Being baptized into a certain faith while unaware of the gravity of your decision can prove to be a mistake, especially if someone comes across a particular notion with which he or she disagrees later on. The Amish religion is one of the more serious of these. The Amish practice baptism in adulthood as opposed to infant baptism. This is an incredibly wise kind of baptism, I believe. When a person has had time to seriously consider this kind of step forward in his or her faith, they are much more likely to adhere without doubt to the commitment he or she has made.
As a matter of fact, in many Amish cultures adolescent-aged children are encouraged to go out and explore the world beyond the confines of their community – this is to guide them in their personal decision. Nonetheless, of course, there is a certain social pressure to return and receive the benefits of furthering spirituality through a firm decision to be baptized in the Amish faith. This does not separate many of the non-Amish from the Amish, not on any human level at all. Many people in many countries, cultures, and traditions, secular or religious, will feel many different kinds of family pressure.
When a young adult or teenager is allowed on the outside they are supposed to remain within the boundaries of the faith. Rules are not to be broken, but certain behaviors, disobedience, and experimentation of those exploring in this period of time the Amish refer to as rumspinga are sometimes overlooked because of the overall purpose. Relaxed rules are permitted during this time – things such as talking on cellular phones, riding in cars, and dressing like outsiders. The tradition ends with a choice between two, black and white options. Once choice is this: the teenager will decide to be baptized into the Amish faith and become a true, adult member of the community. The second, of course, is to remain on the outside and permanently leaving their community and their old lifestyle behind.
Very few people choose to abandon their families, friends, and the Amish homes they have always known. And just like many people who grew up with some kind of religious influence (if they do remain spiritual or religious in adulthood) the Amish have a tendency to follow the religion in which they were raised. This is especially true with the Amish because they must turn their backs completely if and when they decide to turn their backs on their culture. Or, they can turn around to a baptism, acceptance, closeness and the open arms of those close to them. Some Amish teenagers are excited about their rumspringa, and others are afraid to go. Nonetheless, virtually all of them return home again.
Anne Clarke writes numerous articles for websites on gardening, parenting, fashion, and home decor. Her background includes teaching, gardening, and fashion. For more of her articles on the Amish, please visit amishretail.com, supplier of high quality Amish Gifts and Amish Furniture .