We don't answer pastoral advice questions for good reason. Often a low-rep answerer will squeeze in some really bad advice just before a question is closed. We can undelete answers without any problems if it turns out the question is allowed, but these answers can be really dangerous if they are left around. Most of our worst Pastoral Advice questions are asked by new, 1-rep users who probably don't understand very much about how the site works and are likely upset about their important question getting closed. Downvotes on their only answer may not deter them from following it's advice, then. To rectify this situation, I ask that we officially condone flagging these answers for deletion on the grounds that they offer pastoral advice.

The most recent of many, many examples: https://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/40649/how-can-we-get-non-christians-into-heaven

2 Answers 2


I already do delete answers to pastor advice questions (and comments that attempt to address the issue rather than redirect to real counsel) on sight. But I don't see everything, no even do all the mods put together.

If you run across these, feel free to flag answers on such questions with a quick custom reason such as "flush answers on pastoral advice question".

Sometimes answers actually approach these questions less as if they were pastoral advice and more as if they were research questions. Such answers would be fine except they encourage miss-use of the site and we've decided it's just better not to do this. In the event such questions get fixed to be workable on this site and they are re-opened, such answers could be un-deleted. In the mean time it's not fair to answer questions that can't receive other answers. If a question is closed as pastoral advice, all answers should be flushed.


We already have a strict policy that even your comments on the post cannot give advice: But can't I just say one thing? The site's official response to every pastoral advice question is "You should speak to a pastor, priest, spiritual counselor, etc. about such personal matters."

Comments that do give advice typically end up deleted. Why should an answer be any different?

  • 2
    Indeed, I think it is an unspoken (maybe) policy of the mods that we delete answers too. May 14, 2015 at 1:19

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