“I just have to follow the Lord:” Anne Graham Lotz on being a woman in the service of Jesus
Anne Graham Lotz is a breast cancer survivor and has dedicated her life to serving the Lord. At 73, author and daughter of evangelist Billy Graham does it with as much exuberance as ever – from behind the pulpit.
Lotz once belonged to the Southern Baptist Convention. The Protestant denomination has recently been working on the issue of women preaching the gospel, including when, where and to whom it is appropriate, reports Religion News Service.
But Lotz is clear on his goal.
“If people are totally weird that I’m a woman in the pulpit while men are in the audience,” she said, “I respect them but I agree not to be okay, and I just have to follow the Lord and what he called me to do. “
In his Facebook biography, Lotz calls himself a “Bible teacher”.
On Mother’s Day, Lotz spoke to 83,000 worshipers at the Second Baptist Church in Houston. Subsequently, she received an email from one of them.
“He said that that morning, during the message, he was resurrected and brought back to the Lord, in confession of sin and repentance and just a re-commitment to love and serve the Lord,” Lotz says.
“And it was a man on Mother’s Day, with a woman in the pulpit.”
Lotz’s goal was never to be a woman in the ministry, but she worked to serve in the capacity to which she felt God called her.
“I’ll tell you that I feel specifically that God has forbidden me to be ordained,” Lotz says, referring to having authority in the church to marry, bury, and baptize.
“I have the impression that he hid it from me. My call is to be faithful to give the word of God to the people he puts before me and to try to do it without spoiling everything.”
Lotz notes the difference between ordination and being a woman in the pulpit.
“Ordination of women, I’ll tell you this: I was in Amsterdam 2000, when they gathered 10,000 evangelists. During one session I was sitting in the main auditorium and they separated us into groups to pray.”
Lotz said she turned to pray with those behind her and found an entire row of Chinese women who were pastors.
“I was like ‘Oh my God’, because so many men had been killed, or had been imprisoned, persecuted, women had risen up and taken that position. And so I will tell you that I do not stand up and take that position. would never speak out against women being ordained. All over the world, it’s between a woman and God. “
For Lotz, however, the question is not whether women are ordained and who ordains them, but whether they, as persons, are faithful to the Word of God, and are “persons of integrity and character and direct people to Jesus “.
Calling the Second Baptist preaching experience “fabulous,” Lotz says it was an affirming experience.
“(Second Senior Baptist Pastor) Dr. (Ed) Young has been asking me for three years to come for Mother’s Day and I couldn’t do it. But this time I accepted and (he) wouldn’t. couldn’t have been nicer, ”she said.
“When he introduced me, he came up to me, took me by the hand, took me up to the platform and then introduced me with me standing by his side. the three services.
“It was an obvious statement he was making, I felt, for the women in the ministry. I felt very assertive and supported.”
Lotz says she has only received positive feedback since her Mother’s Day post.
“I am just serving the Lord as he called me,” she said.
It is a vocation that Lotz was certainly gifted to pursue. His father, Billy Graham, called Lotz “the best preacher in the family.”
“When he made this statement, 60 minutes was preparing to do a profile on me. And I believe he made that statement not because I’m the best preacher in the family, but it was his way of giving me his blessing and what God called me to do, ”Lotz explains.
“No one is better preacher than dad. If you judge people’s response to messages, nobody, no one was better than dad. But it was his way, in a way, to just put his hand on my shoulder and to give his blessing to an outlet that would have a wide range.