Nephew to Uncle: Cell Phone, Cars, Chainsaw; What is Wrong With That?
June 30, 2010
Dear Uncle Mel,
First I want you to know that this letter is not meant to argue, judge, or convert you, but to thank you for your kindness and concern for me, and explain my views, coming from an Amish family. I am so happy that you did not totally condemn me for if you would have, I am afraid you would have been condemning yourself. I have learned to not judge. A while ago I harshly judged a fellow believer over a stupid misunderstanding that turned out to not even be true, and it came back to me so hard after a few months, another fellow believer judged me for quite a few things and I soon realized why. It really hurts and we have to keep in mind that we are all guilty of the same things. It was a few days after that I was still hurting, I opened my bible and it opened in Romans and immediately chapter two caught my eyes and I was overwhelmed by what I read. At that time I hadn't read nearly all of the New Testament, but this is what I read.
Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are to judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?
I truly believe that was a lesson from God, which there has been many cases that convinced me that everything happens for a reason, and many times we don't understand it till sometime later, if we are open enough to the Spirit to even see it. At times we may be sad about the things of this world, for example, our president declares our nation is no longer a Christian nation and he says there are many different roads to paradise, but then we can always look on the bright side and realize that everything is in His hands and scriptures will be fulfilled. No matter what happens we can rejoice in knowing who is in control. That alone brings happiness, cheer, and peace in my daily life!
Since it has been so long that you wrote, I will include a copy of your letter so you can understand some of the things I am replying to. You mentioned that I may not be ready to face our Lord Jesus, and yes I can't even imagine how fragile and unworthy I would feel in His presence, but I am convinced that if I died today He would forgive me of my sins. I hope you feel the same. I do read with an open mind and I believe everything I read. The more you abide in the Spirit the better you feel! For example; I don't have work tomorrow and it is now 2a.m. and I'm not even a little bit tired, in fact I feel amazing! :) When you stopped to visit me I think I did mention about ordnung and I see you realize I was referring to the Amish tradition. There is plenty of law written in the bible, in fact even ordnung is written about.
Did you know that the Pharisees were known for having their own laws on top of God's? The law of God is to show us humans the sickness we have which turns us to the only cure, believing and abiding in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit of God, which helps us weak and Godless people to strive to do better. The reason I write these things is because I'm concerned for some of the Amish that rely too much on the tradition, thinking they are ok as long as they closely follow the ordnung, which is ok, but fail to examine their own hearts because of that. Let's just look at one of God's commandments; Love your neighbor as yourself. Can you even imagine how far that goes?
I will just make a few short examples of this; what if you were waiting to cross the street at a busy intersection along with a few non Amish folks. If a middle aged guy was looking one way and steps out in front of a bus, would you jump out and push him to safety knowing you will be crippled or even killed? I don't think we know until that moment arrives...or let's say you meet a huge burly man in town that swears and curses openly and has an evil look in his eyes as if he would kill you if you so much as offend him. Now if we would love him as much as ourselves we would realize that he has as much right to go to heaven as we, and tell the gospel of Christ and try to convince him that there is a God, even though he may beat you up or even kill you for offending him as he would probably see it. Or on the other hand he may just break down and glorify God for sending you and believe! Maybe I took that a little too far, but am just trying to make a point. Not a day goes by that I don't fail somewhere along the line, and I don't think any human can go a whole day without failing somewhere, even as much as an unnecessary word or a thought of resentment, pride, or the “better than thou” attitude towards somebody. Even if we would be better than the next guy we have to realize that no good comes of us, but to rejoice in God for the good he gives through us.
You also mentioned leaving the church, well I shall remind you that I never joined the Amish church and I shall explain why. When growing up as a kid I never felt I should be in a religion that draws a line in material things. I have always been a deep thinker, and I realize all material things will vanish, not only the car but also the buggy. They are merely tools we use on our way through life. They can be used for good and evil. Your letter has opened my eyes to a few things I feel I should warn you about (not necessarily just you, but all the Amish churches). How can you condemn or shun a person who joins another church that believes in Christ? Do you see in that man's heart like God?
I feel sad to have to tell you this but I just have to. This is a response to what you wrote about covenant breakers. Do you realize that you are no longer with the church you were raised in? Did your father and his father use the chainsaw or the tractor as some Amish churches are using? How are these people obeying what their parents taught them? Did I miss something? How is going from a windup watch to a battery watch any different than going from a buggy to a car? I know your forefathers didn't approve of those things, and yet many Amish feel ok to condemn us who convert to an (English) church because that is not what our parents taught us. Look deep into your hearts and ask yourselves, have you always done everything that your parents said to? This I have been confronted by Amish ministers that stood in front of me and said there isn't much hope for me because I didn't obey my parents. Have they always? I think I know that answer, and if so, how can they stand there and feel comfortable telling me these things, acting as if they were always obedient to their parents???
