I feel like I must be a Harvard student to be able to ask a question on this site. Why is it not allowed to ask a question about my faith in God in GENERAL and get an answer? All I want is any answer whether opinionated, theological or doctinal from a true standpoint of understanding God in any true Christian denomination. Im just trying to understand.
I do understand your wish and your frustration. It is shared by many who come to this site for the first time seeking answers.
In its early days this site used to allow more general questions about Christian belief. Unfortunately, what happened is that people from different Christian denominations with different beliefs tried to push their own viewpoint as "the truth," and answers got upvoted or downvoted based on whether people agreed with the beliefs represented in the answer, rather than on whether it was a good answer to the question. So answers representing popular beliefs of large denominations got voted to the top, while answers from the perspective of smaller, less popular denominations got voted down.
This led to the type of religious flame wars that rage all over the Internet between people of different beliefs--and of course, between believers and atheists.
This site therefore moved toward questions that can be answered objectively, meaning mostly questions about the beliefs of particular groups and denominations of Christians, and the biblical basis of those beliefs. See:
- What topics can I ask about here?
- Types of questions that are within community guidelines
- How we are different than other sites
There are many very good questions that this particular site simply isn't the right place to ask. If you're trying to get pastoral advice on a difficult personal and spiritual issue, or you're trying to find out what the truth is on a particular religious or spiritual subject, that's just not what this site is for.
However, if you want to know what particular groups or denominations of Christians, such as Catholics, Lutherans, Pentecostals, or Orthodox, believe about a particular thing, this is a good place to ask.
And along the way, you might learn some things that help you to decide for yourself what the truth is.
As with any SE site, the premise is to answer challenging questions by calling upon community expertise. Expert, and well supported answers are the general principle of any SE site. It takes a good, well organized, well thought out, and referenced question to evoke that response.
This site had some growing pains and decided that having opinion wars based on denomination or interpretation is not helpful, as that would simply replicate the general noise on the internet that attends arguing about Christianity and "the truth." Because there are so many ways to approach Christianity, and in an effort to keep the signal to noise ratio favorable, we require a question be scoped, preferably to a single topic, with a point of reference from either scripture or a teaching that is included in the question. Usually, a denomination's perspective is needed, since many denominations have slightly different takes on the same topic, and in some cases deeply different takes on the same topic.
For example: the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist (when receiving communion) while many of the Protestant denominations I have worshipped with approach communion as a memorial (done in memory of Jesus) and thus accept the wine and bread as symbolic, not the presence of Christ. Each of the denominations takes Scripture as written, and interprets it in a rational way to arrive at that position.
Thousands of other examples abound, given about 2000 years of people perceiving or being inspired by Christ and the scriptures differently, and arguing about it with great passion.
We, the community at Christianity.SE, aren't trying to re-invent the wheel, nor re-invent the controversies of the past 2000 years. They are a matter of record.
With the above in mind, we try to address well scoped questions that don't trigger denominational bickering. If we don't do that, this site will fail to fit into the SE model.