Someone once asked, "Is there room for a healthy debate about practices or faith inside the Amish culture and still be in good standing with Church leaders?"
Overwhelmingly former Amish - from different orders - answered, "No!"
Ex-Old Order Amish pal John, whom I blogged about, replied, "In our community you could talk about it, as long as you didn't show any hint of disagreeing with any rules. I guess it wasn't a debate. If you openly questioned anything, it made everybody consider you odd."
One ex-Amish said, "the answer is no" unless you're willing to "go along with Amish agenda." Meaning, that the Amish way of dealing with questions they can't answer is to just not
think about it. If one insists on bringing those questions, that individual will
soon find himself in the bann - a temporary settlement shunning.
Finally, one replied that such conversation would look like this >>
Get the picture?
Now you know what it's really like inside the Amish.
Debate and compromise isn't welcome. I've seen this mindset with the many former Amish who've come through our home. Some do NOT know how to compromise - it is their way or YOU ARE WRONG.
Some are militant know-it-alls.
Debate and compromise is an art. Not many people have developed this fine art.
But let's go beyond the Amish. I know organizations, families, cultures that resist differences or change. The leadership doesn't want to be accountable to questions.
Change is hard . . . usually resisted.
Risky. So they stay with tradition. Worship tradition.
Yet some churches and universities embraced compromise to where they've evolved into something different - from their original purpose. Harvard began as a religious seminary.
So here are my questions to YOU: Is it wrong for the Amish to maintain solidarity? Tradition? Or have they? Maybe today's Amish have left their original Anabaptist tenets. What are your comments?
(c)Copyright, 2014. Brenda Nixon.