I have a very dear cousin, Martha, with whom I am in touch with via email occasionally. Yesterday I got an email from her in which she had something to say about the discussion about the "English Riddle" that I asked here. She provided what was missing from our discussion… that of how the Mennonite and Amish beliefs differ. Most Amish believe that there is no way of knowing for sure whether we can achieve salvation, that we can only hope. Most Mennonite groups have a different way of thinking on this and Martha was able to articulate her beliefs succinctly. I have her permission to post it here. This is what she wrote:
I read your riddle about joining the Amish or Mennonites. I find it quite interesting hearing others' view of things. I suppose it is just as true of any people that unless you are part of them sometimes the imagination can fill in. One thing I do hope you understand that I feel is very important. Our lifestyle is not just cultural. Mennonite is simply one way of identifying WHAT we belong to but it does not automatically tell people WHO we belong to. We believe that only in Christ is there redemption and a hope of life eternal. By hope I mean a certainty, not just a wishing for. And with that hope and belief comes obedience to God and HIs Word. It is Simplicity itself and yet can be made so complex.
I had posted a picture of Martha a while ago, and I am posting it again below. She is pictured with my sister, Susan. Don't they look like sisters?
Susan is on the left and Martha on the right