one must be invited by a “pescador” (Spanish for fisherman). You are constantly waited on and pampered like a guest.) One is frequently told that the pescadores are there to serve you — you are even instructed not to give them any thanks. The weekend is free, and you are told that the cost of the weekend have already been raised, so there is no need for you to contribute financially.

• Second, they were the insiders, we were the outsiders. They knew what would happen next, I didn’t. They knew the vocabulary — rollo, the fourth-day, palanca, etc; I hadn’t a clue what they were talking about. They knew the songs, I had to learn them.

• Third, they were the teachers, we were the students. Most of the teachers were laymen, yet the teaching was done quite formally with the speaker standing at a podium all dressed in suit and tie.

• Fourth, they were the leaders, we were the followers. Sometimes the rector would loudly announce, “Follow me” and would lead us into another room. At night they would turn off all the facility lights and would line up with candles between the chapel and the dormitory. We were instructed to return to our rooms as others light the way. We were not allowed to see the schedule. Therefore, we had to ask or be told what to do constantly by the chas who knew what was going on.

This affected our behavior in subtle, yet powerful ways. One knows that it is not polite for a guest to question or criticize the host; we were indebted to them, and we responded accordingly. One naturally wants to be a member of the club. (It reminded me of being in high school and being excluded from the “in” group.) By assuming the trappings of a formal teaching situation, people without experience or credentials were endued with referential authority — and we were there to learn from them. We all know from childhood that we should “follow the leader,” so we never asked what qualified them to lead us.

“Stacking the Deck”
One of the things that some cults do is to have a high number of committed adherents mixed among potential recruits attending a camp. Sometimes, you don’t even realize that the person sitting next to you is part of the organization. Ask a question under these circumstances, and you are most likely to get a response that is in line with the beliefs of
the group. We all want to go along with the crowd. We are hesitant to be different. By manipulating the composition of the crowd, you can create an environment where most people are sympathetic to your position. This is simple mathematics. One of the peculiar things about the weekend is that there are twice as many workers as there are
candidates. This created an environment in which the majority had already accepted the values of Tres Dias. This greatly influences the conversations one has with others. Another strange thing was that some of these people were sitting at your dining table; one only discovers later that they were part of the Tres Dias team. The lack of free time also influences one’s conversations. It made critical discussions of the material difficult, as this would normally be done in private with your friends and that was not an option.

Mind control is so effective because it takes a number of things, things which by themselves do not seem threatening, and combines them to create an environment which exerts a powerful control over the individual. “Components of effective mind control exist in the most mundane aspects of human existence: the inner pressures to be bonded to other people, the power of group norms to influence behavior, the force of social rewards such as a smile, a compliment,a gentile touch … What insures the success of undesirable social influences — whether they involve buying new products, entering new relationships, or simply maintaining the status quo in a contrary environment — is our blindness to the potency of certain situations. Etiquette and protocol are powerful inhibitors of unconventional action. When people around us behave alike and in ways they are expected to, it becomes difficult for us to evaluate their actions critically or to deviate from what is expected of us in the situation.”16

Common Criticisms
There has been some criticism aired concerning Tres Dias in the United States. Typical of such criticism are two articles issued by the Baptist Press17 . The most common charge aired against the Fourth-day movements is that of secrecy. There are certain aspects of the weekend that Tres Dias wishes to remain a surprise. When people refuse to talk about the weekend, this makes people nervous. However, my impression was that this is because people find it difficult to understand and explain their experience, not because Tres Dias is actually a secret society of some kind. Tres Dias has also been charged with encouraging an elitist mentality among those who complete its weekend experience. Its leaders do say that Tres Dias is “a way to help churches” and warn participants not to be overly exuberant when describing their weekend experiences. However, I heard ten times more often remarks like “I have been to every retreat, Bible study, marriage encounter, etc. offered in our church, but nothing transformed me like my Tres Dias weekend” or “I have seen every kind of program imaginable to build up men in the church, but nothing was as effective at getting people involved as Tres Dias.” In truth, I heard such statement so many times that they tended to drown out the cautionary views. It is all too easy for Christians who would never express personal pride, to get caught up in the pride of belonging to the best organization, the best ministry, the best denomination. Tres Dias would do well to concentrate on identifying this elitist mentality, and working on more effectively helping the team members to curb this type of behavior. Unfortunately, Tres Dias leaders have strongly denied that such a problem exists, and until they learn to recognize it, there is little chance of improvement.

In their enthusiasm to have people complete the weekend, some Tres Dias leaders have sought to prevent candidates from leaving, a problem highlighted in one of the Baptist Press articles. On the weekends that were held in Kiev in June of 2000, I heard of two incidents, which illustrate this tendancy. In one case a pastor who was attending had informed organizers beforehand that he would have to leave in the middle of the weekend for a few hours to handle some important church business with the bank. When the time came for him to leave, the leaders simply told him that he could not go. When he replied that he was determined to leave no matter what, they allowed him to go — providing he take a Pescador with him to personally escort him into town and return him to the retreat. In another instance a woman was having a really hard time with the weekend, and went up to a leader and told her, “I want to go home.” She was told that she couldn’t leave at that time, but that if she felt the same way in the morning, she would be allowed to leave. In the morning one of the workers approached her and said that she had been praying for her for an entire year, and that she would be really disappointed if the woman left. The woman agreed to stay, and in the end she reported having a good experience on the last day of the retreat. Despite the outcome, we find such a refusal to respect this person’s wishes, and the use of such manipulative tactics, inappropriate and highly questionable. On the local front, Pastor Anatoly Kaluzhny has pointed out the lack of regard for a pastor’s authority in the Tres Dias movement. He sent a letter asking Tres Dias not to sponsor any candidates that were members of his church. Tres Dias refused to honor that request, sponsoring several candidates from his church despite his objection. We strongly urge Tres Dias to honor such requests in the future.

