Does the World Really Need More Amish Fiction?

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The sheer number of Amish fiction titles never ceases to amaze me. Every time I see an Amish fiction novel, I ask myself three questions. 1. Why is this considered Christian? 2. Why are all these plots the same? 3. How is this genre pointing people to Christ? I can only assume that the answer to the first question is along the same lines of reasoning that Christians use when they approve of Catholicism and similar faiths that claim to follow Jesus’ teachings. When I consider the second question, I can only assume that companies want more books sold, and therefore approve of Amish fiction because it fits into the inspirational-I-feel-good-not-convicted corner. Next, I can find no evidence that shows how Amish fiction points people to Jesus. Instead, it seems to point readers to a fantasy world in which people live in an idealistic universe where only first-world problems happen. For instance, your kapp won’t stay on right, no matter how hard you try! Not to be confused with the struggle of sewing your own clothing and getting up at the crack of dawn to milk cows. And how about that cute Englischer/Englisher that you saw on your monthly Walmart run and have been pining for ever since? Likewise, another explanation for the Christian obsession with the Amish could stem from the need to isolate oneself from the big, bad world out there. In short, secular culture makes me uncomfortable, let’s retreat to the wonders of a Pharisaical religion with many rules and regulations that are sure to keep your kids home forever! In this world, my kids will marry who I say they will and do what I believe is best! None of this making your own decisions or having unique interests, because we’re all the same! But before I get carried away, the main point I’m trying to make here is that Amish fiction does not point people to Christ. In fact, it points them towards the opposite of Christianity – the Amish practice salvation by works. The Bible states in Ephesians chapter two verses eight and nine: “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast”. Therefore, a non-Christian reader can assume that those who publish Amish fiction are accepting of works-based religion. If this is not their intention, then today’s publishers should do their research before putting their name on any fly-by-night novel claiming the name of Jesus Christ.