Read, Understood, and Agree

The spirit of mammon – this secular legalistic garbage does little to embrace the truth.


I meet with a small group of Christian men on Saturday’s for a time of fellowship and discipleship. Recently, one of of them shared a story of filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau over an online purchase.

We’ve all done it. You know – that little check box that says you have read, understood, and agree to something. We check it because we want whatever the “bait” is on the front end of the deal and you can’t proceed until you check that little box.

We probably haven’t read it.

If we’ve read it, we probably didn’t understand it.

If we did understand it, we probably wouldn’t agree with it.

Now that’s a problem!

But there’s a bigger problem. It’s the legalistic world view that if you can be lured into making a bad consumer choice – you’re not a victim. In fact, the perpetrator of the shady deal is defended by the law as being entitled to the benefit of the bargain.

Bargain? What about fairness? What about deception? What about morality? How is it that by including an asterisk next to a so-called “privacy statement”, “free”, or “unlimited” claim, the fine print can go on to elaborate, obfuscate, and actually negate any sense that there is any truth in the original claim? Yes, they shroud it in a bunch of legal double talk and hide behind cleverly constructed semantics – but the bottom line is that they do not care about you and in fact have every intent of exploiting you for profit.

The spirit of mammon comes to mind.

You see, the secular world has a different standard of what “truth” is.

I remember one time when my wife called and asked a reasonable question: “Where are you?”. She was trying to get a sense of when I would be home so she could plan the family logistics of an evening meal and so forth. My truthful reply of “east of Mobile Alabama” gave her the truthful impression that I would be home in about 4 hours.

Yes, I was truthfully “east of Mobile Alabama”. I was in Tallahassee Florida having a few beers with they guys.

Yes, I would be home in about 4 hours.

But the purpose of my “true” statement was to deceive my wife. As Christians, we are held to a standard higher than just legal truth. Consistently, the New Testament raises the standard of mere legal compliance.

  • lust is on par with adultery
  • we are to be “cheerful” givers
  • we are to avoid even the appearance of impropriety

Try this as a litmus test for truth:

“Anything that you say, or don’t say, or say in such a way that has as it’s intent to deceive or mislead someone is a lie.”

Legalism and the law serve as an unreliable moral compass. Volumes of legal code have done little to solve our social problems. On the other hand, giving our hearts to Christ and living according to His teachings would go a long way to solving the worlds problems.

That’s what I think. I’m interested in your thoughts. There’s lots of ways to hit me up so let me hear from you.

You can leave your comments below.

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Author: Mark Prasek

Christian Technologist. Find me on Twitter @DataGenesis

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