What about the Amish?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by robycop3, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. robycop3

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    I didn't know just which forum to use for this, as it's current events, Anabaptist theology, and general Christian theology from a baptist's viewpoint, so if any moderator wishes to move this, I understand.

    The Amish have been brought to the attention of the news media again by the depraved act of a defective individual who, thankfully, killed himself before he could kill any more children. While I deplore his acts in the strongest way, I feel it's time to post my findings about the Amish religion, gleaned over a 20-year period.

    First, they believe in the Holy Trinity, and most of the facts about JESUS CHRIST, including virgin birth, sinless life, incarnation, crucifixion, & resurrection.. They believe the Bible is the word of God, in the devil as a being, and in heaven & hell.

    But, I said, "MOST" of the facts about Jesus...not ALL. They do NOT believe in salvation by His grace. They believe that the belief in sure salvation by grace is arrogant and therefore sinful. They believe God weighs each person's life upon their deaths & then decides whether to send them to heaven or hell. THEY BELIEVE IN SALVATION BY WORKS rather than by FAITH IN JESUS.

    They call themselves Christian, but they AREN'T. They believe IN Jesus, (His existence) but they don't believe many of His WORDS, nor in His office as SAVIOR. Yes, they lead moral lives, but then so do most Moslems.

    They mis-interpret many Biblical principles. For example, they don't use electricity from the grid because they believe it yokes them together with the resta the world. (However, they don't hesitate to use water from the same rivers that "the world" uses!) They refuse to be photographed because of God's command to not make any images of any person or object. (However, they missed the part forbidding such things to be made for ICONS OF WORSHIP!)

    I don't wanna get off their religion & go into their goofy lifestyle, but I WOULD like to remind you that they are a CULT, as much of a cult as are the Mor(m)ons & the Jabroney False Witlesses. Their faith in the existence and deity of Jesus Christ does NOT cover their LACK of faith in Him as THE ONLY SAVIOR. They have substituted the TRADITIONS OF MAN for the COMMANDS OF GOD.
     
  2. deacon jd

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    I appreciate you starting this thread I have always been curious just what the Amish do believe.
     
  3. robycop3

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    Deacon JD, I learned mosta this from an Amish man to whom I gave a ride in my car when his buggy lost an axle bearing. (They don't hesitate to ride in cars for utilitarian purposes.) He said he didn't wanna offend me, but he considered believing that Christ simply saves one without one's performing works to EARN it to be arrogant and thus sinful. I said I believe what the BIBLE says about salvation & I asked him what Bible they used. He said, GERMAN Bibles, mostly Luther's, and sometimes the KJV in English. He believed it is the inerrant word of God. So I asked him how he dealt with such verses as 1 John 5:13, & Ephesians 2:8-9 in his inerrant bible. He said they fit into the overview of all Scripture which tells them to live as sinless lives as possible in order to stay on "God's good side". When the time came for him to be on his way, I asked him & his family to please consider the verses I'd mentioned as well as others that proclaim Christ as the only Savior & the only One who can make you acceptable in His Father's sight. I dunno if he took my advice or not, but at least I preached the truth.

    To me, that one belief alone...SALVATION BY WORKS...marks the Amish as a CULT, cancelling any good they may do.
     
  4. tinytim

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    RobyCop are you sure they believe a works salvation..

    I have a few anabaptist/mennonite commentaries, and the ones I have teach grace. But they stand firm against 'easy-believism'. You know, the repeat after me style.

    According to what I have read in their books, they believe that after a person is saved, that person will show good works. Which is what I believe.

    I do know they put more emphasis on the sermon on the mount, and the beatitudes than other Christians do. That is where they get their "strange" beliefs, like pacifism, seperation, on retaining a poor and meek spirit.

    Now you got me curious... I'll have to check those books out again... they are in my office somewhere. THANKS!
     
  5. tinytim

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    And on this.. .I know a few Baptists that teach this. It's wrong, but is taught in a few Baptist churches....

    Could it be that there are a few Amish that teach this, but others do not?
     
