Christians are supposed to follow only one standard. That standard is the Word of God. While most of us aim to abide by the standard, some would rather go by a double standard. Each of us are in different levels in our faith walk. Some have given their lives to Christ eons ago, but the harsh reality is that seniority does not always equate to spiritual maturity. It is applying what we learn through countless trial and error and taking the necessary steps to correct it that marks spiritual progress in cooperation with the Holy Spirit.
Going by a double standard is the culprit that we are left with a powerless church today.
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.”
2 Timothy 3:1-9
having a form of godliness but denying its power – We can appear nice to people, but when we get to a point where we can never be corrected, we are walking on dangerous grounds. We deny godliness when we deem ourselves above others. Even Jesus Christ, the Creator of the Universe humbled Himself into the likeness of a man (Philippians 2:7-8).
We are reminded in Hebrews 3:12-13,
“See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
Enter the double standard: The minute a believer stands firmly in this principle, the believer who desires to see his/her brother and sister’s restoration becomes the ultimate Pharisee, while the person who is clearly walking away from God’s righteousness becomes the good guy. This is why the church of Christ is without power today. The double standard tosses away the only standard as sin continues to corrupt the church. It is never wrong to point out sin as long as you know you are in right standing with God and we are admonished to do this privately (Matthew 18:15), but as we read on, this gets interesting.
“But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”
if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector – Ultimately, only God knows the heart, but Jesus says here that if the person refuses to listen to a public rebuke within a body of believers, clearly, the person is hardened to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. That person might not even be saved yet, hence “treat them as you would a pagan.”
Do you or someone you know go by a double standard? If so, today is the day to revert to the ONLY standard, God’s Word.