Straight from the headlines, an Amish community in rural Ohio recently suffered a series of attacks in which members of the Amish community had their homes invaded. Men and women had their hair forcibly cut, men having their beards shorn, a great indignity for Amish men.
Startlingly, the criminals were fellow Amish. The attackers, led by a man named Sam Mullet, were a disenfranchised group, upset at a local bishop’s decision not to excommunicate several others who they felt had broken community laws. To commemorate their attacks, they are said to have taken pictures of those whom they assaulted. A great irony in these attacks is that The Amish way of life is intended to protect its members from the sinful influences of the outside world. (There is also something incredibly ironic about a movement to cut people’s hair being led by a man named “Mullet”.) Unfortunately, this way of living fails to account for the fact that sinful influence can never be escaped because we are all corrupt. No matter where we go, as long as we are there, sin will be there too.
The Biblical doctrine of Total Depravity, one of the doctrines collectively known as the “Doctrines of Grace,” states that the basic nature of man is corrupt, that he is inclined toward evil, and that he is unable to do anything that merits God’s favor because he is unwilling. Total depravity is ultimately oriented toward God and sometimes expressed toward others.