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For those who wonder about going down the “slippery slope” of “the world” and its culture, here’s an answer: No motors.

Last week Maynard and I drove to Missouri for an Amish wedding. We had some of his relatives along, and they wanted to stop at an Old Order Mennonite community to see some friends. And in one of those “it’s a small world” happenings, we discovered we knew the woman in this couple—she grew up in Goessel.

This community is more conservative than most Amish. They have decided that motors can start people down that slippery slope, so they don’t have any. Horses on treadmills provide power. Wood heats water and stoves. The ice house holds blocks of ice year round. Strong arms do the laundry. The family labors on a small acreage to produce vegetables that are sold to a broker and end up in grocery stores.

Later that evening, we arrived at the home of Maynard’s brother, whose son was getting married the next day. This family uses tractors. They have bag phones.  Maynard’s brother recently put up a state-of-the-art chicken house complete with solar powered lights and egg conveyor belt.

After the wedding, I caught up with some of Maynard’s relatives, including a family that moved from Yoder, Kansas to Shipshewana, Indiana.  The man in the family was one of the best tractor mechanics in Reno County when they lived in Kansas. His new Amish community in Indiana doesn’t use tractors, but they do have skid steers, and that’s what he repairs now.

On the way home, we stopped at an Amish community in southeast Kansas that was started because people who had been using tractors wanted to go back to horses. So, that’s how they farm. But skid steers are okay there too.

Lines.  We all draw our lines, don’t we? And many of us struggle to understand why someone else’s line is so different from ours.

If our lines enable us to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all  your mind, and your neighbor as yourself,” then good for the lines. If they don’t accomplish that, then we are sliding down a slope away from God and who God wants us to be.