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Old 09-20-2008, 11:46 PM   #1
Baggywrinkle
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Default Avalon is about community

Take what is of value and make it your own. How is the popcicle index in your community.

Amish Ethics

Grace Miller
October 1, 2006



Commitment

The Amish have a strong sense of commitment to God, family, church and community. Their faith is rooted in a literal interpretation of the Bible and in the Ordnung, the rules of conduct handed down for generations, regularly reviewed and earnestly taken to heart. Their dedication to family guides decisions about where to live and what occupation to pursue. Divorce is extremely rare, and much, if not most, of an Amish person's life revolves around their large extended families. Beyond the family circle are the congregation and greater community. Although the Amish do not live in communes or closed communities, they do tend to live closely grouped together, for the sake of fellowship, support and more practical reasons. The businesses that provide resources for the Amish way of life, such as buggy-makers, blacksmiths and stores selling non-electric appliances, for example, need a pool of customers to draw from in order to stay in business. In a community heavily populated by Amish, such as in Holmes County, business owners can make a living, and the Amish have resources they can rely on for the products and services they need to maintain their way of life.

Obedience Submission to Authority

An Amish person's commitment to his faith and church include the willingness to be obedient to the precepts of the Bible, the rule of the Ordnung and the decisions of those who have been chosen to lead the church community as ministers and bishops. All members feel it is their duty to rebuke anyone who appears to be straying from church standards, although such admonishment is to be undertaken with great humility and in a spirit of love. Persistent rebellion may result in a member being excommunicated, or put under the Bann, in the hope this strict form of discipline will result in repentance and a return to church fellowship.

The Amish also respect the rule of law, and they are obedient to federal, state and local ordinances as long as such law does not require they violate their interpretation of God's commandments. Their feel they are not to be influenced or controlled by the world and its opinions, but by scriptural principles and church rules.

A Sense of Purpose

The Amish lifestyle is not just a quaint custom. The Amish religion, part of the Anabaptist movement that has its origins in 16th-century Switzerland, is based on a personal faith in God. The practices of its adherents are designed to maintain a right relationship with God, to live a life that is pleasing to Him, to set a good example to others, to grow in purity and humility and, ultimately, to attain to eternity in Heaven.

Separation from the influence of the world is an important factor in pursuing these goals. Although the Amish may not physically detach themselves from modern society, their style of dress and transportation is an outward symbol of the mental and spiritual boundaries that mark the limits of their interaction with their non-Amish neighbors.

Simplicity

The Amish mindset is to pursue a life that is free of non-essential "clutter." Their plain clothing is, again, an outward symbol of a life that is not taken up with possessions or the pursuit of the latest style, gadget, or entertainment. Amish parents have more time to devote to their families because they have deliberately chosen to live at a slower pace. A horse-drawn buggy does not carry them to and fro, dashing from one activity or social obligation to another. They strive not to live beyond their means, to be content with what they have and to find their greatest joy in the blessings of family, friends and work. Too many conveniences are seen as a danger, leading away from service to God and tempting them to seek earthly pleasure and idle pursuits.

Work Ethic

Honest labor, providing for oneself and one's family, is a calling that leads to greater godliness, according to Amish doctrine. Amish parents train their children to participate in family chores from the time they are able to understand simple commands. Much of Amish social life revolves around working together in a barn-raising, a quilting bee, or some other project that is best completed in a group.

The ideal occupation for an Amish father is farming, for in this work he can be at home with his family all day and bring up his children to work with him. Farming also satisfies a love of the land and being part of God's handiwork in nature. But as the size of Amish communities grows, and land becomes scarce and more expensive, many Amish have turned to other ways to make a living. Carpentry and furniture making, small home-based businesses in hand-worked crafts, home-grown produce or Amish-related services are popular choices.

The entire family works hard at doing daily chores, gardening and canning, laundry and housecleaning, sewing and mending, and caring for the little ones -- the list makes for many full days.

Tradition

"If it was good enough for my father and grandfather, then I guess it's good enough for me."

This was the response of one Amish farmer when asked about his hand milking system.

It would be a mistake to think the Amish never change. But every new idea or form of technology is examined carefully to consider how it will affect their cherished lifestyle and purpose. With the guidance of the Ordnung, oral and written histories, and the advice of their ministers, the Amish tend to stick with "the way we've always done it," rather than rush into adopting ever-changing styles and unproven new theories.

