An interesting ethical question reached me today, and although it has never happened to me — mostly because I don’t do much business with Christian businesses, I suspect, it raises all sorts of issues.
Someone purchased a subscription for a service from a Christian company back in February. But he finds, now the first month’s materials have been delivered, that they aren’t fit for purpose, because of a condition unmentioned in the advertising. Basically he’s lost his money, and what they are sending him, although perhaps useful to someone else, is no use to him.
He could perhaps go to the credit card company, and ask for redress. He could also go to the Advertising Standards Authority and complain that he wasn’t told. (The ASA is the body that recently decided that mainstream Christian group Healing on the Streets were not allowed to say on their website that God can heal, by the way). In short he could bring the Christian company before the authorities. If he was dealing with someone like Amazon, he would do just that.
But should he do this for a business which provides Christian services for Christians? What about 1 Corinthians 6:7:
The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?
Perhaps so. Perhaps the best thing to do is ask politely for a refund; and to bear the loss patiently if necessary; and to hand the company over to God and think no more about it. The sum is large, but bearable.
Or does this verse refer to circumstances rather different than those envisaged here; more to disputes between individuals rather than modern business methods? Or is there some other reason not to take this view?
Note that possibly there are extenuating circumstances also that have not reached me. But imagine that there are not, just for the sake of argument; and that the Christian company has got greedy.
What do you think?