Monday, November 17, 2014

Christian Encouragement: How I Compliment Pretty Girls Who Have Good Theology

The following contains 1,700 words of fairly easily-readable monologue that I sent as an expanded version of a compliment to a girl on her theological soundness and zeal. I'll place a page break early on, to avoid cluttering the front page, and encourage you to click on "read more" to look at the whole thing for your consideration, edification, what-have-you.


I came across your facebook profile on a [..............] post where you had commented. So the fact that you seemed to affirm pre-trib eschatology was what first stood out, not to mention the fact that you're following a page representing Reformed doctrine, which is encouraging. The next thing that I saw was that you're cute, which is only natural considering that I'm a typical male in that I'm visually oriented, and that my personality preference (which I find the Myers-Briggs profile to be a fairly effective measure of) is to thoroughly evaluate everything I perceive. It's a little unclear from facebook and your blog, but erring on the safe side, I'll treat you as if you're married and avoid anything that might be flirtatious. However, I have many compliments to give you.

It's rare for most young people to be very theologically astute -- I speak as one myself, who feels sometimes as if the peer landscape is very sparsely populated with Christian brethren -- and considering that roughly half of any age group is female, and only a subset thereof is of notable physical attractiveness, it's only logical to conclude that it's a very rare thing for a beautiful young woman to be so zealous for good doctrine as it is apparent to me that you are.

And mark, that is primarily what makes you beautiful:
3Your adornment must not be merely external-- braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 1 Peter 3:3-4

You might have posted that somewhere on your blog or FB, which could be why it came to mind for me, but I promise I'm not copying you just to impress you. I truly believe that true beauty is internal (while physical attraction matters in a romantic relationship, that is not the lasting source of joyful desire), and I have been amazed in the progress of my own sanctification to find that the operative determinant in what makes me feel tenderly affectionate (the World's limited understanding of the word "love," if you will) toward someone is the apparent theological knowledge and zeal of the young woman. On that alone turns my emotion. Above all, I love having my emotions be influenced by my knowledge of God, rather than having my emotions influence my understanding of God. And I praise Him continually for this remarkable work He is doing in me.

Please excuse my verbosity. It is at the center of who I am. I can hardly talk about anything in half measures.

I want to commend you for your conservative theology. Your theological roots are well nourished by the tributaries of Spurgeon, Sproul, The Gospel Coalition, and...oh dear. I guess I can stop there. I figured I'd check out your 'likes' and it reads like a Hall of Faith compilation of modern doctrinal teachers and evangelists.

Why am I writing so much? Why am I going on and on just to give you an expanded version of a one-sentence compliment "I like that you're very faithful. Good for you!" ? Because of how happy it has made me to dip my toes into your pond and see the loyal faithfulness and submission to good doctrine and good teachers--and your obedience to the Great Commission in both your blog and how you're utilizing your facebook page. It's exciting because it fills me with joy to see an example of another person who's saved by grace and now doing their best by God's strength to serve Him in whatever capacity they can, where they happen to be in life.

The truth of the matter is, it was you that encouraged me.

So I wrote this to gush about how you impacted me, not by anything particularly remarkable about yourself--the amazing thing is that what stands out about you is how little there is of "just you," it's all centered on or brought back around to God, which is the epitome of the Christ-centered life--and to hopefully give you back your encouragement by way of an email, so that encouragement can feed on encouragement. 

I think CS Lewis said something to the effect that there's a mystery in how the believer becomes more and more like Christ, that though you would think this destroys their individuality, just as one might think salt on everything would make everything 'taste like salt,' but the truth being that salt brings out the flavor in everything, in a similar way it is by Christ filling every saint that they become their true selves, and find the fullest expression of their unique personality. That came to mind now as I was writing about how what I seem to find to like about you is how much of you is a reflection of God.

I don't think there's a better encouragement that can be offered. I could easily make a big deal of you being pretty and such, but nothing lifts up the soul so much as the statement, "you are doing well in your goal of becoming like God." Would you rather be called delightful to look at, or holy? I can imagine that from the right man, both would be gratifying, but I think the ultimate truth is, again, that the first statement draws its power to praise and lift up, from its connection to the second statement.

I also blog. We seem to have found a similar outlet to hope to reach the world through our positions and perspectives. You are writing as a young woman with intimate experience of deep depression, and I'm writing as an explicitly single Christian man, so my posts run the gamut but often have to do with ideas of romance, and a lot of what I've said in here is the result of my thoughts on the matter, influenced by the Scriptural teachings that have to do with the subject. From where I am now, it is one of the more effective ways I have found to try to leave a lasting influence on the world for Christ, until I find myself in a position to engage in overt evangelism like I've been inspired to aim toward by Ray Comfort (regular street preaching and tracting).

Please keep on keeping on; you have a good grounding in truth, and I find my thoughts reeling at the anticipation of learning (in eternity, most likely) what you will accomplish for the Kingdom in your life, over the very interesting next few decades that are appointed for us to live in the midst of. History is in one sense a dramatic compilation of millions of amazing stories that all reveal God's mastership in providentially orchestrating the dramatic unfolding, all to the glory of God! For me, learning of these stories is part of what gives life meaning, and keeps it interesting and exciting. Everything I learn gives me something more to worship God about with my mind. And now you've been a part of that. My day is officially a good day. I'm rejuvenated and elated, and like I said, I just wanted to share this with you, for your benefit. You may think this much ado about a little thing, you may think I'm dramatically overinflating how much it matters....

