Are the Amish considered Christian? What exactly do they believe? What are their values? Do their beliefs make them Christian?
Are the Amish Considered Christian?
Living in Kansas we have a considerably large population of the Amish people. Most of the evangelical or mainstream Christians consider them Christians but just from a different denomination. They believe that the Amish are very conservative Christians and they would be true. If you ask the Amish people themselves, they would say that they are Christians. They are closely related to the Anabaptists and associated with the Brethren Quakers and the Mennonites. The Amish split from the Mennonites in the 17th century. The vast majority of the Amish came to America from Switzerland and theRhine River Valley in Europe in the early 18th century.
The Amish refrain from using modern technology. They like the old ways from the old world from which they immigrated a few hundred years ago. They believe in the doctrines that are found in the Bible so they are considered by all accounts to be a Christian. What makes a Christian? It is not by attending church. It is not by being baptized. It is not by being religious. A person is a Christian just like it is to any other mainstream Christian church; professing belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and living that belief out in their lives.
What Exactly Do They Believe?
They believe in the Bible. They believe in Jesus Christ and strive at all times to live by the beatitudes that were taught by Christ in Matthew chapter five. The Amish do educate their children but not beyond the eight grade level. They do not believe in accepting help from the outside world and that includes help from the U.S. government. They do not receive food stamps or Social Security benefits but neither do they have to pay into Social Security taxes, as agreed to by the U.S. Supreme court in 1961. They do pay state and local taxes however. They are a very peaceful society and in fact only a few fights among their own people have ever been recorded in their entire history and these people were often excommunicated.
What are Their Values?
Their values are their families. Most of the Amish children are born and reared in traditional family settings and in the Christian faith. Respect for elders, resistance to aggression, and a great desire to be in the will of Jesus are high priorities with the Amish. They are passive in the sense that they would not retaliate if they were stuck, they do not participate in any military services, and they rarely accept new converts. They also value tradition. They do not like to use new technologies and they refrain from using many of the modern day conveniences such as air conditioning, automobiles, and mechanized farm machinery. They are primarily agricultural and raise their own food and make their own clothes. They teach their own children and they only occasionally travel into city dwellings except for certain supplies that they can not acquire on their own.
Do Their Beliefs Make Them Christian?
As was written earlier, they profess faith in Jesus Christ and believe in the veracity of the Bible. They live by it better than most professing Christians do, however some other Christian denominations believe that they are a works-based religion. This is simply not true. As long as anyone professes faith in Christ and believes in Him as Lord and Savior, they are a Christian. They would not say that their good works have saved them. They understand that Jesus is the only way to eternal life. They simply try to avoid much of the modern entrapments of the world that most of us live in. That, in itself, is not wrong and does not disqualify them from being a Christian. They simply strive to live separate from the world. Therefore we can say with full assurance that the Amish people truly are a Christian people. Just being different from most Christian evangelicals does not mean that they are not Christian. Ask any Amish man, woman, or child and they will tell you: “Yes, we are Christians.”
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