5 (More) Reasons Why The Amish Fascinate Us
Why are we so interested in the Amish?
I thought about this the other day. You see, I have Google set up to spit out stories which contain the word “Amish”.
The article I’d landed on had a passing mention of “Amish Country”. But–surprise–it turned out to not be about the Amish at all.
This wasn’t the first time that had happened. I suspect writers and editors try to find ways to work “Amish” into their stories if possible.
They know that public interest is there, and the word itself simply attracts more eyeballs.
There is no one simple answer to “why are we interested?”, of course.
But, I’ve come up with 5 reasons why I believe we–the “public” that is–are fascinated by the Amish.
Some of these might hit the nail on the head for you. Others may not at all.
Do you agree with my ideas below? Why do you think there is such interest in the Amish? Will it continue?
By the way, this post is called 5 MORE reasons, as a previous post explored a half-dozen different ideas suggested in a Washington Post article.
5 Reasons The Public Finds the Amish Fascinating
1. They can teach us something about health & wellness…we think
Ever notice how many “Amish health” stories there seem to be? A new one seems to go viral every few months or so.
We’ve seen articles about the Amish lifestyle possibly reducing asthma; diminished cancer rates among the Amish, and how Amish somehow “outsmart” fat genes and weigh less, to name a few.
The latest slew of media coverage was about a supposed connection between Amish, vaccines (or lack thereof), and autism.
Now, how true any of these connections may be, or how they might apply to us, is up for debate.
But the Amish certainly seem like a healthy, wholesome-living people, and this inspires us to search for the Amish health “secret”. Which may or may not exist.
2. “Country kinship”
The idea here is that the Amish and rural non-Amish are not as far apart as one might think. Both groups share “rural values” in common.
This was suggested by a comment by reader Kim H: “Country children are raised with different values than children who are raised in town are. I think that is why I feel a kinship with the Amish in many ways. Its not their difference that draws me, but their sameness.”
I think people with sterotypically “rural” values observe the Amish and see things they themselves practice or believe in (emphasis on community, simplicity, faith-centered lifestyles, etc). Amish just somehow seem to do those things better.
3. They have huge families
This probably strikes home more with those who remember when families of 4, 5, or more children weren’t so uncommon.
I’m sure this is one reason my father appreciated the Amish. He came from a family of 7 children, so being on an Amish farm with an abundance of kids running about felt like second nature to him.
But I think this idea also appeals to those who’ve never been part of a big family.
The single child who always yearned for a brother or sister must feel a twinge of envy at the number of siblings you get just by being born into an Amish family.
And who wouldn’t want to have an extended clan where you can count on dozens of people who love and support you? As long as they don’t provide too much unwanted attention, of course 😉
In a world where people are increasingly connected but somehow still feel isolated, “family” resonates.
4. “Quaint and peculiar”
I hesitated to include this one, because it seems outdated and condescending to refer to the Amish as “quaint” or “peculiar”.
But there are certain things about the Amish that appeal to us–simply for their different-ness from all that we are used to.
Ignorance about pop culture can be refreshing. Ditto lack of knowledge about certain technologies (cue Amish elevator joke…). Amish speech feels exotic when the endearingly odd word or phrasing pops up in conversation.
A reader on Facebook had this comment about a popular Amish publication, which I think captures the idea: “Getting Family Life every month is like taking a trip on a time machine where people thought, acted, and communicated differently. Its a fascinating journey that has revealed as much to me about modern society as it has about Amish society.”
Let’s face it, if the Amish dressed like we did, drove cars, and were up-to-date on the latest gadgets, we’d be less interested in them. They’re a foreign culture within our borders, one we can visit whenever we want without leaving the country.
5. We like when they mess up
I remind here, that “we” is not necessarily you or I–but I do think a good swathe of the public enjoys seeing Amish news stories when they aren’t the angels or good guys in the tale.
This is probably why the beard-cutting story spread so far and wide, or why Amish Mafia still has an audience.
When something or someone is widely portrayed as good and wholesome, an alternative showing a “dark side” is that much more intriguing.
What do you think?
