34 responses to What is the Amish Ordnung?
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    Comment on What is the Amish Ordnung? (November 9th, 2010 at 08:42)

    do all Amish follow these rules…i have known some that use the internet a lot

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      Comment on What is the Amish Ordnung? (September 16th, 2012 at 13:26)

      If their family is following the Ordnung then they would not have electricity, nor (obviously) a computer with internet service. The ones that you say have internet, would be Amish who left the community to go it alone.

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      Comment on Amish Ordnung (January 10th, 2013 at 15:30)

      Amish Ordnung

      Some of the Amish are allowed to use computers for their job not for personal use.

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    Comment on What is the Amish Ordnung? (November 9th, 2010 at 11:01)

    Hi Cleone, Ordnung can vary quite a bit between congregations. Some Amish do use the internet, for example in a non-Amish workplace or by accessing it over a mobile phone.

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    Comment on What is the Amish Ordnung? (November 26th, 2010 at 23:54)

    I believe some of the rules of the Ordnung. However, in some of it I read, for example divorce. They weren’t there, and they don’t know what happened in the marriage. Each divorce is different. Some divorces God does grant. If the person got divorced before getting baptized the divorce has been erased. Jesus is the only one who was born sinless. The Bible says the Judge is standing at the door, that we are not to judge. However, if we judge someone, than we will be judged twice as hard.

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    Comment on What is the Amish Ordnung? (January 15th, 2011 at 15:49)

    I recently was dating an Amish guy that had not joined church yet, and drives a car and has a cell phone. We dated for a bit, then he found out I had been divorced years ago…short term marriage. When he confronted his dad about it, his dad made us break it off, and threatened him if he see’s me again they will shun him. He is an adult, and should be able to make his own choices. His father was going to take away his job & family just because of me. Finally we separated because I didn’t want any trouble within his family life. Now we both agonize daily about it because we wanted to marry. We don’t know what to do.

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    Alice Aber
    Comment on What is the Amish Ordnung? (January 15th, 2011 at 21:16)

    Julie, I feel so bad for you. You and your Amish man are in quite a situation. The bottom line is he will have to choose between you and his family from the sounds of things. That is not an easy choice to make for him. The bible says to honor your mother and your father. The Amish are very strict when it comes to divorce.

    With him not being baptized yet it would be easier for him to leave the Amish. However, his family could choose to shun him anyway.

    The only thing I can suggest is you both take time to pray about it and ask God to lead you both. I don’t know if it would do any good for you to talk to his parents openly and honestly about your previous marriage and how you feel now about marriage, church and God. Only you and he would know that. But maybe it is something to think about?

    I wish you the best and pray God guides you in this.
    Blessings, Alice

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      Comment on talk to his parents (January 26th, 2012 at 14:39)

      talk to his parents

      It will do no good to talk to his parents. The law against divorce and remarriage is not an ordnung ruling but a biblical ruling. Their marriage will never be accepted by any conservative Anabaptist group. The only way those two can get married is if her ex dies.

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    Comment on Can I buy a copy of the Ordnung somewhere? (April 30th, 2011 at 10:47)

    Can I buy a copy of the Ordnung somewhere?

    Hi there – I have recently become fascinated with the Amish. I was wondering if it is possible to purchase a copy of the Ordnung just for personal study and learning. I have searched the internet and don’t seem to find anything. Thanks for any feedback or suggestions.

    On a personal note, I am a Christian and have a Mennonite family heritage (though not Mennonite myself), and grew up near a smaller (than others) Amish community. I’m surprised about the misconceptions I had about the motivation behind Amish lifestyle and am interested in learning more. I don’t think that theirs is the best and/or only way to live a complete life in Christ, but their ideas certainly make me think about my own life and attitudes and whether I am living up to my own calling. Fascinating stuff!

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      John Powell
      Comment on Divorce (August 4th, 2012 at 12:36)


      I am confused sometimes because truth frequently is in the mind of the one who is consulted..I have been a less than committed Christian the last 40 years..I married a second time after a marred marriage and that marriage ended too in divorce..I believe now that as is it explained in the infalibile Word of God, I am not to marry again unless my two wives die…What do YOU think ?

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        Comment on What is the Amish Ordnung? (August 4th, 2012 at 19:25)

        It doesn’t matter what I think.

        I can tell you what the Amish Church, conservative protestant churches, and (I think) the Catholic Church believes the Bible teaches on this subject.

        God intended “One husband, one wife… for life.”

        Although there were Laws which dictated how divorces should be handled, Jesus essentially said that it was not in God’s plan for divorce to ever take place, and because of that, if a divorced person remarries, or if a single person marries a divorced person, both are committing adultery.

