Are the Amish “born again”? (Video)

Gospel of John

“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” ~John 3:3 (KJV)

This question has come up a lot over the years and has been addressed here before (see this post from 11 years ago titled Are Swartzentruber Amish “saved”?), so I did a video on it as well. As explained in the video, Amish do believe in the concept of being born again as detailed in the Gospel of John. But the language they use to describe themselves, and more importantly the lens that they view this new birth through are different.

In an nutshell, Amish have a more community-oriented way of viewing Jesus’ words to Nicodemus, rather than a more individualistic one. This is explained well in chapter 3 of the book The Amish Way: Patient Faith in a Perilous World (Kraybill, Nolt, & Weaver-Zercher), which I cite in the video.

I also discuss the related concept of assurance of salvation. In a second nutshell, the Amish do not profess assurance of salvation, rather speaking of a “living hope” of salvation. However there is one prominent exception to this, detailed at the end of the video. Runtime: 8:41.

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    8 Comments

    1. Leana A Mari

      The pattern continues

      It is interesting but this is a common trend. You can go into about any church and the older the denomination is, the less people who are actually born again. If you ask one, they will probably rattle off some vague explanation to satisfy the inquirer. But in reality, no. The catholic church has totally changed their definition of what being ‘born again’ means, they think it is during infant water baptism, something entirely not true. The list goes on. As a congregational organization drifts further away from the moorings and revivals of the Holy Spirit, things get stale and ‘liturgical.’ It’s all just mechanisms by then. Which is why it is so important to return to the Word of God, and let the words of Jesus penetrate our hearts as He knocks on the door and asks us, individually, “Have YOU been born again?” There is no way into heaven otherwise. Seek Him and make sure today.

      1. Amish/Born again

        Leana Mari: I believe that if one is a good human being, that is all that matters. Every denomination believes it speaks the truth. In my opinion, Evangelicals focus too much on the Christianity of others instead of their own. Reading, quoting, preaching the Bible all day, every day, does not necessarily make one a true Christian. It’s how one lives one’s life that does. It’s one’s spirituality and soul that count.

        1. FRANK V VATTELANA

          goodness does not count

          If being a good person could get you into heaven then Jesus died for nothing! You must REPENT of your sins and receive the gift of salvation by trusting that the death of Christ on the cross paid entirely for all your sins and receive Jesus as your personal savior.

      2. Enos Stutzman

        Amen. Just being a good person is not enough. God says you must be born again . When a person is born again he is filled with the spirit of God , which will change be him and make him live different then he used to . Old things have past away an behold all things have become new .

    2. david king

      The Amish are definitely not born again, because to become born again, one must follow the instructions in acts 2;38. One has to be baptized in Jesus name by immersion and receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost

    3. Kim Hardie

      Born again

      I think for the most part, the majority of Amish are not “Born Again”, however there are always exceptions to the rule…
      I know of some that are but they keep their Light hidden under a basket to avoid prosecution by their church.

      David King, To be born again. I agree, we must be baptized in the Holy Spirit… but Acts 2:38 says nothing about being baptized by immersion. If you’re going to quote scripture, please do it appropriately and correctly. The thieves on the cross were never baptized by immersion but Christ himself said they would be in Heaven with him on that day after being baptized by the Holy Spirit, so immersion not a requirement but a preference.

      Acts2:38. Repent & Be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins & ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    4. Allen Schwuhl

      There's always another side

      There are many Christian groups that don’t take the “born again” tag to define their theology. Some groups, my own included, refer to being ‘born from above’ which is more being born to the spirit and enlightenment that comes with knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior. It seems too often that ‘born again’ is a code for ascribing to certain a line of beliefs regardless of the denomination. I’ve experienced that line of thinking as being more divisive than drawing us closer as believers. The plain people that I know, including Amish, are deeply spiritual and certainly express being connected to Jesus with their wholeheart.

    5. Bradford

      Amish Born Again

      Thank you, Erik, for addressing this topic of eternal importance. Thank you, Leana, for your response. To each one of us, Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father [God] except by me.” (John 14:6)