From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Brazil: "Pentecostalisation" of the Lutheran Church

Date 08 Apr 2000 02:11:07

April 8, 2000
Adventist Press Service (APD)
Christian B. Schaeffler, Editor-in-chief
Fax +41-61-261 61 18
CH-4003 Basel, Switzerland

Brazil: "Pentecostalisation" of sectors of the 
Church of the Lutheran Confession

Porto Alegre, Brazil  The "pentecostalisation" of 
the Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession 
of Brazil (IECLB) that leads to a loss of identity 
and the abandonment of a common liturgy for all 
the congregations across the country, is worrying 
IECLB leaders.

The phenomenon has reached such a point that some 
pastors try to imitate successful preachers from 
the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, a neo-
Pentecostal denomination created and led by Bishop 
Edir Macedo.

Religious and charismatic pluralism were analysed 
by 18 Lutheran synod pastors (equivalent to 
diocesan Bishops) in a meeting held in Sao 
Leopoldo, from March 15-18, 2000.

The meeting was attended by IECLB president, 
Huberto Kirchheim, who heard the clamour of the 
faithful regarding doctrine, conduct and ethics. 
Complaints range from a lack of liturgical 
uniformity to a burgeoning Church-supermarket 
mentality where the minimum possible is invested 
for the maximum amount of attention.

To simply expel those who think or work in a 
different manner is not the solution. We might 
even end up with no-one, said Kirchheim. However, 
he admitted that in order to live in a visible 
Church a minimum consensus is necessary regarding 
Lutheran doctrine, conduct and ethics.

The IECLB president committed himself to 
establishing an official position regarding the 
charismatic question in the Church, reported the 
virtual bulletin "IECLB News." There is already a 
document that explains the symbolic nature of the 
liturgical dress of pastors and the practice of 
baptism of children and adults.

He also referred to healing. Psychosomatic 
troubles and psycho-social problems require 
specialised treatment through the therapeutic 
community, resources that God places at our 
disposition through human mediation, he said. 
These problems and troubles could never be cured 
by decree and much less in a public spectacle 
known as "liberation services," he said.

Kirchheim emphasised that community life requires 
regulation that facilities life together, taking 
into account the witness and mission of the Church 
in the world. The IECLB president affirmed that it 
corresponds to the synods of the community to 
watch over the observation of this minimal 
consensus, attempting to correct any problems, 
with an eye to maintaining Church unity. (A 
contribution of Agencia Latinoamericana y Caribena 
de Comunicacion (ALC))

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