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Topic: Links to mentalism and Christianity articles
Message: Posted by: revlovejoy (Apr 4, 2005 11:21PM)
I know there are recent threads on this very topic, but I thought I'd post a link to another magic site I just discovered. There are two very thoughtful articles on the question of Christianity and mentalism. The author is Ian Carpenter from the UK.

http://www.online-visions.com/other/0305ian.html

http://www.online-visions.com/other/0306ian.html
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Apr 5, 2005 03:32PM)
Interesting stuff!
Message: Posted by: MarkTripp (Apr 9, 2005 04:30PM)
Yes it is. Do notice how they are talking about "readings" and how they can help people.

I seem to recall pointing out those readings are at the core of this debate.

There it is, yet again.....
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Apr 10, 2005 12:13AM)
Guess we should condemn all those ministers for having personal talks with people to help them as well.
Message: Posted by: Mind Bullets (Apr 10, 2005 05:10PM)
Hi Mark,

From our past dialogue on this subject, it appears that the following would summarize, in your view, what should and should not be allowed for the Christian:

[i]Given the following:[/i]
Let X = Fake magicians who do not claim to have real magic powers
Let Y = Fake magicians who do readings and claim to have real magic powers

[b]Even though both X and Y exist in the world, magic is still OK for Christians[/b]

[i]Given the following:[/i]
Let A = Fake mentalists who do not claim to have real psychic powers
Let B = Fake mentalists who do readings and claim to have real psychic powers

[b]Since both A and B exist in the world, all mentalism is to be shunned and prohibited for Christians.[/b]

Would you agree with this summary?

Jim
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Apr 10, 2005 05:48PM)
Jim,

You Missed

Z = Fake Magicians who do readings and do not claim to have real magic powers

C = Fake Mentalists who do readings and do not claim to have real magic powers
Message: Posted by: Mind Bullets (Apr 10, 2005 06:59PM)
Hi CTR,

Thanks for pointing that out. I do [b]implicity[/b] include them as part of X and A, respectively. In other words, "A = Fake magicians who (do or do not do readings and) do not claim to have real magic powers." And "X = Fake mentalist who (do or do not do readings and) do not claim to have real psychic powers."

The reason for explicitly stating "readings" for Y and B is that the "readings" combined with claiming to have real powers seem to be a big factor in Mr. Tripp's exclusion of mentalism for the Christian. I'm curious to see if Mr. Tripp will make the same exclusion of magic for Christians.
Message: Posted by: Richard Osterlind (Apr 11, 2005 07:08AM)
What exactly is a "fake" magician?
Message: Posted by: Mind Bullets (Apr 11, 2005 07:59AM)
"Fake magician" refers back to an earlier discussion between Mark Tripp and me. In his discussions about the differences between mentalism (bad for Christians" according to Mark Tripp) and magic (good for Christians, according to Mark Tripp), he referred to mentalists as "fake psychics" because they don't really have psychic power. So, in order to be consistent when discussing the alleged differences between the two in this context, I refer to magicians as "fake magicians."

I don't intend to offend, and I reserve such a description only for this debate.

Thanks for giving me opportunity to clarify my meaning and intention.
Message: Posted by: Richard Osterlind (Apr 11, 2005 08:53AM)
Jim,

Thanks. I was just trying to completely understand the discussion.

I think it might be interesting to discuss just where mentalism began. Was it part of a performing magician's act (such as Robert Houdin's blindfold act with his son) or a separate entity?

Richard
Message: Posted by: MarkTripp (Apr 11, 2005 09:09AM)
[quote]
On 2005-04-11 08:59, JimHilston wrote:
"Fake magician" refers back to an earlier discussion between Mark Tripp and me. In his discussions about the differences between mentalism (bad for Christians" according to Mark Tripp) and magic (good for Christians, according to Mark Tripp), he referred to mentalists as "fake psychics" because they don't really have psychic power. So, in order to be consistent when discussing the alleged differences between the two in this context, I refer to magicians as "fake magicians."

I don't intend to offend, and I reserve such a description only for this debate.

Thanks for giving me opportunity to clarify my meaning and intention.
[/quote]

Of course Jim will put it into this context, it makes his case better. It is also called a straw man and why I ignore him.

ALL magicians are fake magicians. ALL psychics are fake psychics. The difference is the former group accepts that, as does the audience. The latter wishes to obscure that.

Were this not so, people wouldn't say "Do not use a disclaimer, no one wants to watch a fake psychic". Now that is NOT my quote, it is Lee Erle's. So lets try and keep it honest.

Fake magicians don't do readings for money, claiming it helps people. Fake psychics do, and their own books (such as Mind, Myth and Magic) teach the techniques how.

Making a red silk turn green, or floating a little silver ball is in NO way changing the belief system of the audience. We accept it is a trick. The same can not be said of the fake psychic.

The simple truth is we, as openly fake magicians, do tricks, only God can do miracles. THAT is made clear by EVERY legitimate Christian fake magician I know. The same is not true for the fake psychic.