Images: clothesline- Bob Jagendorf; supplements- herval; Amish buggy & mailboxes- ShipshewanaIndiana; Amish children- millsjpg; windmill- Cindy Cornett Seigle
Their lifestyle reminds us of a time when things were simple and family was important. They are like a breath of fresh air. Plus they make great food!
Great post! I think for me, it is the value of family that resonates the most. Even among those who leave their communities, there is a respect and longing to be part of their family. Things and modern society can not replace the support and presence of family. And, while I know all families have their struggles, including Amish families, knowing you are loved by so many gives an inner strength money and prestige can’t buy.
Margaret good points, and I think it’s hard to understate how appealing a sense of belonging, and also having a clear sense of identity, is.
We all desire that, and people are constantly joining groups to try to acquire that feeling (some of which do a better job than others of satisfying the need).
How do you get Google to spit out stories about the Amish? I never thought about that before being possible.
Well, not literally 🙂 I should have said gmail actually. If you have an account you can create a news alert to let you know when stories about the Amish are published. I imagine other email providers have something like this too.
I emailed you on the 21st asking you for some ideas on Amish areas to visit around Arkansas at the furthest away from me would be 4-6 hours away. Can you lead me in the right direction? I was thinking about going to Salem, Arkansas.
Salem has a small Amish community, 9 families as of the printing of the 2012 Amish directory. There is a general store there you might go to:
443 Old Ridge Trail, Salem, Ar.
Tom in Lincoln
Amish in Arkansas and southern Missouri
George, one of our contributors, Don Burke, visited Salem, and shared about that here (https://amishamerica.com/amish-salem-arkansas/) which should give you a better idea about that community.
I believe there is one other, also small community in Clay County, AR (Rector area).
Hopefully that helps. There are a lot of communities in the southern half of Missouri, not sure how far you are from the border, but maybe that’s something to consider. https://amishamerica.com/missouri-amish/
Thank You Very Much for the info I really appreciate it a lot. It will help because I will have a whole week off starting on March 20.
Thanks very much for the info on the General Store in Salem. I will definitely have to check it out when I go there.
We are all amazed and fascinated by this mystical Rumspringa rite of passage.
Rumspringa in reality tends not to be nearly as extreme as some books and articles would have it.
In my own church, those youngsters, mostly between 15 and, let’s say, 19, who had not yet joined the church were given more latitude which mostly consisted of attending movies, getting their hair cut (boys, only!) wearing store bought clothing (again, boys, only!)and even dating girls not of the Amish faith. The occasional boy might buy a car. Record players were quite common – although my own dad demolished one that he came upon hidden in the hay barn. Some might buy a musical instrument such as a guitar. All of these things, of course, were forbidden to church members.
But so far as I know, there have been NO Amish parents who looked upon their wayward youngsters without fear and worry. Truth to tell, most rumspringa didn’t last all that long- when a young man became smitten with a girl in the church it was a powerful incentive to return.
A very good explanation, Elva.
The Swartzentruber Order of Amish (the strictest and most insular) do not have a rite of living in the “forbidden” world that we know as Rumspringa. In fact, many of my former-Swartzie family & friends tell me they never heard of this word until they left & watched TV shows where the word was used.
This order does allow their teens to:
smoke (at 16 they can choose between a pipe or cigar),
have Sunday get-togethers, and
Because of their rigid & multiple rules, the Swartzentruber and some Old Order teens are reputed to be among the wildest.
If you want more details and insight into the least-known Order, you’re welcome to read my Beyond Buggies & Bonnets blog.
I’d say #4, “Quaint and Peculiar”. I know I keep drawing analogies between Plain communities and American Indians, but it seems to me the ideal of the ‘noble savage’ enters in here for both groups. Both are seen as old fashioned and peculiar by folks who are not familiar with the cultures, yet admirable in many ways. It’s why some folks, once they get acquainted with the culture, are disappointed. “Real Amish”, they say, shouldn’t use cell phones, electricity, or eat at McDonalds. “Real Indians” should be full-bloods, living in tipis (or at least, a log cabin), and have astonishing knowledge about every herb and plant in the forest. Many visitors feel cheated when the reality does not live up to their expectations.