  6. tinytim

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    Here is what I found from the publishers of the book on salvation I own:
    This is an article about salvation, and while there are certain things that are debatable, and in error, I would not call them a cult based on this, anymore than I would call "free will Baptists" a cult.... Actually, their belief pretty well lines up with free will's. Any way, here it is:

    It is from Rod and Staff publishers, and here is the website: http://www.anabaptists.org/bh/t2.html
    The Divine Plan of Salvation

    by Harold S. Martin
    A Bible Helps Tract -- No. 2
    One of the most gripping verses in the entire Bible is the one which says, "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). The word "lost" is a chilling word to anyone who has ever had the experience. Our emotions become stirred and whole communities become aroused, when a little child strays away from home, and wanders off into the woods, and gets lost. It is a terrifying experience to be lost. Jesus, when speaking of those who are lost, said, "It is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish" (Matthew 18:14).
    It is God's will that each human being should be saved--and the Good News announced in the Bible, is the fact that God has provided a way by which we can be saved. We want to look at the plan of salvation. 1. The Need for Salvation

    The very word "salvation" implies that men are lost, and need to be rescued. According to the Bible, man comes into this world with an inborn nature to go astray. Every one of us has practiced and done that which is sinful and wrong. And these evil practices are more than mere outward acts. They are the outcropping of an evil nature within us. People don't become bad; they are born bad. The same urge to lie and cheat and steal and hate and think impure thoughts, lies deep-rooted within every human breast.

    The Bible tells us the truth about our condition. "The imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth" (Genesis 8:21). David confesses, "Behold, I was shaped in iniquity" (Psalm 51:5). You and I have inherited something that's at least 6,000 years old. We may have hailed from many different backgrounds, but there is one thing we have in common--we are members of the human family, and as such our natures are tainted with sin. Thus, every one of us is guilty before God, and every one of us needs to be saved.
    The Bible further declares that every act of sin is a transgression against the holiness of God, and that God's holiness demands a penalty for sin. If God would let us get by with sin, and pass over our transgressions, He would no longer be a just and holy God. God's righteousness demands that we be punished for our sins, and the penalty for sin is announced in these words: "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). This means that unless something is done about sin, there can be no hope of eternal life with God, because sin separates from God. 2. The Basis of Salvation

    The glorious news of the Gospel is that God has done something about sin. John 3:16 explains it very simply: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish (should not pay the wages of sin), but have everlasting life." The glad tidings that the Gospel of Jesus Christ sets forth, is the fact that we sinners don't have to die, because Jesus Christ died for us. The penalty for sin stood against us because we have sinned, but Jesus Christ came to take it away.

    Everywhere in the Scriptures from beginning to end, salvation is always said to be based on the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. Mark 10:45 records the words of Jesus, "For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom (a payment) for many." Romans 5:10 says, "We were reconciled to God by the death of his Son." The prophet Isaiah looked down through the centuries and declared of Jesus Christ, "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities. The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." Paul says of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:7), "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." The Scriptures teach very clearly that the death of Jesus Christ has made satisfaction for sins, and that in His death, the penalty for our sins has been completely paid. When Jesus suffered on the Cross, He was suffering as a substitute for you and for me. The Apostle Peter says of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:24), "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree." Christ died for us--that is, He died in our place. 3. The Appropriation of Salvation

    The death of Jesus Christ is sufficient to save every human being, but salvation will only become effective to those who accept Him and believe on Him. There must be a response on the part of each individual.

    The question was asked by the Philippian jailor. He said to Paul and Silas, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" And they answered, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." The word "believe" involves the thought of trusting and accepting and receiving (see John 1:12). Real saving belief is not only a knowledge of certain facts about Jesus, but it is believing those facts so sincerely that I am ready to act on them. More than four decades ago I learned to know the girl who was later to become my wife. I began to build a long series of beliefs about her. I believed she was a good sincere Christian girl. I believed her tastes and mine were closely related. I believed she would make a good wife. But simply believing that long creed about her, made no difference whatsoever in our personal relationship--until the day when I said (as we exchanged our marriage vows), "I take you to be my wife." That one definite act established a life-transforming relationship. I acted on my beliefs, and from that time on, she took my name and she became my wife. And just so, you may believe a great many things about Jesus Christ, but until you say, "Lord Jesus, I take you to be my Saviour," your life will not be changed and you will not be saved. There is something for you to do.
    When Peter preached the Gospel on the Day of Pentecost, many cried out, "What must we do?" What is the response required on our part? And Peter answered (Acts 2:38), "Repent, and be baptized every one of you." Jesus says that entrance into the kingdom is only for those who "repent and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:15). Paul says, "God commandeth all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30). Repentance involves a determination to forsake sin and to turn from it. And if the sinner has wronged another person in the past, he will attempt to make restitution for the wrong. After Zacchaeus (the man of small stature), met with Jesus, he repented, and said, "Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold." He simply meant that from that very moment, he was going to try and make right the ugly sins he had committed as a crooked tax collector. God demands complete repentance. The way of salvation is clear. The plan is simple: All have sinned, and therefore every one of us needs salvation. Jesus Christ has died, and His death was for the purpose of paying the price that stood against us. A response is required on our part. Each individual is expected to exercise faith in Jesus Christ as the Sin-bearer, to turn from his life of sin, and to receive water baptism. If you have ignored Jesus, why not forsake the broad road that leads to destruction and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? "Through his name, whosoever believeth in him, shall receive remission of sins" (Acts 10:43). That is a great promise.
     
