Are Swartzentruber Amish “saved”?

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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    1. Alice Aber


      This is sure to spawn a debate I believe. Well here are my thoughts on the subject, for what they are worth.

      I believe there is no such thing as guaranteed salvation. We can fall out of God’s grace!! In Matthew 26: 31-46 Jesus tells us that not all people who believe they are Christians and saved will enter the Kingdom of heaven. Come judgement day He will separate the sheep from the goats of those “believers” and the goats will be comdemmed to hell.

      We first must have faith and believe in Jesus as Messiah but with that faith comes certain responsibilities. They go hand in hand. You can not have one without the other and expect to get into heaven.

      I think too many people think, “OK, I believe in Jesus, that is enough to get me into heaven and I can live life on my terms in the meantime.” Unfortunately, that is not true.

      I actually believe the Amish, in general, are more biblically correct on this issue. “Once saved, always saved”, is a false teaching in my opinion.

      Blessings, Alice

      1. Delesa

        I believe

        I believe your scripture reference is incorrect. I took the time out to search under your reference and it is about the Passover and the night in the garden. Jesus being betrayed and really wanting some company from his disciples.

        I have a tendency to actually read the scripture someone talks about instead of taking their word for it.

      2. Falling from Grace

        First of all read John 3:16, Everlasting means just what it says. When we receive Christ the Holy Spirit comes and dwells in us, John 14:17. We may grieve the Holy Spirit but you will not find anywhere in Scripture where He leaves us. God tells us that we can’t be cast out in John 6:37, nor can we be plucked out, John 10:28 nor can we fall out, Jude 24. The term some use for losing Salvation is found in Galatians 5:4 and it means to try to put Grace back under the law, not losing ones Salvation.

    2. Oh, I’m not getting into the theological side of this – although I can. My counter-question for the person asking is why they might feel concerned. Some Protestant groups feel they must have the assurance of salvation; others, like the Amish (and Anglicans) believe that only God knows who will be “saved”. Some groups will not fellowship with those who hold a different opinion on assurance of salvation. And others want to evangelize those who hold the older, more traditional view.

      It is more orthodox to hold that there is no assurance of salvation until the day of judgment.

      1. dennis swartzentruber

        growing up amish

        Growing up Amish in Ohio I will just make this short and sweet being honest is not sure that you got to have it but having Jesus living in your heart and the blood of Christ appled to your life makes the difference I do loved the Amish way of life I love the serenity of its peacefulness there’s no hustle bustle it is extremely surreal so I’m about to say is going to send people but it’s the truth I lived in for 18 years my dad threw me out when I came back from a Metallica concert . there are individual Amish that have a relationship with Jesus my mom tells me that she is an exception of how she thinks .. I’m amish to go to heaven I love the way of life and I love Jesus that’s good enough for me. 98 perent amish live a works based life which is pretty much just like all of society most of society believes you if you’re a good he’ll go to heaven but that’s actually all wrong the Bible clearly states our righteousness is as filthy rags it is by the grace of God that we are saved through faith in Jesus Jesus has to be personal in your life amish has nothing to do with it I’ll never forget I asked amish one time when he gets to Heaven why should Jesus let you in and he said to me because I am amish I looked at him and I said wow sad he got very angry and you asked me why should he let me in and I told him he shouldn’t but because what jesus did on the cross

        1. Dennis:
          You should think again about what you are saying. This site is not for theological discussions, but just want to leave something with you to think on, and not expecting any reply.
          You said, “most of society believes if you’re a good he’ll go to heaven but that’s actually all wrong”
          Please look up and reflect upon what the Bible has to say about the final judgment. Every judgment scene in the Bible tells us that our final destiny is going to be based upon our works. Revelation 20:12 and 13 repeat two verses in a row that heaven and hell we based upon our works. There are about a dozen places in the NT that also tell the same thing, with some explicitly saying that those who have done good will go to heaven while those who have done evil will go to hell.
          Then you say, “the Bible clearly states our righteousness is as filthy rags.”
          Please look up the context of that quote in the OT, from where it originated. Many people interpret that phrase to mean, “everything everybody ever does good is a filthy rag in God’s eyes.” But, it better fits the original context to mean that “at this present time, we are presenting to God our own set of rights and wrongs rather than submitting to what God has laid out as right and wrong.” For example, a Christian who marries a divorced person is putting on a filthy rag. A Christian that lies is putting on a filthy rag. But a Christian that speaks the truth to his own hurt is putting on the righteousness of God, and God loves it!
          Then you wrote, “it is by the grace of God that we are saved through faith in Jesus.” Absolutely!
          “For the grace of God has appeared …” (For what purpose?)
          “… that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we would live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.”
          If grace is not causing us to live righteously in this present world, we do not have the true grace of God.
          Walk carefully, my friend. I have seen a lot of Amish jump out of the frying pan … right into the fire!!!
          Peace be with you, the kind of peace that makes you a peacemaker in a world of self-centeredness.

