Mennonite History & Culture
Have you ever met a Mennonite? Some you wouldn't be able to tell that they are a Mennonite and then there's those that call themselves the Old Order Mennonites. This is about the Old Order Mennonites and just spreading awareness as to what they believe and how they live, as well as sharing my experiences of growing up as a Mennonite. People are often more familiar with the Amish and their quaint clothing but there's many similarities. There are those who look on from the outside and say that it would be great to be and live as a ________,but if you knew everything you would change your mind. At first glance it appears to be much simpler in lifestyle and it is, but there's some things that aren't right. This page is about growing awareness for the bad and the sad but of course there's also good among the bad.
So first the good:
-They know how to work, and usually have a good work ethic.
-They are usually quite frugal,mostly growing their own food.
-They are a community. If someone is in need they will do what they can to help.
-They learn all kinds of skills, the men learn farming, taking care of animals, and depending on what job their dad has they learn that trade as well. The women learn to prepare food and can/preserve food for the winter months. They learn to sew, quilt, take care of the house, have a garden among other things.
-Their places are usually well kept and pleasant to behold.
I'm sure there's more that could be added to the list but I think these are probably the main things. Next the sad and bad:
-There is a lot of abuse that goes on.
-They don't believe that you can know that you're saved when the Bible specifically says so.
-They hold the rules as high if not higher than the Bible and if you are a member and would disobey you may face excommunication for salvation is seen as being in good standing with the church and keeping all the rules.
-There is a lot of fear and fear-mongering.
-Men are to be a leader and the women to submit which in some cases becomes quite abusive, and women are seen as less than and their voice not as important.
-Eighth grade education is the limit for most. There are a few of my friends that have gone on to become nurses but that is rare as higher education is discouraged.
-They are a culture in themselves, apart from what they consider to be the world. Traditions are important, almost more than the Bible and yet if you were to ask someone on the spot why they do certain things or believe certain things they could only say," This is how we've always done."
There's probably more that could be added but I'll leave it at this just to give you an idea. It is not easy to leave the culture and for the most part those who leave don't feel like they fit in anywhere. Perhaps you are wondering why people leave their horse and buggies and simple life style behind? There are many reasons. Some leave when they get saved and are hungry for more spiritual teaching, or they realize that the church rules are not required to make it to heaven. Others leave due to abuse or rebellion. There's no doubt still more reasons but with that I would suggest checking out my blog which you can find under Daily Inspirations on the menu tab above where you will find several informative articles I've written. As for my story, you will find the link to my book under the Plowing In Hope tab on the menu above. If you're interested in more content about the Amish and Mennonites, feel free to follow Mennonite History & Culture on Facebook/MeWe.
Perhaps you are a Christian and you wonder how you can help reach them....Here is someone who is doing something and perhaps you would be able to volunteer or help in some way or perhaps even get ideas for starting your own ministry to the plain people who are in need of salvation: