What do members of Amish churches believe? Ohio Amish church member Rebecca Miller addresses that question today, with 20 belief statements of the Amish, along with Scriptural sources.
This is a common question and quite complex to answer. So this list was compiled from “Tagliches Manna” (a daily devotional published and written by Amish and Old Order Mennonites) and other sources. Scriptural references are added in case anyone has in interest in studying further into these.
1. We believe in one sovereign, holy, gracious, and living God,eternally existing in the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Creator and Sustainer of all things that exist. (Ex.34:6, Deut.6:4, Col.1:16&17)
2. We believe that the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God, revealing God and His will, both in the Old and the New Testaments. (Luke 1:70, II Tim.3:16, II Peter 1:20&21)
3. We believe that in the beginning God created all things in six days and on the seventh day He rested. He made man in His own image, with a free will, moral character, and a spiritual nature. (Col.1:16&17,John 1:1-13)
4. We believe that man, through unbelief and disobedience, fell into sin bringing death and trouble upon the human race: that man as a sinner is self-centered and self-willed and needs Christ to redeem him. (Rom.3:10-18,23,5:12)
5. We believe that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, fully human and fully divine, and perfectly His Father’s will both in life and in death. offering himself as a ransom to all who will receive Him. (John 1:14, Matt.20:18, Col.2:9, Gal.4:4-6)
6. We believe there is one mediator between God and man, Jesus, who shed His blood and died on Calvary, was resurrected and ascended into heaven and is sitting at the Father’s right hand. (John 3:16, Heb.9:12-14, Col1:20-22)
7. We believe salvation is by grace through faith in Christ-a free gift bestowed by God to all who are repentant of their sins, are born again, and walk in newness of life. (Eph.2:8&9, John 3:3-5, Rom.6:1-7, Rom.10:9&10)
8. We believe the church is the bride of Christ, holy and beloved, a faithful gathering of believers. And all those who walk in obedience to God’s Word constitute the True church of Christ. (Eph.5:25-27, Heb. 10:23-25, Col.1:18, 1 John 1:7)
9. We believe that those who repent and believe should be baptized with water as an outward sign of the inward new birth, baptism of the Spirit, cleansing from sin, and commitment to Christ. (Acts 2:38, Acts 10:47 &48, 1 Peter 3:21)
10. We believe the church should observe the communion of the Lord’s Supper, as a token of His broken body and shed blood in a common union of believers. (1 Cor.10:16, 1 Cor.11:23-26)
11. We believe Jesus taught by example and commandment that feet-washing is a symbol of brotherhood, service, and humility. (John 13:3-17)
12. We believe that discipleship can thrive both in prosperous and difficult times for those who exercise faith, the fruits of the spirit, surrender to the divine will,love, and nonresistance to evil. (Heb.11, Gal.5:22-25, I Peter 2:21&22, 1 Cor.13)
13. We believe that marriage is designed by God to be the union of one man and one woman for life. Therefore any sexual relationship outside this marriage is adultery. Furthermore; adultery, fornication, homosexuality and such are condemned by God. (Heb.13:4, Mark 10:6-9, Rom.1:24-28, 1 Cor.6:9&10)
14. We believe that the personal appearance and lifestyle of Christian men and women should be modest and free of worldly fashion and adornment, maintaining simplicity in all areas of life, living as strangers and pilgrims in this world, seeking a heavenly city not made with hands. (Rom.12:1&2, James 4:4, 1 John 2:15-17)
15. We believe God has established special roles for the man and the woman, therefore it is the man’s responsibility to be the spiritual leader in the home and the church and the man’s head should be uncovered in praying or prophesying, while the woman’s head is to be veiled signifying their acceptance of Christ’s order. (1 Cor.11:1-16)
16. We believe the promotion of Christian values requires us to shun evil which includes the values of contemporary media, urban culture, and modernism. (John 17:13-21, Rom.12:1&2,1 Cor.15:33, 1 John 2:15-17)
17. We believe Christians should not take part in destruction of life, born or unborn, nor in any acts of retaliation. Instead, living a non-resistant lifestyle, demonstrating the love of Christ in daily life. (Matt.5:39-46, John 18:36,Rom.12:19-21)
18. We believe the church and state are ordained of God as separate entities in His plan and that believers should honor rulers and be subject to them and pray for them. (Rom.13:1-7,1 Peter 2:13-17)
19. We believe that the unrepentant, fallen brother or sister shall be excommunicated from the body of Christ in the spirit of love, and shall be received back into the fellowship upon repentance and amendment of life. (1 Cor.5:1-13,II Cor.6:14)
20. We believe in the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, the blessed hope of believers, and that upon His return He will resurrect the righteous to eternal bliss in heaven, and the unrighteous to eternal damnation in hell. He will sit on the throne of His glory, judging all humans in the last day. (I Thess.4:16&17, Matt.25:31-46)
My hope is that this article can help some people understand our beliefs and way of life better. Blessings to all!
Image credit: Martin Luther Bible– migrationmuseum/flickr