Oftentimes when I write books with strong spiritual themes, I’m exploring what I believe and why. It’s my hope that readers who turn the last page of Peace in the Valley find themselves doing the same thing.
In Peace in the Valley, Nora Beachy is forced to choose between a more personal, charismatic style of worship and the one she committed to when she was baptized. Her grandfather and her cousins encourage her to “have a closer walk with Jesus.” They tell her God doesn’t care what clothes she wears and millions of Christians drive cars. How can having electricity affect her relationship with a loving God?
Old Order Amish use Romans 12:2 (Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.) as the basis for their lifestyle. They stay off the electrical grid so they can’t get pulled into the sinful ways of the world. They believe in a “living hope” rather than the certainty of salvation. They witness by example.
Are they wrong and evangelical Christians right? These are weighty issues that Nora has to navigate. Her future with the man she loves and her family hangs in the balance. As Christians, do we judge our Amish brethren or leave room for their deeply devout beliefs?