What Do The Amish Believe? 20 Faith Statements

What do members of Amish churches believe? Ohio Amish church member Rebecca Miller addresses that question below, with 20 belief statements of the Amish, along with Scriptural sources. Here’s Rebecca.


This is a common question and quite complex to answer. So this list was compiled from “Tagliches Manna” (a daily devotional published and written by Amish and Old Order Mennonites) and other sources. Scriptural references are added in case anyone has in interest in studying further into these.

1. We believe in one sovereign, holy, gracious, and living God,eternally existing in the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Creator and Sustainer of all things that exist. (Ex.34:6, Deut.6:4, Col.1:16&17)

2. We believe that the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God, revealing God and His will, both in the Old and the New Testaments. (Luke 1:70, II Tim.3:16, II Peter 1:20&21)

Martin Luther Bible
Martin Luther Bible. Image: hannahgleg/canva

3. We believe that in the beginning God created all things in six days and on the seventh day He rested. He made man in His own image, with a free will, moral character, and a spiritual nature. (Col.1:16&17,John 1:1-13)

4. We believe that man, through unbelief and disobedience, fell into sin bringing death and trouble upon the human race: that man as a sinner is self-centered and self-willed and needs Christ to redeem him. (Rom.3:10-18,23,5:12)

5. We believe that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, fully human and fully divine, and perfectly His Father’s will both in life and in death. offering himself as a ransom to all who will receive Him. (John 1:14, Matt.20:18, Col.2:9, Gal.4:4-6)

6. We believe there is one mediator between God and man, Jesus, who shed His blood and died on Calvary, was resurrected and ascended into heaven and is sitting at the Father’s right hand. (John 3:16, Heb.9:12-14, Col1:20-22)

7. We believe salvation is by grace through faith in Christ-a free gift bestowed by God to all who are repentant of their sins, are born again, and walk in newness of life. (Eph.2:8&9, John 3:3-5, Rom.6:1-7, Rom.10:9&10)

8. We believe the church is the bride of Christ, holy and beloved, a faithful gathering of believers. And all those who walk in obedience to God’s Word constitute the True church of Christ. (Eph.5:25-27, Heb. 10:23-25, Col.1:18, 1 John 1:7)

9. We believe that those who repent and believe should be baptized with water as an outward sign of the inward new birth, baptism of the Spirit, cleansing from sin, and commitment to Christ. (Acts 2:38, Acts 10:47 &48, 1 Peter 3:21)

amish-carriage-on-curvy-road

10. We believe the church should observe the communion of the Lord’s Supper, as a token of His broken body and shed blood in a common union of believers. (1 Cor.10:16, 1 Cor.11:23-26)

11. We believe Jesus taught by example and commandment that feet-washing is a symbol of brotherhood, service, and humility. (John 13:3-17)

12. We believe that discipleship can thrive both in prosperous and difficult times for those who exercise faith, the fruits of the spirit, surrender to the divine will,love, and nonresistance to evil. (Heb.11, Gal.5:22-25, I Peter 2:21&22, 1 Cor.13)

13. We believe that marriage is designed by God to be the union of one man and one woman for life. Therefore any sexual relationship outside this marriage is adultery. Furthermore; adultery, fornication, homosexuality and such are condemned by God. (Heb.13:4, Mark 10:6-9, Rom.1:24-28, 1 Cor.6:9&10)

14. We believe that the personal appearance and lifestyle of Christian men and women should be modest and free of worldly fashion and adornment, maintaining simplicity in all areas of life, living as strangers and pilgrims in this world, seeking a heavenly city not made with hands. (Rom.12:1&2, James 4:4, 1 John 2:15-17)

15. We believe God has established special roles for the man and the woman, therefore it is the man’s responsibility to be the spiritual leader in the home and the church and the man’s head should be uncovered in praying or prophesying, while the woman’s head is to be veiled signifying their acceptance of Christ’s order. (1 Cor.11:1-16)

16. We believe the promotion of Christian values requires us to shun evil which includes the values of contemporary media, urban culture, and modernism. (John 17:13-21, Rom.12:1&2,1 Cor.15:33, 1 John 2:15-17)

17. We believe Christians should not take part in destruction of life, born or unborn, nor in any acts of retaliation. Instead, living a non-resistant lifestyle, demonstrating the love of Christ in daily life. (Matt.5:39-46, John 18:36,Rom.12:19-21)

18. We believe the church and state are ordained of God as separate entities in His plan and that believers should honor rulers and be subject to them and pray for them. (Rom.13:1-7,1 Peter 2:13-17)

19. We believe that the unrepentant, fallen brother or sister shall be excommunicated from the body of Christ in the spirit of love, and shall be received back into the fellowship upon repentance and amendment of life. (1 Cor.5:1-13,II Cor.6:14)

20. We believe in the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, the blessed hope of believers, and that upon His return He will resurrect the righteous to eternal bliss in heaven, and the unrighteous to eternal damnation in hell. He will sit on the throne of His glory, judging all humans in the last day. (I Thess.4:16&17, Matt.25:31-46)

My hope is that this article can help some people understand our beliefs and way of life better. Blessings to all!

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    115 Comments

    1. SharonR

      Amish Faith Statements and Beliefs

      Thank you for sharing. Much like my own, as I am member of Lutheran Church, and have always had these beliefs. Interpretation is of course, an individual thing, and respect that about the Amish.
      SharonR

      1. Jimmy

        Interpretation

        Holy inspired word of God comes to each believer through revelation not by your own natural carnal mind but by the Holy Spirit that dwells within otherwise the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. The Amish are obviously devout followers of the Lord and have not allowed the basic elementary principles of the world to corrupt there community. This knowledge came to me by the Holy Spirit. The vast majority of Christians do not read their bibles, attend service just one hour a week and cannot see the works of the devil.

      2. Frank

        Excommunication

        Let’s understand that the only difference between the original Protestants of Martin Luther, Menno Simons, et Al, and the Jacob Ammons prodigees (Amish), is how they treat those who leave their particular interpretation of excommunication, ie., the need for putting those-who-stray in a ban from their congregational assembly.. the Mennonites ban those who stray in acts against and in non-compliance to the word of God;
        With few exceptions (niche Old Order Amish communities), the Amish ban people for simply walking away from the Amish Church membership.. This was after all Jacob Ammons dream to establish a few in his own image, and thus he excommunicated ALL those Mennonites that DID NOT believe how he believed .. and the only real disagreement he had was that excommunication should be used for those who stray from membership of their particular church organization!
        This tactic by Jacob Ammon was the most devisive and hateful rift from altruistic believe in sound doctrine.. reaching even to this day! Definitely not a teaching taught by Christ to love one another.

    2. Eli M.

      Thank you for sharing and help to deepen ones faith.
      Eli M.

    3. Amish Faith Statements and Beliefs

      Their beliefs are very similar to mine as a Seventh-Day Adventist. Very interesting article!

      1. peg

        Hell

        I cannot find where the Amish define a hell. Do they believe it is being burned and tortured forever and ever? Why can’t they give an answer for this?

    4. Sue Anderson

      Amish Beliefs

      All are Christian beliefs. I admire the Amish for their steadfastness to God’s word.

      Where could I find information about their original roots. Their history from I assume the Reformation era. Would be interesting to learn why they broke away from the mainstream cultures. Thank you.

      1. Marcia

        Amish beliefs

        I was always under the impression that the followers of Jacob Ammon believed in adult baptism which was against the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church which baptizes infants. Hence the name “Anabaptists” which means “against baptism” (infant baptism).

        1. Yoder in Ohio

          Ana vs. Anti

          Anabaptist is from a Greek root word. It means to be baptized over or again. Not to be confused with Anti, which would mean to be anti-baptism. The original Anabaptists had been baptized as infants, so when they were baptized again as adults, they were referred to as “Anabaptists.”

          1. Larry Simon

            Faith interest

            Looking at all the comments on this topic seem to fangs from 2015 to present. Lifestyle and faith go hand and hand for people who value or at least think about their faith. The Amish demonstrate that their faith is important enough to resist common community norms. Whereas most just accept community values without thinking what faith if any is behind its behaviors. If you lose your faith what good are you as Jesus said if salt loses its saltiness what good is it. I pray the Amish will continue to put faith as the center of their community behaviors. Faith is so important!

    5. Carolyn B

      Thanks for this list. All Christians do have common ground. My question is what does criticism of political leaders, especially national leaders, look like in the Amish world? I have many devout Christian friends who have no problem ridiculing the despised political party’s members, all the way up to the presidency. I too have been guilty of being less than charitable in my own thoughts and actions.

      Thank you for any insights you can share to become more charitable in thought.

      1. Amish Girl-Rebecca

        We try to stay out of politics as much as possible. Political leaders do get talked about and discussed though. And many of us are well aware of what’s going on. But, like any other people some have a much more avid interest than others. We are encouraged to pray for our leaders. And sometimes a fast and prayer day is given out before presidential elections to pray that the right one according to God’s will is elected.