I think another problem for some (usually progressive} folks is they see the Plain communities as wonderful, ideal communities, focusing only on the “back to nature”, rural, agricultural lifestyle. When they are confronted with the fairly conservative Christian beliefs of the community, it shakes them up a little. I guess what I’d like to get across to some of them is that people don’t live this way to amuse outsiders, or provide a picturesque day trip; it’s how people actually live and get by on a day to day basis, and I’d encourage them to learn a little more about the community they are visiting. I lot of folks, however, just want to be entertained…
I’m not talking about the folks who read this site and ask questions; the mere fact that they are here indicates they have a deeper interest in Plain doings, so it’s not meant as a criticism, just an observation.
Very well said, Forrest!
Right on, Forest! They don’t live this way to entertain the world! This is just how they live.
Yes, I think some people see Amish life (especially those who are still able to live on farms) as kind of a moving exhibit in a historical museum, because technologically, it looks like the way many of our own ancestors used to live, either in the US or in Europe. It tugs the heartstrings in the direction of nostalgia for days gone by.
Sometimes, I think they forget that for the Amish themselves, it’s TODAY, and they are not here to educate us about nineteenth-century farm life.
An experience I had in college has always given me an inkling of how the Amish may feel about visitors’ curiosity, and about those who are disappointed when they are not as technologically primitive as expected: I remember when my collegiate choir was rehearsing to sing a Latin Mass; not an actual liturgical Mass, but a classical musical piece. It was a Catholic college, so most of us choir members were Catholic, all born after Vatican II. Actual Latin Mass was not part of our lives. The choir director was not Catholic, and she expressed nostalgia for the days when the Catholic Church did everything in Latin. I remember feeling mildly offended. Our Church (or any Church) does not exist to maintain a museum for the cultural enrichment of people who do not really believe in our way of life. When we sing at a real liturgical Mass, it is not to provide a musical performance but to worship God and bond as a community and hear the Scriptures preached to help us live a life in accordance with our faith. When most people spoke Latin, it made sense to do it that way. Now that this isn’t the case, it simply doesn’t. That was our Church’s decision to make for itself; people wanting a cultural museum don’t get a vote. If the Amish were all to decide tomorrow that it would be best for their faith if they drove cars and sent their children to college, that would be their decision to make.
And yet the curiosity of those outside a particular religious community is not all bad, if it leads to learning more and coming to understand where we agree with their way of life (and may even want to adopt some aspects of it) and where we cannot reconcile it with our own deeply held beliefs and values. In this way, I think we all grow.
Indeed, this makes me wonder if an Amish person would ever point to any examples of how their own curiosity about non-Amish ways of doing things is ever a POSITIVE influence on their own community. Usually, we hear about ways it is considered a temptation and a cause for concern.
The Health Component
There is SO MUCH to admire about them. But I don’t think they are healthier than the rest of us, except for the fact that they do – obviously – get more exercise. But their diets are absolutely terrible! Ed has told us how horrified he was to learn that almost every dish served has added sugar; more than is added to our modern diet (as you know, most of our canned goods have sugar added; but theirs is more!). I can only speak for the communities he’s been a part of and families all differ; I wonder how wide spread this practice is?
The conception is that they eat lots of fresh produce, fresh dairy, all that. And they do. But you can’t add lots of sugar to everything and come out healthy. Ed says many of his Amish friends have lost most of their teeth, sadly unnecessary! Oh, and that’s another thing…they are not too good about brushing either.
They like butter and lard too. But their food and cooking is a nice treat for my family and I sometimes,
about butter and lard
Didn’t nutritionists end up deciding that butter was actually better for you than margarine, and lard better than vegetable shortening? I seem to recall it was because of trans fats in the artificially hydrogenated fats, which the natural fats don’t have.
I did think the claim about obesity genes being overcome by Amish life rang false based on what I personally see in the Amish around me. Many Amish women are obese by BMI standards. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are unhealthy, but they are fat. The men less so, especially when they are young, but many Amish men in middle age seem to develop belly fat, no matter how active their lifestyle makes them.