....but you do matter. The mystery of salvation is that in our own selves, we are utterly insignificant, but in Christ, we have purpose and matter, infinitely so. You don't know the full scope of what role you are playing in God's design until He reveals it to you. And those moments when you catch a glimpse of what he's done through you, or through someone else, those are truly amazing and a foretaste of eternal joy. I just wanted you to know that you do matter. I'll probably walk away from this and not likely return my thoughts to think about you in the future, so don't think me obsessed. I am not writing much because I have a fixation with you, but because I want you to properly understand me, and I hate being misunderstood, because it's inadvertently deceitful for me to let someone misunderstand me, and I despise lies more than anything else.  Just know that in this moment, at this time, with all my focus on edifying you as a member of the Body of Christ, you matter a lot to me. And if I can say this, simply from knowing a few things about you, and having no further relationship with you, then I am confident that I can tell you personally that you most certainly matter to God. And I know you know that from Scripture. Never lose that foundation. But I wanted you to hear it from someone else for the emotional benefit.

You probably hope, as do I, to 'win souls for Christ,' as much as possible in life. But in case you had not considered the depth to which your writing and your witness can not just be a witness to the World, but an encouragement to fellow believers, I wrote this to you to assure you of that fact. I did not want you to feel that you were not having an effect.

And I think my thought is complete. All of this, this astounding output for something comparably minor in the scheme of all there is in the world--a few thousand words I read on an electronic piece of paper--this is what it takes for me to express an inexpressible emotion. As much for my own instruction as yours, I've now processed it from beginning to end. I felt something when I contemplated you, after stumbling across your page happenstance (is anything due to chance?). And now with all of this recorded, I hope you can appreciate and understand it, too.

God bless you, sister, and I hope to speak again with you, sometime. No rush--we'll have all eternity.

Apologies for anything I might have said that made you uncomfortable. I meant only to raise your spirits.


~ Rak Chazak


  1. Hi!

    Nice to see a fellow Christian male on the blogger platform. I have been looking for some good reading material lately, and I must say, you're thoughts are interesting. Especially your movie and music reviews.

    I was wondering, have you ever watched a film called "God's Not Dead"? (

    If so, then I would love to hear your thoughts about it. It has received some very good reviews in the American Christian community. I'm not sure what your collegiate experiences were like, but I've heard that they can be quite alienating for some Christians. For some of my other likeminded friends, they felt that their religion was never an issue at their school and that the film unfairly criticized the university environment. Other friends felt like it was correct in its assertion that the university system is biased towards liberal politics and is conducive towards atheist tendencies.

    I would be curious to hear your thoughts about it.

    1. Yeah, I definitely have a backlog of ideas for music reviews, particularly within the Christian Contemporary area (to give credit to the bands that put out good lyrical content).

      I have not yet seen "God's Not Dead." I did read a review on -- . Based on the excerpts and scene summaries included, I think the reviewer made the case well that it's a mostly well-meaning movie, but not as groundbreaking as it sets out to be. The major points were essentially
      * It caricatures atheists
      * Some proofs were adequate, but many fell unfortunately short
      * The consequence of this is that it's not a very strong critique of real high-level academic opposition to Christianity. The effect being that the movie risks encouraging weak believers with flimsy arguments that a seasoned atheist apologist would have little difficulty challenging, undermining and demolishing, with the unfortunate outcome of, if the weak believer had put their trust in that weak argument to justify their faith, resulting in worldview confusion and doubting their beliefs.

      The critique doesn't fall into the same category as that of "Noah," or "Heaven is for Real," which were plainly blasphemous and heretical. God's Not Dead seems to be well-meaning and a sincere attempt to encourage Christians and challenge "low-information unbelievers," if you will, with notions they may not have been exposed to. But its weak points is that it doesn't treat its characters realistically, or levy very sound arguments where it could, which makes it incredibly vulnerable to stronger forms of opposition, and leaves impressionable viewers unprepared for that sort of argumentative onslaught if they now think they're ready to fight atheism with "stumper" questions.

      One of the better uses of this film, if you see it with others, would be to provoke discussion on how to improve the weaker defenses of Christianity that you see in it, and consider how to respond if the scripted atheists had behaved differently.

      I definitely think the university system is biased, but it's more endemic than systemic in many cases, meaning that you'll find it very hard to "put your finger on what's wrong" as you can in this movie, because the opposition comes from individuals and isn't institutionalized as an official policy. It's therefore much harder to fight against than the movie portrays, and a film that were to show this more nuanced side of academia from a Christian perspective would be very interesting indeed.

      So, not a bad film, just not something I'd encourage as a faithbuilder for weak believers or as a standalone conversion tool for "low-information" non-Christians. And I'd definitely recommend you check out the article for more specifics.

      As for college being an alienating experience in my personal case, if you haven't found these articles yet, these two are the most direct in giving my personal story anecdotally.