      2. Sadie Mae

        Amish & Politics

        Carolyn…

        My family is hilarious about politics. Believe me, they are very informed and don’t hesitate to voice their opinions. I hear stories from their work that so and so said this and that. There are very few exceptions, but most stick with one party around here (Lancaster County). I won’t mention party or particular politician’s names because I don’t want a fuss. But I would say the English care less about politics than the Amish I know. That’s just my experience.

    6. Harriet

      Thank you, Rebecca

      Thank-you Rebecca. This article is very interesting and informative. It makes you realize how much we are all alike.

      I hope your school year is off to a very good start.

      1. Amish Girl-Rebecca

        Harriet, Thanks for the well wishes. We had a very good week and a half of school now. We have today off for Labor Day. I had a bit of a mishap on Friday, when I got hit by a softball. I’m still sore, but could have been worse. Otherwise I had a great start to the schoolterm.

    7. Mark FitzGerald

      Let me answer a couple of these questions. A fine introductory book on the Amish is The History of the Amish by Steven Nolt. It would cover most everything you wish to know. Secondly, concerning criticism of political leaders. Amish and conservative Mennonites stay away from politics. The Bible teaches to respect and pray for our leaders. This is what the Amish do. Don’t get me wrong, many have opinions and may state them occasionally, but voting and political involvement is not part of their lifestyle.

      1. Amish Girl-Rebecca

        Another very good one is “The Amish” by Donald Kraybill, Susan Johnson-Weiner, and Steven Nolt. There is not much they don’t cover. And from an Amish person’s viewpoint it’s very accurate.

    8. Slightly-Handled-Order-Man

      I like this article and am thankful for this series of faith statements being shared. It is a little less wordy than the Confessions used in the lead up to baptism/membership (on which it is probably based)

      I think Rebeca has a real talent, and made a good decision in teaching the Amish young, her community (as well as we Amish America readers are well served by her).

      Well done 🙂

      1. I agree with you on both counts Shom.

        We have a few more pieces to share by Rebecca, and I’m hoping we’ll hear more from her if and as she finds the time. I am curious how her first week of school went, I know it was probably a busy one.

    9. Debbie H

      Scripture Reference.

      I wonder how many read the Scripture references. The one that is confusing is #14, it says nothing about personal appearance. It talks about the money changers. Maybe a typo? This is very informative and I plan on printing and reading closer when time allows.

      My Thanks to Rebecca for sharing this with us.

      Debbie

      1. Amish Girl-Rebecca

        Please go back and read it carefully, it says 1 John 2:15-17 which makes sense. I believe you read John 2:15-17, which is about the money changers.

    10. Jonathan Edwards

      The list looks quite accurate. I was relieved that it didn’t highlight their semi-Pelagianism.

      1. Geniene

        That's a big word there Jonathan

        Care to elaborate?

        1. Jonathan Edwards

          Semi-Pelagianism

          Semi-Pelagianism is defined as “any type of synergist teaching on salvation.” [see citation below]

          In other words, a blending of divine and human causes in salvation. There are a variety of explanations for how salvation comes about on a personal level. What characterizes semi-Pelagians are their efforts to uphold a strong view of human agency in the event of salvation.

          Pelagianism is the belief that a person’s faith is an act of free will apart from the assistance of divine grace. Semi-Pelagianism is a step removed. It is typically viewed as an overemphasis on human choice, resulting in a strange melding of human agency and divine grace.

          Semi-Pelagianism characterizes much of Mennonite thought, less so of the Amish. Nevertheless, the Amish emphasize personal agency to such an extent that they occasionally lapse into semi-Pelagianism.

          By the way, semi-Pelagianism was condemned at the Council of Orange in 529.

          Anabaptism as a whole leans toward semi-Pelagianism because of an emphasis on self-denial, personal commitment, faithfulness, etc. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this emphasis. But it becomes problematic when it impinges on the sovereignty of God.

          For folks wondering “where I came across such knowledge,” from reading (see note below) and experience–I asked Pelagius personally, over a glass of tea last week! 🙂

          Irena Backus and Aza Goudriaan, “‘Semipelagianism’: The Origins of the Term and its Passage into the History of Heresy” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 61, no. 1 (2014): 46.

          1. Geniene

            Thanks

            Are you familiar with Chester Weaver’s critique of the influence of fundamentalism on Anabaptist practitioners?
            I saw the article in Mennonite World Review

          2. Geniene

            Link

            http://mennoworld.org/2015/03/23/news/conservative-anabaptists-reject-fundamentalism/

            1. Jonathan Edwards

              Critique

              I am familiar with the critique in general terms. It seems there is quite a bit of truth in it. In the article you cited, I was particularly impressed with the focus on non-resistance (termed “peace”) at the conference, and the apparent desire to welcome outsiders while remaining firm on traditional practices.

              Is there something you wanted to highlight about Weaver’s critique?

              1. Geniene

                Fundamentalism

                I’m aware that there is a tension between Old Order Amish practice and what I think of as fundamentalist Christianity. But it is almost impossible to find an articulated view from the Old Order perspective of it. You seem like an astute, and articulate kind of guy. I was hoping to develop some thoughts around it. I believe this is an issue that is playing out, not only between non Amish believers and the Amish, but also from within the Amish church.
                My experience aligns with Weaver’s assessment that Fundamentalism is aggressive, even abusive. I appreciated Weaver and Bercot’s presentations, for their defense of Old Order practices.

                1. Jonathan Edwards

                  Tension

                  There seems to be a tension between the Old Order Amish and Fundamentalist groups. But the relationship is complicated.

                  The Amish exhibit certain characteristics of Protestant Fundamentalism. Some folks, for example, are deeply fearful of the government. On occasion they offer sharp critiques of non-Amish groups (and practices) in their sermons.

                  The Amish certainly see themselves as distinct from Fundamentalism / conservative Protestantism. But since they read very little of what Fundamentalists write, they are not as reactionary as some conservative Mennonite groups; they rarely draw lines and sharpen their identity on the basis of theological differences. For example, the Amish are amillenial in their view of end times in part because they ignored what was written by most Fundamentalists in the early 20th century; they believe in the inspiration and truthfulness of Scripture but without the sharp edges produced by Fundamentalism because higher criticism was never ‘on the table’ for them; they do not highlight their semi-Pelagianism because they have no idea who Pelagius is, nor Jacob Arminius, and barely even John Calvin (and even then their impressions are not always accurate)!

                  Something that has surprised me about the Amish is how many of them have read books written by David Bercot. At least in his books, Bercot comes across as more fundamentalist than any Fundamentalist I ever came across. ‘Will the real heretics please stand up’ and ‘The Kingdom that turned the world upside down’ were so lacking in academic rigor and objectivity that I didn’t bother to read anything else that he wrote until several Old Order friends prodded me to read his critique of theologians. I was deeply disappointed with what I found.

                  Bercot’s characterization of theologians as completely wrong and almost always driven by false motives (pardon the generalization) was not only far from charitable but also unrealistic. I have a hard time identifying his philosophy of history as anything more than placing people on opposing sides of a line he draws, the ‘out’ group being goats while those who agree with him being ‘sheep.’ He seems to neglect the extreme complexity of Christian history. But this is a common problem among Anabaptist historians, not just a characteristic of David Bercot (though he seems to exemplify this tendency). But the Amish tend to shy away from such characterizations.

                  In general, Bercot’s approach is the very thing many Amish do not appreciate about Fundamentalism. It is predominantly considered a threat because being Amish is significantly a matter of ‘staying Amish.’ By nature, traditionalist groups are not particularly adept at absorbing internal critiques or calls for ‘reformation’ without changing. So they would rather not critique others so that others don’t critique them.

                  The tension between conservatism and traditionalism is a sensitive spot within Amish groups. It plays out in a multitude of ways.

                  1. nrwithers@my.trine.edu

                    Jonathan Edwards,
                    I think you are correct that the relationship between the Old Order viewpoint and Fundamentalism is complicated. There are some parts of Fundamentalism which would fit in well with the OO Anabaptist thinking, but others that are very much at odds. Because people often react hastily in the face of a crisis, real or perceived, I think some groups invited Fundamentalist doctrine (and maybe practice) in without really looking at it too closely. This would have occurred in the times when there was drift in the churches toward modernity. It has happened in the German Baptist Brethren and I think significantly in the conservative Mennonite movement. I am under the impression that the Beachys and some other Amish Mennonites have become more Fundamentalist in the last half-century.
                    I would second what you said about David Bercot’s early works lacking academic rigor. He did not intend to aim them at a scholarly audience, but at the common believer. His latest book, “Secrets of the Kingdom Life” is a departure from his “us and them” dynamic common in other books. One can tell he is more spiritually mature in this book. That said, he does raise some good points in his other books, but I wish he would flesh out his arguments better for the more academic audience.
                    Peace.

                    1. Jonathan Edwards

                      Thanks for adding your comments. I am not following Bercot so I was not aware that his more recent writings have a different tone. I was especially glad you noted that he seems to have grown more spiritually mature.

