Reader Alyssa writes:

I have one question about the Swartzentruber Amish: do they have assurance of salvation? To put it bluntly, do they have Jesus in their hearts in order to go to heaven? Are they true Christians?

In fact, I think this is 2, or even 3 separate questions.  I can take a shot at the first, though.

Most Amish do not believe in assurance of salvation.  When asked, many would express a “living hope” of salvation.  Most Amish feel that claiming to definitively know the state of one’s soul would be presumptuous and prideful.

However, New Order Amish (comprising roughly 3% of all Amish) do believe in assurance of salvation.  Hurst and McConnell also note that some Holmes County Old Order Amish have gradually become more open to New Order spirituality.

Swartzentruber Amish, being the “lowest” and arguably most oriented towards tradition, would probably be among the least likely to hold an assurance viewpoint, or at least to openly express sympathy towards it.

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