Guidance for Life
It is important for Jehovah’s Witnesses to live in the service of God. The Bible serves as a ‘moral code’ for members, who also apply their ‘Biblically-trained conscience’ to ethical issues they face. Members are also expected to accept all doctrines established by the Governing Body. As a result, the Jehovah’s Witnesses lifestyle is one that could be considered socially conservative: great importance is placed on married life, marital fidelity and family values; keeping the right company or avoiding ‘harmful associations’ is stressed; as is living a modest lifestyle, with the values of hard work but for the benefit of cooperation, rather than competitiveness; employment is usually trade-based and must not be contrary to the faith, such as working in a betting shop, politics, or trades which involve arms. Alcohol is permitted in moderation but not tobacco or recreational drugs. Dress should also be modest, tattoos are disapproved of, as are beards in the UK context. Jehovah’s Witnesses see themselves as ‘in but not of the world’, and therefore to a degree separate themselves from wider society.