I've been involved with the witnessess since 1976. My ex-wife was a baptised sister who fell in with the wrong crowd and left the fruth when she should have been disfellowshipped. Thats another story. After returning home in 1980 from working in the U.S. Navy, I contacked her parents and in 1982 started studying for ernest. I had a falling ourt with some of the aattitudes i was encountering and stopped studying in 1983. Time has passed and I still felt lost and alone, so I came back and started attending meetings and later a bible study in 2010. I have been told that because I wear a beard, I cannot go any further, including getting a Kingdom Ministry. I have had this beard most of my adult lilfe (30 years at least) and especiallly during the times of study. I keep it neat and trrimmed and have been able to find employment while wearing it, so what is the problem?? Every Watchtowwer and some Awake magazines, and most of the study book show men with beardds, including our savior Jesus Christ ! Why would I be any different? In fact in one Watchtower I countedd 27 men with beards and NO clean shaven. In a weekly study a few weeks age , the conductor even made note of Paul having a beard. So again what's the problem?? i would greatly appreciate a response to this Thank you.
...how can I say this gently? ....... It's a cult. There, once you can grasp this point then everything else falls nicely into place.
The beards thing? Well your mileage will vary depending on location and particular elders, CO etc. but it's been a pain in the ass for many for decades since Rutherford took over from the bearded Russel and wanted a change of image I reckon.
Welcome, Stay awhile and learn
They have no valid scriptural reason for their attitude about beards, even by trying to stretch a "principle", they have no printed material in the WT literature that is in the public domain about the issue, and frankly they have a stupid attitude to the wearing of beards.
You will find this is a very local thing, in certain parts of the world, and in certain congregations it is not a problem, for instance , in the Congregation I last attended the Elder who conducted the Theocratic Ministry School wore a beard, and still does.
Just leave the crazy cult and get a proper life amongst real, normal people, happiness in any measureable degree is not to be found within the Jehovah's Witnesses.
WTS. has always been shaping and molding their following adherents into their own sales representatives,
the reason the no long hair and no beards and curtailing exactly how people are to dress in public.
This has been done with intension to make the organization appear pure and righteous as possible, the no beards policy is just a part of this .
Other Christian based religions forbid their male members to shave their beards, as it would be disrespectful to god and his creation.
The WTS. publishing house has their own agenda of course, as they try to expand their organization.
At the start of his presidency, Rutherford would praise Charles Taze Russell, even stating that CTR was leading the Bible Students personally while being "beyond the vail"(from the heavens after his death). So for a while the Judge promoted remembering CTR. The reason he did this is because the brothers at Bethel still looked to CTR as their spiritual leader and held him in very high esteem.
In time Rutherford established himself without question as the new spiritual leader and president of the society.
However like first century Christians who followed different brothers like Apollos or Paul, there were still brothers at Bethel who still looked to CTR as their spiritual leader. The Judge decided the brothers were focusing on CTR to much (he called it creature worship). The Judge didn't want CTR becoming an icon, so he decided to try and get the brothers to forget about CTR.Rutherford was aware that many members of the Bible students emulated CTR by growing beards. So in and effort to get CTR out of the consciousness of the Bible Students, the Judge ruled that beards were not allowed in the Bethel families. In a careful plan the Judge cut off the beards of Jesus, and Adam in WTS illustrations to reinforce the idea of no beards. Suddenly male facial hair was "un-Theocratic." Brothers were even told they couldn’t grow a mustache unless they wanted to lose there "privileges." The Bethel rules quickly trickled down to the congregations and the rest is history. The funny thing is if you ask a JW why they can't grow a beard there usual response is “we don't want to be associated with the hippie movement or uncleanness of the 60's”. They don't even realize that the beard ban was made way back in the 20’s. It wasn't until the 70's that the mustache rule was relaxed, this being because of the great popularity of facial hair in the 60's and 70's. The beard ban however still lingers on. The WT yearbook:
yb74 97-8 Germany (Part One) *** It was now possible to print TheWatchTower in our own factory. The first issue printed was that of July 15, 1923. Some three or four weeks later a large flatbed press with automatic feed was set up and work began on the first volume of StudiesintheScriptures. Right afterward the book TheHarpofGod was printed on the same machine. But more equipment was needed. For that reason Brother Balzereit asked Brother Rutherford for permission to buy a rotary press. Brother Rutherford saw the necessity and agreed, but on one condition. He had noticed thatover the years Brother Balzereit had grown a beard very similar to the one that had been worn by Brother Russell. His example soon caught on, for there were others who also wanted to look like Brother Russell. This could give rise to a tendency toward creature worship, and Brother Rutherford wanted to prevent this. So during his next visit, within hearing of all the Bible House family, he told Brother Balzereit that he could buy the rotary press but only on the condition that he shave off his beard. Brother Balzereit sadly agreed and afterward went to the barber. During the next few days there were several cases of mistaken identity and some funny situations because of the "stranger" who was sometimes not recognized by his fellow workers. Mystery solved
Welcome to the group. Sorry, to break this to you..but you are correct about the beard....but wrong about the religion. Before you invest more time and energy, take a few hours and read "crises of Conscience" by Raymond Franz, he was a very kind man who was a JW Missionary and Member of the Governing Body of Jehovahs' Witnesses. It will explain a lot.
