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Why does this website operate on privileges and points? I came on here to answer a question from a genuine Catholic person about their prayers not being answered. I have lots of experience with God and theology. What if I felt the Holy Spirit moving me to answer a question? This is a satanic device.

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    I'm not sure what issues you're having answering someones questions, as I was able to come in and do so right away - regardless of my privileges or points. I must disagree, as well, to this being a "satanic device". – Jesse Jul 16 '14 at 0:07
  • I was trying to answer a question asked by a gentleman in 2012 why God wasn't answering his prayers. Scrolling down the answers none of them mentioned that a personal relationship with Jesus is required, which is quite distressing. I tried to comment but it said I needed 50 points – Garnettoi71 Jul 16 '14 at 0:10
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    In some cases privileges are restricted until the user has proven they are a reasonably trustworthy source. Otherwise you would see a satanic site in its prime... assuming satanic is a site littered with spam posts about viagra and free cruises. – Bubbles Jul 16 '14 at 1:14
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You should be able to answer questions on the main site, unless they have been marked as protected. You are not yet allowed to leave comments, due to not yet having sufficient reputation, but you should be able to post answers.

That said, your answers must fall within the site guidelines, or they will be deleted. Put simply, this isn't a discussion forum, and there are guidelines that are very different than you would probably expect.

For more information, please see How we are different than other sites? and then the help page and What makes a good supported answer?

As a side note, questions about how the site operates should be posted on the meta site. I've migrated your question to the Meta site. The meta site exists solely to discuss the main Christianity.StackExchange.com site. You can tell the difference by the style applied. Currently, our Meta had a brownish theme, while the main site has a blue theme. Look for the "StackExchange" drop-down at the top of the page to navigate between the two sites, and other areas on the StackExchange network.

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    @DavidStratton Kudos for making the meta/main distinction and navigation so clear - it warmed my heart when I reflected how such an explanation would have been so welcome during my own initial confusion on first encountering Meta. – bruised reed Jul 16 '14 at 6:19
  • @bruisedreed - Understandable. You're not the first to express the sentiment that they wish they'd been given help when they first joined the community. This site is hard to get. Pretty much everyone mistakes the purpose at first, and it's hard to explain. I wish we could get everyone when they first come on and be helpful rather than condescending more consistently. – David Stratton Jul 16 '14 at 6:23
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    Protected or closed. And an old question asking about why prayers have not been answered could have been closed as pastoral advice. – Andrew Leach Jul 17 '14 at 10:05
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@Garnettoi71 You say are moved by the Holy Spirit to give pastoral advice. I do not doubt that Holy Spirit compelled you but I cannot the say the same of all who might answer.

Even on Christian forums, I have seen people struggling with serious issues like abortion, divorce, sin, faith, and doubt and in turn receive really, really bad advice. People are motivated to answer by things other than the Holy Spirit, and as one who pastors, I am called to protect the sheep from the wolves too. The only surefire way is avoid it all, and we do: https://christianity.meta.stackexchange.com/a/1599/1039

We aren't a forum. We are a question and answer site about plain, boring academic theology. We're not a church. We don't want to be one. What we do is good when we stick to what we do. Just letting anyone give theological guidance without serious feedback is anti-pastoral, and about as Godly a thing as academics can do.

Want to see a really satanic device? Just let him prompt people to answer too.

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  • Garnettoi71 hasn't been back since the original posting. I doubt they will be. Sound advice nonetheless. – fгedsbend Jul 21 '14 at 19:42
  • Hmm.., plain, boring academic theology? It's not boring for you and me, at least. :) – Mawia Jul 25 '14 at 12:23
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Even though the site is designed and operated by a secular company, the point/privilege system is not inherently satanic! It could actually be seen as a manifestion of the biblical principle "he who is faithful in little will be faithful in much" (greater responsibility should only be granted to those who have proven trustworthy with lesser responsibilities). On the other hand, an attitude that says "I have something to say here and you must let me say it" regardless of established etiquette does bear Luciferian characteristics.

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If you had an answer to give, why did you try to post it as a comment? On this site, answers and comments are fundamentally different things. Comments should be used to give or request clarification. Ideally, comments will raise points which will be edited into the post (question or answer) on which the comment is placed. At that time, the comment can be deleted. Comments are transitory.

This is not always played out in practice: comments are sometimes used for extended discussion, even debate, but it is the principle. Here on Meta, we can be a bit more relaxed about them too.

That said, it really isn’t that difficult to acquire 50 rep points if you do want to comment.

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    Reflecting back to my first encounter with the site, I found that in responding to a question with existing multiple answers, the gui none-to-subtly directs one to the comment option first (it is much nearer the OP) rather than an answer (you need to scroll right to the bottom). I think this is preferable, because it does have the benefit of encouraging a new user to review the other answers first, but it does have the unfortunate side effect of discouraging novice participants who don't pick up the distinction with the relatively high comment privilege threshold early in their experience. – bruised reed Jul 16 '14 at 16:12

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