Skip to comments.Why Catholicism Is Losing Influence To Protestantism In Brazil
Posted on 08/08/2012 9:03:55 AM PDT by Dr. Thorne
At least 1 million evangelical Christians took part in Saturday's annual "March for Jesus" in Sao Paulo, demonstrating the growing trend of Protestantism in Brazil.
With 123.2 million of 191 million Brazilians identifying as Catholic according to 2010 census data, the South American nation still holds the world's largest Catholic population, but adherents to the faith have been steadily declining over several decades, while Protestantism, particularly evangelical Christianity, has been on the rise.
(Excerpt) Read more at ibtimes.com ...
Theologically, I feel like I am still a Catholic.
I am sick to death of the “Social Justice” types who seem to have taken over.
“Subsidiarity” is still valid Catholic doctrine, but it is hard to find a Priest or Bishop who understands the evils of Socialism.
I am guessing the same is true is Brazil.
I thought the REAL religion of Brazil was Macumba. Just about EVERYONE practices it in one form or another.
Funny how they buried the impact of Liberation Theology alienating the working class of Brazil halfway into the article.
Catholics don’t want Clerical Marxism, they want their faith. Of course the Social Justice types will continue to trumpet their poison as it further corrodes the Church.
A Brazilian friend of mine has given me reports on the ground about this.
These Evangelical churches bring joy, and a genuine sense of celebration over the Good News of Jesus Christ. This is very motivating, particularly to young people.
Meanwhile our Church puts out a new missal containing the Portugese equivalent of words like Consubstantial.
When times are good - they are in a boon - living the faith of sacrifice is too hard, enjoying the faith of the prosperity gospel is appealing.
Doesn’t matter that they’re going to black and white from full color, they’re feeling emotional and active, which the Church was not doing.
Decades of poor formation (catechesis) leads to this and the formation they did get was from the Liberation Marxists, so it was bent.
So the Church, like at the time of the Reformation, has cleaned up its act but it is too late to stop the masses made ignorant by them in the first place. They will come back when they’re lives need full color - like the Anglicans are doing.
May God protect them - may they fall in deeper love with Jesus and never stop until they see where home truly is and come back to a righted ship, one that is always in need of reform and renewal of its human followers, the catholic Church.
But the reporter doesn't seem capable of making that distinction.
Protestantism, however, is a fragmented, diverse world which is an umbrella for a wide spectrum of non-Catholic religions. Brazilians who are embracing "Protestantism" are in fact embracing a variety of independent, Pentecostal churches which profess a variety of different theologies and in some cases, no theology. A collection of custom made churches.
That's entirely in keeping with my cultural experience of modern Brazil and its chaotic, haphazard society. On reflection, it's a miracle that Catholicism has been dominant in Brazil for so long, given the Brazilian love of improvisation and spontaneity.
I guess they want to be just like Americans.
Simply put: bring back the Traditional Latin Mass, and ditch liberation theology in favor of scholastic theology. Better to have more faithful, well-formed priests in smaller numbers than to have greater amounts of less well-formed priests. Also better for formation of the faithful. I know that this isn’t a complete answer, and that such things are always more complex than a single article, or indeed my feeble understanding will convey, but these words keep coming to mind, and I am sure they are the key: Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi.
(As we worship, we believe. As we believe, we live.)
But for starters, remove every trace of liberation theology.
All churches have a theology. All churches grounded primarily in Scripture have very similar theologies. Many of the core beliefs of the confessional reformation churches had a good representation within pre-Trent Catholicism as Augustinians. Jesus teaches in Revelation that no individual church is safe from losing its candlestick. He will not tolerate the lukewarm. Those who are not already passionate for Him must come home to Him, regardless of the name or history of their church. Those who love Him above all else, who love and obey his word, who are led by His spirit, are already home.
You need to “fix” your ignorance. Prosperity gospel preaching is actually a very rare phenomena in Protestant chuches and the dudes that do this sort of preaching on TV need to have their heads and their faith examined. Then again, looking at some of the Catholic advertisements for various religious medals and trinkets with the notion pushed that wearing these medals will allow the wearer some extra influence with God, I see huxsterism can be found in Catholic as well as Protestant publications and TV ads.
Nothing at all complicated here. The masses have discovered that it is more important to love the Lord more than the “church”. (political, money loving,controlling)
What's wrong with the word consubstantial?
“Protestantism” is NOT a synonym for “prosperity gospel”
We talked about this, and he said his parents were just “cultural” Catholics, and when he started to be interested in God, he couldn't find much support at his local church.