    3. Katie Troyer

      I am only going to answer the question. Yes, some maybe a few Swartzentruber’s are saved and have the assurance of salvation. The few that have shared this with me are not Swartzentruber now, but they were when God saved them.

    4. Marilyn

      I think what these are saying….you CAN know you are saved, but if you don’t do what you know to be right, you CAN also LOSE it.

      We need to be faithful if we want assurance of Heaven someday! Just saying we believe in Jesus or love Him isn’t enough to get us there!

    5. Damon Hickey

      Many evangelical Christians assume that what they believe about salvation is “orthodox” and “truly Christian.” But theirs is only one version of “orthodox” Christianity, and a relatively-recent one at that.

      Within the New Testament itself, there is more than one view. Paul goes to great lengths to say that salvation is by faith alone, apart from works. But James says that faith without works is dead. For hundreds of years, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians agreed that both faith and works were important, AND that there was no salvation outside the church. That led to abuses by the Roman Catholic Church, which led in turn to the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther reaffirmed Paul’s position and condemned James’s. But even Luther was troubled by fears and doubts about his own salvation. And Luther’s fellow-reformer John Calvin made it clear that only God could know who was saved.

      The belief that “having Jesus in your heart” is all that’s required for salvation, and that one can be saved as an individual, without the church, is a relatively-modern idea (19th Century), born out of American frontier individualism. Swartzentruber and Old Order Amish are much more “orthodox” than that, at least in the older sense. In some ways, I think, they resemble pre-Vatican II Catholics more than evangelical Protestants. They believe their ordained leaders’ interpretation of Scripture is superior to any individual layperson’s interpretation. They prefer to read Scripture in a “sacred” language (Martin Luther’s German translation) rather than in their own tongue. And they see baptism as initiation into life in Christ (marked outwardly by humility and obedience to the Ordnung), rather than as the decisive moment when they “get saved.”

    6. Buck Kidd


      Romans 10:13 says “for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”

      I believe that the verse you cited is the people who only outwardly appear to be Christians and have never accepted the free gift of salvation. I can say I have personal knowledge of people who believed they were saved only by church membership. My reply to them is if you stand in a garage does that make you a car?

      I do not have the scripture in front of me but check out the scripture where the Lord says no one can pluck anyone from his hand.

      Take care…love this site…thanks Erik


    7. Alice Aber

      I appreciate your point Buck,,, however, I do disagree with your interpretation of Matthew.

      I do agree that church membership does not guarantee salvation.

      I do not believe salvation is free. We are required two things, first faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior and second, living the life he commanded us to live. If nothing more was expected of us than to confess Jesus as Lord and Savior why would he bother to teach us how he expected us to live?

      At any rate it is what I believe and I do not force my beliefs on others.

      Take care and be blessed!

    8. Christina

      I personally don’t like being categorized at “saved” or “not saved”. We don’t use that terminology in my church. When we get into that kind of judgement, we start to point fingers at perfectly good churches and people because they don’t believe the same as us. It also opens the door to legalism.

      I have a friend who once got told she wasn’t “saved” because she had short hair! It was not that person’s place to say that to my friend.

      I had a customer (I work in a Christian bookstore) once who asked me who taught me to dress in long skirts and have long hair because in his denomination that’s how the women dressed. He was rather surprised when I told him that I go to an Episcopal church and that the way I dress is between the Lord and me. I just like and am more comfortable in longer skirts and more plain and modest clothing. I do feel that the Lord is guiding me in this direction of dress, but I don’t believe that He’ll keep me out of heaven if I wear pants.