Finally, it is not I who say being a fake psychic is wrong, the Bible does. This is a christian forum and as such we come from a bible base.

So, as always, wiggle on the hook all you please, but hooked you are.

Mark Tripp
Message: Posted by: Mind Bullets (Apr 11, 2005 09:37PM)
Mark Tripp writes:[quote]ALL magicians are fake magicians. ALL psychics are fake psychics. The difference is the former group accepts that, as does the audience. The latter wishes to obscure that.[/quote]This appears to me to be [url=http://www.fallacyfiles.org/specplea.html]special pleading[/url]. You seem to ignore the fact that there are fake magicians who DO NOT accept that all magicians are fake. You also seem to ignore the fact that there are fake psychics who DO NOT obscure that all psychics are fake. I have yet to see you address this apparent incongruity and [url=http://www.fallacyfiles.org/specplea.html]special pleading[/url] in your reasoning. By your reasoning, the existence of fake magicians [b]who claim to be real[/b] are of no consequence to Christians, whereas the existence of fake psychics [b]who claim to be real[/b] disallows psychic entertainment for Christians. That puts you on the hooks of a dilemma from where I'm sitting. Please explain how in your view that is not the case.

Mark Tripp writes:[quote]Were this not so, people wouldn't say "Do not use a disclaimer, no one wants to watch a fake psychic". Now that is NOT my quote, it is Lee Erle's. So lets try and keep it honest.[/quote]But some DO use disclaimers, and they are quite successful. Likewise, some magicians DO claim to have real powers, and they are quite successful, too. Your (and Mr. Earle's) blanket claims seem to have been proven false.

Mark Tripp writes: [quote]Fake magicians don't do readings for money, claiming it helps people.[/quote]But some do.

Mark Tripp writes:[quote] Fake psychics do, and their own books (such as Mind, Myth and Magic) teach the techniques how.[/quote]But some do not.

Mark Tripp writes:[quote] Making a red silk turn green, or floating a little silver ball is in NO way changing the belief system of the audience. We accept it is a trick. The same can not be said of the fake psychic.[/quote]Hence, the importance of the disclaimer. And with the disclaimer, I see no difference between magic and mentalism. What am I missing?

Mark Tripp writes:[quote] The simple truth is we, as openly fake magicians, do tricks, only God can do miracles. THAT is made clear by EVERY legitimate Christian fake magician I know. The same is not true for the fake psychic.[/quote]Maybe not all fake psychics make that clear, but some do.

Mark Tripp writes:[quote] Finally, it is not I who say being a fake psychic is wrong, the Bible does. This is a christian forum and as such we come from a bible base. [/quote]As a believer in the inerrancy and infallibility of God's Word, that's exactly why I'm here and what I expect in this forum. Please show me where the Bible prohibits psychic entertainment and that will settle the issue for me. I've asked you this before. If you could give me the references, I would be satisfied.

Mark Tripp writes:[quote] So, as always, wiggle on the hook all you please, but hooked you are.[/quote]From what I've read of everything you've written on this subject, it is you who are on the hook and guilty of applying a double standard just so you can have your magic cake and eat it, too. Please show me how I'm wrong about this.
Message: Posted by: Reuben Dunn (Apr 22, 2005 01:09AM)
[quote]
On 2005-04-11 22:37, JimHilston wrote:
Mark Tripp writes:[quote] Finally, it is not I who say being a fake psychic is wrong, the Bible does. This is a christian forum and as such we come from a bible base. [/quote]As a believer in the inerrancy and infallibility of God's Word, that's exactly why I'm here and what I expect in this forum. Please show me where the Bible prohibits psychic entertainment and that will settle the issue for me. I've asked you this before. If you could give me the references, I would be satisfied.
[/quote]

I would suggest that if one were to use the Bible to support the prohibition of "Psychic" Entertainment, then we might as well conclude that performing magi have no business doing "magic" at Church, given the rather clear prohbition that exists about shunning magic etc.

I too would like to read the Biblical prohibition concerning the Osterlund Perfected Center Tear, or any CT for that matter, Cassidy's Chronologue, or any mentalist effect.

On the contrary one can think of several Biblical applications for the use of the CT for example, if one were looking to teach a gospel principle.

Disclaimers? Earle says no. But consider the context of that statement. Was he, Earle speaking about performing in front of a Church group? No.

Cassidy uses disclaimers, check out his DVD and his writings on the subject.

Richard Ostrerlund, if my memory serves, on his DVDs also uses a disclaimer.
Message: Posted by: MarkTripp (Apr 22, 2005 05:47AM)
<<<Disclaimers? Earle says no. But consider the context of that statement. Was he, Earle speaking about performing in front of a Church group? No>>>

Oh, so its ok to lie about your powers if it is NOT a church group?

You guys are really too funny for words. Denial is not a river in Egypt.

I am also not going to do your homework for you. It wouldn't matter what I say, you will justify your choices and hold to them if I quoted you chapter and verse.

