2021 Moderator Election

nomination began
Oct 11, 2021 at 20:00
election began
Oct 25, 2021 at 20:00
election ended
Nov 2, 2021 at 20:00
candidates
4
positions
1

On Stack Exchange, we believe the core moderators should come from the community, and be elected by the community itself through popular vote. We hold regular elections to determine who these community moderators will be.

Community moderators are accorded the highest level of privilege on our community, and should themselves be exemplars of positive behavior and leaders within the community.

Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

  • patient and fair
  • leads by example
  • shows respect for their fellow community members in their actions and words
  • open to some light but firm moderation to keep the community on track and resolve (hopefully) uncommon disputes and exceptions

Every election has three phases:

  1. Nomination
  2. Primary
  3. Election

Please participate in the moderator elections by voting, and perhaps even by nominating yourself to be a community moderator!

Additional Links

Questionnaire
The community team has compiled questions from meta for the candidates to answer.
  1. 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?

[Answer 1 here]

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

[Answer 2 here]

  1. How do you distinguish questions that are about systematic theology (even ones that cite the Bible) from exegetical questions that touch on theological matters?

[Answer 3 here]

  1. How would you deal with a poorly written or worded question from a first-time poster to this site?

[Answer 4 here]

  1. What are comments for, and what are the signs that comments have turned into a debate that needs to be handled by a moderator?

[Answer 5 here]

  1. How does the purpose and scope (allowed questions) of this site differ from Christianity.SE?

[Answer 6 here]

  1. Sometimes comments are written on this site complaining that a question does not come from a place of genuine inquiry, but instead is a "stump the chump" or "gotcha" question for people of some other theological camp. Do you think questions like these are a legitimate problem, and if so, how do you identify these questions?

[Answer 7 here]

  1. How have you contributed to the [community moderation](https://meta.stackexchange.com/q/160960/256282) of this site?

[Answer 8 here]

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

[Answer 9 here]

  1. 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?

[Answer 10 here]

Jesse Steele

I nominated myself only because BH had no candidates, yet I always wanted to help us discuss better.

  1. I have a bachelor's in Bible from the Moody Bible Institute.

  2. I have done work in this field, see at jesse.church.

  3. I have rep on many SE sites (ELL, ELU, IPS, Linux sites). BH is my top rep, 2nd only to Meta.

I prefer to answer questions that haven't been answered to contribute where most needed. We have many good answers already, so I stay quiet when others already helped or when people more learned than I can answer better.

Admittedly, I have noticed that many answers do seem a bit "know-it-all" in tone. But, I don't look down on people for that because I used to do the same. Other SE sites taught me how discuss better. I want to bring that here.

I always wished I could have the chance to help Hermeneutics users learn the kindness SE taught me on other sites. That might help Bible people even outside SE to have better discussions in the real world. But, I thought I didn't have high enough rep to run for moderator. Now, I volunteered as the first candidate. I'd love to offer kind advice if you want me.

Questionnaire
  1. 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?

Valuable, but often-flagged, users should be gently guided to understand.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

If another mod and I disagree, I must mainly learn from that other mod.

  1. How do you distinguish questions that are about systematic theology (even ones that cite the Bible) from exegetical questions that touch on theological matters?

SysTheo is about topics; exegesis asks what a specific passage means.

  1. How would you deal with a poorly written or worded question from a first-time poster to this site?

Poorly-worded questions need editing to demonstrate improvement or informative feedback.

  1. What are comments for, and what are the signs that comments have turned into a debate that needs to be handled by a moderator?

We need mods when comments go off topic; debate is off-topic.

  1. How does the purpose and scope (allowed questions) of this site differ from Christianity.SE?

BH is about literature interpretation rules in reading Bible, Christianity.SE is closer to SysTheo viz development in Church history.

