The Amish Voice 8
This letter was written in January of 2015, and later
sent to area ministers in Northern Indiana.
We write to you today concerning an issue in our Amish
churches. After praying and feeling God’s guidance in this
matter, we feel we must bring this subject to light.
This is concerning the use of the German language in our
churches today. We know this tradition (some would call it a
heritage) has been passed down from generation to generation
from our forefathers, but what is of the fact that most of our
people no longer understand this language? We no longer use
this language anywhere but in church. Our main language is
Pennsylvania Dutch, but before we go to school we must learn
the English language, and we must speak this language if we are
to have a job or any communication with the world around us.
Why is it then that on Sundays we are clinging to this tradition
of using the German language? Most of us know how to read
this language either from attending the Amish school or from
Deitsh School, but sadly we do not know the meaning of the
words. How sad it is to sit in church on Sunday feeling the need
to praise God in song but not knowing what the song we sing
means (we have Our Heritage Hope and Faith book and Hymns
book which would be ok, but we cannot take these books to
church with us).
A lot of preachers today are making an effort to explain these
scriptures in our everyday language (although many do not), but
we feel this is not enough; our young adults and children
understand close to nothing! Is it any wonder than that many are
choosing not to stay Amish? Let’s take a look at what God
1 Corinthians 14:18-19:
I thank my God, I speak with
tongues more than ye all: Yet in the church I had rather
speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I
might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an
He answered and said unto them, Well hath
Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This
people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far
from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for
doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the
commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the
washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things
I know thy works, that thou art neither
cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will
spue thee out of my mouth.
We ask the question: If our churches were not lukewarm, would
we not be content to sit and sing songs of which we do not
know the meaning? Would we be content to preach the Good
News of Jesus in a language that most of us do not understand?
We understand that our Amish heritage has many traditions that
are worth holding on to, and we are thankful for these things;
but we must ask ourselves when our traditions stand in the way
of people hearing and understanding the gospel of Jesus, is it
worth it? I fear our children are paying the price.
A word of encouragement…
And this I pray, that your love may
abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be
sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled
with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto
the glory and praise of God.
In closing, for fear of being written as such, we feel we must
clarify: we are not part of Revive Indiana, or a Bible study
group or any organization of any kind. We are simply an Old
Order Amish couple with a concern for our church.
Please pray and seek God’s will on the matter.
A concerned Brother and Sister
We have chosen to withhold our names for fear of
being shunned by the people for speaking boldly
what God has laid on our heart.
Lord, Awake Us!
—by Old Order Amish Couple
In Hosea 4:6, the Bible says of the
my people are destroyed for lack
Jon Courson explains that verse as follows:
Because God's people had grown bored of
His Word, they would no longer be priests,
no longer serve Him. As in Hosea's day, I
am convinced that the great need of the
body of Christ is to know the Word of God.
Churches are in confusion, caught up in
odd doctrine all for lack of knowledge. It
seems people don't want to hear the Word
and study the Scriptures. They want to get
on a pet doctrine and ride it until they've
missed the point completely.