What is their official explanation for not allowing beards?
I ask because my GF, who knows all about my JW upbringing, convinced me to grow a goatee, just to see how it looks. We both decided it looked good so I decided to keep it. I tried to explain to her that as a JW, I wasn't allowed to grow one, but then drew a blank when she asked me why.
Because it makes a guy look like a dam filthy ape.
The official reason is this. The Org (GB) set policies against beards. By refusing to obey the GB you place yourself against Jehovah EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to do so.
It is a test of Loyalty and Obedience.
So the official reason was "Because we said so"? Did they ever give a more in-depth explanation in print, I guess is what I'm asking.
In the '70s there was a WT which mentioned beards in the same sentence as hippies.
In the 2010's there was a WT which correlated beards with pirates.
No-one wants to be a hippy pirate, so beards are banned.
Actually there has never been a letter, publication or rule to say you can't have a beard.
The nearest they come to formalising it is if you are a convention speaker then you can't have one.
Read the Theocratic School book and it just talks about being neat and clean.
Every ruling at a congregation level comes from an implied reading of disapproval from the WT's that I mentioned above.
Last printed article was some time in the 70's, IIRC, relating an experience of a JW who went out in serve-us with a beard, and the lady at the door told him to go away because she didn't want to get involved in a "student revolt".
I know that sounds so stupid it has to be made up, but honest to FSM, they haven't published anything on beards for 40+ years and I'm virtually certain that was nearly the last if not the very last thing they published.
When the big one comes and billions of people are going up in flame, Angels
may not be able to distinguish you from a worldly person because of your beard.
Try telling that to a person with a healthy mind.
This was told to me in the 70's when the issue of mustaches came up.
Law handed down orally. Enforced by elders and peer pressure.
Circuit overseer told the story in one of those 'OBEY or else' talks about an elder from a foreign country who came to the US. He had a beard, the local elders thought it looked fine, no action taken. Along comes the CO who chided the elders for allowing it. Made them tell the bearded elder to lose it or be removed. Why? As the CO said in the talk, 'It's just not done. What is more important? Following rules or demanding personal rights?' The CO was happy to report that the bearded elder shaved his beard and fell in line with rest of the sheep.
I asked an elder about it one time. He gave me the 'don't want to give the org a bad rep' excuse. He then went on to explain how large corporations have grooming rules for employees. They don't want exposed tattoos, body piercings, facial hair, etc etc. All about the reputation of the corporation. That was the day I finally realized that I wasn't a member of the one true religion, but an unpaid employee for a publishing company.
A study made great progress.
Over a period of years he came to all the meetings, joined the TMS, wanted to go out on the ministry.
Elders took him in the back room and said he had to lose the well groomed and dignified beard.
Study quit associating - never seen again. True story.
To the elders, enforcing an unwritten rule beyond their jurisdiction was more important than saving a soul.
BTW, how many 1,000's of hours does it take to bring in just one convert?