We visited the Mennonite church on Sunday morning and enjoyed their services, hospitality and friendliness very much, we will visit them again. For us visiting the Anabaptist churches seems to be a good way to meet and get acquainted with good God fearing people as the world deteriorates and the time for the return of the servants approaches. My dear wife and I start our Sundays with our own worship service on Tower Hill (Adam-ondipAhman) them we head off to get to know our neighbors better. I really enjoy the low key worship of the Anabaptist churches, and whats cool they are all available in Jamesport Missouri just 12 miles away from us.
What do the Amish, Hutterites and Mennonites have in common? They all have a common beginning. They are Anabaptist’s. I read on the net that Anabaptist are those who during the reformation of the 16th century did not accept infant baptism, they believe that you must confess your sins to be baptized as adults.
The term anabaptist was used to describe and define certain Reformation-era Christians who rejected infant baptism in favor of believer’s baptism. Since many of them had been baptized in their infancy, they chose to be rebaptized as believing adults. Hence, their enemies called them anabaptists — “re-baptizers.”
I find the Anabaptists a very determined people in all their three forms, Amish, Hutterite and Mennonite. I love their simple life style and worship very appealing. The only thing they are lacking is an understanding of the need for Zion, the Marvelous work and a wonder of Daniel 2 and the mission and calling of the prophet Joseph Smith.
I find it amazing the level of persecution by the Catholics and Protestants that took place in the 16th and 17th century when thousands of the Anabaptists were were killed. I greatly honor my Mormon ancestors that survived the persecution of the Mormon Missouri war and the trek to Utah but the numbers weren’t in the thousands like the Anabaptists. I read that being an Anabaptist was an instant death penalty at one point, similar to Governor Boggs extermination order, but not carried out to the same extent as the Anabaptist. But the 2nd Watch Mormon have one up on the Anabaptist in that they had the honor to show the location of the City Zion even though they were not allowed to stay there because of their appostacy.
(D&C 58:7) 7 And also that you might be honored in laying the foundation, and in bearing record of the land upon which the Zion of God shall stand;
I learned that the Hutterite Anabaptist come from Austria and they have a totally different German dialect from the Amish. They cannot communicate with each other in the different dialects. Plus the Hutterite dialect is not a written language. It appears there are no Hutterite or Amish congregations in Europe. The net says there are still Mennonite groups in Europe today.
The Anabaptist groups all sing a acapella, but each group likes a different style of song. I personally like the Hutterites selection of music best, they use a hymn book whose songs I really resonate with, I either know the song or the song is easy to pick up. This congregation of Hutterites have a lot of strong singers and present four strong SATB parts. The New Order Amish sing unison, even though at one Sunday worship the young women started singing an alto harmonization which was beautiful, I really appreciate them stepping out of the norm. The New Order Amish sing with a very unique singing style similar to hill billy singing but their music is also fairly easy to pick up. I like the music selection of the Mennonite the least, but don’t get me wrong it’s also very nice, maybe it was the faster tempo of the songs they chose that morning. The Mennonite church also present 4 strong SATB parts yet they meet in a large chapel and so the intimacy of the parts were lost from time to time. The Old Order Amish slow singing style is the hardest not only because it is in German in the old script but because the melodies are distorted by the slowness of the singing and style.The Melodies are not very smooth, they were characterized by large intervals and strange ornamentation. Let me repeat myself that the Old Order Amish sing their songs in German and as one New Order Amish woman told us they are not conversant with German and so they don’t know what they are singing in large part.
The New Order Amish wire their houses for electricity from the grid, but they also use alternative forms of energy. They also wear the old style, one color clothing and drive their horse and buggy for transportation, but many of them have purchased cars and I did see several men that changed their clothes after church for totally non-amish style clothing. Last Sunday when we came out of their building I was surprised when we saw that five other cars were parked behind us and there were only New Order Amish at the services.
The Old Order Amish do not use electricity from the grid but they do make and use their own electricity from solar and wind generation. They wear the old style, one color clothing. Drive horse and buggy for transportation. Speak only Pennsylvania dutch and German in their worship services.
It is the similarity of the dress of the women that remains the most common feature between all the Anabaptist sects. The women all wear dresses and they all wear coverings on their heads either black or white. Yet there are slight differences also. The Hutterite women wear solid colored dresses with scarfs for their head cover. The New and Old order Amish women also wear the same solid colored dresses but with caps for their head covers. And the Mennonite women wear different colored prints with the same caps. Then there are the German Baptists women which I have not mentioned who wear solid colored dresses with caps on their shoulder and the caps on their heads.
The men also have their similarities and differences. All the Anabaptist men have beards, you will only find a clean shaven face on an unmarried man. I have never seen any Anabaptist wearing a T-shirt or shorts. I have never seen the Anabaptist men wearing ties. The Hutterite men wear collared plaid shirt patterns. The New and Old Amish wear solid colored shirts with vests and black pants. The Mennonite men clothing have the most variety and yet their clothing can be described as plain in the darker colors.
The Anabaptist do not have TV’s, but they all have access to phones. It is only the Old Order Amish that frown on cell phones and computers and yet they have exposure to the internet by word of mouth, the Old Order Amish are not isolated anymore. All the other groups of Anabaptist own and make use of the internet on computers and cell phones.
I have just learned that the German Baptist also have Anabaptist beginnings. We have been warmly invited to attend a German Baptist service in two weeks. I was told that this group of German Baptist broke from the Old Order Amish several years ago and decided to align themselves with the German Baptist.
I have to describe another anomaly with all these break offs from each other. I find when I mention the Mennonite church here in Jamesport I get corrected that they are not Mennonites they are Holderman Mennonite. So for the people around here there is a real distinction that needs to be dealt with, maybe as I learn more about the different groups I will be able to do so.
Last Sunday I left my scriptures at the New Order Amish church and this allowed us to have another talk about the goals of this group. They first identified themselves as New Order Amish and visited groups in Ohio and Pennsylvania (there are also New Order Amish in Kentucky) but were unable to be assimilated into that particular sect. Apparently they do not want to join up with the German Baptist and becoming Hutterite is out of the question. So they are in limbo, they are talking with other protestant groups, it will be fascinating what they end up doing. I think it will be hard for them because they love their Amish heritage and form of worship, which will make it harder for them to join other non-Amish groups.
Apparently the doctrine and tenants of the Anabaptist remain the pretty much the same between all the Anabaptist groups. The two main doctrines seems to be the rejection of infant baptism and the refusal to participate in war. Groups of people find a need to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscious, and I honor that. My wife and I are no different, we broke off from the Mormon Church and are watching and waiting for the Marvelous work to begin.