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JW’s are now allowed to have beards and publicly preach....

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On 7/17/2019 at 7:57 AM, JOHN BUTLER said:

Why would anyone have a beard ban ?

Cultural Reasons to some, for all customs are not the same as others.

On 7/17/2019 at 7:57 AM, JOHN BUTLER said:

Does it mean something special ?

Yes, to some, be it positive and or negative, and or a form of honor and or disrespect to the point a person will converse and or interact with you or the other way around. It usually depends on the group of people.

On 7/17/2019 at 7:57 AM, JOHN BUTLER said:

I think it is strange for white people to have dreadlocks but each to their own idea.

It isn't strange, but it is seen as something negative by some people.

On 7/17/2019 at 7:57 AM, JOHN BUTLER said:

But to ban a growth of hair which is a natural thing.

Well you'd have to be concerning of someone's culture and what some among them do.

An example, for people of my Father's country, if you say to a parent "you have a nice baby" or "a nice boy/girl/child" and or calling them handsome or something of the sort, it is a sign of disrespect and that increases to major levels due to what that implies. For you can be seen as a Lugauro or a sosye ( a witch) who preys on children; the reaction of the parent and or guardian would go into protection of their kids by pretty much expelling themselves from your presence.

On 7/17/2019 at 7:57 AM, JOHN BUTLER said:

Surely it is the shaving of hair that is unnatural ?

In the end you have to understand and honor the views of those who are not of the same group or nation as you.

 

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6 hours ago, Anna said:

What's this about allowed/not allowed to have a beard? You can do what you want. You will just be limited in what privileges you get in some congregations. So it's up to you. Thankfully sisters don't have beard restrictions. A sister with a beard can still pioneer 😀

@Anna There is a  'lady' here in Sidmouth Devon, (here where i live) and she has dreadlocks and beard growth. She is rather rotund and scruffily dressed. She's an antiques dealer so we have known her through the trade, she speaks quite posh. She immediately came to mind when you mentioned 'sisters with a beard'. 

But back on topic. I had to laugh at your sentences 2 and 3.

Quote 2. You can do what you want. 3. You will just be limited in what privileges you get in some congregations

This falls apart for two reasons. 1. it is like blackmail. 2. the system should be exactly the same in every congregation earthwide. Otherwise the Org is basing it's decisions on the 'traditions of men' 

There is no scriptural reason why any man in JW Org should not have a beard. So as i say it then becomes 'traditions of men'. 

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On 3/21/2017 at 5:43 AM, Arauna said:

I love a neat looking beard!  Scruffy ones - noooooo.   Unfortunately it is very easy to let a beard go wild.  It takes constant care it seems..... I have no experience regarding this so I better shut up! -  although the menopause stray hairs have started developing and this also takes some care!

 

Overly righteous.docx

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2 minutes ago, Colin Browne said:
2 minutes ago, Colin Browne said:
2 minutes ago, Colin Browne said:

“Do not be overly righteous, nor show yourself excessively wise. Why should you bring ruin to yourself?” (Eccl. 7:16)

As imperfect humans many set personal standards for righteousness, with little consideration for the needs of others.

 

There were only two experiences with beards during my 63 years in Jehovah’s service.

The first was during the 70’s when a musician and wife began attending meetings.

The man had short neat beard, and was soon told that he should comply to our society’s standards.

 

His wife’s tried to explain that the beard was merely to cover the distortion of his face,

but the elders insisted that the beard must go. They stopped attending meetings a short while later. 

 

The second experience began circa 2012 when I became very attached to a new bearded brother

whose wife was already baptised, and we have been sharing in the ministry for the past seven years.

He was later told that he would not be qualify for advancement if continued wearing the beard.

 

My friend continued wearing the beard, and I had mixed feelings about the matter.

We are since allowed the brothers to wear beards, and my friend recently became a ministerial servant.

……………………..

 

 

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@Anna Likewise the culture and customs for some, reasons why what is done in countries that is unknown to majority of outsiders, be it British folk, Americans, etc if done in the UK or America is is seen as normal.

That being said, I had short dreadlocks for a long time when I was very young into the age of 12, I chose to point them. One of my biggest problems was my hair always got in my eyes. The only good thing about the ridiculous amount of biotin in my system is I do not have to worry about going bald, as some around my age, 20s, are suffering from. Sadly even, I see women with this issue of baldness. Either genetics for some or high levels of D.H.T. (Dihydrotestosterone) byproduct. I do have a beard though, but it is very short, and at times, I do choose to cut it, if in my father's country in some parts, if I visit, I do cut it due to culture reasons and to show some respect.

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To make a very long story very short, almost to the point of abbreviation .... and trying to stay on topic ....

In the past 57 years, I have been in the "little back room, Room 101", about 17 times, being "counseled" by Elders that did not like "something" about me ... that I worked a lot of overtime, that I rode a Honda 350 motorcycle to the Kingdom Hall, that I "refused" to provide a telephone for my wife,  ad nauseum ... and I REALLY HATE BULLIES! ... but I digress ... and about 8 or so of those times it was to get me to cut off my beard.  One time it was because of my mustache. During the 60's it was because my hair came down just perceptively below the collar.

