Why I Love the Anabaptists

Back in July Dave Black posted his version of “Why I Love the Anabaptists“. My version is below. This is sifted directly from the book “The Riddle of Amish Culture” by Donald Kraybill.

  • The Amish have demonstrated resilience to cultural devastation…we haven’t.
  • Mutual aid and communalism permeates Amish community…ours doesn’t.
  • Extended families spanning multiple generations often live in adjoining houses…we live 1000’s of miles apart.
  • The Amish are suspicious that beneath the glitter of modernity there are divisive forces which may fragment and obliterate their community…we suspect everything is just fine.
  • The Amish seek ways to suppress individualism…we glorify it.
  • The Amish welcome decisive authority…we are anti-authoritarian.
  • The Amish understand comprehensive socialization (passing on values to children)…we are still fumbling the ball.
  • The Amish practice self denial…we think denial is a river in Egypt.
  • We are preoccupied with finding ourselves…the Amish are occupied with losing themselves.
  • Amish children learn that Jesus is first, you are last, others are in between…ours learn whatever Bob and Larry are teaching.
  • Children learn the virtues of work at a young age…ours learn whatever Bob and Larry are teaching.
  • The Amish think watching CNN, FOXNEWS, ABC, NBC, CBS is rather pointless…we are looking for a better deal on the 500 channel package.
  • The Amish love work and hate shopping…we love to shop and hate work.
  • The Amish appreciate and respect tradition…we think tradition is very…well…traditional.
  • The Amish still practice the fine art of “dropping-in”…we schedule our drop-ins weeks in advance.

And finally in a nutshell.

  1. The individual is not the supreme reality.
  2. Communal goals transcend individual ones.
  3. Obeying, waiting, and yielding are virtuous.
  4. The past is as important as the future.
  5. Tradition is valued more than change.
  6. Personal sacrifice is esteemed over pleasure.
  7. Work is more satisfying than consumption.
  8. Newer, bigger, and faster are not necessarily better.
  9. Preservation eclipses progress.
  10. Local involvement outweighs national acclaim.
  11. Technology must be tamed.
  12. Staying together is the supreme value.

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