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

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On 7/20/2019 at 7:31 PM, JOHN BUTLER said:

Yes and to think they let congregants smoke tobacco into the 1970's without a problem, even though they knew it was totally wrong in the late 1800's.  But no beards, just to prove they were the boss. It's called dictatorship, nothing else. 

 to quote TTH " Though nowhere forbidden by scripture or Bible principles, no "rule" was applied with more vigor than the "no beard" rule, "

Dictatorship Tom. Domineering at it's best. 

They never allowed smoking into the 1970's - that was when it was banned, and one could be disfellowshiped if known to smoke. I was in the Malvern congregation in Gauteng during 1956 and was among the smokers.

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1 hour ago, Anna said:

So, what book is that?

The past cannot be changed - only the future.

“But the path of the righteous is like the bright morning light That grows brighter and brighter until full daylight. 

The way of the wicked is like the darkness; They do not know what makes them stumble.” (Prov. 4:18, 19)

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13 hours ago, Jack Ryan said:

Much more productive than spending your time as a people wondering if beards are ok or why you are all forced to wear suits and ties for walking down the street.

Reminds me that the Bethel Elder who was also the head of Purchasing, at Bethel, and who worked for Dean Songer in 1979, suddenly came back from a two week vacation with a beard, very well trimmed, and short. He actually looked better with the beard, too. But everyone knew what would happen to him. For one thing, Dean Songer wore a crewcut and a thin black tie, so he always looked like one of those guys in the Houston control room during a Gemini or early Apollo flight.

An article had come out at (about) the exact same time that he grew the beard, which made him seem "rebellious" to most of us, including me. Although I didn't know him, and it might have easily been a coincidence, since the article was no doubt accepted for publication at least two months earlier. The article said:

*** g79 4/22 pp. 27-28 When Another’s Conscience Is Involved ***
The same counsel applies when it comes to wearing beards or certain articles of clothing. In some locations people still view beards as identifying rebellious elements in society.

It was too late for the next issue, but a month later, a small "Watching the World" item was included, that did not seem like a coincidence:

*** g79 5/22 p. 30 Watching the World ***
The U.S. Supreme Court recently let stand a District Court ruling that a supermarket chain has the right to maintain its “no beards” rule for some employees. A man who was fired for refusal to shave had brought suit. He said he has a skin disease common among black men that can result in irritation or infection when short hairs curl back into the skin. The District Court had ruled that “the grocery chain had a business purpose for the rule which overrode its slight impact on employees,” according to American Medical News.
The California State Senate has ruled that, in the Senate chambers, men must wear “appropriate attire,” including coats and ties. The senator who proposed the resolution declared that “appearances are important,” and that a certain amount of dignity was expected by the public. Certainly this is also true of those who profess to represent the highest Lawmaker in the universe, Jehovah God.

The newly bearded brother in question was not black, but at the time, at least one black brother (also an elder) was asking if he could grow a beard due to a serious skin condition from ingrown whiskers after a shave. It was already beginning to be allowed in congregations in the US for some black brothers, but that allowance was considered a slippery slope.

 

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It is NOT a matter of conscience

... well, it depends on how far you want to work in the organization. Here in Spain the situation is as follows:

In many congregations one may serve as elder still wearing a beard, and therefore enjoy any other local privilege.

But that does not work for you in the neighboring congregation. It is usual for a speaker with a beard to inform when they invite him that he is wearing a beard, in case it bothers the conscience of the brothers of the congregation where he will speak.

At the circuit level, forget to have part from the platform (with beard). I know of a case that they interviewed a brother with a beard. The traveler (district) forced him to cut it if he wanted to go out in the next section. As he did not want to, they did not let him leave.

I think that in some circuit brothers with beards have served as ushers and other auxiliary works, but it has not been general. In the case of another circuit they asked the traveler about which males with beards could be ushers. Answer: "When you see one of Bethel with a beard, then. Meanwhile I do not want to be the first.

On a global level, have we seen a man with a beard in the broadcasting, or in the videos of the regional assemblies? Yes ... representing the role of non-believer, opposite husband or person in a bad spiritual state.

