The Changes In Amish Customs

Monday, October 18, 2021 4:49:26 PM

The Changes In Amish Customs

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Passed down from generation to generation, the Ordnung helps Amish believers be better Christians. These rules and regulations form the foundation of Amish life and culture. While many of the dictates are not specifically found in the Bible, they are based on biblical principles. The Ordnung specifies everything from what type of shoes may be worn to the width of hat brims to hairstyles. Women wear a white prayer covering on their head if they are married, black if they are single.

Married men wear beards, single men do not. Mustaches are prohibited because they are associated with the 19th century European military. Many ungodly behaviors which are clearly known to be sin in the Bible, such as adultery , lying, and cheating, are not included in the Ordnung. In Amish life, isolation from the rest of society is viewed as a way to keep themselves from unnecessary temptation. They cite Romans as their guide: "And 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.

The Amish do not hook up to the electrical grid, which prevents the use of televisions, radios, computers, and modern appliances. No TVs means no advertising and no immoral messages. The Amish also believe in hard work and usefulness. They would consider watching TV or surfing the internet a waste of time. Cars and mechanized farm machinery could lead to competition or pride of ownership. Old Order Amish do not allow a telephone in their homes, because it could lead to pride and gossip. The community may put a phone in a barn or outside phone booth, to deliberately make it inconvenient to use. The Amish believe that education leads to worldliness. They educate their children to eighth grade in their own schools. A dialect of German is spoken in the home, so children learn English in school, as well as other basic skills they need to live in the Amish community.

The Amish believe photos can lead to pride and invade their privacy. They think photographs violate Exodus "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Shunning is the practice of avoiding someone who has broken the rules. The Amish do this not as a matter of punishment, but to bring the person to repentance and back into the community.

They point to 1 Corinthians to validate shunning: "But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. The Amish are nonviolent conscientious objectors. They refuse to fight in wars, serve on police forces, or sue in a court of law. This belief in non-resistance is rooted in Christ's Sermon on the Mount : "But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. Rumspringa , which is Pennsylvania German for "running around," varies from community to community, but this aspect of Amish life has been greatly exaggerated by movies and TV shows.

In general, youth at 16 are allowed freedom to go to Amish community sings and other events. This means that they are probably in school with a bunch of siblings and cousins. So the pickings are rather slim. The Amish, like we outsiders, are not a monolithic society. Differences between individual districts can be varied and complex. To find someone to date you have to go where the action is.

The Amish socialize at functions like visits, frolics, and church. Since everyone goes to Church every other week, it is makes sense for the older kids to stay late to mix and match. So on Sunday evening at the same house where church service was held earlier in the day, after the adults have left, Amish kids meet for Sunday night singing. The Sunday night singing is not meant for devotion.

The songs of worship are faster and more energetic than the slowly chanted songs of the morning church service. The boys and girls sit at a long table facing each other. There is plenty of time between songs to talk and socialize. The group will then hang around for an hour or two after singing with the unattached boys and girls sizing each other up as likely partners. If a couple hits it off, the Amish dating process with the boy asking the girl if he can drive her home. At her house they will go in and visit. At that late hour, the household will be sleeping so they have plenty of privacy. They may sit up long into the night getting to know each other.

The boy makes the long buggy trip home in the wee hours of the morning. Amish meet for church every other weekend. On the weekend when there is no church, the couple usually dates on Saturday night. That way they can see each other every week. Either party can quit the relationship at any time. Just as in the outside world, it might take someone several tries to find a lifelong partner. The more conservative couples practice traditional Amish dating customs.

They date in their buggies and drink hot chocolate or sodas. They focus on group and outdoor activities sometimes with their parents. Couples from more progressive churches that have drifted more toward the modern world might go into town for the evening. Maybe they will get a bite to eat or just hang out together and enjoy each others company. The most daring couples might change into English clothes, get into a car and head for a party where they can sample worldly temptations. This group is a very small minority. In the Amish districts that sanction bed courtship, the boy asks the girl if he can take her home.

If she consents, they drive to her home. They immediately go upstairs and get into her bed fully clothed, where they are expected to talk all night without touching.

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