The purpose of this thread was to collect questions for the questionnaire. The questionnaire is now live, and you may find it here.

Christianity Stack Exchange is scheduled for an election next week, May 18th 2020. In connection with that, we will be holding a Q&A with the candidates. This will be an opportunity for members of the community to pose questions to the candidates on the topic of moderation. Participation is completely voluntary.

Here's how it'll work:

  • Until the nomination phase, (so, until May 18th at 20:00:00Z UTC, or 4:00 pm EDT on the same day, give or take time to arrive for closure), this question will be open to collect potential questions from the users of the site. Post answers to this question containing any questions you would like to ask the candidates. Please only post one question per answer.

  • We, the Community Team, will be providing a small selection of generic questions. The first two will be guaranteed to be included, the latter ones are if the community doesn't supply enough questions. This will be done in a single post, unlike the prior instruction.

  • If your question contains a link, please use the syntax of [text](link), as that will make it easier for transcribing for the finished questionnaire.

  • This is a perfect opportunity to voice questions that are specific to your community and issues that you are running into currently.

  • At the start of the nomination phase, the Community Team will select up to 8 of the top voted questions submitted by the community provided in this thread, to use in addition to the aforementioned 2 guaranteed questions. We reserve some editorial control in the selection of the questions and may opt not to select a question that is tangential or irrelevant to moderation or the election.

  • Once questions have been selected, a new question will be opened to host the actual questionnaire for the candidates, typically containing 10 questions in total.

  • This is not the only option that users have for gathering information on candidates. As a community, you are still free to, for example, hold a live chat session with your candidates to ask further questions, or perhaps clarifications from what is provided in the Q&A.

If you have any questions or feedback about this process, feel free to post as a comment here.


8 Answers 8


How do you handle flags from minority sects claiming abuse in answers critical of their doctrine

Most of the time, answers aren't critical of a doctrine that they don't like, they're just abusive, but occasionally users from outside of a particular denomination will post insightful things that may actually be overtly critical of a sect.

We have a rule that the answers must represent the perspective asked for, but we don't have a rule that answers must be supportive of the perspective asked for, on the contrary, the rule, if it is a rule, is that they should be neutral. If the facts laid out, appear to point out inconsistencies in a doctrine, do you take the side of the flaggers who don't want holes punched in their doctrine or side with the answers, owing to the fact that they've written a well researched post and used nothing but objective language, sticking to the topic.


How do you balance Christian need to evangelize with the encyclopedic nature of this Q&A site

While we certainly can't prohibit non-Christians from becoming moderators, it's highly unlikely that one will be elected given that high rep users on the site are almost entirely Christians and high rep users are almost always elected moderators.

If you are a committed Christian, what do you do to stick to the overall goals of the Q&A nature of the site?


What percentage of a post needs to match the OP to be considered an Answer?

Given the fact that a lot of our users like to soap-box a bit, what do you do about flag handling for Not an answer (NAA) when users post three good paragraphs and use the last one to make some sort of a commentary? If someone flags the answer as NAA how do you respond?


How do you discern, and then guide, the denomination/tradition scoping level appropriate to a question?

  • Some questions (mostly exegetical, but some doctrinal) have historically been answered the same way by a group of denominations thus making too restrictive scoping to risk turning away potential answers from other denomination adherents, or worse, to "invent" unnecessary differentiation. For example, on some questions Catholics and Eastern Orthodox have answered them the same way and similarly on some other questions Evangelicals of all stripes (Reformed, Wesleyan, Pentecostal) have answered them the same way.

  • Some questions (like baptism) do need more specific scoping but a lot of OP, especially those new to Christianity, are not even aware of the choices and how the choice will impact the answer. Or they may adamantly want a Biblical answer. There is also a risk of alienating them if they need to supply more than they are prepared to provide. How would you guide the OP and the community members interested in the question to refine it so it can be part of the valued collection in C.SE while maximizing interest & participation?


How strongly do you support the SE objective of having a high signal-to-noise ratio?

One of the few things that makes SO and SE sites better than the rest of the internet has been the focus on maintaining a high signal-to-noise ratio.

Explain how important that is to you, and how it influences your perception on the role of a diamond mod.


How do you deal with other moderators

  • How do you deal with other moderators in seeing a potential argument developing in the comments, especially if it is not your personal denomination?
  • Can you work as team player, yet work with other moderators seeking council and insight in particular difficult areas?
  • How do you as a team leader, working with other moderators try to keep a veritable Christian influence with obnoxious behaviour?

How do you deal with the broad spectrum of questions, the majority of which are about 'Christianity' as a subject, but are not 'comparative' ?

The site attracts a lot of attention of a general kind - general biblical questions, general questions about Christianity, as such - yet the stated, official purpose of the site is very specifically 'comparative' Christianity (the asking of questions about what certain, specific groups of Christians believe and say and do).

Do you regard the site as having a wider spectrum of usefulness than its specific, stated purpose and how do you propose to either accommodate that or to discourage it ?


Here is a set of general questions, gathered as very common questions asked every election. As mentioned in the instructions, the first two questions are guaranteed to show up in the Q&A, while the others are if there aren't enough questions (or, if you like one enough, you may split it off as a separate answer for review within the community's 8).

  • How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?
  • How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

  • In your opinion, what do moderators do?
  • A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?
  • In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?
  • 1
    "A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments." Is that necessarily a good policy? I have no desire to be a moderator myself, but if I were, I'm sure I'd be much more careful about what I said and how I said it. Displaying the diamond retroactively might require making a lot of revisions to make sure everything I ever posted previously doesn't suddenly become inappropriate when seen as being written by someone in authority. May 12, 2020 at 0:24
  • 1
    The diamond is attached to the profile, not the posts, @RayButterworth. It isn't really a "policy," but just a UI change to the usercard.
    – JNat StaffMod
    May 14, 2020 at 15:41

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