                      Your impression that the Beachy Amish have become more Fundamentalist over the past half-century seems correct. They are generally more open to reading literature written by conservative Protestants. Nevertheless, they have retained a surprising amount of their Amish-Mennonite heritage. From my perspective, the greatest threat to the future of the Beachy Amish-Mennonites is the attitude of their young folks. One interesting feature of their church life are their overseas outreach congregations and how often domestic families serve overseas. In some congregations as high as twenty percent of all families have served in such an outreach.

                      1. Nicholas

                        Interesting that many do overseas ministry. I hope they are not neglecting their local needs while pursuing the foreign ones. I wonder why they have drifted like that. Your description is also similar to the German Baptists, but in our case this may have much to do with the loss of the German language. What is the attitude of the young folks? Why is it threatening? I am curious and wonder if they are facing the same or similar problems we GBs are.

                      2. Jonathan Edwards

                        Beachy youth

                        I think there is a tendency for Beachy youth to view their parents as old and out of touch with reality–that is, what North American society thinks and values highly–which makes them ripe for further assimilation with the world. The gap between all Amish groups (except the New New Orders) and the mainstream Beachys continues to grow, almost by leaps and bounds. I wouldn’t want to say much more than this lest I come across as a “prophet” or something.

              2. Geniene

                Options

                It’s not that I think Old Order Practice is a utopia or that it should be enshrined somehow. I just have serious misgivings about the Amish adopting fundamentalist beliefs and whether that serves them well. Some of my concern is about the fifteenth century, my God is better than your God nature if it. If the Amish, collectively or individually want to embrace fundamentalism, my intention isn’t to say they shouldn’t, but that there are other options. For example, the fundamentalist churches in our area, who are very aggressive in proselytizing the Amish, and successfully so, hardly say peep about war, or even torture for that matter. There doesn’t seem to be a conversation around the implications of these transitions.
                Speaking of conversations, Jonathan, there is another Amish conference at Etown college in 2016. You and David Bercot on a panel?

                1. Jonathan Edwards

                  Fundamentalism, Family Resemblances, Charity Christian Fellowship, and a Joint Session with David Bercot

                  I fully agree about the implications of adopting a Fundamentalist posture. Conservative Protestants have been successful in winning converts in a variety of Old Order communities. In my assessment, there is a lack of careful thought about the implications of some of their beliefs and practices–pardon my lumping them all together but they share common practices and have “family resemblances,” to borrow a term from sociology.

                  I know folks who tossed traditional Anabaptism in favor of Fundamentalism. I find them some of the most difficult folks to reason with, even more so than myself! Amish converts to Fundamentalism are kind of like a young married man being enamored with his new bride; he is blind to his new partner’s faults until a few years later, after all the high-flying feelings wear off. By then, its too late. They rarely return.

                  And if there wasn’t already enough diversity in North America, the Charity Christian Fellowship congregations inhabit the gulf between Amish-Mennonites and Baptists. I have as many qualms with them as I do with the Swartzentrubers. In some ways, the two groups seem to be cut out of the same kind of cloth. (This was my highly controversial statement to try to get this party started!)

                  Actually, Bercot and I are reading a joint paper! 😉

                  1. Mark - Holmes Co.

                    Jonathan, while not exactly choking, I did swallow my coffee the wrong way reading your statement on Swartzentrubers & Charity being cut from the same cloth, causing a coworker to wonder what was wrong with me. 🙂

                    I’ll bite for this one. How do you see those two groups as similar? I am NOT looking to start an attack or anything, but I am curious. I hadn’t really thought of comparing the two, but I have noticed similarities and now I’m wondering what others see.

                    1. Jonathan Edwards

                      Similarities

                      I am glad you were able to swallow the coffee without choking! 🙂

                      Perhaps it is the intensity of their zeal and idealism, as well as the various ways they struggle to unite conservatism and traditionalism.

                      At first glance, the second statement might not seem to apply to the Charity people. Allow me to explain. Swartzentrubers are zealous for conservatism in the sense of leading an extremely plain lifestyle. This brings with it a desire to be consistent, that is, consistently plain. Being consistently plain means reforming when something doesn’t appear consistently plain. As a result, a tendency for reforming arises and this clashes with their zeal to be traditional, to hold to the old Amish traditions. Hence the reason there are so many non-communing “low” Amish churches.

                      The Charity folks have split as frequently as the “low” Amish churches. The are zealous and idealistic but in different ways than the Swartzentrubers. They are zealous to get the new birth right, to lead holy lives, to have a “biblical” church, and to do whatever it takes to reach that goal. They are conservative in the sense of seeing themselves as being distinct from the world through the new birth and not smoking or drinking, etc. Their ‘tradition’ is the inerrant, authoritative Word of God. And they are jealous to put it into practice without neglecting an iota. So they are striving to return to the pristine condition of the New Testament church (which, I suspect, never existed). The letter of the New Testament and/or the ideal of a New Testament church function as ‘tradition’ in the life of the Charity churches.

                      These comments deserve more nuance but then I would be writing a book.

                      1. Mark - Holmes Co.

                        Interesting, Jonathan… I see what you are saying and it makes sense. The one thing I had thought of that I might be wrong about is how “movable” both groups seem. We know Charity people that have moved a lot and seem to constantly be jumping from one home to another within our community (renting) and have lived in a big variety of areas. It makes me wonder if they are trying to avoid putting down roots. And though I know of Swarzt. people who lived all their lives on one place, we also know a lot that have moved many times from community to community. I was curious if that would make your list of similarities.

                      2. Jonathan Edwards

                        Good observation

                        I didn’t think about that. Good observation. And probably indicative of their experiences in life and the ways they have responded to circumstances.

                        I know non-Swartzentruber Old Order Amish people–not many but several–who moved more than twenty times in their lives. In nearly every case their parents did the same thing. We are all influenced by our experiences growing up, and our ways of responding are, at least to a certain extent, also “caught” from our parents and the communities that have so significantly shaped our lives.

                  2. Geniene

                    Hear Hear, you heard it here first!

                    I’m excited! Where have you been my whole life? Uh oh, Am I like the newly weds you mentioned? :-/

                    1. Jonathan Edwards

                      LOL

                      LOL (Laugh Out Loud)

                      1. Nicholas

                        Enlightening

                        Well, this has been an eye opening read! I certainly see what you are saying about the Swartzentrubers and Charityites being similar, Jonathan, and I think I agree. Is it just my observation, or is it corroborated by others, that when a religious (or political, for that matter) group views their ideology as the best or only way, they tend to splinter when anyone disagrees with them? In my readings on the early Anabaptists, this happened quite a bit after persecution eased up.
                        I wonder the same thing as Mark, whether these folks move around so much as to avoid putting down roots. But perhaps they are running from something instead? Like church trouble? Maybe they are just literally practicing being “strangers and pilgrims.” I would also suspect with Jonathan that the pristine NT church may never have existed. Where there are people with opinions, there will be disagreements.
                        I would caution against being to idealistic as it will lead to disillusionment when people show their humanity in their shortcomings. Isn’t Christ’s teaching to help each other out with these struggles? Why then do we feel the need to divide the churches over certain issues?
                        Jonathan, do you know of anyone writing about the Charity movement? Is there any study done on them like there has been about the Amish?

                      2. Jonathan Edwards

                        Studies on the Charity folks; and comment on those who wander

                        I am not aware of any studies that have been written on the Charity Christian Fellowship denomination.

                        “Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

                        Okay, the discussion isn’t about ‘those who wander’ and I’m not sure that Tolkien is a trustworthy source for spiritual insight but it sounded good so here it is.

                        Although it might seem logical to suppose that folks who move often are not willing to put down roots, I think there are alternative explanations in at last some cases.

                        I’m doubtful that moving so often is an effort at being literal sojourners and strangers. I think a lot of it has to do with the relationship between idealism and disillusionment. A disillusioned person in a traditional Anabaptist setting has the option of forming a new group (and thus causing a division) or moving away. There aren’t too many other options. So I think moving is partly the result of trying to recreate an ideal Net Testament church that is not quite realistic. But I’m not pointing at anyone here. Just an idea that has been rolling around in my head.

            2. Nicholas

              Geniene, I am familiar with this. I was at the conference itself and didn’t think that the focus of it was the rejection on Fundamentalism. I actually know both persons in the photo. The one on the left is German Baptist and is highly opposed to internet usage. He knows his picture is online and said he’s not quite sure how he feels about it! The other is part of a group that was once affiliated with Charity Christian Fellowship. I won’t give out any more details as I want to protect their identities. I just thought I’d share that so you could see what diverse groups were at the conference. I quite enjoyed it and would agree with most or all of what Chester Weaver said.
              Peace.

              Oh, Jonathan Edwards, let me know when you do a bit of time travelling next. I’d like to meet some of those folks like Pelagius! 😉

          3. Geniene

            Or David Bercot's

            Session at the Anabaptist identity conference titled “Why Anabaptists are not welcome in “Anabaptist” churches”

            1. Jonathan Edwards

              Bercot presentation

              I did not attend the conference so cannot comment on Bercot’s presentation. Perhaps someone else would like to comment?

