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I get lots of questions about particular authors, pastors, and Bible teachers, and whether or not I recommend them. Some of the best known can be found above at my Popular False Teachers tab. The teacher below is someone I’ve been asked about recently, so I’ve done a quick check (this is brief research, not exhaustive) on her.
Generally speaking, in order for me to recommend a teacher, speaker, or author, he or she has to meet three criteria:
a) A female teacher cannot currently and unrepentantly preach to or teach men in violation of 1 Timothy 2:12. A male teacher or pastor cannot allow women to carry out this violation of Scripture in his ministry. The pastor or teacher cannot currently and unrepentantly be living in any other sin (for example, cohabiting with her boyfriend or living as a homosexual).
b) The pastor or teacher cannot currently and unrepentantly be partnering with or frequently appearing with false teachers. This is a violation of Scripture.
c) The pastor or teacher cannot currently and unrepentantly be teaching false doctrine.
I am not very familiar with most of the teachers I’m asked about (there are so many out there!) and have not had the opportunity to examine their writings or hear them speak, so most of the “quick checking” I do involves items a and b (although in order to partner with false teachers (b) it is reasonable to assume their doctrine is acceptable to the false teacher and that they are not teaching anything that would conflict with the false teacher’s doctrine). Partnering with false teachers and women preaching to men are each sufficient biblical reasons not to follow a pastor, teacher, or author, or use his/her materials.
Just to be clear, “not recommended” is a spectrum. On one end of this spectrum are people like Nancy Leigh DeMoss Wolgemuth and Kay Arthur. These are people I would not label as false teachers because their doctrine is generally sound, but because of some red flags I’m seeing with them, you won’t find me proactively endorsing them or suggesting them as a good resource, either. There are better people you could be listening to. On the other end of the spectrum are people like Joyce Meyer and Rachel Held Evans- complete heretics whose teachings, if believed, might lead you to an eternity in Hell. Most of the teachers I review fall somewhere in the middle of this spectrum (leaning toward the latter).
If you’d like to check out some pastors and teachers I heartily recommend, click the Recommended Bible Teachers tab at the top of this page.
Anne Graham Lotz
Perhaps best known for being Billy Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz “speaks around the globe…Her Just Give Me Jesus revivals have been held in more than 30 cities in 12 different countries, to hundreds of thousands of attendees.” She is the founder and president of AnGeL Ministries, her speaking, publishing, events, etc., organization.
While the core of Anne Graham Lotz’s teaching historically hasn’t been radically off base, biblically, (i.e. she’s not blatantly teaching Word of Faith, NAR, or other heretical doctrine), she handles Scripture poorly, and there are too many red flags about her teaching and behavior to regard her as a trustworthy teacher of God’s word.
“Called ‘the best preacher in the family’ by her father, Billy Graham…” This opening sentence of her website is how Anne Graham Lotz has chosen to introduce herself to the world: as a female “preacher.” We could take this as a cute, antiquated father-daughter endearment if Anne did not, in fact, preach to men. However, she has no qualms about doing so herself and encouraging other women to do so, habitually violating this prohibition of Scripture. Just a few brief examples of the myriad available:
I Saw the Lord (Men clearly present in the audience at 7:29)
Vision of His Glory (Men clearly present in the audience at 3:36)
Preaching the Sunday sermon at Maranatha Chapel, 2/9/20. At 1:04, Anne says, “I’m very grateful for Pastor Ray giving me this opportunity…and for a pastor to give up his pulpit…I want to say thank you to him for that, and also for the statement that he makes concerning women in ministry…the fact that he would allow me to stand in his pulpit on a Sunday morning and speak to his congregation…so if you’re a woman in ministry, be encouraged.”
Preaching the Sunday sermon at Bridgeway Community Church, 2/16/20. At 0:40, Anne says: “I want to thank Pastor Anderson for his affirmation, his support, his encouragement, of women in ministry…To be in a church, on a Sunday morning, and for a pastor to give up his pulpit to me is a rare privilege.”. Two Sundays in a row. A nearly verbatim spiel. Not that “rare,” apparently.
Anne also yokes with numerous false teachers.
Priscilla Shirer and New Apostolic Reformation “pastor” Samuel Rodriguez have both written endorsements for one of Anne’s books. Rick Warren and Beth Moore have each written forewords for Anne’s books.