  7. tinytim

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  8. PJ

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    I have not seen or read anything to make me think the Amish are a cult ...
     
    #8 PJ, Oct 10, 2006
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  9. PJ

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    Yes, I believe so.

    We have German Baptists in our area, which outwardly function as the Amish. Some are more modern, using up to date machinery, electricity, etc. Reminds me very much of the diversity on the BB, tinytim. :)
     
    #9 PJ, Oct 10, 2006
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  10. Jim1999

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  11. robycop3

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    Here's a URL telling you more:
    http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Wolves/amish_heresy.htm

    The BEST proof is simply ASK AN AMISH! I realize that may be hard to do if ya don't live near any, but I DO live not far from some of them, and, after speaking with the man whom I mentioned earlier, I made it a point to travel to several of their villages in Ohio to question more of them. They pretty well agreed with what I placed in that earlier post.

    IMHO, they are a CULT, and NOT Christian. And from what I've learned about them, their groups & congregations are not very diverse at all, especially in BASICS.

    So they believe in JESUS CHRIST? Well, so do Mormons, JWs, SDAs, Branch Davidians, & Moslems. They all believe in His existence, but not in His OFFICE AND MESSAGES.
     
  12. Jim1999

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    I wouldn't exactly put the Amish in the same category as JW's, Mormons, etc. They do have a different understanding of redemptive qualities. They believe that an integral part of redemption is the resulting works. Works do not cause redemption, but redemption demands works. We say that when one is saved they want to work, they say they must work.

    The Dutch confession they follow, and I can't think of it's name, clearly makes salvation a matter of grace through faith, after the order of Martin Luther's theology. Their fundamental beliefs have not changed in three centuries of life in America.

    We can easily get weird views from fellow Baptists, especially those who attend and show, but seldom really glow in the faith.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  13. Deacon

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    In our path towards Christ likeness the Amish have presented a powerful witness.

    During a vacation a few years ago my wife and I drove through an Amish enclave on our way to church.

    A young lad was crossing the street as we passed and turned his head, as we should when being tempted. I was strangely convicted of tempting a brother.

    This past week we witnessed the quick ability to forgive even the most outrageous sin when we saw more than 40 Amish attend the funeral of the perpetrator of the murder of their children.

    I don't claim to be the purveyor of perfect doctrine.
    I don't know if the Amish would claim that either.
    I do know that I can see Christ in their deeds and consider them brothers in the faith.

    Rob
     
  14. robycop3

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    With ALL due respect to ALL who have posted in this thread...

    Just because people APPEAR pious, does that make'em saints?

    Sorry, but it's a CONFIRMED FACT that the Amish believe in SALVATION BY WORKS, which is a FALSE DOCTRINE. While WE believe that works come after faith, we do NOT believe, as THEY do, that works are necessary both for EARNING salvation, and for KEEPING it afterwards. Their whole theology is based upon TRADITION AND WORKS. And again, the best proof is simply to SPEAK WITH SOME AMISH, from any of their five separate groups. I believe JESUS spoke of such people(The Pharisees to whom He was speaking judged themselves, and were judged by the Jewish lay people to be paragons of righteousness) as WHITEWASHED TOMBS, all shiny & pure outside, full of rot inside.

    About 3 blocks from my home live some people who live a fairly austere lifestyle, don't cuss, drink alcohol, use drugs, fornicate, dress modestly, never miss a religious service, would do almost anything in service to a fellow man, so honest that to me their word is better than a notary public's seal, and are the kindest people to strangers, especially travelers, I've ever seen. Sounds like really pious Christians, right? Well, they're MOSLEMS of the Sunni branch.

    Do I hate them? NO! They put up a scanner antenna for me & trimmed a tree in my yard, as, at over 240 lb. I'm not exactly built for climbing...while I did for them what I was built to do, that is, move heavy furniture in & out, and a freezer into their basement.

    Are we friends? Yes.

    Do we agree on religious issues? Absolutely not! But we don't FIGHT over them either, although I utterly reject everything they believe and they do the same for my beliefs. We sometimes try to evangelize each other, but no one gets mad.

    Same for me with the Amish. I can be their friend, but I will never submit to their false beliefs, nor embrace their goofy, oxymoronic lifestyle. THEY ARE NOT CHRISTIAN in their beliefs, and I simply WILL NOT COMPROMISE on that.
     
  15. donnA

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    I know several amish, they run 2 different salvage stores here. And from what I have heard and understand they do not believe in salvation by grace alone, it's all works, thats why they have so many rules, they do not believe in personal one on one relationships with God.
     
  16. Karen

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    Jim found what I think is an excellent article.
    As I understand it, "Amish" are Mennonites, really. Mennonites and Baptists have many of the same Anabaptist roots.
    Just like there being all sorts of Baptists, there are varieties of Mennonites.
    The Mennonite churches around here are almost indistinguishable from the Freewill Baptist churches around here.
    The Amish around here (OK and KS have various types of Mennonite, Dunkard, and Amish groups) are not members of a cult. Jim's article pretty well pegs their beliefs.

    What you have described, I believe, robycop, is true of some, not all Amish.
     
  17. robycop3

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    The Mennonites were named after Menno Simons(1496-1561) who was an Anabaptist leader. And yes, the Mennonites are in reality Anabaptists. They believe almost exactly as we Fundamental Baptists do, with no major doctrinal differences.

    The Amish are named after Jacob Amann (1644-1720) who didn't like the Mennonites' changing with the times & wanted to go back to the old ways. He believed the Mennonites had become too liberal, and he led a group who believed similarly, & in 1690 they left the mainstream Mennonites to follow their own beliefs.

    Indeed, I apologize for lumping all Amish into one group, as they have split several times into smaller sub-groups. Most Amish belong to the Old Order, which does indeed believe in SALVATION BY WORKS & is therefore not Christian. However, another group, the Beachy Amish, are much more modern, and correctly believe in salvation by JESUS CHRIST through repentance, belief and faith in Him. They are officially called Beachy Amish Mennonites.(Many congregations don't use "Amish" in their name.) The Beachys, unlike the Old Order, DO evangelize & perform missionary work. They are named after Moses Beachy(1874-1946), who broke from the main Amish group in the 1920s.

    The New Order Amish fall somewhere in between the Old Order & the Beachys. They use some modern things such as rubber tires, phones, and limited use of electricity. theology? They believe in salvation by faith, but also believe one must work to keep his salvation.

    Unfortunately, mosta the Amish are of the Old Order, and maintain the apostasy of salvation by works. But again, I was wrong to automatically lump ALL of them into the same boat, and for that, I APOLOGIZE to all the other readers. But I REFUSE TO COMPROMISE on the fact that most Amish believe the above heresy, and I have no hesitation in saying they're NOT Christians.
     
  18. Baptist in Richmond

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    Greetings robycop3,

    I enjoy your posts, but I must STRONGLY disagree with you on this one. IMO, they are not a cult.

    Out of curiousity, why would you consider them to be a cult? Do you think that they have a Jim Jones, or a Joseph Smith? I have had more than a little exposure to the Anabaptists in Lancaster County, and I have never seen them refer to Menno or Jacob in such a manner.

    An honest question, not a flame - God's Best to you and yours,
    BiR
     
  19. LeBuick

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    You've said this several times, do you have any proof? I know you keep saying you know this for sure but others have posted contrary information.
     
  20. StraightAndNarrow

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    In my view, the way you look at the Amish faith is probably the same as you evaluate so-called Lordship salvation. I believe that a true born-again salvation experience is always accompanied by sincere repentence, a change in life style, and a derise to make Jesus the Lord of your life. If you disagree with this then you probably disagree with the Amish.

    Personally, I think the way in which they have handled the murder of five of their children is an example to all Christians. These people said that their children would go to heaven and they looked forward to seeing them there even in the face of this trajedy. To me this is a remarkable display of Christian forgiveness from which we all could learn.
     

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