In a few days, the IF:Gathering will be back at it again. Sadly it seems terms such as “love”, “God”, “hope”, “messy”, “mission” and “gospel” will be made into a soppy salad served alongside a big ol’ meatless woke burger. Nothing much good or true about it. It saddens me that so many women are ingesting this mush without question. What IF serves is not biblical, it’s not really beneficial and in many ways, it’s dangerously unhealthy. I want to explain why.
Last year I had written about the IF:Gathering and why we should avoid it.
(See here; https://biblicalbeginningsblog.wordpress.com/2020/03/18/through-the-narrow-what-about-the-ifgathering-by-gina-cook/hering )I want to shine additional light on the IF:Gathering, the topics and some of the speakers for this year. I’m not going to be able to do a deep dive on them but I will provide many helpful links to aid those who want to know more of why there are concerns.
Changing the world
“Changing the world” is the theme of this years IF:Gathering. Jennie Allen, the founder, talks in her monologue about the message of changing the world and how she sees us changing it.
“This is what I still believe can change the world. I still believe you, in your places, loving your people, doing simple things well can change the world.”
She ends with,
“Do not miss this. Join us live. Gather your people. Tell everyone you know and let’s go and imagine a world that is unified again and on mission for the glory of God.”
In just this short statement there are several things that concern me. For the most part, it was very ambiguous. Nothing in her statements was biblically clear.
There was absolutely no mention of Christ or Scripture. There’s no hint of the Gospel. Isn’t she talking about changing the world? How does a Christian really do that? We can’t see any meaningful or lasting change without proclaiming Him and His Gospel. Ultimately we don’t change anyone in this world for the better- He does.
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, this person is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26.
Also, she says it’s “you in your places, loving your people and doing simple things well”
To say we must do things well in order to change the world is putting too much focus on us. It is Christ Who saves, changes, and sanctifies. We are simply the messengers and examples of what God does with a stone-cold dead sinner. We are made alive because of Him. He is the reason for any good. Our deeds reflect who resides in us, so may our thoughts, words, and deeds be God-glorifying (Matthew 5:16).
Also, what “simple things” is she referring to? All I know is carrying our cross (Luke 14:27), counting the cost (Luke 14:27-33), enduring various trials (1 Peter 1:6), and being hated (John 15:18) are probably not best described as “simple things”. But then I’m thinking she isn’t talking about any of those things.
Did she actually say “unified again?” When was the world unified in the first place? I suppose that brief time before Adam and Eve sinned, the world (two people) was perfectly unified. Since then, world-wide unity hasn’t been possible or even wise.
God says, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to turn a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a person’s enemies will be the members of his household.” Matthew 10:34.
“If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” John 15:19
We are NOT going to usher in any world-wide unity, especially with our good deeds and PC talks. We won’t and can’t see world-wide unity until the Millennial kingdom (Revelation 10:1-7) and even then, Christ is the reason for it. Things get much worse before then (Matthew 24:7-9).
As I explained in my previous article, the true Gospel, repentance, and faith in Christ alone, are not the focus of any of their messages at the IF:Gathering. Those were never explained or presented biblically. The social gospel and easy-believism are central to what most of the speakers teach.
Jennie Allen uses the term “on mission”. I have found in my own experiences in churches who use this term frequently it’s less about what God actually defines the mission to be for Christians and it’s more about friendship evangelism. It’s ALL relationship building and zero fidelity to preaching the Gospel no matter the cost. All zealous fluff and no sustenance.
After looking into the guest speakers this year and what topics they are going to be covering it’s clear, social justice is still going to be a major focus in their teachings once again and what else would we expect, especially in 2021.
Latasha Morrison and David Bailey – They are going to talk about the Church’s next steps for racial reconciliation. On the IF:Gathering site, it says, “Join Be the Bridge founder, Latasha Morrison, and Arrabon Executive Director, David Bailey, for this conversation on racial justice and the Church.
Latasha Morrison, founder of “Be the Bridge”, who is a “diversity expert” and “unity champion” says on her website she is “committed to educating people on cultural intelligence and racial literacy” and is “Certified Trainer in Cultural Intelligence and Unconscious Bias. No surprise she is strongly supportive of Black Lives Matter. Critical Race Theory seems to be her passion.
And just a real quick note on CRT- it’s is an absolute evil. It’s racism packaged in “justice” and “healing.” It’s devoid of any godliness. It has no room for forgiveness, impartiality, grace, or hope. It’s a factory of bitterness, hate, and perpetual victimhood that can never really be remedied. It’s a destructive religion. Social justice is not biblical. There is only one justice, biblical justice. What Critical race theory actually does is demonize being white, eradicates the hope of redemption or forgiveness, keep victims as victims, and ironically resuscitates white supremacy from its near-death into a revised and strengthened form. That’s because it is about poor blacks needing help and handouts from whites. Blacks have no power until the whites, and all that is supposedly created by whites, are out of the picture in some way. CRT ironically keeps blacks in perpetual need of the white man’s lowered hand and has whites viewed as all-powerful and superior in a way that most whites would never think of or want, especially true Christians.
