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This SE site has a problem that I have not seen on other SE sites. I love this site, and love answering the questions that people ask. Unfortunately, it's gotten to the point where it's just a waste of time. Multiple of my answers have been deleted for very vague and often dishonest reasons. I understand that some of the mods differ from my own denomination, however, they should be completely impartial. Some are impartial, but some show their obvious partiality.

Answers are deleted without warning and with very shaky reasons behind them. Sometimes, it seems simply because the moderator doesn't agree with the answer. Peter Turner proposed a good solution here on Meta, but of course it got downvoted to oblivion.

Bible-based questions and answers are frowned upon (which is absolutely ridiculous, as most new users come here to ask specific questions about the Bible) and some questions that ask for Biblical support get outright closed or deleted; with the reason always being that it's a "truth question". Therefore some people get frustrated and leave, and it seems many new users don't return. Rob K's comment on this question about someone leaving seems to be the reason why.

I can certainly understand why he would decide to do so. In my short time here, it appears to me that this site is dominated by a small oligarchy who don't intend to let anyone else influence their fiefdom. It's certainly not run in the manner nor spirit of StackOverflow. Highly voted questions get put on hold. Any answer that doesn't exactly conform to their very exacting standards gets deleted after a series of condescending comments. There are too many people with absolute power for the participation the site has. It seems to be a pointless exercise. I certainly don't see much fruit here.

Deleting the answers and questions, especially for bad reasons, destroy the spirit of the site. No longer can users upvote and downvote questions and answers as useful or not useful, because the mods control what questions and answers are out there. It's become less of a library of important questions and answers on Christianity; and more about pushing a certain mindset.

It saddens me to have to leave something I enjoy so much, but it's gotten too frustrating. There are many great users with great content, but it's overshadowed by bad moderating. It's a disservice to the SE community and to Christianity at large. Because of this, I will no longer be participating in the future.

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    Your frustration is due not to individual moderators acting arbitrarily or according to their own personal beliefs, but because you haven't grasped the site's limitations and consequant operative guidelines (& that they are actually enforced by a consistent and fair community of moderators). If you are of a mind to reconsider, then see: Newcomers: Be patient. You will get there if you follow our direction. Keep trying – bruised reed Apr 27 '17 at 4:15
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    @bruisedreed On the other hand, the application of the ex post facto laws on older posts that gets old ones closed is easily perceived as jlaverde presents to us. Where You Sit Determines What You See. jlaverde This site has only been able to remain open, and not just become one more pile of noise (which the topic attracts) by learning over time what does and doesn't work well. It is also constrained by the general SO/SE basic format. The community contributes to moderation here. You have enough rep that you can as well. – KorvinStarmast Apr 28 '17 at 14:12
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    This post is relevant, and before you insiders dismiss it you should consider there may be a blind spot in your efforts and understanding to guide what this site is and what it should be. Just because a group of you upvote each other doesn't make you the majority, and I believe you are not. However your power runs off the passionate people whom you shackle to a truly ridiculous set of guidelines. – Adam Heeg Apr 29 '17 at 15:08
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    This site is a shame to Christ (re: you're obstinate claim there is no truth and iron fisted smashing of any attempt to analyze or discuss said truth). For more on truth link one interpretation which of course you don't admit or allow here. – Adam Heeg Apr 29 '17 at 15:08
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    @Adam Most users who make the guidelines here (re: those who participate on meta, because this site is community run) certainly do believe in a real truth delivered by God to men. However, they have concluded that discussion of any truth must be evaluated from an assumed true framework, rather than setting this site to find "the one truth" at the abandonment of discussion of the many thousands of others. This site is descriptive (what do people who call themselves Christians believe?), not prescriptive (what "truth" should Christians believe and follow?). – 3961 Apr 29 '17 at 20:52
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    @Adam SE sites are community run. If there are many who want the site to change and have a plan, it's in their power to do so. Post on meta, gain a strong majority on a solution, enact the guideline, review effectiveness in a few months, adjust as needed. – 3961 Apr 29 '17 at 21:01
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    @fredsbend your descriptive vs prescriptive is probably the best explanation I've heard to date. I thank you for that concise description. I still don't agree with the framework of the site, but at least the concept itself makes sense. It might even make sense to me if there was a more useful application of the concept. Too often I feel like the only discussions allowed are the very ones Paul warns against as being unhelpful to our growth as Christians (1:Tim 6:20) – Adam Heeg Apr 30 '17 at 15:39
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    @Adam Lots of the questions of us regulars ask are intended to expose the flaws and holes we see in others' doctrines in order that what we see as the truth may be seen as more logical. Offensive and defensive questions are fine, as long as they work within the system. – curiousdannii Apr 30 '17 at 23:11
  • @Abstractioniseverything. Sorry I don't know what you mean. All I meant was that the Stack Exchange Q&A system and our specific site standards are designed to let you write very pointed questions. If you see something in a denomination that you think is illogical or indefensible, then ask a question to put them on the defensive. If you feel like your own denomination is misrepresented, then feel free to ask and self answer a question to present your case. – curiousdannii Jun 19 '17 at 6:43
  • @Abstraction Christians from independent churches will still belong to Christian movements, such as Protestantism, Baptistic, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Apostolic, Reformed, Progressive, etc. – curiousdannii Jun 19 '17 at 7:25
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    @Abstractioniseverything. What about what I said isn't thought out well?? I didn't give you any canned answer, so please don't say I did. If you're going to treat my personal responses to your questions as canned answers then I'll stop wasting my time here. – curiousdannii Jun 19 '17 at 15:14
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I've been involved in deleting a number of your posts. However contrary to your assertions above I've also commented extensively about why they were being deleted and disagreeing with my personal beliefs was never a factor. Some posts that didn't get specific comments were because they were exactly the same issues as explained on some other post at roughly the same time.