      God is the one who knows what is in my heart and He is the final judge.

    9. Jory

      Appears to me the questioner has a strong opinion of who or who is not a Christian depending on some specific criteria. With so many various Christian denominations and the time it would take to be proficiently educated in each, I wouldn’t have a clue, except to say I believe most followers of Christian denominations believe themselves Christians. My own Christian religion informs me that I will be judged for my sins more harshly if I judge others, thus I shall refrain from judging others. It’s a full time job working toward my own salvation and following the Lord’s will for me.

    10. Benuel Blank treats the question of assurance in his book The Amazing Story of the Ausbund. This would be more of a New Order approach, but Benuel brings out that the early Anabaptists were not afraid to express a positive feeling of being in good standing with God. Yet, this “assurance” was NOT exactly in the same tone as the somewhat arrogant assurance that comes from the Great Awakening revivalist experience. It was–as Erik mentions–expressed more as a living hope, not a dead-set-sure “I know-so” salvation.
      A “living hope” is contrasted with a dead hope in that a dead hope is just a “I sure hope it rains this week so my crops dont dry up.” A living hope is a hope that springs up in a man when he sees the clouds coming and smells the rain in the air. He has a living hope that it is soon going to rain–even though it hasnt happened yet and could even not happen. But the prospects look pretty strong at the moment! Hope wells up within him!
      In contrast I will use a real example that happened to me. I was with a friend who was in a conversation with a Baptist fellow. This Baptist was saying he had a “know-so” salvation. “I know that I know that I know that I am saved. Why, I could pull a gun out of my pocket and shoot you dead right now and I would still go to heaven!”
      Some of the reluctance in Plain churches to accept “assurance of salvation” stems from reaction to this type of foolish statements. But I have to say from my experience that some of the reluctance stems from people not serious in their relationship with God. And if you know you are not really serious in serving God, you probably wont feel like going around making great statements about your assurance, and in fact such statements will probably irk you a bit since your own heart is not right. And I am not picking on Old Order Amish, lukewarmness happens in all kinds of churches … ayyy and in my own heart if I am not careful!

    11. Alyssa

      OK, this is the original Alyssa here: I do want to say one thing, if people can not have assurance of salvation, then what was the point of Jesus dying on the cross? What is the point of John 3:16? And if we don’t have assurance of salvation, then how can we say that Christianity is different than any other relgion? Do we not say here in america that Jesus is the only way to heaven? WHY is He the only way to heaven? Because He died on the cross to give us eternal life, He died for humanity’s sins. We CAN know we are saved simply because the Son of Man died on the cross, and He rose again. Christianity is the only relgion where God comes to US, we don’t have to do good works to get to heaven–which is what ALL the other relgions do.

      1. ChristianGirl


        I totally agree!

    12. Alyssa, what does this have to do with the Swartzentruber Amish, or the Amish in general? This isn’t a theological forum, after all. Are you concerned about their salvation, or are you interested in joining an Amish group that supports your view of salvation? If so, you will have to check by church district to see what the local bishop and ministers teach.

    13. Alyssa

      one thing more every Christian knows that after accepting Jesus in their hearts come the earthly responsibilities. I am talking about people going to heaven based on their faith. Yes people still sin, but you must indeed repent and ask God to forgive you any time that you do sin and feel conviction about it, and then He forgives you. Some of you are mixing Christian duties and values as something that HAS to be done in order to get to heaven, that is incorrect. What IS needed though is for someone to ask Jesus into their hearts–that is the way to get into heaven because a person is accepting the way to heaven.

    14. Alyssa

      oh! hi there. To answer your question, yes I am interested in both. I want to become Amish, but I am looking for the type of amish that has assurance of salvation. I had liked the Swartzentruber the best because they are more conservative–but I was wondering if they were belivers. Yes, they do believe in God and have knowledge of Him, but so do demons, as one of the bible books say. But what makes a believer different from demons is that Jesus is in their hearts.

