Wednesday, July 06, 2016

"We Believe": history of Amish and Mennonite faiths, and the "morality" of watching the outside world

The 17-minute film “We Believe”, shown at the Mennonite Information Center  on Highway 30 just east of Lancaster PA, directed by Joel Kauffmann, gives a history of the Amish and Mennonite faiths as they evolved in Europe in the 17th century after the Protestant Reformation and major crackdown by governments. 

The movements arose from the Anabaptists, who believed in adult baptism upon profession of faith (part of the modern mainstream American and Southern conventions).

The first settlement was near Philadelphia around 1689.  The Mennonites and Amish developed a very personalized faith.  In the early 19th century, both groups could live off the land in Pennsylvania with little attention to the outside world.  With wars and modernism, the old order Amish took the position that they should live on faith alone, without technology, and even without more than an eight grade education in some groups. The Mennonites were more accepting of modernism, and participating in the larger world.

For me, interest in the outside world, and a belief that it matters, has always been a big issue in my relations with other people.

I got there too late for the tour of the Tabernacle model. 

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