Friday, December 15, 2017

The ‘Simple’ Life

November 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Manna, Monthly Articles

I read recently about a man who sexually abused his little girls repeatedly. His wife knew about the abuse, his church knew about the abuse, and he was told to stop it, yet he continued.

I read about another man who plotted to kill his wife. They had several young children together but he’d already left her three times before for other women. His girlfriend (one of many) finally murdered his wife while she slept. The man, wanting an alibi, left the house so his children would discover the grisly murder scene–their mother in a pool of blood. The son who found his mother’s body was under ten years of age.

I read letters to a son from his mother. The son had moved out of the house and the parents were heartbroken. The family sent letter after letter begging him to come home. If he would only give up his wicked lifestyle, they had plenty of room for him at home. The letters are heartbreaking, but the son stayed away. He knew he couldn’t go home because his “sinful” lifestyle was simply this: he wanted to stop being Amish and he wanted to be a born-again Christian.

All of these scenarios are true stories, and all of them happened to the Amish. I could tell you many, many more. I love the Amish, as a group of people (and my in-laws) they have taken some good Biblical principles and managed to live a gracious life. But if you believe that there is nothing wrong with this group of people, then you are living in a fool’s paradise.

Like all groups, there is sin, and the devastating effects of sin, among the Amish. Does that surprise you? You may be wondering, if they’re Christians, why do these things happen? Well, why does it happen among our own English churches? Because, like the English, the Amish are not immune to the powers of the Prince of Darkness any more than we are. And more importantly, in many Amish communities, very little of the plan of salvation is preached!

Lifestyle is preached. Tradition is preached. Adherence to rules is preached. But Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for sin? Their sin? Many know nothing or little about that. They call themselves a Christian group, and yet we know they have no power to change their own hearts. Only Christ can remove their sin.

Wearing a bonnet and driving a buggy does not guarantee salvation. Having piety and charity and hard work ethics do not guarantee salvation. Showing your good side and being gentle does not guarantee salvation. And being trapped in a world that allows no growth, either spiritually or personally, is not a pleasant and happy lifestyle and does not guarantee salvation.

I don’t pretend to know all the ins and outs of the Amish world; I’ve not lived it, and if you’ve not lived it either, don’t pretend you know how “perfect” it is! But I’m no longer naive to the inherent faults of this lifestyle. God did not intend for the sacrifice of His Son to mean so little.

If you love the Amish…if you adore their “simple” lifestyle (that one makes me laugh–try living like a pioneer for a while and come back and tell me it is simple–those women, children, and men work hard for that simple life)…if you want to see this lovely, hard-working group of people in heaven someday, then get on your knees and pray for them! Don’t just admire them from afar. Admiration is a poor substitute for salvation.

I challenge those of you who love the Amish to put feet and hands to that admiration! Get involved in the Mission to Amish People ministry. Take time to get to know your Amish neighbors.  Witness to them in a loving and personal way. Wrap your heart and your soul around this people and pray for God to open their spiritual eyes.

This is a mission field that is ripe for the harvest, but if we ignore their souls because we admire their lifestyle, we do them more harm than good.

Contact me if you’d like more information about how you can help. There are ministry opportunities galore for those who have a willing heart and open hand. The fields are ripe, but the laborers are few. Reach out and show true Christian love and grace to the Amish.

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”  (Matthew 9:35-38 NIV)

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Dee Yoder has written an Amish novel The Miting, based on the lives of many of her ex-Amish friends. Her second coming-of-age novel The Powerful Odor of Mendacity is in the editing and revision stage. Her newest WIP is the second novel in the Amish series, The Way Out. Her work is represented by Terry Burns, of Hartline Literary Agency.

Dee has written over 80 short stories for the Faithwriters’ Weekly Writing Challenge. Several of her entries have received Editor’s Choice awards and will be published in upcoming Faithwriters’ quarterly anthologies. She volunteers as the writer of the ex-Amish newsletter, Dee’s News. Dee has been published in The Evangel, Good Tidings, and The Quill magazines. Her short story “Gonna Be a Mighty Fine Christmas” won second place in The Quill’s holiday short story contest.

