Ordnung is the German word for “order”. It is what the Amish beliefs and faith are governed by. These rules are the blueprint for expected behavior. The Amish have two guidelines for daily living. One is the New Testament and the other is the Ordnung. The Ordnung is based on the New Testament. Rules of the Ordnung vary from Amish group to groups. For example, some Amish are allowed to have indoor plumbing while others use an outhouse. Amish members profess to follow the Ordnung rules at their baptism, which happens as an adult, and every communion. Communion happens every spring and fall. It is when an Amish affirms his willingness to continue to follow the expectations of the Orgnung. By agreeing to the it’s rules and regulations, members are fully aware of the discipline that occurs if they don’t follow the rules. Violators of the rules must confess publicly and face their punishment.
The Amish accept a literal interpretation of the bible. Their belief is in separation from the outside world. They follow the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” The Amish see the narrow gate of self-denial, whereas the outside world represents the broad road of vanity and vice.
For the Ordnung, there is no need to write regulations down. It is passed on by oral tradition. The Ordnung is understood behavior by which Amish are expected to follow. Some regulations include; forbidden from owning an automobile, tapping electricity from public utility lines and owning computers or tractors. Also, married men are expected to grow a beard and woman are expected to wear a head covering. All Amish are expected to wear distinctive clothing. This serves as a public symbol of group identity. Many rules are common knowledge to the Amish such as plain clothing, no cell phones and attending school until the 8th grade.
If the Ordnung is followed, it brings peace, love and equality to the community.