Looking at just the title of "Is the Rapture of 1st. Thessalonians and the 1st. ressurection of Revelation the same event?", I'd initially regard it as a Truth question, but if you read it all the way through, the actual question in the body is found in the very last sentence:

Does any Denomination have any elucidation on this?

That's not "asking for the validity of a belief". It does not match the close reason:

Questions asking for the truth or validity of a particular doctrine or belief (aka Truth Questions), and questions asking Is X a Sin? are not a good fit for our site, due to their subjective nature, and the vast number of possible Christian opinions on such topics. See: We can't handle the truth

It's not even closable as "too broad". It's a yes or no question. The answer is "Yes". That "Yes" could optionally be followed up with, "there are several. Here is an overview of some of them:"

As phrased, it is 100% within site guidelines, and it hasn't even been edited to fit guidelines. It was 100% fine originally.

What gives?

  • 1
    I thought I had voted to close this one as too broad. Early on I gave some answers to similar questions here asking what denominations believe on X issue, and neither the questions nor the answers were well-received. I was told it was too broad, and that answers would become a popularity contest for which answer the most users here happen to agree with. Since then I've disciplined myself not to answer such questions, even though I would often like to. Was I given the wrong direction? Can we really answer broad questions about what various denominations think on a particular point or issue? Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 16:49
  • 1
    As of now, the question has one SDA answer, one Catholic answer, and one for which the denominational viewpoint is unspecified (which would seem to make it NAA). Such denomination-specific answers could be multiplied to as many denominations as exist. Is that really allowed here? Because if so, I'm going to have a field day adding Swedenborgian answers to dozens of questions! ;-) Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 16:53
  • 3
    If Bye wants an overview he should ask for it. I don't know if polling questions are to useful.
    – user3961
    Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 17:53
  • @fredsbend - How is a "yes or no" question a "polling" question? Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 18:24
  • @LeeWoofenden - I have a similar issue with attempting to salvage questions that are too broad by adding "what is an overview" to it. But the community seems OK with that. At any rate, I can see the question being closed as too broad (and while I disagree with that assessment, I'd let it go), but it is absolutely NOT a Truth question. Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 18:27
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    For the record, I have two main issues with this: First, thee accuracy of the close reason. Second, the fact that we have had similar questions salvaged by the same people that voted to close this by turning them into "overview" questions, yet in this case they didn't. That feels to me like targeting the user by not giving him the same treatment you would another user. If we're going to start closing things using reasons that don't apply, we can justify closing anything we don't like and picking a non-applicable reason. It's a bad precedent, and we're going down an overly zealous path. Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 18:28
  • I said in a comment that this was a truth question, but I ultimately voted to close that it was "primarily opinion based." I think it's very shaky ground to say that the question was yes/no; that's clearly not what Bye was looking for. There are too many possible answers/opinions on this. I can understand preferring a different close reason ("too broad" may indeed be best). Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 19:21
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    @David As I have said in the past, I dislike "overview" questions in general. I would classify them all as "too broad" and "primarily opinion-based." They generally boil down to the most popular answers to a question. But the community seems to want them allowed, and so they are. Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 19:24
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    Perhaps I need to change my behavior, but I did not edit this question because a) Bye might want an evangelical/dispensational answer or an overview, and I don't know which, and b) Bye has been here a very long time, and ought to know how to formulate a valid question by now. I edit questions, in part, to educate the OPs, and I don't believe that that effort would have been rewarded in this case. Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 19:24
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    This is not too broad, an opinion, nor an overview question I very carefully chose the word elucidation. ELUCIDA'TION, n. The act of explaining or throwing light on any obscure subject; explanation; exposition; illustration; as, one example may serve for an elucidation of the subject. If any Denomination has that and apparently the two answers show that it is apart of those Denominations beliefs, those who have not incorporated this into their doctrines would not answer it. As a Southern Baptist I have never had that addressed in my Church experiences.
    – BYE
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 1:51
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    And BYE has now deleted the question citing that his "desire for finding any help on this matter is far overshadowed by the controversy it has generated." Thanks for wasting our time and spitting on those who were trying to help you. This is why I don't spend time on his posts. Stuff like this is why his posts are more roughly received by the community. He may have 9K rep, but he has much less in my mind. I was going to vtc, but had to think about it. I was going to write up a response to this meta post, but decided to wait and see what BYE says.
    – user3961
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 22:27
  • This is the same guy that has rage quit like three times. Don't bother trying to help him. Just close them when their bad and answer them when their good.
    – user3961
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 22:27
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    @fredsbend That is targeting the user rather than the behavior, and it is not OK. It's OK for you, personally, to not help him because you're sick of dealing with him, but publicly saying that others should follow suit doesn't help matters any. Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 23:39
  • We're supposed to assess individual posts on an individual basis, and on this post, he tried very hard to play by the rules. We should be rewarding that rather than punishing it. Even Caseyr47 had a good post. It's not right to ignore a good faith effort just because he has been difficult to deal with. Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 23:56
  • @David You're welcome to waste more of your time on him. I won't stop you or ask you to stop. As for me, I'm not going to bother. If he comes to meta and asks for help himself, I may reply, but probably not. The extent of the help he wants seems to be to just vote and answer or not.
    – user3961
    Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 0:40