If you can provide specific instances of moderator abuse that would be helpful. The generalized ones in your post are not particularly actionable.

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Really, the problem is your bad understanding of the purpose and guidelines of this site, and/or your unwillingness to follow them if you do understand them.

I've voted to delete a number of your answers because they were more focused on putting forward your particular view of the truth than actually answering the question asked. You have persistently refused to take direction when both mods and regulars have tried to explain to you how this site works and what it's for. You have continued to ignore the guidelines of the site, press forward your own agenda, and use the site for your own purposes rather than for the purposes for which it is designed.

The problem isn't with the mods or the regulars. The problem is with you.

Or more accurately, the problem is that what you want to do here is incompatible with the purpose of the site.

You want to answer every question with what you believe is the truth, even if the asker isn't asking for your view of the truth.

And you want to answer opinion-based and overly broad questions to get in your version of the truth before those questions are (properly) closed.

This site simply can't allow those sorts of questions or answers. If it did, it would become just as much of a flame-fest as your average "open" religious discussion site on the Internet. I stay here specifically because this is one of the few broad-based Christianity-related sites on the web that has managed to avoid that fate.

This is a StackExchange site, not a religious discussion and debate site. Its purpose is not to tell people what is the truth, but to provide information—which people can then use to decide for themselves what they believe is the truth if they so desire. The purpose of this site is to answer factual questions about the beliefs of various Christian groups and denominations, the biblical basis of those beliefs, and various other types of objectively answerable questions about matters of Christian history, ritual, iconography, and so on.

If someone asks what your particular Christian denomination thinks is the truth, you can certainly answer that question. You can then say what the truth is from your perspective to your heart's content. Just identify the denomination that believes this is the truth rather than saying "this is the truth," and you're golden.

If someone asks for the biblical basis of a particular belief that you hold to, you can go to town providing the biblical basis for that belief.

If you can do that, rather than what you've been doing, you're welcome here. But if you intend to keep doing what you've been doing, then it's just as well that you leave. It's tiring to have to keep voting to delete answers over and over by the same regular users who should know better by now.

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    "It's tiring to have to keep voting to delete answers over and over by the same regular users who should know better by now." This is true. One reason I don't do the queues anymore. – 3961 May 3 '17 at 6:20
  • @fredsbend Aha, so that's why my workload went up. :) – KorvinStarmast Sep 28 '17 at 20:12
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I think you should start a new site where these kind of answers are on topic and the most appropriate one wins.

This site is not designed to have competing worldviews answer questions and won't function if it does, I know I've deleted a few of your answers for this reason.

Personally, I don't like deleting answers, especially ones that look like hard work and represent good experienced Christianity and might actually be helpful to the person asking the question.

I can't help but thinking we're a tad Pharisaical, but there is a happy medium and I think it starts with paying closer attention to what the questions are actually asking and avoiding 'em if they can't be directly answered from the doctrinal framework asked for.

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I don't participate much anymore, but I have some insight for you personally, since I have read many of your posts over the years. I've learned to expect a certain kind of answer from you, and unfortunately that kind of answer often isn't a good fit for the question, the site, or both. Many times, specific reasons have been explained to you in conments on those posts, here in meta, and in chat. But you have been unable to apply existing general rules and ones you've synthesized for yourself to your specific style that makes your posts better for this site. We certainly cannot deny your effort to that end, and thank you for hanging in there this long. However, perhaps this is best, considering the extent of that effort.

