John Andrew Hostetler's Amish Life PDF

By John Andrew Hostetler

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The Cost of Being Amish In their early history, the Amish were despised for their heretical beliefs. In America they found religious freedom. Though the persecution has ceased, there are still costs and sacrifices the individual must make for being Amish. Thieves, some of them in search of antiques, have paid visits to Amish homes. Arsonists have admitted setting fire to Amish barns. In several communities Amish persons have been injured and babies have been killed by rocks thrown at their carriages from speeding automobiles, frequently at night.

The wedding gifts of housewares and farm tools are displayed in one of the rooms for everyone to come and see. The couple spends their wedding night in the bride's home, and on the following day they help with the cleanup. Their "honeymoon" consists of visiting uncles, aunts, and friends for several weeks. The parents of the newly married couple frequently take major responsibility for the economic establishment of the new home, particularly if they are a farm family. Long before the marriage, they may have prepared for the occasion by buying or renting another farm, or by building a "grandpa house" for themselves.

A husband who is shunned is not allowed to eat at the table with his wife, nor sleep in the same bed, nor eat with his own children if they are members. All may admonish him to repent, and provide human needs like food and shelter, but they may not receive favors in return. This form of shunning was introduced among the Swiss Mennonites by Jacob Ammann in the late seventeenth century. The biblical basis is found in the teaching of Paul (1 Corinthians 5:11) that members should not eat with those who have been excluded from the church nor keep company with them.

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Amish Life by John Andrew Hostetler


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