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Topic: Is Magic a sin?
Message: Posted by: Paul Jester (Nov 7, 2002 11:46AM)
I've been looking into this... being a Christian and getting into magic. I've been scouring my Bible for verses on magic, witchcraft and lying to see what's OK and what's not.

So far on lying, I've found verses saying not to be a false witness, and not to lie to each other, but magic is the art of deception, and involves a lot of lying.

The closest I've got to understanding the biblical difference of magic and witchcraft is this: Witchcraft is always put with telling the future (not prophesy) and contacting the dead, and these are the examples given. With magic however, the only example is the staff to snake, which is an illusion. And there are warnings against magic in the Bible.

Has anyone else looked into this who can shed light on the picture, because I'm having a hard time trying to understand it all...

Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Nov 7, 2002 07:32PM)
There are two very good writings on the general issue of "Should a Christian do Magic?"

You can find one at Andre Kohl's web site and another at The Fellowship of Christian Magician's web site. Both web addresses (Urls), are posted elsewhere here in this forum.

This takes care of the second part of your question.

However, as for the first part; there is a simpler more direct answer. No! You don't have to lie, to do magic. A Christian should not knowingly tell a lie.

Presenting a visual deception is not the same as lying. Fooling people senses is not the same as lying. And I for one see no reason to intentionally tell a lie to do a magic trick. For example, I have a particular effect that I do, which involves a gimmicked packet of cards, which appears to be blank. I then mix a special card in with these cards. But I never have to tell the spec that the cards are blank (which would be a lie. Because the truth is that they are not blank) But as I display them one at a time to the spec, I "show them blank" and toss them on the table. Then I place their card face down with the other cards, and say "Now, I will mix your special card with "these cards." and I mix it in and shuffle, etc.

But never did I have to lie. In many other effects, showing your hands empty, when they are not, is sufficient. You never have to (nor in my opinion should you ever say that your hand is empty. whether it is, or is not... it just draws the heat to it.)

What if you want to say "look, it moved from here to there?" Well, if it didn't, then you can say "It appears to have moved from here to there!"

There are too many cases where a little thinking will keep you from telling a lie, and I think that honesty makes the magic stronger.

Lies are like black ink in clear water. Even a little will color the container. And once stained, and when drops of ink continue to be introduced, it becomes harder and harder to measure the degree of stain, until it becomes so black that there is no question as to the nature of the water.

So I am saying watch what comes out of your mouth. Don't lie. It isn't necessary.

But what if you did lie during a magic trick? Will you go to hell?

No! Not if your future is already secured, by faith in Christ.

But that assurance does not mean that we should go on sinning. Magic is not an excuse for lying. We can do better than that with some prayer, and thinking about it. It may be a bit more difficult than just outright lying. But nobody said being a Christian was easy. And if it is extremely easy, and you do not strugggle at all, I have to wonder why not! So, we all struggle. But the struggle is easier when you start with absolutes, being absolute.

Or so it seems to me.....

Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Nov 9, 2002 03:05AM)
This topic has been addressed here before. I would like to paraphrase what I said in the previous topic.

If you claim to be a prophet or have special powers from God when in fact you are just doing tricks, yes that would be wrong. But using magic tricks (illusions) as object lessons when everyone knows that is what you are doing is perfectly legitimate.

Many churches use drama groups. The stories that the group is portraying aren't really happening and the actors are not really the people they're pretending to be. Is that lying? Certainly not, or there would be no such thing as Christmas pageants or Passion Plays at Easter.

Many churches show Gospel films. The mouth on the screen moves, but the sound comes from the speakers, creating the illusion--"deceiving" the audience--into thinking that they hear the person on screen talking. This is the same principle that makes ventriloquism work. Yet I was saved when a gospel ventriloquist presented a message in 1969.

Jesus himself told stories (parables), some of which were fictitious--they didn't actually happen. They were illustrations to prove a point. So, was He lying? Of course not!

Witchcraft and sorcery involve the use of spells, the black arts, demons etc. This is the sort of thing that is forbidden in the Bible, not some guy with Hippity Hop Rabbits who uses them as an illustration to show that things are not always as they appear and we shouldn't always believe what our senses tell us, etc.

I hope that helps clear things up for you a bit more. Check through this forum for other threads with more information on this issue.

Kind regards,