#1 Do Amish Believe in Jesus?
Yes, the Amish believe in Jesus and hold a trinitarian belief that states that God exists in three forms: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit (Romans 8:1-17).
Despite believing fervently in God and his gospel, Amish people are not of the belief that this should be publicized. Living a modest lifestyle that does not value self-promotion or vanity, they do not gloat to others about their faith in God. This is one of the main things that separates them from other Christians – The desire to not spread the word of God, to not evangelicalize, and to not take on this responsibility as part of their faith.
Regarding Jesus, he is seen as an extension of the Father, his only son which was sent as a sacrifice for mankind’s sinful nature. As savior of the world and humanity, Jesus is seen as a symbol of hope and God’s love for his people – Even able to sacrifice his most important child for the sake of mankind.
Amish and the similar traditionalist denomination, Mennonites, view Jesus as a full God. Many other Christian denominations do not view Jesus as a God, so this is a distinction worth noting.
- “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16.
- Do The Amish Really Believe in Jesus Christ – Questions and Answers; Published August 3rd, 2014.
#2 Do Amish Drive Cars?
No, Amish people choose to avoid cars and refuse extensions of the modern world, which included automated vehicles. Opting for the wagon pulled by a horse, their transportation is seen as slower and less efficient, but humbler.
The Amish view their religion as a lifestyle. They prefer to focus on family, work, and God – Rather than indulging in contemporary luxuries which they see as a distraction, a temptation, and unnecessary.
Many view the Amish as a society that is frozen in time, from centuries ago. With a legalistic theology and unwritten code that forbids specific clothing, mirrors, air-travel, and cars – it is not common to see an Amish person with a modern-day vehicle.
- “The chariots race madly through the streets; they rush to and fro through the squares; they gleam like torches; they dart like lightning.” – Nahum 2:4.
- “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” – Luke 12:33-34.
- Horse and Buggy Crashed have Killed 23, likely Injured Hundreds in Pa. Since 2007; RDY News; Published February 2nd, 2018.
#3 Do Amish Use Electricity?
Most Amish people do not use any electricity; however, certain Amish communities do allow minimal electricity (such as a battery-powered light on their horse and carriage). It will depend on the Amish group you are referring to as there are many sub-groups ranging in their conservative or liberal natures, (a more progressive Amish community may embrace limited electricity, while a traditionalist or fearful congregation would outwardly forbid it).
You may see farming accessories such as automatic tires, but what you will not see is electricity within the home. The home is seen as a place to focus on family and worship, and the Amish do not allow electricity to run through their homes.
- “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” – Genesis 1:3.
- This is How and Why the Amish Live Off the Grid – Published January 14th, 2014.
#4 Do Amish Women Shave?
According to a private letter, the Schwartzentruber Amish Ordinance Letter, Amish women are not allowed to cut their hair, shave their underarms, nor shave their legs.
Generally, shaving one’s legs would be seen as a predisposition for the negative qualities of:
- External Validation Seeking
- Sexual Indulgence
- Self-Love and Unnecessary Self-Adoration
These are the reasons you would probably not find an Amish female with shaved legs.
As a gender-biased culture that is seen as unequivocally categorizing men and women – The Amish are of the belief that men should have a higher authority over their wives’ bodies. A woman would resort the power of these decisions to her husband, rather than deciding for herself. To a modern woman, this would be seen as archaic and anti-feminist; to an Amish woman, this is morally correct.
If you did see an Amish female with shaved legs, perhaps they are:
- In a more progressive congregation that allows this
- Abiding by their husband’s wishes/requests
- Having a leg inspection or shave for medical purposes
- “But if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering.” – 1 Corinthians 11:15.
- 5 Things Amish Women Don’t Want You to Know; Published December 10th, 2017.
#5 Do Amish Eat Pork?
Yes, the Amish eat pork and are not against meats that other religions deem to be ‘unclean’ (such as Seventh-day Adventists or Jewish people). Finding pork to be perfectly acceptable, a member of the Amish community would create hearty meals such as:
- Pork Chops
- Roast Beef
- Eggs and cheese
- Root vegetables
There are no direct food prohibitions in the Amish culture; however, they do strongly discourage members from drinking alcohol or utilizing substances of any kind.
Amish America writes in their piece ‘What Do Amish Eat?’