3 Answers 3

  1. Is it off-topic?

The question is too broad. "Yes, and here's an SDA answer," "yes, and here's a Catholic answer," "yes, and here's my personal opinion," "yes, and here's an overview" are all equally valid answers to the question, but would be voted on unequally, based on the degree to which readers agree.

  1. Is it in any sense a Truth question?

I don't remember what I was thinking when I voted to close the question, and I think "too broad" fits better, but I think a case can be made for "Truth question." The question is a popularity contest, as mentioned above. But the ultimate decider of who has the best answer is the asker. He can choose to accept the answer that agrees most closely with his view. I'm no mind-reader, but I suspect in this case a "yes" answer appended with an opinion that's inconsistent with Southern Baptist and/or dispensationalist thinking would not be marked correct. The asker is likely waiting for someone to answer with the "Truth" -- he won't be satisfied with a simple "yes" or with a "yes" appended with the wrong interpretation of the verses. But if I could do it over again I'd vote "too broad" instead.

  1. Could it have been edited to be on-topic?

Sure. It could have been edited to ask for an overview, or to ask for a specific denominational view. I can only speak for myself, and not for anyone else who voted, but I choose whether or not to edit off-topic questions based on 1) how much time I have, 2) how sure I am of the intent behind the question, 3) whether it would be a better learning experience for the asker for him to make the edits himself. In this case, I probably just didn't feel I had time. But either way, I don't know if he wants an overview, a specific denominational view, or a discussion. If it's the third option, then it should remain closed. Otherwise, he himself knows what he wants and can make the edit himself.

  1. One more thing...

It's a yes or no question. The answer is "Yes". That "Yes" could optionally be followed up with, "there are several. Here is an overview of some of them:"

Do we really want questions that can be answered with a simple "yes" or "no"? How is that useful for the person asking, or for any readers?

  • Since hitting the 3k rep mark, I've fairly often found myself voting to close as "too broad" or "primarily opinion-based" instead of as a "truth question" as previous close votes had been on the question in question. I thought I had done so for this question as well. Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 19:36
  • @Lee In the box, the "put on hold as off-topic by..." part lists all the people who voted to close, but the bullet that says "The users who voted to close gave this specific reason" attributes the reason to three users. Those are the users that specified that reason. The others (you and Nathaniel, in this case) used a different reason. Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 3:36
  • Hmm, yes. I was looking at the wrong list of names. I didn't think I'd voted to close it as a truth question. Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 6:31
  • If Denominational perspective is employed in the answer it could never be answered with a simple yes and a no answer is of no value and not requested in the original question. other than the JW and Catholic answers any other answer you claim to be valid answers are not personal opinion overlooks the requirement for Denominational answers and Overview is a composite of many views neither of which is elicited by the question.
    – BYE
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 11:08
  • @Mr.Bultitude Yes, we do want such questions. "Does the Catholic Church teach that a laicized priest can hear my confession?" "No (unless you're dying)." That seems fine to me. It should include a bit of explication, but the fundamental answer is "yes" or "no". And "yes, here's a denomination X view" is not in my opinion what's being asked for. It feels clear to me that an overview is what's being requested, and if that's too broad perhaps a comment should be left explaining why and requesting editing. I didn't think that was necessary here. Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 17:48