Result of all the previous thing: to take beard between us is a thorny subject, problematic, if you want to have to fully serve for others. If you settle for being "rank and file" maybe they do not mess with you.

If, when going to preach, people would say to me "can you wear a beard?" I will give you a short answer: yes, of course. The most extensive answer is the one I mentioned above.

A well-groomed beard in Spain is not at all a sign of rebelliousness or careless dress. The King of Spain has a beard. The previous prime minister too. When preaching, it does not attract attention.

Someone will say: "Videos and broadcasting are prepared taking into account the society or brotherhood of North America" To which I will reply that it is said again and again that the Governing Body intends an "international flavor" in our publications and videos, collecting scenes from everywhere, even the clothes. So, why is not it seen in the videos, or in the pictures in our magazines an elder directing the Watchtower study with a beard? Why are all seen with beards unbelievers? Why, when you progress, you see them shaving?

I find that it is a minor matter whether I wear a beard or not. That's why I will not leave it, to avoid more complications than the many I have in my life. But what is not a minor issue is that we are imposed the conscience of others

(2 Corinthians 1:24) “Not that we are the masters over your faith, but we are fellow workers for your joy”

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2 hours ago, ComfortMyPeople said:

Why are all seen with beards unbelievers? Why, when you progress, you see them shaving?

This had become a kind of cliche for experiences given from the assemblies. You would always hear someone say that they were learning about the truth, but that they had a beard and didn't like to dress in a suit and tie . . . and then . . . voila! . . . one day this person will show up at the Hall, and to everyone's surprise . . . he will be clean-shaven. The audience would even clap at this point, as if it were a bigger turning point than their baptism.

*** yb11 p. 117 Papua New Guinea ***
The next day, I arrived at the convention clean-shaven.

*** yb93 pp. 176-177 Honduras ***
The next day he was clean-shaven and had short hair! He asked for a Bible study, and a brother happily complied.

*** km 7/04 p. 1 par. 3 Imitate Jehovah’s Justice ***
To her pleasant surprise, the next day he was clean-shaven and had short hair! He asked for a Bible study, which a brother was happy to conduct, and progressed to dedication and baptism.

*** w12 4/1 p. 15 The Bible Changes Lives ***
. I quit overdrinking and taking drugs. I also cut my hair, shaved off my beard, and stopped dressing only in black.

*** w02 2/1 p. 27 Jehovah Taught Us Endurance and Perseverance ***
As they made spiritual progress, they came to their Bible study shaved, hair neatly combed, and wearing a shirt and tie in the middle of August—one of the hottest months in Greece!

I'm sure that most of us  know that the above examples are only a small sampling.

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8 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

that pillow thingey in front, the Sister is pointing to with astonishment, is called a "TPT Conundrum".

I was wondering what she was pointing at

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17 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:
On 7/20/2019 at 9:28 PM, Srecko Sostar said:

the hand of justice is slow but attainable ..... after cca 100 years. 

Not really.  It has been a issue only for the last 30 years,

30 years? ...this is funny i think. Issue was from Judge Rutherford era who was against Russell influence on Society. After Russell dead and after he prevailed in taking Presidency, he introducing changes (good or bad .. it is for Historians to describe) One of them is - NO beard! :))

17 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Inevitably, you surround yourselves with people who are pretty much like yourself. I don’t know it for sure, of course, with you as individuals, but it is the typical pattern that you have probably fallen into.

Thanks for such deep, contemplative inspection of other people spirit and soul :))))  In just two sentences you done amazing job. Investigative Journalism?    

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4 hours ago, ComfortMyPeople said:

The King of Spain has a beard.

I wonder if there are restrictions for a US President not to wear a beard. And if one day a US President does wear a beard, I wonder how this will affect US Witnesses.

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11 hours ago, Colin Browne said:

They never allowed smoking into the 1970's - that was when it was banned, and one could be disfellowshiped if known to smoke. I was in the Malvern congregation in Gauteng during 1956 and was among the smokers.

Ok be picky if you like. They allowed smoking until 1970. Well 1973 actually it seems. 

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