You know "Moses and all the profits" and all that... its in Matthew....

Mark Tripp

I understand that those who want to do as they please will assault this yet again. I am only doing this as I think others, without those agendas, might be reading this and looking for more understanding of the real issue.

Jesus is NOT a relative issue. The real reason we as Christians are attacked all over the world, and just look at the assault on the new Pope, is because we believe Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. That is really the key issue here. If Jesus is dead in the tomb, then Christianity is an interesting philosophy. However if it is philosophy, there are better ones. But, if Jesus is NOT in that tomb, then what we think or feel is NOT important. What HE wants and feels is. It doesn't change, as people want to live their life THEIR way, but still claim to be a Christian. I have made this point before, the same people who want you to believe mentalism is ok for Christians, pushed their relative concepts there too.

Lets not get distracted by fatuous debate over someone clearly doing “tricks” (the red silk turned green, the silver ball floats), and someone, who when the show is over, still wants you to believe they have real powers. Let us also remember there are sins of omission. Letting people believe what you KNOW is not the truth, falls into this.

Now, lets really define sin here. Like adolescent children, people seem to be looking for how far they can go in the back seat before they cross the line of sin. I will tell you the very though of looking for the line, so you can walk right up to it, is the path to Hell. It is sinful to “look for the loophole” or “what can I get away with”.

More to the core issue, Sin is that which separates you from the Living Christ. Anything that gets between you and salvation is a sin. Is swimming a sin? It can be, it depends on what you should be doing rather than swimming at that time.

Lets deal with readings first. There is no question readings are divination and the Bible in numerous places condemns the practice. A simple search will turn up a great many. Anyone who says that readings of any kind are ok is simply not in line with the Bible.

The act gets tricky. Members of FCM, make it VERY clear that they are doing tricks, only God can do miracles. I believe this needs to be a very important part of every Christian magicians program.

However, we also need to discern the difference between mental magic and mentalism. Examples of mental magic would be “Popsy Pegs” where a person selects one of four colors while the performers back is turned, then the selected color's matching peg flies off a stand. Again, how you present it is key, but clearly most will find this a cleaver trick rather than mind reading. My own marketed effect, where a card is selected, signed, and returned to the card box; then another set of red and blue back cards are laid out on the table, the card box placed on one of the cards and after a series of moves the cards are turned over to find they are all blank except the one the card box is on, that one is the selected card; is another example of mental magic. Clearly there is a process of getting the card from the deck/box to the table, and some kind of math to make it work.

I do not see a problem with mental magic, provided we make clear we are doing tricks.

Mentalism, or mind reading, is not the same thing. Here you want the people to believe you are NOT doing tricks, but have powers (real or implied) that you do not. When the show is over you want them to STILL believe you have powers (real or implied) that you do not.

The problem is, the Bible makes it clear that only God knows our thoughts. It also makes it clear to beware those who would turn you from the truth, and still more about as a man thinkest. IF you think it is ok to let people to believe you have powers you do not have, you are sinning. If what you are doing makes them question their own belief system, all the more so.

Now, you can expect those who want to do as they please to pick away at small bits of subtext, and avoid the core issue, they always do.

What Would Jesus Do?

Would the living Christ, watching what you do, find you a servant who pleases him, or not?

There is the answer for all things.

Do not expect me to address this again, you have free will, so do as you wish. Still, you can never say you were not told.

Yours in Christ, Jesus

Mark Tripp
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Apr 22, 2005 05:37PM)
Mark:

I see in your profile (and your web site) that you are involved in the martial arts. Have you ever encountered criticisms from Christians who believe that Christianity and martial arts should not be linked together?

I ask this because if I understand correctly, religious overtones are frequently taught as part of Eastern martial arts. Please correct me if I am mistaken.

I am just wondering if there is some kind of possible connection here (a Christian in martial arts and a Christian in mentalism). Do you actively discourage students from pursuing these Eastern religious overtones by making "disclaimers"?

Terry
Message: Posted by: Thetruthteller (Apr 22, 2005 06:22PM)
Boy am I glad I'm not at all religious so none of these silly rules apply to me.
As Mark Twain's Mysterious Stranger so aptly said "I cannot sin because I do not know what sin is"

There's going to be no winner in this ongoing argument as there is no middle ground between a conservative and a relativist. Actually there's no middle ground between a conservative and any other philosophical outlook either. Hence the major flaw in the ideal of conservatism in todays multicultural world. Tolerence is key for people with different belief structures to get along and tolerence is something concervatives have difficulty with.
you'll not get Mr. Tripp to admit fault nor alter his belief structure in his perfect black and white world view.
Message: Posted by: MarkTripp (Apr 22, 2005 06:46PM)
[quote]
On 2005-04-22 19:22, Thetruthteller wrote:
Boy am I glad I'm not at all religious so none of these silly rules apply to me.
As Mark Twain's Mysterious Stranger so aptly said "I cannot sin because I do not know what sin is"

There's going to be no winner in this ongoing argument as there is no middle ground between a conservative and a relativist. Actually there's no middle ground between a conservative and any other philosophical outlook either. Hence the major flaw in the ideal of conservatism in todays multicultural world. Tolerence is key for people with different belief structures to get along and tolerence is something concervatives have difficulty with.
you'll not get Mr. Tripp to admit fault nor alter his belief structure in his perfect black and white world view.
[/quote]

Of course you ignore that THIS part of the magic Café is for people who DO believe in the good news.

