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I am heading off the forum. My account was actually scheduled to be deleted last night, but it was not, presumably because I was still lingering in here.

As many of you know, I have deliberated about being here or not for quite some time. I have, in fact, come and gone so much, I was not sure one more goodbye was really necessary. However, some of you have been so kind and helpful to me and have invested a great deal of time in working with me, and I could not go without saying thank you and goodbye.

Most Sincerely,
One studying to show myself approved unto God,
a worker who does not need to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the Word of truth.
(II Timothy 2:15 NKJV)

P.S. My reasons for heading out have mostly to do with the era of life in which I am. My reason for closing the door to possible return is purely intrinsic to the nature of the site itself. While there are folks on the site who value truth, the site has clearly indicated that does not seek to discern the truth. Searching out the truth, discerning the truth, passing the truth on to others, is core for me.

Related posts:
Are Inductive Bible study answers welcome on this site?
Why should one participate in the Biblical Hermeneutics site?

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    I'm sorry to see anyone go who has had productive activity on the site, but you also had an instrumental role in my becoming active. I am curious why you had your account "scheduled to be deleted" rather than just keeping it open and "walking away" (perhaps to return later or not). Also, editing in a list of "reasons" you are leaving that are possibly things the community needs to correct (if not just purely personal) would be useful. – ScottS Dec 10 '14 at 16:38
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    I'm also deeply sorry to see you leave Sarah, and second @ScottS's perspective on that very helpful meta post he links to! I guess we have to accept that you may have higher priorities though and just thank you for the time and effort you have spent here :) – Jack Douglas Dec 10 '14 at 17:35
  • My reasons for heading out have mostly to do with the era of life in which I am. My reason for deleting, rather than leaving the profile dormant so I might possibly return/or not later, is purely intrinsic to the nature of the site itself, ie. The site does not seek to discern the truth.. Searching out the truth, discerning the truth, passing the truth on to others, is core for me. – user2027 Dec 10 '14 at 17:41
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    The site doesn't, but the people on it might ;) – Jack Douglas Dec 10 '14 at 17:43
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    @user2027 I am also deeply sorry you chose to leave. I believe the purpose of hermeneutics is to discern truth; any less than that is confusion. I think you mistake the Site Directives-which are inclusive, to the Site Objectives; which is to discern the truth of Scripture, based on one's interpretation and hermeneutics. Please-Don't Confuse the Two! Our Directives allow the greatest number of people to participate; Our Objective is to "Know the Truth". – Tau Dec 11 '14 at 3:49
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Perhaps your reason to leave is a reason to stay

If this comment gives the main reason you are leaving...

My reasons for heading out have mostly to do with the era of life in which I am. My reason for deleting, rather than leaving the profile dormant so I might possibly return/or not later, is purely intrinsic to the nature of the site itself, ie. The site does not seek to discern the truth.. Searching out the truth, discerning the truth, passing the truth on to others, is core for me.

... then let me note why I chose to participate, if for no other reason than to offer another perspective.

First, we all believe we have some understanding of truth (one cannot live and function without grounding themselves on something he or she believes should be believed). It is our world view; which we live out, even if most people do not actually think about and examine their own world view. Our current understanding of truth drives our lives.

Second, people differ on what is a right world view, and for one like myself, I believe there is one right worldview to have, one that is aligned with Truth, which is something ultimately only God Himself knows in totality. Yet I also believe we can know it in part, and we can grow in knowing it, or regress in knowing it. But I also know that even those people who believe there is no objective "right" view still live like there is some standard "right" view (or at least believe some views are more right than others). They express themselves to others to persuade and change the others' thoughts to their own, which means they have a value in place that their thought is more right than the one they are arguing against--and believe it is objectively so (otherwise, why present a case at all). So we differ in our perceptions of the standard for truth.

Third, but we all tend to seek out truth. We want to find out if we are "right," or need to change our view (partially or wholly). Some search for it more than others; some value it more than others. But searching is part of what we all do (consciously or not), just as you.