Anne also participated in The Return, a September 2020 prayer and revival event organized by Cahn. Additionally, Anne sits on the board of advisors of The Return with Cahn and false teachers Pat Robertson, “Bishop” Harry Jackson, Robert Morris, Marcus Lamb, and John Kilpatrick, as well as Steve Strang– publisher/founder of Charisma Magazine, and Gordon Robertson- CEO of CBN.
Also participating in The Return1 were Che Ahn and Cindy Jacobs – “apostles” and major players in the New Apostolic Reformation, and Michael Brown, who often functions as an apologist for NAR (and other) false teachers on his radio program.
Again, Anne sits on the board of advisors for this event / organization. She cannot be ignorant as to who these people are and what they teach.
On the same day as The Return, Anne also delivered one of the featured prayers at her brother, Franklin Graham’s, Prayer March 2020. (It is unclear to me if, or how, these two events were connected.) Also featured at this event were numerous heretics and false teachers, including TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network), Matt and Laurie Crouch (heads of TBN), Jonathan Cahn, Jentzen Franklin, Robert Morris, and Paula White.
Anne has appeared on disgraced televangelist and false prophet Jim Bakker’s show:
Anne participated in, promoted, and was a featured speaker at the 2020 Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast, an ecumenical event touted as a time for Jews and Christians to pray together in unity. (Christians are not to yoke with any unbeliever who denies Christ as the Messiah, including Jews.)
Anne has poor hermeneutics and often mishandles Scripture. In her excellent analysis, Anne Graham Lotz and Her Narcissistic Interpretation of the Transfiguration, Erin Benziger carefully and biblically walks us through Anne’s eisegesis and allegorization of the story of the Transfiguration.
The following year, as chair of the 2017 National Day of Prayer Task Force, Anne mishandled the same passage the same way, combined it with a mishandling of Daniel’s prayer in Daniel 9, and claimed that these passages are God’s promise to “heal” America’s moral ills if we will just pray hard enough. Neither of these passages are about, nor apply to the secular nation of America. They both pertain to God’s covenant people, Old Testament Israel, at a very specific point in history.
This is indicative of Anne’s general hermeneutic when it comes to anything having to do with politics, America, social issues, foreign relations, etc. Her standard practice is to eisegete all of those things into Old Testament Scripture, taking God’s warnings to Israel as though they were literal warnings to America, and claiming God’s promises to Israel as literal promises to America. This is not rightly handling God’s Word.
Anne’s teaching on extra-biblical revelation (i.e. “hearing God’s voice”) is muddled at best. At times, such as in this excerpt from her teaching video Journey to Jesus Part 1: How to Study the Bible…
…she correctly emphasizes that God speaks through His Word, yet in this same video (and other venues such as this article at Decision Magazine, How to Know God’s Voice) she also seems to teach extra-biblical revelation by saying we can mistake other people’s voices for the voice of God, that some people aren’t hearing God speak, and continually using phrases like “listening for God’s voice.”
In her article, Preprayer 2016 Anne explains and endorses unbiblical “circle-making” prayer. Similar to Mark Batterson’s book, The Circle Maker, Anne re-tells the story of Honi the circle-maker, then says:
As I look ahead into 2016, I feel compelled to draw a circle around this city, this state, this nation… and pray! Until God answers. Do the same. Please. On this first day of the New Year, draw your own circle. Then pray for everything that’s inside of it.
As we might expect, with her numerous ties to false prophets and New Apostolic Reformation heretics, Ann has begun to dabble in NAR-esque prophesying.
In his July 7, 2014 episode of Fighting for the Faith, Chris Rosebrough deftly analyzes a message Anne says God gave her for the United States.
In the Charisma News article Anne Graham Lotz Gives Prophetic Warning About 2016, Anne predicts “As I look ahead into 2016, I believe our national and global situation will get worse,” and “I have been repeatedly warned in my spirit that the enemy is advancing. It’s something that I know.”
Anne seems to be a lovely and caring person, not to mention very patriotic. I know she’s a sentimental favorite to many because of her father. Those are all endearing qualities. But we must put feelings and nostalgia aside when we evaluate whether or not someone is qualified to teach. James 3:1 is clear that teachers will be judged more strictly, not given a pass because they’re nice people or related to a beloved spiritual figure. Anne consistently mishandles Scripture, yokes in ministry with heretics and false teachers, and preaches to men, encouraging other women to do the same. She is not a trustworthy teacher, and I recommend that you not follow or receive teaching from her.
Anne Graham Lotz at Berean Research
1If you closely follow conservative politics, you may wish to examine the list of names of the participants in The Return.