Perhaps the genes, or the lifestyles, are different in different communities.
Yes you are right!
Stay away from processed foods as much as possible.
I am a nurse and I have seen many “fat” people and they have great blood work. But sometimes the skinny ones…not so good and they have high cholesterol! go figure!
I would think that the limited mixing of the family genetics is more of an issue – at least on par or greater with sugar consumption. Inbreeding among the same family lines for generations has resulted in some genetic issues. Sugar consumption is insignificant in comparison when doctors can’t even come up with a name for an illness they have never encountered before.
They need an influx of new DNA into the fold in order to survive a healthy future existence.
Anne, your comment on sugar is a good one. You’re right, eating habits differ from not only community to community, but group to group and (obviously!) family to family. I’m guessing Ed’s group does not have freezers. My own opinion is the lower Amish (who can way more than we do and tend to avoid “fancy” cooking more than we do) do eat less-healthy foods AND sweeter. I have eaten in other Amish communities where the sweetness of the food has made me regret taking a generous helping very sincerely. 🙂 I can usually force myself to choke it down even though the corn might be sweeter than some of my wife’s puddings, but there was one time I just could not make myself do it. Creamed celery should be flavored more like onions or salty or whatever, but I once had it in PA where I put it in my mouth expecting salty goodness and I seriously gagged. I have had sweeter desserts than that creamed celery. 🙂 It might be very rude not to clear your plate, but I could not eat that… I watch what I take carefully depending what place I’m in!
As for dental work, around here dental health, dental check-ups & repairs, braces or the like, are accepted and common, but we see some pretty awful dental care in some communities, but even here, there are people who will hear a huge amount for dental surgery and decide it is cheaper to pull the teeth.
Thanks for your comments Mark. Even though you & I are both in Ohio, our experiences are almost polarized. My experiences with Swartzentruber is that they use their own (unlicensed), self-taught dentists. I even wrote a post, “Amish Best Kept Secret” about this unbelievable dental practice on my Beyond Buggies & Bonnets blog.
It is a well-hidden secret among Swartzies. My ex-Amish “son” Monroe told me that his settlement’s dentist (in Ohio) pulled teeth on Tuesday and Friday. The rest of the week he ran a furniture store.
Then I had the rare experience to accompany Monroe’s sister, Sarah, to get her dentures made by an Old Order Amish woman in Holmes County, Ohio. I don’t think it’s illegal to make dentures but, I did wonder about hygiene, and the cash-pay policy.
To Brenda,Yes the Swartzies live by a whole different set of guidelines than the rest of us old order Amish.We others even find many of their practices unsavory .Most of practice good hygiene and take good care of our teeth and bodies.Most of them believe all other religions are lost even more progressive Amish, while we believe WE ARE SAVED BY GRACE THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS !
Trish in Indiana
Erik, I have been very interested in this topic, especially since, like many others, I, too, am interested in “all things Amish”. AND, I have been asked this question many times by friends. Since they weren’t interested in long explanations (though goodness knows, with all the books I have collected about our Amish Sisters and Brothers, there was much I could tell them. LOL), I have thought about my own interest and attraction a lot, especially lately. And I think, at least for now, my main reason for my own fascination and admiration with their practice of religion is this: The Amish have NOT chosen “the easy way”!!! As Trish identified herself, I, too, am a practicing post-Vatican II Catholic, and my own evolving beliefs in God seem very far from the Amish…as well as from Conservative, Latin-loving Roman Catholics. But I respect, truly respect, and try to understand our differences, as I hope they respect mine. Thanks for this posting Erik. It really made me think. Judy
Judy glad you found the post worthwhile. I also suggest checking out the original list of 6 which I linked at the top. Amish life is probably easier for those who are born and raised in it than it would be for one entering from the outside, but you make a good point. They make choices within a Christian framework which sometimes aren’t the fun or easy ones to make.
