Some Thoughts on Amish “Rumpringa”


Perhaps you have visited Amish country, or know someone Amish. Have you ever heard of Rumpringa?

Below I’ve included an excerpt from my newest booklet: Rumspringa: The Wrong Questions.

Rumspringa is not the freedom to choose. It is the gateway to death. It leads into the devil’s territory. And for you, the gate may swing only one way. What is in your mind now? Do you realize that you are asking yourself the wrong questions? If you think that you are making right decisions and choices, then you have nothing to fear in reading this to the end. Read on and I will explain. Many questions come to your mind during rumspringa, but most of them are THE WRONG QUESTIONS!

It’s not about the questions you keep asking yourself during the rumspringa:

  • Should I remain Amish?
  • Should I go back to my family?
  • Should I join the church?
  • Should I be baptized?
  • Can I live the rest of my life under the rules of the community?

Rumspringa, literally ‘running around,’ is what colts do in the morning in your field as they frolic in the early mists. It’s cute to watch lambs romping and jumping about in the sunshine because they are alive and happy, full of energy. This picture is cute and winsome. But that’s not what you are experiencing in rumspringa. Place those same colts or lambs in pastures full of deadly, poisonous snakes and you have a better picture of rumspringa. ‘Russian roulette’ is another picture of rumspringa. Which person in the circle will be killed when the gun, loaded with one bullet, is passed among them and they take turns placing it to their temples and squeezing the trigger. This is rumspringa. No one knows which young person will die. Some will. That we know. The suicide rate is climbing among you. Others will make it through but be scarred for life. Depression, anxiety and panic disorders, mentally and physically challenged children as a result of drug abuse and other causes.  These are often the deadly results of “running around.” Are you willing to expose yourself to that? Read on and see why Christ Jesus is grieved by rumspringa. . . . .

You must be free to choose. But freedom without the right questions, freedom without the right values, ends up in bondage.

As important as these questions are, they are not the most important questions:

  • Should I remain Amish?
  • Should I join the church?
  • Should I be baptized?
  • Can I live the rest of my life under the rules of the community?

These questions will be answered if you are armed with the right basic concerns which the first Amish communities faced during the reformation under its founder, Jacob Amman [see my other booklet: Back to the Old Ways: A Call to My Amish Neighbors]. The early Amish asked the right questions:

  • Who am I? What do I believe? What am I here for?
  • Am I a sinner in need of forgiveness? Am I in need of God’s grace and love? Do I need to be rescued from my self-centeredness and self-love? From my fleshly appetites?
  • Is Jesus the Son of God and the Lord of love or just a man, a good example? Was He crucified for ME? Has He indeed risen from the dead?  Is He ALIVE? Today? Here, in this place?
  • If so, can He save me from my sins NOW . . . TODAY? Otherwise, I am alone and our faith is empty and useless.
  • Is He the best example of Love that I have ever known? Do I want to give my heart, my life to Him?  Is He my Savior and Lord?
  • Where can I find people who live this every day and know Him personally? Who radiates His love?

These are the foundational questions that make the others easier. Once these questions are answered, the former questions will automatically be answered.

Excerpts from Rumspringa: The Wrong Questions! 


© 2009 David C Alves, All rights reserved

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