  1. Sometimes comments are written on this site complaining that a question does not come from a place of genuine inquiry, but instead is a "stump the chump" or "gotcha" question for people of some other theological camp. Do you think questions like these are a legitimate problem, and if so, how do you identify these questions?

Stump-chump questions are a problem; I recognize them from church debates. They should be handled through guiding the user.

  1. How have you contributed to the [community moderation](https://meta.stackexchange.com/q/160960/256282) of this site?

Meta.SE is my top-ranked site. I have taken much flack there because I want healthy, unassuming, non-toxic discussion, quickly helping new users learn the skill, neither punishing nor abandoning them. We can't be assumptive nor offer only unexplained dissent. If someone is wrong, only be helpful in response. That's been my mission on Meta.SE.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Mods lift users to a reach better quality.

  1. 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?

Having a diamond by my name scares me, but I'll do it if users want me.

EJoshuaS - Reinstate Monica

I would like to nominate myself. I've been involved in Stack Exchange sites since around 2017, and I have participated extensively in asking and answering questions and in community moderation since then.

Questionnaire
  1. 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?

Clean up the comments and warn them to stop doing that. Eventually, if they persist in the behavior, a short suspension may be required to help address the problem. I certainly hope that it wouldn't come to that, though, and I would try to make sure that we didn't lose them as a participant as a result.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

I would discuss it with them directly and privately.

I would certainly not, however, override their decision or be publicly critical of it regardless of my agreement/disagreement.

  1. How do you distinguish questions that are about systematic theology (even ones that cite the Bible) from exegetical questions that touch on theological matters?

Systematic theology questions may cite a text but are fundamentally about a doctrine. Exegetical questions are fundamentally about the text (even if they touch on questions about systematics).

  1. How would you deal with a poorly written or worded question from a first-time poster to this site?

Edit where possible. Direct them to appropriate resources in the help center, and comment on things they can do to improve. I'm not always perfect in this area, but these comments are usually the most effective when presented positively (along the lines of "you'll have the best odds of getting a helpful answer to your question if you be sure to do x, y, and z, and the reason is the following:...") as opposed to being an implied criticism for them not knowing and following site rules. This sometimes gets lost, but the motivation for leaving comments on a low-quality post is to encourage the OP to improve it, not merely to point out their mistakes.

  1. What are comments for, and what are the signs that comments have turned into a debate that needs to be handled by a moderator?

If comment threads start becoming too long or too heated. Also, people should be strongly discouraged from answering in the comments. Answers should be written as answers so that they're easier for future readers to find (and so that people can vote on them properly).

  1. How does the purpose and scope (allowed questions) of this site differ from Christianity.SE?

This is not, as I understand it, intended to be an exclusively "Christian" site. While in practice most people approach the text from that perspective, that's actually too bad in my opinion because other perspectives should be encouraged too. I would love to see greater participation from the perspective of Judaism (although some people have indicated a discomfort in doing so, which, again, is too bad) and literary and historical analysis - perhaps even having some kind of joint events with those respective sites to encourage cross-participation.

  1. Sometimes comments are written on this site complaining that a question does not come from a place of genuine inquiry, but instead is a "stump the chump" or "gotcha" question for people of some other theological camp. Do you think questions like these are a legitimate problem, and if so, how do you identify these questions?

Yes, I do think this is a problem. I've actually previously written about "soap-box questions" that are little more than opportunities to advocate for a specific perspective.

Ideally, I'd like to have a community-specific off-topic reason for these questions, but in lieu of that this kind of question should be promptly closed as "Opinion Based" or "Needs Details or Clarity".

As to how we identify such questions, the Help Center's don't ask page is a good start for subjective questions that are not considered constructive. In particular, this type of question tends to fall under points #3 ("there is no actual problem to be solved") and #5 ("[the] question is just a rant in disguise").