I look forward to reading more responses. Right now I am grabbing some internet access at Chicago O’Hare airport. Yesterday I was a secondary victim of winter storm Remus which hit the South pretty hard and led to my flight to NC being cancelled. So I got an unplanned Chicago vacation which consisted of hanging out in a hotel room and a breakfast buffet. Hopefully I will be on a plane soon, I’m on standby for the next flight in an hour, and they say my chances are good 🙂
Sorry to hear that Erik, but it’s melting pretty fast down here at the moment….
Well I made it back to NC yesterday, just took a walk around the block, still a lot of crunchy icy snow slush on the ground right now. I see a lot of evidence of sledding from yesterday and in one yard a snowanimal (a wolf, I think–the mascot of the local university is “Wolfpack”). Someone put some work into it. In this part of the world you have to take your opportunities for snow fun when you get them.
Use of nominal "Amish" connection to get website hits
I have noticed this, particularly with books – you get some authors who are knowledgeable about the Amish, and respect their lifestyle, and some who just use Lancaster or wherever as a setting, in the same way that they would set a story on the planet Venus. I was a bit taken aback to come across two novels about same sex romance within an Amish setting – to be honest, I’d have thought the main practicable options would be either to be celibate and remain Amish, or to join a different church.
I think that one reason why the Amish are so attractive is that they sincerely seek to imitate Christ – who, in His day, was similarly attractive (and equally controversial).
If the Amish really are healthier than many others – could it have to do with lack of pollution, due to their traditional ways of doing things?
To Verity Pink, on the subject of books about the Amish-please know many of them are very misleading . I occasionally pick up one out of curiosity,and I usually end up disgusted with it . So, my advice for Amish reading materials is-stick with biographies or other true stories. As far as I know there are no same sex relationships. If you are ever in Holmes County visit the Amish-Mennonite Heritage Center.
I would be interested to see what information they use to show that the Amish are healthier than English people.
If one criteria is that the Amish don’t go to their doctors as much as English that can be true, but not because they are in better health. It seems like English people sometimes run to their doctor for just about anything. Often times they just have to pay the co-pay so they don’t care. Amish will try things on their oen before making a docotr visit. Locally the Amish have people that they turn to for health problems. Sometimes what they do works and so no need to go on further.
If you measure Amish/English health based on days in a hospital that too can be misleading. When you have to pay out of pocket for all medical procedures you try and stay at home rather than in a medical facility. Sometimes I think the Amish just put up with pains they get where as English people go to the doctor.
Tom, several years ago there was an article/study that spoke to the fact that Amish children have more allergy immunity than Swiss farm children and/or other Americans. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/04/us-kidsallergies-idUSBRE8431J9201205
There may be other studies as well but I know this is one that is often referred to.
Personally I think its a more of a myth. Amish people die from the same maladies that us Englishers do.
I do think the Amish get more exercise than the non-Amish in their day to day living which in my opinion the way we were created to exercise our bodies.
I believe we see in the Amish and other plain groups what we perceive America to have been, or what America was founded on. The plain community continues to emulate and hold up standards that most Americans grew up with, however, over time have forgotten or abandoned. Good, bad or otherwise they are a light that draws the world to them.
Thank you Terry. Succinctly and well-put. It made me think some more!
I also think we view the Amish much the way we see a Norman Rockwell or Currier & Ives painting…their life is peaceful and perfect.
I have posted before that I’ve had Amish friends most all of my life, and they still fascinate me. And I ask myself “why?” I’m still thinking! lol!
My father was born in 1907 and my mom in 1918 so I grew up hearing stories about their up bringing, and much of it was similar to Amish life. No running water or electricity and horses for work and transportation. One thing that differed was in ways to have fun. Old fashioned fun, but still a break from the work at home. For fun the Amish go to the neighbors and have a frolic of some sort “for fun”! (I realize that isn’t all that they do.) My parents talked about having house parties with music and dancing with their neighbors. Amish don’t dance and the only music they have is their singing. If they do listen to other music it’s on the sly and hope they don’t get caught. When the you-can’t-have list is so long, I think you’re just asking for rebellion. And don’t enter anything in the County Fair because that would be prideful, and had you won a ribbon, you’ll think you’re the big cheese!
