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Editorial - Published On GospelWeb 12/09/11: @ http:/www.gospelweb.net

Snow White And The Seven Church Members

Several years ago, when my daughter was around five years of age, we rented the Disney classic, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." I vividly remember the scene where the dwarfs came in and found Snow White asleep in their loft. Some of them had apparently never seen a woman and didn't know "what" she was. Grumpy recognized her and said, "Stay away from her. She's a woman and they've got wicked wiles." One of the other dwarfs asked him what wicked wiles were, and he paused then said, "I don't know, but I'm a'gin 'em."

I had never realized before that Grumpy was an old hard headed Baptist. Of course then my mind began to wander and before long, the preacher in me took over and I had a sermon with a parallel between the seven dwarfs and seven different kinds of church members that can be found in just about every Baptist congregation today. Some are good, others bad, and a few just downright worrisome.

Doc was the first dwarf and obviously the leader of the group. He pulls them all together and keeps things going. He could be called "Doc" because he might effect healing when it is needed. Docs are a healing balm in each church and provide direction, calm the storms and bring peace through their spiritual maturity and leadership.

Sleepy was the dwarf who was always sleepy, night or day. He can be seen yawning and snoozing throughout the film. I've known several church members who are sleepy. Some actually do sleep during the church service, but the average "sleepy" member is asleep at the wheel, snoring while Rome burns, the devil destroys their home and church and souls go to hell. The Bible says to "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. Eph. 5:14.

Grumpy's name speaks for itself. Though very perceptive, he was never happy. He chose to be a grump, always emphasizing the negative, walking on the dark side. The only time he ever smiled was when Snow White kissed him on top of his bald head, then when he realized he was actually happy, he immediately wiped off the smile with a "Harumph!" It seems there is always a Grumpy in every church whose motto is, "Every silver lining has a cloud" when their motto should be, "This is the day the Lord hath made, I will rejoice and be glad in it, even if it is a rotten day." Grumpys have few friends, but need loving, because their grumpiness is often an attention ploy.

Happy was the exact opposite of Grumpy. He saw the positive in every situation and spread cheer and hope. The Happys in every church are a needed blessing as they lift the fallen and bind the wounded. Their "cheerful heart doeth good" to all as the goodness of the light of God shines in the darkest of valleys that every church must sometimes pass through.

Sneezy was apparently allergic to something. He was often seen with his finger under his nose, trying to stifle a sneeze. Now let me use a little sanctified imagination here (which is the birthright of every preacher) and describe the Sneezy in every church. They are allergic to work and commitment. Ask them to help in Vacation Bible School and you get an allergic reactive sneeze. Challenge them to be faithful to church and another "ACHOO" spews out. Preach on tithing and a fit of violent sneezes come forth. Sneezy just can't handle it.

Bashful was just as his name stated: extremely shy. He could talk, but hardly did. He wasn't a bad guy, didn't cause any trouble and was not disliked. He was just bashful. Churches are full of his brothers and sisters today. They are good people and they will talk about golf, deer hunting, fishing, shopping and the latest styles, but are tight lipped when it comes to talking about Jesus. They spend hours a day with family, school mates and co-workers, and never even mention Jesus, much less tell of His saving grace. These incognito Christians would probably cause their friends to drop dead of shock if they began telling the wonderful words of life in their daily conversation.

Dopey is last but not least, though he appeared to be the youngest. One thing was for certain about Dopey. You never heard him say a negative or derogatory word about the other dwarfs, Snow White, or even the wicked queen. Of course he never said a word about anyone or anything . . . . period. Dopey never talked. Often times, people talk too much and when they do, the conversation can turn negative, ungodly or destructive. In the Disney film, Bambi, Thumper said that his father told him that "If you can't say somethin' good about somebody, don't say nuthin' at all." Oh, for more Dopey Christians in churches today. "And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you. I Thessalonians 4:11.

Now which one are you?

Joseph Harris is the Vice President of Southeastern Baptist College in Laurel, MS. (This article may be reprinted in whole, as long as the name Joseph Harris and www.miniedition.net also appear).