As to my faults, I admit to them gladly. I am not perfect sir, just forgiven.

Notice, yet again, how those who do not share the belief of this part of the Café, still come here to assault those who do. Yet, if we go elsewhere and post our belief, we can lose our membership over it.

The bible sir, is black and white. The Cross sir, is exactly what it is, as is the empty tomb.

I am not tolerant of sin; sorry that offends you.

Mark Tripp

[quote]
On 2005-04-22 18:37, Terry Holley wrote:
Mark:

I see in your profile (and your web site) that you are involved in the martial arts. Have you ever encountered criticisms from Christians who believe that Christianity and martial arts should not be linked together?

I ask this because if I understand correctly, religious overtones are frequently taught as part of Eastern martial arts. Please correct me if I am mistaken.

I am just wondering if there is some kind of possible connection here (a Christian in martial arts and a Christian in mentalism). Do you actively discourage students from pursuing these Eastern religious overtones by making "disclaimers"?

Terry
[/quote]

You assume there is any mystic or eastern religious overtones at a school you have never been to, or seen for yourself. Kinda odd don't you think?

In point of fact my Judo and Jujutsu school has always taught things from a Russian Wrestling point of view and we have NONE of the things that a Christian would find offinsive.

More to the point, I know that everything I do in there is for the glory of Jesus.

But please, attack me if you wish, it avoids the issue now doesn't it?
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Apr 22, 2005 11:02PM)
[quote]
On 2005-04-22 20:40, MarkTripp wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-04-22 18:37, Terry Holley wrote:
Mark:

I see in your profile (and your web site) that you are involved in the martial arts. Have you ever encountered criticisms from Christians who believe that Christianity and martial arts should not be linked together?

I ask this because if I understand correctly, religious overtones are frequently taught as part of Eastern martial arts. Please correct me if I am mistaken.

I am just wondering if there is some kind of possible connection here (a Christian in martial arts and a Christian in mentalism). Do you actively discourage students from pursuing these Eastern religious overtones by making "disclaimers"?

Terry
[/quote]

You assume there is any mystic or eastern religious overtones at a school you have never been to, or seen for yourself. Kinda odd don't you think?

In point of fact my Judo and Jujutsu school has always taught things from a Russian Wrestling point of view and we have NONE of the things that a Christian would find offinsive.

More to the point, I know that everything I do in there is for the glory of Jesus.

But please, attack me if you wish, it avoids the issue now doesn't it?
[/quote]

Mark:

I'm not sure why my questions caused you to respond in what I perceive to be a negative way.

My first paragraph simply asked if you ever encountered questions about the relationship of martial arts and Christianity. This is the same question I get in regard to magic and Christianity.

My second paragraph stated what I understand to be "frequently" taught in martial arts. I did not "assume" that your school does this. I asked to be corrected if my belief about "religious overtones" being frequently taught in martial arts classes is incorrect. I don't understand why you feel I assumed anything about your school. If I assumed anything, it was that you could comment on that belief because of what I expect to be your expertise in that area.

Knowing how people respond to mentalism (thinking that there may be a real power behind it), I wondered how you respond to those who may believe there is a connection between Eastern mysticism/religious overtones and your martial arts teaching.

My third question had to do with how you handle these "religious overtones" to martial arts (which again is my understanding). If some believe that there is a link to Eastern mysticism (for example, "ying and yang" concepts) and the martial arts, do you, as a Christian, give any disclaimer about some of these beliefs/religious overtones since some might buy into these other beliefs based on other martial arts teaching?

I really fail to see that I made any kind of attack on you (as you have stated I made) in my questions.

Contrary to what you stated, I wasn't attempting to avoid any issue. If you read any of my posts on this subject of mentalism and Christianity (or mentalism/psychic entertainment in general), I believe you'll see that we are, for the most part, in agreement (I think I just state it a bit differently)! I simply thought that there was a connection here somewhere, and I was interested to see how you handle it.

Maybe no one else sees any connection between these two topics, but in my thinking, I seem to see one. I guess we'll see if anyone else chimes in.

Terry
Message: Posted by: Mind Bullets (Apr 22, 2005 11:40PM)
Hi Terry,

Do you believe, as Mark Tripp claims, that mentalism is a sin prohibited by scripture and has no place among Christians or in the church?