Dee is married to Arlen. They have a college-aged son, Joseph and have unofficially adopted a lovely former Amish young lady, Rachel, as their daughter. Rachel is married to Eli, who is a wonderful son-in-law and addition to the family. Dee and her family are actively involved with the Mission to Amish People ministry, and they love to interact with, and support, the former-Amish who live near them in central Ohio. Dee earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Lee University.

She can be contacted through email at: dee@jewelsofencouragement.com or dyoder005@neo.rr.com

Her online links are:

My Heart’s Dee-light blog: http://www.deeyoder.com/

Profile @ Faithwriters: http://www.faithwriters.com/member-profile.php?id=26676

Mission to Amish People (MAP) http://www.mapministry.org/resources/favorite-links

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Comments

10 Responses to “The ‘Simple’ Life”
  1. Yvonne says:

    Arlen, after meeting you and Dee and hearing about your work with the Amish Mission, it makes me cringe every time I hear some praise the Amish way of life.

    I am so proud of Dee for writing about the truth and praying that it will open people’s eyes.

    Vonnie

  2. Brenda Nixon says:

    Excellent article. Thank you, Dee, for taking time to share out of your knowledge, experience and passion.

    In the opening paragraphs, we also need to be aware of the spiritually broken and psychologically impaired individuals left in the wake of these Amish. My heart breaks for the little boy who found his dead mother and the trauma he experienced. I often wonder why people champion the human rights violations of women and children in Uganda and other countries yet ignore similar violations here in America among the Amish.

  3. Teresa Slack says:

    Wow. Very enlightening article. The Amish and Mennonite populations in southern Ohio have exploded in recent years, mainly because they’re the only ones who can afford the farmland up for sale. I will not look at those black buggies the same way again. Thanks for stirring my heartstrings to pray & minister to these lovely people.

  4. Joe Keim says:

    As always, Dee, you did a superb job at writing this article. What you wrote is right on. God bless you for giving hours and hours of your time to make a difference in former Amish lives. Some day, the Lord will reward you beyond human comprehension.

  5. Dee Yoder says:

    Thank you for reading and commenting on this article. The more we realize how much the Amish, for the most part, are in need of a personal walk with the Savior, the more we will feel led to pray for them. I appreciate your help in sharing the message. (:

  6. Mary S says:

    Thanks, Dee, for speaking the truth, however unpopular it may be. It takes people like you who are willingly to go against the tide, who make a difference in the world.

  7. Rachel Overton says:

    Oh, how glad I am to see this. I live near Middlefield, Ohio–a large and thriving Amish community. I have many friends who are both Amish and ex-Amish. There is so much pain in their existence. Sexual abuse is rampant and shocking and seems to be across the board. They have a “form of Christianity” but it is christianity without Christ. It is law without grace. It is works without faith. It is well meaning but most are still lost. Amish fiction drives me insane. These people are just as hurting, just as hopeless, just as lost as the rest of the world without HIM. God bless your ministry, Dee, and thank you for opening eyes to the truth…with the Truth.

  8. Thank you for sharing this. I think we’ve been falsely led to believe these people are all good but it seems light is coming into the dark places for those breaking the laws w/i their community. It’s so important that we don’t put any human beings or group on a pedestal. We’re ALL sinners. Praying for freedom for this community.

    Blessings,
    Mel
    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

  9. Pearl Lee says:

    Being Amish for years, I know there is way too many things like this going on. Even tho, I do know there are a small percent that are born again Christians….we do need to keep these dear people in our prayers! I Praise the Lord that HE lead us out of the Amish church and lifestyle years ago. Please, please pray for these groups….and thanks for sharing this Dee, too many people seem to think these people are close to being perfect….As we know the Bible says nobody is perfect except our Dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Son of God….that shed His Blood for us….
    May God Bless each one…and thanks for praying!!

  10. Terry Burns says:

    Excellent article, Dee, and hopefully we are about to see publication of your book “The Miting” to help people understand the situation

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