“One thing is for certain about the Amish. They are a modest bunch of people. They will never condemn you for having another religion as they believe that arrogance is a sin.” (From 26 Amish Facts You Need to Know – Sportingz.com/news/26-amish-facts-need-know/26/)
I never thought I was an arrogant person but after being in my former church for 18 years, I think I had become that way. No one had any truth unless they went to our church. No one knew how to pray, how to worship unless it was our way (noisy and active). We had ALL the TRUTH. It was our duty to try to get people to come visit our church (and of course stay) and become one of us. Surely we were not arrogant. We just wanted people to know the truth.
We did the Saturday Morning Visitation thing of course. I remember going out with some of the other girls and women. A couple of the teen girls had knocked on a door and the person told them to go away. They went away and “shook off the dust from their of their feet against them….”. It is in the Bible – Acts 13:51). I remember thinking “I hope the people in that house did not see them do that.” It did not seem very Christ-like to me even then.
Small children raised in that church could point out all the women they saw that were not dressed right (skirts/dresses only and down to the ankles, no slacks, long sleeves not above the elbow, and no short hair except for men). People of other denominations sometimes were ridiculed from the pulpit and of course we all “Amened” that.
If people didn’t look like our church members, then they did not have the Truth (as we saw it, as it was taught and preached to us which was not necessarily what was in the Bible). It made us feel special, called by God, God’s Chosen People. We had Church, with running, dancing, singing, loud music and the louder the better. All other churches were considered “dead” because they did not “worship” the way we did.
Does God always want all that noise? There is a time and place for everything. Maybe sometimes we want to leap for joy before God. David did. Sometimes we want to play the music loud. That is in Psalms. But sometimes we should just be quiet so we can hear that still, small voice talking to us. Prayer was never quiet. How could any of us hear God? How could we feel God move on us? We only had good church if we went late, with an hour altar call with screaming, dancing, louder and faster music. Being slain in the spirit, chattering in tongues, kicking off shoes.
Judging people for how they dressed or worshiped; people who were different in their churchiness. Arrogantly feeling sorry for those who did not have the Truth. But it was all outward appearance and what we did in church and how many times – oh, those other people who went to those other churches only went one hour Sunday morning. Just think how much they are missing by not going several times a week.
People are different. God made us that way. We like to gather with others who think the same way and that is OK, but don’t begrudge anyone else from thinking and doing differently. Don’t isolate yourself from so many others who may just have a good way to worship God even if it is different.