Jim
Message: Posted by: revlovejoy (Apr 22, 2005 11:48PM)
How exactly do you train to fight, for the glory of Jesus?
Message: Posted by: Thetruthteller (Apr 22, 2005 11:49PM)
[quote]
On 2005-04-22 19:46, MarkTripp wrote:

Of course you ignore that THIS part of the magic Café is for people who DO believe in the good news.

As to my faults, I admit to them gladly. I am not perfect sir, just forgiven.

Notice, yet again, how those who do not share the belief of this part of the Café, still come here to assault those who do. Yet, if we go elsewhere and post our belief, we can lose our membership over it.

The bible sir, is black and white. The Cross sir, is exactly what it is, as is the empty tomb.

I am not tolerant of sin; sorry that offends you.

Mark Tripp
[/quote]

I was not assaulting you sir, you are free to believe whatever you wish, just don't expect me to accept your supposed truths as my supposed truths.

You may see the bible as black and white while otrhers see it as shades of grey and still others see nothing applicable to their modern lives in it at all.

The world' is a big place full of all sorts of different people and they all perceive their existance on this spinning orb of mud in a way unique only to them.

Be intolerent of your own sins if you wish but leave my sins alone.

Too many so-called christians are not saved, but they want me to be.

I am glad that you are saved and that your faith gives you comfort but I live my life governed by the laws of man and science, It is a logical and rational universe in which I dwell. I'm sorry if that offends you.
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Apr 23, 2005 09:25AM)
[quote]
On 2005-04-23 00:40, JimHilston wrote:
Hi Terry,

Do you believe, as Mark Tripp claims, that mentalism is a sin prohibited by scripture and has no place among Christians or in the church?

Jim
[/quote]

Hi Jim:

I am copying below my responses to a question like this from another thread here in The Magic Café. For those interested in the thread, it can be found at:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=109412&forum=16

******************

First response:

I propose that the condemnations from God written down in Deuteronomy 18 were given to keep the Israelites from following heathen customs (divination, necromancy, etc). Those who practiced these "abominations/detestable customs" had no real power. They were simply frauds who led the people astray by making claims that they could perform these various practices. God pulls no punches in stating that He is against it.

If one claims to have these abilities today, that person would be claiming the same thing that was claimed by those individuals in Old Testament times. I see no other way to look at it if one claims to believe the Bible is God's word.

Now for the most part, it is "psychic entertainers" who perform these types of effects that are mentioned in Deuteronomy 18. If they claim that they have a "special" ability or power (or in my opinion, leave the audience with the belief that they have a special power), I believe that they can be classified with those who are condemned in Scripture.

When you use the term "magician," we need to know exactly what you mean by that. Magicians, as most of us know them, do not perform the same kind of effects as psychic entertainers and do not claim to have real power. They perform "tricks." In my opinion, it depends on what they claim.

If one uses an Ambitious Card routine or a TT and claims a special power, I would classify them with the type of magicians that Moses and Aaron went up against in Exodus 7 (the same Hebrew word is used in Exodus 7:11 and Deuteronomy 18:10). They would be included in the condemnations in Deuteronomy 18.

I perform mentalism (could be considered "psychic entertainment," I guess) and magic. In my mentalism I make a disclaimer. I may do so at times in my magic show, but I usually do not see or feel the need.

I deal with much of this discussion in the book "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena" which I coauthored with illusionist Andre Kole.

Hopefully this helps a little with ironing out some of the confusion.

Terry

Second Response:

Maybe I wasn't clear in my communication. Let me try it again.

If you claim to have real power via mentalism, psychic entertainment or magic, in my opinion you fall into the category in Deuteronomy 18. If you don't, then go ahead and perform, regardless of how others present themselves.

I have never condemned Performer A's performance (or all magic and mentalism in wholesale fashion) on the basis of Performer B's performance. Just because there may be mentalists/psychic entertainers/magicians who perform the same effects I do and want the spectators to believe that they have "power" does not mean that I am guilty of presenting the effects the same way. You would not be guilty either based on another's performance. You would only be guilty if you performed in the manner of Deuteronomy 18.

I have had Christian's believe I had real power. I have had some believe I was demon possessed! I explain it is a trick. When I do that, I am no longer responsible for what they choose to believe.

I coauthored the book I referred to earlier to help Christians sort through all the confusion that exists these days in regard to psychic phenomena and psychic claims.

I hope this comes across as I'm not sure that I can be any clearer in attempting to answer your questions.

Terry

**************

Once again, I hope this helps, as I think that this may be the best I can do in attempting to explain my position. As I mentioned earlier, Mark Tripp and I seem to look at this in the same light. We just appear to phrase it a bit differently.

My question to him was how does he deal with "Martial Arts and Christianity," since I am aware of those who question the linking of the two, somewhat like "Mentalism and Christianity."