A Sampling of Pastoral Responses
Most of the feedback we received from pastors who had attended the weekend in Kiev was positive overall. Alexander Nevennetsa, a Pentecostal pastor, relates “Never before did I experience the love of God like I did on that weekend. … This weekend fundamentally changed the way I look at other denominations. There [on the weekend] I learned to love my brothers from other confessions genuinely.” Pastor Alexander related how he throughly enjoyed the two weekends he attended. He has sent several people from his congregation to attend a Tres Dias weekend, and has experienced a positive effect in his church. “I already have recommended Tres Dias to several pastors I know, and would recommend it to other pastors who are invited to the weekend.” Vladimir Habrico, a Baptist pastor reports having a great experience on the weekend. “I really experienced God”s love and His grace on this weekend. … I really had a feeling of being renewed.» He told us that he would recommend Tres Dias to other pastors, and said «I wish a lot of pastors could go». However, he thinks that Tres Dias should work more directly with the leadership of the church. “The weak point is a lack of contacts with the leadership of the churches. They should contact the pastor first, and get his permission before they invite people to attend the weekend.”

Pastor Phillip Barnett also had a mixed reaction. On the one hand his wife and others who attended were greatly blessed. He feels that they had a positive experience that built them up in Christ. He has no reservations about people in his church attending the weekend. On the other hand he reacted negatively to the Roman Catholic feel of the weekend, and didn’t like the “controlling environment” there. “I personally did not get a lot out of the weekend” he reports; although he does says that he really enjoyed the fellowship with other Christians. We also interviewed some of the pastoral staff at New Life – the Church that was split with Tres Dias reportedly at the center of the conflict. These were the only people who were overwhelmingly negative about Tres Dias. One pastor relates “My experience with Tres Dias was negative because it caused problems in our church”. He then quoted Matthew 7:20 “By their fruits ye shall know them”. In this pastor’s opinion the fruit of Tres Dias was division in the church. We inquired about what he would say if another pastor asked him if he should attend a
Tres Dias weekend. He responded, “I would tell the Pastor that he should not go.”

Recommendations for Tres Dias Leaders
Tres Dias has a marvelous potential to be a great blessing to the churches in Ukraine. They will have to make some major changes in practice, but we believe it is possible to accomplish these changes in a way that keeps their core values intact, and retains much of the traditions of the Cursillo movement. I hope and pray that Tres Dias will try to move in this direction. Ukraine could certainly benefit from ministries with a commitment to bringing people together from different denomination — allowing them to slow down and reflect on their lives and their commitment to Christ.

We are preparing a detailed set of recommendations for Tres Dias, but it might be helpful to review a few of them here:

1) Tres Dias needs to have a clear presentation of the gospel in the “Grace” rollo. This would clearly define exactly what a Christian is at the start of the weekend. The presentation should emphasize that one is saved by faith alone, not by works; it is a free gift of God. None of us can do anything to merit our salvation. While this message may be contrary to the beliefs of some of those attending — and may even offend candidates who attend Catholic, Orthodox, or liberal Protestant churches — Tres Dias needs to be willing to offend people for the sake of the gospel. Ignoring our differences for the sake of unity when it comes to a clear presentation of the gospel is not an option that a Christian ministry can afford to make.

2) The “Church” rollo needs to better define the role of doctrine in defining exactly who the church is. The Church has “one faith” — a common set of beliefs to which all true Christians agree. That includes things like the Trinity, salvation by grace, the inspiration of scripture, etc. Denominations, which deny these fundamentals, are not part of the true church. I want to have unity with the true church, and I want to be separate from false religions. There is a big difference between fellowshipping with someone who disagrees with you on the mode of baptism and worshiping together with someone who denies that Jesus Christ is God! Such foundational distinctions need to be emphasized.

3) Tres Dias needs to redesign aspects of the weekend to diminish the extraordinary level of control they exert on all aspects of the environment. This could include things like providing a 2-3 hour block of free time in the middle of the day, providing a vague schedule (that didn’t ruin any of the surprises) while allowing people to wear their watches, and cutting back on the public attention given to the candidates.

4) Tres Dias needs to respect the authority of the pastor of the local church by requiring candidates to have his permission before attending the weekend. This is done in some of the other fourth-day movements.

5) Tres Dias needs to directly confront problems like elitism and manipulation through appropriate training and oversight of the Pescadores who are serve during the weekends.

Recommendations for Pastors
Senior pastors and denominational leaders are best equipped to decide whether Tres Dias would be good for their churches. It is not practical for every pastor to attend the weekend for himself. This is where denominational leaders can be very helpful. We strongly urge denominational leaders to study Tres Dias, attend a weekend, and make a public  recommendation or policy concerning Tres Dias for their own denominations. This can greatly assist pastors in local churches in making decisions regarding involvement with the Tres Dias program.

We advise Senior Pastors to make a determination as to the appropriateness of Tres Dias in the churches that God has called them to Pastor. Pastors may attend a Tres Dias weekend for themselves, read about Tres Dias, and consult with denominational leaders. Most of the problems that we have seen occurred when church members were attending Tres Dias before the senior pastor. People became highly committed to Tres Dias, and when the pastor made the decision to not be involved this caused great conflicts. Therefore, it would be better if the senior pastor made an informed decision on Tres Dias before members of the church get involved. This decision should be clearly communicated to the body — because people are often invited on the weekend by other Christians and the pastor may have no knowledge of this.

