I participate on nearly a dozen SE forums and none delete questions and answers faster than C.SE. @Nathan deleted my answer to this question with the comment, "This is clearly not the type of answer that the OP is asking for. Answers must match the scoping of the question, thus I am deleting this."

I would appreciate a better understanding of what @Nathan thought was wrong with my answer. Especially since "No" is one of the two valid answers to a question that can be answered "Yes" and "No." I ask, because with only 20 minutes between my answer and his deletion, combined with his edit of the question, it appears that mine was not the type of answer Nathan desired, nevermind the OP.

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    "none delete questions and answers faster than C.SE." You should try skeptics.
    – user3961
    Jul 21, 2017 at 19:19
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    Last I checked, SE is trying not to run forums. The intention is to have a favorable signal to noise ratio, which forums Do Not. Jul 30, 2017 at 3:24
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    He deletes me Answers regularly also, #Solidarity
    – L1R
    Aug 10, 2017 at 21:08

2 Answers 2


Thanks for bringing this up here. Let's see if I can clear things up a bit.

First, here's the question as originally asked. Note that the question strongly implies that the book of Revelation should be understood literally, for example, when it says "we do know what is 666 and why it will be used for."

Perhaps you disagree with my judgment on this – that the OP wasn't actually assuming a literal understanding of Revelation. However, looking at this version of the question, I see only two options:

  1. The OP is coming from a dispensational background – not dispensational in a general sense, but in a theological sense, and thus would most benefit from that type of answer.
  2. The OP is confused, doesn't really understand his or her assumptions about the book of Revelation, and is just asking a truth question about Satan's motives.

If #1, then the question should be edited to clarify that a dispensational viewpoint is desired. If #2, then the question should be closed. After some deliberation, I went with option #1, but #2 wouldn't have been wrong either. But in neither case would it be appropriate to post an answer coming from a non-dispensational perspective.

Why not? Because this is not a free-for-all forum, where different traditions compete amongst themselves for dominance. To avoid this, we established early in this site's history that answers must match the question's perspective.

Practically speaking that means it is not appropriate on this site to answer a question of the form "What do Catholics think about X?" with "Here's what Mormons think about X." Or, "What do Mormons think about Y?" with "Here's what Calvinists think about Y." Such "answers" are actually not answers at all, and will be deleted.

Back to this question

Returning to this particular case, you may disagree with my interpretation of the OP's question, and believe that it was inappropriate to edit it as I did. Feel free to challenge users making such edits if you feel strongly about it. But even if you are right on that point, and I am wrong, the question would have been closed as primarily opinion based or a truth question – and as such should not have been answered.

As for your post, it clearly challenges the assumptions of the question, when it says, for example:

However, we do not believe that John's Revelation can be interpreted so literally that, as you ask, it becomes a blueprint Lucifer is somehow compelled to follow.

The fact that you had to do this at the beginning of your question should be a clue that you are not following the guidelines of this site, like those I've linked above. You are clearly coming from a perspective that is different from what the OP wants to know, and that's simply not what this site is for.

