67 responses to What is Rumspringa?
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    Kate
    Comment on What is Rumspringa? (December 2nd, 2010 at 16:01)

    Thanks for clearing up myths! People hear about 1 or 2 youth doing drugs or partying and assume every Amish teen is that way. Our community and others around our area do not practice Rumschpringa at all. The reason our district was formed was from parents growing up in Indiana (where its highly practiced) didn’t want their children participating in that. So it’s frustrating that people assume “All Amish…(dangerous words! haha)” practice it. Thanks for clearning up some common myths!
    Kate

    What is Rumspringa?

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      HoliathRumspringa-er
      Comment on What is Rumspringa? (January 9th, 2012 at 06:34)

      Rumspringa is too important. How did you get on the Internet if you truly Amish

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        Lance
        Comment on What is Rumspringa? (January 9th, 2012 at 09:33)

        TOO important? You have got to be kidding me. This is one of the Amish’s most destructive behaviors.

        If Amish children in Rumspringa went to all the churches in their area to learn and to test their faith and the Amish way, I might agree that Rumspringa has some importance. I have never heard of that happening even once. From everything I have heard or read, all Rumspringa activity takes place in the Devil’s playground to verying degrees depending on the participant.

        I would love to be pointed out as wrong, but only by those that truly know. I was very glad the group I was with completely forbade Rumspringa.

        What is Rumspringa?

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    Henry Troyer
    Comment on What is Rumspringa? (January 7th, 2011 at 23:56)

    Yes, like Kate, I am so pleased to see that some of these myths about Runspringa are set straight on this website. The 2002 documentary (if you can call it that) The Devil’s Playground was a travesty. It showed the worst of the worst. When I was an Amish youth in Ohio, I participated in Rumspringa. Some of my best Amish buddies are now Amish ministers and bishops, and I can freely go back to Ohio to visit them. At one point, I withdrew from the Amish young people, and began exploring ways to exit and join the Mennonites. Parents of Rumspringa-age young people vary greatly in the degree to which they try to impose limits. My parents were quite strict, and there were serious consequences for breaking Ordnung rules even though I was not yet a church member. Other parents of the same community, were more permissive. A few — mighty few perhaps — who might even encourage their youths to leave the Amish community, although none would ever encourage their youths to engage in wholesale hedonistic activities as depicted in The Devel’s Playground.

    What is Rumspringa?

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    Paul Hitchiner
    Comment on What is Rumspringa? (January 17th, 2011 at 10:14)

    Yes, I can see that parents and church want their teenagers to choose to follow the Amish way rather than have it imposed upon them. This accepts the free-will that God has given us. Without Rumspringa then teenagers would be taken into the Amish way whether they want it or not. There is a weakness here that Amish teenagers would choose the Amish way without choosing to follow God, or to become ‘Born Again’.

    What is Rumspringa?

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    iluvhanssolo
    Comment on What is Rumspringa? (April 19th, 2011 at 13:33)

    they have stuff like this once in a while on a certain channel. Dont remember which one it was but the show was called “The Devils Playground” or something similar.

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    Camila
    Comment on What is Rumspringa? (April 30th, 2011 at 14:48)

    Thanks for clearing up the myths guys! I hear even in communities in which it is practiced, some youth choose not to even partake at all, and the ones that do definitely don’t all participate in drugs, sex, drinking like that Nat Geo show would have you believe. It sad for the ones that do though, because from my understanding they might not have as much knowledge about the dangers and effects of certain drugs even with a one time use.

    I respect the Amish, especially for their peaceful ways, but I just read a great book called Amish Snow by Roger Rheinheimer (You can get it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble) that shows some of the dark sides that aren’t talked about. It follows a boy named Ezra as he leaves his abusive father (I’m sure it’s not common, but it can happen anywhere) and him trying to make it in the city in Philly on his own. He never once falls into the trap of drugs or drinking either at Rumspringa or from the city folks. It has a lot of twists and turns. It’s quite the dramatic book and it was hard to put down! I recommend it to anyone.

    What is Rumspringa?

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    K Clark
    Comment on What is Rumspringa? (May 5th, 2011 at 09:58)

    I appreciate this information! I’ve seen The Devil’s Playground and am from the area, which was even more interesting. It may be that most Amish do not participate in wild behavior during Rumspringa but it is my experience that many do. When I was in High School I hung out with many Amish boys. This would have been around 2003-2004. Although we lived closer to the Swiss Amish, I hung out with boys from Nappanee which is the community featured in The Devil’s Playground. The particular group must have been, “fast,” because they were wild. More wild than my group of English friends by far. They all drove motorcycles and nice cars and they would chug whiskey right from the bottle. So you can understand my hesitance in believing this partying doesn’t happen. I could fill a book with all my Rumspringa friend memories. And I can guarantee it would make even my English parents upset to know what we were out doing.

    What is Rumspringa?

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    Jeannie
    Comment on Interesting (June 14th, 2011 at 19:46)

    Interesting

    My husband works as a reserve sheriff’s deputy in northern Indiana, where we have many Amish and Mennonite people. It has been his experience (and other officers) that most of the huge and wild parties they bust for underage drinking/drug use are Amish parties of hundreds of teens who come from all over the country. I must admit, I am pleased to read that the common understanding of the purpose of Rumspringa is not what most of us hear in our community, but seems like it is for a noble reason and a good time of courtship and fun. I think all teens need that. However, I would say that, at least in our area of the country, a lot of Amish teens on their Rumspringa do participate in wild drinking parties.

    Interesting

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    I Love Seth Green
    Comment on Rumspringa WOO! (January 26th, 2012 at 21:20)

    Rumspringa WOO!

    I was watching the movie Sex Drive, and Ezekiel, an Amish guy played by Seth Green.
    He said it was an Amish tradition, and when you turn 16 you have a drinking party.
    Alright laters.
    xx

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    Tom G
    Comment on Running Around.... (April 13th, 2012 at 19:36)

    Running Around....

    I had to laugh when I read the part that says….”Rumspringa ends at marriage.” Isn’t that really the truth for both Amish and non Amish people? =)

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    Jack
    Comment on OH, really? (May 26th, 2012 at 23:19)

    OH, really?

    I lived in Ashland Co, Oh, 20 years ago, and I was told by some common garden variety Mennonites that the Amish youth had a lot of drug trouble.

    For that matter, they didn’t seem to have too much respect for them generally.

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    T. L.
    Comment on What's Next? (June 7th, 2012 at 11:30)

    What's Next?

