forgot the the starred ***link to the wt study for last Sunday. This implies that there are necessary rules. The link directly below is from 1982 and is
quite comprehensive about rules.
Rules necessary for proper order in individual congregations,
selected by the BOE, that is why mustaches may be allowed is some congregations and
rules for life in Bethel, not necessarily applicable in the general
congregation (rules within a family for example can be set by the family head,
the WTS that Bethelites are a family in that case)
Some rules are specifically for the congregation’s good. For
instance, in the past some Christians could speak in tongues. Paul directed
that only two or three of them speak on an occasion, that they take turns, and
that a translator be present—rules that promoted peace and order. (1 Corinthians
14:26-33) Similarly, the
elders of a congregation today might provide directions about keeping Kingdom
Hall exits clear, not saving seats needlessly, or parking vehicles with
consideration for neighbors and safety. Such congregational rules are not
unscriptural for they have the same purpose (peace and good order) as did Paul’s
advice about tongues. Related to this is the Biblical advice: “Be obedient to
those who are taking the lead among you.” (Hebrews 13:17) Since our avoiding sins such as lying or stealing involves
obedience to God, this text must
refer to our obeying the elders’ guidance in congregational matters. Nor is it
difficult to do so if they are not legislatively “lording it over those who are
God’s inheritance.”—1 Peter 5:3.
must we avoid making unnecessary rules?
not make unnecessary rules. If
elders make unnecessary rules, they will create a burden for others. Brother
Juraj Kaminský recalled what took place during the ban in former
Czechoslovakia: “After the responsible brothers and many elders were arrested,
some of those taking the lead in congregations and circuits began prescribing
rules of conduct for the publishers, making lists of dos and don’ts.” Jehovah
has not given us authority to make personal decisions for others. Someone who
makes needless rules is not protecting his brother’s safety—he is trying to
become the master of his brother’s faith.—2 Cor.