      1. pamela clayton

        you may be independent baptist

        Hi it sounds like you may be an independent baptist. I am an independent baptist and we live very conservatively as well. We live our lives completely by Gods word the King James Bible 1611 and are fundamental. For the most part women in our church do not wear pants and are modest in dress and adornment such as extreme jewerly. My family and I dont listen to any music of the world at all only hymns of faith and uplifting songs, no rock type music and we also do not watch tv or go out to movies, on occasion very rarely we go to movies for my youngest daughter who is 8 only for a G movie only. Im telling you this because if you are indeed saved you can come out from among them however, we must witness for the Lord and if we cannot do that we are failing his greatest command, willing that none shall perish.. we cannot have just our testimony being seperated from the world we cannot tell people of Jesus and how to be saved that way. If it is true that they believe that they dont have eternal salvation depending only on what Christ has done on Calvary, you are unequaly yoked to them because once saved always saved. Romans 3;23, 3;10 John 3;3 Titus 3;5 Acts 4;12 Ephesians 2;8*9 1st peter 3;18 Issaih 53;5 2nd Corinthians 5;19 Colossians 1;14 Romans 10;13 Acts 16;31 and Romans 10;9 I hope this helps you. Mainly we know our salvation is real when there is a new change I have that and thank God I do know and I have peace that the world does not know. God Bless YOu.

      2. Are Swartzentruber saved.

        I am friends with a Sw. Amish family and have been so for about 15 years. Some have spent the night at our home when the need arises. We have stayed on their property in our camper and vist with them. Last time we spend 10 days with them. We eat with with them,play games,and they sing hymns for us. Since we are ‘English we cannot attend weddings, or church services. Thy cannot go for rides with us in our truck/car unless it is for medicals issues. We go with them in their buggy for visits to children who live nearby. We love them, and respect their Church rules l00%. Outsiders would not fit in, nor would they accept you. Join a Catholic church and follow the teachings and you will know what its like to be Amish.

    15. Alyssa:
      Your statements (I take them as sincere questions) reflect the general Protestant misunderstanding of Anabaptist theology. Trying to impose a Protestant view of Christianity on Anabaptism will result in confusion and shaking of heads. Why a buggy? What does black socks have to do with Christianity? and etc.
      Anabaptism (from which the Amish are one branch) was simply built on another paradigm of what the “Gospel” really was. I wont even begin to explain it here (and I wont even claim that I understand it all). But if I could put it in a sentence, Anabaptism does not see getting to heaven as the main point of being a Christian. The main point is to glorify God with a righteous and holy life, while on Planet Earth. Being a Christian is to manifest the character of God by a godly life.
      If you are interested in the theological aspect of Anabaptism, I would recommend Robert Friedmann’s The Theology of Anabaptism as a starting point. It is sort of academical, but frank. (Friedmann was of Austrian Jewish origin, and became a Mennonite after doing a thesis on the Hutterites. He was so impressed with what he termed “existential” Christianity that he found in Hutterite writings that he spent the rest of his life writing and studying Anabaptist history and theology, in particular, the Hutterites.)

    16. Alyssa

      I have tried every whichway to get a district almanac, but without success. I have researched amish theology since I was in 8th grade, and the more I have researched the more I have found there are many different types of amish. But, for example, I can see that maybe one Swartzentruber district might have assurance of salvation, whereas some do not–it all in the matter of investigating as you say, which I do investigate all the time.
      How would I find out what each district teaches? Thru Plain contacts or perhaps the amish telephone/address book?

    17. Alyssa, there are other Plain living groups closer to your understanding of salvation. It is not a basic point of anabaptist theology. I think you are wasting your time in this particular search. Try the German brethren, for instance. “Mainstream” Amish are much closer to traditional Orthodox and Anglican theology than you might realize. Please look over the informative comment from “Primitve Christianity” above. He is quite knowledgable about this.