“Amish make a wide variety of Pennsylvania-Dutch style foods, including pot pies, butter noodles, chicken corn soup, varieties of bologna, chow-chow (a pickled relish made from a variety of vegetables), chipped beef gravy, beets, apple butter, and other hearty foods based on staples such as pork, potatoes, and cabbage.”
- “And the pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. You shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall not touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.” – Leviticus 11:7-8.
- ““Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, eating pig’s flesh and the abomination and mice, shall come to an end together, declares the Lord.” – Isaiah 66:17.
- Amish Food – Lancaster Online: Published November 17th, 2012.
#6 Do Amish Believe in God?
Yes, Amish people do believe in God, subscribing to a Trinitarian belief that places God (The Father) at equal stature to that of Jesus Christ (The Son) and The Holy Spirit.
In the afterlife, the Amish culture teaches that:
- When you die, you are sent to be with God
- The funeral should be about praises for God; not the person that has passed. This is a way to offer good graces to God for their smooth transport into heaven
- After death, they must be placed in their grace within three days of passing
- “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.” – Isaiah 40:28.
- Iowa PBS – The Amish; Published December 28th, 2006.
#7 Do Amish Believe in The Trinity?
Yes, the Amish do believe in the trinity and view God as a triune that is co-eternal and co-powerful. Seeing God as a three-part figure head, they do not see God as a higher power than Jesus or the Holy Trinity. Seeing all three of these entities as equals – All are seen as God.
- “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” – Matthew 28:19.
- “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” – John 14:26.
- Amish Beliefs and Practices – Pastor Wagner; “They believe in the trinity and the deity of Jesus Christ.” Published February 22nd, 2017.
#8 Do Amish Believe in Easter?
Yes, some progressive Amish communities will celebrate Easter, while more traditionalistic and legalistic Amish communities may view this holiday as having pagan roots. It will all depend on the subsect of Amish.
The distinctions you may notice in an Amish Easter celebration compared to a normalized American Easter celebration may include:
- There is no Easter Bunny
- The Easter Bunny is a frivolous, merry, and sexualized representation of fertility (not modest enough for the ideology behind the Amish faith
- Amish children may color eggs, this is a simple pastime of enjoyment that does not involve any technology, so they are happy to share this activity with children (despite not conducting a traditional easter egg hunt)
- Many Amish may not celebrate Easter
- Some Amish may celebrate ‘Easter Monday’
For the Amish, Easter may not be as celebratory as it is for other Christian denominations. Some of the emotions you will notice that designate Amish Easters from general Christian Easters are:
- Less outward joy
- Less frivolities
- Less games
- More sober reflections on Jesus’ death and sacrifice
- Fasting is common
- A Sunday service is common
Some of the Amish communities that do observe Easter (with their own cultural twist or variations) are:
- Holmes County Amish Community
- Ohio Amish Community
- Southern Michigan Amish Community
- Somerset County Amish Community
- General Amish Communities in Pennsylvania
Amish America writes of how Amish-raised, Mary Ann Kinsinger, described her Easter celebrations:
“On Friday morning we would get up, do whatever chores that needed to be done. Cows and other animals have this way of needing to be cared for no matter what else is going on. After chores were done we would wash up and then sit in the living room since Good Friday was a day of fasting it was more sober and solemn than a normal Sunday. We would read the Bible and the prayers in the little black prayer book and the German, Rules of a Godly Life book. There was no playing and any talking was done in hushed tones.
It was always a relief once the day was over. The next day always seemed to carry some of the previous days solemness with it as we hurried to do all the regular Saturday cleaning and preparing lots of food for the next two days so we wouldn’t have to cook much.
Easter Sundays we would treat like any other Sunday except Mom would make soft boiled eggs for breakfast. Thankfully that was a once a year occurrence! If it was our Church Sunday we would go to Church. Otherwise, we would stay at home and read, play games, write letters, and things along that line.”
- “And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people.” – Acts 12:4.
- “And was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,” – Romans 1:4.
- National Geographic – A History of Easter; Published April 9th, 2020.
#9 Do Amish Believe in Birth Control?
No, the Amish do not believe in birth control and view this as a sin against life. Taking any modern medicine to prevent the natural creation of a child could be perceived as murder by certain extremist Amish disciples.
Amish people do not believe in birth control because:
- A woman should have as many babies as God will allow
- Women in Amish communities tend to have 7 children on average, upwards to 10-12. Not having this many children is seen as ‘odd’ within their culture. (They want to blend in and do what everyone else is doing because this induces tribal acceptance).