Terry
Message: Posted by: Mind Bullets (Apr 23, 2005 06:36PM)
Hi Terry,

Thanks for your reply. While you say you and Mr. Tripp view this controversy in the same light, Mr. Tripp condemns mentalism as sin, even when it is done by mentalist who does NOT claim to have real psychic powers. He says that mentalists who make disclaimers are trying to wiggle on the hook and trying to find a loophole in God's Word. You do not seem to be saying this. I see you and Mr. Tripp as having opposite views regarding those who do NOT claim to have real psychic powers. Am I missing something?
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Apr 23, 2005 09:06PM)
Jim:

First, let me say that I welcome Mark Tripp's input into what I am writing here. I am going to try to think this through, and if I misrepresent what I believe Mark is stating here, I welcome and expect him to correct me. I am doing this in an attempt to show why I believe he and I are not that far apart in our thinking.

It appears that Mark believes that "straight magic" (my term) is permissable. This would be changing a red silk to green. The spectator accepts this type of effect as a "trick" and doesn't believe the performer has any special power. I agree.

It appears that he believes "mental magic" is permissable. Although a bit more "mentalistic," the spectator would probably still not believe there is anything supernatural about it. I agree. Most likely this would be done within a "straight magic" performance.

Now if we performed either of these in an extremely remote area of the world (per David Blaine), the spectators might believe there was a special power involved. I believe Mark would agree with me that a disclaimer would be necessary in order not to mislead the spectators ito believing that we had some sort of special power.

It does appear to me though (based on one particular post) that Mark believes that "mentalism" is wrong. I think part of the disagreement that you and he may have has to do with his definition of mentalism. I seem to get the impression that he feels true mentalism is not done with a disclaimer. I don't define mentalism by the disclaimer or the lack thereof - I define it by the effect. So for me, I perform mentalism and I do so with a disclaimer.

You stated that Mark "says that mentalists who make disclaimers are trying to wiggle on the hook and trying to find a loophole in God's Word." I haven't spent time looking through all of his posts tonight, but I didn't remember him stating that about one who makes disclaimers. Maybe you can point that statement out.

I do have a problem with mentalism (or "straight magic" for that matter), that is done with the attempt to make the audience believe that the performer has some type of supernatural power (or whatever else one would want to call it).

Although I would state things a bit differently, I do believe that Mark has raised valid points. This is why my mentalism performance uses a disclaimer and is actually a performance to educate people that just because they can't explain something, it doesn't mean that it is a supernatural occurence.

Now, Jim,to make this discussion clearer, I think it would be good for you to answer this question.

1) "Do you believe that it is permissable for a Christian to perform mentalism without a disclaimer, if the audience could possibly end up believing, by the lack of a disclaimer, that the performer has special powers?"

Thanks,

Terry

P.S. If you read this Mark, I am still interested in hearing more from you in regard to my martial arts question.
Message: Posted by: Mind Bullets (Apr 23, 2005 11:43PM)
Hi Terry,

I truly appreciate your well-thought reply. I am eager to answer your question (as well as any others you might have). You asked:

1) "Do you believe that it is permissable for a Christian to perform mentalism without a disclaimer, if the audience could possibly end up believing, by the lack of a disclaimer, that the performer has special powers?"

No. In fact, I will take even a step further. I think a Christian ought to offer a disclaimer even when the audience is NOT likely to end up believing that the performer has special powers.

As to Mr. Tripp's reference to me as "wiggling on the hook," see his very first post in this thread, dated Apr 11, 2005 10:09am, in which he addresses one of my previous posts.
Message: Posted by: Reuben Dunn (Apr 24, 2005 02:20AM)
[quote]
On 2005-04-22 06:47, MarkTripp wrote:
<<<Disclaimers? Earle says no. But consider the context of that statement. Was he, Earle speaking about performing in front of a Church group? No>>>

Oh, so its ok to lie about your powers if it is NOT a church group? Mark Tripp
[/quote]

Now Mark, you were the one who provided the quote from Earle and then covered the whole of the mentalist community with this; contrary to popular belief, or your knowledge of the subject; Lee Earle is not the Great OZ of the mentalism world; his word is not law.

Bob Cassidy, who is a bit higher up on the food chain by the way, along with Richard Osterlund, and quite a few others who have both the greater experience in this part of the magi community give disclaimers, as does Banachek and a few others.

I have the book and the video in which Earle made those comments. Ironically on one of the videos Syzygys' Best, the shoot was done in a church. Go figure. I digress.

Earle was not speaking of the setting in which he suggested that no one uses a disclaimer. For you to apply this statement and apply it to [b]every[/b]setting is taking it out of context; as well as showing your lack of knowledge of what other performers recommend. Too selective to make a judgement, as you are doing.

Which reminds me of something I seem to have read somewhere about being careful about judging others.

You've made a strong position that the Bible speaks out against psychic entertainment. Please show us where the center tear/impression pad/book test is prohibited.

By the way, I note that a lot of Christian Magicicans will do an effect that will apparently turn water into wine. Now are they wrong? After all, as far as I'm aware, Biblically speaking, there's only one man who could do that....
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (May 6, 2005 07:56PM)
I thought I'd bring this back up to the top to see if anyone had anything else to add before it gets lost! Also, I'm still interested to hear a response to my question about the martial arts and Christianity.