    Thanks for the info on Rumspringa. Now I want to know – what happens to a young person who decides not to be baptized into the Amish religion? Where do they go and how do they make it on their own in a world they know little about? Thanks.

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      Tom G
      Comment on What's Next? (June 7th, 2012 at 18:27)

      What's Next?

      I am not an expert on this subject, but I know there are a number of Ex-Amish that have went to Columbia, MO to start a new life. You can Google “Ex Amish” and find out more about it.

      From what I understand, the Ex Amish limited schooling is a real detractor from getting a great job but the Amish upbringing of being a hard worker is a big plus.

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      Daryl
      Comment on What is Rumspringa? (June 21st, 2012 at 15:57)

      T.L. a young person who does not join the church, i.e. becomes baptized, remains in a state that sociologist would refer to as pre-adult. Thus, while they would not be supervised or repremanded like children, they would not be allowed to participate in community life like an adult. Only through joining the church would one be allowed adult responsibilities and participation.
      Till then one lives in a world somewere between childhood and adulthood and the older one gets, the more uncomfortable this twilight world becomes, thus forcing one to be baptized or to leave.

      If one leaves, life is no different than it would be for any other kid raised in a conservative rural family that leaves home young. Sure there are things that other teenagers know, but how long does it take to learn how to use the TV remote or the ATM card. To tune in a radio station, switch on a light, use the microwave timer, ipod, computer, dishwasher, etc. The Amish runaway is ignorant not retarded.

      The hardest part is not in learning how to live in the english world, thats easy, but in having no knowledge of things such as sports teams, the rules and who the players are, or of famous people, or of musical stuff like instruments, popstars, hit songs, etc. One is like a cultural foreigner, always having to ask questions.

      People don’t mind teaching you how to drive a car or how to open a savings account or even help you find a place to sleep and the younger you are or look, the more willing people are to help. But when you don’t know who Michael Jackson is and have never heard of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Heidi Klime(sp), etc, or invite you to share a giggle twig and you go with thinking that share sounds good till you discover what a giggle twig is. This makes people laugh, shake their heads and look at you like you are retarded.

      Like last year, the first time I saw a flat screen TV up close, mounted on the wall at work. I asked my work college where the box was with the rest of it, you know the working parts. I thought it was like a desk top computer, with screen and workng parts separate. Boy was I surprised to find out that those big bulky TV’s had become squashed flat. Amazed actually.

      One learns to laugh with people when ones ignorance shows, if not one will soon develop a persecution complex.

      The hardest thing at first about living in the english world is how selfish and uncaring most everybody is, also how angry and aggressive people are. Not to mention false and deceptive. Seems they can’t understand that a lie, irrespective of its color, is still a lie and that a promise is a promise and not an optional statement.

      But it is what it is and one just learns to live with it.
      And the reward is freedom, freedom to come and go as one pleases, to do/dress/watch what one wants, when one wants, how one wants and with whom one wants. (of cos within the bounds of the law)
      and what I wanted yesterday may have changed by today and I am free to follow my new wants, today tomorrow forever, guilt free. (well almost)

      Such freedom does not exist the church world where everything is regulated and prescribed.
      In the secular world one molds the world to oneself. In the church world, one moulds oneself to the church discipline.
      In both worlds, those that succeed remain. Failures in the secular world become dropouts and in the church world, shunned.

      The only question is if one wants to mould or be moulded, both ways have their unique challenges and rewards.

      Another strange difference is that in the secular world I have freedom of action but not of speech, whereas in the church world I have freedom of speech but not of action.
      For example, In the secular world if I said I gambled, no protest, however if I said that gambling should be legal for children people would protest. In the church world I could say that gambling should be legal for chldren, no comment, yet if I said I went gambling, there would be an uproar.
      In the secular world people are more concerned about whether ones speech is offensive or not and not if it is true or false, whereas in the church world people are more concerned about whether ones speech is true or false and not if it is offensive. That comes second.

      Two different worlds with two different mindsets. However, it is much, much harder to join the church world than to join the secular world, gaining freedom is easier to bear than losing freedom. Difficulty in ajusting is not what keeps the Amish in the church and out of the secular world, it is faith that the Amish way of life is the correct way. A fact most runaways will admit to as well. It is lust for freedom and worldly things that keeps them in the world. I openly confess it.

      What is Rumspringa?

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        T. L.
        Comment on What is Rumspringa? (June 21st, 2012 at 20:10)

        Daryl,

        Thank you so much for your thoughtful explanation. I can see that you must have really pondered whether or not to leave and join the English world.
        I wish you well in the big, wide, wonderful world. And, I hope that you will find a good place there.

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        kc
        Comment on What is Rumspringa? (July 27th, 2012 at 02:34)

        daryl,
        many need to take to heart everything you said.
        I had friends (amish), growing up and loved their friendships dearly. No one life is right, what’s right is the way you choose to live YOUR life. I hope you make the best of your life and find your happiness.

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          Daryl
          Comment on What is Rumspringa? (July 27th, 2012 at 05:52)

          Thanks for your kind words TL and KC. Much appreciated.

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            Lance
            Comment on a couple of questions (July 27th, 2012 at 08:28)

            a couple of questions

            Hey Daryl,

            1. Do many Amish kids go to other churches during their rumspringa? I have never heard of it even once, although the church I was with suppressed rumspringa, so I have a limited knowledge of this.

            2. Are you going to church, since you left? Do you still believe in Jesus Christ? Or are you like Mose Gingerich, thinking because you left, you are going to hell, so why bother?

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              Daryl
              Comment on What is Rumspringa? (July 30th, 2012 at 09:32)

              Hi Lance
              I hope my answers will suffice and do justice to your questions.

              1. There is I think a misunderstanding somewhat about ruimspringa. While one has more freedom during these years in the sense of liberty to leave the home more freely and return later in the evening and miss supper, one still behaves and does the right things in front of ones parents. It is behind ones parents backs that one gets up to mischief. The stuff you hear some kids getting up to they would never do in front of their parents or any another adult who would tell on them. As my father always said – you are never to old for a klap (smack)
              The kids have an unwritten code that they will not tat on each other, unless it is something really bad or life threatning. When the parents seem horrified when their kids are caught doing something bad, its a genuine emotion, at home those kids no doubt acted like little angels.
              There are things I did in my youth I would never tell my parents, even now, they would be just as horrified as if I had done it yesterday. Some things only those present at the time should know about and will hopefully go to their graves without talking. Shame has no respect for the years that have flowed by.

