Dear US Pastor,
The next time you are tempted to turn down a request for a meeting from some poor missionary appointee to Brazil with the comment that “Brazil is pretty much evangelized”, please check out this article.
Brazil is indeed becoming more “evangelical” as opposed to Roman Catholic, but, as you can see from the article, the evangelicalism in question is quite different from what we would define as biblical Christianity. I refer you to the following quote:
She said more Brazilians were attracted to evangelical churches, or Pentecostalism, for the “flexibility of the religious expression.” They see churches like Reborn as places where they can express themselves more freely, and “not only look for solutions to personal problems, but also find a place to meet and socialize.”
Not exactly a ringing exposition of the Gospel message. Jesus did not die so I could “socialize”.
Or check out this scene, from a church called Bola de Neve (Snowball):
In the church basement, their 16-year-old son, Nathan, led a teenage and younger crowd. The spiky-haired pastor-in-training delivered a sermon about Jesus Christ with talk-show-host skill. At one point, he held up a white plastic container and urged the young followers to donate, assuring them that God would “give back twice” whatever they offered.
This is a common thread in all of the “breakout” denominations here in Brazil. “Give us your money, so God will bless you.” I still marvel that people do not see through this transparent scam.
In conclusion, while much progress has been made for the Gospel, there is still much to be done. We no longer face overt persecution by the Roman Church. Instead, we face a more serious threat: dilution of the Gospel message by those who claim to be evangelicals.
Remember this: Brazil is in desperate need of those who will preach the true Gospel of Christ.
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