To hear an EXCELLENT and clear cut discussion on CRT, check this out, it is well worth your time: EP # 108 | Critical Race Theory – Just Thinking Ministries)
Dr. Anita Phillips – the site states:
Trauma therapist and life coach, Dr. Anita Phillips is an expert at unraveling the human experience. Known for her paradigm-shifting insights at the intersection of mental health, spirituality, and culture, her work is guided by one simple idea: most things that seem complicated are actually just hard. From overthrowing anxiety to re-imagining the path to equity, Dr. Anita helps people, groups, and organizations accomplish hard things.
Ahh, “paradigm-shifting insights at the intersection of mental health, spirituality, and culture “ and “re-imagining the path to equity”. Smells familiar, like a woke burger deluxe. When someone starts using spirituality and culture in the same sentence, and on top of that, says they can bring insights on the subjects, run!Also, I noticed now we are talking about hard things. Simple things, hard things. Clear as mud.
Jackie Hill Perry – She is actually well known but perhaps some of the more recent and most concerning endorsements and associations are not as known to most.
Sadly she was once a seemingly solid believer, being saved from a life of homosexuality and false religion but has now fully embraced dangerous teachings, especially in the social justice arena. She has partnered with false teachers in various events for a few years now. After being called out for her close ties to false teachers and false churches she vehemently defended it, not showing any concern for what they teach as being wrong, saying “I don’t define false teachers as others do.”
She also preaches to men.
You can find out more about her here:
Christine Caine – Although she is likable and has done a lot for important causes, such as human trafficking, she should be avoided for several reasons. She is known to preach to men, to have strong ties to the prosperity “gospel”, mishandle Scripture, and to closely associate with false teachers. That’s enough to know she can’t be a trusted teacher of the Lord’s Word.
You can read more on her here:
Francis Chan – It’s heartbreaking to witness a man who had a strong start only to embrace a soft, ecumenical, and extra-biblical mystical belief system. He supports Catholicism, prosperity gospel, and false prophets for starters. Francis Chan has written and taught some good things, some very biblical things, but that’s why he’s so dangerous. When you have truth mixed with poison, when you embrace and endorse wolves, people will be more easily stumbled and wounded.
To learn more about the concerns regarding Francis, check out these links:
David Platt – Again, another man who seemingly started out solid, who was even warning against false teachings, and unbiblical practices such as “asking Jesus into your heart”. Sadly he is now taking off in dangerous directions. David, like others, has taught biblically solid material. However, he is now embracing Critical Race Theory/Social justice gospel. He openly supports false teachers, such as Beth Moore and Louie Giglio.
Ann Voskamp and Lysa Terkeurst – I wrote about these two ladies in my first article. Nothing has seemed to change. No repenting of extra-biblical, gross emotionalism and nonsensical teachings. The concerns are very serious with these two ladies. The partnering with false teachers and the embracing of false teachings should not be downplayed. These two women are very good at making false teachings funny, heart-warming, and seemingly needed for your spiritual growth.
Bianca Olthoff – She preaches to men, dabbles with extra-biblical revelation, has close associations with false teachers such as Steven Furtick.
On her website, it states a few ways she wants to “transform lives through the saving power of Jesus Christ”. Here is one of them:
“Social Justice. We are made in the image of God to do good and act good. Our initiatives are created to catalyze others to be socially responsible and care for others.”
Again, social justice is not real justice/biblical justice and has nothing to do with Jesus, with caring or with being responsible. Yes, we are to “Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor, Obtain justice for the orphan, Plead for the widow’s case.” (Isaiah 1:17) Social justice in its true form is not any of that.
Rebekah Lyons – She preaches to men, believes false religions can have unity with Christianity, seeks to be culturally relative, has close connections and praise for false teachers such as Rachel Held Evans.
Lauren Chandler – She is the wife of Matt Chandler, pastor of The Village Church, another one of those whose discernment has seemingly bit the dust. His endorsements of false teachers such as Anne Voskamp, his embrace of extra-biblical revelation, and very sloppy handling of Scripture is not good at all. Does his wife embrace the same? Although not sure how far she shares the exact same convictions, she has no doubt embraced some troubling teachers, practices, and beliefs.
The Mailbag: Do you recommend these teachers/authors? Volume 3 – Michelle LesleyI have not mentioned all the speakers for this year. There are several more. I wouldn’t put them all in one class. There are a few that are respectable for the most part. There are a few others who are questionable but not enough evidence yet to determine which side of the fence they are really on. Overall it’s not wise to try and “eat the meat and just spit out the bones” here. I strongly suggest avoiding IF:Gathering, doing your homework, and warning your sisters in Christ. The salvation of souls and the health of the church depend on it.
Remember, the only hope for anyone is the whole Gospel. The only way to redemption and righteousness is THE Way, our Lord Jesus Christ – not the dumbed-down, fluffy soft version of “jesus” topped with all of our sugary “good” works. He is the righteous King, Almighty Savior, and the great I AM. Let Him be heard by proclaiming what is God-breathed. Only through Him will good and everlasting change come!
Additonal notes: Michelle Lesly and Elizabeth Prada’s older articles on IF:Gathering are a great help in outlining some of the concerns that have seemingly not changed over the years.
Michelle Lesley: Jennie Allen and IF:Gathering – Michelle Lesley
Elizabeth Prada: Search Results for “IF Gathering” – The End Time (the-end-time.org)
The official website of IF:Gathering: