As I’ve expressed in some of my comments, Zelota is not a reliable, unbiased source of information. I am a Brazilian scholar fully abreast of these issues, even before some of the writers of Zelota were born. Zelota represents an extreme-left, socialist agenda at odds with Brazilian Adventism and society at large.
Take for example, this piece on Pastor Gilson Grüdtner whom I’ve known personally for over three decades; his wife is a childhood friend of mine. He is an all-around good guy, deeply spiritual, committed Christian, and loved by his congregations. He is an extremely irenic person and connecting “hate” to his ministry is a ridiculous, frivolous caricature by some with an agenda to label conservative views as “hate speech.” He is conservative, no doubt, as the majority of Brazilian pastors and could have expressed his views differently, but the attacks and calls for his sacking impinge on far larger questions of freedom of speech and religious liberty in Brazil.
Brazil is currently undergoing an institutional crisis with an activist, extreme-left leaning Supreme Court that frequently overruns its boundaries and takes unconstitutional legal positions in regards to freedom of speech. The court has even jailed politicians who criticized its justices and decisions.
The fact the pastors are no longer allowed to share their religious views from the pulpit, even conservative positions on sexuality, without fear of legal retaliation is a serious issue for freedom of speech and the separation of church and state in Brazil. This aspect was ignored in the piece, instead, we see a one-sided take on his views as objectionable, offensive, etc. His views and the way he expressed them may be to some, but his right to express those views to his community of faith who support him should be protected from outside interference. Despite his right to freedom of speech, he has become a target for expressing those views, as this piece indicates.
Mind you, Grüdtner did not call for violence or hatred against homosexuals as the title incorrectly suggests, he simply expressed a very conservative view of homosexual practice as contrary to God’s ideals. That a tiny minority was offended by this is not surprising, but his views one way or another reflect the vast majority of Adventists in Brazil who view homosexuality as incompatible with a Christian view of human sexuality. More importantly, his views had the support of his church board and congregation. And this position reflects that of the majority of Brazilian society who remain deeply conservative on the matter of homosexuality. The landslide election of center-right Bolsonaro as president who ran on an anti-homosexual agenda among other things in 2018 is indicative of this.
In sum, the problems facing Adventists in Brazil are far more complex than the biased takes expressed in these pieces. They represent an ever-diminishing minority of Adventists with socialist-communist-extreme-left views that are becoming less influential in the church and Brazilian society at large.
Bolsonaro’s sure reelection later this year will ensure that socialism-communism and extreme liberal views will continue to be rejected by Brazilians for the foreseeable future. They keep an eye on neighboring Venezuela and Cuba as stark reminders of what Brazil could become should Lula and his gang be allowed to return to power.