Hot topic in congregations: having a beard/goatee

by nevaagain 26 Replies latest jw friends

  • nevaagain

    I am starting this topic because I was wondering, I see many who leave "the truth" are glad because they can finally have a beard. Is having a beard really a no go in congregations? How is / was it in your congregation?

    I know from a different brother though who has a beard and is (if they chose to invite him) even giving talks in other congregations. He is an MS.

    Now I did the start in my congregation (as you have guessed I am still in but I am not an MS or an elder). I approached a younger elder first (without having a beard yet) and asked him how his view is on beards and he told me that is nothing in the bible that prohibits having a beard and if a brother wont do it with wrong motives (like being a rebelious) it should not be a problem. So after a couple of weeks without meeting (we were on vacation) I came back with a goatee :-)

    Two months have passed by and I can feel that some brothers dont like, I got a lot of compliments on my look, so the goatee is here to stay. I had talks/prayers/public readings with it, so I guess it is save to assume that I won't have to cut it:-)

    so what are you experiences with that hot topic?

  • TheListener

    I've known brothers who have had beards and maintained their privileges and some others who were taken to the back room and basically told to shave or else. I've never known a current elder or ms to have a beard. I'm sure some on the board have more experience with that than I do.

    It all depends on the local elders and what the CO says when he comes around.

    In all the experiences I've had though I have noticed that those with beards are viewed as somewhat rebellious or pushing the edge. Even if they kept their privileges.

  • sowhatnow

    cedars over on jwsurvey explains the root of that issue.

    but I think its an old mentality, and of all the changes they have made you would think that one of them would be the attitude towards beards, I always preferred my[ soon to b x] husband with one, as he looks like he has no chin. it frames his jaw line.

    there are brothers with acne scars that would benefit from a beard. lots of guys in colder places have to wear beards .

    believe me I searched for any biblical reason for it and found nothing.

    why mustaches are ok and beards are not I have no clue. i personally dont like goatees to me they put you in a stereotype .

    personally I like a classy trimmed beard that's close to the face with a neatly mustache trimmed too. none of this weird gross thick food and snot catching long crap that looks lazy and unkempt. or a long lazy biker dude stereotype . unfortunately the longer beards now are associated with terrorists, so there is always something huh?

    my son used to go to meetings years ago, he tried to grow facial hair so he would look older, he very young looking, he had a few light hairs on his neck and chin when a brother walked up to us after the meeting and said 'I see someone hasn't had time to shave today'

    I right away said in reply "no hes growing a beard, he looks better I think, I like beards my husband has one"

    the guy did not know what to say to that. lol

    hey, every guy who wants to leave the borg can grow a beard

    you'll be able to spot all the 'trouble makers' in the kingdom halls lol .

  • Splash
  • OneEyedJoe

    It definitely depends on the congregation. It seems the only hard rule that they pass down in writing is that a bearded man cannot give parts on conventions/assemblies. Some elders take this to mean that a beard isn't acceptable at all. That's not surprising since much of JW doctrine is developed based on the formula of 'this rule applied to this small group, so it shows the principle that it should be applied to everyone.'

    When you grow a beard, you'll inevitably get compliments from the guys who want to grow one too but don't have the balls, and you'll get passive-aggressive statements ("did you forget to shave?" "it looks like you have some dirt on your face." etc) from everyone else. If the elders are the iron-fist type, they'll probably try to make an example of you, but if you have a few elders that are sympathizers, it's possible that nothing will happen.

    If you do grow a beard, memorize Mark 7:13 - "You make the word of God invalid by the tradition that you have handed down." Encourage anyone who challenges you to read the full account and find out who Jesus was talking to, and come back when they can state that they're not behaving just as those men were.

    On a related, but slightly off-topic note, it's my theory that rules such as this are in place specifically to identify potential apostates. When someone starts to wake up to TTATT they're bound to start wanting to think for themselves a little. Even if they're not fully awake, but just see that the cult is making unscriptural rules, it's dangerous - those faithful in what is least will be faithful in what is most. If they start breaking the small rules they'll break bigger ones. The beard thing has the advantage that it takes active effort not to grow a beard, so it's natural to let it happen when you no longer have a strong reason to do it. Also, if someone stops going or fades, the beard is a sign to any friends that might otherwise think they're just going to a different congregation. In a sense, it's like an unofficial DA that most will recognize and will cause them to avoid you. It's all about maintaining the virtual cult compound - separating those that are in the cult from those who are out by means of small cues like dress, grooming and language. You don't have to physically separate people from the outside world if you can create the walls in their minds.

  • OneFingerSalute
    A beard? Where I live when I was still full in I was hauled into the back room and pretty well ordered to trim, thin, and shorten my mustache, or else. I had the typical Marlboro Man mustache, and they thought I should have the pencil line shorter than the corner of my mouth mustache. Kind of like that goober on the big screen of last years convention that had a Hitler mustache. That was just another straw added to the camels load that finally broke it's back!
  • DesirousOfChange

    Beards are taboo in our local area. Try growing one and you soon won't have any privileges. (Maybe that's a good idea afterall!)


  • Barrold Bonds
    Barrold Bonds

    Official policy is a brother cannot have privileges if they have a beard. some congregations might be lax and some exceptions are made but it's rare. I have seen that in NYC black brothers could have a soul patch but that's it.

    fun facial hair fact: Go through all WT publications since 1980 or so (since they started using photos and not paintings). Try to find a white dude with ANY facial hair. You won't. You will find plenty of black and hispanics with mustaches but never a white guy. So if you're one of those JWs that uses those pictures as examples of proper dress and grooming, you're supposed to pick up on the fact the society doesn't want white dudes with facial hair.

  • maksutov
    One of our local congregations announced from the platform that anyone with a beard would not be allowed to give talks or say prayers. Another local cong has an elder with a beard (he says it is for medical reasons). I was always annoyed by the taboo when I was a JW, but I still abided by it to show how faithful I was. I grew a beard as soon as I left, but I don't have one now.
  • hoser

    I was hauled into the back room and pretty well ordered to trim, thin, and shorten my mustache, or else.


    You should have come to the next meeting with a hitler stash and see what those bozos would say.

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