If you do ever want to try again, I certainly will welcome you with open arms.

To all those staying, I suggest that we earnestly seek out answers for this problem. Certainly, not everyone will want to work within current site guidelines, but we should be willing to entertain the idea that we can make that number smaller. I suggest another meta post "What are some ideas to retain high value contributors?"

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I'm starting to see it more now. I rarely post Questions Or Answers anymore. Not because I have given up, but because I want to just observe, and see where I have gone wrong in the past. It is initially quite confusing, because we as Christians naturally approach the context; whether it be questions, answers or comments; with our strongly held, personal convictions.

This will invariably result in a deviation from SE philosophy in general. This, like all SE sites, is about relevance, as it pertains to the specific, verifiable and established beliefs of a certain viewpoint.

I actually began to realize this by reading the responses, to others questions, by new users. I wouldn't call it anything as profound as an epiphany, but I started to recognize when these unsuspecting, albeit well meaning, fledglings perceived an opportunity to foist their strong convictions on the community at large.

I have been as guilty as any with respect to this innocuous misunderstanding. However, on occasion, there is an overlap of moderation that sometimes appears to be biased. I no longer believe this is the case. We are imperfect representatives of our own judgments. And while I would not entirely discount any or all personal biases with regard to moderation styles, I do recognize the constraints of the venue. I believe if you are understanding the sites purpose, then you will feel the weight of the beam, and the struggle, especially with the urgency to represent the truth as you know it, for the legitimate undertaking of its furtherance.

  • I think it's not that Christians tend to approach topics with their strongly held beliefs, but that they tend to be ignorant of Christianity as an academic topic. Academia is passive, descriptive, and amoral. There's no (religious) judgement here. – 3961 Aug 1 '17 at 9:24
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This is a SECULAR website. Its not a Christian website. This is very sad, and discouraging for some. I often see well meaning, Christian people, with a desire/passion to share/teach the word, posting answers. But the fact of the matter is, this is not the forum for that.

One of the main facets of Christianity is from Jesus John 8:32

"and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

But they favorite motto of this website is "We can't handle the Truth"

So basically, this website will keep frustrating you, until you realize it's just a secular format for discussing various cults,Church history, and sometimes the bible ( As long as you just quote someone who is dead and what they thought about it).

Really the heart of this frustration, is we want this to be a "Christian" website. And honestly it just isn't. You cant get any more secular than this.

Everyone's opinion is valid here, theres no standard to judge against, (Except if you answered the specific question).

And the moderators, i think they do a decent Job. I strongly disagree with what they do, but they are doing the job appropriate to this secular format. They have absoultely no interest in proprogating spiritual truth, rather just moderating a secular website. They are shutting down anything outside the bounds of specific answers to specific questions. Which is their job.

--

However i do wish there was more latitutude when people ask for help understanding something( A verse, a concept, a word etc), i think ALWAYS asking for a specific denomination is not necessary nor helpful.

Let a bunch of people answer, and let the votes ( and the asker) decide sometimes.

This might ease up the tensions of more empassioned users, who have "A fire shut in their bones" to preach a little, while still staying within the bounds of the secular Q&A format.

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    I first want to point out that denominational scoping is only one of several well accepted question formats. christianity.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3409/… – 3961 Aug 11 '17 at 18:43
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    I also want to point out that an apathetic approach to a topic that you typically engage fiercely is not only healthy, but beneficial to understanding your position for when you do engage again. This site's academic, descriptive, and apathetic approach allows you to explore Christianity without the burden of being right, without the burden of hinging your life on ultimate truth. You should consider participation in this site a respite, not another battleground. – 3961 Aug 11 '17 at 18:49
  • I feel like you are saying what i was trying to express. This is not a place for contending for the truth. its just a secular forum for sharing "apathetic" ideas. Many people i see, myself included. Where initially frustrated, because they did not realize this was truly secular website with no eye toward proclaiming the truth of the Gospel. – L1R Aug 11 '17 at 22:06
  • Yes, this post shows you understand the site's guidelines, but you seem to be protesting them. Is that correct? If so, my second comment aims to support the current guidelines. – 3961 Aug 12 '17 at 3:26
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    Your frustration is noted. As far as @fredsbend goes, I still have not figured out exactly how to take him. However he does seem pretty harmless. In fact most are. What you perceive as a secular hot-bed, perpetrating Christianity; is really a place where anyone may come and freely participate; or not. However, in spite if what it may appear, there are some very committed representatives of valid Christian faith.The difficulty you are likely having is related to the 'bulwark' that is in place by design, to avoid running upon the rocks of discussion and debate. Does require patience f'sure. – Abstraction is everything. Aug 12 '17 at 6:47

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