Conclusions
The Tres Dias leadership is quick to admit that Tres Dias is not for everyone. Like it or not, it has great potential to either help or harm a church. Ultimately, the senior pastor will have to decide if the Tres Dias culture is compatible with his church. Once that decision is made, he should make this known to the members as many are invited to attend
the weekend without the pastor’s knowledge or consent. In light of the above considerations, the Center for Apologetics Research of Ukraine cannot recommend the Tres Dias program at this time. Although the organization hopes to draw its participants into a positive spiritual experience, we believe that it is potentially harmful to expose people to the manipulative environment created in a Tres Dias weekend. We consider the use of such tactics to be highly unethical and feel bound to expose them when practiced by cultic groups; we can do no less when a Christian ministry employs them. We hope that the extensive use of inappropriate mechanisms of social control is unintentional and that, having recognized the problems inherent in such practices, the Tres Dias leadership will take measures to correct this situation. We pray that in the future we will have the privilege of reporting these changes — enabling us to give a more favorable review of Tres Dias.

More On Tres Dias Here

references:

1 “A Introduction to Tres Dias” International Secretariat of Tres Dias 1999 video

2 The Introduction to Tres Dias video was released after these events. Anatoly reports that Audrey Bender, a member of his church who has been involved with Tres Dias for some time, shared similar experiences of churches that had been blessed through their involvement with Tres Dias. We quote the video because it is useful to demonstrate such testimonials from an official Tres Dias source

3 “NAMB official cautions churches to be wary of renewalk weekends” Baptist Press December 29, 1999 & “Southern Baptists voice views on spiritual renewal weekends” Baptist Press January 18, 2000.

4 “The Rector” Tres Dias: Poughkeepsie, NY 1985 p. 37-40 & History of the Tres Dias Movement (http://www.tresdias.org/history.htm)

5 Orientation of the Tres Dias Movement (http://www.tresdias.org/orientat.htm)

6 Orientation of the Tres Dias Movement (http://www.tresdias.org/orientat.htm)

7 Orientation of the Tres Dias Movement (http://www.tresdias.org/orientat.htm)

8 “Purpose of Tres Dias and Statement of Belief” (Section 2.0) Constitution and By-Laws of Tres Dias (http://www.tresdias.org/constitu.htm)

9 “A Introduction to Tres Dias” International Secretariat of Tres Dias 1999 video (John McLendon)

10 “A Introduction to Tres Dias” International Secretariat of Tres Dias 1999 video (Billy Hill)

11 Geri-Ann Galanti, Ph.D. Reflections on “Brainwashing” “Recovery From Cults” p. 85

12 Geri-Ann Galanti, Ph.D. Reflections on “Brainwashing” “Recovery From Cults” p. 98

13 Philip Zimbardo Ph.D. & Susan Andersen Ph.D. Understanding Mind Control “Recovery From Cults” p. 107

14 “A Introduction to Tres Dias” International Secretariat of Tres Dias 1999 video (Tony Woodall)

15 Geri-Ann Galanti, Ph.D. Reflections on “Brainwashing” “Recovery From Cults” p. 100

16 Philip Zimbardo Ph.D. & Susan Andersen Ph.D. Understanding Mind Control “Recovery From Cults” p. 106

17 “NAMB official cautions churches to be wary of renewalk weekends” Baptist Press December 29, 1999 & “Southern Baptists voice views on spiritual renewal weekends” Baptist Press January 18, 2000. The second article is much more balanced. The articles report that the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention put out a warning about Tres Dias. The NAMB stands by it’s warning to this day, but at least one member of this board has attended a Tres Dias weekend, and has written a personal letter endorsing Tres Dias.

© 2001 The Center for Apologetics Research · 01001 Kiev · Box B-92 · Ukraine · Ukraine@ApolResearch.org · www.ApolResearch.org The Center for Apologetics Research · 194044 Saint Petersburg · Box 954 · Russia · Russia@ApolResearch.org

*http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/ecumenism.htm

Comments

  1. James Pinkerton says:

    I just attend the Tres Diad weekend in Kansas City and I left early. I have been in ministry for about 6 years now and all I have to say is that the focus is more on a lovely dovey feeling then Jesus. I am very concerned about these movments for starters the talks are given by what they call lay people who have very little biblical foundation. They teach on secular themes such as idealism and “getting to know yourself”. The Spirtual leaders don’t warn people about taking of communion. Paul warns us in 1 Corinthians 11 that to take of communion in an unworthy manner can cause you to be sick and even die. Some of these individuals are not even saved but are partaking in communion. The whole weekend reeked of catholicism and I even received a paper that said that the Roman Catholic Church was the only true church and the only church by which a person can be saved. These ecuminical movments are extremely deceptive because they utilize psychology to break you down emotionally and then call it the Holy Spirit. That weekend I left weeping because the one world religion is right around the corner and people are going to fall for it hook, line and sinker. We need to tell leaders and pastors to warn other members of the church.

  2. Elisabeth says:

    I attended Tres Dias and, I am a bible believing Christian who has been saved since 1993 when I was 13 years old. I went in there with an open mind and an open heart and have a heart where I am accepting of all people all types of religions, Al sinners alike, I try to follow Jesus’s examples throughout the Bible. He loves all people. NIW having telling you that, I went to a Cursillo in Oct 2016 in KC. I was so excited, but have in the armour of God, the Holy Spirit worked in me and something was not right. Everyone, yes was willing to serve and kind, and they were offering rewards, but the doctrine wasn’t used, just notes. They woukdnt even give us the opportunity to pray by ourselves or spend time in God’s Word. They utilize tactics that causes a state of confusion in you mind, hours run into hours, you have no way to communicate to God through Jesus Christ. They move things so quickly, change subjects so quickly. We had to sing a song about a “rooster” and they had images of roosters before entering the dinner hall can we say “idolatry”? We couldn’t eat unless we sang about a rooster or as they call it “De Colores” There isnt a such thing as time we were called “candidates” what am I a “candidate” for how do you call an individual a “candidate” are we there to win God’s grace? God’s grace is a gift we are not just randomly elected to receive his grace.