              As to going to other churches, some would go if they have religious outside engels friends who invite them. Generally it would be to a Sunday night youth service. The morning service in broad daylight is far too exposed. But most youth during ruimspringa are not looking to find God, but rather the delights of the outside world (the naughty ones) or a boy/girlfriend (the good ones) mostly its just a chance to hang out free from adult supervision. I went once with a friend to a Pentecostal mega-church as support. At that time I did not know those words. He had been invited by some girl he had met and asked me to go with him. Being curious I agreed. It was shocking what I saw, it is possible it still gives me nightmares. Firstly the set up with many large screen TV’s and so big, like a sports stadium. It did not feel like church and if we had not been driven there in a car for over an hour, I may well have walked home before the service started. During the service I saw people rolling around on the floor screaming and crying and laughing like mad people. I thought they would attack me and rip me apart, boy was I scared. Generally most of the people were jumping around and carrying on most strangely during the service. The music played by their rock and roll band sounded like secular radio and not at all worshipful. What I saw there that night was an image from hell. Like I said, I’m sure it still haunts my dreams. Guess when you come back to the youth with stories about the madness, foreigness and strangeness of other churches, their desire to visit is diminished. It sure cured my curiousity. Till this day I will not go anywhere near a church that calls itself Pentecostal or Charismatic. God forbid.

              2. Truth be told it is hard to go to a regular church, everything is different. The women don’t cover, they wear pants and jewelry and the service seems more like hollywood entertainment than serious worship of God. One could go to a conservative Mennonite church, but one might as well stay with the Amish, the only real difference is that the one uses electricity and cars and the other does not.

              I certainly do believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior, more so now than before. Before it was in ignorance, now its with knowledge thanks to exposure to Baptist churches, their doctrine is good, but their practice is worldly. They claim to be believers yet live like the unbelievers. Go figure.

              Unlike Mose, I separated what was biblical from what the elders taught. In my mind there are four levels. The first is biblical and binding upon all Christians such as head coverings. The second is from the early elders of the first church who have added to head coverings such as its for all Christian women, baptised or not and to be worn all the time, not just when praying or prophesising. The third is the founding elders of the various modern groups who added that all women in their group should wear the same style and color head covering. And forthly our current elders who will make rules applicable for this generation. As a Christian I am bound to follow the Bible and the elders under whose authority I fall, for they have the power to bind or lose, but only in relation to the sheep of their own fold and not another’s fold. Rom. 14:4. If I am not under their authority, I have no obligation to obey them.

              The Bible does not mention electricity, to use it or not is a ruling of the elders, if I joined a church that forbade it I would be obligated to be obedient to the ruling of the elders, to rebel against them is to rebel against God. Rather choose another church and other elders to be bound by.

              As to salvation, I do not know if I am saved or not, this Christ will reveal to me on Judgement day. This is the only teaching that makes sense. People claim one can know they are saved now, but when I see who is claming this I have my doubts, they don’t even look like Christians or obey the Bible, yet they claim to be born again and have salvation. I don’t think so. Grace does not mean that one can continue living a worldly lifestyle like the heathen.

              So tell Mose, if he has removed himself officially from under the oversight of the elders he has no obligation to obey their rules, their rules do not provide salvation only a saveguard against worldliness, however he still has an obligation to obey Gods word as it is written in the Bible and this one can do privately. Its just hard and lonely to do it alone without the support of the brethren. But history is full of stories of the faithful who were in the same boat of being believers far away from any assembly and having to fellowship alone or only with their nuclear family.

              If however he is not being obedient to Gods Word, then yes he should be fulled with fear. For death stalks all of us and it has a 100% catch rate.

              Well Lance this seems a bit long, so I will stop now.
              Be blessed

              What is Rumspringa?

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                Stacy
                Comment on According to the Bible, we can know for sure we are going to heaven! (September 13th, 2012 at 10:16)

                According to the Bible, we can know for sure we are going to heaven!

                Daryl,
                Thank you for sharing with us what must have been one of the most difficult things you have ever faced. 
                I appreciate what you said about man’s guidelines  versus God’s guidelines. I, for one, want to follow only God’s guidelines because He is the One we will all stand before one day to be judged! (Hebrews 4:13)
                Though, according to I John, it is possible to know without a doubt of your eternal destiny, I completely understand what you are saying about folks that are confident they have salvation, and yet they live ungodly life styles because, after all, we are all “under grace” now. 
                They seem to forget that living under grace, however, does not mean we have more freedoms, it should actually cause us to live more seriously and biblically minded and aware of God’s commands. (Romans 6 says it much better than I can :))

                You may already know some of this, but in Matthew 5, Jesus Christ is preaching and shares the differences in one’s life style now that we are under grace verses the life style under the law:
                Under the law, it was an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth; but now under grace, a Christian should turn the other cheek when someone hits him! God is merciful to us; we should in turn be merciful to others. Now, under grace and no longer the law, just a carnal look from a man to a women is equivalent to committing adultery in his heart. It sounds pretty tough! But it is not if God is your Father and if you ask Him to help you live this new and wonderful way. 

                Now that we are under grace, obtaining salvation is much easier; it is no longer dependent upon us bringing a perfect lamb or goat to sacrifice and receive pardon for our sins for one year, as it was in the Old Testament. We do not have to live under the law anymore, and attempt to work for salvation. Under grace, it is dependent upon our acceptance of Jesus’ blood for our sins, once and for all! I am sure you know all this. :) 

                Daryl, I am so sorry that the lifestyles of these people have caused you to question things. Shame on them! Search the absolute truths of the Scriptures, and try to get your eyes off these distracting people. (John 5:39, Acts 17:11) They will stand before God, too, and give an account for they way they have lived. (Romans 14:12)

                Now, to my real point! :) The lifestyles of these people aside, and with an open Bible in front of you, it is indeed possible to know that we are going to heaven when we die, according to the book of First John. Toward the end of this book, (I John 5:13) John writes “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” 
                God wants us to rest in this fact, knowing with a calm assurance that we are indeed His children! Earthly fathers know who their children are, and vice versa. The children look like their dads, and often walk, talk, and act like their dads, many times sharing similar hobbies, likes and dislikes. It is the same way with our Heavenly Father. 
                Hebrews 11:6 says “Without faith it is impossible to please him [God]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is [He is the Great I Am; all-powerful etc], and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
                I would encourage you and anyone who is searching for Truth, to diligently seek God, remind Him of this promise He made in His Word, and ask Him to give you guidance and knowledge about your salvation so you can know without a doubt that He is indeed your Father. Just as you would want your son to know you are his dad, God wants you to be confident that He is your Father. :) 
                When I was a child, I came to the knowledge through God’s Word that I was not good enough to get into heaven; I could never be! Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” But Jesus Christ was good enough, and one day long ago, He died on a cross for my sins. His blood paid my penalty! (Romans 6:23) I accepted His payment, and now I am His child. Believe in His Word. Have faith that Jesus’ atoning work on the cross was enough to get each of us into heaven. I am so thankful for what God has done for me! 