Fourth, our search for truth requires us to sift through more untruth than truth. There are always more lies that can be spun off one truth than there will ever be of truth itself (at least in my view on this side of God recreating everything right again). So any site like BH.SE will have more error than truth where you have contributors who are all not omniscient of Truth, and not a any one fully in line with Truth. So truth must always be discerned from error, but we all desire to discern truth as you do.

Fifth, however, is that at least two things make this site some resistant to hiding error, and helping reveal truth.

  • Because of the format, most of the questions start from a question about truth itself. That is, I hold the Bible as being wholly true (there are qualifications to what I mean by that, regarding original text, etc., but I believe you get my point). Questions primarily start from Scripture texts, which at least begins the discussion focused on something that is true.
  • The site's requirement to show one's work; to show the logic behind the statement when one answers, is critical. This allows others to evaluate what makes a better argument or not for truth.

And this is why I chose to participate on BH.SE. It at least gives a platform in which I can do as you seek to do, to pass truth on to others as I see it, but a platform in which I can trust God to use my truthful arguments to help others discern truth, my erroneous arguments to help others (and perhaps myself through other's comments) to see my errors, and also using other's true and erroneous arguments to reveal truth and error through them. But it makes for a repository for passing on truth that others can more objectively evaluate the arguments by.

Sixth, and then I just let God's Spirit do the work through my (imperfectly true) words to use my "passing the truth" to help others in "discerning truth" who are "searching out the truth" as you are. God does the work of moving people to search for truth, helping people discern it, and helping people proclaim it.

That was why I ultimately decided to participate. I view this site like one big "debate" on texts, but one with good rules of conduct to present one's case. I'll leave it to God's Spirit to use the debate for His glory.

So perhaps you might reconsider and stay. Perhaps not. We each will do what we feel is "right" :-).

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    This is a most helpful post, and I hope you aren't too discouraged that it hasn't had the effect of keeping here - Sarah has left before, and I think she has had personal reasons for doing so in addition to the reasons the presented here, but your post may well persuade others. Your 'fifth' is the top reason I personally think the site has enduring value. – Jack Douglas Dec 11 '14 at 7:30
  • Sarah emailed me said she meant to reply to your post, and even was considering following your advice, but the delete came through and then it was too late! She also asked me to give you this link to Martin Luther's commentaries. – Jack Douglas Dec 31 '14 at 11:16
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For what it's worth, I appreciated this post. I've poked around for the last month, getting the hang of things. With a computer background, the "mechanics" were not difficult, albeit, it takes a but to learn the 'rules'.

After feeling I begin to understand how the site is run, I had been coming to a similar conclusions. A post like this confirms the what I was feeling--there isn't much point in this site.

@ScottS said it pretty well, actually. The site is for endlessly debating truth (in Q&A format). Debating truth. It provides factual answers in general, but not truth. Not thinking one can have sufficient conviction on a reasonable amount of theology to be an authority on what the Bible says, and consciously living in the notion that the only way to come to a 'truth' is to wade through an ocean of untruth. All of these anti-thetical to true faith, true scriptural faith, and the heart of Christianity.

Abraham believed God, and it was credited to Him as righteousness. That's it. God said it, and taking Him at His Word.

This is probably no big shocker, but this is not a Christian site. If the only object is to have data accumulation of religious facts, it is decidedly unchristian, regardless of content. Of course there is variety of viewpoints within orthodoxy even, even allowing the groups commonly called cults by the orthodox (LDS, JW, CS, etc), which would make for more than enough room for Q&A (discussion, feedback, comments, the whole thing).

When the site directives are at direct opposition to the site objective (as @Tau put it), there is no reason to continue. A house divided against itself cannot stand.

The objective of faith is to buy the truth and sell it not. When the whole intent of a site is to do anything other than to do truth, it makes it worthless.

When you cannot even define what Christian is, the site then defies all qualification of basis. As it stands, the ONLY thing that makes it even stumble along is the Christians who frequent it. It is the voting and insight of real Christians which is the only thing of worth here, not the site itself. This further goes on to prove two other tenets, that only God-fearing people can self govern, and that, the moment you allow the slightest grain of truth thr smallest foothold, like the mustard seed, you WILL produce the entire tree, Christianity, like it or not. Given time. Or, it will die. Like the four soils. The parables of Jesus tell it perfectly.

