Amish - More Than Just a Lifestyle

In my post, The Simple Amish Lifestyle, I promised to tell you the purpose and philosophy which lies behind the Amish lifestyle.

There are many different sects within the Amish religion today. You can find Old Order, New Order, Beechy, and Swartzentruber Amish, to name a few.

While some sects of Amish are less conservative than others, generally, their hope of eternal life is largely based on their loyalty in keeping the rules and traditions passed down by their forefathers.

You are probably wondering why the forefathers saw a need to establish rules and regulations at all. That is really a good question!

Since they believe their lifestyle will affect their "hope" of Heaven, their church leaders sought to appease God by shunning "worldliness" and living by specific guidelines of which they assumed God would approve.

The leaders believe God gives them the authority to define sin according to any preferred and agreed upon rules which they choose to establish and enforce.

When they decided on horse and buggy transportation only, it became "sin" in their eyes to own or drive a car.

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Also, as it was decided electricity is worldly, it must also be sinful.

They assumed that God was more pleased with a certain "humble" design of clothing in plain dark colors, so that became the clothing guideline by which to live. All other colors and designs then became "sin” for their people since it was against the established rules.

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Over the years, these and many other regulations became the Amish tradition, which they hold very near and dear and adamantly cling to until this day.

In most of the different sects of Amish, loyalty to the established guidelines and traditions takes priority over a truly biblical and Spirit-led lifestyle. Most of them would probably deny this statement, but ask them what happens to any member who doesn't keep that loyalty foremost in their life! Experience tells us that it will almost always result in severe church discipline, or even excommunication, (expelled from the church). It is basically a tactic by which the Amish system is held together.

Please, let me explain at the risk of sounding harsh... It has been said, "Take away the Bible from most Amish churches, and they would continue to function fine; take away their system of rules and regulations, and their churches would cease to exist as a church." This is very sobering, I know, but very true!

My husband and I, and all of the families who left the Amish religion with us thirty-five years ago, are still excommunicated to this day.

Let me just assure you, we've never regretted giving our hearts and lives to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is now our sinless Guide and Protector Who will never mislead us! He adopted us into a new family β€” His family! Praise the Lord!

Photo Credit:
horse & buggy: Joshua J. Cotten