What is Like Growing up Amish

Growing up Amish is all I knew, so I often don’t know how to answer these questions.

What’s it like growing up in a non-Amish home?

The life we’ve created for our kids looks much the same as my life did growing.

Sure, we did away with the Amish clothing, horse and buggy etc. but our values and even our beliefs are much the same.

Here’s some of the questions I’ve been asked…

Are the Amish a cult?

Honestly, I probably put way too much energy into this one but I was curious so I researched cults.

Turns out that the Amish meet most of the criteria required to be considered a cult, however, the main determinant of a cult is a leader who is revered, feared and followed.

The Amish do not have that, unless you count Jakob Ammon who is the founder of the Amish church. (You can find some info online if you google his name. I found it rather fascinating.)

Even so, my final conclusion was that the Amish church is not a cult, in general.

However, churches vary greatly from state to state and even from county to county sometimes, and the control and manipulation in some areas does, in fact, make some specific Amish church’s a cult, I believe.

Were you shunned?

No, we weren’t.

Shunning in the Amish church is a thing and some people who leave the Amish church aren’t allowed to associate with their families anymore. They won’t be invited to family gatherings or acknowledged in any way.

The middle ground… Some people who leave the church will still be invited to family gatherings but will be asked to eat at a separate table and Amish family members won’t ride in the non-Amish person’s vehicle.

And then the most liberal Amish will do little to no shunning at all. This was our experience, as our families were fairly lenient with all of it.

We did, however, have some awkward moments at non-family gatherings where we were asked to sit at a different table or someone refused to take something we handed to them, because they aren’t supposed to ‘receive’ anything from those who left the church.

As a kid, did you know you were different?

Honestly? We thought all y’all were the strange ones! Being Amish was all we knew, so that was our normal. I think it’s a lot like growing up in a different culture. The things that are normal to one culture are strange in the next.

Are the Amish Saved?

They do have the correct theology. They believe in the birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. They believe in being born again, however, they don’t believe that a person can know they are saved. Rather, they do their best to be kind, honest, treat people well and make the correct Christian decisions and then they hope that it was ‘good enough.’

Individually, they’re just like any other church. For some the presence of God is evident in their lives by the fruits of the spirit; love, joy, peace etc. and for others this fruit is not evident.

In the American church you have many different denominations, from the more religious baptists to the charismatic churches. The same is true in the Amish church, some are more focused on strictly keeping the many rules while others are more liberal. However, the most liberal Amish church is still more conservative than the most conservative non-Amish church. Got that?😅

Oh, I thought the Amish did…

It’s true that there are rules and expectations in the Amish church. However, the Amish church has a broad spectrum of beliefs and practices, so not all of them apply to all Amish.

For example, electricity and technology are not allowed in the Amish church but my dad owned a construction business, so he had a cell phone, computer, fax machine and printer. He also owned work trucks, although he didn’t drive them but rather hired drivers.

Yes, the church knew he had them but they turned a blind eye because they also knew that if pushed, he would leave the church before he gave it all up.

In some locations he would not have gotten away with it, but in our particular area the church was slightly more lenient.

So you see, it’s complicated.😅😂

Are the books, movies etc accurate?

NO!! They aren’t. Not even close. I have never read a book or watched a show written by non-Amish people that actually capture the Amish culture accurately.

For example, most Amish are not in awe of the world. Instead they are much more likely to turn up their noses at the laziness and worldliness of non-Amish people. Rather, than being fascinated they are more likely to be self righteous. That’s a general statement that doesn’t apply to every individual person tho!

There you have it!!

A small peep into the Amish world!

Drop your questions here or on IG, if you have one that you would like to ask!🙂


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