So last night my wife and I were bustling about in the kitchen and she picked up her Amish friendship bread starter. After reading the instructions she remarked about how funny it was that if you lost your starter the only way to get a new one is from the Amish themselves. The Amish are such a funny little culture. Very peculiar unto themselves even to the point that they are the guardians of the recipe for a yeast-mixture to make their delightful sweet bread treat. But if you ask anyone in the United States about the Amish, most of them could give you at least a meager description of who they are and what their culture is like. Isn’t that incredible. The Amish, who for all accounts keep to themselves, are known by everyone because of their distinctiveness.

Maybe this is something we are missing out on in mainline-protestant Christianity. Maybe in our striving to be relevant, we have lost some of our distinctiveness. Now don’t misread me hear. I am not talking about ankle-length skirts, hair above the collar and the entire litany of useless legalistic practices…But maybe we have become too much like popular culture in that their values have become our own. When materialism, vengeance and excess become our values within the church, then maybe we lose our voice. Perhaps we could learn a thing or two from the Amish and once again find our ditinctiveness in a few different things like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…just a thought.

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