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Difference Between Quakers and Amish

Quakers vs Amish

When we hear the words ‘Amish’ and ‘Quaker’, a mental image often springs to mind and we usually picture the Quaker Oats man from the famous cereal brand, with his big hat and white hair. This shows how little we actually know about them. If we actually look at these two religious groups more closely, we will see that they have very distinct beliefs and practices. Though they may share some similarities, they are still very different from each other.

The Amish are characterized by their reluctance to adapt to the changes brought about by advances in modern technology. This continuing struggle against modernity can be traced back to their belief that one should live life in a simple manner. To better understand why this is so, one must understand the basic concepts of Amish belief. First is their belief in the rejection of Hochmut, which translates into what we call pride and arrogance. Secondly they give great importance to Gelassenheit and Demut. The former refers to submission and the latter pertains to humility. Gelassenheit is an expression of one’s reluctance to assert oneself and is a manifestation of the anti-individualist belief held by the Amish. This anti-individualism is a primary reason for the rejection of labor-saving technology by the Amish as to embrace new technology would make one less dependent on the community.

The Quakers, on the other hand, do not share this view, as they have a different set of beliefs. The Amish are among the most conservative religious groups out there, as can be seen by their banning of electricity, birth control, women wearing pants, and higher education. The Quakers are just the opposite, as most of them are liberals. The Quakers, also known as the Religious Society of Friends, believe that everyone has a direct connection with God. Most of them reject sacraments and religious symbolism. This belief also eliminates the need for clergy, as everyone is directly connected to God. They believe firmly in religious tolerance and they do not use the word ‘convert’; they prefer the word ‘convince’, since this eliminates the use of coercion that is implied by the former. They do not try to ‘save’ anyone. They believe that it is not enough for one to read scripture in order to be spiritual; one has to practise it.

Both these groups, though they differ in some key aspects, are united in their belief in non-violence. They both believe that Jesus himself advocated this. They adhere to an attitude of non-resistance when they themselves are faced with violent confrontation. Even on the national level, these churches believe that any form of violence, including war, is going against Christian morality. Both groups are part of the Peace Churches.

1. Amish is a belief based on simplicity and strict living, unlike the Quakers who typically are liberals.

2. The Amish religion has priests, while Quakers believe that as everyone has a connection with God they don’t need a priest to preside over any ceremony.

3. The Amish believe in maintaining the ways of the past and don’t consider using modern amenities.

4. Though their beliefs lead to different lifestyles, both believe in God and in peace.

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  1. A very interesting topic. As an African-American interested in anarchism, intentional communities and utopian societies I find the Amish fascinating. Aside from their religious conservativism, (a problem I have with the Nation of Islam too) I share their desire for a simple life where technology is at least kept in its place and not made so necessary that you can’t do without it. The idea of being separate from main stream society appeals to me too but seems hard to practicer unless one has social reinforcement of some kind. On the other hand, the freedom to come and go as on pleases is a hard tradeoff to accept. Perhaps that’s the point of having such a clear cut attitude and dividing line between us and them…if the community is kept isolated from the larger society then their own values will be intensified as they are passed on to the youth and subsequent generations. I suppose as long as the elders of the community are kept in touch with the outside world and can serve as interpreters to various ideas…

  2. As is typical with religious groups, there is a divergence between the stated belief that Jesus advocated non-violence and the literal belief in biblical accounts that Jesus ran heretics from the temple. One must assume that Jesus did not ‘speak persuasively’ and convince them to leave, nor did he ‘set a good example’ by leaving himself and thus inspire them to leave. No, no…me thinks his character must have physically removed them using such means as might be considered violent.

    If Jesus could create from nothing enough bread and fish to feed the masses, could he not have simply ‘disappeared’ them? The fact that the plot goes as it does is evidence to support the notion that religion is a human artifact.

    Nevertheless, such groups as described here, have my respect for at least not being suckered into the fantasy that all technology is good.

  3. Technology is neither good or evil by itself. It is people who may be good or evil.

    • Well said.

    • Technology, the internet included, is evil and is the source of the decline of morals and values. There are people who will argue that Goetic demons can be used for good and bad, but in the end, negativity always comes from darkness. The angel Gabriel explained to me that sometimes negativity is beneficial, and positivity (or something that seems good), can be harmful/negative/detrimental. Candy tastes good, but is bad for your teeth and can kill a diabetic!

      If you weigh anything in terms of its pros and cons, and there are more cons than pros, that thing could never be considered beneficial, and the internet is one of those things. Prophesy warned us that knowledge would be increased, and how has that knowledge been increased? So, one of the few pros of the internet is that it has fulfilled a prophecy. People who love this world always try to rationalize the evil this world produces, and the internet is one of those evils!

      There is no internet or technology in the Kingdom of Eden, and since humans are destroying the world by abusing the intelligence they’ve stolen, how is technology ever a good thing!?!

      Your human doctors can’t cure anything without causing more sickness and dependency, and your NASA programs are releasing poisons and toxins into the local heavens, home of the angels, so once again, how is a technology created with stolen intelligence ever going to produce anything beneficial, especially since technology is not created for the betterment of humans, but for money and power!?!

      People who love this world see technology as a positive thing, and people who do not love this world see technology for what it is, by what it has done!

  4. I find it ironic with the Amish. They did not want to use any modern day technology to avoid the sin of pride. But in these later days which is the current time in present the Amish have a great feeling of pride and what they do or don’t do as it relates to technology. It seems as if they ran away from Modern Day technology to ward off the sin of pride but accidentally failed in doing so because of the great amount of pride the Amish feel in doing their ways that are not up-to-date with technology.

    • Arrogance and self-righteousness, two of Christianity’s greatest faults, are disrupting your powers of discernment. Pride and vanity are two different boats. Are you proud when your child does something good or is that evil too? When pride becomes arrogant and self-righteous, that kind of PRIDE becomes VANITY.

      If ever you have the blessing for dealing with angels, who are servants of the Holy Spirit, it will do you well to practice the power of distinction. Your prayers are probably suffering from the same lack of distinction which results in those prayers going unanswered.

      Resolution and resolve are not the same, and neither is having a sense of pride for doing what is right nor the self-righteous gloating of vanity the same. You ‘Christians’ bash each other and are disunified, then have the nerve to claim you are disciples of the Master! Laughable! A house divided…and before you venture too far left in your response, “Be not forgetful…”

  5. I find it ironic with the Amish. They did not want to use any modern day technology to avoid the sin of pride. But in these later days which is the current time in present the Amish have a great feeling of pride and what they do or don’t do as it relates to technology. It seems as if they ran away from Modern Day technology to ward off the sin of pride but accidentally failed in doing so because of the great amount of pride the Amish feel in living their lives without modern day technology. Out of the fire and into the frying pan…

  6. I’m a Quaker I’m also a descendant of William Penn and I like him my beliefs are the old ways.

  7. When was the Quakers founded? From what group or religious thought did they derive?

  8. My mothers’family was of Quaker
    descendants from when the Man love family’s moved from settlements in Virginia up through Maryland to Cecil county and NewCastle De. Settling there to become lawyers,judges,and prominent lives ,can you help me to understand their ways !

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