Amish Heresies Refuted

David J. Stewart

       There are about 250,000 Amish people in America; yet every year about 20,000,000 tourists flock to visit their villages and country-style living and culture. They are a fascinating people to say the least. Any Christian who loves long dresses on women, manliness, decency, honesty and good moral character couldn't help but love the Amish culture for their superb family values. The Amish are particular well-known for their delicious home cooking, furniture crafting and homemaking skills. In today's hellhole society, I think we all feel like moving to Amish country sometimes just to escape the pollutions of the world. I realize that most Amish people don't have computers, but many of the "New Order" Amish certainly do. 

In this 1:52 Hour PBS documentary of the Amish culture, the tourist bus driver makes an interesting point toward the end of the video. He regularly asks the tourists on the bus how many of them think that television is a bad influence on society today. Most of them raise their hands. Then he asks how many of them are never going to watch TV again in their homes and nobody raises their hands. He says, that's the difference between you and the Amish, the Amish got rid of their TVs. Truthfully, most Amish put the average professed Christian to shame when it comes to morality.

Albeit, having spoken a kind word about the Amish people, I am compelled as a born-again Christian to expose their false religion as a works-based demonic religion. For those who may not know, the Amish are actually a religious cult. Assuming that you believe that faith in the cleansing blood of Jesus is the only thing that can be counted on for salvation, the Amish are not possibly believers. They count on works and adherence to laws (mostly manmade ordinances) and traditions for salvation. Any slight deviation brings shunning and excommunication, until the bishop determines that enough repentance and humbling has occurred for the person to be reinstated. Amish is a form of cultism and religious mind control. There is nothing "Christian" about the Amish way of salvation.

I love the Amish people and respect their freedom in America to worship freely as they choose; however, they are wrong Biblically. The Bible is very plain that anyone who trusts in their own works will go to the Lake of Fire forever (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:20; Romans 4:5-6; Revelation 20:11-15 - All references only to King James Bible). The Amish teach a corrupt gospel. Here's what the Bible says concerning the Amish and anyone who teaches another gospel other the the simple free-grace gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ...

"As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." —Galatians 1:19

They are cursed! There is a curse upon the Amish society, because they are teaching a false gospel of earning one's way to Heaven. Isaiah 64:6 says that even our best human efforts are complete filth in God's sight. Eternal life is based solely upon what Christ did for us to pay for our sins, not upon what we can do for Him. Look to Jesus!

Amish also practice the heresy of baptismal regeneration (that is, they require water baptism to be saved). Salvation is not guaranteed in the Amish religion. Amish believe that faithfully attending church increases their chances of going to Heaven. It is a strict salvation-by-works false religion based upon human effort. They do their best and hope they make it.

The truth is that you don't go to Heaven because you're good, and you don't go to Hell because you're bad. You go to Heaven because you have Christ's righteousness by faith. If you die in your sins without Christ's righteousness, then you will go to Hell to be punished and pay for your own sins forever (2nd Thessalonians 1:8-9). The sad truth is that there are many good people in Hell this moment. They were good in their own eyes, and in the eyes of other men; but they are wicked sinners in God's eyes and never got saved by faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. So they died and went to Hell. The only type of person that God saves according to Romans 4:5 are THE UNGODLY. We are all ungodly and need to get saved. There is NONE righteous, no not one the Bible says in Romans 3:10. We all need to be born-again to go to Heaven.

Most people return after Rumspringa, not out of true belief, but out of guilt (since they believe that there is no salvation for them outside the Amish church). They also know that they will never see their family or friends again if they leave. This harsh reality of the Amish culture is documented in the preceding very interesting PBS documentary. The good news is that Jesus Christ paid our debt of sin and we can freely have the gift of forgiveness and eternal life simply by receiving the gospel as full-payment for our sins.

Simply acknowledge your guilt of sin and believe (rely upon) Christ's death, burial and resurrection. Make that your hope for Heaven and you'll be saved. Romans 10:9, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” We are saved by believing in our heart that Jesus died for OUR SINS and was raised up from the dead. Christ died, that's history; Christ died for me, that's salvation!

Salvation By Works Heresy

The Amish need to be reached with the good news of the gospel of Christ, and the knowledge that God does not require adherence to long list of manmade traditions and laws. In fact, Jesus condemns that very thing...

"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 ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." —Mark 7:7-9

The following information (in green type) is taken from Susan Rensberger's, "Understanding the Amish," Alpha Books, (2003). Read reviews or order this book...

For Evangelicals and other conservative Protestants, salvation is an unmistakable experience which happens when one trusts Jesus. Amish are different. They don't believe that anyone is guaranteed salvation as a result of a conversion experience, baptism, joining the church, etc. "...they would consider it arrogant or prideful to claim certainty of salvation."

The Amish believe that God carefully weighs the individual's total lifetime record of obedience to the church and then decides whether the person's eternal destiny will be the reward of Heaven or the punishment in Hell. As a result, an Amish believer lives their life and dies not knowing if they are saved and will attain Heaven. This lack of certainty has made the Amish church susceptible to raiding from other Christian evangelists at various times in its history.

