I was in a split congregation. In my congregation I was always getting hauled up for having a beard or stubble (I'd grow them on purpose) but in the other congregation there was a brother who came into the truth from the world. He was a seaman and had a short beard (like mine) I'd whine that he had one and that I'd get told off, I was told that he was "allowed" to keep his because he had his when he came into the truth. So it was ok for some to have one but not for others.
beards not a rule but!!!
"you won't be able to read the watchtower on stage if you keep that beard". i told him that it was a soul chip and if he had such a big problem with it then take it up with the PO who also has a soul chip, however he was black.
I've seen that happen myself. The black brothers got away with longer sideburns and soul patches while the white brothers had to keep sidesburns shorter than the end of the ear lobe and no soul patches or van dykes.
There is no official rule, but there is an unspoken, unwritten rule that is strictly enforced.
Kinda like wearing 37 pieces of flair while working at Chotchkie's...
About the time I hit the teenaged years I used to ask why I couldn't grow out my hair. I argued that we weren't like cats or dogs with a particular length of hair. Ours kept growing [remember Crystal gayle?] so I reasoned that we could make a decision about how we looked. It was the same argument they used with beards. Grow it and lose your privileges.
The only thing keeping me from a full beard these days is my genetic disposition. Too patchy/thin. I have to be content with a vandyke or more recently, a soul patch.
We just watched that movie, again. I got it for Christmas. Funny stuff!
LOL @ Undercover. One of the best movies ever. That flair conversation really is a good example of witness reasoning.
When I became a JW in 1971 at the age of 20. I had a moustache. No one told me to shave it off or anything about it.
Sometime later I noticed moustaches appearing on other brothers.
I was later told that they had been waiting to see if I would be told to shave mine off. When I hadn't nearly every other brother started growing one. A couple of them were even Elders.
Back to my long term dispute about facial hair with the elders...
I was told that in certain country's, it was the custom for men to have Facial hair and that anyone that didn't was considered to be feminine and gay. So all brothers HAD to grow facial hair or be thought of by the general public as gay.
If you didn't have a hairy face you'd loose your privileges and may be stopped from going out on the service (...and the elders would probably call you a "fag" behind your back)
Can you imagine some of those furry faced brothers turning up in Western KH's...
It really is crazy that this "rule" still persists in dubland. In the 60's /70's the excuse was given that beards were associated with hippies and unfitting for ministers . That was not true but at least it was a stated reason. That era is long gone and today a neat beard is perfectly acceptable everywhere including TV newsreaders and men in business.
Whilst not privy to the backroom discussions at the KH, I have not seen a bearded elder around here. When I was involved, the situation was crazy because some congo's had a more liberal view than others . Once a speaker turned up from a neighbouring congo and he sported a beard. Our PO spotted him early and sent him straight home saying he could not speak in our hall - does that figure?
The comments about black men and white men remind me of another issue. When I first arrived in this area a young sister had a stud in her nose . That attracted a lot of fluttering gossip and condemnation.. But a visiting mature sister from the city congo had a full ring in her nose. The difference? The other sister was Indian and it was cultural thing. One rule for her and one for our girl.
You can debate these things forever.. And dubs do debate these things forever....
1.Who gave man the growing beard as a part of his nature; Satan or Jehovah?
2.If Jesus arrived in a Kingdom Hall the way he last looked in human form (with a beard) would he be denied Elder privileges?
3.Are we supposed to be free from Rabbinical laws because of Jesus' ransom sacrifice? Or, do we just take up where the Law of Moses left off by burdening people with rituals, observances and customs that have no biblical authority?
4.The Apostles; why did they fail to mention something so "important" as beard growth when listing what Gentiles needed to do? (Keep yourselves free from things strangled, blood and---for God's sake, DON'T GROW A BEARD!")
5.According to Paul's argument about long hair on a man (Does not nature itself teach us...) would it make a man more masculine or feminine to grow a beard?
6.Does anybody remember the fact that there was a time when the Watchtower Society unequivocally took the position that JESUS DID NOT WEAR A BEARD?
The early publications have Adam and Jesus clean-shaved.
When I first joined the local Kingdom Hall there were public talks given about how "Jesus had no beard".
It was all part of the contrarian nature of Jehovah-dumb back then. Whatever Christendom taught--they were on the opposite side of the issue.
Pity is, they've had to back down more than once!
People who make rules without logic are merely demonstrating POWER.
Remember, it is the Evil Slave who makes life miserable on the others and not the Faithful one.