some thoughts on a visit to Indiana
I spent some time visiting ministries/meetings for worship in Indiana Yearly meeting while considering the next phase in my life. IYM can be described as mostly culturally evangelical conservative, but there are a few meetings that have a reputation for being “liberal” among the culturally Evangelical meetings. In all cases, I heard the same gospel preached — I found the groups to be people of prayer, preaching that God heals and redeems us… Not all use praise songs — sometimes there is a difference is language, sometimes there is a difference in politics — but where the gospel is preached, it is the same gospel — that God reached out to us, through the person of Jesus Christ.
It is a mistake to identify culture, language, and music tastes with faith. A person can be culturally evangelical conservative… singing the right songs, saying the right words, voting the right ways, yet neither study scripture nor pray, nor even put faith IN God, a person can be culturally liberal, and be a committed Christian. Christ’s life shows us that God’s love transcends culture.
At this point, I look forward to returning to Indiana for study and work. I actually am so excited to begin, that I do not want to wait until I know there is a place for me. I know that this is crazy, but I feel comfortable in a place that recognizes that Jesus works across the cultural divide. I grant that I had limited experience here, however the experience is very positive.