    Next, they were stealing our fruits of the spirit to use in this event, joy, love, happiness, and our natural gifts from the Lord, music, artistic, leadership, to put us in a category of where we would fit in thus Cursillo movement. They had us draw pictures to see which one had the best picture to create the banner for the next Tres Dias. So, as I looked around the dorms on each door was a picture of a woman that reminded me if a harlot holding down the Holy Spirit (or an image of the dove) and raising up her own lantern if light, so she could let her light shine” It kind of looked like she was putting herself above the Holy Spirit, and on the picture she had thick makeup extremely long flowing blonde hair and a short sparkly dress. They created a huge banner that they walked through the building with of this picture and had everyone stand for this entrance, and they had a tiny banner with Jesus on it hovering over a small child with the look of protection or fear on Jesus face. I stood up and said what are you all doing, in front of everyone, I said this is not right, I felt my insides stirring inside me like a fight from the Holy Spirit was happening. I pointed to the banner with the woman and said she is an idol and you all are worshipping her, why are you holding up a banner with this woman on it, and trying to get us to sing. “This is idolatry” I was holding my Holy Bible up and said “this is the word, this is the truth” why are we not reading from thus but we are cheering on this banner with a picture of a woman on it. I walked out, they tried everything in their power to get me to come back. When I was outside of the camo building, I started reading scriptures to the two men that were trying to get me to come back in. NIW check this out, these are supposed to be two religious leaders and they couldn’t even hardly read the Bible when they opened, it us like they were searching and searching and it didn’t make sense to them anymore. I was able to get one other candidate to follow me outside but, they separated her from me to talk to us separately, she was a new Christian, and they got her to go back in. During this time if me leaving, a girl that was outside smoking a cigarette that was working with the Cursillo movement said to me wht are you leaving I explained it to her, and she said but, you have yet to receive the biggest reward they are going to give to you, because throughout this time they give charms, and gifts. I told her I am sorry but I don’t want any reward you have. My reward will be in heaven and I left. This is a true story, very bad, crazy experience of the Tres Dias, Cursillo movement and there us a lot more that I have not said. Believe me or not. I would really like to talk to someone about thus. Don’t walk blindly as a lamb for slaughter, there are many wolves in sheep’s clothing, they will pretend to live and worship the Lord to draw you in and everything will seem right, but if you put on the Full Armor of God, he will give you discernment and deliver you from apostates, and false teachers.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Elizabeth! I hope more will come forward and talk about the things that are wrong with these weekends. If you’d like to put together a full article about your experience, I’d be more than happy to post it.
      God bless,
      Yvonne

    • James Pinkerton says:

      Thank you for sharing your experience mine was very similar. I am working on typing mine out but it’s a whole lot to talk about. I have been in ministry for about 6 years now and all I can say is I don’t know why more people aren’t standing up saying this is wrong. I never sang there Decolores song because I felt the Spirtual battle there from the moment I got there and when they told me I would have to sing a song about colors and roosters I said forget it I will just fast a few days. The talks are given by what they call lay people who have no biblical foundation. They teach on secular themes such as idealism and “getting to know yourself”. The Spirtual leaders don’t warn people about taking of communion. Paul warns us in 1 Corinthians 11 that to take of communion in an unworthy manner can cause you to be sick and even die. Some of these individuals are not even saved but are partaking in communion! The whole weekend reeked of catholicism and I even received a paper that said that the Roman Catholic Church was the only true church and the only church by which a person can be saved. These weekend retreats are extremely deceptive and very dangerous especially for new believers who dont know their word. We need to get the word out to church leaders to warn people.

  3. I have been going to a Bible Study a distance away for 7 months. No one could tell me anything except this group was a “special” group of women. They had a 3 day retreat and I would not attend because I didn’t feel comfortable and it was very expensive. I was highly pressured and that doesn’t work with me. I got into the computer and finally found out it is a tres dias! Help God. Thank you for letting me know something is not right! When the Holy Spirit tells me something is not right, I listen! I also find this may be what my granddaughter is in and is ruining her life. The friend who invited me to this is now totally unsensible about her daily life. They do take care of each other and are quite a rich bunch monetarily and getting more so. They are NOT non-profit. Their objective seems to be money. The seemed to want to own me and control me. I answer to the Holy Spirit first, then to my church and family. I am strong and do not need this confusion in my life. It has a good objective, but It will not succeed or work in the end. It is a business, like a pyramid scheme, and is growing in leaps and bounds all over the world.

    • His Heavenly Armies says:

      Hi B, I’m sorry I’m so late in replying to your comment. I’m so glad you saw through this though! I did NOT know about a monetary objective. That’s news to me.The control betrays the Catholic influence, and is unfortunately also present in Pentecostal churches. Yes, Three day movements as well as ecumenism and Pentecostalism are growing worldwide. (although Pentecostalism has both good and bad elements, please see my post with Mikey Lynch’s teaching on that.) It is all part of a great deception intended to lead believers to accept “unity” and eventually a one world religion and false messiah.

  4. I see lots of fear in some of these posts, it’s too bad. I’ve been a part of this organization a long time, although not as active as I wish, but I can assure you it is not a cult, and the doctrine is sound. I have attended both Pentecostal and Christian Missionary Alliance education resulting in an Ma in Biblical Lit, OT, Language, and am on staff at a large local Presbyterian church, so I am not someone on the fringes of Christianity.

