What About the If:Gathering?
We need to warn women and their church leaders of one of the ways a false gospel, false teachers and a false Jesus are being brought to them under the guise of women gathering in “Christian” fellowship, worship and missions. We need to warn about the IF:Gathering and those who speak at it. It’s a two-day gathering that brings women away from pastoral oversight and into fellowship with one another under teachers who twist and corrupt God’s truths.
Many have already warned about IF:Gathering and have done an excellent job doing so (see these links: https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=17334
…yet the warnings must be repeated and repeated. The alarm should continue on as so many women, families and churches are still impacted by serious errors from these popular teachers and this yearly event.
From the IF:Gathering website we read: “Inspired by the question “If God is real… then what?”” IF? That alone is a problem. Look around folks, God is real. “Since” is the right word-
“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power, and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20, NASB)
Also found on their website:
“Before there was ever an IF Gathering event or resource created, there was one phrase God continually laid on IF:Gathering’s founder and visionary, Jeannie Allen’s, heart-which is still at the core of what we are about today: disciple a generation”.
You will find this sort of talk is common among those heading unbiblical ministries, whether knowingly or unknowingly. Just say God told you to do it in some form or fashion while wrapping it with Christian lingo. This practice gives instant credibility.
Jeannie Allen heads up this yearly two-day event that brings in some of the most popular women teachers to speak to women around the world, mostly via Livestream, about loving Jesus and spreading His Gospel.
Sounds great. But it is far from great. In fact, what is most troubling about IF:Gathering is there is good truth mixed with such grave error. It is an example of 2 Corinthians 11:4, where a false Jesus and gospel are sold and bought with ease, without question.
I actually attended the IF Gathering Livestream back in 2017 with the young women of my old church, very well-meaning and sweet women. Right before the event, I was alerted by other sources that IF:Gathering invited questionable teachers and was not sound. I looked into it to study the founder and the speakers invited previously and gave a heads up to the dear lady who was putting it on for our church. She listened but decided to continue on with it. So I decided to go and take notes- get the information first hand and see what was being introduced to my church.
I don’t even know where to begin with how unbiblical it was. Again, there was good stuff, some truth shared but it was always coupled with massive error and Scriptures ripped out of context. They did focus a lot on “disciple-making, sharing the Gospel, reading the Word” and I realize God can use that to steer people in a biblical direction, and I pray that He does, despite the fact none of those terms were explained biblically. That’s the danger, my friends.
The event included speakers Jeannie Allen, Ann Voskamp, Lysa Terkeurst, and other lesser-known speakers. These women are reoccurring speakers.
One of my observations right off the bat was that most women talked to us like we were at a teen youth rally. “Worship” leaders and even some speakers would start out with an emphatic, “let’s do this!!” A couple of other women agreed with me on that.
Ann Voskamp was the obvious issue in the whole IF:Gathering, because even the women at my church who praised IF at the end (sadly many did and saw little wrong with what they just sat through) admitted that Voskamp was truly disturbing. To me, it sure seemed she was demonically influenced. In a very dramatic fashion she’d declare, “we need to transform ourselves”, although the Holy Spirit, through His Word, is Who transforms us. She yelled Christian words over and over like “cruciform”, as she flung the Bible in the air without opening it, without teaching from it once. Ann made little biblical sense and even sounded like she was trying to brainwash us with her repetitiveness and tone. It was very difficult to endure. I almost walked out before the feed messed up and cut out. We were unable to see the last part of her message. Thank You, Lord!
Please know Ann Voskamp is a known false teacher, writing and teaching twisted things about our Lord, yet has been a repeated guest speaker for IF:Gathering. Many have warned about her. You can read more about what she teaches here: https://biblicalbeginningsblog.wordpress.com/2019/12/31/through-the-narrow-ann-voskamp-seductive-romanticism-by-tami-dykes/
I noticed several women speakers were telling their testimonies and seemed to leave out a real understanding or conviction on the True Gospel. That is the one thing I look carefully for when listening to any teacher or speaker. We shouldn’t want to just hear the words “Gospel” or “salvation”. It must be presented and explained biblically. That didn’t happen here. I didn’t hear the biblical definition of repentance explained at all. No mention of dying to sin and self as God explains in Scripture. Jennie started out with a focus on the “hurting and conflicted” and she says, ” I pray many experience Jesus” with the IF Gathering. These women wanted to receive and give an experience for sure but it was through their version of the Gospel, of their version of Christ. It seemed a social Gospel took the stage a few times as the focus zeroed on the racially oppressed and genders. Voskamp said she hoped women in countries that don’t have a Bible in their language would get one so they can read about the women of God in the Bible and what they’ve done. That was her reason for wanting women to have a Bible; to know about the women and what THEY did. What about Christ?