              1. Nicholas

                Anabaptist Identity Conference

                I was at the conference, but I think I left before the talk about “Why Anabaptists aren’t Welcome in Anabaptist Churches.” The other David Bercot lectures were good, so I imagine this was of the same quality. The whole conference is available both on CD and as a transcript for those who don’t use audio recordings.

                1. Linda

                  Bercot Lectures

                  At the links below, you will be able to Download or Listen to MP3 files from the 2015 Anabaptist Identity Conference. Click on the play arrow of the session that interests you, to play or download that session.

                  Secrets Of The Kingdom Life
                  AIC 2015 | Session #14, Saturday, March 14, 2015
                  By: Bro. David Bercot from Chambersburg, PA
                  http://www.anabaptistslive.org/?p=648

                  Why Anabaptists Are Not Welcome In Most “Anabaptist” Churches
                  AIC 2015 | Session #17, Saturday, March 14, 2015
                  By: Bro. David Bercot from Chambersburg, PA
                  http://www.anabaptistslive.org/?p=654

          4. Amish Girl-Rebecca

            Don’t get it. Guess I’m no theologian. I just know that as a child of God, we are saved through grace, by faith, not by works alone lest any should boast, but also that faith without works is dead. Read Romans 5:1-19 and Matthew 16:27.

            1. Nicholas

              Amen!

              Rebecca, this is the simplicity of Christ’s Gospel that I love so well, and I think matters most! Danke!

              1. Amish Girl-Rebecca

                Amen, Nicholas, I also have to think of James 2:14-17.

                1. Jonathan Edwards

                  I'm not a theologian, or a preacher

                  I don’t think it is problematic that you are not a theologian. If you had claimed the opposite or announced that you are ordained to the ministry in an Old Order congregation, that would have been problematic.

                  I agree with your statement regarding salvation. I hope you don’t mind if we comment back and forth about rather arcane and recondite matters, even if we drop a flapdoodle here and there.

            2. James

              We can’t base an entire doctrine off of one verse. Yes the book says we are saved by faith and not by works etc, however the book says faith without works is dead. It also says over and over in the NEW Testament that we will be judged by our works. The New Testament also says over and over to keep the commandments. Yes that includes the sabbath. The word “works” is like a four letter word to most so called bible believers yet the NEW TESTAMENT says over and over and that we will be judged BY OUR WORKS.
              My fellow truthseekers… Years ago I questioned whether “the law” or “the sabbath” was still supposed to be kept. And when I first started to try and keep the true sabbath it did seem (like some Christians teach) like a burden. But I prayed about it and stayed humble and continued on my quest for truth. What I eventually learned is that the “burden” wasn’t the sabbath… the burden came from me going against “the world” for the first time in my life. Now the sabbath is such a huge blessing. Just wait until you stop keeping these satanic holidays like Christmas and Easter. Your own family will turn against you and think your in some type of cult. Show a Christian Jeremiah 10 where it tells you not to decorate a tree with silver and gold and watch what happens.
              Show your fellow Christians how Christ said the law is not done away with and watch what happens. Show a Christian how the apostles kept the sabbath AFTER Christ ascended back to the Father and watch what happens.
              Remember… until Christ returns, satan is still the god of this world. So that should tell you who is in charge of the Christian theologian universities, all mainstream religions, the entire education system, the whole political stage, modern medicine, all major media outlets, the entertainment industry, YOUTUBE and the rest of the internet, NASA, the U.N., the W.H.O., etc etc etc.
              My fellow truthers… find out about all of the false doctrines being taught by today’s pagan Christianity and most “Christian” YouTubers. Become truly free.
              Things probably won’t happen overnight for you. For example… Some of you may decide to start keeping the sabbath and then a month or two later decide that your going to start keeping the dietary laws. Then maybe a little later your going to stop keeping these satanic holi(Holy)days. Even when the apostle Paul was teaching the gentile nations he didn’t expect them to start keeping ALL of the law right away. He said (and I’m paraphrasing) for now just stay away from idolatry, eating blood, from things strangled (part of the dietary law), and from fornication. Because the gentiles were never given “the law” they were not expected to just change overnight. It wasn’t until AFTER Christ was raised from the dead and just before he ascended back to the Father that he told the apostles to go forth and teach ALL nations. The Bible makes it clear that Christ came only for the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And once he woke them up he commanded THEM to be a light to the gentiles.
              So what’s that mean for us gentiles? We need to seek out the true biblical Hebrews. The ones that teach truth, patience, long suffering, forgiveness, true repentance and sound doctrine.

      2. Genuine

        gewunernosing

        I was talking to a friend about your big word. He suggested that semi pelagianism is the more authentic Anabaptist position. I’m not quite schmart enough to figure it all out, but maybe if I hang out with guys like you, I’ll get schmarter. In practice though, it would appear to me that, moving away from semi pelagainism would be moving towards fundamentalism. We’ll have to see if we can do this without provoking the ire of the tone monitors on this site, but from your favorable remark, that the list didn’t highlight their semi pelagainism, I conclude that, if my original assessment is correct, you’re in favor of a drift towards fundamentalism.
        I’ve very little experience talking about this, so I may just be talking .

        Gewunernosing means to wonder or be curious.

        1. Jonathan Edwards

          Fundamentalist drift or..?

          It is one of the more disappointing truths about early Anabaptism but yes they seem to have been semi-Pelagians. Perhaps just by accident, kind of like when a child bumps their head. 🙂

          However, history indicates that the descendants of these Anabaptists have consistently been semi-Pelagians.

          I wouldn’t suggest drifting toward Fundamentalism but rather to take Scripture more seriously about divine providence. I would see it more as moderating the way the early Anabaptists “pushed away” from their Reformed–and occasionally Lutheran–roots. The Amish have moderated on some of the radicalism–mostly for the better–but I think a return to a higher view of providence would be healthy.

          We will have to see if this slips past the tone moderators. Lol

          I hope this post doesn’t make anyone “dummer”! 🙂

          1. Jonathan Edwards

            Semi-Pelagianism and the Martyrs Mirror

            The Schleitheim and Dordrecht confessions are rather basic in theological terms. There is a confession in the Martyrs Mirror that goes into greater detail. It seems to reflect the views of early Anabaptism. It is very specific on the subject of free will. The author(s) maintains that human persons retain free will after the fall.

            I am not entirely sure what to make of the article. The arguments…should I chalk them up to simplicity of thought, or what?

            Think with me for a minute. Suppose that we would randomly select ten Swartzentruber Amish persons and ten New Order Amish persons to answer a variety of questions. Suppose that one of the questions is whether or not the assurance of salvation is a true doctrine. What is the likelihood that we will find unanimity on this subject? Is it really the case that all ten New Order persons chose to believe in the assurance of salvation on the basis of free choice? And that all ten Swartzentrubers freely chose to reject the doctrine without any other determining factors? (Assuming that it is a 0-10 split, which in all likelihood it would be; if not, it would be very close to that figure) Or were they significantly influenced by their upbringing and church? If so, is it true to say that we have ‘free’ will? Or would another adjective be more appropriate to attach to ‘will’?

            And I haven’t raised the McDonalds objection to free will, or even begun to address the consequences of the fall.

            Speaking of our post-lapsarian environment, that’s the reason it is raining now, and only 48 degrees!

            Not too long ago I was discussing this statement of faith with a certain Old Order friend. I thought his congregation held that confession on an equal plane with the Dordrecht but learned that they do not. They agree with it on the main points but there is freedom of opinion on the details. I was surprised. They’re not usually so flexible.

            1. Geniene

              free will

              I appreciate your depth of knowledge on the theology. My thoughts on free will are that the Amish were reversing away from free will from their founding. Today’s Amish, like all movements tend to do, have completely atrophied and fossilized on the original inspiration regarding freewill. How is that for a provocative statement to get the party started? The way forward is to be honest about that. It’s not like this is the first time this happened. A functioning movement stays grounded with reality and moves forward.
              I appreciate your willingness to engage!

              1. Jonathan Edwards

                On atrophied and fossilized Amish

                I am astonished that your controversial statement did not prompt an immediate reply, or two dozen hostile responses. If you had posted it under my name I’m sure this thread would have, to paraphrase another reader, “blown up like crazy”! All the JE-lovers from around the world–and those who had never heard of either him or this thread but had been called up for duty (that is, to defend the Amish from careful analysis)–would have been mobilized.

                To finally reach the content of your post, I don’t think that there was any original “inspiration” regarding free will. Perhaps you can explain how belief in free will (as radical reformers usually saw things) changes the way that Christianity was lived by the people. Please keep in mind that the contrast is between free will as held radical reformers versus free will (or a nearby concept) as taught by Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Bucer, Melanchthon, Beza, etc.; not between voluntarism and fatalistic (especially naturalistic) determinism.

