My Addition to the IF:Gathering

My Addition to the IF:Gathering

On Saturday morning, I spent four or five hours in my office above listening to the IF:Gathering where hundreds of thousands of women were listening in. In between times, I went on a walk with my husband and had breakfast with my parents, mentored a few women, and later babysat my precious grandchildren. I noticed that the majority of the main speakers were mostly younger women preachers who have children at home.

Their stated purpose: “We exist to gather, equip and unleash the next generation of women to live out their purpose.” I guess God’s Word, the Holy Spirit, and godly male preachers and teachers aren’t enough for women today, along with older women who should be willingly teaching the younger women the principles of Titus 2:3-5. They spoke a lot about Jesus, mentoring others about Jesus, being Jesus to others, giving to and helping others, and this is all great! This world needs Jesus and His name was loudly proclaimed. But I do have some questions.

What IF these verses were taught from 1 Timothy 2?

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

10 But (which becomes women professing godliness) with good works.

11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

God wants women to “learn in silence with all subjection” knowing that God created men to be the leaders and teachers because they were created first and women are more easily deceived.

IF all women truly understand what “shamefacedness” actually meant: not drawing attention to ourselves, women may not want to be up on stage preaching either. God clearly calls MEN to preach and teach the Word of God. They are to be the husband of one wife. This is God’s will. Women should definitely be pointing people to Christ but then to godly male preachers (John MacArthur, Michael Pearl, John Piper, Charles Spurgeon, and many more) who should be teaching these people the meat of the Word since God calls men to preach the Word with authority, not women.

What IF they taught these verses from 1 Corinthians 14 at IF?

33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.

35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

 I guess the Apostle Paul wanted to make this point very clear so he wrote it again. Wives are to ask their husbands at home if they have a question concerning the Bible. If they aren’t married, they can ask an elder, deacon, or one of the many Bible commentaries that are written by solid men of the faith. I don’t know about you but I take the Word seriously and I know without a doubt that God’s purposes for women are good and perfect but in the roles that He gave for us to walk in.

What IF these verses being taught from 1 Timothy 5?

Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man.

10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.

11 But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry;

12 Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.

13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

There aren’t any women in the Bible that preached the Word to large gatherings of women. They served and helped their families and those who were in need. Even single women are commanded to be holy in body and spirit (1 Corinthians 7:34), not preaching to other women.

This conference failed to teach these clearly defined roles given in the above verses for older and younger women. The older women are called to bring glory to the Lord by bringing up children, showing hospitality, bringing people into their homes, and serving those saints in need, especially the younger women. The younger women bring Him glory by getting married, bearing children, and guiding their homes.

What IF the roles were even more narrowly defined for older and younger women?

The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becomes holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Can you imagine how amazing it would be if tens of thousands of women were taught to love and obey their husbands and what this looks like on a day-to-day basis? I am sure this would have gone over great (not) but it is something younger women desperately need to be taught! What about being modest in what they wear and how they behave? Forget about teaching women to be keepers at home since this offends way too many women. It sure doesn’t offend their children, however, who would love to have their mothers home full time.

What IF they taught the verses about women tearing or building THEIR HOMES down or up, quarreling and contentious women, or any of these verses from Proverbs given to women, and especially from Proverbs 31?

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

27 She looks well to the ways of her household, and eats not the bread of idleness.

If our marriages are a mess due to a lack of submission, respect and love towards our husbands, and our children are in rebellion due to our lack of disciplining, training, and caring for them full time, the testimony we show to the world will be greatly weakened and it will more difficult to be salt and light to a lost and dying world. This is why God commands the older women to teach the younger women so we don’t all blaspheme His Word. Shouldn’t this be our goal – to shine Jesus to the lost and bring glory to the Lord? God will use us in powerful ways when we live according to His commands. “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). And we can keep His commands because His spirit works mightily within us (Colossians 1:29).

“You are as much serving God in looking after your own children, training them up in God’s fear, minding the house, and making your household a church for God as you would be if you had been called to lead an army to battle for the Lord of Hosts.”
~ Charles Spurgeon

36 thoughts on “My Addition to the IF:Gathering

  1. Excellent post, Lori! Keep up the great posts!

    The Lord actually directed me to many of these verses just this past weekend. I was challenged by another woman to join an organization that trains people to be public speakers and presenters. While I believe the woman was well meaning, I declined because I don’t want to be a part of an organization that trains women to lead, be in authority, and have preeminence. This particular group didn’t even originally admit women as members, but once they began to do so–no surprise–the majority of its members are now female. It seems the founder realized this was a man’s domain, but eventually they crumbled under the pressure of feminism, as so many sadly do.