Bad teaching for generations leaves people hungry. Many left for places that were not just going through the motions.
He did say there is a “revival” movement going on in some Catholic churches. That may help, but there is a lot of cultural things working against them.
Q. 1. Why do Catholics wear and bless religious medals?
A. 1. In summary, the wearing of a medal that represents a Patron Saint is an expression of faith. The blessing of such a medal acknowledges the approval of the Catholic Church to allow the medal as a sacred symbol of the supernatural protection offered directly by our Lord, Blessed Mother or a saint. This blessing sets apart the medal as an expression of faith rather than an item of worship that has pagan roots.
A religious medal is never worn as a "charm," but rather as a constant physical reminder of the love and fidelity that we share with Almighty God and the communion of saints. The Catholic is very clear in its teachings, whether a religious medal is blessed or not, it has no built-in power. Such a belief is superstitious and condemned by the Catholic Church.
In the early days of the Church, there were many pagan practices in the community. The Catholic Church implemented many spiritual practices to combat those pagan practices. The wearing of religious medals was one such practice. Medals were used to remind the believers of Jesus, Mary, the Sainst, Shrines they had visited or even their having received the Sacrament of Baptism. Religious medals served as reminders to Catholics to pray, to perform acts of charity, to show reverence to God or the Lord Jesus, etc... Religious medals containing the images of Saints Peter and Paul were found in graves dating back to the second century. The blessing of religious medals did not commence until Pope Pius V implemented this practice in the 1500s. Religious medals are blessed by the priests of the Catholic Church.
As a non-Catholic, you are entirely free to reject all of that. Cheers.
If anything is black and white, or gray, it is Roman Catholicism.
Rather than leaving good evangelical churches due to deeper love of Jesus (a wonderful sentiment though) to find “full color” in Roman Catholicism, the opposite is what is most manifest.
As with me about 30 years ago, most evangelical converts from Rome left due to the spiritual deficiency of Rome, and not for an easier conservative faith, as Rome overall is more liberal. See http://www.peacebyjesus.com/RC-Stats_vs._Evang.html
And such churches abound with converts from Roman Catholicism who manifestly did not know the new birth, resulting in a Scripture-based relationship with the Lord in living color. They do need to learn more theologically and from history though, and the evangelical church has its own remnant out of necessity.
Meanwhile, i have heard Catholic priests rejoice at how converts from evangelical churches, the relative few there are, enliven their pews. As my old priest used to exhort us, “sing like Protestants.”
As for the prosperity gospel, that is not the majority, thank God, and is a result of conforming to the culture which is evident in both faiths, while the strongest “faith Christians” are those in the persecuted church. For faith not only can see escape from the sword, but enable us to be sawn asunder. (Heb. 11:34,37)
Good post. May i have a single heart for Him to died for us and rose again.
I rejoice with the spread of The Gospel. The Christian evangelism sweeping south and central America is so exciting. It's exciting first and foremost because so many are coming to know the Lord as their Savior. Also, from a political perspective the stronger the Evangelical Christian influence in this region of the world the less likely it is to fall into socialism and state control of people. I think of these people as our neighbors down the street and not only want to see them saved, but want to get along well with them.
Is that an anti-America dig, or a hope?
Thank you. I think that needed to be said.
I join you both in that rejoicing for whenever people are genuinely coming to saving faith in Jesus Christ it is a time for ALL Christians to rejoice. I do not think for a moment that our Lord is more concerned for the sign outside the church door as He is for the sign of the new birth within the heart of each believer.
People use the term Evangelical Christianity as if there were a single understanding of what that means in terms of doctrine. In many poverty stricken areas the type of Evangelical Christianity which is flourishing is what is commonly called the “Prosperity Gospel” this is very different than Evangelical Christianity of more traditional Pentecostal or Baptist or Nondenominational sects. Even within those traditions there are different approaches and responses to Biblical teachings.
It would be interesting to see more specifics of just what type of Evangelical Christianity is gaining ground.
American congregationalism is utterly adrift on a sea of individualism and subjectivism.
The Catholic influence in America has been to war against it’s conservatism and to empower the left and the Democrat party.
Places like Brazil and Mexico can probably use a little Christian conservatism.
“Even within those traditions there are different approaches and responses to Biblical teachings.”
As for the prosperity gospel, this requires defining terms. Most Pentecostals in Africa affirmed (2006) that God would (not had to) “grant material prosperity to all believers who have enough faith,” which is justified under the premise that faith can move mountains, and “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. “ (Matthew 21:22)
But which must be understood in the light of other teachings, such as praying in Jesus name, which is not that of appending His name at the end of a prayer (not wrong but be careful), but praying consistent with His revealed will, as a representative of Him.
Thus while we can believe God for prosperity, that means if it be His will for us, and that such prosperity is not so that we can live extravagantly, or other than sacrificially, no matter what we have, with all we have being committed to the work of the Lord who gave himself for us.
While it is Biblical to “wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth,” (3 John 2) the error of the prosperity gospel is teaching that it is always God’s will that every believer has material prosperity and lives in perfect health, and which means living as richly as well, and “supposing that gain is godliness,” (1Tim. 6:5) rather than their needs being met as they seek 1st the kingdom of God and His righteousness, (Mt. 6:33) which calls for an overall sacrificial live, and having faith to endure hardship and afflictions.
For indeed, faith not only sees escape and victory, but also being as those described who “took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.” (Hebrews 10:34)
An old Amish saying goes like, “to be content with little is hard; to be content with much is impossible.”
And the “hall of faith” includes those who were “stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. “ (Hebrews 11:37-38)
On the other hand, it is sin to not believe God will fulfil Mt 6:33, or to equate poverty with Godliness. And to the poor, who make up most of the “prosperity churches” worldwide, believing God to raise them up from poverty is part of the attractive positive overcoming faith they preach, though without proper theological balance. In addition, many of the preachers seem to have so little faith they spend much of their time raising funds.
Thanks for the link. I will read it later. I always enjoy your posts even when we disagree. Not that I disagreed with this one, I found it most informative.
If people are taught to believe true love is never having to practice self control naturally they're going to agree with the pretense that ignoring the effects of contraception is the same thing as a closer walk with Christ. If people are taught to believe that multiple sex partners is the only way to fit in they're going to migrate to Protestant churches where half the sermons are about why no one should feel guilty since whatever they've done is already forgiven in advance. Where the population is taught to think with their glands instead of their brains, the population migrates to Protestantism. Sheep are easily led and as the culture of death leads them towards death the sheep gravitate toward the path of least resistance. The path of least resistance is the theology of the magic words.
Scripture spells all this out and warns about it but for people who revise and reinterpret Scripture to suit their current mood it all vanishes into the whirlpool of self-satisfaction. Jude warns about the heresy of Core and Luther revived exactly that heresy. The theology of, "Eat, drink, and contracept, for you have Christ by the throat now that you've said the magic words" is always going to be more popular than the Biblical, "take up your cross and follow me". This is obvious stuff, even to an awful lot of the Protestants who prefer to bash Catholics rather than confront their own dens of vipers. They don't want to recruit Protestants, they know what Protestants are like and hope that by luring Catholics away they'll have some members who are serious about their faith.
It's also funny to see folks in a country that has always been more than 70% Protestant talking about Catholics taking the country down the tubes. I never realized that Protestants all stayed home on election day and just let the Catholics vote. I guess that explains North Carolina where something like 3% of the population is Catholic and the State went for King Barry in a big way.
I’m gonna respectfully disagree with you here:
>>> “All churches grounded primarily in Scripture have very similar theologies. “
though it depends on what is ‘similar’ enough.
The Reformers, sola scriptura, disagreed enough to reject each other’s theology and have different “Confessions” or credal documents.
I don’t believe Luther - Zwingli - Calvin - Arminius are similar theologies. First they differ on the sacraments and, in the case of Calvin, salvation, with Calvinism’s salvation by election not at all similar to salvation by grace through faith.
I would agree that Calvin follows an arc started by Luther, but at some point in the line it leaves it’s origin enough to be deemed no longer ‘similar.’
Further out we have the 19th Century invention, via sola scriptura again, of Dispensationalism by Darby and the Brethren Movement, and sola scriptura non-trinitarians such as Oneness Pentecostals and some strands of Unitarianism.
Luther thought that sola scriptura meant everyone would see *his* interpretation of scripture as the obviously correct one, this authority of scripture. But, in practice, it becomes everyone’s interpretation on their own authority.
thanks for your post.
Amen. But “others” see that as a threat.
What's your church's position on artificial contraception? The issue which has set the Catholic Church at loggerheads with the Obama administration. Does it even have a position? Does any Protestant Church have a position?
You can't look to the Bible. There's nothing there.
That is why, with one or two notable exceptions, Protestantism is completely flummoxed by this issue.
As we can see in their voting history and including today, the Catholic influence in America has been to war against its conservatism and to empower the left and the Democrat party.