- They reject modern medicine, health insurance coverage, social security, electricity, and anything too contemporary that could be seen as a corrupted or tainted system
- Children are seen as the highest gift from God.
There are some communities that are embracing minimal medical care, minimal electricity, and other limited forms of modern penetration. Although medical professionals recommend a form of contraception, Amish are reluctant to accept this into their conservative philosophy. They do not even have birth certificates or social security cards, truly seeking to keep their children and families off-the-grid.
Following scriptures such as, Genesis 1:28, Amish members see the avoidance of contraception as their loyalty-in-action to God. Taking his scripture highly-literally, they allow children to multiple as the book of Genesis instructs:
“And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
- “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” – Psalm 127:3-5.
#10 Do Amish Believe in Doctors?
Yes, the Amish community would not restrict someone from seeking urgent medical attention, nor would they forbid anyone from seeing a doctor. There are however, many holistic and home-based remedies they have developed to cure simple ailments.
Remaining considerably self-sufficient, women would be trained on general nursing work. When something very costly comes up for a community member that requires extensive medical bills, the community will find ways to pay for high medical bills together.
Since Amish people do not typically have birth certificates, social security cards, legal forms of identification, or health insurance – They could avoid a hospital and large bills for these reasons alone. In such cases where they have to see a professional, there are community funds, church aid, and other discounts worked out with hospitals to make this feasible.
- “And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” – Mark 2:17.
- How the Amish Pay Their Medical Bills Without Insurance; Published by Delaware News Online; December 13th, 2018.
#11 Do Amish Believe in Divorce?
No, the Amish do not support divorce and it is heavily sanctioned within the community.
The thoughts and opinions regarding divorce within the Amish culture may include:
- Divorce is unacceptable
- Divorce is a sin before God
- Divorce could result in excommunication or being shunned from the community
- If you are the one that has had divorce filed against you, you cannot remarry
- Remarrying after divorce would be considered adultery
Taking scriptures from the Bible as intrinsic truth, the Amish would translate scriptures such as Luke 16:18 factually and see it as a scripture without room for exception:
“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”
The Bible mentions divorce explicitly on numerous occasions, so ignoring God’s word is a direct violation of his wishes. To this point, they could find peace and acceptance in other scriptures that Contradict Luke 16:18, such as 1 Corinthians 7:15, but choose not to:
“But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.”
However, despite certain scriptures that accept divorce biblically, the Amish do not accept that divorce would be a calling to ‘peace.’
Courtship will be central to worship in their societies, and even dating will be trips to and from Church. If a person wants a divorce after making this vow before God, they must be prepared to leave the Amish religion.
· “But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” – Matthew 5:32.
- American Experience PBS – The Amish – Shunned; Published January 15th, 2014.
#12 Do Amish Believe in Electricity?
No, most Amish communities will not use electricity besides the occasional battery-powered light or mild introduction of work assistance. Seeking to avoid modern frivolities, the Amish also believe that digital/electric connections physically tie them to the general public or contemporary society. Since they want to reject contemporary society – This is not ideal.
It is not necessarily the power or energy itself that scares the Amish – But rather, what it represents.
Hoping to preserve their ideologies and keep them private from others, they do not seek to rely on power grids, government institutions, or any other large-system that could make them feel trapped by the current age.
It is worth noting that a business owner or farmer may have a powered generator as back-up support, and solar power which is becoming increasingly popular in Amish societies. Although progressions such as solar power are becoming more popular, this is not an indication that the Amish want to join modern society. In fact, this is a way for them to make themselves even more independent and less reliant on municipal and established institutions.
Seeing God as their holiest foundation, they do not want to cohabitate, comingle, nor become dependent on the modern world.
Some people consider the Amish to be a group of people that are stuck in the year 1850 (roughly), only embracing technology and progressions that would have been seen in the 19th century. Recently, the Amish have been mildly exposed to things like iPads and cell phones in case of emergencies – but this is extremely atypical and contradictory to their general principles.
- “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” – Romans 13:1.
- “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.” – 1 Corinthians 15:1-58.
- Euro News – How Some Amish Communities Are Opening Up to Modern Technology; Published September 5th, 2019.
If you are interested in learning about other Religions in the world, then check out this book on World’s Religions on Amazon.