At the training weekend just run for new CU leaders in the Mighty Midlands, we finished by considering Philippians 3. Then, returning home, I caught BBC2's Trouble in Amish Paradise on iplayer. What an amazing example of Philippians 3 in person, currently!
Having read the Bible in their own language, they discovered Christ, and started trusting Him for salvation, rather than the rules and lifestyle of their religious community. Not that they say those things are bad: they now feel free to obey those rules (or not), and choose to live in that lifestyle, but not to trust in it for merit with God. When the community forces them to choose: community, family, lifestyle, support - or remaining true to what they've found, that salvation is by trusting Jesus, that obeying the church is not right when the church bans the Bible and bans meeting to study it or pray or sing in your own language - then these people chose to obey God rather than men. But they testify that Christ is a thousand times better. Whatever gain they had, they have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
Indeed, they count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake they have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that they may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of their own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith — that they may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible they may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Not that they have attained that, but this documentary described how they press on to make it their own, because Christ Jesus has made them his own. They work at it - not having good knowledge of English, they study the Bible with a dictionary to hand, as they seek to understand! They don't despise those who haven't yet realised this: they have great love for others, seeking still to be Amish to the Amish, so as to win them for Christ, and to be non-Amish to others, to also win them for Christ. They are hoping in Christ despite hardship. Watch the video and rejoice, and pray for them.
Lord, Prepare Me to End Well
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