        So in essence, according to this understanding, a divorced person is not free to remarry unless his former spouse is no longer living.

        People come up with a million and one reasons as to why their particular circumstance is an exception to this “rule.” I cannot be the judge of that. It’s between them and God.

        Many say that they were not yet Christians when they were first married/divorced. Many say that their partner was abusive. Some claim their spouse was an adulterer/adulteress. There are many seemingly “good” reasons.

        I cannot say, and it wouldn’t matter what I said anyway. Our particular church stands by the notion that, if after remaining steadfast in prayer and after forgiving “70 times 7,” it is sad, but acceptable to separate from your spouse. Not to divorce.

        This topic has a tendency to make many people defensive and angry.

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        Comment on What is the Amish Ordnung? (August 6th, 2012 at 03:51)

        Hi John
        Sorry to hear of your trials in what must have been painful and unpleasant life experiences, may you find comfort and strength in the Lord. Biblically, in answer to your query, you only have to wait for your first wife to pass on, or reunite with her if that would be possible. Your second wife was a forbidden marriage and thus she does not count as a legal wife biblically and you are not bound by her.

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        Comment on divorce (September 1st, 2016 at 04:52)


        Modern society, stress married couples, until the divorce.
        This guarantees to lawyers, judges, psychologists, lots of money and many customers.
        The state does not want the family together. A disintegrated family, is easy to control!
        Also a broken family, will have greater costs: two houses, two cars, double taxes, food allowance, etc. etc.

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    Comment on Written Ordnung? (May 4th, 2011 at 13:05)

    Written Ordnung?

    Hi Tracie, the Ordnung is almost always not a written document. It is reviewed orally twice per year at special services. It also varies among the many different church districts, with different technology and dress standards, for example, among other things. Also, as mentioned above, it can change and does over time.

    The book The Riddle of Amish Culture by Donald Kraybill has good info on the nature of the Ordnung.

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    Comment on Thanks1 (May 5th, 2011 at 08:54)


    Erik – thanks! I appreciate the information.

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      Comment on Written Ordnung (April 1st, 2012 at 14:42)

      Written Ordnung

      I realize that your this comment was written awhile ago, but I figured that I would post this site anyways. Regarding a written version of the Ordnung, I found http://www.mcusa-archives.org/library/resolutions/amishdisciplines1568-1865.html to be particularly helpful. It doesn’t contain modern additions/changes, and it does not provide specifics for each community; however, it does provide the original guidelines/ordinances the Anabapist (and therefor the Amish and Mennonites) used as well as accepted modifications to them on a broad scale.

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        Comment on What is the Amish Ordnung? (April 2nd, 2012 at 06:27)

        Thanks for this Brittney. Daviess County, Indiana had a written Ordnung at one time. It can occasionally happen but uncommon.

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    Comment on Thanks! (October 18th, 2011 at 16:15)


    This is so fascinating!
    I am a modern-orthodox Jew, and there seem to be a lot of similarities between the way our legal system that dictates behavior functions, and the Ordung.

    I know that you said that many don’t own telephones, but is there someone who I could talk to about this? I find it really interesting how people deal with the tension between tradition and innovation, and the attitudes surrounding this. I would love to learn more!

    Thanks so much!!

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      Comment on I will (January 26th, 2012 at 14:49)

      I will

      Hi Rachel
      I would be most interested to speak with you on this subject as I have experience with both Yiddishkeit and Fromkeit.
      You can contact me at daryl.hartwell@gmail.com.

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    tiffany rangier
    Comment on long talk (December 3rd, 2011 at 14:38)

    long talk

    I am sorry for that long reply about ordnung and divorce.

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    tiffany rangier
    Comment on What is the Amish Ordnung? (January 28th, 2012 at 15:54)

    well now i am trying to retreat from kansas to kentucky,currently in marion illinois.could someone from church pick me up?i will be at a local church hopefully soon and have minutes on my phone 7854089304.I can work

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    tiffany rangier
    Comment on ? (January 29th, 2012 at 14:14)


    yes relocating here to marion illinois and heading to pudicha ky brought many challenges.but with the precious name of jesus i should make it their.

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    tiffany rangier
    Comment on odrung (January 30th, 2012 at 11:11)


    when i can print this i can read it more,some one explain better…is it about examples of our abdmonition?(I dont know if I am spelling that correctly)

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    tiffany rangier
    Comment on odrung (January 30th, 2012 at 11:12)


    sorry,also practicing charity and compassion is a stong part of omish and mennonite?

