I know Ann Voskamp and her books is a sensitive subject with many because so many still enjoy her books regardless of her unbiblical teaching and I see her quotes being shared which some sound fine but sharing her quotes do point people to her books and studies and her odd beliefs and that is truly concerning. Ann writes and teaches mysticism, pantheism, Romanticism, sensuality, and new revelations. She’s very seductive in her speech and ideas about God and actually says God wants this with us too. Really? She’s going to seriously say this about God?
Christians, there is a huge difference between having a respectful, close relationship with God that is within biblical teachings vs. a sensual intimate relationship with God that makes most people cringe. We will all be held accountable for what we teach, practice and say about God. For her to speak of God with such a fleshy desire that expresses such human sensuality and even proclaim that this is how God wants to be with us is in great error and dishonoring to Him. “For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error,” (2Peter 2:18).
I’ve made my thoughts known on facebook before about Ann Voskamp. It never took long to receive replies from others of how wrong I was for calling Voskamp out as a false teacher. They were quick to tell me I was taking Voskamps words out of context and being unchristian for doing that. Quickly following that up with how wonderful, humble and gifted Voskamp is and how she always quotes scriptures in her books.
How interesting it was to me that although women tell me that I’m taking Voskamp’s words out of contexts and committing some kind of crime against her yet not once did they see or understand how badly Voskamp has taken Gods Word out of context and how very unchristian that is for her to do. I guess we can offend the Lord and twist His Holy, perfect and complete Word in such a perverted way, yet we don’t dare offend others by calling out the errors of their beloved authors or ministers?
I had a lady say to me, “How can you speak against her like that because she’s done some wonderful things in the world” and they list off some very noble, kind works that Ann Voskamp has done. They continue telling me that Voskamp is a holy woman and instrumental in raising a huge amount of money for a women’s hospital.
Yeah, I know, I don’t doubt Ann has done some good things in her life and helped others in their trials, that’s a wonderful thing for her to do and I’m sure Ann has written many good books but that means nothing
if she teaches a different idea of God, changes His character and perverts a relationship with Him. It means nothing
if a “nice person” that does “good things” teaches against the Scriptures. It means nothing
if your good works are over and above God’s law. I’d rather stand before a Holy God and answer for expressing my disgust for Ann Voskamp’s book then have to answer for the fact that I saw danger in what she teaches and didn’t warn others about it. I want no one’s blood on my hands (Ezekiel 3:17-18). I also know that I wouldn’t want to be Ann Voskamp or any woman that condones such sensual teachings about God when they stand before Him on judgment day and have to answer for putting words in Gods mouth, defiling His name and shaming His character in such a perverted way. Matthew 15:18–19~ But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.https://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-defilement.html
God tells us not to look at another with lust or we will have committed adultery in our hearts. The crime is in our hearts even though we do not do the sexual act of it. So Voskamp is mentally steering women to think of God like this and it can cause them to commit that crime in their hearts towards God. Christians should be so upset about how Voskamp talks about God but instead, her followers correct those of us that are offended by her.
The abuse that Voskamp displays towards our Lord is repulsive and is no different than her using the Lord’s name in vain as said in Exodus 20:7. Many Christians don’t understand that it’s more than just using His name as a cuss word. We need to understand that using His name in vain is done in ways that misrepresent Him or is disrespectful and dishonoring to Him. If we claim to the world that we are Christians that serve a Holy, Righteous, Glorious God yet behave in a way that dishonors Him then we have used His name in vain.
Got Questions explains it this way: “If we profess to be Christians, but act, think, and speak in a worldly or profane manner, we take His name in vain. When we misrepresent Christ, either intentionally or through ignorance of the Christian faith as proclaimed in Scripture, we take the Lord’s name in vain. When we say we love Him, but do not do what He commands (Luke 6:46), we take His name in vain and are possibly identifying ourselves to be among those to whom Christ will say, “I never knew you. Away from me” in the Day of Judgment (Matthew 7:21-23).” https://www.gotquestions.org/Lords-name-vain.html
Even the angels were extremely careful to show reverence and respect in the presence of God, as said in Isaiah 6:5 and Exodus 3:4-5.
