Breaking: Beards in The Watchtower
by neat blue dog 38 Replies latest watchtower beliefs
Pete ZahutWhole beards aren't officially sanctioned by the Governing Body however the wearing of beard fractions is left up to ones bible trained conscience.
Nothing but a clever scheme to convince unsuspecting Middle Eastern persons (persons who may help the GB acquire very valuable real estate) that beards are acceptable. We all know beards are NOT allowed.
Where are the Middle Eastern Eldubs who have beards???
We all know that this man ( let’s call him Andre’ ) will be pressured to shave what facial hair he has, except for a mustache..
Beards are accepted here, even for ms and elders in Holland.
more and more beards to be spotted on brothers even in position of service in middle europe as well
however, I know still some who look at it with suspicion, which prompts the stumbling card for some
I have a Letter from the early '70's, somewhere in my Files, from Bethel on the matter, it is the usual mealy mouthed stuff, but even back then they said that in certain parts of the World and Cultures it was acceptable.
But they said it would be up to the Elders to decide if they appointed someone with a Beard, to a "position of responsibility". Of course you were as usual subject to the prejudices of local Elders.
I grew a beard shortly after receiving that letter, I was an M.S. at the time, nothing was said by the Elders, which was strange because a few month earlier I had been "counselled" about the length of my sideburns ! yet, let that develop in to a full beard and they say nothing ??
I served for nearly 20 years with a beard, and used to give "Away" Public talks at the time, it was made plain to me that I would never be used on the Platform at a Convention, even for something like a F.S "experience", and yet in later years, after my beard was shaved off actually, they used a lovely old boy in an experience at our Circuit Convention, wearing his rather scruffy beard, so were obviously more relaxed then.
When I was told you could not go on the Platform with one, I asked to see it in writing, and the bro I was talking to whipped out the Instructions for Handling Assembly Parts or whatever it was called, and there it was, by the Org, with very doubtful Scriptures to back it up, and faulty reasoning too, "People may think you are an Anarchist" or similar. In my Culture at the time, in the U.K, the only people wearing beards were generally Professional guys, and Academics, so that being in those Instructions went against the letter that I had on File, but, I didn't care, I didn't want to go on a Convention Part anyway.
A couple of times I started to grow a beard and it was tolerated for about 2 weeks or so and then the PO/ Elders came down on me to get it off ,in the case of the PO it was influenced by the hippie types and was a stumbling block,and in the case of the Elder he said it was narcisstic looking at yourself in the mirror grooming your beard
The objection to beards I suppose was when it still carried the idea that if you didn't shave you were a member of the great unwashed. The Wolrd Wars set the syle for minimal hair presence including being clean shaven. Militarism had no time for personal expressions in grooming when the demands of battle are focussed on obeying orders-- exactly as it is in the JW cult.
The really obvious symbolism of being clean shaven is the JW policy of cultivating the appearances of good religious people, if you look wholesome in a clean cut American way, then the religion looks attractive they think. Jesus condemned "appearances", whitewashed graves he called those who look clean and righteous but like Watchtower governing body policies, they conceal awful things.
By the way GB member Van Ambergh had a beard up until his death about 1947.
Come on,...... we have to stop living in the past. True, the WTS used to have an issue with beards. I saw enough of that in my home congregation in the 70s and 80s . But things have moved on .
Nowadays a neat beard is perfectly acceptable and it is time we gave this matter a rest.
I remember reading somewhere, I think it was in one of PSL Johnson's books, that there was a huge bruhaha about beards when Rutherford took over. In the Russell time, just about all the Bible Student men had a beard. It was customary at the time, and Russell had one. Rutherford made just about all the men at Bethel shave theirs off and go clean shaven. It became a way of showing loyalty to Rutherford, and was part of the distancing from the Russellite faction that culminated in the expulsion of the 4 directors, and later the discarding of many of the Russell teachings.
I never heard this story of beard. Perhaps because I was too young (I left in 1998, age 19)