                1. Geniene

                  adult baptism

                  I think of the rejection of child baptism as the original inspiration for free will. I’m concluding that, wanting an adult to choose church membership, is synonymous with free will. I’m also concluding that adult baptism wasn’t a random inspiration, but was a direct response to social and cultural conditions of the era it arose from.
                  I need to use Rebecca’s disclaimer. I’m also not a theologian. My interest in Amish faith is primarily secular in that I’m not religious. I believe that, if we presume to respect and admire the Amish, we are beholden to engage their issues, just like we would our own. Otherwise, our relationship with them becomes the opposite of respectful.
                  There is almost universal acceptance that today’s Amish youth make a valid choice regarding church membership. But if we examine the context of how church membership plays out, by any reasonable standard, it isn’t a valid choice. Donald Kraybill admits as much in “The Riddle of Amish Culture” (can’t find the page now) but he plays it as a functional thing. It is a functional thing. In a cultish kind of way, pretty much the opposite of the inspiration for adult baptism.

                  1. Jonathan Edwards

                    Baptism and free will

                    If we follow the debates of early Anabaptists the issue was fundamentally about reforming the church. It was strongly moralist but always had a significant spiritual aspect. If I have read the sources correctly I would say that the doctrine of free will was an outcome of their reform movement just as was their eventual belief in separation between church and state. It was the only option left to them. To historicize for a moment, there was no elector of Saxony or city council of Geneva to protect them. So they took the only remaining course of action, to break from the state and with infant baptism linking state and church in a very practical way they were forced to make a choice. I don’t recall seeing a strong belief in free will leading to rejection of infant baptism. I think the relationship operated in reverse. Even Hubmaier tried to have a reformed state church until the Waldshut administration was defeated.

                    To your comment about contemporary Amish baptism, I don’t think it’s cultish as much as it is everyone’s desire to wish the best for the young folks. The socialization process is rather thorough. But it points to my suggestion that we make choices but we aren’t perfectly free in doing whatever we want.

                  2. Jonathan Edwards

                    Temptation

                    I appreciate your engagement with the Amish even though you are not religious. There is a temptation to engage these issues on our terms. If for no other reason, the historical milieu can be complex and obscure. The center on which these factors play out is based on our being created by an almighty and loving God. We as humans rebelled against God. He calls us to return. God showed the depth of our sinfulness by dying in our place, condemning our sin and offering a path of forgiveness and reconciliation. By faith we turn to God confessing our sins. God accepts us, puts his Spirit inside us, and strengthens us to live in his Kingdom. It is out of this center that life develops. All other topics are centered by the fundamental reality of life lived in God. It is not freedom for freedom’s sake but freedom to walk in newness of life as a member of the only kingdom that truly matters at the end of the day, the Kingdom ruled by the only wise God, world without end.

          2. Geniene

            predestination

            Isn’t your comment of it being a “disappointing truth” prejudicial with no supporting evidence? Just seeing if I can sneak that one in while the tone monitor dogs are napping.
            Wasn’t predestination a major force in the reformation and the Anabaptist contribution was to insist that man can bargain with God? Your actions, your choice made a difference. Calvinism (I think I have the name right) insisted that your destiny was predetermined. Which I think is a pretty raw deal. But Anabaptism had the more humane response. You could influence your destiny. Your actions mattered.

            1. Nicholas

              Fundamentalism and Free Will

              The drift toward Fundamentalism is troubling to me for several reasons. 1) I have noticed that Fundamentalist Evangelicalism seems to breed apostasy. I am not yet sure of the reasons. Perhaps the militant way they go about proselytizing is a factor. Another might be placing the need to proselytize above the needs of the local congregation. Another could be the idea that if one wants to serve God, or even give one’s life over completely to Him, one must “spread the Word,” usually by getting involved in some kind of ministry (i.e., becoming a pastor, a missionary, etc.). Living in accordance with His commandments is part of this, but not stated hardly at all, at least in my experience. At least, it’s not stated as to WHY you need to follow God’s commandments. I also see a lack of a unified group identity in these churches. I wonder if this leads to a feeling of not belonging? Compare to the desire of traditional Anabaptism to make one feel like part of the group and the strong group identity. 2) I remember from my Evangelical days a strong, very strong emphasis on salvation by faith where your deeds have little or nothing to do with it. But there was always concern if one didn’t act in accordance with Christian morality. They just never seemed to be able to explain why one needed to do so satisfactorily. Anabaptism included one’s deeds as a part of salvation, just not as the cause of it.
              On the subject of free will, I would argue that free will is indispensable to Christian belief, as it is in Judaism. Without free will, how can one come to accept Christ? I could go into how making a scripted world fits in more with Greek thought than Hebrew thought and how God becomes a Greek god and not the God of Abraham and Israel if He determines peoples fate without their input. Jewish thought has it that one can argue or barter with God (see Abraham bartering for Sodom in Gen. 18). Predestination was a believe of John Calvin’s Reformed church, not of Anabaptism or of the Catholic church (one of my best friends is a Catholic and is very easily riled if you suggest that predestination is true). I could wright more, but that’s enough for now and I would like to hear what other’s say rather than my own voice!
              Interesting that your friend’s group held the Dordrecht confession higher than Schleitheim, Jonathan. I would also be in favor of more focus on divine providence, but how do we prevent the slip into “faith alone” for which Luther argued so vehemently? Is the semi-Pelagianism a protection against that, whether intentionally or not?

              1. Jonathan Edwards

                Faith and Works; Accepting Christ; Fatalism; Calvin; Catholicism

                You raised many points that deserve more space than we have.

                Your desire to hold faith and works together is admirable. Anabaptism seems to do that. The so called New Perspective on Paul offers interesting parallels.

                A friend questioned whether it is advisable to view the relationship between God and persons as persons accepting God, rather than the other way around. In any case, it requires genuine choice but I would suggest choice does not require “free” will in the sense that the will is entirely determined by an individual.

                Bercot popularized the idea that Calvin and others sided with Greek fatalists. I have not read any scholarly historical writings that suggests this. The reason is that there is not a historical linkage, as far as I am aware. Do you have any light to shed on this? From reading a variety of Calvins works I wouldn’t call him a fatalist.

                Predestination was held by a wide range of teachers over the years. It was the orthodox position for well over a thousand years. As noted, the Council of Orange condemned semi-Pelagianism. So predestination has been a teaching of the Catholic Church for centuries. Jansenists emphasized this doctrine. Gottschalk held firmly to the doctrine.

                Predestination was not only taught by Calvin but by nearly all Protestant congregations in the first generations of the Reformation. The folks who resisted it were radicals and spiritualists and later pietists. Many of these folks were violent or antinomian. A small portion formed what would later become the thread from which present Anabaptists descend from. Rather than seeing Calvin as an utter foe, there was so much he and Grebel shared in common. Calvin expected the highest ethical practices of the citizens of Geneva. In so many ways his vision was similar to what the Amish pursue. The primary difference is the relation between church and state.

                I agree that sola fide can come across as troubling. I am interested in prescriptive theological work on this important subject.

            2. Jonathan Edwards

              Bargaining with God, Open Theism, and Calvin and Amman as two peas in a pod

              I don’t think any of the magisterial reformers would have used the concept of bargaining with God. Nevertheless, they held that humans persons make genuine choices and that these choices have real consequences. Also, that humans are responsible for the choices to the extent that they will be held accountable for their decisions.

              You probably didn’t intend to support the view of divine providence known as “open theism” but it seems your concept is susceptible to that interpretation. Bargaining suggests that God changes His mind. Although Scripture seems to suggest this at times, I tend these texts are giving the human perspective on certain situations and thus does not impinge on God’s immutability.

              By the way, Calvin has as much to commend him as Jacob Amman.

          3. Geniene

            predestination

            I should also add that, during the time of the reformation,the idea of personal agency was a under utilized concept, at a great cost to human development. Anabaptism was a major force for equality between the sexes and for human dignity, because of its embrace of the agency of the individual. We take it for granted now, but it wasn’t always that way.

            1. Jonathan Edwards

              Dignity and Equality

              Do you mind defining the equality of the genders? For example, does equality of personhood imply equality of role?

              And what precisely does contemporary dignity entail that sixteenth-century persons did not also maintain?

    11. Nicholas

      Thanks for sharing, Rebecca. These sound in line with the German Baptist beliefs, as well as what I understand are the beliefs of Mennonites and Hutterites. I always thought the four groups weren’t that different in theology or doctrine, just practice. Mach’s gut.

      1. Judy in MN

        Visiting the Amish at Belle Rive, ILL /Kalona IA

        Don Burke: Could you tell me please where you stayed in Kalona, Iowa? We were going to stay in Coralville, but some info I received from the Kalona C of C (we talked with Nancy) showed several places to stay. It would be great if I could get a line on one that someone had stayed at and a recommendation that would be a real bonus. Thanks, Don, for your advice and, again, for your beautiful pictures.
        Judy in MN

      2. Amish Girl-Rebecca

        Very true, Nicholas ! Vielen Dank !

    12. Adam

      Who do the Amsih/Mennonite Repent to?

      Are there any sins that aren’t forgiven? For example say fornication while on rumspringa?

    13. Osiah Horst

      repenting

      Confession would be made to God and/or men. Repentance is an issue between the person and God. All sins repented of are forgiven by God.

