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I am addressing this letter to the entire church. I think that when you read this letter, it will be easy to harden your heart against it because it reveals the truth about Jesus Christ, which is convicting. It will be easy to run, but I encourage you to keep reading.
So, remember das erst gebot das verheisung hat ist ehre Vater und Mutter, (the first commandment with promise is honor Father and Mother), and I do not think you are doing that as long as you are driving wie die velt und mit die velt. (Like the world and with the world) Read Romans 8:24-25 and Revelation 2:19-24.
The reason I am writing this is my wife and I were with the Beachy Mennonite Church for about twenty years, and it was very hard on my dear father and mother when we left the Amish Gma (church). They came to visit us soon after, and admonished us out of love, and asked us to come back. But we hardened our hearts against parental instruction and against conviction. We stopped our ears against the truth and shut our eyes against Light. In other words, we were fighting against God and against our own souls.
My family has been really struggling lately, and I am reaching out in hopes of finding some help for my sister. Earlier this year, she moved states away with her husband and children, so she could join an Amish community. Her husband felt the call to make this move from our culture into the Amish culture, and as a wife, she feels that it is her duty to follow him and be submissive without question.
This move has been really hard on me as well as my parents. We have tried to talk with them and share scriptures as well as talk about God and his plan for us, but everything we say seems to fall on deaf ears. We are crying almost daily as we truly feel we have lost a family member.
Please come back to the Amish!
Please go home to your parents; they are not in good health.
We realize that you have some issues with your Dad, so go make peace with him. Don’t we all want to go to heaven and be with our loved ones? But how do we plan to get along in Heaven, if we can’t get along here on earth? I believe that life is a test. If we don’t pass the test here on earth, we won’t pass the test in Heaven either.
Greetings of love sent to you!
In your letter, you mentioned that you were going to visit family this spring or summer. I wanted to make sure you knew that we don’t want you to visit our home at any time unless you are back in the Amish. Please don’t show up unless you have decided to come back and become Amish again. Our children know you are not Amish, and I don’t want them to see you in the “English” state that you are. Do you understand what I mean?
I received a letter from you yesterday. Since I know you all of your brothers and sisters and parents and have now also gotten to see you, it almost seems like you were also a part of us. I think and wish you would be and should be. Our parents split away from the large Mennonite Church back in 1940’s about C.O. camps; they found the big church dishonest then. Joe Wenger was the bishop of the big church, so that church is called the Wenger church to this day. The Wenger people got more and more modern; they had electricity, phones, and tractors, about everything but the TV and cars. Our church got the nickname 35er’s because there were not many members. Our people were more minded to keep the old ways, like horse farming, no electricity, etc. Satan is not satisfied where peace is, though, and works to destroy it. The 35er’s have a very sad history with many splits, and also many have been sadly carried away with styles and fashions of the world, so that you can hardly tell them apart from the world.
Dear Dad and Mom,
Greetings of love and cheer from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
This leaves us on Tuesday morning; the next morning after we left your house!
You know, Dad, it hurts me to see you so confused and so full of hurt, and in your heart you just don’t understand how your oldest son (me) can do what he does. I hate that you bottle all those things inside yourself. If you go for answers to man or yourself, you’ll never find it; you simply have to go to God for what you’re looking for.
Dear Amish Voice:
You have some good literature, but one thing I would like to point out is: You sound too sure of the salvation part. “Once saved always saved” is not Biblical. Yes, we hope (hofnung) we’ll get to Heaven, but we need to not be too sure (that is, God needs to judge and decide). As the Bible says, Many will say Herr, Herr (Lord, Lord) and will be disappointed when the Lord says, “Depart from me for I never knew you.” Some people will think they are serving the Lord, but are serving self more than they even realize.
Oh Polly, just think, we could often write to each other or visit if only you would come home again! I know deep down in your heart you long to be back in the Amish church you promised to stand by or then you would not come home time and again!
I am a little confused between "staying and going" right now. I am Amish, but I had left for a year and a half and I liked it.
You probably get this every day! But I have a story for you. I grew up about 4-5 miles from Aylmer, Ontario. They call the community Amish. I happened upon Ira Wagler’s book about a month ago. It was a really good story. He had incredible courage in his journey. My story was different, but you can relate to it, right? Now I'm back with the Amish, but I'm faced with the decision of leaving again and it's tough!!
On behalf of your decision [leaving the Amish church], we now also have to make a decision. According to Glaubens Artikel #16 (which is based on Bible), we need to put out of the church whoever is not willing to stay with what he or she promised at baptism – or comes in unfruitful works of darkness. If we do not hear from you before Sunday, January 27, we will be voting with the church to do so. This will give you six weeks to decide. If we do not hear from you within those six weeks, we have no choice but to put you in the ban.
Samuel Girod was Amish for 30 years. He was in a business partnership with his dad and owned two properties. He had everything an Amish man could ever want; however, deep down he felt a void -- a void that would finally drive him to leave his family, community and all that he owned.
I will try to write a few lines with a very sad breaking heart. John we still can’t believe that you have left us and most of all have let yourself down that far that you had to choose this very dangerous path. Never did we think or believe that you would choose that dangerous path in these last trying times.
One guy came back and went Amish again, the way he was learned. He said, don’t let anybody tell you it don’t bother them out there, where you are now. He knows better. The spirit that won us over, is the one we are working for. Good or bad? Another thing that tells me a lot is a good number of these that went the way you are headed now say, or have before they died, that they wouldn’t do it now. But it’s too late. The old timers used to say, when the devil is satisfied he has them tied up in knots, he lets them fall and goes and looks for someone else.
You mentioned that you don’t read in the Bible about “ordnung.” Well, probably a lot of it is tradition, but history teaches us over and over that when people leave the church, their children, or maybe more often their grandchildren will not belong to any church...
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?
Most of you have promised to remain faithful to the church, and if you now leave the church and join another one you are covenant breakers, and this is just like leaving one wife and marrying another in God’s eyes.
Dear Son, We received your letter to invite us to your wedding. Don't expect any of us there. Just wish you would be getting married Amish so we could all be there. You wrote that there will be music before the wedding starts, we wouldn't want to be involved in that anyways, as we...
Dear Son, We got your letter yesterday. Mom said when Laura read your letter she just cried, it was hard for us too. Laura was also hoping you will still come back home before long and be Amish again, but the way we understand the letter, you must feel that we didn't...
Dear Parents and Family, Now!! Us ex-Amish! Do you think God's gonna look at us different then the English people, even if we believe we have the same things. You said that you have hopes for them, but not us. Does God look at people any different???
Dear Perry, I just can't see how you can enjoy it out in that wicked world. "thou we shall lead a still and quiet life." I have to think about that verse in (German). "wer die welt Lieb der Lieb nicht Gott"? (English) "Whoever loves the world, cannot love God"? ...
Dear Son, So at this point, you are on the outside of our family and you don't belong in the family anymore. So whether it's a wedding or a funeral, you don't belong in the family. You know you can't come home again. Unless, like I wrote earlier, if you want to...
I have been taught that we need standards, fences or guard rails to keep our sheep in. Why do we all have different kinds of fences or guard rails? We all want to have the strongest fences, and still the sheep may keep getting out. Didn't God give us a good enough standard? Didn't God give us the laws which govern how to build the strongest fences? How about going back to God's laws and leaving our own laws out, and see if that won't build a stronger fence?