Years ago I asked my ex Amish friends about their reasons why they left. A major one was to know God better, study the Bible, and the freedom to ask questions and finally get an answer! When you are raised to never question the Amish church and ministry, you end up…I’m trying to think of a word as far as how you end up…spiritually dry with no room to grow. Once you get past the thought of going to hell because you are now driving a car instead of a buggy, you become “alive in Christ!” The yoke of bondage has now been lifted!
King James Bible translation
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
I would disagree with some of what you wrote. I would never think that driving a car would send a person to hell! I’m reminded of a saying I have heard: Not all Amish are Christians, but not all Christians are Amish. What you are writing might well be true is a very conservative setting (not feeling free to ask questions or dig into scriptures and discuss them) but assuming all Amish are like that is unfair. I can’t remember ever being told that asking questions is not acceptable and I’ve sat in on and taken part in countless discussions on how scriptures relate to our lives today. Besides that, in our setting anyone who wishes to get a car can easily join a local Beachy or Mennonite group and have all the conveniences of a car or electric or whatever and not be considered as “lost” or however you’d put it. For those living in any setting (Amish or not) that don’t feel they have a chance to grow or learn, I feel sorry. My personal faith or relationship with Christ as NEVER felt like bondage to me. For me the way I live and conduct myself is my here-and-now understanding of applying New Testament scriptural teachings to my life.
On the fun issue, you are right — I don’t dance or listen to music or enter things in the fair, but those aren’t the things I consider my personal version of fun anyhow. 🙂 So what IS fun for an Amish guy in Holmes County? Reading, playing chess or Settlers, boating & bike riding, working in our yard, sitting around a campfire with friends & family talking and singing together, going to visit friends, a cup of coffee in the early morning stillness on my back porch, seeing friends & family at frolics, church, weddings, reading the daily paper & news magazines, going out to eat, camping or taking a walk across the fields, getting & replying to letters, and on and on…. Hmmm… I’m not sure when I’d have TIME for dancing! 🙂
“The yoke of bondage has now been lifted!” And replaced by what? the yoke of the world? Believe me, if it’s not the guidelines of scripture and the church you follow, you will end up following those of the world. While I may not agree with all of them 100%, I appreciate our church setting up Bible based guidelines for members, as opposed to the “anything goes” attitude that most mainstream churches have today.
Living the Amish life, or Mennonite life is no guarantee of Heaven, but leaving it doesn’t in and of itself improve your chances either. If your heart isn’t right, it doesn’t matter where you attend worship, what you wear, or what you drive. I’ve seen enough folks who left Plain churches who simply never replaced that lifestyle with anything, spiritually speaking. They just wanted worldly things. I’m not saying that’s the case all the time or even most of the time, but it does happen…
Yoke or freedom?
I heard a wonderful metaphor recently that relates to this. As believers know from scripture and experience, when a person is born again, the old man who lived by the lusts of the flesh dies, and the new man is alive in Christ, as a new member of the Kingdom of Heaven.
For a person who is not born again, whose old man still lives, living by the scripture-inspired “rules” is like being buried alive.
Personally, when I became saved, I felt like I had just woken up to the fact that I had been living in a dark prison my whole life, and suddenly someone showed me a window I could fly through to freedom. Once my family had “escaped,” finding a church that lives daily by both faith and obedience was the greatest relief and freedom. Had we tried to “go plain” before that time, we would have quickly felt buried and bruised.
I really like the way you put that, Naomi. I agree!
My own exact testimony!!
Terry the freedom from the yoke of bondage is freedom from Old Testament law and not from New Testament law.
Sadly too many people fail to discern this and as Forrest mentions, they replace the NT yoke with worldly bondage imagining themselves to be free and never once considering that they have by their disobedience, become one with the forsaken and not one with God.
I remember as a kid we had this tube thing called a kaleidoscope. You looked through the one end while turning the other end and all sorts of wonderful patterns lined up.
