7/26/2005

The Amish

I really love reading about the Amish. I don't really know why, they just fascinate me. I don't want to be one, they are just interesting. To me it is more than just a religion, it is a culture!!

The Amish religion was founded by Jacob Ammen in 1693-1697 .

The Bible is the sacred text of the Amish people. The Amish interpret the
Bible literally and directly in many cases which explains their lifestyle. In
addition to the Bible there are unwritten rules on which the Amish people base
their morals and way of life. The Ordung are the unwritten rules of the church
and are not specified in writing, but are known and closely followed.

The Amish sacred texts include the Bible and the Ordnung. They interpret the bible literally and directly. Once a member is baptized, they are bound to the Ordnung. The Ordnung is a set of written and unwritten rules established by the Bishops, which regulates all aspects of Amish life

Which part of the Bible, New Testament or Old Testament? I am guess Old. The Ordung is outlined at the end of this, very different. But it does state where they got the rules from..i.e. which scriptures Very impressive



The Amish people are direct descendants of the Anabaptists of sixteenth
century Europe. Anabaptism is a religion that came about during the reformation
era. During sixteenth century Europe, people were changing their ideas about
religion The term Anabaptist first started out as a nickname that meant
"rebaptizer", because this group rejected the idea of infant baptism. They said that because an infant does not have the knowledge of good and evil, it can not have sin. The Anabaptists were seen as a threat to Europe's religious and social institutions and were therefore persecuted. As a result of this persecution, Anabaptists emigrated to find refuge in places such as Moravia, Alsace, Palatinate, and the Netherlands


To a point I agree with this. This was a tough time for relitions everywhere.


The Amish religion is actually a branch off of the Swiss Mennonites. The group
received its name from its founder, Jacob Amman. Amman was born in Switzerland
and later moved to Alsace, where he became an elder and spokesman for the
Anabaptists in that area

As a result of persecution, the Amish began to
immigrate to North America. More specifically, they went to Pennsylvania,
because it had become a haven for other persecuted religions


As did most non-catholic people.

The Anabaptist movement believes that only the pure should be involved in
religion and that if a member were to fall into sinful actions, he or she should
be excommunicated. Meidung, also called shunning, is the practice of the
community to avoid associating with members of the community who have been
excommunicated. Jacob Amman's interpretation and practice of Meidung was even
more strict than that of the Anabaptists. He told his followers to shun all
members that leave the Amish church and those who marry an outsider

Man, flash back from reading the "Scarlet Letter". Just a thought, if only the pure were involved in religion--Why did J.C. die for us? This seems more "cult-ish" then religious. They want to keep their ways of life to themselves, but without any "outsiders" to help with the population--wouldn't incest happen?

The practice of washing feet comes from the scripture of John 13. The Amish
follow a strict and literal interpretation of the Bible, and just as Jesus
washed the feet of his disciples at the last supper, the Amish wash each others'
feet at the observance of communion. They stoop when washing each others' feet
as a symbol of humility


I understand this, but it creeps me out....I have a foot fetish and I couldn't do it....put me in the stocks!!!

Some of the most important beliefs held by the Amish are: separation from the
outside world, vow of obedience, and closeness to nature. There are other
regulations over societal customs such as dress, use of inventions and no formal
education beyond elementary school. The fear of being shunned and excommunicated keeps the Amish from being tempted by the outside world. The moral beliefs of the Amish Church are based on the Bible and most of their views stem from literal translations of the teachings of the Bible. The Amish do not try to
recruit members from the outside world because that would be seen as consorting
with those that are shunned


Very cult-ish. Makes me wonder if they think God is good?? Why would anyone want to live in fear all of their lives???

I found this on a sight.....it's the Ordnung-- or a version of it. Their rules for living.


SEPARATION FROMTHE WORLD
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." I John 2:15
"and the world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." John 17:14
"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing." II Cor. 6:17

HUMILITY AND HOLINESS
"And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Phil 2:8
"...be ye holy, for I am holy."I Peter 1:16

HARD WORK AND FARMING
"Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden to till the soil from whence he was taken." Gen. 3:23

REFUSAL TO GO TO WAR
"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." II Cor. 10:4
"...be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, forbearing." II Tim. 2:24
"...whomsoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." Matt. 5:39
"...if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight..." John 18:36

SUBMISSION TO HUSBAND
"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church..." Eph. 5:22-23
this one made me spit Pepsi thru my nose...