    1. It is sad, Lady Virtue, and it’s mostly due to not being taught the beautiful truths of godly womanhood. I love what Nancy Leigh DeMoss wrote about this subject long before she got married:

      “A woman who is not content to have a priority placed on her home and her role there – who has to be always out, always doing other things, always engaged with people outside her home – you may find that, if she’s not willing to be content with her home ministry and responsibilities, there are other sins that will accompany that as well. (1 Timothy 5:11, 12)

          1. It’s from the radio program from Nov 11, 2008 entitled, “Making your Home a Mission.” Which, unfortunately, is no longer up on Nancy’s website (www.reviveourhearts.com)

  2. Most discernment blogs talk about the new age-y aspects of these women’s teachings but as you said, the main problem is that they are not prioritizing their husbands and children and are not primarily encouraging women to do so. Also, after a quick glance of these women’s blogs and their writings, they seem to exalt self but cloak it in Christian language (calling, unleash power within, discovering your gifts and dreams, etc.).

    1. They aren’t biblical terms at all, are they? In the chat room this morning, I shared a meme that read: “Spiritual Maturity isn’t measured by how high you jump in praise but how straight you walk in obedience.” God wants us to be obedient to Him. This brings Him glory, not “unleashing power within” or “discovering your gifts and dreams.”

      I did look at some of these women blogs and saw the precious faces of their children. Right there are their most valuable treasures and who need all of their time at this point in their lives. Often when women are too busy, their husbands are neglected and this is wrong since wives are called to be their husband’s help meets.

      Thank you, EC.

      1. A lot of times when women stay home they spend an inordinate number of hours on line or iPhones. Mommy isn’t really there for her children. One of my daughter in law is on her phone when she nurses the baby. I’m so glad these devices were not available until my kids were grown.

        1. I am too, Karen! TV could be a distraction but it got boring very quickly to me because there’s not the interaction with others like the Internet provides. It’s definitely a tougher battle for them as it was for us.

  3. “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:………..having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, lead away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth…………But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you learned them…….. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. ……….For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things…..” II Tim. 3:1- 4:5

    Thank you, Lori, oh so much(!), for being “watchful” for us ladies……young and older.

    1. You’re welcome, Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb! 🙂 This verse often comes to mind:

      “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.” (Isaiah 3:12)

      The Church would be a much more powerful force for good if each member actually did what they are commanded to do.

  4. I loved this Lori, thank you so much for speaking truth. I’ve been a stay at home mom all my life, I didn’t realize Gods plan in giving me a chronic illness that kept me home with my children all those years. (My kids are young adults now) Looking back I now see the blessing of it all, even through the storm because I was there/home with my family. Gods ways are so good.

    1. You’re right, Annie. Before I got sick when my youngest was only a baby, I was running all over the place but then was forced to slow down and be at home the majority of time. It was good because I was able to parent my own children, be there when they needed me, and they grew up watching me suffer but never losing my faith. They have told me what a big impact this had upon them.

      “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

  5. Your title worried me for a bit as I quickly scanned your post to see where you were going. Thankfully you didn’t disappoint me. I’m grateful for your ongoing teaching that encourages me to speak out more boldly too.

  6. My wife and I have been avid readers of your blog (and the comments) for a year or two.Being male, I have considered it inappropriate until now to comment.

    I was made aware of If Gathering recently and have been watching to see its influence starting to spread here in Australia, and was waiting to see what your reaction would be to it in the US.

    Praise God! You nailed it in one post…exposing the slickly marketed deception of If Gathering loaded down with sincerity and emotion.
    You compared it to the truth of Gods written Word and found it to be wanting.

    We have too many preachers/organizations who liberally sprinkle the name Jesus throughout their teachings. But when exposed to the light of Gods written Word they fall short of the mark.

    2Timothy Chapter 4 says people will scorn sound doctrine and turn to fables.
    I encourage you to continue doggedly sticking to what God says.

