Beards - September 2016 Watchtower

by Listener 98 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Listener

    The issue of whether beards are acceptable or not is addressed in the September 2016 Watchtower - well sort of. It is as clear as mud as to whether they are allowed in places like Australia, USA and Britain.

    17. What are some factors that may affect whether a brother wears a beard?
    17 What about the propriety of brothers wearing a beard? The Mosaic Law required men to wear a beard. However, Christians are not under the Mosaic Law, nor are they obliged to observe it. (Lev. 19:27; 21:5;Gal. 3:24, 25) In some cultures, a neatly trimmed beard may be acceptable and respectable, and it may not detract at all from the Kingdom message. In fact, some appointed brothers have beards. Even so, some brothers might decide not to wear a beard. (1 Cor. 8:9,13; 10:32) In other cultures or localities, beards are not the custom and are not considered acceptable for Christian ministers. In fact, having one may hinder a brother from bringing glory to God by his dress and grooming and his being irreprehensible.—Rom. 15:1-3;1 Tim. 3:2, 7.
    Funny how they say on one hand that even though the Mosaic law made it a requirement for men to have beards they say this about a different matter only a few paragraphs earlier.  Here they say that the law must be followed

    The Law showed Jehovah’s strong feelings against clothing that does not make clear the distinction between male and female—what has been described in our day as unisex fashion. (ReadDeuteronomy 22:5.) From God’s stated direction about clothing, we clearly see that God is not pleased with styles of dress that feminize men, that make women look like men, or that make it hard to see the difference between men and women.

    This following statement seems to be the qualifier as to whether beards are acceptable or not.

    In other cultures or localities, beards are not the custom and are not considered acceptable for Christian ministers.

    I don't know of any culture or locality that does not generally accept men having beards, it may not be a widely practiced custom but it doesn't need to be done by the majority to be a custom. I wonder when it became important for Christians to even follow local customs?

    As for it not being considered acceptable for Christian ministers in certain areas, this is just nonsense. It is a self created, unspoken idea that has evolved from Rutherfords time that makes Elders consider it to be unacceptable. They are basically sanctioning locally made rules.

    Although it gives the impression (from the scriptures quoted) that those Brothers with 'titles' are being singled out, all Brothers are considered to be Christian ministers. So if the local Elders don't consider it to be acceptable then that's the law.

    So much for their earlier comments made in Para 4
    We do not need detailed lists saying which styles of dress are acceptable and which are objectionable. Rather, we are guided by Scriptural principles that allow room for personal preferences.
    I think there will be a lot of fall out from this as the GB have been far from clear.
  • sherrie11

    Hm customs are usually related to traditions I thought jdubs didn't follow traditions. Traditions and customs are usually related to some lost religious traditions and cultures. The dubs are supposed tone united without country boundaries. They are one in the trooth.

  • punkofnice

    May, may, may. Is that all they can say? No real direction here in writing. No doubt the fashion police will still be ruling from behind the lines. I'll wager that beards will still be banned by the bully boys in control.

    From God’s stated direction about clothing, we clearly see that God is not pleased .....

    Let's leave it there. Why is god sucha sensitive mardy pants?

  • smiddy

    Why for the love of me do the WTB&TS make such an issue over men having a beard ?

    It`s absurd .

    It was a requirement for Old Testament /Hebrew Scripture men to have a beard according to Jehovah`s Law.

    Christ Jesus , his Disciples ,his Apostles , and the Jews at that time all had beards in accordance with the law.

    Where in the scriptures does it say that GOD/Jehovah now disapproves of men having a beard , where does it say that in the Bible.?

    While we are not under law , does not mean we reject everything that was under law. since becoming Christians.


  • zeb

    Whats all this about men with beards. Surely it should be people with beards as I have never seen a woman with a beard.

    and "Local customs"..? since when did they matter.

  • Lieu


    In one section, "Christians are not under Mosaic Law nor are they obliged to observe it." (We don't want you to have a beard, you don't have to follow the Law)

    Next section, "The Law showed...." ( God is not pleased with unisex, so we don't want you to wear it, follow the Law)


  • Listener

    There is another mention in relation to customs in the article and they state -

    Of course, some clothing that is appropriate in one place may not be appropriate in another. Hence, Jehovah’s people throughout the world take local customs into account so as not to cause offense.

    There are a number of things JWs do that are not local customs and cause offense. One of them is knocking on people's doors at 9.30am on the weekend. Another is their practice of shunning. Beards are not one of them.

  • Phizzy

    No real change here from the nonsense they came out with years ago.

    But what is contained now in the Instructions for Conventions regarding using someone with a Beard on the Platform ?

    These Instructions were invoked in years gone  regardless of local custom, so no men with beards were used, in one Country I know of they were used to make an Elder shave off his beard simply so he could run one of the Departments at the Convention, he did not have a Platform part.

    What appears in the W.T is trumped by such hidden writings.

  • oppostate

    There's probably more and more JW's waking up and questioning this Rutherfordian no-beards doctrine. Something needed to be said and as usual the WT vomits a lot of words saying basically nothing much.

  • stuckinarut2

    Double speak YET AGAIN!

    Man made imposed writings that go beyond the scriptures!

    As Jesus said "they are making the word of god invalid by their traditions"

    Seriously, the fact they have this article proves it has been a topic of much dissention, especially as the hipster fashion influence has been so popular.

    We all know the REALITY behind these issues of dress and grooming though: Unless a brother is a CLONE of the styles of the local circuit elders, he will be viewed as having an attitude or being self-willed or rebellious for having a beard. Simple.

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