How fast does satan propagate false doctrines? THIS fast

Three years ago I published an essay discussing the new female-founded, social justice, discipling organization called "IF:Gathering". Jennie Allen , founder, decided to start a discipling organization which Allen revealed was based on a command from a voice from the sky. Her words.

Allen, along with Lindsey Nobles and several other women, started this 'movement,' as they describe it, to gather women for purposes of discussing their feelings about the Bible. This is accomplished outside of the auspices of the local church. Several participating IF:Leaders admit they actually abandoned their own ongoing church ministries to do form this non-church organization and focus on the global movement they hoped to incite. Their intentions are full of self-stated hubris. They plan to 'disciple a generation'. They intend to 'heal the nations'. They will 'reconcile the world'. They will 'unleash the next generation of women to live out their purpose'. And so on. You can read about my concerns with the IF movement here, and here.

IF was born from a direct revelation given by a voice in the sky to Jennie Allen sometime in 2007. The movement perpetuates twisted hermeneutics, unbiblical lifestyles, social justice, and a warped view of the Gospel that is based on doubt. That's the synopsis of concerns regarding IF:Gathering. That it is unhealthy is to say the least. Please read the previous essays for scriptural foundations supporting these concerns.

Today I want to shift focus and show you in pictures just how quickly satan propagates his false doctrines and unbiblical lifestyles.

The first IF:Gathering was held in February 2014. At this writing, exactly three years have passed since then. The movement has indeed caught on. Its activity is mostly hidden. If you haven't heard about IF that's because the gatherings are announced via social media and many of them are private. This activity is all going on out of sight for the most part (aside from the annual convention). Three years ago I'd posted a shocking map that showed how many of these public and private gatherings were taking place all around us. Here is the map showing IF:Gatherings three years ago when it began.

By 2017, the gathering's teachings have spread worldwide. Look how many gatherings are held locally now:

Map from IF:Local, 2/2017

From Paraguay to Nova Scotia, from Rwanda to Thailand, From Australia to Denmark, there are IF:locals everywhere. It is a global force by now and it didn't take satan long to do it.

This fact should primarily remind us that women are vulnerable to satan's wiles. IF is a female movement through and through. The IF:Locals that are held are mainly held in homes, not churches. Many of them are private parties, so accountability and oversight is very much more difficult to ensure.

For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, (2 Timothy 3:6)

The sad fact of the IF:map fact should also bring to mind the verse where Paul tells us how fast false doctrine spreads. Paul said that false teachings are like gangrene. Gangrene is a fast-spreading condition that occurs when healthy body tissue dies because the disease obstructs blood to it! How apt as a metaphor for the healthy body of the church and its lifeblood from Jesus obstructed and infected by false teachings and teachers!!

But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. (2 Timothy 2:16-17a).

Do you see the progression? There IS a progression.

Irreverent babble...
leads people into more and more ungodliness...
the talk spreads like gangrene...
gangrene infects even the healthy tissue.

As Barnes' Notes explains of the effects of gangrene:
will spread over and consume the healthful parts. It will not merely destroy the parts immediately affected, but will extend into the surrounding healthy parts and destroy them also. 
I know that some people find discernment work distasteful. They do not see the necessity of one of the important activities of how we defend the faith. I consider the importance of defending the faith by both exalting Jesus AND naming false doctrines and teachers. They do not like to name false teachers, they do not emphasize exercising the skill, or they simply overlook rooting it out, hoping it will go away. Many pastors never even preach on the importance of discernment from the pulpit, or if they do, they make aw shucks apologies. And sadly, many others do not practice it themselves.

I've seen many false doctrines and movements come and take root. I know you have too. However, in my experience, (which granted, isn't lengthy, just 14 years in the faith), I have never seen a doctrine, movement, or pseudo-Christian 'celebrity' culture embed itself so fast. Whether that speaks to the low levels of discernment, the bloated pseudo-church, or the lateness of the times, the fact that it's aimed at women, (or all of the above) I do not know. But this thing is wildfire and it is growing faster even than Charismania or prosperity Gospel. Its tentacles have gone deep.