Welcome, stick around you'll be surprised what you can learn. I would also recommend you check out jwfacts.com.
You are correct that our savior Jesus Christ had a beard. The Watchtower's no beard policy is unbiblical. I been wondering if they've got this wrong what else could they be wrong about? Did you know that according to the Watchtower, Jesus Christ is not the Mediator between you and Jehovah?
WTS./JWS is a publishing House, the Kingdom Halls are instructional training centers for its sales Representatives. End of story.
Getting their undies in a bind over wearing a beard should tell you a lot. Keep your beard and your life and find a different path.
The level of control is plain to see when on the buletin board of all congregations there is posted a 4-page pamphlet illustrating how one should dress to visit Bethels... Imagine having to dress in one's best suit to take of tour of warehouses, workshops and printeries...More lately there was an illustration on how not to dress when checking in at a Hotel at the district convention! In the Canadian Bethel all workers regardless of where they work have to go change in their meeting clothes to go have lunch, then back into their work clothes...then back into their meeting clothes for dinner...Only in a cult!
I have been out for 2 years and last November I grew a HUGE mustache for MOvember...my brother who is an elder came to visit me was bothered by it...and when I was in I would have never dared grow facial hair in fear of stumbling my brothers...JWs need to lighten up a bit...it's only a mustache....
When I went to my sister's baptism it was the first meeting I'd been to in well over a year. A sister at the assembly hall said "We miss ya. And when you come back, we can shave off that beard and trim your hair." Yeah because god would hate me because of my long hair and beard. Give me a freaking break.
There was a contrast though. There were a few JW's who came up to me and told me they liked the hair and beard. Maybe they think the rule is stupid too.
Thomask9: Welcome to the board. When I was 20 I grew a beard and caught HELL from the elders in my hall. They eventually disfellowshipped me for refusing to shave it off. Of course they didn't put that down as a reason to the society, because it's not a disfellowshiping offence.
Lord knows what they said to justify it, but whenever 3 men get together in a J.C. They can do whatever they want and no questions asked as long as they all agree. I know this to be true because I'm a former elder.
Of course that was many years ago that that happened, but be careful and step lightly around those brainwashed J-dubs. Look at J.W.facts.com and read Ray Franz books crises of conscience and in search of Christian freedom.
Dont get involved any further in this CULT.
Don't look natural, that's the message.
Gone from the JWs 12 years, beard for 12 years
Any religion you can't leave is a cult. Any religion that removes your individuality is a cult. If you feel the need to be a part of a cult, join the Mormons, at least they are a bit more mainstream and I bet you can keep the facial hair.
Thomas please note that this is a forum populated by ex JW'S. Mostly they are ex JW'S because they rejected the belief construct of the WT. Some because they slipped up and broke a moral code. The JW's don't care what you've done they will boot you out because of a beard or because you murdered someone. Why? Because for an average Witness they have a fragile grasp of reality. The go to the Kingdom Hall to be surrounded by people that can and will validate them as long as you become them, meaning look like them and sound like them. Which is why pedophiles flock to the JW world. It's so easy to be them.
Since witnesses suspend critical thinking they can only go by appearances. If you show up with a beard in most congregations you are not them. If you show up neatly shaved wearing a somber suite,white shirt, plain tie and dress shoes you will be greeted with openness and respect. If you need to be validated my advice is to visit businesse's that will validate your parking ticket. The feeling is the same and it will be a lot more fun.
However if you really need religion in your life.....find a church that doesn't have a problem with facial hair, encourages women to become ministers, doesn't discourage gays and offers suitable social events.
P.S. Those 'attitudes' you had a problem with back in the 1983......they are worse today. A PEW survey listed the JW'S as the least educated of any religion in the USA. They have gotten so bad that upwards of 67% of born-in's stop affiliating.....which is the worst retention record of any USA religion. Unless you enjoy playing on a losing team.....you can do better.
The beard thing is just one example of how the Watchtower goes 'beyond the law' and is extra-biblical rather than biblical. They're like the Pharisees (or like the Pharisees are depicted in the New Testament, anyway). The Pharisees would harrass Yeshua and his followers over trivial matters, being excessively legalistic rather than embracing the spirit of the law.
I just never got why it was okay for brothers in some countries to have a beard and not okay in other countries. Doesn't make any sense.
If you just have to be a member of a group join beards.org
You won't get any nonsense from these guys.
NO. There simply is no way to make sense of it. In fact.....read 1 Cor 4:6. Do not go beyond what is written. There is NOTHING in the bible that prevents ANYONE from wearing a beard. Yet the Jehovah's Witnesses prohibit it. Didn't Jesus condemn the pharisees for this very same practice?
Ya know what is interesting? This article:
Only Jehovah's Witnesses, those of the anointed remnant and the "great crowd," as a united organization under the protection of the Supreme Organizer, have any Scriptural hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil." Watchtower 1989 Sep 1 p.19
Isn't it a bit strange that your eternal future is dependent upon your willingness to follow a command (no beards) that is in direct violation of scripture?