  • When I first read the question, I wondered if it was a truth question that should be closed, but seeing your edit, assumed that it was not the case. "Dispensationalism" is not a Christian church, but a belief system adopted by Christian churches, and is therefore non-denominational. When the OP asked "Why should Satan follow the same number and same process?" I assumed he actually wanted an answer from the point of view of a church that is dispensational --- like the Mormons.
    – JBH
    Jul 21, 2017 at 21:24
  • But, to be honest, I think what's actually chaffing, is that we're not soliciting the OP's input on this at all. We're putting words in his/her mouth. If you so stronly believed my answer failed to meet the OP's intent, why didn't you put that in a comment and let the OP answer for him/herself? It would seem that this policing action underscores that the question should have been treated as a truth question and that I, under the context you provided, did nothing wrong.
    – JBH
    Jul 21, 2017 at 21:26
  • @JBH If the original question wasn't asking for the view of actual dispensational theology, then it's a truth question. Many theological views believe in "dispensations" besides LDS (including Calvinism, for example), so that by itself it is not a helpful differentiator. I understand the confusion, so I'm not maligning your motives, but your answer still doesn't fit the question as asked, or as edited. Jul 21, 2017 at 21:54
  • Then it's a truth question that should be removed, and that doesn't bother me. It's a sensible clarification. But I am bothered that we've not sought the OP's advice on the matter. All other SE sites I visit let the community drive this kind of discussion. Moderators don't pre-judge the intent of the OP other than to have them clarify their question to fit within the structure of the site. I still don't believe my answer was contrary to what the OP was expecting --- unless the OP were to tell me so.
    – JBH
    Jul 21, 2017 at 21:57
  • In general, if it's possible to edit a new user's question, that's more friendly than closing it straight away. Sometimes that leads to situations like this one, but you have more experience with the site, and are better able to understand how it is meant to work. That said, you are certainly free to post a comment on that question asking if the OP meant to ask for the LDS view. If the OP is willing to edit the question to ask for that viewpoint before any actual dispensational answers come in, then that's perfectly fine and your answer can at that point be undeleted. Jul 21, 2017 at 21:57
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    And of course if the OP doesn't want the LDS view, you can ask the question from an LDS perspective yourself, and post your answer there. Jul 21, 2017 at 21:59
  • @JBH I'm not sure what to tell you then. The contrast in the quotes posted in El'endia Starman's answer is pretty clear. The OP's question is exactly the kind of question that would be asked by a run-of-the-mill, Left Behind reading, evangelical dispensationalist. But such people very often don't realize that they are dispensationalists, which is why it's natural to me to edit the question accordingly. Jul 21, 2017 at 22:04
  • Nathan, I'm learning the difference between the "we enjoy a discussion" intent and the "except where we don't want one" expectation. "if the OP doesn't want the LDS view" is a restriction only the OP can provide. I already know that you don't want an LDS answer. The OP made no distinction as to which faith they wanted the answer to come from.
    – JBH
    Jul 21, 2017 at 22:35
  • As for El'endia's answer, I didn't read the unedited question (is that a behavior I need to get into?) and why isn't "he doesn't need to..." fail as an answer? I simply don't read the intent as asking simply for a justification of Evangelical dispensationalists. But it's obvious you do feel that way. May I suggest you edit the question once more to be very specific about the type of answer you (not the OP) expects?
    – JBH
    Jul 21, 2017 at 22:39
  • @JBH It's important to realize that the point of our disagreement is whether or not the OP was sufficiently specific. I think the OP provided enough context to make a judgment, but you disagree. Others are free to reverse me on this; anyone with 2k rep can roll back my edit, and you can suggest an edit to restore it as well (that requires approval by two users; I won't intervene). BTW, I have no issues with LDS answers per se; there are many good ones on this site and I've even made poor attempts at one or two in my time. And while I'm not a Mormon, I'm no dispensationalist either! :) Jul 21, 2017 at 22:51
  • I agree with your assessment of the point of our disagreement. I'll post a comment asking the OP to clarify the expectation of his response (I'll be diplomatic about it) and see if we can't get his/her input. That would go a long way to deciding whether or not my post should remain deleted.
    – JBH
    Jul 21, 2017 at 23:07
  • @JBH Re the OP's involvement ... you may be right in what they were expecting. The problem is that —in the event your speculation is correct— this site does not allow what they were expecting. At all. The choice was between assuming they were asking a truth question and expecting any collection of views to pitch in or giving the post the benefit of the doubt that fitting in it's own framework was desired. Either way your answer didn't belong: either it was a violation of site principles (even if the OP would want our site to be different) or it was a miss-match for the question.
    – Caleb
    Jul 22, 2017 at 15:59
  • @Caleb, Nathan has already pointed all that out, so I accepted the deletion of my answer and engaged the OP to clarify his intent. What's bothering me is that it appears there is a "Dispensationalism Movement" from the early 1830s vs. "dispensationalist churches" today that have varying expressions of the idea ... and it appears that in your worldview the latter doesn't or shouldn't exist. Frankly, it seems to be that you're not particularly interested in answering any of the OP questions --- just policing the use of "dispensationalism."
    – JBH
    Jul 22, 2017 at 16:29
  • @JBH For the purposes of moderation I am not concerned with what does or should exist, only that questions are not hijacked and turned into debate theatres. To this end terminology is important and insisting on the most common current usage of terms when defining question scope is important. Conflating other theologies or making up non standard usages confuses everybody and makes enforcing answer rules impossible.
    – Caleb
    Jul 22, 2017 at 16:39
  • @Caleb, the only person debating at this point is you. Once the question was made clear even the OP became frustrated that no one was trying to answer his question. Either answer his question or mark the question off-topic because it's a truth question. You obviously believe you know more about dispensationalism than the rest of us. Honestly, does anyone subscribing to any version of dispensationalism believe the words of Revelation will be literally fulfilled such that Satan has no free will?
    – JBH
    Jul 22, 2017 at 16:55

It's fairly clear even in the original edit of that question that the OP is wondering why Satan has to follow the events outlined in Revelation.

So why should Satan follow the bible to do all those mentioned it in? There is no need to follow the bible and hence he acts against Jesus. Why should Satan follow the same number and same process?

Your answer almost immediately says:

However, we do not believe that John's Revelation can be interpreted so literally that, as you ask, it becomes a blueprint Lucifer is somehow compelled to follow..."

This contradicts the premise in the question. Here at Christianity.SE, we require that answers match the scope of the question.

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