  1. How have you contributed to the [community moderation](https://meta.stackexchange.com/q/160960/256282) of this site?

I have admittedly been somewhat more involved in moderation on Stack Overflow, where I have been a long-term participant in Stack Overflow Close Vote Reviewers (SOCVR) and, to a lesser degree, Charcoal, and where I have gold badges for most of the review queues. (That's partially due to the fact that Stack Overflow's review queues are typically so backlogged). However, I feel that I will be able to apply that knowledge here as well.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Moderators primarily handle things that the community cannot. Ideally, most content problems should be handled by the community through editing, downvoting, upvoting, closure, flagging, or deletion. (Not that moderators can't do that - after all, moderators are still community members - but that function isn't delegated specifically, or even primarily, to moderators). However, many non-content problems (e.g. behavioral issues) should be dealt with by moderators.

  1. 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?

While I'd hardly say that I'm perfect, I'm totally fine with that.

Ken Graham

Hello everyone, my name is Ken Graham and I would like to nominate myself as a possible moderator for this amazing site.

I m at present a moderator on two other Stack Exchange sites: Christianity SE and Beer, Wine &Alcohol SE.

I would like the possibility to help this site grow in number and strength.

Would be more than happy to spend more time here helping out in whatever humble manner I may.

Questionnaire
  1. 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?

Remind user(s) of the site’s rules and policies if necessary. Arguments should should be curtailed as soon as possible. One can send them to chat chat if convenient, but if danger of escalation is a possibility, then the user(s) should be requested to stop immediately.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

Ask the moderator in question his reasoning. This helps clarifying his perspective. If need be the moderators could take the subject to meta or talk about privately in chat in order to get the perspective cleared out.

  1. How do you distinguish questions that are about systematic theology (even ones that cite the Bible) from exegetical questions that touch on theological matters?

Exegesis is the interpretation of a Biblical text, to explore its meaning, significance and relevance. Most exegesis questions should be asked at the Biblical Hermeneutics SE site and not on Christianity SE.

Exegesis questions on the Christianity SE site need to specify a perspective (denomination) and explain why an answer from that perspective is needed.

Systematic Theology is a discipline of Christian theology that formulates an orderly, rational, and coherent account of the doctrines of the Christian faith. It addresses issues such as what the Bible teaches about certain topics or what is true about God and His universe.

  1. How would you deal with a poorly written or worded question from a first-time poster to this site?

Many poorly written or worded questions may be simply and directly edited into a reasonably good question, as long as a moderator can understand the nuances stated in the question. If clarity is not possible, then one should ask the OP for clarity. Closing a question should be a last result, unless obvious.

  1. What are comments for, and what are the signs that comments have turned into a debate that needs to be handled by a moderator?

Comments are not to be used to argue personal points of view or doctrines. One should remind users that the comment tool is for suggesting improvements or requesting clarification to posts.

  1. How does the purpose and scope (allowed questions) of this site differ from Christianity.SE?

Christianity SE is a much more diverse site. Exegesis questions on that site need to specify a perspective and explain why an answer from that perspective is needed. Exegesis for the Biblical Hermetics SE site is about the interpretation of a Biblical text, to explore its meaning, significance and relevance.

  1. Sometimes comments are written on this site complaining that a question does not come from a place of genuine inquiry, but instead is a "stump the chump" or "gotcha" question for people of some other theological camp. Do you think questions like these are a legitimate problem, and if so, how do you identify these questions?

These types of questions are common on other sites. They do pose some legitimate problems at time, since they are often based on a particular interpretation of the OP. I find such posts to be in poor taste. In general, I would try to work with them to understand what adjustments might be made to the post in question. They should be handled through guiding the user, how to make good quality posts.

  1. How have you contributed to the [community moderation](https://meta.stackexchange.com/q/160960/256282) of this site?

I am generally not active on this site, but am willing be constructive on it.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Moderators help keep the site running as smooth as possible though attending to flags, and make sure questions are on-topic. Of course editing is a big part of their role. I like to see the community run the site as best as possible on it’s own, and see moderator intervention only when needed. The retry to resolve any number of problems that may arrive here with the help of other moderators and the community in general.

