The Amish closely follow their interpretation of the teachings of the Bible. One of the verses, I John 2:15, is the origin of their rejection of those things they consider worldly:
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the father is not in him.”
In other words, “worldly” things (a man’s possessions) such as telephones, automobiles, oversized houses stuffed full of fine furniture, sports utility vehicles, etc., are considered fancy, elaborate, or excessive. Worldly things are those big, unwarranted possessions, not needed to live a simple life dedicated to God.
Some worldly things can also be small, and taken for granted by the non-Amish. Buttons on clothing or elastic in underwear fall into this category.
Amish men and women do not reject things of natural beauty. As part of their faith and belief, they merely chose to live minimally, simply, and modestly – and without any frills. Worldly things can be large big things, such as fancy cars, flashy motorcycles, or shiny boats. It can be embellished with tools, frilly clothing, or extravagant kitchen utensils.
Alternatively, it can be small, simple, and plain things, like an LED flashlight for a keychain or a handheld calculator.
Amish Wisdom is an ongoing feature of various entries about the Amish on George Sheldon's website and blog. Written and produced by George, it is intended to provide information about those of the Amish faith.