Joe...Leave the Amish alone
I, Chuck Searls, would like to post the following message:
I was raised and grew up in NY, now living in IL. I haven't done enough research to know exactly what or why you are so against the Amish way. All I know is I was good friends with an Amish family and knew other families as well. I never had a problem with any of them and trusted them more than I trust most. I do know there are bad apples in every sect and the Amish have their share, but no more than any other including yours I am willing to bet.
There seems to be some fundamental difference in belief that I am not picking up on yet. I do know they believe in god and live by example as best I can tell. The majority are god fearing people and live a peaceful life. What is wrong with that? If they are so bad why are so many enamored with their way of life? All I have read so far is how pumped you and your followers seemed to be to convert as many as possible.
I truly believe you are judging them and it is not you or your followers place. I would be more concerned about "me and mine". I think they are doing just fine with things the way they are. I say leave them alone, they are fine and I actually admire them. Not every one of them, like I say there are bad in every sect, but in general yes. It wasn't for you and obviously not for some of those who left, why can't you let them live in peace. All I can say is it will be a sad day when they are no more. I guess that's what it will come to one day as people such as yourself just can't let it be. Let it go Joe!
I am sorry to hear that our web site portrayed the Amish as bad people. If you were able to meet me in person, you would find that I have a great love for the Amish people. In fact, it is very clear to those around me that I will not accept any negative or condemning remarks made against the Amish.
We do not try to lure Amish away from their culture, nor do we pick them up if they want to leave the culture. But please understand, when they do leave, our ministry tries to reach out to them by helping them become established in the English culture. We have worked with many who have been molested by family members, or were addicted to drugs and alcohol. If parents come to our ministry and want to talk to their son or daughter about going back to the Amish, we make every effort to get them connected.
As you will see on the web site, it is also my desire to reach the Amish culture with the simple gospel message that ONLY Jesus can save mankind from their sins. Salvation cannot be bought by following a set of rules and regulations.
It is important to point out that there are some Amish who are clear on salvation and know who they are trusting in, to get to heaven. On the other hand, there are still many Amish who believe that faith in Christ alone is not enough, and therefore, they excommunicate and shun anyone who would dare to go against the Amish traditions and rules.
Many family members have turned their backs on those who disagree. This happens for one reason: a child, a spouse, or a parent decided that they wanted to live differently than their forefathers. And Chuck, it is my passionate desire to educate the Amish culture that my people can live for Christ outside the fences of Amish guidelines and traditions, just like they can inside the fence.
Salvation is a free gift (Rom 6:23, and Eph 2:89). This gift must be received by each person, in order to get to heaven (John 1:12, 1 John 5:12, and Rom 10:10-13).
Hopefully, my reply to you is a help and not a hindrance.
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"Joe and Esther, it surely was good to have you with us two weeks ago! We love the two of you very much, you are precious to us. Your presentation was EXCELLENT! It makes us proud, like parents! The spirit of both of you is so sweet-it is easy to tell that you love the Lord with all your hearts. How wonderful, and praise the Lord!"