                According to the Bible, we can know for sure we are going to heaven!

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        rosie
        Comment on What is Rumspringa? (September 8th, 2012 at 05:22)

        thanks for an honest and insightful explanation of what rumspringa really means to an Amish youth and the choice you were faced with. I too wish you God’s guidance in living in the vast, knowledge filled world and the wisdom to continue living by the morals already given to you by your life with your family.

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        Surchr
        Comment on Fascinating, Daryl! :) (August 22nd, 2013 at 23:46)

        Fascinating, Daryl! :)

        Daryl, this post of yours is riveting: you really ought to write a book about your life amongst the Amish and then “outside” in the world. Wishing you absolutely the best and lots of blessings in your new “journey”!

        Surchr

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    Paul
    Comment on Informed consent (September 18th, 2012 at 11:27)

    Informed consent

    Is there a group of young people of rumspringa age who would attend a school designed to give them a balanced view of the non-Amish world and some basic skills to enable them to enter it? My impression is that the education Amish children receive does not equip them to make an informed decision about whether to enter the church. The church’s all or nothing strategy (shunning) seems to me to make this choice a sham. But if a school of this sort existed it might create a core and a support group from which young Amish who want a real education could emerge.

    Informed consent

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    Lance
    Comment on What is Rumspringa? (September 18th, 2012 at 11:48)

    Amish children are brought up to be Amish, and nothing else. The concept of training them to become anything other than Amish is not going to happen anywhere. Even non-Amish religions do not raise their children to be something else, so the Amish are not being oppressive here in any special way.

    If the Amish were a diminishing group with failure at business being common, one would have to conclude that their educational system was a failure. It appears that the opposite is happening, the Amish are having success rates that the world can only greatly envy (just read our fearless leader, Erik’s book!), while the english world appears to be economically falling apart.

    It is true that Amish children are not prepared to exist well outside of the community, but what would be the point of training them for that? Training your children to be something other than what you believe is not wise and just does not happen.

    What is Rumspringa?

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      AlmaPhillips
      Comment on Lance (February 5th, 2014 at 00:28)

      Lance

      You are right on. If the Amish wanted to educate their children
      to understand modern culture they could send them to public school.
      Not going to happen.

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    Paul
    Comment on What is Rumspringa? (September 18th, 2012 at 11:53)

    Well, sure, that’s the official line, but it is not generally true within secular society. I am interested in the few who may think that Amish religion, or religion in general for that matter, is nonsense. There are such people in every religion. The Constitution protects those people. I want them to be able to have an informed choice. Obviously such a school would need to be created and staffed by non-Amish, since there are, by definnition, few Amish who are educated in the sense that secular people mean the word.

    What is Rumspringa?

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    Lance
    Comment on What is Rumspringa? (September 18th, 2012 at 12:34)

    Feel free to create such a school. Go ask Mose Gingerich what he would think of it. He is a lot more familiar with ex-Amish, being one himself. I think he actually is trying to create some sort of counseling center for those that leave. The Amish are intentionally separated from the english or ‘secular’ world as God has commanded in Romans 12 and 2 Cor 6. They are not concerned with what secular society does, nor do they closely monitor what those that leave the faith do. If you wish to do something for them, I am sure you can try, but do not expect the Amish to help you and maybe some of the institutions friendly to them will also refuse to help you. Try your school, but make sure it can survive economically first, as there is a lot of risk involved and there may not be a lot people looking for what you want to do.

    You are right though, the Amish are not ‘educated’ in the modern sense of the word. Their schools do not teach anti-religious left wing dogma as truth while flunking children with Christian or conservative views. They do not teach things that science claims is right but which contradicts the Bible. In many secular schools, those things are happening, even in places one would not think it possible. Amish schools don’t even teach the Amish religion in the classroom, that is left to parents and the church. Amish children are prepared to live a Amish life, that is the point of school. To prepare one for life with the skills of reading writing and arithmetic. Amish children are trained to become adults ready for life in the adult world of work. I highly question whether modern schools are training adults, or indoctrinating politically minded lifelong children. Study where the hippies from the 1960s and 70s went and you will get the answer. They did not choose a Godly path. Except maybe Nancy Honeytree or Denny Kenaston, but they are exceptions.

    What is Rumspringa?

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      Paul
      Comment on Godly=good? (September 18th, 2012 at 13:09)

      Godly=good?

      Helpful, thoughtful response, Lance.

      You may not believe it, but there are many people who are generally good without being in any sense Godly. To many of us in the secular world “God” means about the same as “tooth fairy” or “great pumpkin.” Still we seek to be loving, helpful, productive, all those things that go into the word “good.”There are reasons for doing the right thing in ones dealings with the world and other people other than the fear of punishment or disapproval by an unseen higher being.

      And there are many people who profess religion who are generally evil, by any standard. Pedophile priests, for example. Beard-cutting Amish bullies, maybe? Ethics, the study of what is right and what is wrong action, goes way beyond religion.

      The key to a liberal, secular education is not content, but process: learning to think independently and to find and evaluate evidence of what is true. And this requires constantly re-examining ones beliefs and assumptions. Independent thinkers are pretty much immune to dogma and propaganda, right or left wing, red, green or pink.

      Godly=good?

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        Surchr
        Comment on Hardly (August 23rd, 2013 at 05:23)

        Hardly

        “this requires constantly re-examining ones beliefs and assumptions. Independent thinkers are pretty much immune to dogma and propaganda, right or left wing, red, green or pink.” Except of course the dogma and axiom that one has to constantly re-examine ones [sic] beliefs and assumptions.

        Believe it or not, there are actually some Absolutes in this universe, and they NEVER change, no matter how much secularists want them to. Ignoring them invariably ultimately creates Bed-of-Procrustes monstrosities (cf. abominations like Communism, Nazism, KoolAid Camp, Koresh Camp, etc.).

        Hardly

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      Surchr
      Comment on Bravo, Lance! (August 23rd, 2013 at 00:03)

      Bravo, Lance!

      It always gets me that there are secularists who’re just as zealous in their secular fundamentalism as the religious fundamentalists whose rights they want to destroy: Leftism and secularism are just as much a faith as Christianity, Islam or Hinduism. The difference is that secularism is a stealth faith: it doesn’t admit to its true nature, hiding behind the costume of politics or “science” (in reality, scientism).

