October 12, 2016 | 2 Comments Looking back on this series of posts on music, I am amazed at how much bigger it was than I expected. I spent many more hours than I had anticipated, and got a much larger response than I was hoping for. I also grew quite a bit more in the area of music than I was anticipating. I want to thank you all for your helpful feedback and good discussions over the past few months. In this final post, I will share my personal music standards. My intent is not for you to adopt these standards yourself. Rather, my goal is to show you what I believe a good set of standards looks like. I feel that it is important that every Christian develops their own convictions about music (as well as other things). Music Standard Criteria A good set of music standards is not just slopped together without thought. It should be a product of careful consideration. Here are some criteria you should aim for when developing your standards. Simple First, your standards should be simple. They need to be easy to interpret and apply to the music you listen to. If you make a set of standards that is too complex, you will end up wasting a lot of time weighing your music against your standards. Applicable Your music standards should also be easy to apply to all of the music you listen to. It is really easy to develop a set of standards that you use to diagnose secular music while completely ignoring “Christian” music. A truly ideal set of standards could also apply to other forms of entertainment as well. Genuine Your standards should be true to what you believe. If your standards are not something you can act out in your personal life, they are just a bunch of hypocritical words. This not only makes them worthless, but it can also negatively affect your witness for Christ. Evolving Your standards may someday become outdated. Because of this, it is important to re-analyze your standards periodically. If you find that you are struggling in a certain area of music, it may be wise to take another look at your standards and make some adjustments. My Personal Standards My personal music standards are a product of many debates and much study. They are also constantly evolving based on new things that come up in my life. Your standards may be more complex or more simple based on your spiritual needs and level of involvement in music. The music I listen to may not contradict any Biblical principle or encourage ungodly emotions. (anger, lust, etc.) The worship music I listen to must have a melody that can be sung a capella. (this rules out music that relies on instrumentation and/or beat) The lyrics, melody, harmony, and rhythm of the music I listen to may not convey opposing messages. (eg. hard rock version of “Silent Night”) The music I listen to may not be spiritually or morally ambiguous. Also, it may not promote thoughtlessness with excessively and/or vainly repeated phrases. The music I listen to must have artistic value that displays characteristics of God (eg. light, beauty, love, peace). Thank you all for taking the time to read and interact with these posts. It has truly been a blessing to me to see all of the feedback over the past few months.