While discernment is a mandated chore for every Christian, one that can only be finely honed by the Spirit-illuminated study of Scripture, sometimes it doesn’t take a whole bunch of that skill to recognize the smell of hermeneutical road kill that’s trying to be passed off as spiritual barbecue.
Such is the case with Anne Graham Lotz. That she has parlayed her father’s almost hallowed name within evangelicalism into what some see as a reputable “ministry” is probably no surprise, especially when viewed from a, shall we say, more pragmatic fiscal perspective. That hers is a “reputable” ministry, one “rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) is another matter altogether. Then, of course, there’s the even more fundamental question, “Should SHE even be doing this?” (1 Timothy 2:12)
In any case, Lotz has a nifty name for her endeavor that, no doubt for her, is imbued with significant spiritual meaning – AnGeL Ministries. You’ll note, in what can only be seen, perhaps, as divine providence, that the word “angel” is built around her monogram. Neat-o, huh?
Lotz, though, has a substantial history of “imbuing” things with spiritual meaning that, most often, represent bonafide violence to both the text and tenor of Scripture. She ought imbue less, methinks, and abide more in the Word.
From Lassoing Baptists With Wiccan Prayer Circles by promoting a Jewish Mystic to now emphasizing a prophetic “word from the Lord” about the woeful spiritual condition of America, Lotz has made herself into a modern day prophetess.
From her own website, Lotz, in April 2015, advised her followers that, as a result of studying the Book of Joel, and because “the messages almost made the hair stand up on the back of my neck,” (always a valid hermeneutic) she was certain Jesus “is soon to return to take all His followers to heaven.” You may ask how she knows this. “Because God was clearly warning that His judgment is coming on America and on our world, and it’s going to be ugly. I knew it then, and I know it now.” (God was, you understand, talking about America back there in the days of Joel. Try to keep up, okay?)
Okay, well, hmmm. Yes, we are told, by Jesus, no less, to be ready. “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” (Matthew 24:36) Well, Lotz didn’t prophesy a date and time, so maybe she’s in the clear on this one.
But, “it’s going to be ugly?” Sadly, for many people, the righteous wrath of God as He judges sin will be ugly. It will be ugly, terminal, and eternal. But not for believers, since we tend to believe that we have been justified by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Any warnings of ugliness should be to motivate us to “preach the Gospel,” not shudder in fear of a judgment for which Christ has paid our ransom.
Lotz points out the ugliness in her 2015 blog because she wanted to offer “a prayer I have written personally for each of the 9 days,” … “for those who sign up.” The “9 days” are the dates she identifies as May 15 – May 23, the days “between the Day of the Ascension of Jesus and the Day of Pentecost.” You see, those have “traditionally been days of prayer and fasting for an outpouring of God’s Spirit.” Oh, yeah, sure.
(Insert sound of annoying discernment tocsin here … again.)
Most believers understand the Pentecost event from Acts 2. What most tend to disregard is that this event was not the only “outpouring of the Holy Spirit” recorded in Acts. Similar events occurred with each of the geographic people groups Christ included in Acts 1:8. An outpouring occurred in Jerusalem and Judea with Jewish believers. (See Acts 2) It also occurred for the Samaritans and “God fearers.” (See Acts 8:14-17; Acts 10:44-48, Acts 11:13). Finally, it came to the Gentiles, notably under the ministry of the Apostle Paul. (See Acts 19:1-7) Plus, that last outpouring? Yeah, it was the last outpouring. Not something happening in our day.
I don’t mean to be picky, but when Lotz offers special prayers based on those “9 days,” she disregards all those other days between the Acts 2 outpouring and the final outpouring in Acts 19 (which technically would be the dating most appropriate for a largely Gentile America, one would think) Still, she encouraged her followers to sign up, “Before it’s too late and judgment falls on our nation.” Plus, Lotz further specified her “Mayday! Mayday!” prayers of urgency as also being tied to the “days following three blood moons and a total solar eclipse.” (Somebody get Hagee on the phone cuz I thought there were four blood moons!)
Perhaps if you’ve not been comatose, even over the last week, and happened to turn to any national news broadcast, you’ve probably noticed what looks an awful lot like God “giving them up.” Being “given up,” as Paul describes in Romans 1, is judgment. And it’s not something that’s coming. It’s something that’s here.
Fast forward to this past January and Lotz is featured in Charisma News, Anne Graham Lotz Gives Prophetic Warning About 2016. Nice. “A prophetic warning.” I personally prefer Biblical prophetic warnings, but many seem to take a shine to “the daughter of a preacher man” when she takes on the mantle of prophetess.
Not commenting on why her 9 days of personally written prayers from 2015 did not change God’s mind as to His apparent judgment on America, Lotz wrote, “I can feel the encroaching darkness of evil that is like a heavy moral and spiritual fog.” (Yep, and I can feel something encroaching, too … the disregard of Scripture.)
“I have been repeatedly warned in my spirit that the enemy is advancing,” she says. (Whump, there it is! She gets extra-biblical warnings. I don’t.) Well, if you must know, I have been repeatedly warned that he is too … in Scripture. Plus, I’ve also been warned about being indiscriminately gullible. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)
In consistent fashion, she goes on to reference texts of Scripture that apply to the Old Testament nation of Israel and proceeds to nationalistically narcigete them into messages from God for America. (Umm, no. We don’t do that.)
Again today, Lotz is back in the prophetic headlines in an article on The Christian Post, Anne Graham Lotz: God is Hiding From America, His Anger and Judgment Are Coming. Honestly, it’s just surprising to me that God would be hiding from America. I mean, we’ve got terrestrial enemies that aren’t even afraid of us these days. What’s got God spooked?
Lotz thinks God may be “purposefully hiding himself from America in preparation for a coming judgment on the nation.” So now she ponders whether or not we’re in a Romans 1 judgment? And that’s what sent our Sovereign God skulking away? He is not a kitten hiding before pouncing on a ball of yarn, you know. (Just a disclaimer, I’m not a prophet or genetically linked to a world famous evangelist or anything, but, yeah, judgment is here. And I knew it before today, too.)
“Billy Graham’s daughter has warned,” the article reads, “on numerous occasions in the past couple of years that God’s judgment on America is coming with the return of Jesus Christ to earth.” Well, much as I hate to see America go, I’m more in the “come Lord Jesus” camp. I’d like to see souls saved before that, of course, but they and I would eagerly forego the “America is the New Israel” salvation Lotz seems to want us to pray for.
Still, Lotz points out one thing going for her that most prophets and prophetesses don’t have. Imbuing herself, again, with providentially aligned spiritual significance, she says, “I was born just a week apart from the time when Israel was reborn as a nation . We are the same age.” One time I looked at the moon at the very same time someone else was looking at the moon. That didn’t mean anything either.
Nothing like self-defined spiritual significance AND a tad of chronological numerology to give an air of credence to one’s Scriptural disregard and poor hermeneutics. Oh, yeah, and that last name thing doesn’t hurt either.
All in all, Lotz of nonsense. Stick to Scripture. That’s a bonafide “word from the Lord.” The rest, though it seems like satire, is most assuredly NOT such a word. “Test the spirits …”
[Contributed by Bud Ahlheim]
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