WEARING APRONOVER DRESS
"...and they sewed fig leaves together, and mad themselves aprons." Gen. 3:7

WOMEN'S BONNETS
"But every women that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoreth her head." I Cor. 11:5

WOMEN'S CLOTHING,NO JEWELRY
"...that women adorn themselves in modest apparel...not with plaited hair, or gold or pearls, or costly array." I Timothy 2:9

ABSTINENCE FROMSTRONG DRINK
"Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor they sons with the." Lev. 10:9

SELF DENIAL AND FEASTING
"And He said to them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily." Luke 9:23

FELLOWSHIP AND FEASTING
"When ye come together to eat, tarry one for another." I Cor. 11:33

ATTITUDE AGAINST LAW
"And if any man sue thee at law, and take away they coat, let him have they cloak also." Matt. 5:40

UNIFORMITY OF DRESS AND TRANSPORTATION (Hair, Beard, Home, etc.)
"Endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace." Eph. 4:3
"...Ye are called in one body, and be ye thankful." Col. 3:15

REFUSAL TO BUYLIFE INSURANCE
"But if any provide not for his own and especially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel." I Tim. 5:8

LIMITED SCHOOLING
"For wisdom of the world is foolishness with God." I Cor. 3:19
I think this is impossed so the children won't learn of the
world and question their beliefs and want to leave their community. It's another control factor.

CHURCH IN HOMES
"The Lord of Heaven and Earth dwelleth not in the temples made with hands." Acts 17:24

SUBMISSION TO BISHOPSAND DEACONS
"Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elders. Yea, all of you be subject one to another." I Peter 5:5

CHOOSING BISHOP BY LOT
"And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, show whether of these two Thou hast chosen (to take the place of Judas)...and they gave forth their lots and the lot fell upon Matthias..."Acts 1:23-26

FOOT WASHING
"...He poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet..." John 13:5

EXCOMMUNICATIONAND SHUNNING
"Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it: if he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity." Ezekiel 33:9
"...if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer or drunkard or an extortioner: with such a one do not eat." I Cor. 5:11
"To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh."I Cor. 5:5

To me, after reading this, I think these people took part in the witch hunts. I understand they are taking it directly from the Bible, but the Bible was (to me) meant to be use as a guideline--not the game plan. It was written in a time where people weren't very domestic or virtuous, they had to be very blunt about things. Thou shalt not lie with animals, don't sleep with you brother's wife. I mean pretty basic common sense, but they had the rules to go by.

It seems that the Amish have these beliefs but they take them to extremes. Although, they do have a community and no need for law enforcement unless "outsiders" are involved.

Amish children do have toys. Small girls have rag dolls which are made from cloth and do not have a face as graven images are against their belief.

The boys play ball and other ordinary games that children play as long as it doesn't involve any kind of technology such as telephones, computers, etc.

Weird

As I am surfing through Amish sights, it seems they are semi-commericial. I mean they are very well known for their crafts, food and construction talents. They have a means to survive in the world as they are trying to keep the world out of their lives. It must be difficult to see all the "modernized" people and know that you are not allowed to be like them. I am guessing that their lives are very well rounded and they do not want to leave.

It is still a very interesting culture even though I don't completely agree with it.

Wedding Rituals
An Amish wedding consists of three basic time frames: the courtship period, an announcement and the actual wedding day or ceremony. Most young Amish men and women have the goal to get married in their early twenties. This is because of the fact that beginning their own family life is a large part of sustaining their agriculturally based community. The courtship period starts very early in Amish culture, typically around the age of sixteen. During this time the man will take the girl on walks or on rides in an appropriately called courting buggy. Once the man proposes to the women it is usually done in secrecy. He gives her china or a clock as a symbol of his loyalty to her. The timing of the proposal is very critical in the process of the marriage. All of the wedding events revolve around the fall harvest so they do not interfere with the harvest itself. The bride tells her family in July or august, and consent is given. Once consent is given arrangements are made for the announcement of the couple and the ceremony. This announcement to the community is done on October 11th the Amish day of fasting. It is done in the church at the end of the sermon while the bride and groom are not present. Later the same evening, the groom will have dinner at the brides home to be formally introduced to her family. It is now only a matter of days that the couple has to prepare for the actual wedding ceremony. The bride will make her dress, usually blue in color. Her dress will serve three purposes: for her wedding, her Sunday church gown and finally she will also wear her dress at her funeral. The groom is dressed in a black suit for the wedding day. The day starts off like all days on an Amish farm with milking the cows and other chores. Guests will arrive at the church around 6:30 am with the ceremonies starting at 8:30am. 200-400 guests will begin the ceremony by singing hymns and reciting prayers. During this time the minister will counsel the couple before returning for a three-hour sermon. After the ceremony the guests and wedding party will attend a large banquet prepared by the women of the wedding party. The time is spent visiting and playing games. There are two meals served during this time and the bride and groom will remain there until the last guest leaves at around 10:00pm. Once everyone has left the bride and groom spend their first night together in the brides home. They do this so they can help clean up the ceremony the next day. The next few months are spent visiting friends and collecting gifts until the spring when they can build their own home.

Dang and I thought Catholic Weddings were long...(yes I just dodged another lightening bolt). This is a very curious cermony. And......I wish I could fit into my wedding dress when I died....This would be difficult, because I have yet to have a real wedding dress...:((

Like I said, this is more of a culture than a religion.

3 Comments:

Blogger drama mama said...

Wow...they are really literal! I always understood most of that to be symbolic.

7/31/2005 12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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3/16/2007 8:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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4/23/2007 1:21 PM  

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