    The Tres Dias movement was founded to teach and train Christians with marginalized Christian backgrounds. Many pastors have attended as well, with significant life changing experiences.

    Please do not let fear, nor intellectual blinders, nor bigotry stop you from attending a weekend. You owe it to yourself, and your church, to at the very least attend to see what you are trying to judge on the outside looking in.

    • Hi Steve, I find it hard to believe that you read through all the material on these weekends (there is much more than this article) provided on this site and can still come to this conclusion. I encourage you to do some more research on dispensationalism, thought-reform weekends, and ecumenism if you really want the truth about the agenda behind this. Again, I know that the leaders of the individual weekends are sincere. They don’t realize what the agenda behind the creators of them are. Also, Brian Janssen’s book: Cursillo, Little Courses in Catharsis” is completely devoid of fear or emotion. I highly recommend it, again, if you want to consider the weekends objectively. Brian is a Presbyterian minister.

  5. I have attebded a Tres Dias weekend and I have have went back and served several times after that. I can tell you with 100% certainity that it isn’t a cult! Tres Dias was designed to build up leaders in the church. Candidates hear a series of talks designed to encourage them to go back to their lives as a leader in their community. The reason you give up your watch (and cell phone) is to allow the Spirit to work in you. Today there are very little opportunities to get that quiet time to just listen. It is sad that communities make it seem so secretive. It should be said that there are surprises. Good surprises! As far as the one world church; seriously! It is a Spirit filled weekend done in the name of Jesus Christ! the “One World Church” will eliminate Jesus not preach Him! You judge what you do not know. Have you ever considered going? It is three days. Surely you are strong enough not to be “brainwashed” in 72 hrs! I will be happy to answer questions and defend this ministry because I have been and it was life changing. I was a Christian before going but I left on fire for Him! In Jesus Holy name! Amy

    • His Heavenly Armies says:

      Amy thank you for your comment, and I appreciate your feelings and standing up for what you believe. Have you read all the articles on this site about Tres Dias and the agenda behind Ecumenism? My concern is not in the sincerity of the people attending the weekend or even with the leaders of the weekends, but in the organization itself, who authored it and for what purpose. I encourage you to read the remaining articles on this subject as well as the article on this site on contemplative prayer. The one world church will absolutely preach Jesus, Amy. But it will be a false Jesus and a false gospel. In my opinion they are planning to present a false “antichrist” as well as a false “messiah.” I am not concerned about being “brainwashed” at one of these weekends. The people who put together this article already attended and gave their assessment. The only reason I would attend would be to “experience” it, which I have no interest in doing, as leaning on “experience” is what has so many people today deceived. I’m on your side Amy. Ecumenism is a trap. Do some more reading about it and you will see what I mean. Yvonne

  6. Some friends of mine have been getting heavily involved in this and it is keeping them away from their local churches ALOT! When they return from these weekends there is very little change and they seem to all click together with those who have gone previously making everyone else feel less because we havent gone yet. Also when asked about what happens its a big joke because its secret. The whole thing makes me very uncomfortable and I am very cincerned for my friends!!!!

    • His Heavenly Armies says:

      I know exactly how you feel KM. Most will not listen to reason about it either. We need to pray for their eyes to be opened.
      God bless you,
      Yvonne

  7. Yvonne,
    Thank you so much for answering; I feel better already, as I’d decided not to talk to anyone about this, and it was very cathartic to just comment about it on the internet.

    I will look into that book and really appreciate your insight and remarks. I totally agree. Satan often comes disguised and does a terrific job of it. People just don’t realize that the church is probably his favorite place to hide and then do damage. Secrecy has no place in a healthy marriage. Shame on his sponsor.

    God bless.

    • His Heavenly Armies says:

      You are very welcome and I’m so glad you commented!
      “People just don’t realize that the church is probably his favorite place to hide and then do damage.” You have that right! And I agree; shame on his sponsor.
      A side note that just hit me when reading the word “sponsor”, is the titles they use… I don’t think I have it in the article. For instance, the title “candidate” is used for those new members of Cursillo. Do you know that is what occult/satanic groups call their new members? (“candidates”) I don’t know about you, but that gives me yet another reason to pause. Again, I don’t see either of those terms in scripture.
      Anyway, God bless you for being discerning, and I pray your husband sees the problems with this. Let me know how you’re doing. I will be praying for you!
      – Yvonne

  8. I have been researching Cursillo, because my husband came back from it and was secretive. This annoyed me greatly, because we have had many trust issues in our marriage, and this only added to them. This is what happened: He came back last Sunday night and was on a “high” from the weekend. I told him I was honestly very happy for him, and glad he made some good friends. He already knows I have no interest in attending the women’s retreat, because I have read too many conflicting reviews, and the secrecy/control issues I read about do not appeal to me. Anyway, last night he told me he was leaving to practice some Christian music (he’s a musician) over a friend’s house; that this friend had been in touch with him and wanted to practice. Later that evening, his friend called me and asked where my husband was, because he had not heard from him all day, and didn’t know to expect him or not. Later when my husband came home, I confronted him, and when I wouldn’t back down, he told me had met with his Cursillo friends for a follow-up meeting. He told me his sponsor did not want him telling me where he was. I told my husband that in our case (and possibly in all Christian cases!), lies and secrecy in a marriage just will not work, particularly when there are prior trust issues. I am greatly upset by all of this. I did tell him to tell his friend that advice to keep secrets from your wife (particularly with our history), is not Christian. Am I a Cursillo fan? Take a good guess.