From Got Questions: “Isaiah was a firsthand witness of God’s holiness in his vision described in Isaiah 6. Even though Isaiah was a prophet of God and a righteous man, his reaction to the vision of God’s holiness was to be aware of his own sinfulness and to despair for his life (Isaiah 6:5). Even the angels in God’s presence, those who were crying, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty,” covered their faces and feet with four of their six wings. Covering the face and feet no doubt denotes the reverence and awe-inspired by the immediate presence of God (Exodus 3:4–5). The seraphim stood covered, as if concealing themselves as much as possible, in recognition of their unworthiness in the presence of the Holy One. And if the pure and holy seraphim exhibit such reverence in the presence of the Lord, with what profound awe should we, polluted and sinful creatures, presume to draw near to Him! The reverence shown to God by the angels should remind us of our own presumption when we rush thoughtlessly and irreverently into His presence, as we often do because we do not understand His holiness.” https://www.gotquestions.org/holy-holy-holy.html
The heavenly angel’s nature is to serve and glorify the Lord humbly and they are far more pure than us yet they cover themselves because they know they are unworthy.
Shockingly Ann thinks of God, the maker of heaven and earth, with erotic thoughts and romanticizes her relationship with Him and teaches that this is Christian and how God Himself behaves.
When you put words together with words like romance, lover, embrace, climax, cohabit and to make love…..then what do you think Ann Voskamp is talking about? She’s not talking about just knowing God through the Word. Where does she think people’s minds are gonna go? She is pointing out that she wants more of a relationship than just being a child of God, she wants to be something else with Him entirely in a mental, spiritual and yes, sexual way, that should make the readers cringe. She teaches others to do the same probably so she feels validated in how she thinks of Him and worships Him.
Biblically we know God is omnipresent as said in scriptures (Psalm 139:7-12). God is everywhere but although God is everywhere Does not mean God is found “IN” everything.
Voskamp shares how she focuses her worship of God on objects such as stones, bubbles, a bed, and even the moon. The example of the moon as holy or bubbles as Holy then people will be looking for Holy experiences with God in every object. She writes about doing dishes and she talks about the light in the soap bubbles and then says, “This is where God is” (69). She describes a bubble trembling, then states the space is holy, “The God in it”. Although creation reminds us that there is indeed a Creator, we should understand that it is not a dwelling place for the Creator. It’s not good to focus your worship for God on an object such as a bed, or on a building of stones or bubbles just because you think God is in it. Acts 17:24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.” Worshiping a bubble and saying that God is found in the bubble and the space is Holy is not biblical. She is idolizing it! It’s making an object an idol. Then she writes she finds God in the moon and so she puts all her focus on the moon and then says she finds Salvation in the moon. Ann: “Has His love lured me out here to really save me? I sit up in the wheat stubble, drawn. That He would care to save. Moon face glows. We are head to head. I am bare; He is bare. All Eye sees me” (Voskamp: 115).
Voskamp is skilled at describing things in terms of romanticism is enhanced by her very expressive words. Her romantic terminology creates such a wide range of emotions and feelings that causes the reader to feel how she wants them to feel. She describes a very romantic situation that should only be found with their husbands but instead is focused on God instead. Ann says: “The full life, the one spilling joy and peace, happens only as I come to trust the caress of the Lover, Lover who never burdens His children with shame or self-condemnation but keeps stroking the fears with gentle grace “(Voskamp: 146). Romanticism puts focus on our very human feelings and what we experience and completely ignores God’s truth.
Below are some of her romantic terminology excerpts where Voskamp describes in her book romantic encounters with God.
“I fly to Paris and discover how to make love to God.” (One Thousand Gifts, p 201)
“I run my hand along the beams over my loft bed, wood hewn by a hand several hundred years ago. I can hear Him. He’s calling for a response; He’s calling for oneness. Communion (Voskamp: 211).