      I salute the Amish in their wisdom, their ways and their courage! It is their constitutional right to rear their offspring as they see fit, not to mention that the Amish ways are a whole lot more wholesome and healthy than those of secular society.

      Go, Amish! {cheers and applause}

      Bravo, Lance!

      • *
        AlmaPhillips
        Comment on Amish educated (February 5th, 2014 at 00:46)

        Amish educated

        Right on, Surchr,
        The leaders are educated enough to know they
        do not want Obama Care so they got a group together
        & went to the white house & got exempted long before it
        became a law. They take care of their own from
        birth to the end of life. They are self sufficent.

  • *
    Comment on Good Post (September 18th, 2012 at 14:49)

    Good Post

    I will go out on the limb and say that Erik knows more about the Amish than the Amish themselves, it is his connection to all the different communities that make a big difference. Most people respond to what is in front of their eyes, (or community) and there are definitely huge differences between areas even within the same community.

    Daryl – Your responses were really good and right on

    Lance – Talking about schools, right on there, the Amish have a responsibility of operating their School System so they are not a burden to Society

    Paul – Dead on in your middle paragraph, of course the Pedophile issue is sickening and truly has happened under the Amish, however there has been on going awareness assistance in the communities.

    Good Post

  • *
    Jainie Barbosa
    Comment on Thanks you guys! (October 16th, 2012 at 09:40)

    Thanks you guys!

    Darryl and Lance thanks for all the information. I went to PA to the Amish community in Lancaster and I was very amazed about all the things that I saw and I had a lot of questions. After my visit I start looking for information about the Amish and I thank you both because you answered a lot of my questions and now I do understand where you come from.

    God keep blessing you both!

  • *
    Melissa
    Comment on Fabulous Comments (November 9th, 2012 at 18:45)

    Fabulous Comments

    Strange. I have always had a love and respect of the Amish. I’ve often wanted to be Amish. However, since I am a divorced, single mom, I guess that I wouldn’t be greeted with open arms. How sad shunning is.

    Does anyone ever convert to Amish? How would/could that work coming from “the world”.

    • *
      Jessica
      Comment on What is Rumspringa? (March 6th, 2013 at 17:02)

      Melissa:

      It’s rare for people to convert to being Amish, but it definitely does happen. (There are some posts on this website that talk more about this, so I’d recommend checking them out.) I can’t speak for all Amish communities, but at least for many, they’d let you convert even if you had a divorce in the past.

      I wish you luck in your journey, and hope you find the right path for you. :D

      • *
        AlmaPhillips
        Comment on Divorce (February 4th, 2014 at 23:51)

        Divorce

        Not even close. Not only would they NOT allow someone to join
        that is divorced they would put a member out of the church if
        they got a divorce

  • *
    Mabella
    Comment on What is Rumspringa? (July 5th, 2013 at 21:09)

    Do not the Amish and Mennonite peoples believe in the bible, the old and the new testament? I believe that the 10 commandments cover behavior. I know that in the Pagan religion they have a time that is similar to Rumspringa although it is not practiced by Christians.

  • *
    Erik Wesner
    Comment on What is Rumspringa? (July 5th, 2013 at 22:29)

    Sounds like your comment may be based on popular depictions of Rumspringa.

  • *
    Sadie
    Comment on What is Rumspringa? (July 6th, 2013 at 00:41)

    And did you know, there’s a new sequel or season starting I think in July, “Breaking Amish: Los Angeles.”

    I’m not so sure I understand these kids and young adults wanting what to me seems like a spiritual “journey” captured on cameras and broadcast to millions — but people will be people, I suppose! *grins*

  • *
    Surchr
    Comment on In reference to the "documentary" made on rumspringa (August 23rd, 2013 at 00:17)

    In reference to the "documentary" made on rumspringa

    The media moguls have cynical roots; they can’t ***stand*** the fact that there actually are communities who take Jesus and clean living seriously, and who to boot actually do as good a job as is humanly possible of it. The MM’s have to dig around and ferret out something—even if it’s not truly representative—to sully the reputation of the wholesome Amish. Amish goodness and purity eat away at the innards of the MM’s, who themselves are corrupt past contempt. Like the Pharisees (who’re their spiritual progenitors) did with Jesus, the Incarnation of Perfection, the MM’s gnash their teeth at followers of Jesus who genuinely want to reflect their Savior. At bottom, it is the knowledge of the reprobate that his paths are scummy, indeed, it’s a form of jealousy (way down, subconsciously). “You are far superior to me, Jesus follower, so I hate you and will seek to destroy you and your communities.”

    Remember, darkness hates light, and mud hates detergent.

    God preserve the Amish. You folks are a bright city on a hill. Keep on fighting the good fight!

    In reference to the "documentary" made on rumspringa

  • *
    Jessica
    Comment on school project (March 18th, 2014 at 20:44)

    school project

    Hi i am Jessica and i am doin a school project about the amish in texas. I am doing a work cited page and i was needing to know an editors name (first and last) for the what is rumspringa article article. If you could get back to me on that as soon as possible that would be great.
    Thanks, Jessica :)

  • *
    Jessica
    Comment on school project (March 18th, 2014 at 20:45)

    school project

    Hi i am Jessica and i am doin a school project about the amish in texas. I am doing a work cited page and i was needing to know an editors name
    Thanks, Jessica :)

    • *
      Osiah Horst
      Comment on What is Rumspringa (March 19th, 2014 at 07:27)

      What is Rumspringa

      Hello, Jessica: The author/editor/owner of Amish America is Eric Wesner. He presents a very balanced and reasonable assessment of Rumspringa in this post. Some of the posts preceding yours are made by people with knowledge of one specific group of Amish young people. Eric is presenting a view that looks at many Amish groups. The posts by Daryl and Lance are based on personal experience and as such are of course factual for one particular group but still do represent what would have been experienced in many groups. As Eric points out in the beginning, there are many myths surrounding Rumspringa.

      What is Rumspringa

  • *
    Jon
    Comment on Rumspringa (April 27th, 2014 at 10:03)

    Rumspringa

    I was talking to a guy a few years ago who lived near Kokomo, Indiana who was telling me about having friends tell him about Schwartzenruber (I think) youth gathering in the area from all over the midwest at least once a year to have a as much sex as they wanted, of whatever kind they thought about, with anyone they wanted to have sex with of either sex, and do anything else they wanted to do together. It was to learn what to do and how to do it and to get experience before they got married later. He seemed very conflicted on thinking the youth were terrible hypocrites and crazy, and being jealous that they were encouraged to have sex with other youth they had never even met before and doing whatever else they felt like doing.

