Ok, slight exaggeration: specifically, an official recording of the July 25th, 2016 midweek meeting in German Sign Language downloaded from stream.jw.org, (log-in required), includes a brother with a beard giving one of the talks:
Brother with a beard on jw.org!
So what? Beards on the platform is OK in many European countries.
Then why is it such a no- no in western lands , such as Australia , the UK ,N.Z ,U.S.A.,Canada , to name a few.
They are paranoid about brothers having a beard , and come down quite heavily against it .
I know because I tried at least 3 times in as many states, in my 33 years as a JW to sport one and each time the heavy hand of the society came down on me.
So why is it /should it be , any different for JW`s in European Countries ?
Do Jehovahs Witnesses have different standards for their members in different Countries ?
What is allowed /permissable in one country is not allowed /permissable in another country ?
And vice versa ?
Are their double standards practiced around the world in the Kingdom Halls around the world ? by the Elders ?
Yes, double standards are practiced. I also wanted to grow a beard but was told I'd look like a Muslim. (Wth?) They argue that in the Western culture (North America, for instance) beards are not appropriate, which is complete bullsh**. All you need to do in Canada is go outside, and you'll see dozens of people with beards, and nobody bothers them in any way. When I was in high school, there were also plenty of Canadian students with beards. Nobody cared. Our culture does accept beards, so I have no idea what the hell is wrong with Jehovah's Witnesses and their brains.
It would seem they are sending a message.
TOH is right, "lots of elders" in Europe have beards. But it was strictly forbidden to ever appear on stage at a Circuit Assembly or Regional Convention with one.
Appearing on "JW Broadcast", potentially seen by millions, would seem to outrank even a RC part, seen by a few thousand. And now there is an elder with a beard right there in the broadcast.
I was unimpressed by the "beard article" in the September WT, but maybe they are softening their stand after all?
Let's see if they put a beard on a "good guy" in an upcoming study WT. That would open the floodgates.
I have heard about 'brothers' having beards in European countries, but this is the first time I've actually seen it 'officially'. I've never understood why it wasn't allowed, especially now that beards are more than just a passing fad, but here to stay. It's common to see people have beards in everyday life... from teachers to judges to business people. Keep it clean cut and shaved and there should be no problem, right? The issue I have is the double standard, especially if we were all one UNITED group of witnesses. I remember as a teen getting counselled by a brother in the Hall for having the "5 o'clock shadow" (or in other words, hadn't shaved in 2-3 days and had short stubble).
I started growing my first one about a month ago and an elder asked if i was growing a beard. I told him "yep, figured i'd give it a try since i've never had one". He didn't say anything else. The other elders have avoided me so far and a few people have said they like it. One sister came up and asked me "what is that on your face!?" I asked her if she would say the same to Jesus if he was here. I then told her there are no rules against them.
One sister came up and asked me "what is that on your face!?"
LOL that's a good one! Did you tell her that she should study her publications a bit more?
How will they distinguish "worldly" men in the publications if JWs have a beard?