Terry
Message: Posted by: Brian Turntime (Jul 5, 2005 12:29PM)
Mark: [quote]There is no question readings are divination and the Bible in numerous places condemns the practice. A simple search will turn up a great many. Anyone who says that readings of any kind are ok is simply not in line with the Bible.[/quote]
Your Manichaean language is a key to your mindset. Is there really "no question" that readings are divination? Wouldn't that mean finding a person's card lost in the deck is also divination? Is that what you really think?

As others have stated, the difference is what you do with it: if you make sure the audience knows this is entertainment, and illusion, you are not guilty of the sin of divination. If you claim to be superhuman you may be guilty of sin.

But I take less issue with the incorrect analysis than with the impenetrable obduracy of the statement: "Anyone who disagrees with my interpretation of this situation is not in line with the Bible."

I strongly suggest you read a tract by musician Keith Green (RIP) called "For Prophets Only." It is a message to those who are trapped by the sin of pride. We need more zeal in the church, but that doesn't excuse accusatory zealotry.
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Jul 5, 2005 07:47PM)
On a slight tangent, a quotation from a Biblical essay:

"there are instances of divination on record in the Scriptures by which God was pleased to make known his will. (1.) There was divination by lot, by which, when resorted to in matters of moment, and with solemnity, God intimated his will (Jos 7:13). The land of Canaan was divided by lot (Num 26:55, Num 26:56); Achan's guilt was detected (Jos 7:16), Saul was elected king (Sa1 10:20, Sa1 10:21), and Matthias chosen to the apostleship, by the solemn lot (Act 1:26). It was thus also that the scape-goat was determined (Lev 16:8). (2.) There was divination by dreams (Gen 20:6; Deu 13:1, Deu 13:3; Jdg 7:13, Jdg 7:15; Mat 1:20; Mat 2:12, Mat 2:13, Mat 2:19, Mat 2:22). This is illustrated in the history of Joseph (Gen 41:25) and of Daniel (Dan 2:27; Dan 4:19). (3.) By divine appointment there was also divination by the Urim and Thummim (Num 27:21), and by the ephod. (4.) God was pleased sometimes to vouchsafe direct vocal communications to men (Deu 34:10; Exo 3:4; Exo 4:3; Deu 4:14, Deu 4:15; Kg1 19:12). He also communed with men from above the mercy-seat (Exo 25:22), and at the door of the tabernacle (Exo 29:42, Exo 29:43). (5.) Through his prophets God revealed himself, and gave intimations of his will (Kg2 13:17; Jer 51:63, Jer 51:64)."
Message: Posted by: Euangelion (Jul 6, 2005 09:08AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-05 20:47, Dr_Stephen_Midnight wrote:
On a slight tangent, a quotation from a Biblical essay:

"there are instances of divination on record in the Scriptures by which God was pleased to make known his will. (1.) There was divination by lot, by which, when resorted to in matters of moment, and with solemnity, God intimated his will (Jos 7:13). The land of Canaan was divided by lot (Num 26:55, Num 26:56); Achan's guilt was detected (Jos 7:16), Saul was elected king (Sa1 10:20, Sa1 10:21), and Matthias chosen to the apostleship, by the solemn lot (Act 1:26). It was thus also that the scape-goat was determined (Lev 16:8). (2.) There was divination by dreams (Gen 20:6; Deu 13:1, Deu 13:3; Jdg 7:13, Jdg 7:15; Mat 1:20; Mat 2:12, Mat 2:13, Mat 2:19, Mat 2:22). This is illustrated in the history of Joseph (Gen 41:25) and of Daniel (Dan 2:27; Dan 4:19). (3.) By divine appointment there was also divination by the Urim and Thummim (Num 27:21), and by the ephod. (4.) God was pleased sometimes to vouchsafe direct vocal communications to men (Deu 34:10; Exo 3:4; Exo 4:3; Deu 4:14, Deu 4:15; Kg1 19:12). He also communed with men from above the mercy-seat (Exo 25:22), and at the door of the tabernacle (Exo 29:42, Exo 29:43). (5.) Through his prophets God revealed himself, and gave intimations of his will (Kg2 13:17; Jer 51:63, Jer 51:64)."

[/quote]

Exactly, Dr. The real difference in the Bible is whether the divining serves the purposes of Yahweh or are attempts to undermine or failures to trust in God's providential will. I wrote a primer of the use of magic in scripture a number of years ago because I, continually, heard Gospel magicians and lay audiences make completely inaccurate statements about the nature of magic in the Bible.

The problems of magic in scripture seem to derive from one of two basic abuses: an attempt to claim divine power for onesself (Simon Magus) or seeking to subvert God's will by either discerning it ahead of his revelation of it (divining) or inorder to oppose it (counter spell).