    Rumspringa

    • *
      Lance
      Comment on What is Rumspringa? (April 27th, 2014 at 10:48)

      Nonsense. Honestly, just how gullible are you? or is it just pure meanness?

      Erik, please delete that bogus waste of bandwidth.

      • *
        Comment on Rumspringa Rumors (April 27th, 2014 at 11:03)

        Rumspringa Rumors

        Lance, I very nearly did that–however I figured people are going to find that sort of information online anyway, and I think I would rather have them find it here and see it refuted right off the bat.

        And then also provide some sources of better information for those people, as I did in my response to Jon (see below).

        I’m usually reluctant to delete comments but yes I almost did delete this one :) …believe me there are a lot of other things I’d prefer doing on Sunday, but I think it’s better to take the time to address it.

        Rumspringa Rumors

    • *
      Comment on What's the point? (April 27th, 2014 at 10:52)

      What's the point?

      For anyone who reads the above comment from Jon, keep in mind how it begins:

      “I was talking to a guy a few years ago who lived near Kokomo, Indiana who was telling me about having friends tell him about Schwartzenruber (I think)…”

      It might be fun to share a juicy story, but you’re not doing anyone a service by coming online and spreading something like that based on something you heard from a guy who heard it from someone else etc etc…

      Sure, some Amish youth behave badly in ways non-Amish adolescents do, but this is how myths perpetuate and Rumspringa becomes a thing about Amish youth being “encouraged to have sex” and related fantasies.

      For those interested, there is more accurate and reliable information out there than that in Jon’s comment.

      Books like Growing Up Amish: The Teenage Years (Rich Stevick) and The Amish (Kraybill/Johnson-Weiner/Nolt) will give more dependable information.

      You can also read what one Amish parent wrote about Rumspringa: http://amishamerica.com/rumspringa-myths-and-reality/

      What's the point?

    • *
      Surchr
      Comment on Not very wise if true (April 27th, 2014 at 16:42)

      Not very wise if true

      If that stuff (re Kokomo) is true, then the Amish will soon have a flood of AIDS and all the rest of the 30+ STD’s that didn’t exist prior to the Sexual Devolution (aka Sexual “Revolution”). I hope and pray the anecdote is nothing but an urban legend.

      • *
        Comment on What is Rumspringa? (April 28th, 2014 at 08:23)

        Well, maybe I should have deleted it after all…please read the comment I wrote just above yours.

  • *
    Jon
    Comment on What I was told (April 28th, 2014 at 17:42)

    What I was told

    See, what I don’t know now is whether the guy said that he knew and was friends with someone involved or if it was something someone told him about it. I -thought- he said he knew at least one person involved in it. Pretty shocking. But also that it happened every year. You can delete my posts if you want. It won’t bother me. I just needed to tell someone about it is all.

    • *
      Dirk
      Comment on What is Rumspringa? (April 29th, 2014 at 10:53)

      Hi Jon, as with everything in life, one must apply logic.
      In our modern world, sex sells, if thousands of youth were gathering yearly for a sex-fest, the national news media would be all over it and it would be national headlines.
      Millions of other youth would flock to the area in the hope of joining in. Kokomo would look like Fort Lauderdale on summer break.

      As neither of the above are happening, it is an urban legend.

      The Amish are more narrow minded about sex than your great grandparents were. Sex is only for procreation, the fact that there is some pleasure in it, is a gift from God to ensure that people will do it, as we are not regulated by hormonal scents like animals are.

      As far as ‘getting experience’ before marriage goes, research done on people married 10 years or longer show that people who did not get experience before hand, but married as virgins, have lower divorce rates and report higher marital satisfaction, than those who got ‘experience’ before marriage.

      Why? Because multiple sexual partners does not give one experience, it just gives one multiple ex-performances to judge the current partner by. A sure recipe for dissatisfaction, like when you try to get your current partner to do something because some ex did it once. But for virgins, they learn together what each other likes and what they both like, no ex-partners are messing with their heads during sex. They are truly united as one.

      Thus, logically – on a news front, a religious front and on a psychological front, that guy who told you this story, played you, and if he is on this site, he is most likely wetting himself with laughter that you actually believed him.

      Remember Jon, Google is your friend, before you go public with something someone told you, check to see if it is true or not.

      What is Rumspringa?

      • *
        Surchr
        Comment on AMMMMEN! (May 1st, 2014 at 22:22)

        AMMMMEN!

        Dirk, kudos for an EXCELLENT comment! Only tweaking I would do is: they’re not “narrow-minded” but “design-minded”! God didn’t design us to be open to a million sex partners! ;) In fact, the ones who’re truly “narrow”-minded (as in “tunnel vision”) are those whose whole focus is always and only on the that very “narrow” nether area!

        • *
          Surchr
          Comment on Typo (May 1st, 2014 at 22:23)

          Typo

          Not “the that”, just “that” of course…

  • *
    Jon
    Comment on welllll.... maybe... (May 1st, 2014 at 18:17)

    welllll.... maybe...

    Since I don’t make things up to tell people, I tend to believe what people tell me and have been fooled before by certain people. But this guy seemed sincere, that is, that he thought it was true.

    • *
      Dirk
      Comment on What is Rumspringa? (May 2nd, 2014 at 08:20)

      he was sincere, sincerely wrong.

  • I would like someone to speculate about this, and then have it deleted. I am all curiosity, I am not trying to make anyone sound bad.

    Would it make any more sense that another similar-sounding group could have been mistaken, like Schwarzenau Brethren (rather than Swartzenruber Amish)? I looked that up on Wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schwarzenau_Brethren
    and under “Divisions within progressives” it says
    “In 1939 the “Progressive” Brethren Church experienced another schism,” blah blah blah “since renamed Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches (FGBC), commonly called the Grace Brethren Church, headquartered in Winona Lake, Indiana.”
    That is not too terribly far from Kokomo, Indiana. It says nothing much about their beliefs or practices.
    See, I am trying to find an explanation for what the guy sincerely seemed to believe.
    After this and you speculating then I will drop the whole subject. And you can delete all my posts that would be better deleted than posted here.

    I would like someone to speculate about this, and then have it deleted. I am all curiosity, I am not trying to make anyone sound bad.

    • *
      Dirk
      Comment on What is Rumspringa? (May 2nd, 2014 at 09:10)

      Jon, no doubt you are an atheist with little if any insight into conservative and ultra conservative Christian religious groups.
      If you had just a small insight, you would have laughed when being told this story, realizing then that you were being made a fool of, but instead you have now made public that you were the brunt of a joke.

