There have been recent questions, such as this one about baptism that while may be a good question and community members have good intentions, the OP also states they live in:

Iran and leaving Islam is a crime punishable with slashes and death, I tried to keep my faith hidden

I feel like any advice will put the OP more at risk. Maybe this falls under the umbrella asking for personal advice. The situation the OP is in does not sound desirable, however is providing answers putting them more at risk?

Within my denomination, for those seeking baptism who have specific backgrounds there is a bit of a more in depth discussion about this, because being baptized puts their life at risk if they choose to return to their home country.

Is this type of question ok? Is there a category questions such as this should fall under besides personal advice? Should answers be given with caveats?

2 Answers 2


The person openly asking a question in the Internet is putting their neck out there. Caleb used to moderate the site from Turkey and didn't seem to have a problem with telling people the Truth as much and as often as possible.

But, in the long run, the context for the question shouldn't come in to it, actually we should probably edit it out. A person could stumble across a non-nuanced question, get the same answer and it might be more dangerous for them to hear.

The question is something that can be objectively answered. One problem with that question is that it's not scoped well enough, there's a Catholic Canon Law answer, the Deacon answered in general, but I looked up for him.

One problem is that the question needed to be scoped in the first place. Most denominations wouldn't care about nuances in Canon Law regarding the ordinary minister of Baptism.

  • person openly asking a question in the Internet is putting their neck out there is not really a valid reason to offer dangerous advice. There are plenty of ways to hide/obscure one's identity, from unique usernames to VPNs. We shouldn't make assumptions about safeguards they might have in place when they have already stated the dangerous living circumstances.
    – depperm
    May 8, 2023 at 17:40

"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:10)

Before saying anything else, I think we should recognize that, as Christians, we are called to a unique understanding of physical danger, especially danger which exists because one is Christian. (Whether that's consistent with SE's TOS is another question.)

That said, as Peter's Answer observes, much of the risk is already assumed in asking the question. Additionally, I don't think its our job (speaking for SE as a whole, as this certainly applies to other networks) to get bogged down in issuing disclaimers for behavior that might be dangerous. Put differently, I haven't observed DIY.SE or Electronics.SE forbidding answers to questions that might endanger the OP, so which would Christianity.SE have a different policy?

If someone wants to add a disclaimer, that's fine, though in this instance the OP seems already aware of the danger.

  • the danger one faces is different by location/situation. Many SE communities do have disclaimers (in DIY.SE I've seen plenty of disclaimers saying hire a professional-load bearing wall, dangerous wiring, etc or Legal.SE). I'm not trying to insinuate that this is a bad question just that it either be handled with more care or it not be a good fit for the site (there are plenty of good questions that don't have a place on this site)
    – depperm
    May 8, 2023 at 17:50
  • 1
    @depperm I like the idea of having a standard disclaimer like other SE sites. Maybe if there is a page stating that the reader should exercise care in applying the answer (instead of trusting it blindly) because of their exceptional circumstances, that Q or A can link to (in a footnote separated by -----) anyone can add it or edited the link in. May 8, 2023 at 19:33

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .