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@Caleb after having reviewed your comments on: Did Jesus mean that heaven and earth would actually pass away in Matthew 24:25? I am confused as I was under the impression that this site was to answer questions concerning Christianity. I was saved in a Southern Baptist church building and have attended mostly Southern Baptist churches, but have attended many other protestant churches and I have found that all that I have attended, are based on the Holy Bible.

That having been said those churches do read certain Scriptures differently. Unless a question asks about a particular Denomination's interpretation, I feel that giving the Scripture references is proper. When a question asks for a general answer, why is not giving the Scripture reference sufficient and proper?

When a question asks about what a particular Denomination thinks of any particular subject I do not answer it since I do not feel qualified to even speak for the Southern Baptist Convention, as I do not know all of the many decisions and specifically their reasoning for that assumption.

For that reason although not abandoning the Baptist churches I felt the need to not only read the Bible thoroughly, but to study the Bible so that I could better understand how God intended man should worship him, and also how Jesus affected that precept, since that is the crux of Christianity.

The comments section as I understand it is for clarification and to understand what either the questioner wants to understand or what the answerer is portraying. However it appears that most posters do not use it for that purpose and routinely vote to close a question that they do not fully understand, or post some innocuous comment to an answer.

Having said all of that it would seem to me that the best answer to any question not specifying a Denomination would be to give the Scriptures and allow the Holy Spirit to do as Jesus proclaimed in John 14:26. And it is also my belief that the Holy Spirit will give the correct scriptures for that answer as Jesus said in Luke 12:12.

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Having said all of that it would seem to me that the best answer to any question not specifying a Denomination would be to give the Scriptures and allow the Holy Spirit to do as Jesus proclaimed in John 14:26. And it is also my belief that the Holy Spirit will give the correct scriptures for that answer as Jesus said in Luke 12:12.

That is wrong. If a question is not scoped, as discussed in dozens of Meta posts, the appropriate action is to either edit it into shape, or vote to close and do not answer.

Personal exegesis is not allowed. Period. It doesn't matter how well you know your Bible, and how much study you have put into it, it is inappropriate to answer based on your own understanding of Scripture. We focus on the various teachings within Christianity, we do not offer up our own personal understanding.

See the following if you are confused on this issue:

The main reason for this is that other people can post answers based on their own personal interpretation, which turns this into a popularity context where the most popular doctrine "wins". This is something we have fought against on this site for a long tome, for very good reasons. See:

What's wrong with answering general questions Biblically is that your answer is no more or less valid on this site than someone with another answer, with a different conclusion, also based on Scripture. This isn't a site for personal exegesis. We explain what various groups teach, we do not teach our own opinions and personal interpretations, and we don't argue over whose teaching is right.

In addition to all that, there's the fact that experienced members are supposed to teach newcomers what types of questions are allowed. By answering questions that should be closed, you are perpetuating the problem. Simply by answering, you are sending the message that the question is allowable on the site.

DON'T DO THAT! When you do that, you confuse them. Then they then come back later wondering why their questions are always closed even though some experienced members are providing answers.

I seem to remember you once asking why nobody bothered to explain to them what's on topic and what's off. You weren't very happy about the fact that nobody bothered to correct your misunderstandings. Instead of doing the same thing that caused you frustration, please do your duty and help them understand how to participate within the guidelines.

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    This is out of step with most exegesis questions which don't normally have denominational scoping. – curiousdannii Nov 2 '14 at 11:23
  • You are correct that I asked that question and unfortunately have not seen that take place. giving reasons down voting a question still seems a good idea. That question did not ask about being either on topic or off, but reasons for down voting......Just for the sake of my simple mind should we vote to close questions not tied to a specific Denominations, and questions which ask for Biblical justification, as not all Bibles are worded the same. – BYE Nov 2 '14 at 12:04
  • What about directing people to a site that would gladly answer their questions? Being that there are no stack exchange sites that would, it would have to be somewhere else. I am thinking of a site like Bible Wiki where people could be directed to their Bible Questions board in their forum. – A Child of God May 8 '17 at 14:07
  • Isn't this true of any source though (for example two people could interpret what a given preacher said in two different ways, for example). – PyRulez Jul 1 '17 at 13:34
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Your answer seems innocuous at first because it's so generic. It represents a run of the mill semi-dispensational Baptist view that would be acceptable to many Protestant traditions—especially assorted western Baptist groups and and the most common non-denominational strains. It's likely to get a lot of upvotes because the demographics of this site are heavily weighted towards just that quarter.

But the problem is, the question didn't ask for that view. After your answer, the post picked up a little bit stronger dispensational answer, then an LDS one. Do you see the lid coming off Pandora's box? LDS uses the same words but means very different things by them (esp. in this context of "heaven"), so there is a crazy apples-to-oranges thing brewing between answers. But that's only the beginning.

What would stop a Jehovah's Witness or other annihilationist sect from positing their exegesis of that passage as an answer? By your reasoning: nothing. Left open, that question would have contradictory answers, some saying one thing and some another. The difference would be the different doctrinal frameworks represented, but that wouldn't be specified by all the answers, and even if it was the voting patterns between them would be reflective of the popularity of the respective theologies, not the quality of the answer. If we're to be consistent about this site not endorsing any particular branch of Christianity as "absolute truth" and not excluding minority "heretical" groups from having a valid shot at answering questions directed at them, this simply isn't an acceptable outcome.

