After a little hiatus, I’ve still got a couple more podcasts from Donald Kraybill’s “What I Learned From The Amish” series to share with you. In this eighth episode, he explores that characteristic trait espoused (and generally demonstrated) by Amish, humility.
He starts with an example of why Amish don’t seek media attention – at least not the type that exalts the individual. He looks at the inversion of prioritizing community over self – quite different from the typical modern approach today. Amish people can cite many Scripture passages against pride and for humility. Humility and pride can even be transmitted through body language and other aspects of movement and demeanor.
The topic of photographs is also covered. Intentionally cooperating and posing for a photo transforms it into a marker of pride, in this Amish way of thinking. Being humble is also not about judging others in God’s place. God decides who goes to Heaven. This approach also plays into the tendency of Amish not to proselytize. Amish believe they should witness by being like a light on a hill, as Jesus urged his disciples in the Sermon on the Mount. “Humility for them generates respect for other ways of believing.”
Kraybill contrasts Amish views of salvation with those of Evangelicals, and describes the “living hope” of salvation typical of Amish. He also shares a description of the memorial for the girls killed in the Nickel Mines shooting, and ways that the Amish example has affected him.
Donald B. Kraybill is professor of sociology emeritus at Elizabethtown College and senior fellow in the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies. An internationally recognized scholar, he has published many books and professional essays on the Amish and other Anabaptist communities in North America. His most recent book, What the Amish Teach Us is available from Johns Hopkins University Press and Amazon.
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