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Topic: If Jesus Did Coin Tricks...
Message: Posted by: Tim David (Mar 1, 2008 04:26PM)
I'm looking for a title for my upcoming coin magic DVD and I thought "If Jesus Did Coin Tricks..." would be good, but I wanted to get feedback from some fellow Christian magicians.

A little background:

I received an email with the following testimonial...

"Dude!!! T. Nelson Downs, J.B. Bobo, David Roth, and now Tim David. If Jesus Himself did coin tricks, they'd look like that."

I thought it was a great line and I thought it would make a great title for my DVD.

I got permission from the person who sent the email but I wanted to know if it would be offensive. Being a Christian myself, I don't have a problem with it, but I want to make sure there isn't some theological line that I'd be crossing or some weird interpretation that could be misconstrued.

Any thoughts?
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Mar 1, 2008 06:48PM)
IMHO, you're asking for trouble!

Message: Posted by: Rickfcm (Mar 1, 2008 06:55PM)
I believe saying "If Jesus did Coin tricks" would possibly make miracles equal to magic in some peoples minds. That is shaky ground and I personally stay from this. I would use the coin illusions to tell the stories of the Bible but even infer that Jesus did tricks makes me feel umcomfortable.
Message: Posted by: ibm_usa (Mar 1, 2008 07:59PM)
Dude, you just dug yourself a hole large enough to land a B-29 bomber... bad mistake.

First helpful lesson, never say " That's how Jesus did it." When you say that you are infering that Jesus did magic instead of miracles.
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Mar 1, 2008 11:20PM)
On 2008-03-01 20:59, ibm_usa wrote:
Dude, you just dug yourself a hole large enough to land a B-29 bomber... bad mistake.

First helpful lesson, never say " That's how Jesus did it." When you say that you are infering that Jesus did magic instead of miracles.


This is why I stated "You're asking for trouble."

Even though you never stated, "That's how Jesus did it," ibm_usa seems to think you did (no offense meant here ibm_usa, but that's the reality of the situation).

I see too many opportunities to be misunderstood with a title like that!

Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Mar 2, 2008 12:55AM)
Will this coin magic dvd be relating to Gospel magic?
None the less, I'm sure you can come up with something more creative.
Is this a dvd that you will be showing on your site http://themagicteacher.com/ for free like the many other tricks you reveal on there, or is this a project you plan on selling?
Message: Posted by: MagicMattMan (Mar 2, 2008 01:15AM)
Didn't John Born do something called "Matrix God's Way"?
Message: Posted by: Payne (Mar 2, 2008 01:52AM)
It's no more offencive than putting Buddhas on a production screen.
Message: Posted by: Ron Reid (Mar 2, 2008 06:46AM)
Hi Tim:

I agree with the others - you are asking for trouble. Really...it sounds very cliche, too.

Best Regards,

Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Mar 2, 2008 07:03AM)
On 2008-03-02 02:52, Payne wrote:
It's no more offencive than putting Buddhas on a production screen.

Hi Payne:

So does that mean it is offensive or does that mean it is not offensive in your eyes?

Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Mar 2, 2008 07:40AM)
Trouble with a big "T" I find it offensive and in very bad taste...I'm offended at Buddah's on my equipment too...
Message: Posted by: Rickfcm (Mar 2, 2008 08:10AM)
I am glad you are here. I love your comments; it keeps us thinking.I agree with you about the Buddha and have repainted all my props to eliminate pictures or images I won't use. In your honor though, I will rename my Buddha Tubes and now call them Payne Tubes. I really thank you for your input.
Message: Posted by: Tim David (Mar 2, 2008 11:14AM)
I hadn't thought that people would make the connection that I would be implying that what Jesus did was just tricks. That is certainly something to consider.

However, I'm not saying that what Jesus did was just trickery. In fact, I actually imply that He did [b]not[/b] do "just tricks" because I use the word "if". I will also enforce that idea in the DVD itself. I really can't help if people hear me wrong. All I can do is be crystal clear in what I say. Jesus was crystal clear in what He said, but people [b]constantly[/b] misconstrue it to this day. Does that mean He should have [b]not[/b] said what He did?

I feel that the image of Jesus performing coin tricks illustrates what I want to say on the DVD in the most clear way possible.

What is it that I want to say???

