No Baptism For Military - but How About Law Officers?

by Vanderhoven7 16 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • sir82
    My question, will they baptize a man with a beard?

    I think they would, even though there would be strong strong STRONG "encouragement" for him to shave it.

    In my old congregation there was a guy with a beard. Super nice guy, clearly far more "qualified" than half the MS, heck, half the elders, but he just refused to shave his beard.

    So of course despite all his "spiritual" qualities, he wasn't even "good enough" to carry a microphone.

    I imagine it would be the same in virtually every other US congregation. Someone with a beard would not be considered "exemplary" and thus could never have any "privileges" beyond giving talks.

    Oh, and scrubbing toilets. Beards are OK for toilet scrubbers.

  • blondie

    Hunting groups are "okay" because you're supposed to be shooting animals not people...not that hunters don't make mistakes with that.

  • Vanderhoven7

    OK...but how do JWs distinguish between soldiering and policing; one being a no go, the other a just barely go? How do they distinguish between the state trooper and the national guard in term of morality of occupation i.e acceptability to Jehovah? ....according to the WTS Talmud anyway.

    Reading this, I see I tend to repeat myself.

    A message from:

    The Department of Redundancy Department

  • Vanderhoven7

    Got an interesting and informative response from John Hoyle on this subject: Vanderhoven7, Thank you for reading and contacting me. Yes, Jehovah's Witnesses have traditionally rejected employment as police, sheriff's deputies, highway patrol, prison guard, border patrol, government security personnel such as FBI, Secret Service body guards, etc. The reason for this policy is because in many countries, and even in the United States and Canada, police often act in military capacities (and vice versa in emergency situations). In the United States, the National Guard is basically the home based army, intended to protect their states and cities in case of riot, invasion, or special circumstances as ordered by the governor of each state. Since World War 2, National Guard units have been activated and merged into regular army and air force battalions for special services and combat. Because most, or all, of the occupations above require a loyalty oath to the city, county, state and/or federal government, that in itself is a cause for concern by and objected to by the Watchtower Society. If you have to wear a firearm or use a night-stick to do your job, some elder is going to object to your employment. It is true that in recent years, a few Jehovah's Witnesses have either taken jobs as prison guards, armored car guards, bank guards, or private security officers. That is because jobs have been scarce and those occupations continue to be growth industries. The Watchtower Society and local congregations have given them a waiver and allowed them to take those jobs as a "matter of conscience." However, no Jehovah's Witness can accept military assignments in any branch of the service - because it would violate Jehovah's Witness conscientious objector status and political neutrality rules of conduct. It is for those same reasons that they do not run for or accept political offices, campaign, or vote. The biggest problems for Jehovah's Witnesses has been application for and acceptance of certain government jobs that are considered gray areas. These might include court bailiffs, park rangers, search and rescue teams that report to local police or fire departments. The same issues apply to law enforcement support jobs such as coroner's assistants and criminal forensics technicians. You can see why being a Jehovah's Witness is not an easy thing - especially when it involves finding a job or deciding on a career path. If to keep your job means that you have to salute the flag, sign a loyalty oath, work with the military in some capacity, or serve in a public office - then you are probably going to get some flack eventually from more conservative elders and JW upper management such as Circuit Overseers and above. Let's take a very typical example: A Jehovah's Witness could, within his own conscience, work as a professional City Manager, City Planner, or run a city utility. But he could not run for mayor, city councilman, county supervisor or alderman. Why the difference? Even though many of these jobs are very similar, the first three would be considered non-political professional positions; the others would be political positions. Of course the Watchtower can not provide any biblical support for their reasoning. Matthew was a tax collector (a political assignment), Cornelius was a Roman centurion (soldier). Luke was a doctor. The Bible does not indicate that they resigned their positions when they converted. Joseph (Jacob's youngest son) served as a high ranking officer in pharaoh's court. Many prophets and leaders were soldiers, kings, army officers and scouts, and judges. Jehovah's Witnesses would lead you to believe that all early Christians did was preach the good news and proselytize the nations of the known world. They did some of that, but they were also farmers, tradesmen, craftsmen, and government employees. When Roman emperors needed to fight battles, there would be wide conscription of men and boys over 12 years old to be soldiers or support for the armies and navies. There is no record of wide persecution of Christians because of their occupations or because they refused to serve in the army, but rather for their belief that the emperor was not a god and they could not worship or bend a knee to a false god. It was their unique beliefs that brought on persecution. This subject used to draw a lot of commentary and instruction in Watchtower publications and public talks. In recent years the Watchtower leadership has been very quiet on these issues. This dates back a few decades when a firestorm of debate arose when the Governing Body gave conflicting guidelines to Malawian and Mexican JWs. The Malawians suffered much persecution and even deaths, while the Mexicans simply paid a bribe and suffered no repercussions. There is much documentation on these subjects. The real question for many Jehovah's Witnesses is what does their own conscience tell them to do? It's hard to know what to do when you try to make sense of the Watchtower's Pharisaic approach to everything. John Hoyle Editor,

  • InquiryMan

    beards, I guess, are more a cultural than organizational issue.. E.g. elders in Denmark, Ireland and the Netherlands have beards.

  • BluesBrother

    Wt 05 12/15 p30 (Do You Remember?)

    "Can a Christian maintain a good conscience if he accepts armed employment?

    Engaging in secular work that requires carrying a firearm or another weapon is a personal decision. But armed employment exposes one to possible bloodguilt if one uses the weapon and to the danger of injury or death from an attack or reprisal. A Christian carrying such a weapon would not qualify for special privileges in the congregation. (1 Timothy 3:3, 10)—11/1, page 31."

    In the U K we always used to have a smug complacency about this because the Police are not armed in their normal duties. Nowadays though , more and more "Special Duties" arise in which Police are armed and a lot of Police have firearms training. The above answer is a little vague since if a Police Officer was placed in a life threatening situation with an armed suspect, I cannot see a BOE finding him guilty of bloodguilt....unless they disliked him , I suppose!. weapons should only be used as a last resort.

    Having said that I must remember the tragic case of Mr Jean Charles de Menezes who was shot by maybe I contradict myself

    I have not known any active dubs who were Police Officers , I knew one who had quit the job when he became a Witness

  • Vanderhoven7

    Thanks, especially for providing the quote BluesBrother.

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