“The Word,” “Gospel,” “Faith,” “Disciples” were mentioned a lot, as well as ‘Jesus’ name, but no true biblical use or honoring of them at all. I didn’t see the worshiping in Spirit and in Truth that God calls us to do in Scripture.
Miracles of healing, hearing God speak audibly was mentioned a lot. The Scripture was just a side note. One woman they showcased in a video said, “I now know I’m worthy of Jesus,” and she mentors young ladies to believe the same. The self-championing continued.
We were taught that “the cost” and “the cross” that Jesus speaks of is dying to our dreams, fears, wanting to stay in our safe place, strivings, inadequacies, etc. But not to sin, as God would emphasize sin to be. It was never about a bunch of wretches needing Jesus to be saved from sin, it was about healing and forgiving our ooopsies, so-to-speak.
They would pray that the Holy Spirit to “come over us” “come in the place again (after we had taken a break, apparently God takes breaks too and needs to be told to come back to the meeting)”, and that He is “invited here”. Ladies, He does not need our invitation! The Lord is omnipresent and sovereign.
I heard women speakers say that God’s plan of salvation was “ridiculous” and that He is “crazy”, all said in fun. This is pure disrespect of our Lord and what He has done. No reverence for Him and His Word.
Lysa Terkeurst, another alarming yet popular teacher and author, would be better suited to go into comedy; she is much better at that then actually teaching biblical truth. She has a great way with words but she twists God’s. She read Acts 1:7-8 then says that this speaks of us (when it’s actually speaking of the apostles) and made the point “people need to know that we hurt like they hurt.” No Lysa, they actually need to know Christ. Sharing hurts gets no one to heaven. We can sympathize and pray for those hurting yet sinners need the Healer to spiritually heal them from their sin. They need the Gospel.
Michelle Lesley explains more on why Lysa is a concern, here: https://michellelesley.com/2015/07/31/leaving-lysa-why-you-shouldnt-be-following-lysa-terkeurst-or-proverbs-31-ministries/
At the end, we were asked to name who “gave us Jesus” and who “caused us to love Jesus.” How about God Himself? We were told to be that person to someone else – the one who gives someone Jesus and cause them to love Him. Women would say, “I love Jesus because of my friend so and so”. People would say these phrases were meant it as “this person lead me to the Lord” or “they gave me the Gospel” but that’s not how it was said.
Ladies, people who don’t ever say things how you think they mean to say it, probably don’t mean what you think they mean to say. Stop assuming and start testing teachings to Scripture. Lives depend on it.
These women are good at what they do. Whether they know it or not or intend to do so or not, they are good at wrapping junk up with Christian words and elevating emotion to the rooftops, bringing just enough Christian terminology and feel-goods in to make women totally lose any weak grip they may have had on discernment. I think if you are going to have a worldwide stage where some women who probably don’t know Christ will be watching, they should give the whole Gospel. That is their number one responsibility. The way of salvation needs to be made clear. What did they give instead? Lukewarm nonsense in the name of “Jesus.” It saddened me, disgusted me and fired me up to keep warning women of things like this.
The IF:Gathering continues to invite false teachers and spread false teachings. This year, 2020, Beth Moore took the stage. Beth Moore has proven to be a very dangerous teacher as she takes the pulpit and preaches to men, as she lessens her stance on homosexuality and gives a soft gospel. More on her can be read here: https://michellelesley.com/2014/08/14/updated-five-reasons-its-time-to-start-exercising-moore-discernment/
Also, it should be noted that Ann Voskamp showed up again at IF:Gathering. Unfathomable. I can’t believe she is invited back after such disturbing displays in previous years.
These poplar women teachers have not publicly come out repenting. They have not said they’ve taught error or anything of the sort-instead they continue to defend their beliefs and practices and teach error as they stand alongside other false teachers.
Many pastors and church leaders are in the dark and choose to remain there after being warned, while women get captivated by false teachers and allow their poison to spread to others. This is serious and we need to pray for all ensnared, deceived by and/or indifferent to this wreck of a women’s gathering. It doesn’t encourage the Truth of God, it confuses it, it twists it and it corrupts it. May we prayerfully and compassionately warn and share the true Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ as test all things to His Word!
Above is an article written by Tami Dykes, Gina and Tami write Through the Narrow here at Tulips & Honey Hub. They’ll be posting articles every other Tuesday, accept for this week as I was unable to post yesterday. Both are published authors, and you can find Tami’s book here, and Gina’s book here. We’re blessed to have them apart of our team, and pray their writing will be as edifying to you as it is to us. – Lauren Hereford