Last night I watched a programme about toilets. Those things in which we defecate and urinate and vomit – all the gross unpeakables we are taught not to mention. But I was brought up with the name “Thomas Crapper” as the “Mr Toilet”. That Thomas Crapper (guffaw guffaw) had invented the place in which we crapped (guffaw guffaw)!
It turns out that TC was a great sales-marketing man. A distributor – a titan of private enterprise. He slapped his name on everything. Just as “great titans” still do – names become brands and brands become names.
“He put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.’ He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.’ Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables; without a parable he told them nothing. This was to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet: ‘I will open my mouth to speak in parables’”. Matthew 13:31-35
Branding is everything. Christianity slaps God & Jesus on everything. And Christianity adds prophecy to make it a more credible brand. Each faith adds “credibility” because credible sells.
I never thought “faith” as a brand. I was never taught that. Except that market share is measured in numbers and percentages just as “bums on seats”. Faith as a brand is measured and counted or else why count and measure? Counting how many sign-up and how many leave … Industry calls that “churn”.
I wonder if the branding of faith is necessary or else no one would have to buy anything and everything would become free. Like the air. Like beauty. Like a sunset. A sunrise. Like Love.
Love is not a brand.
Love does not differentiate. Love does not demand. Love does not contract (although we have made marriage a contract). Just as we have made faith a contract (complete with penalty clauses and rules).
Love is not enough I am told. I think Love IS never enough – because “we” make sure it never CAN be enough.
Do we really fear Love that much? Do world faiths fear love that much?
Because Love is brand-less. Love is rule-less. Love is penalty and clause-less. Love is its own reward in this moment of eternal moments. Love is a place where right and wrong aren’t. Where worshipping each other is. Where I Am is as much Love as You Are. Where leaders are irrelevant because each is sacred. Where reasons for “serving” and “duty” and “obligation” and all that “stuff of burden” have to be dressed up in parables to try and undo the branding.
I have found that Love IS enough.
And more than that – I wonder if this “counter intuitive” of faith is true – with one small objection: that the “counter intuitive” of faith is that there is NO BRANDING.
No “scriptural truth” – no “biblical truth” – no creeds – no world faiths or religions – and get this: no gender discrimination, nor race discrimination, nor wealth, nor education deference, not cultural superiority, not geographical purity, not first world-third world discrimination – not anything that “differentiates” me from you.
We are different – BUT MY DIFFERENCES are not a brand – they are me. Which means I can so easily love you AND you love me.
“Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables; … “ And he also tried the “telling it how it is” straight talking: “Love is the greatest – on love everything else is.”
And what happened?
We made it a
faith brand. And slapped His name on everything. Created USPs … measured churn … counted the numbers and world dominance … added penalties and clauses and rules …
WE made sure that love is NEVER enough again.
Which make me wonder this …
Just why does every faith brand claim “Love” as its own?