    18. Alyssa

      Christians can live the Christian culture however they want to—from conservative homemaker to modern woman–it is all a matter of what culture they have chosen to follow, and what bible teachings they choose to literally live out. I am a conservative, wearing long dresses wannabe homemaker kinda woman. I wear a headcovering, and I happen to attend a Pentecostal church! Does that matter? no, but I am not concerned with how Christians choose to follow Christ–I am concerned with, “Do they have Jesus in their hearts to go to heaven?” Here is an example: what if the current government all forced us to live nonconservatively? That would send many into panic wondering how will they live up to Jesus’ standards? Indeed, many would become martyrs as they do today in communist countries–but how do the Christians who are forced to hide their religion know they are going to heaven? Answer: not because of their lifestyle, but because they have Jesus in their hearts. That is how they know they are going to heaven. And if more American Christians would quit being lax about their evangelism duties then maybe more people would know the truth. I have studied Christian theology of all 4 main branches since I was 9. I have come to learn that tradition can not save one’s spirit–only Jesus can, and He will offer to you eternal life thru Him. I am not against living Christian culture-like and following what the Bible says–indeed I am for it. I am just saying that the way one lives doesn’t show them if they will go to heaven. Having Jesus in your heart shows that–and that is the defining pivotal moment of anyone’s life–that shows what is so different and unique about Christians to unbelievers. When one has Jesus in their heart, unbelievers will wonder what is that you got, what is it that makes you so confident and happy no matter if you live in prison or are dying as a martyr or that you are able to forgive your abusers.

    19. Alyssa:
      You write:
      “I am just saying that the way one lives doesn’t show them if they will go to heaven.”
      In this point, you will find a major clash with conservative Anabaptist groups. I am not saying you are right or wrong (although I have a pretty strong opinion on that, I wont say it here … my view is beside the point at the moment :-)). I am simply saying that conservative Anabaptist groups like the Amish will as a rule have some pretty serious objections to such a statement. If you try to find a conservative group that agrees with the sentence you wrote, well, about the best thing I can offer “Good luck!” 🙂
      Again, on the point of “make you so confident and happy” would clash with the old Anabaptist view that salvation is not about making men happy, but about glorifying God.

    20. Lance

      Raber’s Almanac originates from Raber’s Book Store, 2467 CR 600, Baltic, OH 43804.

      I do not know how much they cost from them direct, so you’ll have to write and ask. The front half is a almanac of sorts, the back half is the minister’s list by district. There are two versions, one in english, the other in German. The ministers list does not indicate group fellowship or Order, except to show Ohio Swartzentrubers and PA Nebraska Amish. Swartztentrubers in other states are not indicated. There are so many districts that it would be next to impossible to write letters to them all.

      I do not believe you will find a Swartzentruber or Nebraska group that expresses “assurance of salvation”. If there are now some Old Orders that express such in Holmes Co, they are probably the only Old Orders to do so.

      I was a believer in assurance of salvation, but I am slowly questioning the doctrine more and more. James clearly wrote that faith without works is a dead faith. James also said he would show you his faith BY his works. Read all of James 2. The works follow the faith. Works are not separable from faith. If you don’t do the works of God’s will, you have a faulty faith. John 14:15 and 21-24, also John 15:14 Jesus’ commandments are the whole Bible, IMHO, your opinion is probably different!

      1. Ora

        believe and be saved

        In John chap 6:28 the question was asked. What shall we do to do the works of God Jesus said this is the works that you believe in Him. I am the bread of life that will give you life not by works. [In my paraphrase] Also if we truly believe, we will know He lives in us. I would love to say that most Amish have a relationship with God. But when you talk to them they only hope to have done enough to get to heaven. They appear to live under fear of man in pleasing there standard. I could say more but will leave it with this. We must have a relationship in order to know Him. Spirit will confirm with Spirit that we are children of God. Blessings

      2. Carla Banks-Williams

        To Lance re: SW Amish

        Lance, although its been two years since this forum was opened, I found it while investigating info on Amish salvation doctrine. I have always admired the Amish way of life, because of their putting into practice what they believe. I also subscribe to St. James’ charge that “faith without Works is dead.” I few up as both Lutheran and Catholic simultaneously, and have formally studied many other religions, both Christian and non. I was taught by both sides that if you have faith in Jesus, you will want to follow His ways. I have read do many doctrinal arguments that it Would make my head spin, if I let it! But, I agree with you. We are saved by grace, but not by lip service to it. If we believe, we will DO, not as means to currying points or favor, but because if we have faith in Christ, them w will be moved to be “Christlike,” which its, after all, the definition of being a Christian. P.S. I am Roman Catholic now… some would say a Gospel/charismatic Catholic, because that its the style of church my family (husband, 4 daughters and I attend.)… Carla

    21. Kate

      Alyssa (are you the one I talked to on Amish Living)?,

      There are more and more Old Order’s expressing their belief in Salvation and Assurance of Salvation.