The Word of God clearly proclaims that we can KNOW that we are saved...

"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." —1st John 5:13

The ONLY Way to heaven is through Jesus Christ...

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." —John 14:6

Jesus never told anyone to go get baptized. Jesus never told anyone to give up their sins, He saved them and afterwards told them to "go and sin no more."  No one has a license to sin, but salvation is a gift...

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." —Romans 6:23

Jesus paid a debt He did not owe, because we owed a debt we could not pay. Salvation is a FREE gift of God, paid for by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Salvation CANNOT be earned, it cannot be merited. We ALL deserve to burn in hell for our sins which we have committed (Romans 3:10,23). But thanks be to God, Jesus loved us and paid for our sins (Romans 5:8). All we need to do to be saved is to simply believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31). Salvation is all about getting our sins forgiven. It's that simple: we are sinners, Jesus is the Saviour. The very moment you make that decision to rely upon Christ to forgive your sins, you are forever saved

The Amish religion is a a grievous religion, hard to be borne... a religion of bondage and imprisonment. Jesus came to deliver us from such heavy burdens made by men...

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." —Matthew 11:28-30

False religions place heavy burdens upon men's shoulders, grievous to be carried...

"For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders..." —Matthew 23:4

Jesus never expected us to earn our way into heaven, or to make a lifetime effort to impress Him. That's the whole reason why Jesus came to atone for our sins... because we couldn't. God is not impressed with our righteousness (Isaiah 64:6). God is impressed when we look to Christ's righteousness, the imputed righteousness which He provides to all those who believe upon His name. We cannot be saved by good works...

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." —Ephesians 2:8-9

If you can't do good works to get saved, then how can you do bad works to lose it? You can't. Salvation is of God, we have nothing to do with it except to BELIEVE upon the Lord Jesus Christ...

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." —Romans 10:13

The Amish religion is a false religion which requires their followers to live up to a certain standard to get into heaven.  No such teaching is found in the Bible. Such heresy is kin to "Lordship Salvation" which teaches that a person must make a commitment to Christ at the time of salvation. Of course, such teachings are lies of the devil... nowhere taught in the Word of God. Salvation is of God, not man. We have no part in our own salvation except to believe upon Jesus Christ to forgive our sins and save us from hell, God does the rest...

"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." —John 11:25

Baptismal Regeneration Heresy

Biblically, water baptism is NOT necessary to go to Heaven. Baptism is an ordinance, but not a sacrament (just as the Lord's Supper as an ordinance, and not a sacrament). The term "sacrament" is not found in the Bible. Some religions teach sacraments as being essential for salvation, as do Roman Catholics. Protestants on the other hand teach that sacraments bestow some mysterious grace (power or efficacy) upon the believer. Neither of these teachings are Biblical. Sacraments are not taught in the Bible at all. There is no special power or favor gained by baptism or the Lord's Supper.

Baptism is simply the believer's profession of faith, and the Lord's Supper is simply done to remember the Lord's broken body and shed blood for our sins. They are ordinances initiated by our Lord to be obeyed, not magical superstitions as Catholics teach. Roman Catholics go as far as to say that they're actually eating Jesus' body and blood, which is untrue.

The Word of God supersedes what ANY church or man says. What we need to do is to stop fiddling with religion and bring this lost world to Christ for salvation. The Apostle Paul clearly stated in 1st Corinthians 1:17 that Christ sent him to preach the gospel, NOT to baptize. Paul never would have made such a statement if water baptism were necessary for salvation.

1st John 5:13 teaches that the Epistle of 1st John was written to help believers KNOW they are saved. Yet, John never mentions being baptized even once. Clearly baptism is not essential to salvation. Baptism always happens AFTER salvation, only done as a profession of one's faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Now why would Paul say such a thing if baptism were required for salvation? The thief on the cross wasn't baptized. No one in the Old Testament was ever baptized. Jesus never told one person to get baptized when He saved them. We must accept the Scriptures at face value and not make the horrible mistake of reading into them what they do not say. Here is a more in-depth look at Baptismal Regeneration by the Great preacher, Charles H. Spurgeon. See also, Acts 2:38 -Satan's Favorite Verse

No Eternal Security for the Amish

According to God's Word, we can indeed have eternal security, but the Amish say no. I once witnessed to an Islamic Muslim. I asked him, "Do you know that you are going to heaven?" He reply with disdain, "How arrogant! How could you or anyone be so proud as to say that they KNOW they are going to heaven?" I explained to him that Biblical salvation is based upon God's love, not merit or good works. The Muslims believe that Allah (the name of their god) is capricious (unpredictable). They basically believe that they are to do their best and hope they are acceptable to Allah when they die. I thought about this when I learned that the Amish have the same attitude towards salvation and God. 

