The focus of this research paper is to examine the religious beliefs of the Amish communities. From their humble beginnings of migration into the United States from Europe, to their present day living arrangements, they have been and will continue to be a prosperous community. By shunning modern conveniences and relying only on what nature has provided, society has referred to them as the “Plain People.” Being far from ordinary in their dress and way of life separates this community from that of the modern world. They have managed to integrate into modern life while holding on to their cultural values. It is with continued commitment from its members that this community will continue to thrive. I often drive to the city for routine errands and see many Amish traveling with their horse and buggies dressed in simple clothing while on their way the market.
Amish Religion and Culture
Amish people are a culture of people who pride themselves on their religious values, practices, and beliefs and strive to exemplify them in their everyday lives. It is important first of all to recognize their historic lineage. It is equally important to recognize their religious beliefs and to try and understand them. After analyzing their religious beliefs it will be much easier to understand why they choose to shun many of today’s modern conveniences and live a very humble lifestyle. Their historic linage begins with the Catholic Church and the Protestant Reformation which was commenced by Martin Luther in 1517. They later separated into small groups called the Anabaptist and migrated from Europe to North America. The first settlers arrived in Pennsylvania in 1681. “Anabaptist,” interpreted means “rebaptism,” because these individuals were first baptized within the Catholic faith but believed in adult baptism” (Byers, 2008, ¶ 4) “The Amish are a church, a community, a spiritual union, a conservative branch of Christianity, a religion, a community whose members practice simple and austere living, a familistic entrepreneuring system, and an adaptive human community” (Hostetler, 1993, p. 4). The Amish religion is based upon Christian beliefs; however, they commit themselves to a much stricter form of life style than traditional Christians. They believe that there is only one God who exist as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and that the Bible is the initial word of God. They believe that Jesus is the son of God, and that he died on the cross for the sins of the world. They also believe that faith requires a lifestyle of discipline, good deeds, and holy living. One specific verse from the bible the Amish live by is “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2 King James Version). They do this because they believe salvation is received from the redeeming power from God above and living a loving life in a wholesome environment surrounded by believers is pleasing to the Almighty. To adhere to this verse the Amish separate themselves from the rest of world and live in a tight net community consisting only of Amish members. They do this by owning their own land, sometimes hundreds of acreage, upon which each separate family builds their own home. In order to maintain such a large community the Amish are both family farmers and pastoralist. Family farming is “a form of agriculture in which farmers produces mainly to support themselves but also produce goods for sale in the market system” (Miller, 2007, p. 76). The major crops raised and harvested by the Amish are corn, hay, wheat, soybeans, barley, and potatoes. “Pastoralism is a mode of production based on keeping domesticated animal herds and using their products, such as meat and milk, for most of the diet” (Miller, 2007, p. 72). The most common forms of animals kept and used...
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