Sorry just frustrated. There really isn't much to do for a new member on this site. Are you all trying to keep the trolls out? Honestly though I don't even know if want to join now. One question comes to mind though. What would Jesus do? Would he require someone to achieve a certain amount of badges before they could chat with Him?
Contrary to your assertion that "There really isn't much to do for a new member on this site", new members can immediately engage in the core business of the site which is to post questions and answers. Any stuff that a new user can't immediately do (such as "have their say" by commenting on other people's posts) is not the main point of the site which let me reiterate is to ask and answer questions. As from the tour:
Ask questions, get answers, no distractions
This site is all about getting answers. It's not a discussion forum. There's no chit-chat.
The badge and reputation system are products of the way the Stack Exchange site engine works and are employed across the whole network of Stack Exchange sites which range over such diverse topics as network servers and gardening. Stack Exchange is a secular company, so the mechanics at play have not been developed with Christian sensibilities in mind. Saying that however, they are actually consistent with a couple of biblical principles:
Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. - Romans 13:7 NIV [emphasis added]
Badges recognise various achievements by users participating in the site. It is biblically legitimate to recognise those achievements. They actually don't provide any extra privileges at all, they are merely recognition of what has been accomplished.
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. - Luke 16:10 NIV
The reputation system functions like this - if you post good content and you gain reputation as a result of it, then you will be progressively entrusted with various tools that will help you to participate in sharing the responsibility to manage the community moderation aspects of the site which does include dealing with the occasional troll.
Honestly, if you can't be be bothered to even copy/paste a post to the correct place to ask it, this site may not be for you. Asking and answering questions in the way our guidelines expect is hard work and takes time. If you are not willing to invest even a modicum of effort into figuring out how the site works you're going to be frustrated at evey turn.
Our expectations are that participants don't just use the site however they feel like as if it was an open forum but actually learn how the Q&A format works and how to best leverage it for this subject matter. As such it requires some minimum level of participation through normal question an answer posts (which are the main focus of the site) before you get access to comments and chat (which are secondary tools). We don't want people using the secondary tools if they aren't contributing to the main focus of the site.
More details about how the site works can be found in the tour and help pages. Also these sorts of questions about why there is a reputation system have been asked an answered before on this meta site. For example:
- Should new users be allowed into chat?
- Why do Christians need ratings to reply to your questions?
- Why is 50 reputation needed to comment?
Badges are secondary to the reputation system and just reminders that there are assorted activities you can do that improve the site for everybody and noting which users are doing those things helps encourage more to do the same.
What would Jesus do? Would he require someone to achieve a certain amount of badges before they could chat with Him?
As I read the gospels, Jesus would probably ask more than that. Two scriptural events suggest that he asks a lot of us.
Matthew 16:24 / Luke 9:23 / Mark 8:34
If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.
Take up his cross is usually taken to mean to give of one's self, to make a sacrifice.
Jesus looked at him, loved him, and said to him, “There is one thing you lack: Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.”
You ask "what would Jesus do" and I answer: he'd ask us to make a sacrifice, which Caleb points to in his answer. It translates into "put in a bit of effort" and reap the rewards of a new relationship.
I hope you'll join us, despite your initial frustrations. There's a lot of good content here, and there are some wonderful people who share the rich variety of Christian belief.
It took me a while to get the feel of the SE style sites at first, so I feel your frustration. Hang in there.