By John Andrew Hostetler

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Though they may have paid for one or more farms in their lifetime, they are not typically wealthy by outside standards. By maintaining commonsense living arrangements, the values of old folks do not clash with those of the young couple. Even though they maintain intergenerational activity, each couple has independence of private housing and transportation. In community and church activities older men and women earn more respect with age. Wives have a significant influence in the extended family and on husbands who are leaders in the community.

By holding large-scale technology at a distance, and by restraining its influence on their lives, they have managed to maintain the integrity of their family and community life. They will not let technology and efficiency run away with their family and community. The fascination with bigger and more efficient machines in worldly society contrasts sharply with the Amish practice of moderation and restraint. They have chosen social solidarity, and by doing so are one of the few societies in the world who are master over their machines.

Page 42 more liberal than the Amish. To assert that one can be sure of going to heaven is to the Amish people a manifestation of boasting. The teaching is disruptive to the community, for it places individual experience above the community. Humility, submissiveness, and hope are the accepted indicators of godliness in waiting for the Great Judgment. Although the Amish accept the fundamental teachings of the Bible, they are not fundamentalists. The differences in religious experience between Amish and other Christian groups are rooted in historical traditions.

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Amish Life by John Andrew Hostetler


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