I was reminded this morning that it is once again that time of year. The time of year that thousands upon thousands of women will become giddy with excitement over what is one of the most anticipated conferences in existence. They will assemble in churches, homes, and in dorm rooms all over the world. Last year the conference was seen in 144 countries in 6,500 different locations. What conference is this?
This year’s lineup is a virtual “Who’s Who” of popular speakers, pastors, and authors:
Layla De La Garza
Sadie Robertson Huff
Jackie Hill Perry
Dr. Anita Phillips
Ruth Chou Simons
Dr. Curt Thompson
This is quite a list! But it is a list of people best avoided. While I do not know every name listed here, I know enough of them to say to any woman: STAY AWAY FROM THIS CONFERENCE!
It is enough to say that anyone listed here as a featured speaker is at the very least undiscerning enough to allow themselves to associate with some of the worst of the worst of false teachers. While I don’t have the time to lay out all the problems with all the IF:Gathering speakers, I will speak about 6 of them and give you vital information to help explain why this conference should be one you avoid at all cost.
In this article, because of the length, I will try to make it as reader-friendly as possible, liberally using hyper links, but also include screenshots of the conference speakers, either in their own words, or with quotes from articles and interviews. Seeing things with our own eyes is sometimes more convincing that exhaustive reading. Because of the time-consuming amount of researching, screenshotting, and video watching, each segment will not be exhaustive in the number of issues I have with each person discussed. But I will also include links for further reading and watching. Trust me, this article is long but it could be MUCH longer!
I will start with the conference founder, Jennie Allen.
IF:Gathering began after Jennie Allen claims to have heard a “voice from the sky” tell her “Gather and equip your generation.”
Now, Jennie admits that she wasn’t sure if this voice was God or not. But she went with it. Let me tell you, first of all, God doesn’t speak to us as a voice from the sky, or by any other means today other than through His word.
“God, having spoken long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days spoke to us in His Son…” (Hebrews 1:1-2a LSB)
And if a voice did speak to us, telling us to gather and equip a generation, a sure sign that it ISN’T God, ( besides the fact that He doesn’t speak that way today ) is that He wouldn’t tell you to start a conference using the most false teachers you could find.
Jennie Allen surrounds herself with a plethora of unbiblical and unsound teachers and speakers, many of whom share and have shared the IF:Gathering platform.
I begin with homosexual affirming Jen Hatmaker.
Hatmaker was part of the IF:Gathering for years and is a close friend of Jennie Allen. She made headlines when she told Jonathan Merritt, LGBT advocate and son of former SBC president James Merritt, in an interview with Religious News Service that same sex marriages can be “holy”.
While Hatmaker has not been back on the IF:Gathering stage since her LGBT views came to light, she and Jennie Allen have remained close friends. And according to Allen, Hatmaker wasn’t disinvited to IF:Gathering. She made the decision to stop participating on her own. She made this statement in an article in Church Leaders in 2016:
Jen Hatmaker also promotes the use of the New Age “personality test” the enneagram.
For more on Jen Hatmaker:
The next problematic IF:Gathering speaker: Hillsong female “pastor” Christine Caine:
Christine Caine is a whole box full of problems. First of all, she is a graduate of Hillsong College, and was ordained as a pastor at heretical NAR Hillsong Church, where just recently pastor Brian Houston stepped down as pastor, as he has been charged and will soon be on trial for concealing his father’s alleged sex crimes against children. I can find no statement from Christine Caine regarding this issue.
Caine is wildly popular on the national conference circuit. But her theology is extremely off-base, as would be expected from anyone associated with the likes of Hillsong and Bethel Church of Redding, CA, where Caine is a regular partner in ministry and participates in Bethel conferences.
Here is a short clip about Christine Caine from one of our favorite podcasters and bible teachers, “Pastor Gabe” Hughes, creator of the popular “WWUTT” videos on YouTube.
Christine Caine perpetually and unrepentantly violates scripture by teaching and preaching to men.
11 A woman must learn in quietness, in all submission.12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.13 For it was Adam who was first formed, and then Eve.14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into trespass. (1 Timothy 2:11-14 LSB)
Caine is the founder of Propel Women, an annual conference, again, featuring some of the queens of bad theology and false teaching:
For more on Christine Caine:
Next on the list: Latasha Morrison.
I first learned of Latasha Morrison when I saw that Beth Moore had talked about her book, “Be The Bridge” a few years ago. She and Beth are fairly tight, and definitely regard each other highly. This should be no surprise, since Morrison’s focus shines a spotlight on the woes of being black in America. Beth, as so many know, has joined the chorus of voices lamenting whiteness and expressing neverending grief for her black brothers and sisters, who are the victims of whiteness. Here is a tweet and response between the two friends, excited about Latasha’s book making the NYT and USA Today Bestseller lists:
( Note: Morrison begins her tweet by taking God’s name in vain. )
Elizabeth Prata tweeted some screenshots of the relationship between Morrison and Moore, including that Moore’s Living Proof Ministry donated $20,000 to Morrison’s foundation.