      Worse yet, is that you do not even realize that you are the brunt of a joke as you desperately scramble to find some shred of evidence to support your claim, sadly no such evidence exists, because your friend’s story is a lie, a falsehood, a make-believe, a joke.

      Accept this and move on, stop digging an even deeper and more embarrassing hole by acting like a village idiot who cannot accept that the Moon is not made of cheese, or some such other make believe tale like that of ultra conservative Christian youth engaging in sex orgies like some ancient pagan nation with the consent of their parents and elders no less.

      Although on a positive note, I see you did use Google and found some other similar groups, well done. Now take it one step further and read about the conservative and ultra conservative’s attitudes towards sex, and them consider the odds of them permitting or supporting their children to engage in sexual orgies.

      And that dear Jon is the secret of not being taken for a fool, by considering the odds. The less likely something is true based on the odds of probability being against it, the more likely it is false. Perhaps a self study correspondence module on the Theory of Probability from your local College would be of benefit to you?

      What is Rumspringa?

      • *
        Lance
        Comment on What is Rumspringa? (May 2nd, 2014 at 10:02)

        I guess I’ll jump in and beat on the dead horse a little too.

        No one can see into another’s heart so calling others names solves nothing.

        As for whether or not Amish youth have parties, I suggest you watch the movie “Devil’s Playground” where it is well documented that they do have massive parties, with lots of alcohol, drugs, music bands, and sex. These parties also attract a lot of outsiders, who claim the Amish parties are the wildest. Amish youth come from all over the country to these parties and the word gets out. Local sheriffs are no longer turning a blind eye due to the enormous risk of injury, death and property damage these highly intoxicated youth present to the community around them.

        In my first post, I mentioned that I thought the original post was nonsense, and as posted, I still think that. One has to understand the Swartzentrubers to understand why I write that. Organizing anything is so far beyond many of them, the idea of Swartzie’s having a sex party in Kokomo is just plain silly. Other, higher Amish youth in Rumspringa with cell phones and computers, not so hard to see. Go meet some Swartzentrubers and find out just how they think, act and behave, and you will see that this kind of organized event is not within their abilities.

        God Bless

        What is Rumspringa?

  • *
    Dirk
    Comment on What is Rumspringa? (May 2nd, 2014 at 11:01)

    Hi Erik, I think it is good that you did not delete Jon’s query, it is not the first time I am hearing this, or that Amish have more than one wife.

    I think some people are under the impression that ruimspringa means no restrictions, that the youth can behave as if they were free from any religious constraints.
    And I guess based on the unrestrained sexual actions of youth who leave ultra religious communities, it is not a far stretch to imagine how a whole bunch of them would behave without any restrictions.

    The reason that ex-religious youth from ultra conservative religious communities appear less inhibited about having sex, is that they have a different concept about sex compared to the secular world.

    Secular people are under the impression that sex equals love and are thus more likely to have less casual hook ups with random people with whom they have no feelings of love or the possibility of love resulting.

    Ultra religious youth have been brought up to believe that sex is merely there for procreation and that love is defined by charity, by giving and caring for another, and not sex.
    Thus for these ex-religious youth, sex for the most part once religious restrictions are removed, is just an act of pleasure and not of love. Their lust for this pleasure earns them the title of being wild or lose. Think of the rumors attributed to Catholic school girls.

    Its a case of 1+1=2. Ruimspringa if understood as: religious youth with no religious restrictions + the freedom to do as they want = orgies. This is what the world expects to happen based on the behavior of ex-religious youth.

    People need to bear in mind, that youth during their ruimspringa years are essentially still religious in their actions and outlook to life, they have not abandoned religion.
    The youth who abandon religion also abandon their family, they leave the community and therefore do not participate in ruimspringa.
    The ruimspringa youth gather for sing-a-longs, volleyball, komzits, etc. The non-ruimspringa ex-youth, gather at nightclubs, bars and who knows where else.

    The few instances of ruimspringa youth going a bit too far with their freedoms, was generally kept in-house and did not involve non-Amish youth. This they thought made their actions ok and sadly too many parents thought so as well.
    Perhaps these actions are a sign of things to come, as Amish become more urbanized, the way ruimspringa is practiced is bound to change. Where disco replaces sing-a-longs, permitted so long as only Amish youth attend and the words used in the disco songs are of a religious nature in Platedeitch.

    Examples with Chassidim here:

    http://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=greentree_ff1&ei=utf-8&ilc=12&type=937811&p=hassidim%20gangham%20style

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XIoHXJu9Vk

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbvACGGw9gI

    I like to look at how the Chassidim live, they represent a possible example of what to expect in a future urban Amish lifestyle.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-wAd02XVjw

    What is Rumspringa?

    • *
      Comment on Rumspringa Amish Sex Stories (May 2nd, 2014 at 13:02)

      Rumspringa Amish Sex Stories

      I would agree with Lance that we don’t know Jon’s background and I’d rather address his statements rather than go after him as an individual. We don’t have any information that he is an atheist and even if he were to me it’s not relevant–I’d like to try to accommodate anyone who comes here in good faith with questions regardless of their background and knowledge.

      On that point, at first I felt Jon was just trying to stir the pot, now I think he heard what seemed to him a believable story and is now more likely digging in where it may have been better to walk away or do a little research then return. But Jon since you have come back a few times and say you are curious, I will take that at face value, and besides the reading recommendations I gave originally I will try to address it a little more.

      Lance’s point is one I suggested above, there is definitely seed for these stories to grow from, including media like the Devil’s Playground film, the recent reality series featuring nominally Amish characters behaving badly, and not to mention actual stories of Amish youth behaving badly which pop up in the news from time to time.

      Also I think the formula you suggest Dirk comes into play here, a lot of casual observers think of Rumspringa as a no-holds barred free-for-all which must naturally only lead to the wildest of conclusions.

      But as you say it’s not as if Amish youth in Rumspringa are suddenly areligious and have abandoned principles they’ve lived within for 16 or 18 or 20 years. They’re still within the community, most live at home, attend church, participate in community-sanctioned activities, and would probably be offended and disgusted by the idea of these types of gatherings.

      The juicier the story the easier it passes along. It also helps when the other group is mysterious to the teller. Since the people sharing these things typically have only superficial knowledge of the Amish, to them it just *might* be true.

      The Amish are especially attractive for this due to their perception as devoutly religious. It’s just a better story with Amish involved. Also some people want to believe the story that takes them down a notch, because they don’t like the Amish for whatever reason or maybe want to feel better about their own lives.

