Rubber Tires or a Steel Rim? In this part of Missouri, it is not uncommon to see horse drawn vehicles on the roadways. No, it is not that Missourians are poor and cannot afford nice cars and I don't think it is because they are Hillbillies! Those who drive such vehicles are just a very small segment of our society in this area. They comprise a religious group known as the Amish. One thing you can say about them is that they are committed to their faith. Regular automobile drivers get upset with them fairly often because they obstruct the hurried pace of most people today. These people are the root of many jokes, some of which are pretty cruel or crude, yet they persist to plod along in their exclusive life. Although I do not profess to know the depths of their doctrines, I do know that their religion is based upon works for salvation and that is definite error. It is very sad to know that these people are so dedicated and loyal to their religion that they will endure the maligning criticisms of the world around them and yet they have no idea that their dedications are treading under foot the blood of Jesus Christ. Anyone who treads underfoot the blood of Jesus Christ is destined for an eternity in Hell, no matter how religious they may be. The blood must stand alone, it cannot be enhanced by works and it cannot co-ordinate with works.
The purpose of this article is not really to center on the Amish and their practices, but to open a legitimate statement on the art of living a separated Christian life that honors the Lord and at the same time evidences a consecrated heart. The title of this article does need clarification first. The Amish have to abide by the Ordnung of their district. A bishop usually makes some of the ordinances according to his preferences. The whole congregation averaging about 170 make a determination on which branch of the Amish they will follow. Not generally a deep doctrinal divide, but a practical divide. This is where the rubber tires and steel rim choices fit in. Someone sets the norm, and everyone in the district have to abide by the order.
As mentioned above, works have no place in attaining or retaining salvation. Good works are a result of salvation. Good works are a spontaneous manifestation of a new birth.
It is fairly logical, that the "thou shalts." and the "Shalt nots." of the Bible are generally a good rule of the standards of a born again Christian, not because they are written on stone or parchment, but because they are written on the heart. A Christian is not and should not be under bondage to any religious rule or ruler, however a born again Christian will be yielded to the will of God when that will is crystal clear from the Word of God. He will be led by the Spirit of God, who divines the Word of God.
Like the Amish, much of our Christian world is divided into districts or denominations if you please. These districts define what the members are supposed to act like and how they are to behave. It is true that a Pastor has rule over the house of God where God has put him, but his rule is restricted to the house of God and authorized by the Scriptures. This stops a man or woman from becoming an arbitrary ruler of a congregation. His, not her, duty is to proclaim the Word of God, but without enforcement power. The Church body has ultimate physical enforcement powers. The congregant should be wary of disregarding or disobeying the rule of the Pastor, because the Pastor has an unseen enforcer also. All this has to be under the absolute clarity of the Word of God.
Many liberal Christians do not understand that Church doctrine does not stand alone. It is supported by Godly people who are not restricted to rules and regulations, but have hearts that belong to the Lord. These hearts have two motivations. First to honor the Lord. Secondly to reveal the Light of Jesus Christ to a darkened world. WHAT WILT THOU HAVE ME DO?
The Amish blindly follow their human leadership.