Don't you know that Paul, the writer of parts of the Bible, was a Pharisee before he found the truth? Shall I remind you what the Pharisees were? They were people who were more careful to walk in their own rules than focus on pleasing God. Don't you think that Paul was shunned by his immediate church and family when he left that church? He called their rules dung! Manure! How can you condemn a man that uses a material thing such as a power tool?? Now if the man is openly sinning and breaking God's commandments, such as committing adultery for instance, and doesn't repent and continues in his sins then I believe it's ok to separate him from the church until he repents. Now I want to give you an example of a real life happening I think you will know about.
Remember the Amish school shooting in PA? I read the book called "The Happening" and it really touched my heart how these people managed to forgive that man who killed their precious children. Sometime later they did a documentary on that and I found out one of those families in that area have a non-Amish child which they clearly did not seem very forgiving to, how can this be? As far as I know this child isn't out there killing people's kids. Don't these folks realize that if we don't forgive each other our heavenly Father will not forgive us? If they can't forgive someone who doesn't believe in their religion how is it possible that they forgave the man who killed their own kids? Or did they just act as if they forgave so the (English) people would marvel at their forgiveness??
After that I was kind of confused...only God knows whether they really did. But I have to say that a lot of the Amish act forgiving towards me, and are nice to me, but some have that “better than thou” attitude. I know of cases where an ex-Amish boy that goes to an English church and when he set foot on his dads property his dad gets angry and hateful towards him, literally yells at him, and tells him how he is the devils child and to get lost! Is that how Christ would have handled it? The bible has shown me that anger and wrath is only from the evil one aside from the Almighty's. Another thing that bothers me is when I was still Amish, you people would refer to the "world" as (the English people) or (de velt mencha). The bible talks about the world, yes, but the way I understand it, it is talking about sin, idols, and lust etc. I know it is not talking about all those people who drive the cars and aren't Amish.
I appreciate your invitation to come back to the Amish church and I know you have concerns for me, but I have already joined a church which I love going to, and here again I want to remind you that the church that I go to, the people are free to come and worship when the Spirit calls them, and most of them are there every Sunday. There is always a great message, never fails! Don't you think that if some of these parents, who have older kids that don't feel comfortable hearing the word of God, shouldn't force them to go, lest we be more likely to be taking communion with open sinners?
I know of members among you that, not only don't follow your rules, but have very little conscience in breaking my Father's commandments. Knowing all this, should I have stayed Amish and followed the religion even though I don't agree with it? Would that not be like living a lie? Will you also condemn Paul because he didn't stay with what his parents wanted for him? I am truly sorry I can't live up to my parent’s expectations, and it burdens my heart that they worry for my salvation, which is only given to those who are believers and followers of Christ.
I am not sorry I grew up among you for there are many good things among your people. My dad has really left an impression on me by his honesty, and how he would read the bible every day for hours and sing hymns of praise, both English and German, and said he was righteous, although it didn't always seem like it. The family and I used to kind of scoff at that, but now I think he was because of who he believed in. I do miss him. I pray that you will not be offended by this letter but encouraged, and maybe see my point of view.
If I have written any evil, please bear with me for I am still young in the faith, but I have been burdened to share my feelings with you. I want you all to realize that Christ's church is a body of all the true believers around the world in many different denominations. Please feel free to share this letter with anyone including your bishop, or just keep in mind that we are all in need for the Savior, why should we bicker and judge amongst ourselves, for that is up to the Almighty. It is about time to close this letter now, but i also want to encourage the Amish to teach more German in the schools if that is what you read your bible in. Think about it, the language you teach the bible in, you teach the least in school! It is just another thing that doesn't make sense to me and never has. Maybe the younger generation would have more motivated to read if they would understand the language better. Is it not the most important book in life?
A lot of Amish would like to say that not having this or that helps you prevent sin, how can you say that, have you ever been anything but Amish? How do you know? I don't even have cable TV, if I want to see the news I get on the internet, which I don't even bother because it's usually depressing to hear of all the murders and other things happening in this world around us. But again there are good things on television as well as a lot of bad. I believe it is good for a family to have house rules, but when your kids grow up they will have their own decisions to make, and should not be forced to join your religion! There are so many among you just going with the flow because they have to. This should not be, give them a choice!
I have probably offended you or the Amish as a whole, but remember I am just showing my point of view, as I have seen both sides of the fence. I just wish to help you realize there is very little difference between an Amish Christian and a non-Amish Christian, other than the outward appearance. I am probably guilty of everything in the book, and I deserve hellfire for I have called people fools or idiots. Looking back on my life I would like to shoot myself for things I've done, but that would be taking my life by my own hands and I can't do that, for I now owe it to someone else. May God bless you all and be with you always! I still love you all :),even though I'm not allowed around the Amish family anymore, because of one person seeing us there and complaining to the church so that my mother would get in trouble. Do you think that person would have done that if he had ex-Amish kids???
This letter will also be dropped off at a few more mailboxes, to my family, to the bishop of the church I was raised in, and to those who act like I'm condemned for not being Amish as my parents are.
David Jr.comments powered by Disqus« Back to News