Folks, salvation is of God, not man. The Bible proclaims in 1st John 5:13 that every person can KNOW beyond any shadow of a doubt that they are saved. As born again Christians, we believe that salvation is God's gift to undeserving mankind.  This is what the Word of God proclaims. We can know we are saved because salvation is of God, our part is to simply believe upon Jesus as out personal Saviour. Amish and Muslims foolishly believe that their salvation rests upon their own works and efforts; therefore, they live in constant uncertainty and anguish of soul. I am truly amazed at just how many people fail to fully understand the SIMPLICITY of the Gospel

Also, the Seventh-Day Adventists (a false religion) are guilty of teaching the same damnable heresy, that is, that our works throughout life are all taken into consideration for salvation. Adventists believe that Jesus will decide if we are "worthy" or not after we die. I can answer that question right now... NO ONE is worthy for salvation, we all deserve to burn in hell-fire and brimstone for our sins.

Revelation 5:4 says no man was found worthy to open the Book, but only the Lord is worthy...

Revelation 5:4-5, “And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.”

Wrong to Drive a Car?

I mean no unkindness to the Amish people, but the Bible is the Final Authority. According to the Bible we can be saved instantly, and KNOW that we are going to heaven. As far as Amish primitive living goes, I'd say they come closer to right than the average materialistic selfish spoiled rotten American does. Surely, using electricity is not a sin in any way.  We should receive with thanksgiving the blessings which God has provided for us, but it's not wrong to decline them either.  The Amish people do no wrong by choosing to live primitive. 

However, it is wrong to teach that utilizing modern convenience displeases God. Old Order Amish are prohibited from driving cars, listening to radios, or using phones.  Truthfully, a person will not go to Hell for driving a car or using electricity. Amish people will "shun" their own for driving a car, et cetera. This is wrong. Ironically, they can be driven in a car, but cannot drive it themselves. There is truly a fine line between faith and foolishness. The Word of God will keep us out of trouble if we take it at face value. Though the Amish people claim to adhere to the Bible, many of their beliefs are ludicrous to say the least. 

I will say this though... modern day society is far worse than the Amish culture. We spend billions of dollars trying to warn kids about the dangers of illegal drugs, while simultaneously hypocritically glorifying legal booze (a drug) all across the country. Cigarette smoking is one of the number one killers in America, but nothing is done to stop it. The billions spent to warn people about smoking risks are chump change compared to the trillions which have been made on cigarette sales. We are a crazy society in America. We've got Amish folks who won't even drive a car, and then we've got millions of Americans driving away from bars after having a drink or two (with big signs everywhere reading... don't drink and drive!). You know as well as I do that 90% of the people who drink a beer head straight for their car when they leave.

As believers, we are to separate from the sinful world, but technology is not sinful. I definitely think it's a great idea not to have a TV, but no one can say it is sinful to own a TV. Personally, I think it would great if we could get rid of every TV in America. The TV has been used by Satan to desensitize the masses concerning the sinfulness of sin. However, it is the wickedness in the hearts of the people that have made the TV such an evil invention, not the TV itself. The Amish try to protect their way of life as the Muslims do, by banning the heathen American culture in their communities (and for this I don't blame them). However, people are still sinners. 

Before electricity was ever invented, mankind was just as sinful. Technology has simply allowed men to go further down the road they were already on. True righteousness is of the heart and cannot be obtained by abstaining from worldly amusements or inventions. Only through the precious blood of Jesus Christ can anyone truly be saved and have their sins forgiven. Won't you trust Christ now?

The gospel is NOT turning over a new leaf, nor is it reforming the old sin-nature, nor is it doing our best to please God, nor is it going to church faithfully and getting water baptized, nor is it loving our neighbor. You can do all these things and yet never have obeyed the gospel at all. Here is what the Bible defines the gospel as...

1st Corinthians 15:1-4, “ Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”

The gospel is Christ's DEATH, BURIAL and RESURRECTION. That is the good news how to be saved. If you'll acknowledge your guilt of sin (Romans 3:19) and receive the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as payment for your sins, then you'll be saved immediately and eternally. Ye must be born again by the Spirit of God, and this is how. The Amish can sing Amazing Grace all day long, but they cannot go to Heaven unless they get born-again by faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Inviting Jesus into your heart won't do it. Making a commitment to the Lord is not the gospel. Praying a sinner's prayer is not the gospel. Jesus died, was buried and rose up three days later by God's power. Do you believe this? If you'll make that your hope for Heaven and believe the gospel, then you're saved certain my friend, just as I have been since age 13.

Please don't let the Amish religion take you to Hell. Eternal life is the gift of God, paid for by Jesus' precious blood. We are saved by HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, that is, Christ's imputed righteousness (Romans 4:5-6; 2nd Corinthians 5:21), and not by our own human effort (self-righteousness). There's NOTHING that you nor I can do to help save ourselves. Hopefully, we try to live righteously because we ARE saved, not to BE saved. God does the saving, all of it. Our part is only to believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:30-31). John 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”

Ye Must Be Born Again

It's not what you're doing that gets you to Heaven, it's where you're looking. Look to Jesus.

Amish Facts (some strange)

Amish Beliefs and Practices

The Amish :The Early Years in Europe

The Amish History in the U.S. and Canada: 1700 to now