    • His Heavenly Armies says:

      Hi Ginger,
      I’m so sorry for what you’re going through! (I’m married to a musician too btw) Secrets absolutely don’t belong in a marriage. I pray that your husband sees how hurtful and destructive this is for both of you. I can’t help but think of the secrecy of the “secret societies” and everything else surrounding the occult when I think about the secrecy surrounding Cursillo. The scripture never tells us to be secretive. Just the opposite, it tells us that God exposes hidden things. (Ephesians 5:12-13) I think this is yet another one of the layers upon layers (upon layers) of agenda designed to work toward the New World Order and one world religion. The agenda is multi-fold: Destroy Christianity (biblical illiteracy is at an all time high), get the church back under “mother Rome”, break up families, extinguish prayer (make it occultish and ineffective – same thing), distract believers… It hurts my heart to see believers falling for the subtly of these weekends. People would do well to recognize that the devil never comes in announcing “hello, I’m he devil.” He creeps in subtly. Secrecy, Ecumenism – are two big red flags in my opinion. Contemplative prayer is another (meditation with a “blank” mind), which Cursillo also encourages. I highly recommend Brian Janssen’s book “Cusillo – Little Courses in Catharsis“. I think every pastor should read it. While Janssen doesn’t go into the New World order or the greater picture, what he reveals is more than enough to keep a discerning Christian away from these weekends. God bless you Ginger. Thanks for sharing.- Yvonne

  9. Not a Fan says:

    I have been researching Cursillo, because my husband came back from it and was secretive. This annoyed me greatly, because we have had many trust issues in our marriage, and this only added to them. This is what happened: He came back last Sunday night and was on a “high” from the weekend. I told him I was honestly very happy for him, and glad he made some good friends. He already knows I have no interest in attending the women’s retreat, because I have read too many conflicting reviews, and the secrecy/control issues I read about do not appeal to me. But to each his own. Anyway, last night he told me he was leaving to practice some Christian music (he’s a musician) over a friend’s house; that this friend had been in touch with him and wanted to practice. Later that evening, his friend called me and asked where my husband was, because he had not heard from him all day, and didn’t know to expect him or not. Later when my husband came home, I confronted him and after my not backing down, he told me he had met with his Cursillo friends for a follow-up meeting. He told me his sponsor did not want him telling me where he was. I told my husband that in our case (and possibly in all Christian cases!), lies and secrecy in a marriage just will not work, particularly when there are prior trust issues. I am greatly upset by all of this. I did tell him to tell his friend that advice to keep secrets from your wife (particularly with our history), is not Christian. Am I a Cursillo fan? Take a good guess.

  10. Lori S says:

    There are so many mistruths in this article. Tres Dias is not a cult. It is a life changing event though. It has brought me closer to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.

    • His Heavenly Armies says:

      Hi Lori, Would you mind sharing specifically what you think is a mistruth? Because I feel that the writers were very objective and precise in their assessment. I do know that the weekends differ from one group to another, and some maintain more of a controlled environment than others. I have friends who are convinced these weekends are great. Obviously I don’t agree. The fact that this is an Ecumenical movement is openly stated in Tres Dias documents. Ecumenism is part of the one world religion agenda. The thing that bothers me the most, personally about the weekends is that that they (official Tres Dias methods) employ psychological techniques which are known to create a cathartic experience, which is attributed to the Holy Spirit. I probably wouldn’t go so far as calling them a cult, but I do think they are a at the very least a distraction.
      Yvonne

    • Th egroup I attended in April, I was an individual on a journey of challenge for me alone. I needed a challenge to personal holiness with Jesus Christ. I was sent as a pilgirm-that’s what they call first timers here in Colorado. I who am a Bible school graduate and a Christian University graduate in the past, a leader in several churches had a secret sin that plagues all of society with a known addiction of 86% of all men. I knew I had issues that I had no answers for and most pastors not only did not have answers but shoved my addiction issues under the carpet. It’s porn from childhood days. I am 68 years young. I found my answers that you pastors do not have answers and know now how to help men get free. You might me offended but it will be the laity that bring redemption to men and women in their struggle with sexual sins. It will organziations like tres dias that will allow men and women to experience a personal relationship, deeper by the end for most (not all) as they are challenged to read their Bibles eferyday, confess their sins to other brothers, and then be encouraged to walk in obedience sharing the good news that Jesus through grace not works if you let Him come into your life, dominate your life, and work through your life.

      Yes they make you put away your watches and leave your cell phones at home or locked up in your cars-you go on cruise you might have your watches but your pcs and your phones are useless-you don’t gripe about that. Consider it a vacation of sorts.

      Because of their support once they knew what I was struggling with, stepped up after the conference and I can tell you by the grace of God and these faithful men I am free for the first time in my life of my sexual addictions. My church (s) have failed me – they have not. I am still involved in my local church rejoicing in one weekend in April 2015 when indeed I met the Master Jesus and was finally liberated. By the way I am a baptist.

      • His Heavenly Armies says:

        Thank you for writing Larry. I celebrate with you over having found victory over the addiction. My concern is not so much that candidates are asked to put their cell phones away, but the similarities the weekends share with other psychological thought reform methods used by cults that gives me cause for concern. The methods are used, frankly, because they work. These things are addressed in some of the other articles about Tres Dias on this site. Additionally, Cursillo was developed by the Catholic church, which teaches ‘another gospel’ than the one we have in Jesus Christ, and was developed with the stated purpose of bringing people back to the “mother church.” The movement is ecumenical, and if you do any study about the New World Order and it’s goal to create a one world religion, you will soon see the red flags with that. A group of sincere believers, studying God’s word, praying together for each other with transparency will bring the healing power of the Holy Spirit into people’s lives. Adding cult-styled conditioning methods, and uniting ourselves with the many evils of Roman Catholicism may produce results, but at what expense, and by what power?
        God bless you Larry. Thanks again for writing.
        Yvonne

        • They have the same concerns as you do about the one world order. We all do that are believers in Jesus/God. The emphasis of the front range group is renewal for individuals and helping men with men as is Biblical with James 5:16. The secrets you are all worried about is what men need to share to be clean and restored and how to deal with issues in life. What men share with other men need not be open for discussion so they will freely share. Women have experienced in their various women’s conferences the same thing-they have not shared with us either. The sad thing is that our society has partitioned us off from having ‘camp’ experiences for adults like we give to our children. It is almost degrading to think we need to be encouraged to walk Holy before our God and to be challenged as if we have arrived.

