5 responses to The Amish Ministry
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    Comment on The Amish Ministry (July 12th, 2008 at 06:53)

    I really enjoy your column. My mother is also a big fan. Living in Elkhart County, Indiana most all my life, I’m somewhat familiar with the Amish. I have a few questions, maybe you’ve addressed these in previous columns, (before I started getting the feeds).
    Do the Amish suffer from some of the things that us English do, such as greed, envy, jealously, vanity, hatred, etc.? Can they express it, do they express it? If they do express it, is it OK to do so, are the punished, repentive, how do they handle it?

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    Comment on The Amish Ministry (July 12th, 2008 at 09:03)

    I have often wondered about these things. Thanks for explaining all that.

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    Dave Carrig
    Comment on The Amish Ministry (July 12th, 2008 at 09:47)

    Great stuff, Erik!

    I think a great facet of the Amish is the fact that any baptised male should be willing to take on the mantle of minister – and to realize that it could very well be a reality. It is a great testament to just how seriously they take their faith when it comes time to decide if they want to be baptised or not. I wish we all took our faith that seriously – to the point of being spiritually ready and able to step into the ministry at a moment’s notice.

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    Comment on The Amish Ministry (July 14th, 2008 at 09:39)

    Although we not Amish, or even Anabaptist for that matter, we have a similar situation in our independent “neo-Baptist” church in that our pastor does not take a salary. At first it was because we couldn’t afford to pay him, and then when we could afford it he would not accept pay. His take is that he is blessed in so many ways pastoring the church that he shouldn’t take any financial compensation. That and his business does extremely well for him. The reason I even mention all of this though, is by NOT being a paid minister he is free to preach from any position and on any aspect that he feels called to address. He does NOT have worry that he will be on the “wrong” side of an issue. What are we going to do; cut his pay? I think when pastors went from preaching due to a calling to preaching as a vocation the ministry lost something.

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    Comment on Amish self-expression (February 24th, 2009 at 13:45)

    Amish self-expression

    Donna, I just realized I did not address your question from WAY back, my apologies if you are still out there.

    Yes this would definitely be the case; the Amish will be the first to say that they are human, with the foibles that being human entails. Living in pointedly Christian communities they strive to be good Christians in the day-to-day, but humans are humans.

    As far as self-expression, I’m probably not the best one to ask, but as humility, collective harmony, and submission are qualities which are esteemed in Amish society, any beef you have with a neighbor would best be handled in an inconspicuous way. There are all types of personalities of course but if I were to stereotype I would say that the typical Amish nature is one that tends more towards meekness and reservation rather than outspokenness and self-expression. ‘Errors’ are sanctioned against when they break the bounds of the Ordnung (very short and insufficient definition–‘rules of conduct’), which varies from church district to church district. Thanks for reading and I hope you and your mom are still hanging around these parts!

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