Amish on Break – Rumspringa by Delina Hill-Brooker

I was flipping through the channels the other day on TV and came across a show called ‘Amish On Break’ on The National Geographic Channel. It was a rare look into the Amish community and their ways. It focused on a few of the adolescence when they were participating in Rumspringa. Basically in the Amish community it is when they turn around 16 years old, and are given the option to venture outside of their community to see other ways of life before they decide if they want to be baptized and live the Amish way for the rest of their lives. They don’t study history or anything one of the girls said their parents didn’t want them to learn too much from the outside world so they wouldn’t leave the Amish community. For the most party they study The Bible, Math, Reading and Writing. Any kind of History is not needed in their life. It’s one thing to shelter your children until they are age appropriate, but knowledge is power. If you keep the knowledge from them you aren’t giving them any power. Not to sound harsh, but it seems to me that to a certain extent they are all brainwashed.

I guess since this was on NGC they got to see A LOT of great places around the world. They went to visit a family in London. They told them about a recent stabbing/killing that happened nearby. One of the Amish guys made a statement that they didn’t have crime in their community. This struck me as odd. I’m not too privy on all things Amish, but I do believe no matter how hard we try, there is still crime everywhere. Things may not be as wild and crazy as the rest of the world, but I’m sure there are some types of crimes going on in their communities. We are all human, and we all fall short.

The Amish adolescence meet a few Muslims and other Christians. They were confused as to why the Muslims only prayed at certain times of the day facing towards Mecca. One Amish guy stated that their concrete beliefs weren’t too different from the Muslims, but the biggest and most important difference was that the Muslims believe that Jesus was just a prophet and not the son of God. They were shocked to learn how lenient the Christians were because they still listened to secular music and not dressing in the modest way the Amish are used to dressing in. The Amish believe that modesty is more for the men not for the women to help keep down temptation.

The Christians took them to a club and they were literally floored. One of the young ladies stated, “Dancing to the beat of music is of the devil.” But even in church you can catch the Holy Spirit listening to music. After all Lucifer was the minister of music.

One family they visited took them out into the city and onto a subway train. One girl remarked on how everyone was to themselves. They knew where they were going. They didn’t smile at anyone. They were in their own little world. I admit if I were an ‘outsider’ looking in that would defiantly be a turn off to me. And by outsider I mean just that. A non believer of Christ, someone who was lost or looking for more; the fact that everyone (even the Christians) stayed to themselves and didn’t even smile is a little disturbing. I’m not saying we should strike up a conversation with everyone every moment of the day. But if we all give a little bit of effort you never know how or when we can affect someone else’s life.

They also stayed with a family that had their own surf boarding company. They were shocked to see that the teen aged boys and girls both worked and were treated as equals. It astonished her how breathtaking the ocean was. It kind of makes you think. In some ways it’s good. To be in our own little world away from all of the madness that has consumed the earth. But on the other hand, I don’t believe that God created this big beautiful world for us to stay in a little community to ourselves and not enjoy it and experience other people. If we stay in our own community only focusing on that then we are no different than the people on the subway train. We are ALL supposed to be a reflection of God’s light. By no means am I ‘bashing’ the Amish or their lifestyle. But watching the documentary really got me to thinking. All but a few of the adolescence went back to their Amish community. Which also proves, if you train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6).


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