          For the most part we are visual as men and one exercise centered around what God did for us on the Cross through the Jesus Christ. It blew my mind what it did for me -it is personal- it is a secret between me and God only.

          This bringing us back to the mother church? Not so here. Encouraging us to read the Bible daily, praying, having fellowship with like-minded believers, being involved in your own local churches. That is the emphasis.

          One more question for you is, Have you attended a weekend? Most critics have not attended a weekend. I was skeptical too but not any more. I kept my watch as I have to take meds at a certain time. But in respect, took it off for most of the time. What do we do with watches in church-check the time as to when we are going to get out of the service or event. Right?

          The food table sing two songs together reminded me when I was a chld before each camp meal singing, “Come and Dine the Master calleth come and dine. You may feast at Jesus table anytime. He fed the multitudes, He turned the water into wine, Come and dine the Master calleth come and dine.” At a conservative baptist camp right here in Colorado in the 1950’s.

          • His Heavenly Armies says:

            Hi Larry,

            Of course there must be confidentiality in men’s and women’s prayer groups for very obvious reasons. The secrecy discussed here is above and beyond that, as was expressed in earlier comment. I think the writers of this article have sincerely put together a fair and balanced report of the weekends, bringing out both the benefits and cautions. Discernment , not tolerance, is what is missing in the church today.

            If I understand you correctly I agree with you about “camp” experiences for adults that are like the ones given to children. I’ve been to many of these “camps” myself. (I think perhaps both should be corrected.) From a personal standpoint, if you read any of what I have written on this site, you’ll see that I hold personal righteousness as an essential part of our Christian walk.

            It sounds as if you understand the article to say that the weekends should be discarded(?), when it only suggests that some changes be made to address genuine concerns, ie. The use of thought reform methods (psychology). As to the agenda of the Catholic church, this article supports my statement: “Cursillo: Puppets of the Papacy

            Clearly, no sincere Christian is going to disagree with encouraging Bible study, prayer and fellowship. Nor say that we need to share our private moments with God with other people. You have no argument from me there.

            And, no, Larry, I have not attended a weekend, as my husband is not interested in attending and our church requires that both partners participate. Had that not been the case I would have done so. But I am sure that most of what I found there would be good. Please consider the nature of the enemy and deception; he is subtle. He doesn’t walk in and introduce himself as the devil. Deception usually is presented with 99% truth and only a morsel of error. We’ve all heard the analogy of a ship’s rudder being ever-so-slightly off course causing the ship to arrive many miles from the intended destination. Although, I think these weekends have more than a ‘morsel’ that needs to be re-examined. We’ve also heard the analogy of “not throwing the baby out with the dirty bath water.” But please, let’s do throw out any dirty bath water!

            Grace and peace to you,
            Yvonne

        • Yvonne, I think and know we have to be careful of whom we associate with in this world. I know because of when my thoughts are posted we are in different parts of the world, Your time is hours ahead of my time zone. Perhaps you are in UKR. Your experiences are different than mine as far as how we have come thus far in life. Yet, one thing is for certain-if something is good and helps people, satan will do his best to destroy what is happening among those who bend the knee to Jesus. I do not know what Tres Dias is in your country but it is helping alcoholics, drug users, sex users, workaholics, depressed people and marriages that are in jeopardy, get help here in the USA. The support group of former alcoholics have given me the grace I need and the ability to be free. Please check out the leadership of the Tres Dias group in Kyiv or wherever you are located and then judge for yourself. It might have started out Roman Catholic or Russian Orthodox or Greek Orthodox but sometimes God uses what others have started to get the job done of liberating men and women for HIS purposes. Check it out thoroughly not through hear say but one on one. If this is your blog you have my email 🙂 keep me informed.

          Grace and peace be to yuu as well.

          Larry (it is 8:28 am right now)

          • His Heavenly Armies says:

            Larry,
            I’m in Tennessee actually. Again, I see no fault in weekend retreats that draw believers to a closer walk with Jesus and facilitate deliverance from strongholds.
            A few brief points:
            Ecumenism is a key part of the NWO agenda. Tres Dias own literature claims it is an Ecumenical movement.
            Catholicism is not Christian, it is “another gospel.” The literature for the weekends retains a decidedly Catholic flavor.
            Additionally, mind control is rampant in the world, and thought reform methods have no place in the church. Tres Dias literature outlines a well known psychological thought reform process used by the Moonies and other cult groups. Again, they use them because they work. As believers in Christ, we do not need psychologically designed methods. We have the Holy Spirit of God almighty.
            Why not toss out the “Tres Dias” title and literature and just have wonderful retreats that focus on the Lord and His Holy scriptures?
            I see and do appreciate your sincerity, Larry. I have friends who are much like yourself; sincere believers who strongly support these weekends, but I’m sticking to my position, the dirty bathwater needs to go. If and when the Lord leads me to do so, I will attend one of these weekends and write my own evaluation of them as that is so often brought up by supporters. Meanwhile, may the Lord bless and keep you(!), and His precious Holy Spirit guide you into all wisdom!
            Grace and Peace,
            Yvonne

          • I haven’t been through Tres Dias, but I know people from my church who have been. I have to say, Larry’s testament seems right on with what I have heard as well. Freedom.

            You know, I went through another program 10 years ago – Pathways, which they had you put away your watches, kept you for the weekend, you had to follow their rules and “trust the process”. I walked into Pathways an Athiest or Agnostic at best. I walked out a Jesus believing, God fearing man.

            Quite frankly, in our world, we live full of distractions. Phones attached to our hips, emails every 30 minutes, texts every hour, facebook updates every 15 minutes – all biding for our time throughout the day. How many people are actually looking introspectively at their life and saying, this just doesn’t work for me and I want to do something about it. These programs, I believe, help you get un-distracted for a weekend, help YOU focus on YOU and ultimately help guide you to address whatever issue is going on in your life in a very real and profound way. A lot of people are afraid of these things and call them cults, because they see people change. Yeah, a lot of people looked at me and said, man – you sure are changing – and not for the better. You’re just no fun anymore. Meaning, setting boundaries – saying I’m not going to go out all hours of the night anymore. Cutting out friends that are constantly swearing and rude to people and have no interest in me, because I want to change a pattern in my life.
            Admittedly, I am still a work in progress, but I have to say, my life is significantly changed, by going through a “secret” group for several weekends. In my experience, all that means is – I can tell you about what I did and how I did it, but the other people – well, that’s their story. My testimony is the only one that is fair game.

            With regards to the Catholic “religiosity” of Tres Dias – I have no idea what that even really means. The ecumenical part – and NWO – that’s just a lot of words that make me think of the Seventh Day Adventists fear of the Papacy and the Roman Catholic Church. Don’t worry, I believe a lot of the prophetic SDA claims about the Papacy, but from a Christian perspective, I believe even SDA is a departure from the original teachings of Jesus. The Roman Catholic Church has many doctrines that are also departures from the original teachings of Jesus as well.

            Here’s a good one for you. In my weekend with Pathways, I had to sing a song “If I could dream” by Elvis Presley. Had to memorize it, sing it, dance to it like no one was watching and mean it. I didn’t join a cult. I obtained freedom. People have told me since, that Pathways corrupts people. Well, the changes in life that I have experiences – freedom from the same thing as Larry it appears, freedom from shame, fear, regret, guilt, freedom from self-destructing behaviors, ability to trust, willingness to forgive and to accept forgiveness, ability to set boundaries – and the list goes on.

            You and I live in the United States and live in it’s cities. We see the billboards all the time, advertisements all the time, have ridiculous government officials changing the dictionary meanings of words and creating new laws to fit the times. Legalization of more mind-altering drugs to numb out our population. Inviting the pope to government functions. You are in all of that. I hear there is an island out in the Pacific, where you can go and spend the rest of your life, free from other religions and just focus on Christianity. Pitcairn I believe??? Not sure if that’s spelled correctly.

            Point is. We have to have discernment in all situations and pull the good from groups like this for the betterment of ourselves and our relationship with God. Being fearful because there are some words that frighten us can be very limiting. I do have to say, we home-school our children, because of what our schools teach children today. We live in a fallen world, full of imperfect and in some instances deceitful people. Satan will try to take out even those organizations that help people, by getting those that are fearful to send out disinformation. But again – we must be mindful and watch our for actual cultish behavior and groups.

            Long and the short of it. I trust in Jesus as my Lord and my Savior. He alone is my strength and my shield. I gain comfort by knowing that as I walk with Him, He will lead me.

            May the Lord bless you and keep you,

            Charles

          • His Heavenly Armies says:

            Thanks for writing Charles.
            I’m glad to know you’re following Jesus. Like I’ve said before, my greatest distrust of these weekends has to do with the greater sinister agenda of Ecumenism. There was a reason for the Reformation.
            God bless you!
            YVonne

  11. Ellie Bates says:

    I know someone involved with this. His behavior in his personal life became bizarre. There was trouble in his marriage and was sent to this weekend right on the tail of an emotional breakdown. On top of this, as a child he suffered emotional detachment from his parents. He was so ripe to fall for this, hook, line and sinker! I didn’t know about this until recently. It is about 6 months since he first got involved. He is now a facilitator for them. A lot of people, lawyer, Mediator etc have asked if he has mental problems. He can’t seem to comprehend certain things. Also, he wants to have his marriage restored but keeps sabotaging it with his behavior. Acting out in a very controlling manner. This type of behaviour wasn’t happening like this prior to his getting involved with Tres Dias. Do you have suggestions as to how to rescue him?

    • His Heavenly Armies says:

      Gosh Ellie, I wish I did. It sounds like your friend has a lot more going on that just the weekends, though. You’re certainly right in saying that he was “ripe to fall for this, hook, line and sinker!” The dark side working at such an unprecedented pace today, with so much deception and demonic influences in believers lives. It is truly a spiritual battle front before anything else. I would encourage you to know your authority in Christ and exercise it in prayer. If you’re familiar with Russ Dizdar, his site is full of spiritual warfare training tools “shatterthedarkness.net” If your friend isn’t aware of Ecumenism and the New World Order’s plan for a One World Religion, it will be a challenge to get him to see reason from that angle. If he is at all knowledgeable about the true nature of “psychology”, (taken from the greek word “psyche”-“the study of the mind and emotions,” which is quite literally the “study of (manipulation of) the soul”.) You might approach it from that angle, as the weekends are very psychologically manipulative. I don’t know if he’d be open to reading this article? I understand your frustration, though, I have good friends who are caught up in it too. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help!
      God bless you and God bless your friend! – Yvonne

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