  7. I completely agree Lori! 🙂 I always wondered about the women who travel and speak so much and have children at home. Isn’t their time better spent at home? And I completely agree that men are to be the leaders. I feel that God’s Word is clear on this and find it frustrating that so many women don’t seem to abide by it.

    1. I am not sure how the Word could have been any clearly either, Katy. I have women trying to convince me I am wrong by giving me examples of women preaching in the Bible but there are none. Yes, they excitedly shared the Good News of Jesus rising from the dead but they were not preaching the Word of God as they want to interpret it.

  8. I have to add….I didn’t even know what the IF Gathering was! I haven’t heard of it. I’m not on FB anymore (I have been off of it for quite a long time now and I must say how glorious it is to be free of it!) so I didn’t even know such a thing existed. My church advocates conferences with male leadership (such as the Ligonier conference etc.). I don’t usually attend any but am thankful for a sound, biblical church who knows what the Bible teaches! 🙂 I gandered what the IF Gathering was just from your post…otherwise, I never would have known it was a *thing*! 😉 Thank you for using your discernment and sharing. I pray other women read this post and learn to steer clear of such conferences! 🙂

    1. I have gone through my Facebook newsfeed and unfollowed every single person that was consistently negative (especially politically) and now only read good and uplifting things or things that I care about but I understand why you did what you did!

      Thank you, Katy.

  9. I participated in an If Conference at my church last year and could not put my finger on what was bothering me about it. Thanks for putting it into words. So many women want to be doing something amazing and praiseworthy on the public stage of social media for Jesus instead of being the wife and mother that God created them to be.

    1. God doesn’t care about our being popular especially IF it is outside of God’s will for us. He wants us to adorn His Word by obeying what He has told us clearly to do and His ways are perfect for us! Your instinct was right, Candis.

    2. The woman is the glory of the man. The man is the glory of God (1 Cor 11:7). Men lift up hands in praise of God. Fables of the church have given Illicit Authority to women and stolen the Sanctity of Command from men.

      God is structuring His church, slowly but surely, and separating the wheat from chaff, all to prepare us for the coming persecution.

      1. Dave,
        this is an honest question which I hope you can answer to help me understand what you’re saying.
        You have mentioned “Sanctity of Command” fairly often on here. What do you mean by that? Where does the Bible mention there being a “Sanctity of Command”?

  10. Is the IF an acronym or does it literally mean ‘if’. Apologies if I overlooked this in your article. I have not heard of this gathering before. Thank you for clarifying.

  11. Good post! I think youre right, these teachings are lacking in todays womens ministries and conference, even day to day discipleship! I am a young mother and i know deep down i long to have an older woman. To disciple me and teach me. Its so important! I pray that older women will step up, unafraid to speak truth into the younger generation and will give their time to disciple and that younger women will seek out this discipleship and long to be a woman according to the Word and not who the world says a woman should be.

  12. Is BFS part of this? BFS was started by a woman, and although some men lead it now, many women do and cling to it. Some of their teaching is off, but it is popular here in Colorado.

  13. Hello All,
    Our church hosted the IF:Gathering 2017 two weekends ago. The exact “title” of the conference is: “IF God is real, then what?”. The full title of the conference was only mentioned ONCE in the ten hours we were there Friday evening/Saturday all day. I have really been struggling b/c I’ve been talking with my pastor about my concerns and he will not believe me that there is any problem whatsoever with this organization. T

    hey are definitely part of the emergent church. The entire thing struck me as very sad and tragic. There were good things mixed in, of course, as is the enemy’s way. One emphasis was that we need to be available to pour into other’s lives, which I agree with, but when you have kids, the lives you pour into are first and foremost their lives and that of your husband. If anyone has any questions about this I could try to help you as I have been studying this a lot.

    Also, if anyone has any ideas for helping me talk with our pastor. I want to be sure to do things in the correct way biblically and with the right protocol. My husband even went with me to talk with our pastor. He feels that “discernment” ministries are all about tearing down other Christians. He made it clear that I am being a legalist. This is someone I love very dearly! He is my pastor! I am really hurting right now, and all my friends in my Bible study group just think IF is the best thing ever.

    1. Hi Diane,

      I am not sure you can say anything to your pastor about it and I’m saddened that more leaders of the churches aren’t more careful in what they allow the women of the church to listen to. You may want to google other articles about it since I know there are others so if you do go again to him you will have a good defense of why you believe it to be wrong.

      Blessings!

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