What Amish Believe

Amish facts/history, Amish fiction Comments: 14
Amish home, Middlebury, IN

Amish home, Middlebury, IN

Amish Beliefs, Part 1

For the month of April we’re going to talk about what, exactly, the Amish believe. DISCLAIMER: What I share is true for the Amish I have personally met, but of course beliefs vary somewhat from district to district. Please keep this in mind. If you’ve experienced something different, we would love to hear from you in the comment section (next to the title).

So what do the Amish believe? That’s a pretty broad question. This week let’s discuss what they believe about the Bible.

They believe in the trinity–the Father, Son and Holy Spirit

They believe in the atoning blood of Christ

They believe in the baptism of believers (adults)

They believe in the holiness of the Scripture

They believe in the gathering of believers

They believe that God equips those he calls

So how does their faith differ from mainstream Christian faith? I would say primarily it differs in practice rather than in theology. For example, Amish communities do believe that God equips anyone he calls to pastor a church. Church leaders are chosen by lots (a bookmark in a Bible), and they are not “schooled” in the traditional sense, though of course they receive support from bishops and preachers in neighboring districts.

They do gather for worship, but they do so every other Sunday. Also, the majority of Amish do not have a church building, choosing instead to worship in their members homes. However, some Amish do have church buildings, so this varies by district.

The Bible they use is in German, and their church services are in German. Many Amish own Bibles that have parallel text–one side German, one side Englisch.

Although the Amish believe in sharing the gospel of Christ by how they live, they are not evangelical in the sense of trying to convert others to the Amish faith. They feel their life should point toward Christ and that words (in most cases) should not be necessary. You can read more about this here.

Probably the biggest difference I know of between the Amish faith and mainstream Christianity is in regard to whether one can be sure of their salvation. The Amish do believe in the atoning blood of Christ, but they also believe it arrogant to assume your salvation – which perhaps explains why they work so diligently to keep their self separate and why confession plays an important part of their belief system. You can read more about this here.

I hope this has been helpful. Again, I’m not an expert. I’m only sharing what I’ve learned in my research and through visiting various communities. If you have a different experience or questions, please do leave a comment.

Blessings,

V

p.s. – Next week we will discussion Amish beliefs about each person’s role in the family.

 

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14 thoughts on “What Amish Believe

  1. Melissa L.

    Their faith and beliefs have always been intriguing to me. There are so many little differences between each community.

    Reply
    1. vannettachapman Post author

      That’s important to remember, Melissa. there are differences among communities. )

      Reply
  2. Judy B

    My husband and I attended a gun show in Shipshewana, Indiana a few years back. We had a table with guns, ammo, gun parts, gun accessories, etc., set up. A lot of our customers happened to be Amish. We struck up a conversation with many of them but one elderly gentleman spoke to my heart. He was telling us that his wife (I can’t remember the amount of years they were together) had recently died. I said, the wonderful news is that you will see her again in Heaven. His response was, I hope so, but we don’t know that for sure. I told him that the Bible says he will. He listened very intently to both my husband and myself as we explained our belief. I hope that we gave him some encouragement. Our hearts were heavy for him that day.

    Blessings!
    Judy B

    Reply
    1. Disaster Relief (@M2Amish)

      90% of Amish will say I Hope SO, when speaking about eternity. For a typical Amish person to say “I know so” it would go against the Amish way of thinking according to their Adning or German Ordnung which is an unwritten list of rules and regulations that they live by. Many of the ones who would say that “they know so” would soon become excommunicated and disciplined by the church, or at the least placed in a State approved but Amish run mental hospital. Mostly it’s fear that keeps them from saving faith. The typical Amish person is working for his salvation, not because he has salvation.
      Great article, we look forward to reading more.

      Reply
  3. Juanita Cook

    I love learning more about the Amish. Your posts are so informative. My belief is the same as the Amish when it comes to assuming that we will go to Heaven when we pass. I believe when we face the judgement our faith will be decided on then.

    Reply
  4. Cori

    I agree wholeheartedly with your beautiful stated comment that our differences are largely related to living practices rather than theology. A dear friend left her Amish faith to pursue an education. She is one of the best role models of “living the faith” that I’ve encountered and she knows God called her to a career in medicine, something not possible in her former Swartzentruber sect. She indicated that living apart from the world and worldly influences was crucial to her people because of their belief that any but the most simple lifestyle pulled people away from their focus of God.

    Reply
    1. vannettachapman Post author

      Thanks for commenting, Cori. “Living the faith” – what a beautiful phrase, and certainly something the Amish are focused on doing.

      Reply