In one congregation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I had no problem with the beard ... and even got a recommendation letter to go work at the Bethel Branch Office construction in Peru ... and in all others, I was castigated, and even forbidden to go out in Service until I shaved off my beard.

After eight discussions, and no valid scriptural reasoning, all joy in doing what I was doing was destroyed ... but it bothered me A LOT that stuff like this was being inflicted on the global Brotherhood, in almost EVERY congregation I had ever attended. 

If they could do it to me... they WERE doing it to other Brothers ... and things similar to this.

Based on all available real evidence, it seemed to me that in order to be a watchtower approved Elder you had to be qualified as follows:

1.) clueless

2.) petty

3.) irrational

4.be a "Company Man", through and through.

5.) and have no pangs of conscience whatsoever for being a bully.

To be fair, I have also run across Engineers and Doctors that shared these traits, but they did not operate in an environment that ENCOURAGED this behavior.

The other day I mentioned in a comment that I envied Anna, and she replied that she knew that ... because she still seems to have the joy in the Truth that has been systematically beaten out of me.

I miss the man I used to be.

A lot!

I did have a choice, however ... either "get with the program", or keep my self respect.

It has gotten better over the years, but only marginally, but I have endured things far, far worse that these things I have mentioned ... and I will endure things like this also.

When my Dad died, about ten years ago, he asked me to shave off my beard ...  he also never liked it .... and  I have been clean shaven since then.

I loved my Dad.

I HATE BULLIES!

I am 72 now, and in marginal health .... and can see the end of the "conveyor belt" on which I stand, and it bothers me.

I am too old and fragile to carry on my back bags of heavy stones for someone else's entertainment.

 

 

 

 

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41 minutes ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

...and I will endure things like this also.

  "But the one who has endured to the end will be saved". ( Matthew 24:13)

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

A lot of people think that Rutherford started the no-beard policy as a control measure to make sure that the Russellite cult was weeded out from among the Bible Students.

The first time I have heard this. Interesting thought.

 

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16 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

So as i say it then becomes 'traditions of men'. 

It's not so much about the traditions of men but more about not stumbling someone, the principle of which Paul spoke about in 1Cor 8:13. "That is why if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat at all, so that I will not make my brother stumble". Some communities really have something against beards, and others do not. Therefor it is up to the elders in each congregation and country to discern if a brother wearing a beard could somehow stumble someone, whether a JW or not. As Space Merchant said, a lot of it is down to culture and also down to respect for others. JTR shaved his beard off to make his dad happy. Nothing wrong with that. It's all about unselfishness really, and putting the other persons interest first. That is a Christ like trait. 

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On 7/19/2019 at 5:26 AM, Anna said:

You will just be limited in what privileges you get in some congregations.

SOME congregations. We don't have a beard restriction. Neat, tidy, well-groomed, free of food debris, vermin etc. is important, but having one is personal.

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9 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

she still seems to have the joy in the Truth that has been systematically beaten out of me. I miss the man I used to be.

Someone dear to me got much mileage out of the expression: “Jehovah never lets you down. People let you down, but Jehovah never lets you down.”

This is a better take than on how another brother put it. His observation was meant to be cynical and humorous, and whether it was a factor or not, he didn’t stick with the faith”

”The truth is such a beautiful thing. It’s a shame Jehovah had to waste it on people.”

The two statements are not that far apart. The first simply implies an element of forgiveness that the other does not.

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13 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

I am too old and fragile to carry on my back bags of heavy stones for someone else's entertainment.

I am so sorry.  My bearded husband suffered similar; persuaded by the elder body to become a ministerial servant and then an elder; as they recognized his abilities to “lead”, and their dire need for someone who could.  Then, beat up by other elders for having one…for a good many years.  He was even accused of turning a congregation “apostate”.  It is no wonder our children refuse to search out truth, since they saw only distress and suffering put upon their parents by the treacherous acts of “Jehovah’s organization”. 

Isa 28:5-13

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1 hour ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

,,, My beard was neat, well groomed, 

In my opinion, the "beard issue" was one of the stupidest stands that hung us up for far too long, and I am so glad to see that it has finally been addressed. I wish it had been done long ago. It caused loyal ones like Anna to go into contortions trying to explain it:

12 hours ago, Anna said:

It's not so much about the traditions of men but more about not stumbling someone, the principle of which Paul spoke about in 1Cor 8:13. "That is why if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat at all, so that I will not make my brother stumble". Some communities really have something against beards, and others do not. Therefor it is up to the elders in each congregation and country to discern if a brother wearing a beard could somehow stumble someone, whether a JW or not. 

The verses of Paul and eating meat seldom applied in the U.S, from where I write. There would be a few off-the-grid places where they would, but mostly they did not. Paul was concerned about stumbling new ones and unbelievers. Mature ones would not be stumbled by his eating meat that had been sacrificed to an idol.

With beards, the situation was the complete opposite. New ones and unbelievers generally had no problem with them, but mature ones would balk. It made no sense.  Though nowhere forbidden by scripture or Bible principles, no "rule" was applied with more vigor than the "no beard" rule, and I am glad to see it go.

It is working out pretty much as I thought it would. It is gradual. Brothers progress to the point of qualifying for privileges, but there are some elder bodies who say: "Yeah, but he has a beard." "That doesn't matter," says the C.O, and the brother is appointed.

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