      I am saved by the Grace of God. The Bible tells me that I am going to Heaven. Here is the thing about works, ever since I’ve accepted Jesus into my heart my desire has been to obey God’s Word…aka please God by my works and my life. You can’t get to Heaven on works alone, you need Jesus. But it seems to me that if you accept and really love Jesus you would have a strong want to do His Will and obey His Word.

      Just my thoughts.

    22. Alyssa, you can communicate with me through my own blog if you want help in discernment.Just drop a comment into any of the posts and we will talk privately if you wish. If you roll over my name my blog address should come up or google magdalena perks or anglican plain.

    23. I think that we are assured of salvation if we wholeheartedly accept Jesus but I think that most of us do not really do that. We might do it to perhaps 98% but I think there is always something working against that. Therefore I think that we are in fact rarely completely assured but we might be pretty close. I think that the phrase ‘living hope of salvation’ describes me better than ‘assured of salvation’ although I must say that I am not scared that I might not be saved and I do not believe that works is the way to god. My experience is that god saved me and changed me and strongly believe that this is a connection to god that will last forever. Do I know that for sure? No, but it is strong enough to not fear.

    24. Annette

      Hi, Alyssa.
      I don’t know how old you are, but I too began searching out plain Anabaptist churches when I was in 8th grade. (I’m now 35, and was in a Baptist church at the time. I began researching the Anabaptists because it appeared to me they were serious about their faith–moreso that the kids who were drinking and having sex and considered themselves Christians in my town.). (I was mostly interested in the Amish because their lifestyle fascinated me so, and I thought it would be easier to live as JEsus wanted me to, if I were Amish.) I met many fine Amish folks and Mennonite folk. I worshipped with the Mennonites, in the end. Wore plain clothes. Gave up music, theatre, secular literature. Fortunately, I did go to college, with the intent of becoming Amish or Mennonite when I left). Even after grad school, I continued my mostly “Mennonite lifestyle” with my husband and conservative church.
      I know you probably want what you feel the Amish have to offer, and you want it very, very, badly. If you would like to chat with someone who has traveled the road you want to be on, please feel free to reply and I’ll find a way we can make contact.


    25. Eli

      I was curious why the question was asked. Having been part of an Amish church that did not believe in assurance of salvation as a matter of policy, I find it hard to imagine why anyone would choose to pursue becoming part of such a church. The experience would be difficult and trying for both them and you. It will not result in having an Amish church that experiences the freedom of grace as the two systems (grace and legalism) are very much at odds. Grace fully understood would without doubt in my mind end the Amish way. My personal opinion-without assurance of salvation, you have no real message of hope. Sorry to rain on your party, Alyssa!

    26. Eli,
      “Grace fully understood” would end Evangelicalism in the eyes of an Anabaptist. It boils down to what “grace” is: A lifetime supply of “Get out of Hell free” cards, or a lifetime supply of power to obey the teachings of Jesus while on earth.
      In the article Broken Clock Salvation, Dean Taylor gives the scary story of how one person was totally assured of his salvation to the point that he thought he could commit mass murder and still go to heaven.
      I’m not a Swartzentruber, obviously, and have no plans to be one. 🙂 Just presenting the other side of the “assurance of salvation” question … and why the Amish (and myself, more and more, even though a decade ago I was fairly strong on the point) dont take such claims too seriously.
      My son’s memory verses for school this week haunt me strangely at the moment, “By this we do know that we know him …”
      By the feelings of assurance that we have?
      “… if we keep his commandments. He that sayeth, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar.” 1 John 2:3-4
      Oh, and “Ye shall know them by their testimony of assurance of salvation.” Oops, guess I quoted that wrong! 🙂

    27. Jessica

      I’m a fairly new Anabaptist but as I understand it, there are two “phases” to salvation. We’re saved now by having Jesus in our hearts and our sins forgiven, but we have to continue in faith and obedience in order to attain the final salvation at judgment. So we believe in “assurance of salvation” as in that we can’t lose our salvation from some outside force, but we can forfeit it by being disobedient.

    28. Henry Troyer

      What a lively discussion! I do not like to be asked if someone is saved. I prefer to leave that to the Lord our Saviour to decide. To that question, I usually reply, “He/she sorta acts like it,” or the converse if that seems more appropriate!

    29. Annette

      I also suggest that you Google “Swartzentruber Ordnung rules” and learn more about them. Rules regarding what underwear one can wear, when one can have sex with one’s spouse, what types of batteries may be used in an appliance (the ones that are allowed), how many baths you can take a week (and many, many, MANY, more rules) may all be a part of a Swartzentruber Ordnung. You’ll have to decide for yourself if that’s the sort of Christianity you’re after.

    30. Alyssa

      “I am saved by the Grace of God. The Bible tells me that I am going to Heaven. Here is the thing about works, ever since I’ve accepted Jesus into my heart my desire has been to obey God’s Word…aka please God by my works and my life. You can’t get to Heaven on works alone, you need Jesus. But it seems to me that if you accept and really love Jesus you would have a strong want to do His Will and obey His Word.” I agree with what Ms. Kate said here. She summarized what I have been trying–unluckily I think–to express this whole time.
      To Ms. Annette, I would love to email with you. My email is
      Finally all I want to say is this: assurance of salvation is important to me because He has saved my life–Jesus has helped me to endure and to survive more than anyone here could know. And I won’t ever shut up about Him, because after He died on the cross for me, it is a simple matter to evangelize. I think I might become New Order Amish–that would solve my problems–they live conservatively, I would be better able to shelter my future children from the sinful mainstream culture that is around us, and they have assurance of salvation. I live 2 counties above Holmes so it shouldn’t be too hard to find a New Order district.

    31. Katie Troyer

      If you want to be Amish I think you are making a wise choice. In fact the best choice.

    32. Viz. Swartzentruber Ordnung rules
      While the ordnung seems farout, the fact is that we all have limits and standards we go by. Most of us Christians are not where the Swartzentruber are concerning the lines of modesty and separation, but we still have lines. Maybe we limit ourselves to X amount of time on the Internet, Y amount of calories, we wont wear two-piece bikinis in public, we may will only drink so much alcohol, or none at all. We wont wear extremely gaudy colors, we watch what kind of swear words we might use, we dont buy certain kinds of lewd magazines, we dont buy expensive brands. We either obey the speed limit, or have a certain amount that we try to keep within. Etc and etc.
      We live by hundreds of “standards” and guidelines, we just dont write them out. If they were written out, they may not be as strict as a Swartzentruber, but they would make a mighty long list.
      Point two: take all ex-members’ (of religious groups) descriptions with at least three grains of salt. The Amish Deception site might need four. 🙂

    33. Jessica

      What I have a problem with is churches that enforce obedience to the near exclusion of heart Christianity. The outward is very pious, but the inward is absolutely undone. Both inward and outward Christianity must be taught.

    34. You hit the nail on the head for groups like the Amish, Jessica. But the other side of the coin is a far greater problem in mainstream America: The inward is [supposedly] very pious, but the outward is absolutely undone.
      A lot of talk and little walk.
      Hmm. Maybe it is time I quit commenting on this post. 🙂

    35. Jessica

      I totally agree Mike. Remember faith without works is dead. How can you expect anyone to believe you’re inwardly right with God when you aren’t outwardly holy?

    36. Kate

      Feel free to email me if you want to talk more. I’m planning on joining an Old Order Amish church (Lord Willing) but it’s one (of a few) that believes in assurance of Salvation. A lot of New Order would too (if not all?). Just email me and I can try and answer any questions. I’m sure Erik could help too if you emailed him. Anyways my email is: and my blog is

      God bless, Kate

    37. Annette

      Yes, the Amish Deception site is propaganda, certainly, and suspect. However, it doesn’t mean everything is a lie. (Eat salt while ingesting. A grain is not enough :))

      You might also do well, Alyssa to read Plain Secrets, which is much more even-handed and thoughtful and interesting. Told from the friend of a Swartzentruber man. Not a rip-em apart tell-all, but, I think, a fine story of an outsider’s view of his friend’s life, without romanticizing or condemning it.

    38. Eli

      Assurance of salvation is like walking on water. Keep your focus on Jesus’s words.