    14. Amish Girl-Rebecca

      Thanks for answering that one, Osiah and a hearty Amen !

      1. Adam

        Thank you very much for your response to my question, Osiah Horst. It’s very appreciated.

        Rebecca, I replied to your comment on a older topic from a few years ago (not sure if you saw it or not) regarding pen pals. If you’re still offering to be a pen pal I would be interested.

      2. shawn believer

        believer

        how do I go about being accepted in and part of the amish family in Kansas I haven’t found in my search until now fellow believers that are following the truth the way I was instructed by the divinely inspired holy bible I might have found were I belong but don’t know exactly what door to knock on first can some one help me Shawn # 16204753797

      3. shawn

        believer

        how do I go about being accepted in and part of the amish family in Kansas I haven’t found in my search until now fellow believers that are following the truth the way I was instructed by the divinely inspired holy bible I might have found were I belong but don’t know exactly what door to knock on first can some one help me Shawn # 16204753797 please call me if you can

    15. Sheryl Walker

      Tithing

      How does the Amish view tithing? Thank you.

      1. Sadie Mae

        Tithing and Community Assistance

        My parents gave twice a year based on the size of our family to support those in need. Amish aid, you might say. I think this is what you mean. If we had a big medical bill we would pay cash. Often hospitals would offer a cash discount. Then our district paid us back 90%. More than just medical bills we had community funded medical collection of medical supplies that we would give to those in need. Anything that was a hardship, our district and often other districts would find a way. Recently there was a car vs buggy where numerous children were injured. Imagine the cost to that family! Ambulance, helicopter transport, medical bills, rehab. The Amish will find a way.i apologize for adding more than you asked.

    16. Grace Peters

      Why do the Amish support animal cruelty?

      I find it very difficult to be around the Amish. I am deeply disheartened by their cruely to animals. They condone puppy mills and are known to be cruel to their farm animals. I truly do not believe that Jesus would find that acceptable and scripture backs up my belief. Why do the Amish support animal cruelty for greed and profit?

      1. Yoder in Ohio

        I’m glad I was taught to not judge an entire race, religion, region, population, or group of any kind as one. Are there Amish people who condone puppy mills? Probably though I do not know any myself and have never seen a puppy mill or know anyone who has them. Are there Amish who are cruel to farm animals? Again probably though I am not and was taught to be responsible and care for all animals to the best of my ability and we taught our children the same.
        But I don’t believe for one second it’s only Amish people guilty of animal neglect. I can see examples of that in my own neighborhood by people who are not Amish. The difference is I recognize that it’s ridiculous to say “all ____ are cruel or condone cruelty.”

        1. Sadie Mae

          Animal Cruelty

          That is one subject that infuriates me. Not at you, I’m glad you brought it up. I grew up Amish and none of my family or those that I knew around Lancaster county abused their animals nor had puppy mills. It’s horrible that some people believe it is an Amish exclusive problem. Yes, I do absolutely believe some Amish are guilty of both, but it is so rare. But you know, one bad apple spoils the bunch. Think of how many English abuse animals. I’m not sure of the word, when you compare groups and account for number differences in both groups, English do have more issues with animal cruelty. I’d give my factual reference if I remember where I read it. Animals hold much more value amongst the Amish. Losing a horse is a real financial hardship because you must have your horses. That is not always the case with the English. I have heard of puppy mills with the English and leaving dogs chained outside with little shelter or food. Simply forgotten about. It’s not restricted to one or the other. It is a human issue. Thank you for asking.

          1. Yoder in Ohio

            Well said, Sadie Mae!!

            1. Sadie Mae
      2. Sadie Mae

        Animal Cruelty

        I hope you did not say that to insult the Amish. I am not being rude, but educate yourself please and stop spreading these insulting words. I was raised Amish, probably knowing half of Lancaster County. I know nobody who are ok with animal abuse or has puppy mills. But I’m sure it is out there just as it is with the English. Factually more so with the English. It is absolutely not tolerated in any way with the Amish. It happens with Amish and non-Amish. But I would never say the English believe in animal abuse. Get to know more Amish and you will learn it’s not an Amish “belief”.

    17. Bethanne Vigliotti

      Do Amish hold Mary the mother of Jesus in reverence?

      Do the Amish hold Mary the mother of Jesus in reverence?

      1. Salie Mae

        Reverence of Mother Mary

        I’d say not in the way Catholics do. But she is viewed as Jesus’ mother and respected as that. If God chose her she must be worth something special, I’d say.

    18. Michael Scott Wiederkehr

      Practical application to number 13

      The conservative Mennonites and Amish that I know from my area teach that divorce and remarriage can only be forgiven if the remarried couple separate. There’s no place for the couple that came to Jesus after the remarriage, no place for those who were never taught that, and no place for forgiveness to avoid destroying a family and possibly turning one/the other/ or both from salvation.

    19. J Keith

      Amish Life

      The older I get and the more I watch the technology addicted, corrupt, wicked world melt down around me, the more I realize the Amish were way ahead of their time. Ironic but true. What a great way to live life.

    20. Zachary

      A lot of this is very similar to Baptists

      I know Anabaptists and Baptists (English Baptists) are not the same but other than non-resistance there a quite a few similarities in doctrine. I suspect that we have even more in common with the New Order.

    21. Paul J

      Not Saved

      Everything was fine, until I came to and read item #7.
      The word “repent” is fine, for it means “a change of mind” Jesus said “repent and believe” Jesus never said repent of your sins in order to be saved. Repenting of your sins is a “work” that you do. Mixing pure grace with works in DEADLY, and you are not saved by doing so.

      I call your attention to I Corinthians 1 thru 4, where Paul is stating the true gospel that we are to believe as a pre-requisite for salvation. That is simply “Christ died for our sins” He died and was buried, and three days later he rose from the dead. When we believe this, that is coupled with John 3:16 where the scripture calls out and individual, and that is WHOSOEVER. Christ, our creator in the flesh, died for MY sins and paid my sind debt. Then, he gave me his righteousness that gets me to heaven Salvation is a free gift when you believe that jesus died for you on the cross personally and rose from the dead for your justification. Period. Adding works to what he did for you, does NOT get you saved.

      Sorry to say, if this is the Amish doctrine of repenting of your sins, and adding to belief in the gospel is not what the bible requires for salvation.
      We are to believe on the name of Jesus Christ in order to be saved. We are saved by Christ alone and him only.

      Paul

    22. Paul J

      Correction to comment

      Please, my correction to the comment above, scripture reference. The correction is 1 Corintians 15: 1 thru 4.

      Stop and think about repenting of your sins, and how ridiculous it sounds : Ok, which sins ? What happens if you sin again?

      No, telling the Lord you repent of your sins, and another one is “willing to turn from sin”, to get saved is a false gospel.

      Jesus also said, that after you are saved ” go into all the world and take this gospel. NOT become a hermit !!!

      We are to believe the gospel and receive Christ as Savior to become born again.

      Please pray for the thousands of Amish people to see this. Salvation is belief by faith. Not works. We are to trust Jesus as our savior by what He already did on the cross for each individual person.
      We only must believe that he did it for us. Simple., and thank him for it and receive Him.

      Don’t forget, the Father watched his son suffer and die for us. Adding works to salvation is very bad, and the Father does not take kindly to that.

      Paul.

      1. Yoder in Ohio

        Faith and Works

        The two go hand in hand.

      2. Larry Simon

        Works is the evidence of faith

        Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. God saves us by faith and that faith produces good works. Without works from grace one need to analyze if their faith is real. Faith without works is dead. Love in word only and not deed is not love. God so loved the world that he gave his only son. God gets all the glory and that includes faith and works of grace.

        1. Paul

          Salvation

          Yes, Paul is talking about after being saved to work our own salvation in service to the Lord.
          Howerver, “work out your salvation” does not mean work out your salvation to get saved. This is “works” to get saved, and you don’t. The Lord means what he says. If you believe the gospel, and trust Jesus as your Savior, He honors that faith and we become saved. And saved by the Lord himself, NOT for something we did, God forbid.

          Unsaved people have read this and point and say “see” I can earn my own salvation. This is blasphemy. Jesus paid our sin debt with His SHED BLOOD, and as a blood atonement for a finished work on the cross for our salvation, in belief that he did this for the one who knows they have sin on their soul, and believe Christ died for them, shed his blood for their sins as full payment necessary to have eternal life in heaven.

          Remember, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” It only takes the faith the size of a mustard seed, and Jesus will honor it.

          There is no way you can lose your salvation, once you are saved. The holy spirit seals us, and Jesus said ” I will never leave you or forsake you” He promised eternal life to us that believe, with NO conditions.

          Once you are saved, you do not have to TRY to do good works. Good works just happen, because you have the Holy Spirit indwelling you, and He guides us into all truth. You cannot be un-born again. Once you are a son or daughter, born into the family of God, it is permanent, Praise His Holy Name.

          If you sin, you break fellow ship with the Father, and John 1:9 explains that. “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteouness. Remember all our sins have been paid for. Past, present, and future.