Morrison is a proponent of “racial reconciliation” and reparations. She talks about the need for the gospel to be our central focus, but if you watch anything by her, Christ is anything but the focus. She preaches a social justice gospel, which is no gospel at all. If you attend the IF:Gathering in person or join the simulcast you will no doubt be bombarded by Morrison’s unbiblical racial divisiveness. Here’s a sampling from her bestseller:
Here are a couple of her Twitter feed offerings:
Here is a video by Jon Harris where he unfolds who Latasha Morrison is, discussing her book and including video clips, including her disturbing “We Lament” speech at CRU, ( former Campus Crusades for Christ ). You won’t have to get far into the video before you begin to see the serious issues with Morrison.
Next up: Jackie Hill Perry
I have sadly seen MANY women on the “JHP” bandwagon, doing her bible studies, going to conferences where she is speaking, and reading her books. Anyone who knows about her knows that her story is one of leaving the life of being in a lesbian relationship and coming to Christ. However, this doesn’t make her any kind of woman to follow for her sound teaching. She is regularly on the speaking circuit for conferences such as Christine Caine’s “Propel Women” conference.
Some may recall seeing Perry in the very popular ( and highly recommended ) Christian Documentary “American Gospel, Christ Alone”. However, I recall reading that the filmmaker, Brandon Kimber, has said there are a few in the documentary that he regrets having included, including Ms. Perry, as she has since proved herself to be unreliable as any sort of example to speak on the subject of the film. The documentary denounces the massive Properity Gospel movement, or the “Word of Faith” movement. Yet she has partnered in ministry with some of the biggest names in the NAR ( New Apostolic Reformation ) and Prosperity movement. Including Bethel Church in Redding, CA.
Her explanation is: “I don’t always agree with those I do ministry with”. While small areas of disagreement are almost always going to happen, the divide between the prosperity movement and solid theology is pretty much like the Grand Canyon.
She is also on the CRT ( Critical Race Theory ) bandwagon, often tweeting a very racially divisive narrative. She shows a woeful lack of maturity as well as discernment.
For more on Jackie Hill Perry:
Lastly, I cannot recommend IF:Gathering because of speakers like Ann Voskamp
Ann Voskamp is an extremely popular author. I hesitate to say “Christian author”, but she falls in that category at the bookstores. One reason I believe Ann is so popular is that her writing style is very poetic, and makes for great coffee mug and t-shirt quotes. Women love her gushy/mushy/touchy/feely way of expressing her thoughts. But she is extremely problematic. I will link some articles, but my biggest beef with Ann Voskamp is the creepy way she sexualizes intimacy with God, in what is called “theologic eroticism”. She crosses a line into the bizarre in this now (in)famous quote from her book, “One Thousand Gifts”:
This is just WEIRD! She seems to glee in being esoteric, mystical, and whimsical. Nothing about this is God-honoring or exalting. In fact is is degrading to bring our Sovereign God to this kind of fleshly, sinful, warped kind of thinking. Tim Challies says this of her theology:
“Her theology is an eclectic combination of Protestantism and Catholic or Catholic-influenced mysticism.“
For more on Ann Voskamp:
Bob DeWaay: Romantic Pantheism: “A Review of One Thousand Gifts”
Michelle Lesley: Ann Voskamp
If you made it this far through this lengthy article, congratulations! It’s been tedious getting it done! There is so much more I could inject, but I won’t add that to your day.
The premise of Jennie Allen’s IF:Gathering is this:
If God exists…Then what??
This should be extremely troublesome for any true follower of Christ, because it is a baseless premise. There is no “IF GOD EXISTS”. He is the I AM. What a ridiculous notion to build an entire Conference empire upon a false musing, as well as DOUBT of God’s existence!! It is an empire built not upon Christ, His redemption, His mercy, His suffering on the cross, the glory of His resurrection, and what that means for a lost and dying world. But this conference highlights some of the worst of the worst theologically, biblically, and discerningly. I only covered 6. But can you imagine sitting through hours and hours of what these women ( and some men ) have to offer? I can’t! I hope that I have provided enough insight into IF:Gathering for you to turn tail and run the other way if offered the opportunity to attend this event.
Finally let me close with this: It matter who you associate yourself with and partner with in ministry. IT JUST DOES. These popular women’s conference circuit speakers are not popular because of their biblical fidelity. Thousands and thousands of women flock to these conferences every year. But remember what Jesus said:
“If the world hates you, understand that it hated Me first.” John 15:18
The world doesn’t hate IF:Gathering. It is LOVED by the world. False teaching is loved by the world. Weak Christianity is embraced by the world. A Christianity that includes women preaching, feminism, embracing a new “accepted” type of racism. This is NOT Christianity. It is an imposter. And Christian women are lapping it up because they want “something new”. “
False teachers of a feather flock together. You will ALWAYS find the same women speaking at these conferences year after year. You know their names. You would do best to stay away.
For further recommended reading and watching on IF:Gathering:
Michelle Lesley: Jennie Allen and IF:Gathering
Tulips and Honey Podcast with Lauren Hereford: What’s Wrong With the IF:Gathering? ( YouTube Video )
Truth Keepers: Cedric Fisher: “IF:Gathering, Is it a Movement of God?”
The End Time, Elizabeth Prata: Thinking of Attending the IF:Gathering?”