Music That Honors God
Ernest Pickering lists ten primary guidelines for Christians to follow (The Kind of Music That Honors God, pp. 11-12):
1. Its message is Scriptural (Col 3:16). Good Christian music must present a message that is true to the Word of God and doctrinally sound.
2. It should lead us to think in Biblical patterns and not be suggestive of evil either in message or in musical arrangement (Phil. 4:8). The text and music should not be cheap or tawdry.
3. It should help us to honor God with our bodies (I Cor. 6:19-20). Music which tends to imitate the effects of godless rock upon the human body or which either destroys or impairs one’s hearing is not Christian music.
4. It will maintain a balance between “spirit” and “understanding” (I Cor. 14:15). Music that is primarily emotional froth would not fulﬁll this requirement.
5. It will contain words that are full of beauty, dignity, reverence and simplicity, words that are worthy of the worship of a holy God (Isa. 6:1-6).
6. It will be free of mental association with worldly musical styles and evidence a holy consecrated character (Rom. 12:2; I Jn. 2:15). Music that seeks to “copy” the worldly approach is not honoring to God.
7. It should be expressive of the peace that accompanies the Christian life, not the clamor, confusion, din, and turmoil of the world (Col. 3:15-16). The various forms of rock music do not contribute to peace of heart but partake of the constant jangle of the sinful world. Christ promises peace to His people (Jn. 14:27).
8. It should be characterized by musical preciseness, ﬁnesse of poetic technique, and should evidence a structure of harmony and order. God is a God of order and not disorder (I Cor. 14:40).
9. It should promote and accompany a life-style of godliness, modesty, and holy quietness, and not modish fashion, suggestive acts, or sexual aggressiveness (1 Pe. 1:16; Tit. 2:11-12).
10. It should not contribute to the temptation of new or weak believers (Rom. 14:13,21; 15:2). Music that reminds newly-saved converts of their old life of sin is to be abhorred and rejected.