As new members join a site called "Christianity," it is understandably common that many will ask the sorts of questions that would be asked of a pastor, in a church Bible study, or over a cup of coffee at a Christian book store. Questions like:
- Of whom is God jealous?
- Is it possible to get into heaven, but then be cast out at a later date?
- Why did God create man?
- What could persuade a presumably otherwise-rational Satan to turn on God?
- Genesis 19. 8 Why should he protect strangers above protect his daughters?
- Original sin and its consequences
But despite the impression given by our name, that's not really what we're about. Why?
We can't handle the truth.
These types of questions are what we refer to as Truth Questions. It may seem odd to say that a site about Christianity says it can't handle the Truth... Isn't Christianity all about The Truth, and determining The Truth?
Well, yes, Christianity is about the Truth. But we aren't. We are about Christianity.
Put another way: we don't study the Truth, we study the Christian study of the Truth.
And as there are a multitude of Christian opinions, as made apparent by the number of Christian churches and denominations, there can almost never be a single, universally accepted answer to any truth question. This is why we shy away from Truth Questions.
But don't despair! There's still hope for your question. Here are some guidelines on how you can clean up your question to make it possible to answer within the guidelines of this site. And below are some links for further reading if you desire a deeper understanding.
Turning a "Truth Question" into a "Christianity Question"
First understand that a "Truth Question" asks what is true. A "Christianity Question," as deemed appropriate for our site, can ask what Christians believe or do. And more specifically, it asks what a specific group or subset of Christians do.
Bad: Is Michael the Archangel also Jesus?
There are at least two answers to this question. Which one is right? We don't know. We can't handle the Truth.
Good: Do Jehovah's Witnesses believe Michael the Archangel is Jesus?
There is only one answer, because the question is no longer asking for truth, but only what a specific group of Christians believe. Jehovah's Witnesses have a well-defined answer to this question.
An acceptable question can also ask for the origin of a particular belief, doctrine, or practice.
Bad: Is drinking alcohol a sin?
There are countless answers to this question. Some believe all alcohol is a sin, others think it's permissible only for medicinal purposes, or during communion, and others yet have no restrictions on the consumption of alcohol. Which is the correct answer? We don't know. We can't handle the Truth.
Good: What is the Biblical basis for claiming that drinking alcohol is a sin?
There is a well defined answer to this question. And you don't have to even agree with the conclusion that alcohol consumption is a sin to understand the Biblical basis for the claim.
For further reading
- What Christianity.StackExchange is (and more importantly, what it isn't)
- What to do with "Is x a sin" questions?
- According to whom?
- Types of questions, or template questions, that the community generally finds acceptable
- Tips for editing a question to make it suitable for re-opening
If you are still confused about why your question was closed, or need help revising it to fit within our site guidelines, please do not hesitate to ask a question here on meta about your specific situation. We really do want to make it possible for you to participate here!