Trouble in Amish paradise

Last night ABC showed an interesting British produced documentary about two Amish families in Pennsylvania who were shunned by their church (/community/ family) after they started studying the Bible (in English rather than old German) and questioning some of the rules of the community.

It was a well made documentary, which showed faith in a positive light. Even though the sort of faith they came to was the sort of simplistic evangelicalism which usually makes me cringe, they had such an earnestness and integrity that I was excited for them.

It’s a pity the program didn’t make clearer the historical irony of the current events – that the Anabaptis from whom the Amish are descended were a people persecuted originally for reading their Bibles and finding that what Jesus said was at odds with what they saw around them.

The hard working, honest simplicity of their lives also seems valuable to me. Whatever I would disagree with in Amish theology (or lack thereof), they have truly lived as a peculiar people in a consumer country.

You can watch it online, at least for a little while –


3 thoughts on “Trouble in Amish paradise

  1. Greetings:
    I just watched the documentary last evening. I too thought it presented faith in a positive light, considering especially that it came from BBC. And I too somewhat cringed at the $1,000,000 tract type of Christianity.
    Anyways, I know someone from Charity Christian Fellowship where Ephraim now attends. In an email last evening, she sent me the following information, which I thought was quite interesting.

    There was something I forgot to tell you about that BBC team. There was a man and a lady that were not married but living together that was doing the recording here. I remember that it was at the time of the tent meetings last year, and they recorded actually quite a bit more of it than is shown of course….but they both listened in at the meetings quite a bit even after the recording was done for the evening. They also came to the Charity Church service Sunday morning once and recorded some there, but I don’t think they ever used it. I was wondering whether they perhaps were wanting it for their own benefit…because several of the brothers had spent quite a bit of time sharing with them……the man said it was the first time he had ever really heard the story of Salvation, and was deeply touched by all the testimonies of changed lives etc.
    He ended up getting saved before he left, hallelujah! And went on to make some radical changes after returning to his home country, including moving out from his girlfriend, though it was of course a tremendously hard thing to do for him. We were tremendously blessed by these turn of events of course! I haven’t heard about the situation for a while…

    Anyways, write me sometime and tell me more about this Anabaptist fellowship (even thought it “fell apart”).
    Mike Atnip

  2. Fascinating story! It could make an interesting documentary on its own. I look forward to exploring your site.

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