Hot topic in congregations: having a beard/goatee
I immediately grew and now maintain a full beard.
No too bad in the UK, servants can have them (depending on congregation and body of elders) but definitely won't be asked to give a talk at a convention. I know a few servant with beards, and I've heard of an elder with one, (uncorroborated)
Absolutely ridiculous man made rule.
Yes....it is a rebel THANG ....hee hee.....first thing i did, was grow a beard, and lower my truck......yeah....yeah....yeah..
I grew a full beard a few years ago when my family and I lived in a somewhat small town. I started growing it when my folks were away on vacation for a week. After they returned, I decided to just keep it growing. I let it grow for about a year or so. During that time, a couple of elders visited me and informed me that I would have to shave it off or else I would be off the Theocratic Ministry School. I defiantly kept it for a while longer, and I actually even had a lawyer in a high-end city law firm send a detailed opinion letter to the local elders, with a copy to the Canadian Bethel headquarters. I only shaved it off later to be able to more fully enjoy some romantic kisses – but that was only of my own accord.
My advice is: don’t ever allow any man-made “leaders” to dictate the grooming of your own body. Believe me, they’re certainly not entitled to that level of control! (They just think they are.)
It was a big no-no in my old congregation. I knew two friends who were brothers (not only baptised JWs but also siblings). One usually wore a neat, trimmed goatee that suited him. His younger brother was often clean-shaven but grew a goatee several times. On one occasion, he was given a good talking-to by an elder in the back room. Absolutely ridiculous!
It sounds ridiculous me saying it, but sideburns were also monitored. They had to be neatly trimmed (not bushy) and were not allowed lower than the earlobe. I remember my dad 'counselling' me for growing my sideburns down to the point of my jaw.
How's that for control-freakery?
Handful of elders and servants in our circuit with beards/goatees. A couple of them give away talks too. As mentioned it's a no go on any assembly platform. Talking about the U.K. here.
So, my young adult son was recently forbidden to give a reading on the school because he has a short, clean, well-trimmed beard. The BE book was cited, where it says a brother "may" choose to be clean shaven. The use of the word "may" rather than "must" indicates to me that the elder doing the forbidding went against the society's own policy. Did I miss something here?
There is NO official policy. Whatever any elder tries to claim.
I've never even seen anything in writing that even says you cannot do talks on conventions if you have a beard. I think it is pretty much universally the case but as far as I know it's essentially a rule through osmosis of tradition.
In the congregations it's up to the elders. Hence the lack of consistency.
Over on that other site one of the longest running threads is about beards and you will see every circumstance under the sun mentioned. It's a farce.
I would love to be able to tell you all about a situation that has developed with one of my family in relation to their beard but it would be too much information. Take it from me - it's hilarious.
Sorry - I was wrong on the point of what's in writing about conventions as JWFACTS has a quote however this is froma talk outline and not from general instructions regarding the convention. Regardless it does lend some weight to there being an official line on this in relation to conventions.
The founder of WBTS Charles Taze Russell wore a beard, and all the congregation of his day. Once Russell died and the only one of his collegues who was clean shaven took over ,"Rutherford"....the unwritten rule of EVERYONE MUST BE CLEAN SHAVEN! ! , came into effect....
Its whats called the "RR".....rutherfords rule...pretty lame! !