Current Page: World | Sunday, March 20, 2011
Pastor Contests Claims of Spiritual Revival in Brazil

Pastor Contests Claims of Spiritual Revival in Brazil

It has been said recently that there is a revival in Brazil due to the explosive growth of the evangelical population, which is predicted to grow 7.42 percent this year to reach 57.4 million.

But the Rev. Hernandez Dias Lopez from the Presbyterian Church of Vitoria in southern Brazil told The Christian Post earlier this week that he does not believe the explosion of the evangelical population is a sign of a spiritual revival. Lopez is host of the TV program "Truth and Life" of the Presbyterian Church of Brazil.

"The explosion of numerical growth of the Brazilian Church is related to a gospel that I would call 'hybrid,' 'syncretic,' 'practices completely strange from God's word,'" he said.

The growth is explained by "a gospel focused on prosperity, healings, and in another words, a man-centered gospel," he said.

For him, people are looking for what "works," "what people like" and "not looking for what glorifies God."

"This growth is in length not in depth," he concluded.

A study made in 2010 by Servindo aos Pastores e Líderes" (SEPAL) predicted the evangelical population in 2020 will reach 109.3 million.

Despite the huge figure, SEPAL researcher Luis Andre Bruneto does not believe that a spiritual awakening is happening because a revival is "characterized by profound changes in social thinking."

Bruneto attributed the growth to "aggressive evangelical outreach, adoption of more flexible [church] rules, society's openness to Christian life, and an increasingly influential middle class."

What Bruneto pointed as reasons for the evangelical growth are different than what Rev. Lopez qualifies as revival, which are "repentance of sin, thirst for holiness, return to the Scripture and to evangelism."

"When the church turns to God not by what He gives, but for what He is, the church can experiment a revival," said Lopez.

However, many people still think that the large numbers represent a real revival in the Brazilian Church.

In 2010, theologians and anthropologists interviewed by the well-known Brazilian publication EPOCA stated that the evangelical population with its numerical growth will contribute to decline in alcoholism, increase in school enrollment, and reduction in the number of broken homes.

In Lopez's opinion, the Brazilian church needs to go through a reformation, having "the same values and principles that inspired the reformation in the 16th century, i.e., only Scripture, only grace, only Christ, only God the glory."

Lopez warned that this transformation begins from pastors, as he said "the revival begins from the pulpit not from the pew."


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