      Stories about Amish behaving wildly grow more extravagant in the retelling until it becomes an institutionalized ritual which is “encouraged”. Has every group of Amish youth behaved perfectly since the dawn of time? Certainly not, however talking about it being a regularly occurring event where Amish learn about the birds and the bees firsthand in an anything-goes manner, based on hearsay of hearsay is where this goes off the rails.

      Jon I’d recommend approaching these too-wild-to-be-true-sounding stories with a little more skepticism, and if you’re really interested in the issue, take a little time to do some research before spreading it–you’ll at least have more knowledge of Amish life and belief to judge the veracity of these stories against.

      If we are all wrong and your acquaintance has in fact stumbled upon an annual anything-goes Amish sex orgy then I suppose the TV networks will be happy to learn of this as fodder for their next series. Again, it’s not like Amish youth (or adults for that matter) are all angels, some do leave the fold, there are definitely parties as Lance notes, and some get into things their parents wouldn’t be proud of. I’ve heard a fair share of stories myself about Amish individuals dealing with issues that other humans deal with and which most probably deeply regret later. But since Amish people are 100% human too that shouldn’t really be a surprise.

      However I think it’s better to be careful about spreading the wildest-sounding info really without solid basis, which to a drive-by reader then becomes the standard for what Amish youth do because they saw it on an Amish website once.

      All in all I am actually glad this issue was raised as hopefully others will find and read this information and perhaps be a bit more skeptical about what they hear.

      Rumspringa Amish Sex Stories

  • *
    Dirk
    Comment on What is Rumspringa? (May 4th, 2014 at 09:26)

    Sorry Jon if I incorrectly labeled you as an atheist and you are not.

    Sorry Lance/Erik, I did not refer to Jon as an atheist as a slur, but rather as someone who has no knowledge of God or religion.

    Personally I think atheism is our natural human state, if it were not for the Bible, what would any of us know about God, Jesus or religion?
    It is not as if we are born with such knowledge about God and religion, if that were so, we would all have the same religion.

    What is Rumspringa?

    • *
      Comment on Is atheism our natural state? (May 4th, 2014 at 13:44)

      Is atheism our natural state?

      That’s okay Dirk. Just to throw in my two cents on the atheism question you raise, I don’t know if that’s the case or not.

      I tend to think there is a human craving for devotion to something larger than ourselves which may very well be innate to our being. If people do not find that in religion or worship of a higher power in the conventional sense, I think many satisfy it or try to satisfy it by devotion to a larger cause or entity, though not necessarily a traditional higher power as in a religious setting.

      I grew up playing soccer and I enjoy watching games from time to time. My watching is largely casual but for some I think following the sport at least mimics a religion (in fact it has been called “religion” before, see link below, ostensibly tongue-in-cheek but if you see the passion and devotion some fans possess you can understand the comparison) or occupies the place religion otherwise would have 50 or 100 years ago. This is just considering the world’s most popular sport, but you could put a number of other things up as an example here.

      http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2006-06-04/news/0606040375_1_world-cup-soccer-top-two-teams

      Is atheism our natural state?

      • *
        Surchr
        Comment on re: surrogate religions (May 4th, 2014 at 15:25)

        re: surrogate religions

        YYYYYYYES, Dirk, spot ON!

        When Jesus says, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God,” He isn’t just saying that man’s soul needs the Manna of His truth in the same way the body needs food. The implication is that if we do not feed on the true Manna, we will seek out various junk-food substitutes, because we were WIRED for spiritual life.

        I have long told my family and friends that the 2 major modern religions are Communism and Nazism (altho here in the States, it’s the stealth religion of Secularism). They camouflage themselves as political movements, but they are every bit as zealous and mission-oriented as Torquemada and Co. Every governmental system has an implicit or explicit cosmology (theological presuppositions). Man’s life with man is ultimately a spiritual issue. Man is primarily a spiritual “animal,” not a political one.

        re: surrogate religions

        • *
          Surchr
          Comment on Goofed! (May 4th, 2014 at 15:26)

          Goofed!

          Erik, sorry I confused you with Dirk. Time for my nap. :(

      • *
        Comment on Well Put... (May 4th, 2014 at 15:49)

        Well Put...

        Erik, as a pastor with years of experience (and a few Bible/seminary degrees) in the field, I largely agree with your take on this question.

        There is an innate element within us — exhibited in various degrees by various people — that is inclined and even driven to go against God. This might be called a practical atheism, I suppose. So in that sense I could agree with Dirk that atheism could be considered our natural state.

        Alternately, some might look at the question a bit more (hyper-)logically and say that in practice a person has to have some item that is more important to them than other things. For some that would be soccer or other sports; for theists, that would be God (in theory, even if not in daily practice). Grief, I have a friend that more-or-less refuses to put one thing above another, but insists on keeping them all in balance…, and in doing so has in fact made balance itself the most important thing. In this approach one’s theism/atheism is more-or-less determined by what he puts first in his life. (A bit of a cart-before-the-horse approach in my opinion.)

        But I think you are on to something in your perspective. As we can easily see in watching most any child, we naturally look for a validation of self and for a reason to value self; and by definition this must come from someone that we look up to and trust to make an honest and valid call. There is thus an inner need for someone that can fill that role. And One who is able to be all that such a role requires is certainly worthy of our admiration.

        Or as one preacher of yesteryear put it, there is a God-shaped vacuum within each of us. Obviously some will attempt to fill that void with another person, a hobby, work, SELF, or a host of other things. But since all of these have flaws we eventually discover that they are not worthy of trusting as the source for our value and validation. So we either settle for a dysfunctional structure, or we search until we find the One that fills the role and the void.

        Naturally there is more to our relationship with and need for God than that — much more. But I think this does show where we are innately.

        Well Put...

  • *
    Jon
    Comment on Making cheese sandwiches (May 4th, 2014 at 19:46)

    Making cheese sandwiches

    Well, Dirk, you have an appropriate name. If I bring over the Moon cheese and loaf of bread, I am sure you will be able to cut them for our sandwiches using nothing but your tongue, and they will already be grilled.
    For whatever reason, an old saying came to mind as I read through all this that was posted, and that you may or may not have heard before. “God speaks and men cry; men speak and God laughs.”
    If God is laughing, then why would I care if you are also?
    On the positive side, my postings have motivated people to express themselves, which I guess seems like a good thing, even if it is to ridicule me and put me down. I can eat grilled cheese sandwiches that way even if I had not planned to do so. I guess I found out what I need to about Amish and Rumspringa and do not need to ask any more.

    Making cheese sandwiches

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