I find one can do the same with scripture, its amazing to see the thread or line of thought that connects when scriptures are matched up. For example concerning those who have turned to the false promise of worldly freedom and abandoned NT commands:
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
2Jn 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
1Ti 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
2Jn 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
2Jn 1:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
And some additional verses for those who falsely teach one can live as the unsaved do in gross worldly decadence and still be saved.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world
James 4:4 know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
2Cor 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
2Cor 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
For me the Amish are my Christian yardstick. I measure every group against them. Is the group closer to the Amish or to Hollywood?
I think the groups who at least practice head covering during worship and adult baptism is where I draw the line.
Everyone on the other side of the line can be described as mislead non-believers who have been convinced by false teachers that they are believers, but by their worldly lifestyles and disobedience it shows they are still unbelievers who have neither the truth, the way or the life. If they did they would be more like the Amish and less like Hollywood.
Thank you Dirk
This was our sermon text last Sunday.
7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
After worship I commented to our pastor, “Thanks for the thinking sermon!” And his response was, “Then I’m doing my job.” It comes as a good reminder for all of us Christians.
Years ago I had a conversation with an Amish man and he said, we’re no different than you are. I’ve never forgotten that line. There are good and bad apples in the basket of Christian life. Jesus is the common denominator for all denominations, and it’s those that sit in a pew or on a bench where it gets complicated.
Excellent point, Terry! And the man you talked with was so right — we are all human and have the same emotions and share the same struggles in our spiritual lives.
Thanks for the thoughts Terry.
Every church looks through the kaleidoscope, that Dirk mentioned, and they give their own impression of what they see. Debating what one see’s, or doesn’t, or trying to force others to see what you see, does me little good. I need to find what resonates with me and work out my own salvation.
Liked your comment
I realised recently that although Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth, He never promised it would be a linear progression. Which means that, although I may be able to say whether something is in accordance with the truth in an absolute sense, I can never judge a Christian brother or sister’s maturity or commitment by whether s/he has fully embraced that particular truth – because the person concerned may be living out some truth that I haven’t begun to apprehend.
I think that it was C.S. Lewis who said that we should look to see which direction a person is facing, not how far they have got.
Where’s the darn “like” button when you need it? 🙂
Terry or Mark
I was trying to remember this scripture a while back because I was writing to an Amish man and after a little time passed of us writing I told him my story and it wasn’t pretty by any means and after that I never heard from him ever again and it made me feel that he was judging me and it upset me and I almost wrote him back and told him how I feel about him judging me but I just gave up
To Terry in Wisconsin
Hey ,I feel it’s sad that you confine all Amish in the same box.Please realize there are many misconceptions out there about us.We are Bible believing Christians who live the way we do because we believe in Jesus. You are free to live your life your way. The main point is where do we stand with Christ,not our peers or the world around us . Let my life be a light !
I just wanted to add this link for how to set a gmail alert I found on Youtube in case somebody wanted to be able to do it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4N_4-SKCug
Thank you George, I’m sure that will be helpful.
Your Welcome Very Much and I was hoping you wouldn’t mind me adding a YouTube link
Tom A Geist
Thank you very much. If I end up in Salem I will definitely go to that store. Mach’s gut
I have always been interested in the Amish but it wasn’t until I started to read reputable books about them (which dispelled a lot of the myths I had learned) that I found a desire to live their simple life. However, joining the Amish faith was not my desire since I do not agree with some of their theology. Also living their exact lifestyle is impractical since it would require leaving family to move to a settlement far away and I am above the age of farming and a widow. I think it is more the heart of the Amish life, family, set apart, non violence that attract me. I read the book “Almost Amish” (Can’t remember authors name) and saw a way to live Almost Amish in today’s society. I struggle to even accomplish her way of life. As for healthier, I don’t believe it. LOL
To all of you – Please try to understand that there are many different groups of Amish with as many different lifestyles. But we’re all just people.
I agree with you because everybody is different in there own little way.
Rebecca, good points. I do think a lot of people on this site recognize that there are different types of Amish and lifestyles. It’s not exactly common knowledge though. Thanks for your perspective on this and other topics here.