    39. Greg

      1 John 5:9-13:
      9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. 10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. 11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. NKJV

      Also see: Luke 21:34

    40. Alyssa

      To Mike,
      Hi, I was wondering if you could resend your email to me? My email gets spam all the time, and unfortuanately,I deleted your email by accident,
      Thank you.

    41. Alyssa

      Can someone please help me find a contact for an Old Order Amish minister whose district does believe in assurance of salvation?

    42. Such a minister is a rare thing.

    43. Ray

      I’m not going to say that a Swartzentruber Amish person cannot be saved, but I think with that particular sect the regenerated are few.

    44. Lamar Diener

      I Dont think that this group is any diff than any other religous group. Gods Word commands us to live a holy an seperated life and also to be saved he commands us to be baptized in the name of Jesus and be filled with the holy ghost….and our flesh must die daily….cause no unclean thing will enter heaven…….

    45. Amy

      I have a question for you, “If you get saved when you are 15 yrs old and then when you are 20 years old you become a drunk and hit on your dad in a bar fight and then storm out in a drunken rage and get killed in a car wreak, will you go to heaven?”
      My bible tell me that no drunkerd will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
      As far as the Swartzentruber Amish beliefs in salvation, I asked my Swartzentruber Amish friend and he told me that they except Jesus as their Lord and Savior but it is in God’s hands to deside on that great judgement day weather or not they have lived a life worthy to call Heaven their home. We have to live holy and I have to say I agree with him. I do not believe that if you live a drunken life style or shack up with a person that is not your husband or wife and die without repentance, you will go to Heaven. I just don’t believe that & I don’t think the Amish do either. They really aren’t that far off of how God intended us all to live I don’t believe!

    46. C.Hogan

      Swartzentrubers Saved?

      If an individual Swartzentruber has called out to Jesus Christ for salvation, then they are saved, per the Bible (whoever calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.) On the other hand, if they are counting on their compliance with the Ordnung to save them, their list of rules, then they are not saved.

      Anglicans shouldn’t be compared to Swartzentruber Amish, since many Angicans have assurance of salvation.

    47. Amy Unruh

      Two Years Later

      I come to this very late. To Amy, for the people you have described, God knows the status of their hearts. It would not seem that a drunkard responsible for the acts you described would have God in his heart, but this world is a very dark place and all sorts of things can cause a person to stumble. Neither a person shacking up and going against what God says unless they are ignorant of his will. But a person who has Christ in their hearts has faith, and those who have accepted Christ’s free gift have the holy spirit, and the holy spirit leads us into good works. But I also know that the thief on the cross probably did not have good works, and yet Christ accepted him into heaven. That is one thing that confuses me about the Amish. I tend to believe that what Jesus said is the truth, since He is Truth.

    48. farm boy 420

      amish belief on salvation

      Howdy all very good topic here a lot has been said on this issue so I ll try to keep it brief Amish Do NOT BELIEVE IN ASSURED SALVATION!!! And a true Amish person would never except that idea! If you look at the teachings of Christ he says in very clear basic terms ” not every one who saith Lord , lord shall enter into heaven but whosoever obeys the cammandments set forth by my father in heaven!! ( words of Jesus Christ himself kjv.) So Amish interpret this verse to mean that when we obey Gods commands on how we dress what we eat how we live how we treat other if we try our best to be follow the examples if the righteous people before us then God will love us and forgive our sins just believeing Beside died for u is not enough you must stop sinning and live a righteous life

    49. Andy White

      Salvation, the primary concern.

      The issue here is largely effected by perspective. There are those who see their theology as between the bookends of Luther’s presentation of Grace and Calvin’s hyper predestination of people “created for hell” Many Amish-Mennonites refer to themselves as being under Arminianism. There are ideals unique to the Anabaptist mindset that are unspoken understandings about the way life is lived that are more cultural than theological. But to quote several scriptures that support a position and ignore vast quantities of other Scripture that do not support a position can only leave a person without a Biblical perspective. The issue of context, and understanding the fullness of the Word of God is essential to our grasp of the truth of the Gospel. I encourage everyone to seek the Lord diligently and dig deep into the Word of God with an open and humble heart before the Lord. In the end Salvation is so important that if we cannot answer this question of Salvation, we should not trouble ourselves with any other.