Norm Wakefield, speaker, author and founder of Elijah Ministries, has written a series of articles called: The Curse of the Standard Bearer.
I find these articles so refreshing and hope you take some time to read them. Here's just a short snipped from the first of the six part series:
Who are the Standard Bearers, and why such a strange descriptive title? I use the term standard because sincere, religious people usually have many standards they consider important to secure significance, praise, and reputation before God and man. Everyone has some standards they practice, but the issue in this article is the level of importance and significance people place on those standards.
I use the term bearers because that is the image they bear to others: Living by certain standards is a true sign of righteousness and spiritual maturity. Others often think of them as almost perfect or Christ-like in their talk and appearance being impressed with the way they live for Jesus. But there is a subtle, yet significant difference between someone living for Jesus and Jesus living in them. Unfortunately, the emphasis of a Standard Bearer rests on the standards rather than relationship.
Standard Bearers have an inconsistent application of God's character toward His creatures. For instance, when trying to convince a non-standard bearer of his need to change, they communicate that God is very stern. Yet when they deal with their own sin, they apply the view that God is forgiving and gracious. There's a disconnect between how they think God sees the sins of others not like them and how He sees their sin. "