Places like Brazil and Mexico can probably use a little Christian conservatism.
Only because they have more allegiance to their church than faith in The Gospel.
Looking at this question from a political/economic point of view, rather than doctrine about justification a growth in Evangelical Christianity would be a great thing. Our two biggest trading partners are Canada and Mexico. Long term our future is going to be affected more from the south and north than it will be from the east and west. We share a common view of civil society with Canada. It will be in our best interest to have that common view with our neighbors to the south. As they become more Evangelical Christian conservatism will grow as well.
America has always been a liberal project. Its so called "conservatism" is a rootless, progressivist, neocon capitalism.
Places like Brazil and Mexico can probably use a little Christian conservatism.
They won't find it in the prosperity gospel and a subjectivist, custom-made religion which "conserves" nothing and is completely divorced from tradition.
Improvisation and novelty are the opposite of conservatism.
No wonder Catholics vote for the left.
Sadly, it indeed is. Amongst evangelicals and pentecostals it is the defining characteristic. Anyone who has thrown off or abandoned the cross has embraced the "prosperity gospel". Anyone who embraces Jesus for any other reason than taking up their cross and following Him to Calvary has embraced the "prosperity gospel".
The "prosperity gospel" encompasses much more than the "Jesus will make you successful" shtick espoused by preachers like Osteen. It is also comfortable Christianity, devoid of suffering, which is embraced for the buzz or the high which many claim it brings. It is Christianity which punches one's complimentary ticket to heaven in air-conditioned comfort. It is the "I'm saved......Jesus is my personal Savior" Christianity which costs nothing more than an inner gut feeling that I'm going to heaven.
All this is the "prosperity gospel". Jesus is making you "prosperous", whether in this world or the next.
This is precisely where the "prosperity gospel" has its heretical roots. You are at the center and Jesus is supplying your needs at no cost to you.
Let us know when you figure out if artificial contraception is immoral or not.
A liberal church produces liberal voters.
Catholics choose democrats because the church has bred them to be democrat voters, conservative churches do not create left-wing voters.
It's the "liberal" Catholic Church which is walking the walk. It's the "liberal" Catholic Church which is filing the lawsuits. It will be "liberal" Catholics paying the fines and eventually, going to prison.
I guess "conservative" churches can't figure out whether paying for artificial contraception is immoral.
I have watched this all my life, it took a couple of decades for me to see the pattern, the Catholic publicity push about a narrow social conservative issue, and then the Catholic vote helps elect the democrats again and implement the leftwing political agenda.
Obama does lose a lot of sleep over churches that produce 80% anti-Obama voters, he does not lose nearly as much sleep over one of his dependable constituencies having a dispute with him.
We're all ears.
Any "conservative" church that won't be paying for its employees contraceptive coverage?
Just us "liberal" Catholics that will fight this one?
LOL, Good luck Brazil, we pray that you move to an American style of Evangelical conservative.
Yes, uncounted millions of infants being murdered with the blessing of their "Christian" church does make for a comfortable, guilt free, society of murders. One can only hope Brazil is so lucky that they, too, can rejoice and sing songs of praise on Sunday even after sacrificing their own children to the god of uninhibited sex, right?
Thanks for that. It's a two-fer.
You've simultaneously addressed two questions which I raised upthread and which you previously ignored. Firstly, the question of whether artificial contraception is immoral (no, it's simply a "narrow social conservative issue") and secondly, the essential nature of "conservatism", of which you're clearly ignorant.
Catholics voted for abortion in 2008, as they normally do.
Evangelicals voted against it by 80%.
Prancing, preening, and public relations is one thing, but voting is where a Church’s politics is revealed.
Liberal churches produce liberal voters.
Same old ballet, same old Bolshoi.
Maybe you are hoping if you repeat it often enough someone, somewhere might believe it.
Meanwhile, from your posting history, I see no evidence that abortion is anything more to you than an issue to try to bash Catholics with. Picket and pray in front of a clinic, counsel a young expectant mother to change her mind in the issue, initiate a legal challenge against an abortionist, publicly confront a politician in the issue, get arrested, or do any one of the thousands of things the Church does every day to end abortion. Then, and only then, will you have any standing to criticize "Catholics" on this issue.
And, for the record, Catholics are Evangelical.
Gosh, wrong about the Catholic vote and Obama, wrong about my posting history (even of the last 24 hours), and wrong about Catholics being counted as part of the Evangelical vote.
2008 was a normal vote for Catholics.