Amish Buggy / No Church Hopping?

Amish Buggy - No Church Hopping?

You can read a brief introduction to the Amish in an earlier post. This photograph was taken in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Amish use buggies to get around in their communities.

Why would anyone use a horse and buggy to get around in the 21st Century?

Amish beliefs are centered around the emphasis of humility, simplicity, obedience, and, the rejection of pride and arrogance. The Amish submit to the "will of God" and yield to their community. Consistent with these beliefs, many Amish congregations do not have church buildings; they worship in private homes. Congregations are formed as small neighborhoods, where worship services are rotated yearly between member families. Amish congregations are lifelong faith formations - there is no "church hopping".

Amish lifestyle is based on anti-individualism. They live by a specific blueprint, a strict Ordnung (order) that regulates private, public, and religious life. Modern technology is used selectively by the Amish. If a specific technology risks breaking the Ordnung, or promotes sloth, luxury or vanity, it is strictly prohibited. Automobiles may promote vanity or competition. Telephones may reduce face-to-face interaction. Televisions may bring non-biblical values to the community. They are all prohibited.

Compare that with the lifestyles of most Americans. We live by "values" based on individualism, competition, vanity and arrogance; all of which we can self-justify thanks to our ignorance. We don't necessarily have to denounce technology to find balance in our lives and discover the things that truly matter. Studying cultures that are different than our own can help expedite the process.

Open question: As packaged, does the value system that we conform to really fulfill our lives, or, do each of us have to reassemble it to achieve fulfillment?
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