Why Do Amish Leave? My answer

"Why do some Amish leave?" is a question I'm asked when on speaking engagements.

While time doesn't permit a detailed answer, this is the condensed version I give:

In my experiences with former and current Amish, I’ve learned there are three main reasons they leave: 

(1) it’s just not a lifestyle they wish to live, they want to live as English,
(2) religious freedom – to grow in their personal knowledge of God, and
(3) they want to work and live beyond the cultural confines.

To explain ~
(1), I know an Ohio lady who just wanted to live English. She maintains a relationship with her Amish family, even living in close proximity to them. Likewise a Florida man left Amish just because . . . and is still accepted by his birth family.  Some have told me they knew by 12 or 13 y/o they wanted to live English.
(2) Most Amish orders prohibit reading the Bible in English or outside the church. Some are prohibited from independent Bible studies. When an Amish person breaks the rules to read an English language Bible or discovers that salvation is free and not based on works, he/she is persecuted, told not to "cause trouble" or asked to leave; and
(3) A Swartzentruber man in KY wanted to work beyond the physical boundaries of his settlement and to use power tools – both verboten – so he left and consequently is shunned. But he's gainfully employed in a job he loves. Other have left to live/work outside the settlement because their bishop put a cap on family annual income.

That's my answer. Come back next week and read individual answers, to this question, from real ex-Amish!

I love speaking to audiences at schools, churches, libraries, book clubs, luncheons, etc, and have 4 distinct Amish power point presentations. To schedule me as your guest speaker, send an email using the contact form on the right column of my blog.
(C)Copyright, 2015. Brenda Nixon.


  1. Actually both Faith AND Works are needed for Salvation...they are like two sides of a coin.

    1. Thanks for your comment Thomas. Yes, the Bible says that works (doers of the Word) follow faith.