The Simon Magus story in Acts has a wonderful aside to it for magicians. Seeing the power of the Apostles he assumes they are performing tricks and ruses of extreem quality and offers to buy from them the secret. The first reported expectation of the sale of a magic trick in recorded history.
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Jul 6, 2005 02:18PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-06 10:08, Euangelion wrote:
The Simon Magus story in Acts has a wonderful aside to it for magicians. Seeing the power of the Apostles he assumes they are performing tricks and ruses of extreem quality and offers to buy from them the secret. The first reported expectation of the sale of a magic trick in recorded history.
[/quote]
At least he didn't try and pirate it!
Message: Posted by: Euangelion (Jul 6, 2005 04:01PM)
LOL. Very True.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Online (Aug 14, 2005 04:10PM)
Should a Gospel magician do mentalism? I am a very busy Gospel Magician, and my market is the Fundamental, old-fashioned, Bible-believing Baptist crowd. These folks are tough - God forbid I should show up to preach, teach or even worship without a necktie and polished shoes.
My photo of the burning Bible and me have motivated many a conservative pastor to invite me to their church. If any group was to be against the magic and mentalism, it would be these old leathernecked preachers. Shucks, I even done a little magic for my Mennonite friends - and although they always watch with that skeptical eye, they do enjoy it.
I don't do card tricks, but I do sneak in a few tricks that use cards. (I also don't dance. Baptists don't dance, but we do like our magic.)
AND - I do a few mentalism tricks. I have one lesson on Choices, and use several mentalism tricks including one of Doc Haley's, where it appears I predicted the choice before it happened. Great for the older kids and adults.
I am currently working on a Mentalism program for my prison minsitry. To be used as an evangelistic and discipleship program. Performing 1/2 hour of mentalism then preaching (lecturing to you lay folk) on the power of our minds. Several chaplains are very interested in it as a way to get nonbelievers into the chapel (to see the mentalist) and also work in the gospel message through my testimony.
BUT - as with all my magic, I make it clear that what I do are just pretty good tricks and no special powers are at work.
The most important thing isn't what you are doing, as much as how you present it. That and building a reputation for being scripturally sound.... the more they trust you with their people, the more you can stretch the limits.
Message: Posted by: leftytheclown (Sep 1, 2005 03:00PM)
Interesting stuff! I'll take a shot at the conflict of martial arts and Christianity. I took Tae Kwan Do and meditation was an integral part of the art/sport. I briefly looked at Okido and again intense meditation was part of the "Eastern Mysticism belief of harnessing the power of the universe. This falls in line with TM and Sokko Gakkai Buddhism and many other forms of Eastern religions. I had a friend, a Sokko Gakkai Buddhis, claim that by harnessing the universal force that you could achieve anything you desired (paraphrased). My pastor, a missionary to Japan, called it the "name and claim it" form of buddhism.

Does taking martial arts displease God? According to Paul, we have freedom in Christ to do all things, but not all things are profitable. I would think if one takes martial arts, he or she would have to discard the Eastern meditation part of the art and concentrate on the "sport" aspect of it. Praying instead of meditation would not be wrong either. The old adage, we are to live in the world, not be part of it applies. If someone is drowning (in water or sin) you must go to them, they often cannot come to you. If you are a dedicated Christian, your witness will be needed in the dojo just as much as any where else.

Whew! Now to magic. Too much majoring on the minors. Anything that we do to glorify self and not God is sin or missing the mark. Our goal is to show God's love basically through object lessons. The tricks are the method, but we cannot dilute or change the message, "Christ crucified for our sins". Note Paul's method of preaching on Mars Hill is far different from Peter's at Pentecost. Same message though.

A disclaimer is essential, no matter what type of mentalist act.

One of the best church shows I have ever watched was performed by Billy Riggs. He did a straight magic show with lots of very corny jokes and funny routines. But, the last segment of his act he "spoofed" the so called psychic networks and the charlatan mentalists out there. He billed himself as "The World's First and Only Dis-illusionist". He did a mentalist act to show how anyone with training could perform "so called" miracles. The routines were all standard stuff which was great for the "Baptist" audience. He then concluded with a strong Gospel message of the historical evidence for the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Get his tape (now probably on DVD)for his act.

Long ago, I had an e-mail discussion with Danny Korem and he felt magic should not be used to convey the Gospel message. He said he performed a straight magic show and then gave his testimony. Obviously others may disagree (me too with reservations). It goes back to purpose. Are we glorifying self or God? Are we sending mixed signals? Duane Laflin addresses this with his line, "puzzles for the eyes". He wants his audience to understand he is trying to fool them, entertain them, but not mislead them to believe he has special powers. I like it.
Message: Posted by: chucklmiller (Oct 14, 2005 09:17PM)
It all comes down to showmanship and presentation. If you present yourself as a magician or mentalist who is there to simply entertain as a means of sharing the gospel, all's well.

If, however, you present yourself as the "real thing" (which we all know does not exist) and put YOURSELF in the center of attention instead of CHRIST, then you need to definately rethink your approach.

Remember, we can be godly, but we can NEVER be God!

chucklmiller