One of my favorite movies growing up, was the classic, Snow White.
I would often wonder to myself as I watched this beloved film, what I would have done in the dwarfs’ position. I mean her they were with this girl who appears to be undoubtedly dead. Without the convenience of modern-day technology to measure heartbeats and brain waves, the little men were faced with what seemed to be a crime scene that would stump even inspector Gibs.
This thought kind of freaked me out as a kid because the question would often occur to me; what if they had buried Snow White, alive?
It was at this young age, as I pondered this scenario, that I came to a few conclusions. If I were ever faced with a situation in which I would have to pronounce someone dead, I would do a few thorough tests.
Are they breathing, are they moving, are they responsive? And if there happened to be a good-looking guy around, I might add in a smooch just to be safe.
As funny as this may sound, as I have grown, I have taken those test and applied them to how I look at Christianity.
In James chapter 2 verse 17 we are told that faith without works is dead. Now, this is a very controversial verse among many Christians who argue over faith being by works. Yet if you read the following verse we see that the apostle Paul states that he shows his faith by his works and not that his faith is a result of his works. Allow me to explain.
Imagine that my childhood fear has come to pass. I am now standing over the apparently lifeless body of Snow White. It is my job to determine if she is dead or alive.
So I run through my list of the test. Is she breathing, is she moving, is she responsive? Since no good-looking guys are in the vicinity I resort to my three first questions to best determine my verdict.
Now since the movie portrays that the princess is in a very deep sleep and does not appear to be drawing in any breaths of air, we are going assume that it is unapparent that she is not breathing.
Also, it is clear that she is not doing much moving, though it would have been quite funny if Snow White had walked in her sleep.
The last test is whether she is responsive which also seems to point to the inevitable since she has 7 crying men staring at her for a long period of time. Let’s be honest, if you were fake sleeping, wouldn’t the sobs of dear Dopy bring you out of your daze?
Now we all know that Snow White is not dead, but it would appear that she is, because she is not showing any signs of life. Let me repeat that. She is not showing any signs of life.
The signs of breathing, moving, and responding to sobbing little men, do not make someone alive or dead, but they are clear signs that one would appear to be not living. In the same way, good works do not make faith, yet faith without good works would appear to be dead.
If you crate the appearance of spiritual life by performing good works, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have faith.
Grumpy could have gone up to Snow White’s casket and breathed on the glass, causing it to fog up, and thus created the appearance that the princess was truly breathing. Doc could have tied a string onto her toe, then pulled it from the other side of the room to cause the appearance of movement. And sneezy could have caused a commotion, in the way he does best, and claimed that it was the slumbering damsel. None of these attempts though would have been actual signs of life.
If we are to claim that we are living the Christian life then we should be showing signs of that life. Faith is not a feeling but an action.
In conclusion, I’d rather be known as breathing, moving, responsive Christian than a sleeping Snow White. The question is, does your Christianity show evidence of life, or would you be pronounced dead?