BEARDS: Why JW men don't have them

by 00DAD 84 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • 00DAD

    I know this has been dished over before, but when I was doing some research I discovered a couple of interesting points.

    As far as I can find, there is only ONE WT article that implies that JW men should not have beards. Here it is:

    *** w75 8/15 pp. 500-501 par. 9 - Do Not Let Yourself Be Ensnared by Fads and Entertainment *** Extreme hair styles can easily lead one into a trap of the Devil also, and cause others to stumble. For example, a young man in the United States was making fine progress in his study of the Bible, and he was moved to share with an experienced Witness in preaching to others about the good things he was learning from the Bible. From early youth he had let his beard grow, and since some in the business community wore beards, he felt that his wearing one in preaching to others would be acceptable generally. But in speaking to a lady he was unable to do more than introduce himself, when she said:

    “I’m sorry, young man, I do not want to become involved in student revolt.”

    No amount of explanation after this sufficed to clear up the misimpression. After the conversation ended with the closing of the door, he asked the experienced Witness what had happened. He was invited to consider his appearance in relation to what he claimed to be, a servant of God. Not wanting to be responsible for even one person’s being stumbled so as to miss the way to everlasting life, this new Kingdom publisher shaved off his beard. Would you be willing to do the same or to make similar adjustments if your appearance gave the wrong impression in a certain community? - Emphasis added So, let me get this straight: it's all because some un-named lady sometime back in the '70s or sometime earlier from "a certain [un-named] community" in some undisclosed location somewhere in the United States had the opinion that any young man with a beard would try to persuade her "to become involved in student revolt" JWs all across the world can't have beards! Well that seems perfectly reasonable to me! I wonder whatever happened to that lady? Do you think she knew she was making Theocratic Doctrine? She must've been one of the anointed, a member of the "Faithful & Discreet Slave" class, no doubt!!! Hmmmm, ...

  • Crisis of Conscience
    Crisis of Conscience

    Wow! I never knew about that article! Thanks for sharing that nonsense 00Dad. LOL


  • blondie

    Post 33019 of 33688
    Since 5/28/2001

    1) Rutherford wanted to squash Russell's image in the organization

    *** yb74 pp. 97-98 Part 1—Germany ***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 that over 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.

    Until 1968, Jesus was depicted as beardless despite the Law code about Israelites wearing beards and not wanting to look like Romans. A subtle hint that to be Christlike was to be beardless (until 1968). Why the change?

    2) Beards = rebellion = drugs

    *** yb78 p. 13 1978 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses ***For example, in the Philippines, a brother was engaged in witnessing activity on the streets and noticed a bearded young man with a group of people. The young man looked somewhat familiar. It developed that he had formerly been associated with Jehovah’s Witnesses but had gotten in with the wrong crowd and was now on drugs.

    *** yb77 p. 239 Norway ***A Bible study was started with him. After three studies he quit smoking, and after six he resigned from his church. He also made changes as to hair, beard, and so forth.

    *** yb76 pp. 256-257 Sri Lanka ***Gradually, the power of truth could be seen. His clothing became cleaner, the ash disappeared, along with the flower, and his hair was allowed to grow normally, while the beard was completely shaved off.

    *** yb75 p. 18 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses ***The publisher did not approach the man right away as he did not look too inviting; he wore long hair and was heavily bearded. Suddenly there was no one else on the street to talk to, so he handed the individual a handbill for a public meeting.

    Then why no beards today?

    *** w68 5/1 p. 288 Questions From Readers ***Today Christian ministers, like the early Christians, are concerned with neatness and cleanness, but they strive to dress inconspicuously, so that their appearance does not in any way detract from the dignity or the effectiveness of the message they bear. (2 Cor. 6:3, 4) In recent years in many lands a beard or long hair on a man attracts immediate notice and may, in the minds of the majority, classify such a person undesirably with extremists or as rebels against society. God’s ministers want to avoid making any impression that would take attention away from their ministry or hinder anyone from listening to the truth. They know that people are watching true Christians very critically and that to a great extent they judge the entire congregation and the good news by the minister’s appearance as a representative of the congregation.

    In paradise restored on earth it would not be out of order if men returned to wearing beards, in perfect fashion, like Adam in Eden.

    So 43 years later when you see a man in a beard and a nice suit do you think EXTREMIST or REBEL?

    *** w68 5/1 p. 286 Questions From Readers ***Biblical evidence is the most reliable testimony to be found on this question, and a recent careful review of what it says indicates that Jesus did indeed have a beard.

  • 00DAD

    While we're on the subject, let me add this little tidbit:

    *** g00 1/22 p. 24 - A Close Shave ***

    "The clean-shaven look continued through the 18th century. But then, by the mid-to-late 19th century, the pendulum began to swing the other way. Hence, photographs of C. T. Russell, the first president of the Watch Tower Society, and fellow Christian W. E. Van Amburgh show both men wearing stylish, well-trimmed beards that were dignified and appropriate for their time." - Emphasis added

    Neatly trimmed

    Certainly "stylish" is subjective and changes from time-to-time, but I can't ever imagine anybody considering this beard to be "well-trimmed". That's just silly!!! And what about that hair while we're at it!!!

  • Iamallcool


  • 00DAD

    Blondie, thanks for the additional references. They didn't come up when I searched the Publications Index on the 2008 WT Library (the last one I had).

    Still, none really explicitly state: Thou Shalt Not Have a Beard!

    But the implications are obvious to anyone wanting to "please Jehovah" (READ: Please the local elders).


  • undercover

    I remember the 75 article. That was the go-to article when I was young. Only beatniks, hippies and revolutionairies had beards. Decent, fine, upstanding folk were clean shaven and had one of five haircut choices from the barber shop.

  • 00DAD

    Now this one I like:

    W. E. Van Amburgh

    W. E. Van Amburgh wearing a stylish, well-trimmed beard that is dignified

  • tornapart

    We've got a bro.. an MS in our cong who has a beard and an elder from another cong gave a public talk not long ago.. but then I guess it's a bit different in europe...

  • 00DAD

    Yes I've heard it's different in Europe!

    It's an interesting study in human psychology and manipulation that the WT can make a few statements that, although they carefully avoid explicitly prohibiting something like wearing of beards, clearly imply that anyone not getting the "hint" is not a spiritual person.

    Then, the next thing you know the local elders turn it into a law and "voila!" it's officially an "unofficial" doctrine/policy of the WTBTS!

    We humans really are strange things.

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