Monday, July 19, 2010

Ready for Baptism ~ Part One

Every church Sunday that summer Simon, Nancy, and I joined the ministers in their little conference room while the rest of the congregation was singing. They would explain to us the eighteen doctrines of our faith.I tried hard to listen because I really did want to be a good person, but as they droned on and on in their boring fashion I always gave up and let my mind wander to things much more interesting than their boring  German recitation.

The third Sunday they told us they would be having a special meeting with all the members after church to tell them to watch us carefully to make sure we lived a life worthy of being baptized by fall. I wasn't thrilled about that and the rest of the summer was spent trying extra hard to make sure I didn't do or say anything that might be held against me when ever they voted whether or not to baptize me.

The Sunday before baptismal services they again had a special members meeting where they asked everyone individually whether or not they had noticed anything in our conduct that summer that would warrant being excluded from becoming a member of the church. There were a few small complaints, someone had seen one of us with a piece of gum on a Sunday evening before the singing. The bishop decided it wasn't important enough to put off baptismal services if the parents would talk to the guilty one and let him know gum was forbidden on Sundays.

On Saturday afternoon before Sunday services we had to meet with the ministers again. This time Daddy went along and we sat in the church house where the bishop got the Martyrs Mirror and started reading the first article of faith. Once he got done with it he tried to explain it a little more plainly and then passed the book to the minister sitting next to him. And so it continued all afternoon and into the evening until they had read all eighteen articles of faith. By the time they were done I was more bored than I had ever been in my life. And so very tired of sitting unmoving on the bench in front of them.  Just as we were ready to be dismissed they asked Simon if he can promise to be willing to be a preacher if the time should ever come that the church would vote for him. He answered with a yes and I was so happy that I was a girl so that I wouldn't have to make a promise like that.


  1. It is always so fascinating to hear a fellow former Amish person write about her experiences. And I love your style of writing -- you make things very real. I had forgotten the detail about asking the church members to "watch" us to be sure that we stayed on the straight and narrow. However, in our church it was not forbidden to chew gum on Sundays. Be glad it was for you... whenever it was our turn to have church at our house and the benches were delivered, our mother gave us the hideous task of scraping all the gum off from underneath the benches where people were sticking it when they were done with it. Nasty!

  2. Forgive me if this sounds rude, but do the Amish believe in being born again? I always thought their doctrines are sound but this whole performance testing thing sounds a little scary to me. Not really biblical.

  3. I had no idea you had to be worthy of being baptized in the Amish faith. None of us are worthy, but that's the whole point of die to one's self and be born into Christ. Very interesting. Thank you.

  4. The Baptismal process with the Amish IS very different.
    The part about having people watch you seems very judgemental - and we are told in the bible that we are not to judge each other so I find that part very interesting.

    The gum thing I am with the other commentor on. Be glad that you couldn't chew gum on Sundays. Scraping gum when you clean the church is disgusting!!

  5. Oh I am so very happy I met the Saviour who saved my soul by grace. I now walk and talk with Him every day.

    I love the Amish and love the simple ways in which they conduct their lives. I pray that all Amish will one day accept the free gift of saving grace.

    Thank you for sharing. I pray that you too have found a intimate relationship with the Heavenly Father.

    I enjoy reading your stories and it gives me a better insight as how to pray for your dear people!


    Romans 10:9, 10 & 13

  6. I can't believe people stick gum under seats! Especially at church! Carrie perhaps we could put extra prayer energy into these people to stop them spreading germs and disease!

  7. You were bored joining church but I was angry every Sunday I had to sit in front of the preachers and listen to their droning. I was so hungry for the truth but all I got was the old bishop droning while the next two old preachers slept, and the deacon looked furious. After the bishop was finished droning, he would poke the sleeping preacher next to him and he would rouse enough to say his part. Then the deacon would punch the sleeping preacher next to him and he would wake up and say his part. Then the deacon finished it off and we were dismissed. That was my summer of preparing for baptism joining church.

  8. I think most folks are bored in their churches these days and for varied and different reasons; that's brought about all the entertainment some have drifted toward. I like going to a church where the Word of God is preached with power and demonstration of the Spirit just like in New Testament days.

  9. goodness they had to vote!?! What happens if they vote no? I would have been so nervous.

  10. I was raised Lutheran, and had two years of Confirmation classes. The pastor talked a bit, and we had to fill out work books, so it wasn't too bad. UNTIL - the last two Saturday mornings were spent filling in all of the blanks we had skipped over during classes. I do remember standing in front of the Board of Elders while they voted on whether or not I should be confirmed. Looking back, I'm quite sure it was a foregone conclusion, but I was shaking in my boots at the time.


Thank you so much for taking time to comment. I love hearing your thoughts.