A term that we’ve all heard out entire life is “double standard.” We heard it when referencing everything from the workplace, politics, and yes, even the church. Double standards can mean several different things, but we will attempt to narrow it down in this column.
In the workplace, it is quite common that certain employees seem to be given a slide when it comes to job performance and punctuality, while others are watched like a hawk and are expected to be perfect in those areas. We’ve all known of those who were fired for the same things that others have done. Workplace company rules give companies wide-ranging powers to discriminate without having to give an explanation.
In the State of Alabama, where I live, one can be terminated from a job without cause or reason. The law says that firings can happen with the employer’s discretion, and they are not required by law to disclose their reasoning.
In the quagmire of politics, it may be the most easy to recognize. Not only is a double standard quite common, but no attempt is made to hide it anymore. Part of this is because they have done it so long and so often that they don’t see the error of their ways. Part of it also is because our modern-day secular media continues to give them a free pass and even be part of it.
If you are a Democrat, you are the darlings of the media for the most part, and your “sins” are swept under the rug or grossly underreported. If you are a Republican, that same “sin” usually calls for a lynching from the nearest tree. The common-sense law, “Innocent until proven guilty” quickly becomes “Guilty and we don’t care if you’re innocent.”
Also, when it comes to politics, the truth doesn’t matter to the elitists in Washington or the mainstream secular media. There is no real investigative reporting anymore.
Sadly, the double standard dilemma has gripped the church in a horrendous way. It has always been prevalent, but now has become quite commonplace in many denominations and congregations.
Bishops, pastors, preachers, elders and deacons have and should be held to a higher standard within the church. That is a Biblical principle. But believing there is a different set of rules within the church just because you are one of these is wrong.
Oftentimes, the children of these church leaders are given a free pass and their wrongdoings in the church itself are dismissed. Many times, it is because the congregants of these men or women don’t want to lose those families to their churches, so they look the other way.
On the flip side of that coin, church folks can be the most critical of these spiritual leaders. They expect them and their children to be perfect and never make any mistakes. Never mind that they and their children may be much worse. This is one of the worst double standards to me.
I’ve seen pastors lose their jobs because they preached against sin, and the congregants didn’t like the fact that they were convicted. They didn’t want to have to stare the cold hard facts in the face and admit that what they or their families are engaging in is very wrong.
You may think that you have a difficult job, but it doesn’t even come close to what a pastor has to endure. He or she must be on call 24/7. They must look a certain way, and God forbid that they appear “human” in some way. They are constantly walking on eggshells for fear that Sister “Gotcha” will point out their flaws. They never know when the deacon board will meet and fire them on the spot for preaching against their sins.
This kind of double standard within the church is the very reason so many are leaving mainline denominational churches and looking to get away from this kind of treachery. It is sickening and it has to stop!
Having a double standard within any entity only causes the integrity of the entire process to be watered down or made weaker. In the workplace, it causes morale to get worse. In politics, it causes people to give up on voting or speaking out against this injustice. In the church, it causes people to give up on going to the house of God.
It’s time for all of us to experience a wake-up call. It’s easy to point the “sin” out in other people’s lives. Maybe it’s time for us all to do some “soul searching” and see if we aren’t the guilty ones.