          Paul

          1. Yoder in Ohio

            As I was reading your post I had two thoughts.

            The first was of a very sincere Christian man I knew personally. (Not Amish) His faith was a great inspiration to many and over the years I often found myself thinking of him as the kind of man I hoped I was.

            A terrible thing happened in his life and he lost most of his family. The classic “This could make you bitter or better” thing. Sadly, it affected him really badly. He went from a very godly man who also believed in the once-saved-always-saved teaching to a very bitter man. Eventually he not only turned against God, he swore AT God and denounced Him in the most horrible ways. So… it is impossible for him to lose his salvation even though he curses and denounces God?

            The second thing to come to my mind is a woman who has often made the same claims you do. Divorced, she has lived with a series of partners and sadly had an affair with at least one married man. She openly lies and cheats in business and yet she is also openly very critical of conservative Christians because, as she has said to me personally, “I’m saved! There is literally NOTHING I can do to lose that!” She thinks we are unenlightened and living in bondage and darkness.

            Personally, I plan to go on repenting and asking my Saviour to help me do better. I do not do this to “earn” my Salvation, but because I know my sins grieve the God I love while also knowing he sees into the deepest parts of my heart. He redeemed me on the Cross. His love is vast and though I don’t need to tell him what is on my mind, I find peace in communing with Him and asking for His forgiveness and His help in helping me overcome my faults and weak points and do better as I move on through life. Often the feeling of peace that comes over me as I pray is healing and I love that.

            Do my “works” always reflect my Saviour? I wish they did, but alas I am human. With HIS help, I can always do better. That is my desire. Not to EARN it, but that I may reflect HIS love for us.

            1. Paul

              To Yoder

              Very good questions that demand an answer:

              Yes, keep on repenting. After we are saved we repent a lot. I do.
              We repent because the Holy Spirit within us reminds of of sin, that breaks fellowship with our Father. And in this world, we definetely need fellowship with our Father at all times, so we can pray without ceasing.

              When we are born again, we have two natures. We still have the “old man” within us, and well as the “new man”. By waling with the Lord daily, reading our bibles and letting the Lord talk to us, feeds the new man with God’s word and strength. When we sin, the Holy Spirit tells us we need to confess that. And we do, and go on.

              When the Lord says we have eternal life, He means it. No doubt about it. His blood is powerful, and pays the price of our sin, and per John 1:12 we become sons of God. That is permianent.

              Now. About this man who lost most of his family. The short answer is YES, he is still saved. HOWEVER, we hav a Father. And he disciplines us, and this man is in danger of “going home early” There is a sin of death, Paul says I believe in Galations, that we are not to pray for. And like this man he could have committed the sin of death, where the Lord takes him Home. He does not lose his salvation, but there is a question of rewards lost, because he did not lean on the Lord, and chose disobedience and not letting his Father console him, and comfort him.

              Read Corinthians 1 or 2 I believe where Paul mentioned to some of them “were you bewitched”? He was very upset with them, and said ” this is why some of you sleep” Meaning the Lord would take them home after they were turned over to Satan for the destruction of their body. NOT THEIR SOUL. That sould goes to heaven because his sins were paid for.

              Does that mean you can go live like the devil and still go go heaven ? Well yes, but why would you want to after being saved?

              When we sin as christians, and do not confess it, we CAN slip into a bad situation, and eventually the Lord could take us home early. That is why John 1:9 exists.
              Jesus said NO ONE is able to snatch one of these out of my Fathers hand. And yes, that means you too.

              As far as the woman who slipped back the way she was or even worse. Yes, she is still saved, but there are rewards to gain that are eternal. People like this who yield to the “old man” can be taken home, after they have committed the sin unto death.

              We cannot lose our salveation. If we could, then it is all works to keep it. That is not how the Lord designed our salvation. No way.

              He said ” I will NEVER leave you or forsake you” Was he kidding ?
              He said we have ETERNAL LIFE. There are no conditions. If there were, then HIS Blood WAS NOT powerful enough to pay for our sins. Read 1 Corintians 15:1 thru 4.

              We ourselves cannot obtain salvation outside of Christ by doing good works, now can we or do we have to maintain our salvation by good works. No, No, No, that would be total blasphemy. To believe this is complete heresy.

              Satan wants to keep you in bondage. Rest in your salvation. Yes, ask the Lord for forgiveness and repent daily like you are doing. That is good. Pray without ceasing. Do intercessary prayer for those to do not know Christ, and tell others about the good news. That is the Christian way. “For He did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and a sound mind”

              Yes, I beleive onced saved always saved. I have a son. No matter WHAT he does, I still love him, and he is still my son, and always will be my son. Oh, I may get mad at him for doing something bad, but that is out of Love. If he says “Dad. Sorry I did that”. Do you think I would not forgive him. He is my son.
              I believe in easy believeism, they call it. But that is the bible way, and once saved always saved is what the bible indicates. Total obvious.

              The Lord bless you is my prayer.
              Paul J.

              1. Yoder in Ohio

                Okay, now I'm confused

                In one comment you say “repenting is deadly” but yet you seem to suggest I should go on repenting. Repentance goes WITH accepting the gift Christ gave!

                By their fruits…. Fruits seem to indicate one’s life/ works.

                And THIS is why I tend to shy away from this topic. But it’s okay, I’m not offended and nothing changes my beliefs. I’m commenting just conversationally.

                I wonder what the man’s reaction will be when after cursing God, damning Him, and denouncing Him, he is “dragged kicking and screaming and cursing” all the way into Heaven!

                And the woman who cheats, lies, has affairs etc., is still going to Heaven because she cannot lose her Salvation? That’s quite a thought. She can knowingly and purposely continue to follow her greed and lust with NO loss of eternal life? Wow.

                You make an excellent point on people who aggressively broadcast the fact they are saved and they might be deceived on this.

                The best answer I ever heard to the question “Are you saved?” came from a Hutterite girl. Her answer was, “Why are you asking me? I could tell you anything! Ask the people I live with and work with every day.”

                Interesting discussion, thanks! I’ll bow out wishing you all things good.

                1. Love one another

                  John 17: v 23: “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”

                  Here we are 2,000 years later and we have not learned how to leave religion aside, love one another and share communion among ALL believers in the salvation of Christ by grace alone. As long as there is a separation in not sharing communion among ALL those why say.. SAY, that they believe in salvation by grace alone, then it is no wonder why the world does not believe that God sent his only son. As long as there are diverse opinions on little details of religion that keeps us separated from the collective church of bridegroom, those who insist on remaining separate because of non-salvation-by-grace issues, then such person is in personal apostate status.

                  War on the macro world scale is supported by war in the hearts of so called believers.

                  Jacob Ammon, a petty little dictator and sinner, excommunicated all those who did not believe in excommunication in the same way as he did; took along about 20 families with him and to this day the Amish are the most splintered religious sect on earth.. not even waving hello to the passers by they splinter from.

                  The love ofGod is definitely not in the Amish Church, and as far as the eye can see, the love of God is also not in MOST other religious sects.. those you keep mentioning as the ones who are in heresy.

                  Remove first the beam from thine own eye, and then you may see to remove the splinter from your own eye.

                  May the Holy Spirit convict you as to your sin, so you may repent (do a 180 degree turn) and receive the Lord’s grace.

                  1. Yoder in Ohio

                    The love of God is not in the Amish church? I disagree. We don’t wave at those we have split from? News to me. I have friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family in various Amish groups and we get along well. I have no idea where that idea comes from!

                    How nice you have found the church that has managed to “get it right” while the rest of us are apparently apostates or something.

                    Praying for you!

                    1. Lloyd Byler

                      All men are sinners except by faith

                      The only salt of the earth ‘church’ is the one in agreement with the rest of the body, the bride of Christ. Unless and until you are comfortable having communion with, you most certainly are not unified with the brethren. Waving at someone is not communion. ‘Excommunicated’ is what you are if you are not attending the congregation of brethren of believers who trust Christ by faith.
                      All I see here is arguing about ‘outer’ works rather than by the free gift of believing in salvation.
                      Pointing fingers at this sect and that sect as to how and what words to say to prove that you are a real Christian and trying to parse words as to what and when repentance is the ‘right’ thing to do?! Hypocrisy! Heresy!

                      And then to express false humility and righteousness by saying that you are ‘bowing’ out of the argument, and pretending to pray a good prayer for me?!

                      For one thing, I neither need nor want nor desire your sanctimonious prayers, because Christ is the only intercessor that I need to pray for me.

                      All are sinners, and not one is righteous, except by faith in the free gift of believing in the salvation of the sacrifice that Christ made with his own life.
                      If this faith alone does not unify you enough to have communion with another believer, then by all means you are heretic who preaches teachings for those with itching ears.

                      To those who have ears to hear, let him hear.

                      1. KF

                        As a Christian, your response and arguments make me sad and ashamed. We aren’t all like this, people!

          2. Larry Simon

            Wheat and tare

            You can’t lose your salvation but you can be deceived and think you have it and then the Lord could say to you “ I never new you”. How does one know he is saved? Speaking in tongue’s, near live experience, walking an aisle, baptist, etc. Jesus said you will know them by their fruit. The Holy Spirit fruit bus love and ends self control. A person who truly is said is choosing to please Jesus by doing what he said to do and that is love God and love neighbor. If you are not desiring that and limping our way forward in that direction, then we should ask God to give us a new heart that believes and desires to please him. Yes we are eternally saved but it is only by God not our belief that we are saved. Pride comes up in many ways

            1. Paul

              To Larry

              Yes Larry. You touched on a very sad reality. People can think they are saved, but in reality, they are not.

              Paul of the bible never asked anyone to say a sinners prayer. There is no such thing. He said to believe the gospel and you will be saved.

              How do we know we are saved? By beilieving on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. But what does that mean ?

              1. Jesus is who he said he was and is. He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, and was 100% God. God the Creator as John 1 thru 12 says. He proved he was God many times with the disciples. Raising the dead, telling the wind and the sea to be calm. Opening blind mens eyes. I don’t know of too many people who could do this except Jesus.
              Do you believe this ??

              2. Jesus willingly went to the cross, shed his blood to pay YOUR sin debt. Do you believe this ??

              3. He died and was buried, and three days later rose again to life. Spent 40 days with the disciples then rose to heaven bodily. Over 500 people witnessed this. Do you believe this.?

              This is the gospel. If you beleive that Jesus did this for you so that you could be saved, the bible, God’s infallible word says you are saved. No conditions, no ifs, ands or butts or therefores.
              Tell the Lord you trust him for your salvations, and you trust him to take you to heaven when you die. Receive him as your Savior. Talk to him in your own words. Then the Holy Spirit will take up residence in you, and guide you in all truth. You will know you are saved ( I John chapter 5)

              Don’t be a penticostal. Not biblical. They believe you can lose your salvation, and that is a lie.
              A lot of people walk down the aisle, say a sinners prayer. Tell the Lord they repent of their sins, etc. This is not the gospel and these people are NOT saved. Sorry.

              Pleasing Jesus and doing God’s will is believing on the name of the Lord Jesus.

              You mentioned Matthew 7. Yes this is scary indeed. Jesus said to the people that walked down the aisle and repented of their sins, and the pastor pronounced them saved, Depart from me. There is only one place they can go and that is hell.
              Jesus said ” Depart from me, for I never knew you. Before that Jesus said ” Not everyone that says to me “Lord Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but those who do the will of my Father”. Ahh. Here is the key. What is the will of the Father that gets us into heaven. Look at John chapter 6:40, and Jesus says “AND THIS IS THE WILL OF HIM THAT SENT ME, THAT EVERYONE THAT SEES THE SON AND BELIEVETH ON HIM MAY HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE AND I WILL RAISE HIM UP ON THE LAST DAY” There it is. Look at verse 47. It says ” Verily Verily I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. Now did he say temporary life ?? No….everlasting. That means forever. And how ???? Read items 1 thru 3 above.

              Jesus said for us to believe. That is not a work. It is not prideful to believe what the Lord has done to obtain our salvation for us. Not at all. Matter of fact it is humble, because we have to know we are sinners and desperately need the Lords help. I came to the Lord dripping and full of sin. He did not cast me out and say you are too far gone.
              No, he forgave me of my sins, and gave me his righteousness and took my sinfullness. That is not pride. If I ignored what he did for me on the cross I would go straight to hell.

              Lord bless you Larry. Hope this helps.
              Paul

              1. Scott Wiederkehr

                Salvation, revolving door or prison?

                In Romans 10:9 we see what we need to do to be saved and then it’s explained in verse 10. When we receive salvation we enter a covenant with God. Drawn by the Holy Spirit to the shed blood of Jesus on the cross to right standing with the Father. We confess, repent, and make amends where possible for our sins. Next we live a changed life according to the commandments of Jesus. Now God is forever faithful and will never break the covenant of salvation with you, but we ARE NOT! Just like the Hebrews, the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, they kept breaking the covenant, but God kept renewing it when they repented. They had to endure judgement first. We are no different, we are not imprisoned by God, we have free will to follow sin and break the covenant. We also have free will to repent again and restore that which we broke by God’s grace. So it’s neither a revolving door nor a prison, it’s both.

                1. Yoder in Ohio

                  Well Said!

                  I like this enough to copy it to think over some more. Thank you, Scott!

                  And KF, yes, I know and I am grateful. I shudder to think what might have become of me had I been exposed to that kind of mind-set when I was younger and full of struggles and doubts.

    23. Paul

      To Yoder

      Yoder. Pleasae re-read what my comment was. You mis-understood, or I was not clear enough for you. That’s ok.

      Your cannot repent of your sins to be saved. That is a work. Salvation is by believing what Christ did for us on the cross. Reference I Cor. 15:1 thru 4.

      AFTER you are saved you can repent of your sins all you want. Continually if need be.

      Praying to the Lord and saying a sinners prayer like most churches preach, and promising the Lord you will Turn from sin, or Repent of your sins necessary for salvation is a HERESY and you don’t get saved because you are adding to the gospel, and telling the Lord basically that he needs YOUR help to be saved. That is totally crazy.

      AGAIN. Repenting of your sins AFTER you are saved is perfectly fine, and that is what I was telling you. That is is line with 1 John 1:9

      CLEAR ??

      Paul

    24. Paul

      To Yoder

      Yes Yoder, back on your comment. Sinning like your examples above that these Christians do, does not go un-punished. Read 1 Corinthians 5, where Paul is talking to the Corinthians that had slipped back into sin. I think that explains in all.

      Please remember, “Once saved always saved” is not my idea. It is the Lords idea, and I am thankful for it. I am not perfect and I am under grace of course. I cannot go to hell, because my sins are paid for. In full.

      Any born again beleiveer can say the same thing.
      People always think that hell is for bad people, and heaven is for good people. No. The bible does not say that. It says heaven is for born again believers, and hell is for people not born again.

      Hope this helps.

      P

    25. Lloyd Byler

      Of the Spirit; Measures and Judgements

      Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
      Isaiah 5:20

      For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
      Matthew 7:2

      But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
      John 4:23

      The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
      John 3:8

      But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
      1 Corinthians 2:14

      … that there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
      1 Corinthians 12:25

      .. and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
      Ephesians 5:11

      ***

      Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: Rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
      Proverbs 9:8

      Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: And reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge.
      Proverbs 19:25

      He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, Shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
      Proverbs 29:1

    26. Lloyd Byler

      The Rock of Your Love

      The Rock Of Your Love

      I lose myself in this place
      Strangest smile on my face
      The Hand of blessing or beginner’s luck
      Here I stand on the rock of Your love;

      Somethin’ steady sure feels good
      I always knew somehow it would
      I’ve traded chains for the wings of a dove
      Standin’ on the rock of Your love;

      Let the storm clouds roll
      Let the rain flood my soul
      I’ll still be here when the troubles come
      And I’ll be standin’ on the rock of Your love;

      If this ole world should fade away
      If I got You, I’m not afraid
      And I will face whatever comes
      Cause I’ll be standin’ on the rock of Your love;

      Let the storm clouds roll
      Let the rain flood my soul
      I’ll still be here when the troubles come
      And I’ll be standin’ on the rock of Your love;

      And I’ll still be here when the troubles come
      Here I stand on the rock of Your love
      Lord I’ll be standin’

      (Song, by Kenny Rogers)

    27. Amen!

      I am a Christian and everything expressed is biblical. But their interpretation of Romans 13 is what is promoted by the Roman Catholic church, obey all arthority. We only obey those whose leadership promotes good not evil. Ecclesiastics 10:4 tells us that we are not to submit to tyranny. Ephesians 5:11 tells us not to indulge in evil but to expose it. I believe America is in the condition it is in today because the church has not followed Ephesians 5:11 exposing the evil and dangers to it congregations and the public.

    28. Thomas

      Can Amish Watch Religious Themed Films, like "The Passion of the Christ"?

      I think the Amish but I`m curious to know if some of them might open an exception for religious themed films, like “The Passion of the Christ”, by Mel Gibson. I`m curious to know if there were some Amish who have watched the film and enjoyed it.

      1. Thomas

        Can Amish Watch Religious Themed Films, like "The Passion of the Christ"?

        I think the Amish usually don`t watch films, but I`m curious to know if some of them might open an exception for religious themed films, like “The Passion of the Christ”, by Mel Gibson. I`m curious to know if there were some Amish who have watched the film and enjoyed it.

      2. Thomas

        Correction

        I am sorry, I meant “dont watch films”, rather obviously.

    29. LANE DENUNE

      Clarification Obtained.

      Thank you for taking the interest and time to produce this education to us English folk. I was seeing on YouTube that there are some videos circulation that Amish do not believe in being born again and are basically idolitors of their lifstyle and behaviour. Thanks to the testimony given here by Miller that has been revealed to be an outright lie.
      Thanks Again For Clarification!
      Yours In Christ, Lane.