From a few hundred brave souls who sailed to America in the late 1700s to the estimated 200,000 or more living across the United States today, the Amish have maintained their beliefs and way of life in a culture that, by turns, ridicules, respects, tolerates or admires the Plain People in their midst.

One Amish writer responded this way, quoted in Small Farm Journal (Summer, 1993):

"If you admire our faith -- strengthen yours. If you admire our sense of commitment -- deepen yours. If you admire our community spirit -- build your own. If you admire the simple life -- cut back. If you admire deep character and enduring values -- live them yourself."


Last edited by Baggywrinkle; 09-20-2008 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 09-21-2008, 12:17 AM   #2
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Thank you!
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Old 09-21-2008, 12:51 AM   #3
2infinityandbeyond
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baggywrinkle View Post
Brings new meaning to the phrase "many hands make light work"

p.s great post!
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Old 09-21-2008, 02:25 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by 2infinityandbeyond View Post
Brings new meaning to the phrase "many hands make light work"

p.s great post!
Yeah great post! I figure we'll be back to the Amish ways soon or as soon as the oil runs out! Can we at least use a nail gun?
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Old 09-21-2008, 02:26 AM   #5
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Why not if you use a steam engine to run the air compressor....
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Old 09-21-2008, 02:35 AM   #6
Dantheman62
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Why not if you use a steam engine to run the air compressor....
Ah funny you put a smile on my face! I grew up around some Amish, not alot, but I have always thought what a simple way of life, peaceful!
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Old 09-21-2008, 02:41 AM   #7
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Welcome to the new world order, donīt question authority, for godīs sake!.


ŽŽ
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Old 09-21-2008, 07:39 AM   #8
Anchor
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Welcome to the new world order, donīt question authority, for godīs sake!.
Are you implying the Amish are not allowed to question? If so, then I recommend a little re-reading of the original post.

A..
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Old 09-21-2008, 04:49 PM   #9
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Are you implying the Amish are not allowed to question? If so, then I recommend a little re-reading of the original post.

A..
I should point out that we are not Amish. We have
been in communication with some former Amish and we
are aware of the weaknesses of this system. Like all cultures they are not perfect, and in some congregations
they are indeed not allowed to question. In some congregations they are discouraged from reading scripture. They've become more like the Catholic Church they turned their backs on and encourage the congregation to allow their clergy to interpret for them.
The clergy itself might rely more on quoting each other rather than quoting the Bible. It has become more about
their ordnung then about the good book.

The people of Lancaster county amazed the world when they extended their hand in forgiveness to the family of the West Nickel Mines shooter. I have heard that this forgiveness is a conditioned response by the church ingrained into the congregation. The response is automatic because that is how it's supposed to be. But for some of those involved it was not heartfelt, and those family members of the victims are struggling with it to this day. It has also been pointed out that they are more likely to extend this forgiveness to outsiders then they are to their own children who stray. The meidung/shunning practiced against those who leave the church is cruel and unwavering, to the point that Ruth Irene Garrett filed a civil rights suit against a store keep that refused to take her money, and won btw.

My point here is that they are not perfect. Yet there is still VALUE here for those forming communities.
As I said in the first post of this thread; take what is of value and leave the rest.


"If you admire our faith -- strengthen yours.
If you admire our sense of commitment -- deepen yours.
If you admire our community spirit -- build your own.
If you admire the simple life -- cut back.
If you admire deep character and enduring values -- live them yourself."


********************
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Old 09-21-2008, 05:16 PM   #10
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It’s about helping and taking care of your neighbor and being a good neighbor.
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:27 AM   #11
Anchor
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Default Re: Avalon is about community

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baggywrinkle View Post
I should point out that we are not Amish. We have been in communication with some former Amish and we
are aware of the weaknesses of this system. Like all cultures they are not perfect, and in some congregations
they are indeed not allowed to question. In some congregations they are discouraged from reading scripture. They've become more like the Catholic Church they turned their backs on and encourage the congregation to allow their clergy to interpret for them.
The clergy itself might rely more on quoting each other rather than quoting the Bible. It has become more about
their ordnung then about the good book.

Wow! Thanks for posting that. I learn a new thing.

My sincere hope and expectation is that time will heal this and soon those lost in such system's will have an opportunity to be placed back on the correct path.

A..
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:56 PM   #12
Seva
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Default Re: Avalon is about community

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2infinityandbeyond View Post
Brings new meaning to the phrase "many hands make light work"

p.s great post!
BEAUTIFUL thats how things get DONE!
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