There has been some similar a discussion regarding this topic, so please forgive me and close this if the same question is asked elsewhere. However...

Please explain if I am incorrect in this logic.

If I go to programmers.SE or stackoverflow.SE and ask a question about programming, I expect those questions to be answered by programmers about programming.

'How do I solve specific programming problem XYZ, using C#' This maybe answered by someone solving the problem using perl, lets say, not what I was looking for in the question exactly, but could be informative anyway. A perl programmer answering a programming question about C# is still a programmer. I would be surprised or upset if someone like a ballerina instructor answered the question saying that maybe I should be dancing instead of programming all day.

Similarly, if I ask a question on Christianity.SE should I not expect the answers to be from people who at least claim to be Christian, or answering from within a Christian context? If I answered a question from Math.SE, even though I am not a mathematician, I would answer the question from a mathematical context. If I answered a question on math.SE saying that numbers don't really exist, I'd get kicked out, or voted down at least.

Now, there is a huge diversity of christian beliefs certainly, and this should be fully acknowledged and accepted. However, if someone (no matter their world view) wanders across Christianity.SE and asks a question, only to get a bunch of non-christian responses, how confusing would that be?

I say that various denominations/traditions on Christianity.SE are analogous to different type of programmers (languages/methodologies/etc) on SO. I could be a non programmer who needs to do some trivial scripting in Excel or something, who asks a question on SO, and that would be completely valid, and I would expect answers from people who knew what they were talking about. Conversely, if I was the same non programmer I might not be answering too many question on SO, because I am not the intended audience that the questioners had in mind when asking their question.

Another analogy might be this. I'd LOVE to have my atheist friend come to my (non-church affiliated) bible study, and I would LOVE for that person to ask a ton a questions. But, I might not want that person to come to my bible study and teach?

Do these analogies hold, or am I completely off base?

1 Answer 1


An important aspect of the Stack Exchange format is that the focus is on the answers, not on the people who wrote them. For example, many atheists are former christians and are perfectly capable of answering factual questions about christianity.

If their answers are wrong, they will simply be downvoted. Limiting the number of people who are allowed to answer will not improve the quality of the answers.

Remember, the purpose of this site is to inform, not to preach, so your bible study analogy does not apply here.

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