When flagging questions with "it should be closed for another reason", you are currently presented with:

enter image description here

The description for off-topic refers to "the scope defined in the help center" - fair enough as it goes so far .

But if you decide that 'off-topic' is the best option to go with, you are presented with:

enter image description here

Which is not a particularly comprehensive description of what constitutes off-topic, nor even a good match with all the question types listed as not constructive in the help-centre:

  • a survey of all Christian views on a particular subject
  • what the Bible says about a subject (unless you specify a doctrine/tradition)
  • advice on how to handle certain situations (pastoral advice questions)
  • whether some group or person is "Christian"

My particular issue, is that:

  1. If you judge that the question is off-topic for a reason defined in the help centre (e.g. either option 1, 2 or 4 from the list above)

  2. And you further determine that it is neither a pastoral question, blatantly off-topic nor more properly belonging on Meta (the only option available for "This question belongs on another site in the Stack Exchange network")

  3. You are left with "General philosophical and sociological questions are off-topic etc." - which, given how the question is worded, could be quite inappropriate.

It seems to be that either more options should be added, or the description of this last option should be modified to be a better catch-all.

  • 1
    Have you seen this post? Do you think something more is necessary than what is suggested there?
    – Flimzy
    Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 20:13
  • 1
    I personally feel like the help center is the larger problem. I rarely link to it because it is so stupid.
    – user3961
    Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 21:12
  • @flimzy Yes, I saw that and that would definitely be a welcome addition, but I don't think it would completely solve the issue - there are still other questions that would fall between the cracks. I think fredsbend is right - we either need to re-write the help center (preferable) or remove the reference to it as well either more close options/or re-write the existing one that includes the link to be more general. Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 5:41
  • @fredsbend I agree that it is a bit inadequate - the very least that should be done is to include more dot points drawn from the linked posts about what is/isn't on-topic. Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 5:43

2 Answers 2


This was all discussed at least once already, but I think it is worthwhile to revisit it now and again as the site evolves. There may be opportunities to get better close reasons as we see more traffic and more common patterns of low quality posts.

As noted here, I think that two of the close reasons are effectively duplicate and could be merged into one (Off topic because it is an opinion based question, aka a general philosophical question without a doctrinal context.)

If you have more specific close reasons that can be added, I'd suggest posting answers with examples so that the community can vote and discuss.


Ok, so fixing the help centre as per Fredsbend's comment is part of the problem, but it is a somewhat separate issue and would (I imagine) involve quite a bit more discussion and implementation. But my preferred option for a more immediate action is to either add as an additional option (for off-topic VTCs) or just replace the existing "General philosophical and sociological questions are off-topic etc." with the following:

"This question is of a type that the Christianity.SE community has found to be not constructive. For further information refer to: What types of questions should I avoid asking? and What topics can I ask about here?"

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .