Friday, October 26, 2007

Salute to Legalism

An easy, obvious example...more on this topic later when I have time.

From The Global Anabaptist and Mennonite Encyclopedia Online.

Old Order Amish:
"In theology the Amish have retained the basic doctrines of their forefathers, but have certain characteristic emphases. One of these is the denial of assurance of salvation; they commonly hold that one can only hope to be saved, that it is pride to claim certainty of salvation. There is also little teaching or preaching of conversion, and no pietistic type of piety. There is a strong emphasis on living a righteous life, being and doing good, and obeying the rules of the church."

Rules of the Amish church:
"The Ordnungen comprise the rules and regulations of the church community. The word is used in Mennonite, Amish, and Hutterite tradition to cover both the written and oral compendia of modes of behavior and organizational structure which give form and meaning to daily life. The Ordnung may contain broad principles of faith, e.g., nonresistance and common ownership of goods (in the case of Hutterites), as well as very specific applications of principles, e.g., permissible styles of clothing, (dress) or home furnishings.

The purpose of the Ordnung is not only to provide a list of individually acceptable or proscribed ethical behaviors but to structure a whole way of life, lived according to God's will, as expressed in the gospels. The Ordnung reflects God's order as opposed to the order of the world."

More from Religious Tolerance:

"Knowledge of one's salvation: 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. If a person is baptized into the Amish church and later leaves the church or is excommunicated, they have no hope of attaining Heaven. 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."

"Authority: They believe that their church has received the authority from God to interpret his will. "Submission to church is submission to God."


Kelly said...

Very nice!

I'll have to ponder this a bit, to see how I think it differs from Catholicism. They are very similar in some regards.

sara said...

Hi Sue. I don't know a lot about the Amish but I'm pretty sure Mennonites believe in assurance of salvation though not eternal security.