  1. 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?

A diamond after my name is now second nature for me. I am a believer that the community runs the site and a moderator simply helps out when needed. As a moderator here I would like to see the community grow strong and orderly. As a moderator with certain privileges, I would like to use those privileges carefully and thus avoid any mistakes on my part. It nevertheless a little scary to be a moderator here or anywhere else.

Martin Hemsley

I’m a newer member, though I’ve had a lot of experience studying and teaching the Bible. I try to use my time wisely in the kingdom of God and I believe that he guides me as I seek different ways of serving. I believe this site and the sister, Christianity, have been helping people to grow in their faith and knowledge of our Lord and Savior.

I have been both humbled and encouraged to see how people have responded to my posts because I try to speak the truth as I understand it boldly without sugarcoating. I thought more people would be offended, but I’m realizing as things seem to be getting more confusing and contentious in the world, people are more hungry for truth – not that I have a monopoly on it, of course.

Part of the attraction of this site is that we can learn from each other as iron sharpens iron. If I can help people to do that more as a moderator, the extra time and effort will be worth it. Otherwise, I’m happy trying to answer and ask questions when I can with some editing here and there as I have been doing.

One of my goals would be to help new posters feel warmly welcomed and be gently guided into how the site functions.

Questionnaire
  1. 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?

I would thank them for their valuable contributions and explore with them the nature of the opposition to see if it could be mitigated according to biblical principles.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

I'm assuming there is good communication between moderators to discuss differences of opinion and how they can be effectively resolved.

  1. How do you distinguish questions that are about systematic theology (even ones that cite the Bible) from exegetical questions that touch on theological matters?

ST questions tend to be more broad in scope drawing on a wider range of texts.

  1. How would you deal with a poorly written or worded question from a first-time poster to this site?

Thanking them for their contribution, welcoming them to the site, and helping them understand how it works.

  1. What are comments for, and what are the signs that comments have turned into a debate that needs to be handled by a moderator?

As good as we like to think our answers are, they are not inspired Word. Comments are a great way for questioners and answers to develop their understanding of the topic. If it looks like there will be a lot of back and forth, moving to Chat is a good option. Dialogue should always be calm and respectful.

  1. How does the purpose and scope (allowed questions) of this site differ from Christianity.SE?

Christianity.SE seems to be broader in the scope of questions it accepts and this site tends to focus more on the exegesis of specific biblical texts.

  1. Sometimes comments are written on this site complaining that a question does not come from a place of genuine inquiry, but instead is a "stump the chump" or "gotcha" question for people of some other theological camp. Do you think questions like these are a legitimate problem, and if so, how do you identify these questions?

I don't want to assume I can read people's hearts and minds, but if it becomes clear with wisdom and discernment that someone's contributions are not constructive or beneficial to the community, I would try to work with them to understand what adjustments might be made.

  1. How have you contributed to the [community moderation](https://meta.stackexchange.com/q/160960/256282) of this site?

I did a little before considering becoming a moderator and got a positive response.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

I like the philosophy of moderation mentioned on the Overflow site. “The ideal moderator does as little as possible.” In other words, they only intervene when absolutely necessary to ensure the smooth functioning of the site. The people who are attracted to this site are, for the most part, pretty sophisticated and knowledgeable about the Word of God. I believe they should be given as much freedom as possible to express their views within the guidelines established. I would like to give as clear an explanation as possible about why something might need to be modified or closed so people can learn more quickly how the site functions and not get discouraged.

  1. 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?

None of us is perfect and we all need to be held accountable. I would like what I do as a moderator to reflect Christian values of love, patience, and other fruit of the Spirit. I’d like to believe that people could be attracted to the message of Jesus by observing how we respond to each other on the site even when we disagree. Finally, I would like to see the site continue to grow and increase its positive impact on the Christian community as well as seekers.

This election is over.