Requirements

What does a brand have to do to earn certification? What set of ethics does the OVerus emblem stand for? What does this emblem represent?

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OVerus Certification Requirements OVerview

Brand Essence

Matthew 7

16. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
17. Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.
18. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.

The first requirement examines the brand itself. what is the essence of this product or service? OVerus have grouped products into three categories:

  • Acceptable. Products/Services are numerous and make up the majority of goods produced. Food, clothing, cars, real estate, newspapers, airline tickets, taxi rides, accounting services, travel arrangements, and pizza are just a few of the products/services in this category.
  • Debatable. There is disagreement among the Christian denominations about some products and services, such as cigarettes. OVerus has decided to err on the side of caution, and currently items in this category cannot be certified.
  • Ineligible. Products and services that disregard Christian values, such as pornography. These are not eligible for certification.

Assuming that Brand falls into the "Acceptable" category, the next step is to examine the ethical position of Brand in context of the Judgment of Nations?

Judgment of Nations

Matthew 25

  1. When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne,
  2. and all the nations* will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
  3. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
  4. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
  5. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,
  6. naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’
  7. Then the righteous* will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
  8. When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
  9. And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
  10. Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
  11. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
  12. a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.
  13. Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?
  14. He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’
  15. And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

Interpretation

With the disclaimer that these words have been subjected to almost 2000 years of interpretation, the basic points that we can clearly extract are listed below.

  • Feed the hungry
  • Give drink to the thirsty
  • Welcome a stranger
  • Clothe the naked
  • Care for the sick
  • Visit those in prison

Noteworthy is that Jesus stated these points not one, two, or even three times: FOUR times. Ever tell a child something four times? Do you want them to listen?

How does the brand look when evaluted in this context?

OVerus reserves the right to deny certification to any brand.

Further Discussion

Below we have provided some explanation of our understanding of these words.

Feed the Hungry

All of the points in The Judgment of Nations are amazingly timeless. They are as true today as they were 2000 years ago when Christ Himself walked the earth. In particular, the directive to "Feed the Hungry" remains surprisingly relevant.

How is it that hunger is still a problem today? Using modern farming techniques, the entire world could be fed several times over again. Unfortunately, the reality is that, every night, about 1 billion people go to sleep hungry.

In the parable of the loaves and fishes, Jesus himself was moved with pity by the hunger of his followers.

The OVerus Organization is committed to addressing this issue. We donate 2% of our annual gross income to food banks and organizations dedicated to addressing the issue of hunger.

As a shopper, the OVerus emblem empowers you to with a simple way to live up to this directive. Choose OVerus brands, and you take part in the commission to feed the hungry.

Give Drink to the Thirsty

Of the six points that Jesus raised in The Judgment of Nations, perhaps the most open to interpretation is the directive to give drink to the thirsty. Just what did He mean by "drink?" Was he talking about water, wine, or some other drink? What does this drink represent? The good news of His gospel? Water, or the living water that Christ is? Education? Dozens of interpretations of this phrase have been made since Christ walked the earth.

The OVerus Organization understands this in a more literal sense; that is, actually giving water (H2O) to those who physically thirst.

In underdeveloped countries, clean and drinkable water can be hard to find. Contaminated water carries a host of diseases, including typhoid, cholera, dysentery and diarrhea. These kill hundreds of thousands of people every year.

In developed countries, clean water is also becoming more of a problem. Contamination from factories, human waste, fertilizers, and other pollutants makes much water undrinkable.

The OVerus Organization is committed to addressing this issue. We donate 2% of our annual gross income to organizations formed to address the issue of clean water. We also support innovative solutions designed to purify contaminated water.

As a shopper, the OVerus emblem empowers you to with a simple way to live up to this directive. Choose OVerus brands, and you take part in the commission to give drink to the thirsty.

Clothe the Naked

Clothing continues to be a need for a huge community of people worldwide.

Take for example, shoes. Hundreds of millions of poor children are running around without shoes. This exposes them to a host of potential problems, including:

  • Foot diseases, like plantars warts and fungus
  • Foreign objects, such as glass and splinters.
  • Trichinosis and other diseases that enter throught the bottom of the foot.

In the opinion of the author, who has had his share of "sole" problems, foot issues are particularly miserable. If you've ever had a problem with your foot, you know how difficult it can be. Foot problems affect one's walk, and the ability to ambulate. When one starts limping, muscles and tendons get used in odd ways; a knee problem develops, followed by a hip problem, followed by lower back stress... the pain just zig-zags through the body.

One generous foot doctor, who would take a trip to poor country for one month per year to addressing foot issues of the poor, recounted stories of plantars warts "like a big scallop" embedded in the bottom of children's feet.

All of these problems can be easily avoided with an inexpensive pair of flip flops.

In developed countries, the homeless are in constant need of clean and dry clothing. Those in colder climates also need jackets, blankets, hats, gloves, scarves, and the like to keep them warm in the winter months.

The OVerus Organization is committed to addressing this issue. We donate 2% of our annual gross income to "Caring Closets" and similar efforts to provide those in need with clothing.

As a shopper, the OVerus emblem empowers you to with a simple way to live up to this directive. Choose OVerus brands, and you take part in the commission to clothe the naked.

Welcome a Stranger

Of the six directives from The Judgment of Nations, this is the least obvious. Why would Jesus see this as being so important?

Welcoming a stranger is profoundly important; being alone in this world can be downright dangerous, and it is vitally important to be surrounded by a network of supportive people.

This can take many forms, at all phases in life; for example:

  • A student might invite the new kid to play basketball
  • A long-time employee might ask the new hire out to lunch.
  • A churchgoer might invite the new neighbors over for dinner.
  • A family might invite someone sitting alone to their table.
  • A couple may adopt a child.

The stranger faces a host of obstacles in their life. Often through some life's event, they may be in a position where they must deal with many difficult issues, such as unfamiliarity with a new area, loneliness, and lack of a support network. Even simple life's issues, such as needing a reference, may be a real challenge.

Even for the most personable, it can be very difficult for a stranger to insert themselves into social circles. For the more introverted, or those who are a little older, it can be difficult to find even one good friend. That is why it is so important to give strangers an opportunity.

The OVerus Organization is committed to addressing this issue. We donate 2% of our annual gross income to organizations created to welcome strangers.

As a shopper, the OVerus emblem empowers you to with a simple way to live up to this directive. Choose OVerus brands, and you take part in the commission to welcome a stranger.

Care for the Sick

So much of Jesus's ministry was dedicated to caring for the sick. He cured leprosy and paralysis. He made a blind man see. He cured every disease and illness.

Perhaps the most difficult part of being sick is being dependent on others. Most of us want to be self-sufficient, and take care of ourselves, but when sickness hits, we are forced to rely on others.

In an era where health care is one of the hottest political issues, the edict to care for the sick is as important today as it was in the time of Christ.

The OVerus Organization is committed to addressing this issue. We donate 2% of our annual gross income to organizations created to provide medicine and health care services to those in need.

As a shopper, the OVerus emblem empowers you to with a simple way to live up to this directive. Choose OVerus brands, and you take part in the commission to Welcome a Stranger.

Visit those in Prison

Arguably the most frightening of the six directives from The Judgment of Nations, the order to visit those in prison is quite a challenge.

Given that the person on the receiving end of this visit is a convicted criminal, there are some risks that those who choose to answer this call must be aware of. A prisoner may try and take advantage in various ways. They may ask for money, try to leverage a romantic relationship, or ask one to visit people on their behalf. In addition, a released prisoner may have no other friend, and one must be prepared if they come knocking.

Fortunately, we are aware of these risks, and prisons have documentation available to educate prospective visitors about these risks. At a most basic level. A good pen pal program is a safe place to start.

Nonetheless, we must find the courage to visit those in prison, remembering always that they are people, and God loves them as much as He loves you or me. Many take advantage of educational ooportunities while behind bars--some even earning degrees.

So many in prison are lonely, forgotten, and abandoned. Perhaps for a mistake made early in life, a moment's bad judgment, desperation driven by poverty, or lack of education, some spend the bulk of their life behind bars.

They deserve a second chance. They must be given an opportunity to work; to lead a lawful life, and become a productive member of society.

Here we see the amazing love of Jesus. Despite all this, he still cared enough to remember these people.

The OVerus Organization is committed to visiting those in prison. We donate 2% of our annual gross income to organizations created to reach out to prisoners.

As a shopper, the OVerus emblem empowers you to with a simple and safe way to live up to this directive. Choose OVerus brands, and you take part in the commission to visit those in prison.

Brand Contributions

As part of a brand evaluation, Brand's charitable contributions are examined. Brand is required to supply a list of donees and beneficiaries.

All Rights Reserved

OVerus reserves the right to deny certification to any brand.