There are no standard standards. Though often touted as God’s rules or commands, people become perplexed when they go to another church within the same organization and find differences in these teachings. Though my experience with this involves the United Pentecostal Church, I’m certain it happens in other organizations.
You may have simply visited another church and observed the differences or perhaps you switched churches and are a member at a new church. Maybe you have become involved in an online discussion group and notice vast differences. Same group, different churches….. and different standards? How can standards change from church to church within the same organization, when they are taught as originating with God and the Bible?
Something is taught as wrong in one, yet wrong and a sin at another, but OK in yet another. One teaches only skirts and dresses on women, another specifies how much below the knee they must be, and another allows pants underneath in cold weather. Pants? That abomination is allowed? I thought once an abomination, always an abomination? How can it be an abomination in one church and yet not considered such in the other?
One forbids members to own a television and yet says nothing about members watching YouTube videos on smart phones. Another states all non-religious movies are off limits but some pastors have DVD collections of the latest Hollywood films. One shouts that all jewelry is wrong, even wedding rings, and another allows rings, pins and brooches.
One says a woman shouldn’t cut her hair for any reason but it isn’t a sin and another says you lose protection for your family and are lost if you do. Some teach you can dye your hair and others claim it is a sin. One allows facial hair on men and another forbids it. One says no make-up at all, that you are a Jezebel, and another allows basic foundation and cover-up. One demands sleeve length to reach the wrist, another to the elbow and yet another is fine with it between the elbow and shoulder. And the list goes on….
Aargh! It is enough to make the head spin! How can so many with ‘the truth’ be teaching so many versions of these standards, especially when they state this is what God says. Is God confused? Does He change his mind all the time? Is something a sin in one area, but ten miles away it isn’t?
These are some of the questions people face when they encounter all the differences. It is no wonder that questioning the teachings often starts with standards. They are anything but standard in their churches. If they cannot agree among themselves and get these right, what else could they be teaching that is faulty?