Many of us know of the Amish people and may have even had conversations with them. The Amish are very hard working people and claim to believe in the Bible. The Amish lifestyle is always talked about between non-Amish cause of their family life. The Amish consider themselves of the Anabaptist Christian Denomination. The Amish are baptized into their church between the ages of 19-21, and are only baptized if that individual promises to remain faithful to them. Anybody who is not faithful is excommunicated and shunned by their families.
They do share some of the same beliefs as biblical Christians such as:
Belief in the Trinity
The virgin birth
Crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension
The atonement of Jesus Christ.
They believe in eternal life after death in either Heaven or Hell. Salvation is a gift from God, through unmerited grace.
They also believe the Bible's authors were inspired by God, their writings inerrant, and the Bible should be interpreted literally.
You might ask yourself then why are they any different then biblical Christians? Well, there are some differences that I would like to share. Now, these differences are just that, differences. Does this make them a cult? I will let you decide.
Salvation: Amish look upon salvation as a gift from God. However, biblical Christians traditionally look upon salvation as an experience which includes an emotional event that happens suddenly as a convert repents and confesses of their sin and calling upon Jesus as Lord and Savior. The Amish has always looked upon salvation as being experienced everyday, not just a one time event.
Knowledge of Salvation: For born again Christians, salvation is an unmistakable experience in which we find out that Heaven can be assured in God's word. The Amish do not believe anyone is guaranteed salvation, they consider it arrogant and prideful to claim certainty of salvation. They believe God weighs the individual's total lifetime record of obedience to the church and then God will decide that persons destiny. If a person is baptized into their church and then latter leaves the church, they have no hope of going to Heaven.
Evangelization: Amish believe it is not their role to go out into the community and seek converts. Christians are asked to go out and spread the Gospel. *it should be noted that some Amish groups have recently become active in evangelization.
There is no doubt that the Amish are good hard working people. They believe in God and in Jesus Christ. It is hard to see if they are truly born again. They do not use that term, but they do believe in some rituals and practices that biblical Christians should stay away from. I do not question their faith, most have more faith then some who call themselves Christians.
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