Amish belief about baptism...

Having taken a trip to my home town which is rapidly becoming an Amish stronghold, I learned that their heritage comes from the Anabaptists. Their “teaching” on adult baptism is, apparently, their argument for leaving the Church.

I am told of a current hospice patient being an Amish toddler. This child will die without benefit of this Sacrament.

I shudder in horror to think that this child will be allowed to die without baptism. It is truly unfathomable. My SIL, who is Wesleyan, claims that her children are “dedicated”, and that covers it. She says they have a similar custom. This is not at all Biblical, but, that’s beside the point.

To those who hold, or have held this belief; wouldn’t it be better to baptise them unecessarily than to not have done it and find out they should have? In any case, it is required, by virtue of the Magisterium saying so. We are bound to do it, whether we think it should be or not.

If you are a believer, how on earth can you even take such a chance?

I would probably shock you even further. As a Friend, I have never undergone water baptism…and I most likely never will. I have buried a child and a wife and neither of them were baptized with water.

For Friends, it is a matter of trusting that the baptism which the Holy Spirit bestows is the essential baptism spoken of in scripture…and water baptism while a beautiful symbol, in and of itself is of no consequence.

Anabaptists believe that believers should be baptized…most instruct their children to wait until they are at least 16-18 years old at the earliest. For the Amish, once a person is baptized they face “shunning” should they then decide to leave the community…this means no contact with family or friends who remain in the community. IF however they decide to not be baptized into the Amish community, they can keep their family ties should they become involved in a Mennonite community, which those who leave often do…most Amish children stay in the community and make the decision to under go water baptism.

Friends do not believe it essential…it is God’s grace and the work of the Holy Spirit that cleanses the heart from sin…“fire insurance” isn’t a good reason to under go water baptism anyway…we do not enter into covenant with God through Christ in fear…but through the love bestowed upon us through His grace by faith. In our eyes we’re not taking “a chance” in any way…we know Whom it is that calls us to Himself and showers us with His forgiveness through the work of Christ.

I am told of a current hospice patient being an Amish toddler. This child will die without benefit of this Sacrament.

At the risk of starting a pitched battle, if I had any access to that home, the wee one wouldn’t remain unbaptized any longer than it took me to get the water poured, & the words said.
I have Baptist family members who wait for their children to “choose” baptism, & it drives me crazy…Its not a matter of “fire insurance”; its a matter of, IMO, neglecting the child’s spiritual life.
Yes, if (God forbid!) a child of one of these relatives were in danger of death, I would baptize him/her.** I could not face the Judge of all the earth at the end of my life if I did any differently**.:twocents:

Caveat: I have no intention on debating the issue. However I can explain the reasoning.

Yup, that’s where the Mennonites/Amish come from. Aside…for a number of reasons I really like the Mennonites.

Yup. The child probably will

You shouldn’t shudder. I think you are overreacting here. You can’t prove in the Bible that Christians must baptize infants. Neither can the anabaptists prove in the Bible that you must not baptize infants.

I would think that if infant Baptism were so important that the souls of infants are actually at stake concerning this issue, God would make it so clear in Scripture that parents are commanded to baptize infants that there would be no debate on the issue. But that’s just me I suppose.

But I digress. I promised myself I wouldn’t debate the issue. I actually am ambivalent and undecided on infant versus adult baptism and other assorted issues around baptism. That is probably because I am unusually dense. Anyways, when you are ambivalent and undecided on something, you really can’t debate it. You can, however, ask stupid questions.

Why don’t you just view the dedication to the Lord (which btw has a Scriptural basis in 1 Samuel with Hannah and Samuel) as baptism of desire.

Just so that you can understand the other side here. I think there is a genuine concern about this scenario.
(1) A person is baptized as an infant by his parents.
(2) This person grows up but never.puts his faith in Christ personally.
(3) But this person believes he is Spiritually fine on the basis of an act performed by his parents when he was an infant.

I think this is actually quite common and an area of concern. But anyways…

Looked at from this perspective, there is risk from both ways.

I’m with you, Zooey. I would even risk my job over it.

Mozart brings up a good point. We can leave the child in the hands of God. It is better to baptise yes, but I know of priests who are willing to delay baptism if there is no chance that the child will be brought up in the Church.

Off-topic question. Are Amish Christians? or more like JW?

They are Christians, just very austere and simple Christians with a few distinct beliefs.

:confused: NOTHING like JW. They leave everyone else alone, and they want everyone else to let them live their own lifestyle, which resembles 1890 more than anything else. Anabaptists range from Mennonite Bretheren, very liberal social justice pacifists, to Old Order Amish. They believe in adult baptism, because they take it so seriously they don’t want to force their children into their lifestyle.

This is how serious the Amish are about it:

thank you. I kinda like them.

Kage, thank you for the link. Actually i made a quick research but found nothing regarding the Trinity in their belief for example that’s why i asked.

thank you for the info. Am not American and i only heard about them on this forum…thank you all for answering my question…

As far as I know, they practice a valid baptism. They seem “unusual” because of their techno-selective practices.

They are very private about their actual beliefs, to protect themselves against the violence of the religious controversies in 16th century Germany. You know, it was like yesterday. :wink:


Quoting the referenced article. Emphasis added
The Amish practice of adult baptism is part of the admission into the church. Admission is taken seriously; those who choose not to join the Church can still visit their friends and family, but those who leave the church after joining are shunned by the entire Amish community. Those who come to be baptized sit with one hand over their face, to represent their submission and humility to the church. Typically, a Deacon will ladle water from a bucket into the Bishop’s hand, and the Bishop will sprinkle the head three times, in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, after which he blesses each new male member of the church and greets each into the fellowship of the church with a holy kiss. His wife similarly blesses and greets each new female church member.

As the Trinitaran form seems to be used, I would be hesitant to condemn the rest of the rite they use.

Many Amish would not allow pictures to be taken of them-- to guard against “worship of graven images”:shrug:

yea strange.

Anyway, who would like to lead a Catholic life in the “Amish-way”?

If they do, they are not here cause they have no computers :smiley:

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