From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Brazil: "Pentecostalisation" of the Lutheran Church
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
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
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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