As we move through this process of increasing the quality of questions here on Christianity.SE, some questions will be closing (due to the votes of the community and the moderators). This effort to improve Christianity.SE is coming from the entire community.

No one likes to have their questions closed. It is understandable that some may have a negative reaction to these events. Despite the feelings and impressions it leaves, closing a question is not a bad thing or a death sentence. It’s just a timeout zone so that things don’t collect irrelevant answers and downvotes before the final version comes along. We would like to encourage you to edit your closed question to fit the quality standards. Once it fits the standards, your question may be reopened so that it may gain more answers.

Nonetheless, this community has chosen to move forward with a set of quality standards. As we do that, we will be closing questions that are not constructive or on topic for this site that may have been in the past.

Why was my question closed?

To help answer this question, we have created this post to provide the most common answers to this question.

In general, the questions are being closed because they do not fit with the quality standards established here. Closing a question benefits both you (as the author of the question) and the community.

Closing a question allows you the chance to improve the question without collecting irrelevant answers that will not be apply to the final draft of the question. It can also helps to mitigate downvotes (sparing your reputation in the process). Finally, closing the question informs you of these standards that the community has agreed upon.

Furthermore, it helps the community by showing what is not a suitable question. This helps to prevent others from mimicking your question, which would ultimately lead to this site being filled with low quality questions.

High quality questions are the life-blood of a StackExchange site and we want this site to succeed. We would love to see you succeed here and thrive, becoming part of the community that asks and is filled with high quality questions.

What are the new standards?

If you are reading this and do not know about the quality standards, here is a brief breakdown:

  • Questions that are seeking understanding of specific doctrine, must specify the doctrinal tradition to which they are referring.
  • Questions that are seeking exegesis (translation or interpretation) of a specific passage of text, must be asking in regards to a specific doctrinal tradition.
  • Questions regarding application of doctrine or text, must be asking in regards to a given doctrinal tradition
  • Questions that do not involve doctrine, application, or exegesis must ask about other facts that can be referenced

Anything outside these guidelines will either be off topic for this site or considered not constructive questions (since they draw opinion and low quality answers).

There is a meta post that will help explain these guidelines in much more detail: What makes a good focused question?

How can I get my question open again?

The good news is that even though your question is closed, this is far from the end of the story. In fact, we truly want you to improve your question to bring it in line with the quality standards.

How to edit your question

If you don’t know how to edit the question yet, simply go back to the question and look for the little “edit” button to the bottom left of your question

The "edit" link is below the text of your question

How to get it reopened

There are two ways that your question may be reopened. The first is that the community may vote to reopen your question once it has been edited enough for it to be reopened. You can try to gain some votes by talking with others in chat about your question.

Alternatively, you can flag the question for moderator attention.

The "flag" link is below the text of your question

And enter some text to let the moderators know that your edits are ready for review:

Clicking on "flag" will pop up a box.  Choose "Other" and fill in your request

Once a moderator examines your changes, they may make suggestions to help further improve the post. These exchanges will take place in the comments to your question. (To reply to a comment, you can use “@UserName” so that the user you are replying to will be notified of your reply.)

When your question is ready to be reopened, the moderator may reopen your question (if the community has not already done so).

Should I reply to this post in regard to my closed question?

No. If you disagree with your question being closed, you may add a comment to your question or start a new post on meta to discuss it. If you choose to add a comment to your closed question, you can choose one of the people who voted to close your question using their username in your comment (for example "@Richard Why did you close my question?").

Answers to this meta post should focus on adding general suggestions for closed questions or getting questions re-opened. Discussions of specific questions will be off topic as replies to this post.

For further information see:
What makes a good focused question?
How can I contribute to the effort to clean up Christianity.SE?

  • Will questions not pertaining strongly to doctrine but heavy on exegesis be moved to Hermeneutics.SE?
    – user202
    Commented Oct 19, 2011 at 18:12
  • 2
    @IanPugsley That would be the migration path. If the question isn't asking about doctrine or doctrinal interpretation of the text, then it really should be migrated to BH.SE. If the question can be edited to focus on doctrine or doctrinal exegesis, it should stay here. (We'll try to keep questions here, when possible. Migrations cause fractures that I personally would like to avoid.)
    – Richard
    Commented Oct 19, 2011 at 18:16
  • Is there a list of common doctrines that would generally apply?
    – jcolebrand
    Commented Oct 26, 2011 at 19:16
  • @jcolebrand I wish! There are some Christians (defined) who don't believe that Jesus was God. Some don't believe that he ever died. Some don't believe he was resurrected. Some don't believe the Bible is anything more than a good, moral guide. Yet some believe the opposite. Our definition of Christian is so broad, we can't really agree on anything other than the fact that there was a man named Jesus and Christianity is based on him.
    – Richard
    Commented Oct 26, 2011 at 19:25
  • Ok, do those things have names? I suppose that's what I mean. How can I "pick a doctrine" if I don't have an idea of what they are? If you had never heard of blue, red, yellow, etc and I asked you tag a post with a color, what would your instincts be? (that's a bad example because we all know colors, unless you're blind, and even some blind people know colors) Because when you say "must specify the doctrinal tradition" I have NO CLUE what that means. I grew up Southern Baptist but don't hold with all of their ideas (way too hypocritical).
    – jcolebrand
    Commented Oct 26, 2011 at 21:04
  • The things you know that you don't know that you know because you know them, so you assume everyone knows them, are hard things to tell other people about, because you assume everyone already knows them. Yay tenets!
    – jcolebrand
    Commented Oct 26, 2011 at 21:15
  • @jcolebrand: I think the answer here lies in the fact that if you don't know the names, the chances are your question really is "what are my color options", not anything specific to one of the colors at all. Until you've asked the broad first question and learned the answer, asking a specific won't make much sense. I think we need to work on helping people with these edits one way or the other until there is a much more defined pattern to work from.
    – Caleb
    Commented Oct 26, 2011 at 22:16
  • Yes, or maybe I need to ask the meta question equivalent of "what are my color options" so that you guys can answer it?
    – jcolebrand
    Commented Oct 26, 2011 at 22:31
  • @Caleb: what if there is no name? Still a part of the definition of Christian... therein lies (some of) the rub. Oh, checking it I see "any group". So, it's actually supposed to mean "any named group" :D Commented Nov 1, 2011 at 21:37
  • "Closing the question informs you of these standards that the community has agreed upon." This isn't really true if it is the case that it doesn't matter what reason is given for closing a bad question, as long as it is closed.
    – pterandon
    Commented Jul 6, 2013 at 12:42


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