Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ask Aunt Tillie: Is Your Nephew Going to Hell?

Blogger's Note: Since this blog is somewhat Amishcentric, I get questions from time to time from readers about Amish life and culture, which I refer to my Aunt Tillie, an opinionated, but humble Amish woman. Here is a recent question and answer. Please leave a comment or email me if you have questions you want me to refer to her in the future.

Dear Aunt Tillie:

Your nephew, Amishlaw, has been on an anti-religious kick lately. A few posts ago, he told about having his arm twisted as a young man to accept Jesus Christ as his personal savior and join the church. Then on Easter Sunday, he implied that the physical resurrection of Jesus is make believe. Is he really a Christian? Is he going to hell? What are we going to do about him?

(Signed) Squawker

Dear Squawker:

(Sigh) I'll tell you, Squawker, I am way too old to be worrying about what to do about my nephew, Amishlaw. I have enough worrying to do about whether Grandpa is going to get the garden plowed this spring. It has been wet and cold for so long that he still hasn't gotten around to it. If I don't get my lettuce planted pretty soon, I'm going to start getting grumpy. But I'm sorry, I digress. You were asking about the salvation of Amishlaw. I guess we'll just have to let God worry about that boy. If he wants to risk spending eternity burning with that awful Reverend Wright and the rest of those radio preachers who make a living saying stupid things, then I guess he can just go on shooting off his mouth. We Amish are a little different from the Baptists and the Pentecostals and a lot of other denominations. We don't pretend to be able to know who is going to make it to heaven and who is going to wind up in hell. That's God's business. We say we have the "hope" of getting to heaven, meaning we don't know what is in the mind of God. We might think we have it all figured out and God might change his mind. He has before. After all, he's God. He can do whatever he wants. He might get so irritated at the church people that he'll decide he'll just send the church people to hell and bring the Saturday night beer drinkers and the Sunday morning late sleepers to heaven. I hope that isn't what happens; if it does, I've deprived myself of a lot of beer and television for nothing. But we can't possibly know. So stop worrying about my nephew and go look at some seed catalogs.

(Signed) Aunt Tille


rdl said...

Ahh Aunt Tillie and politics - it doesn't get any better than this - goin to grab me a beer - make that wine.

Anonymous said...

Aunt Tillie Unmasked!

Aha! Now we know Aunt Tillie is a fraud. In spite of what the preachers might say, every Amish person knows that they are going to heaven and the English are not. Especially not the J.O.s who were born Amish and "know better", but still own TVs and allow their wives to wear pants.

Crockhead said...

"Fraud"? That's a strong epithet, Cousin Anonymous. Next time you come to Illinois, you call me and I'll take you to see Aunt Tillie. She may just teach you a thing or two about "what every Amish person knows." A bop on the side of your head with her cane and you'll think "fraud."

Lydia said...

Wait, what's a JO, cousin to cousin Anon? And I though Aunt Tillie was unmasked when she implied that all the beer-drinkers might get to heaven on a godly whim. :).

Aunt Tillie's message of "Stop worrying about the salvation of others and go ogle some seed catalogs instead." (or something like that) is a fine corollary to Hank Williams' "If you mind your own business you sure won't be minding mine." Aunt Tillie could've been a Nashville star!

Crockhead said...

Lydia, "JO" is an insider term meaning "jerked over" referring to former Amish who are no longer Amish. I don't like the term because it sounds too much like "jerked off." I know only a few people who use the term and one of them is my cousin, who is the Anonymous who left the comment about Aunt Tillie being a fraud. If he dares call Aunt Tillie a fraud to her face, she'll teach him fraud. And, no, she wasn't saying beer drinkers are going to heaven; she doesn't think they are, that's why she doesn't drink. But, she's just stating the obvious; God being God, she can do whatever she wants. Except that Aunt Tillie would never call God "she." I'll ask her (Aunt Tillie, not God) sometime why not.