Notably, in 2012, Pastor Jim Murphy of First Baptist Church of Johnson City, NY found to his dismay how quickly satan's tentacles embedded themselves into his church when he overlooked some areas he knew he should address but simply hadn't. Eventually he preached a powerful message to his congregation that took himself to task, and them too. He asked their forgiveness. Then he said,
Now is the time for clarity. No more messing around. No more experimentation. No more dabbling into these dangerous practices. Now is the time for clarity and that clarity comes through discernment: this ability to think Biblically. The ability to read a book and see what it is saying aside from the warm fuzzy you got from it. Discernment takes time and it takes work and shame on you for not taking the time and effort. Shame on you.
In that sermon, Pastor Murphy said that satan's tentacles had spread so fast and deep, he was saddened and shocked. He took on the guilt himself, saying that he knew the Sunday School and the Church Library held some off-ideas but he didn't address it because he was so busy and wrongly handed off total responsibility to underlings. He was wrong to do that he said, because false doctrine does not come in only at the pulpit. It comes in the small groups, the library, the women's ministry. It takes vigilance to combat it.

Please listen to the sermon, it is so good and encouraging!

We see by the map that false doctrine comes through the para-church groups, gatherings, and conventions/conferences your women are participating in. Men, satan targeted Eve. It spreads fast. Don't think for a moment that satan isn't working through every means he can to get to your people. Stay strong.

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. (Romans 16:17)


Further reading

Essay: The Five Tests of False Doctrine (Challies)

Essay: False Teachers and Deadly Doctrines(Challies)

Sermon: How to treat false teachers part 1(J. MacArthur)

Sermon: How to treat false teachers part 2(J. MacArthur)

Essay: The Danger in Women's Ministries (Aimee Byrd)


  1. Excellent post! Initially, I didn't read your post; I just looked at the two maps. My first thought was the 2 Timothy verse that says false teaching will "spread like gangrene".

    Then I read the post, and saw that the 2 Timothy verse was exactly the same passage that came to your mind.

    Jim Murphy - I listened to his sermon when it first came out. What courage for Christ.

    Sadly, the only "evangelical" heresy I have ever heard a pastor willing to correct off the pulpit is the name it/claim it prosperity crowd. Frankly, I see prosperity preaching as an "easy target" to rebuke, because it is so obvious that it is not true Christianity.

    Honestly, things like Warren's PDL and the other "seeker" movements, awful "women's ministry teachers" like Beth Moore, Driscoll's perversions, and this IF:Gathering are FAR MORE DANGEROUS, because they are more subtle. Yet I've never personally sat under a pastor who will willing to call THESE out. The only way my husband and I have learned about these problems is our own discernment, which has always been confirmed by what we have found in the blogosphere by other ordinary believers such as yourself.

    However, what my husband and I have REPEATEDLY faced - we bring documented concerns about these types of problems to church leadership, and the pastors reject the information we give them. Most often by ignoring us. Sometimes, though, we have been berated.

    Keep up the good work, Elizabeth.


  2. Dear Ms. Prata,

    Thank you for your very informative article. Many (if not all) heretical teachings in the USA eventually find their way to the shores of Japan. For a number of years at our church, I have preached at least one message specifically about false teachers and false teachings once every 24 months. Due to the overwhelming onslaught of heretical teachings arising from within the visible church, last summer I made a decision to give a message on the subject at least once a year. According to your map, the 'IF:Gathering' is already in Thailand. If it enters Korea, the arrival in Japan will quickly follow. Thank you, again, for providing the alarm on this one. God bless you and your wonderful work in the Lord's ministry on behalf of the saints.

    He is Risen.


  3. Dear Pastor Tony,

    Thank you for your encouraging report- that faithful ministers of Christ like you are laboring to courageously bring truth to their hearers! May God bless you and your church.

  4. Your blog post came to me via a Facebook post. I like what I'm reading but I'll have to look around to see if you give supporting information that these women are in fact teaching falsely. I have never heard of this woman's movement by the way.

    1. Hi Angel,

      I'm so glad that you're interested in following up and searching on your own to find out more. That's great.

      At this page linked blow I showed by posting the video where the founder said she began the organization by responding to a a voice in the sky. Direct revelation is against scripture because God finished speaking though His Son and the canon is closed. Heb 1:1, Rev 22:18-19

      The women focus on social justice which is not the Gospel. Their version of social justice is driven by egalitarianism, socialism and communism. All unbiblical.

      Their Bible studies focus on feelings and not propositional truth.

      The entire organization is founded in the premise of "IF God is real, then what?" Genesis 3:1

      Please do go ahead and search out more and see what you think. If you have time, let us know!

      Best to you,

  5. Thank you for your astute article. The gangrene (leaven) is oozing in everywhere. May the Lord bless you and your discernment work.

    Blessings! Ksyd


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