As I read the question, it was asking (though not explicitly) for a survey of major views. Not being familiar with major views on the subject (since the Catholic Church doesn't seem to have a particular view about the passage) I can't say whether there are a large number of views on the topic, and thus whether the question would have needed to be closed on that interpretation as too broad. But it appears reasonable to me to believe that what was being asked for was a quick overview of major views, if there were any in particular, or a statement that there were no major specific agreements on interpretation of this passage. I can't support from the phrasing the idea that "Yes, here is X's/Y's/Z's interpretation" would be an appropriate answer. I think that when there is a reasonable doubt, questions ought to be interpreted, and answers given, in a way that allows them to be suited to the site.

Nathaniel has commented that we have previous Meta questions and answers indicating that overview questions should specifically use the word overview (or, presumably, some synonym—survey seems appropriate in my view). Let us specify, then, that overview should have been used in this case. It seems to me that this specific issue should have been brought up in comments on the original post, and an edit made either by the OP or by someone else with a callout to the OP for review. That it wasn't is, I feel, a lack of proper review on our part.

I didn't see any evidence whatsoever that the question was a "Truth question"; I see no reason to believe that the question should have been put on hold on that ground.

  • We've previously said that questions must specify that an overview is desired: Inquiring perspectives on one matter from throughout all of the Christianity spectrum. I'm not clear exactly how “overview” questions work. I'm not sure it's a good idea to make the assumption that overviews are desired in cases like this, particularly when the OP's religious background is very well known. Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 18:09
  • For example, this "truth/overview/too broad" question of Geremia's was updated to ask for a Catholic view, which apparently was the best approach: Do Catholics consider saying “Jeez(e)!” to be a violation of the Second Commandment? Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 18:09
  • "I don't see any evidence"... not even in the title? Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 18:10
  • @Nathaniel Hm. That's a point, and it appears I actually asked one of those questions. How embarrassing :-/ On the other hand, I think it should should have been specifically brought up to BYE, then, and he should have been encouraged to edit the question - or someone else should have done it on their own and asked BYE if that matched what he wanted to ask. Regardless, it still shouldn't have been closed as a truth question. Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 18:13
  • I don't think we typically use the title as a complete indicator of what the question is about. I know I don't. Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 18:14
  • Thanks for clarifying! Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 18:19
  • @Nathaniel I've edited my answer to reflect the results of our discussion. Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 18:27
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    I did not and do not see any actual indication that he was looking for an overview. Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 16:32

Questions of the truth and Opinion category ask for some Personal interpretation. Questions in the overview category do not have Doctrinal implications. The use of the word Elucidation disqualifies any of these type of answers when paired with the word Denomination.

To elicit any personal opinions either of those two words would of necessity have to be omitted.

My question was penned as it was to eliminate just that (personal opinion). We should use commentary to clear up any misunderstandings of the question, and not to dissect the question from our personal standpoint. Careful reading and the use of dictionaries and thesauruses may be of intrinsic value in reading.

Far too often I feel that not only answers but comments are given without proper investigation being used. It is imperative that we completely understand what is being asked before we answer or comment on a question or answer. A lesson I learned the hard way on this site.

It is basic to Christianity that we treat others as we would like them to treat us, and misrepresentations of questions and answers is not the way any of us want to be treated.

This is not submitted as a scolding, but as an observation and is offered as a possible guide to future activity.

  • 1
    Questions of the truth and Opinion category ask for some Personal interpretation. This is only partly true. The problem with Truth questions is that they don't specify a denominational viewpoint, which allows everyone to provide their own personal opinions (as you say) or their own favorite denominational viewpoint. Voting at that point becomes a popularity contest. Also, I am well aware of what the word "elucidation" means, but I don't see any reason why including the word prevented the question from being a Truth question. Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 16:50
  • @Mr.Bultitude While it is not my desire to argue in Comments it the pairing of two words which eliminates personal opinions. But I have determined that my desire for finding any help on this matter is far overshadowed by the controversy it has generated. Therefore I am deleting the question.
    – BYE
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 17:20

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