Once originating from the same European Protestant Reformation, the main difference between Amish and Mennonite lies in their outward projection of their belief system.
Below we will be looking at the difference between Amish and Mennonite in detail, so, let’s get going. But first let’s have a quick briefing about the two belief systems.
Who is an Amish?
An Amish is an individual who believes in leading a simple life based on the faith and practice of the Bible. Also known as Anabaptists, they condemn the practice of infant baptism and belong to one of the many groups under Protestantism.
Believing in charitable efforts and attaining salvation through good work, Amish are also a prominent group in many regions across USA and Europe. Avid believers of the Bible, one of the major things they believe and follow is eschewing motorised transport.
As per historical records, Jakob Ammann was the one who set up the Amish Church. He was initially a Swiss Anabaptist leader who in the year 1693 raised concerns regarding the Church’s then existing confirmations to the rest of the public. He then slowly started gaining followers which then turned out to be the Amish community we know of today.
Now the Amish community is mostly known for their plain dressing, mustache-less beards, buggies, simple clothing, and most importantly their disowning of motorized vehicles. Even today, Amish people like to travel in carriages, rather than vehicles of any sort.
Who is a Mennonite?
Often confused with the Amish, Mennonites are another form of Protestants, aka Anabaptists who believe that the Bible is the only true way of redemption. They too don’t believe in the act of having infants go through the process of Baptism and are quite open to the reformations in the teachings, unlike the Amish communion.
Originated in the 16th Century, after a split from Martin Luther and John Calvin, the Mennonite denomination was formed by Menno Simons. He had doubts regarding the New Testament and its teachings and therefore split from the rest Protestant community to form his own set of followers. After his death, his followers were recognised as the Mennonites, which is still applicable today.
When it comes to their beliefs, these individuals greatly encourage missionary work all over the world, lead simple lives, and are very welcoming in general. And even though most Mennonites are quite sceptical towards advancing technologies, a lot of them have electricity and use telephones, contrary to the quite stringent Amish people.
They also have the freedom to either keep or cut down their moustache and use motorised transport vehicles. So, overally the main difference between Amish and Mennonite is their outlook towards the outward practice of the Bible and its teachings.
Are there any other differences between Amish and Mennonite?
Indeed there are a number of subtle differences that make the two groups distinct from each other. These include:
Exposure to Technological Advancements
Like discussed previously, Amish people are quite reserved and shy towards technological advancements. As per their teachings, excommunication is a sinful practice which should be dealt harshly, which is why most Amish communities maintain abstinence from technology. Even now, they don’t prefer electricity or ride on motorised vehicles which is considered a basic thing by all.
However, on the other hand, Mennonites don’t exhibit such scepticism. Although many of their believers don’t have motorised vehicles at their home, it is more like an individual choice rather than a religious practice. Mennonites don’t have any issues with having electricity at their homes or transporting by motorised vehicles for their commute.
While both the communities have their own Churches, the Amish prefer meeting in homes, shops or barns for their Sunday services. It is their way of connecting to nature and leading a humble life while staying connected with each other.
Similarly, Mennonites often hold their Church services in meeting houses. These individuals focus more on reaching out to needy individuals outside rather than only focusing on what’s near.
Here is a detailed tabular form of difference between Amish and Mennonite.
|Founded by||Jakob Ammann in 1693||Menno Simons in the 16th Century|
|Belief System||Attaining salvation through faith and strict practice of the Bible teachings||Belief in the Bible and practising good work through missionary and charitable deeds|
|Office of Papacy||Strongly condemned||Does not believe in the supremacy of the Pope|
|Outlook towards general public||Reserved and shy||Adjusting and open|
|Use of Technology||Excommunication is considered a sinful practice||Relatively open to technological advancements|
|Mode of Transportation||Non-motorised carts, horse or cattle drawn carriages||Use of motorised vehicles is a personal choice|
|Lifestyle||Very humble and simple||Simple lifestyle|
|Mass Gatherings||At Homes, shops or barns||At Meeting Houses|
|Common Dialect used||German or Pennsylvania Dutch||English|
So, this was all about the difference between Amish and Mennonite. While both the communities do seem similar initially, it is the minute differences that makes them both two separate communions.
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