Your suggested pattern would drag all of the baggage of Christianity and conflict between traditions into every question on the site. We realized early in the life of the site that was not going to work and we have put a lot of effort into keeping it from happening. This is simply not the right venue to present answers that are judged on their "truth" value. If your hope is to provide spiritual direction to people looking for answers to life's persistent questions, this is the wrong place to do it. You've actually answered a lot of questions with problems along the same vein as this example. For the sake of your own time please stop. If a question isn't obviously scoped in a way that's going to be durable and sit well with out guidelines please don't waste your time answering it.

I feel bad every time I see you (or others) answering questions without scope because I know you put effort into your posts and I hate to see that wasted because they are a mismatch for the venue. You seem like a nice fellow and you actually write some pretty quality stuff. I even agree with a lot (if not all) of your theology. But agreeing with you does not give me a reason to excuse the scope problems such generic answers represent. We are always getting on the case of nut-job posters that do things like post anti-Catholic rants on Catholic questions. The only way we have to keep that kind of contentions stuff cleaned up is the insistence on scoping rules for questions. It's not a perfect system, but it serves a purpose. If we let your answers slide just because they happen to be agreeable we loose the ability to fulfill the purpose of this site.

There are plenty of better venues for sharing Scripture and helping people solve their spiritual problems by directing them to God's word. That ambition is an admirable use of your time and I encourage you to keep doing it, especially in the context of your local church. The Internet even has lots of opportunity for that sort of outreach, but this site isn't meant to be a venue for that.

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    Thank you for answering, and at your suggestion I shall in the future post my answers to a site more geared to following the Great commission. – BYE Nov 3 '14 at 12:04
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    @Bye: Your username sounds kind of ominous in this context. – Bruce Alderman Nov 3 '14 at 16:52
  • @BruceAlderman He used to go by Cecil Beckham or something like that, but then got upset one day and said he was not going to come back, changed his username to "Bye" and requested his account to be deleted. I'm not sure what happened after that. What made it really weird is another user (one of those that was really weird and quite non-constructive) who went by Aaron Korn said he wanted to be deleted too because Cecil said he wanted to go. He then changed his username to deleteMe. It was a strange day. Is it possible to Delete Cecil Beckum? – fredsbend Nov 3 '14 at 20:30
  • @fredsbend Cecil changed his profile to "Bye" and mentioned he wanted to be deleted but he never actually hit the button on his end to initiate that (which is fine, he can choose not to). Just the naming thing is awkward. To further complicate matters, Aaron never followed through with the deletion procedure either and still goes by the nick "deleteMe. Awkward. Even as a moderator I can't actually delete his profile because he didn't finish the procedure on his end. – Caleb Nov 3 '14 at 21:13
  • @Caleb So a forced deletion is a staff priv only? Makes sense, I guess. Explains why these two accounts 1 2 are still here too. – fredsbend Nov 3 '14 at 23:11
  • @fredsbend we can actually do it for low rep accounts (less than 500) and we do all the time for spammers and trolls and a few other cases but established users have to initiate deletion or else SE staff has to intervene. – Caleb Nov 4 '14 at 0:03
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Exegesis questions don't normally need denominational scoping. Considering the question is about an idiom not eschatology I'm not sure why Caleb thought it needed closing. I think I'll vote to reopen it.

I edited it and then @Bye has since edited it again. I think it should be on-topic, but I'm not sure whether either of us have got the right wording.

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    The only time I believe this to be true is when the exegesis requested is about a topic sufficiently trivial enough to be treated as an overview question and answered in a way that is representative of Christianity and all her heresies in one pass. For all others I think the model falls apart quickly and certainly a question like this one about the nature of heaven and escatology is well outside the realm of what a non-doctrinally-scoped question could shoulder. – Caleb Nov 3 '14 at 16:46
  • @Caleb I haven't liked Stack Exchange's idea of "good" subjective before, but I guess some exegesis questions can be. And while I saw it more as about an idiom if others don't then that would be a problem. – curiousdannii Nov 3 '14 at 22:02
  • @Caleb The question has been reopened. Any advice on how to edit into it's best potential form? I think it might be wise to widen the quote... – curiousdannii Nov 3 '14 at 22:32
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The holy spirit doesn't exist, and certainly cannot be relied on to elucidate anyone's understanding of anything. Nor, of course, does God, in any shape or form whatsoever. This is a Q&A site on the subject of a rather strange social phenomenon, known as religion, in one of its branches, known as Christianity.


Many other participants here might disagree with that, but the fact that we can all ask and answer questions on the subject nonetheless does go some way toward demonstrating what sort of site this is.

  • Apparently you have misunderstood my question, and possibly the meaning of Christianity. while you are correct in saying that anyone is welcome to voice their opinions on the site, that means that all opinions are of equal value. This site is dubbed as a site for answers concerning differing beliefs which permeate the Christian community, and as such your opinions are just as welcome as any others, however it is the divergent beliefs that the site is dedicated to illuminating. It is therefore not in keeping with my understanding of the site rules to deny that anyone's perception is (continued) – BYE Oct 31 '14 at 13:27
  • (continued) Christianity is based on a belief that Christ's death, burial, and resurrection is the basis for the forgiveness of man's sins through and by the grace of God. This is without regard to a person's Denominational precepts and is for the posting of different opinions. – BYE Oct 31 '14 at 13:33
  • Opinions? "What is truth?" said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer. – TRiG Oct 31 '14 at 13:46
  • Quoting Scripture is neither stating an opinion or a truth answer. it is simply giving a reference to be researched and an individual understanding gleaned from them. – BYE Oct 31 '14 at 15:38
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    This kind of sounds like a rant or something. What's up with that? – fredsbend Oct 31 '14 at 20:07
  • Maybe I was in a more snarky frame of mind than usual, @fredsbend. – TRiG Oct 31 '14 at 20:14

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