Exposing The Amish
By: Brian A. Yeager
As I began doing my research of the Amish I reached one of those “duh” moments. You know, the kind of moment when you realize you’re doing something dumb. What dumb thing was I doing you might ask? I was searching the Internet for an “official Amish website” when the Amish are notorious for rejecting modern technology. Duh, they do not and could not have an official website.
Since the Amish do not publish materials that we can read and expose them with, I am going to write this article based on commonly known facts about the Amish. As we’ve noted with other religious bodies of error, we need to be clear that all Amish are not alike. Some have modernized. There are religious divisions among their numbers.
There are things I wish we had access to so that we could expose them. For example, I learned in my research that the Amish have an UNWRITTEN code of conduct called the “Ordnung”. Here is what I found about that: “All aspects of Amish life are dictated by a list of written or oral rules, known as Ordnung, which outlines the basics of the Amish faith and helps to define what it means to be Amish. For an Amish person, the Ordnung may dictate almost every aspect of one's lifestyle, from dress and hair length to buggy style and farming techniques. The Ordnung varies from community to community and order to order, which explains why you will see some Amish riding in automobiles, while others don't even accept the use of battery-powered lights” (http://pittsburgh.about.com/cs/pennsylvania/a/amish_2.htm).
With the information you just read and the knowledge that I have about the Amish, I am going to take a simple direction in exposing this erring religion. I am going to write about the errors of the Amish by exposing the error of overreacting. Most of the Amish beliefs are simply based upon an overbearing conscience that Amish folks act upon. No modern technology, closed Amish communities, simple dress, simple living, etc. shows us what happens when we go too far.
The Amish – A People Dedicated To Extremism
The errors of the Amish begin with following a man-made creed called the “Ordnung”. The Scriptures alone are supposed to be the guide of people who claim to be of God (Job 32:8, II Timothy 3:16-17, and II Peter 1:3). One cannot proclaim to be a follower of the Lord while walking to the beat of his or her own drum (Matthew 7:21-23, Luke 6:46, and Galatians 1:6-12). Their extremism is fueled with ignorance because they maintain the mindset that their way is the way of God. Of course, most people who walk according to their own rule are self-deceived (Proverbs 16:2, Proverbs 16:25, Proverbs 21:2, Galatians 6:3, and James 1:22).
I do not know about you, but I can see the temptation of moving into a community made up of only those of like precious faith. We are warned about friendship with the world throughout the Scriptures (James 4:4). The world is evil (John 7:7). We must be concerned about who influences us (I Corinthians 15:33). The Scriptures even instruct us not to love the things of this world (I John 2:15-17). Yet, the Lord shows us that we can live in this world and not be of this world (John 17:10-16). Therefore, while it may sound noble to begin a close community of believers, you are just overreacting by doing so. Our lives are supposed to be on display in this world to show the Lord through our conduct (Philippians 2:14-16). We cannot hide ourselves from the sight of unbelievers (Matthew 5:14-16).
The denial of modern technology is one of the most known errors of the Amish. They attempt to live plain lives so that they are not tempted to be worldly because of worldly devices. Brethren, the things we have in this world are meant for our use and enjoyment (I Timothy 6:17). If at any time we begin to love something and serve it like a god, then that thing is something we must purge from our lives because it would become an idol unto us (Ephesians 5:5; cf. I Corinthians 10:14)
The Conscience Is Not The Lawgiver
I know many people who would fit into some aspects of the Amish culture. These people are always saying things like, “I believe that ____________ is a sin”. Frankly, who cares what you believe. We should only care about what God says (Psalms 1:1-2, Psalms 19:7-11, I Corinthians 4:6, Ephesians 5:10, Colossians 3:17, and I Thessalonians 5:21). The Amish are a people who dedicate their faith to their overbearing consciences. Having a clear conscience does not always mean you’re doing the right thing (Acts 23:1, I Corinthians 15:9, Galatians 1:13, and I Timothy 1:15).
The overbearing [unpleasantly or arrogantly domineering] conscience is unscriptural (Romans 14:7-13). One cannot create a law simply because they feel something is wrong (I Timothy 4:1-4). The Pharisees and certain of the scribes did this when binding the washing of hands, pots, etc. The Lord then condemned them for their man-made law making (Mark 7:1-9). You cannot begin defining what is good and what is bad in the sight of the Lord without His approval (Isaiah 5:20). We have to have faith, which comes soley from the Scriptures (Romans 10:17), in what we’re doing or not doing (Romans 14:23).
I have often thought about how zealous the Amish appear to be. The problem is, zeal doesn’t make their actions right (Romans 10:1-3). God does not want His people to get in the mud with worldly people (Proverbs 1:10-19 and Ephesians 5:1-11), but He doesn’t want us to isolate ourselves either (I Peter 2:9). Since we do not have any real reference material on the Amish to continue exposing them, this article will be the only one on the Amish. Our next series of articles will expose the growing movement of religious error in America known as the Community Church Movement.
Volume 10 – Issue 39 - June 20th, 2010