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    Arturo guluniping
    Comment on What is the Amish Ordnung? (December 28th, 2012 at 11:13)

    During this discussion thread on “Ordung” and
    The subject of divorce; I find that Erik is more
    Helpful than Daryl. It seems to me you have
    A motive Daryl- it is to say something is wrong?
    I know the Ordung very well myself and speak
    fluent old German “Spreaken Sie Gross’ ok here
    is my take on divorce- The Amish & Mennonite
    Communities I always known and biblically speaking
    on what I believe is Divorce is not acceptable meaning
    Divorce same as Amish and Mennonite say this:
    Jesus wants us to be saved, if you divorce yes you
    Must wait for that spouse to die first before Jesus
    Can bring 2 people together, Notice I said bring 2 people
    Together as one! This is how Amish & Mennonite
    Believe because it’s a unity that no man can put asunder!
    This is part of all Ordung, yes as Erik have said
    Different churches have different things they can
    Change from time to time depending on the community?
    May you come to be saved through Him!
    Auf Weidersen!

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    Comment on Remembering the Ordnung? (October 1st, 2013 at 09:36)

    Remembering the Ordnung?

    Hi Erik:

    First, I appreciate all the work you do on this site. Exploring it has been hugely helpful for me. A question: I am puzzled about how the twice-yearly ‘review’ of the Ordnung takes place if it is not a written document. By ‘not written’ I am wondering if you mean ‘not published’; that is to say it remains ‘in-house’,not something for sale, etc. I am thinking along these lines because a review would require some reference, something to refer to. Or what if there are disputes in interpretation of a rule; is there something to look up to settle these kinds of issues?



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      Don Kosky
      Comment on The unwritten written word (November 24th, 2016 at 11:16)

      The unwritten written word

      I am confused about how the Ordnung is the unwritten word,but it is in a book for reference or teaching purposes.

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        Mark — Holmes Co.
        Comment on What is the Amish Ordnung? (November 25th, 2016 at 08:59)

        The Ordnung is usually unwritten, but there are a few groups or communities where it has been written. Apparently someone got a hold of such a copy and printed it.

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    Joseph Kretschmer
    Comment on What is the Amish Ordnung? (August 30th, 2016 at 18:55)

    Having lived around the Amish all my life, I can say they are to be admired in their self sufficiency and simple life style. They are honest, hard working, and clean. The only thing I would say is that they are in error on some things because of their private interpretation of Scripture which actually causes them to misinterpret many things. Scripture itself says there are many things in it that are difficult to understand and that take an authority to interpret correctly. Jesus founded only one Church, and that is the Catholic Church. We can see throughout history that this Church has been attacked both from within and from without and yet it still exists like the lamp on top of the table. Hopefully many Amish will look into these things and take to the integral Catholic Faith and adapt their lives yet keep those things that are good. God bless.

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      Harold Metz
      Comment on Catholic church founding? (October 10th, 2016 at 14:41)

      Catholic church founding?

      Jesus did not found the Catholic Church. In fact it has so many things that disagree with the biblical scriptures. Protestant churches follow scripture much more closely. Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis on the door naming the things that were not biblical for Catholics.

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    Comment on Divorce (January 2nd, 2017 at 19:14)


    The Protestant faith Does allow divorce, which was one of the reasons Henry VIII based the Church of England on it’s tenets.
    It is wrong to expect an unhappy, abusive marriage to continue, or where trust has been completely destroyed by adultery. Not only is it cruel to the couple, but to any children they may have, to live in such an atmosphere.
    I was under the impression that the Abrahamic god allows free will, where is free will, when church elders are allowed to dictate what people may or may not do, and how they live their lives?.

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    Comment on Publish date (December 17th, 2017 at 08:54)

    Publish date

    Hej Erik! I am writing an essay about Amish, and I have used many of your articles. To make my bibliography I need a publication date. I’m gonna write this on many of your posts btw.

    Kind regards, Anna Sofie Denmark

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      Comment on What is the Amish Ordnung? (December 18th, 2017 at 10:28)

      Hi Anna, thanks for checking. The original publish date for this article is August 23, 2010.

      Please just send me a list of the articles’ dates that you need, rather than posting the same message on them. Thanks!

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    Comment on What is the Amish Ordnung? (May 12th, 2018 at 20:34)

    I’ve noticed the old rules of the Amish: no telephones, powerline electricity, or motor transport, the extra rules like no radios, cameras, televisions or computers came later, but to follow Old Order Amish just the above 3 are shunned, thus some Amish are using anything battery-operated. These people are technophobes and I don’t agree with it, as a Puritan I can use all these technologies. The Amish faith is a bit hard on people and I don’t want to live like that.

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