“I remember this feeling. The way my apron billowed in the running, the light, the air. The harvest moon. I remember. The yearning. To merge with Beauty Himself. But here . . .Now? Really?. . I am not at all certain that I want consummation.” ..And who wouldn’t cower at the invitation to communion with limitless Holiness Himself?” (One Thousand Gifts, p 211)
“This invitation to have communion with Love—is this the edge of the mystery Paul speaks of? “‘A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one” (Ephesians 5:31-32). The two, Christ and the church, becoming one flesh—the mystery of that romance. Breath falling on face, Spirit touching spirit, the long embrace, the entering in and being within—this is what God seeks? With each of us?” (One Thousand Gifts, pp 212-213)
“God makes love with grace upon grace, every moment a making of His love for us. And He invites the turning over of the hand, the opening and saying Yes with thanks. Then God lays down all of His fullness into all the emptiness. I am in Him. He is in me. I embrace God in the moment. I give Him thanks, and I bless God and we meet and couldn’t I make love to God, making every moment love for Him? To know Him the way Adam knew Eve. Spirit skin to spirit skin.” (One Thousand Gifts, pp 216-217)
Looking at her use of words, we have determined what she really means and if you have doubt look up each word to see the term.
God is called our Father… Our Father and we are His children not His intimate partner. We shouldn’t think that way or worship that way to our Father. I can’t help but think how wrong it sounds to even teach our children this kind of idea of God either. Also, what husband is alright with their wife worshiping like that? Is it okay for our husbands to think of God the Father in this way? One man said, “Where does that way of thinking put us men”? We shouldn’t think of Him like that at all, it’s just wrong. If this is pleasing to God then why doesn’t He tell us to worship like this in Scriptures? What about our fear of God? Where is her fear of God and reverence for Him and His Word?
God’s way of love is not the way Ann describes in her book that is all about emotions and flesh and objects. God’s love is Agape love.
From gotquestions it is explained like this; “The Greek word agape is often translated “love” in the New Testament. How is “agape love” different from other types of love? The essence of agape love is self-sacrifice. Unlike our English word “love,” agape is not used in the Bible to refer to romantic or sexual love. Nor does it refer to close friendship or brotherly love, for which the Greek word philia is used. Agape is love which is of and from God, whose very nature is love itself. The apostle John affirms this in 1 John 4:8: “God is love.” God does not merely love; He is love itself. Everything God does flows from His love. But it is important to remember that God’s love is not a sappy, sentimental love such as we often hear portrayed. God loves because that is His nature and the expression of His being. He loves the unlovable and the unlovely (us!), not because we deserve to be loved, but because it is His nature to love us, and He must be true to His nature and character. God’s love is displayed most clearly at the cross, where Christ died for the unworthy creatures who were “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), not because we did anything to deserve it, “but God commends His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). The object of God’s agape love never does anything to merit His love. We are the undeserving recipients upon whom He lavishes that love. His love was demonstrated when He sent His Son into the world to “seek and save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10) and to provide eternal life to those He sought and saved. He paid the ultimate sacrifice for those He loves.”
God’s love is expressed not in intimate ways like Ann portrays but in the death of His Son. We need to control our imaginations and thoughts. As we read in verse, 2 Corinthians 10:5 ~Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2 Peter 2:2 says, “And many will follow their sensuality and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.”
John MacArthur says it best here, “We err greatly if we think of intimacy with Christ as some lofty level of mysterious, feelings-based communion with the Divine–as if it involved some knowledge of God that goes beyond what Scripture has revealed. That idea is the very heart of the gnostic heresy. It has nothing in common with true Christianity.”
“If we want God to delight in our worship, we must think rightly about Him. The very essence of idolatry consists in wrong thoughts about God. And conversely, true knowledge of God means knowing Him as He is revealed in Scriptures”.
A pastor I talked to just shook his head as we discussed the book and he said he didn’t understand how anyone could say it’s a good book? The pastor’s wife was very shocked that so many women support Ann Voskamp and she couldn’t believe that some people think it’s biblical to worship God in such a way when it’s not. One preacher said he read excerpts from her book but not the entire thing and like me, have seen enough of it to know that it is not good.
By Tami Dykes
Through The Narrow is written by Tami Dykes and Gina Cook, both are published authors. You can find Tami’s book here, and Gina’s book here.