By stamping out even the definition of Christianity, this site attempts to prove itself 'inclusive', which is exactly what many people want it to be (christianity), but the Bible is not. For those committed Christians who might read this, there is a new brand of heresy in the name of Grace called 'inclusion ', which goes "All Saved Always Saved". If it ever catches on more (or anything like it), this site will not function as anything more than an encyclopedia. If that is indeed the intent here, it changes nothing, because, once one has the truth, there is no longer a need for questions. Questions lead people without it to the truth, but outside of truth in some degree, you cannot have questions that go beyond the basic facts of the printed word on the page, so to speak.

I didn't know what i was getting into when I started out with this site. I thought I'd look around. After a month, I'll probably look for that delete function mentioned.

It's quite popular to be unsure of everything, and to 'search for truth', but, after flirting with that notion for way too long, and wasting many years doing it, I have seen over and over that i should have just listened to the small quiet voice of the Spirit within. I should have told those people who insisted that an endless study of questions to simply read the Bible, believe what it says, and to leave me alone--It would have helped. I at first thought some of the guidelines were something to work through to keep things cordial, informational, and so forth, but they go way beyond that, completely sterilizing the place.

And, ultimately, it doesn't much even match the 'clientele'... You probably all know the rules fairly well, but visitors dont. No set of rules will ever fully work, but when, as they do, impede people who don't know them from getting the answer they are plainly looking for, despite using slightly the wrong language, the game becomes a party of lawyers, endlessly debating and critiquing and never getting to the thing at hand... another thing I don't have time for.

I thought, for a while, it held promise within the parameters. And then, as I see the machine here more and more, It seems confirmed that there was not.

My opinion, but this post pretty much pointed to what I was feeling already. For that, I was glad to see it. I just think there's better ways to engage in dialogue than a system that doesn't work.

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    It sounds to me like you are disappointed to not find what you were looking for, but that thing was never supposed to be this site. I'm sorry if you mistook any intention that this would be a Christian site: it is not. It was never intended to be anything but an exercise in the public square. If you ever expect it to fill a void in the realm of the church you will inevitably be disappointed. There are much better ways to engage in dialogue, especially inside the church but also outside it. But this site isn't created for dialogue, it's more for research. – Caleb Dec 11 '14 at 12:13
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    It's not a social network or congregation where people spur each other on and the flow progresses toward something (hopefully truth). There will be no collective progress here because the site is not created for progress. But it might just turn out to be a valuable resource in the pocket of people that are progressing. It's a tool, not an end in itself. If you look for it to have meaning or purpose you will be disappointed. If you look for it to serve a specialized purpose—as a tool applied to a specific problem—then it might have value. – Caleb Dec 11 '14 at 12:13
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    @user3892098237432123 (Whew!) I'm sorry, Benjamin, that you weren't able to gain the traction you were desiring. A couple of comments: 1) Our Site Directives are not at odds with our Site Objectives. Our site objective is to arrive at the truth-any less is a meaningless waste of time. How we get there is through our understanding of the Scriptures; our hermeneutics are a means by which we ascertain the truth and communicate it to an increasingly skeptical audience. Our Directives enable the largest number of people to engage in the process. – Tau Dec 11 '14 at 18:57
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    @user3892098237432123 (Cont.) I somewhat disagree w/Caleb on this issue-and I agree w/ScottS's response; there is a "dialogue"-or better put, an exchange of point/counterpoint which makes for a more measured response. And there is "communication"-I set up the room for you and I(and others if need be); only it's not the centerpiece, just an aid to engage in dialogue w/o tying up Q's & A's in comments. There is a "dialogue" of sorts, especially one that exchanges critical information. Caleb is right, the site wasn't set up that way, but there is an information exchange to veteran users. – Tau Dec 11 '14 at 19:46

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