He shared "what I could remember" his list of what he was taught to "be a good Amish person."
What a rare treat to look deep inside the Amish membership requirements. This list isn't exhaustive but, here in Lester's own words:
In order to be an accepted member of the Amish Church - which to me means just a bit more than it does to be a member of the Amish community, although it is in large part the same thing - you must agree to and follow their standard practices and teachings. There are many things standard across all communities. One of these is the adoption of the 18 Articles of the Dordrecht Confession of Faith plus a few more,
1. You accept and agree to the Dordrecht Confession of Faith at your baptism even if you can't read it, don't understand it, and the preachers can't explain it to you. It's written in High German.
2. You never challenge the bishop or ministry in how they are leading the Church; accept them unquestioningly as holy men of God, and their leading and wisdom.
3. Believe and trust in God.
4. Believe in the need to be different from the world in dress and transportation, work, and generally the way you live.
5. Live by the standard and rules of the church district in which you reside.
6. Hope that by keeping the rules and living the Amish way of life, God may find it acceptable to let you into Heaven.
7. Believe in the atoning blood of Jesus only in context of the Church; Jesus died for the 'Church' therefore you follow and obey the 'Church' to receive atoning.
8. You can only hope about your salvation; you can never know for sure you are saved. (Lester's words)
9. Teach your children to be Amish and obedient to the Church.
10. You will not marry a person unless he/she is a member in good standing of the Amish Church.
11. Shun those who leave the fold of the Church, rejected the truth of the Amish Church, and are now out in the world, even if it appears they might be Christians. They are not Amish, the way they were taught, you will shun them.
Thank you Lester for sharing Amish membership requirements during Baptism.
Another "new English" man added that although Amish say they believe in Jesus; they enforce Church rules as the way of truth, shunning anyone who violates their rules. He explained that violating a Biblical command is less concerning than violating Amish rules.
I occasionally hear people wanting to emulate the Amish but, I couldn't agree to these requirements, especially if they're written in German.
As an educator, I take issue with the first requirement. I could never agree to something without having it explained so I'm able to make an educated decision. As a theology student, I disagree with number six as it puts the emphasis on human effort rather than God's grace. As a faith-based person, number eight gripes me as there are several Bible verses on the assurance of salvation. Those born into the Amish culture know no different.
Feel free to click in the box below your reactions to this post.
Have a question for Lester? Leave your question or comment below in the "comments" link and thanks for reading. ~ Brenda