If Jesus did coin tricks...

- He would always give meaning to them.

He never performed a miracle without a purpose (i.e. He calmed the storm to show that He can calm the "storms" within our lives).

As magicians, we need to have a purpose and reason not only for all of our movements and motions, but also for our effects and presentations.

- He would specifically cater His effects to the spectators present.

He would make a coin appear to give away as a message about generosity, and the next day He would make a coin disappear to show someone else that money isn't everything. He gave sight to the blind man, not to the deaf guy. He knows each one of us and knows what we need.

Relating that to magicians - Trick selection is an art in itself and it isn't talked about enough. We should think about it in terms not of performing the BEST trick, but instead, about performing the [b]right[/b] trick. (Which ultimately leads to the best trick [b]for the spectator[/b].)

- His tricks would never be about Himself.

He would never do anything just to show off.

As magicians, our job is not to show off, but to entertain the audience by connecting with them on as deep an emotional level as possible. Humility is so important in magic. Effective magic is not about us, it's about our spectators. Many magicians don't get that.

- His tricks would be utterly amazing.

Jesus probably wouldn't do a matrix routine (no offense to John Born).

This is the one that is cliche and that I think everyone naturally assumes when they hear the title: "If Jesus Did Coin Tricks..."

No doubt, I want to convey that the tricks I teach on the DVD are amazing, but I also want to convey the idea that the tricks on the DVD are different than the usual slew of "my handlings" ("Here's my handling of 3-fly" or "Here's my handling of coins through the table" [b]Boring![/b]).

Hear me, magic tricks are [b]not[/b] miracles and they never will be.

The title: "If Jesus performed miracles with coins..." would be unacceptable in my mind because it would imply that anyone can learn to perform miracles [b]and[/b] it would also imply that tricks are somehow on the same level as miracles.

I'm open to other ideas for titles that might illustrate the above ideas as clearly and quickly as "If Jesus Did Coin Tricks..."

In other words, if you apply "WWJD" to your coin magic, wouldn't it improve vastly???

Terry Owens:

I'm okay with offending some people...it hasn't stopped me before! I've found that "smooth sailing" and "comfortable" is a dangerous place to be as Christians. We [b]should[/b] take risks and get outside of our comfort zones from time to time.

Non-Christians are often offended at the mere mention of the word Jesus. ("Get it out of our government! Get it out of our schools!" Etc.)

What I'm [b]not[/b] okay with is if my DVD title would be offensive to God Himself. That's the question I'm trying to have answered.

You say you would be offended...Are you Christian or non-Christian? (I assume you are a Christian...I'm sorry that I don't know you well enough to know yet! I hope that changes soon.)

I can't find anything in the Bible or through prayer that is leading me away from the title. In fact, I feel led to use it because I think the DVD could open some doors for people who don't know who Jesus [b]really[/b] is.

On one hand, I'm terrified to talk about Jesus on a coin magic DVD because of the response it might generate...but on the other hand, I'm [b]excited[/b] at the positive response it might generate within some people.

So my question for you Terry, is simple:

Why are you offended by the title?

Your answer may help in revealing whether or not the title would be offensive to God.

Thanks to everyone for your feedback so far. :)


Yes, I looked into it and John Born did put something out called "Matrix God's Way".

I'll look over the Cafť and see if there are any threads on it. I'll post back with anything interesting.
Message: Posted by: ibm_usa (Mar 2, 2008 01:02PM)
On 2008-03-02 00:20, Terry Holley wrote:
On 2008-03-01 20:59, ibm_usa wrote:
Dude, you just dug yourself a hole large enough to land a B-29 bomber... bad mistake.

First helpful lesson, never say " That's how Jesus did it." When you say that you are inferring that Jesus did magic instead of miracles.

This is why I stated "You're asking for trouble."

Even though you never stated, "That's how Jesus did it," ibm_usa seems to think you did (no offense meant here ibm_usa, but that's the reality of the situation).

I see too many opportunities to be misunderstood with a title like that!

Tried to make a point.
Message: Posted by: tbaer (Mar 2, 2008 02:32PM)
Tim, you asked for our thoughts and many were willing to share their thoughts. I also agree with the others. Most of us posted the way we did because the title give us a wrong impression even though you personally don't mean it to come across that way.

But it sounds like the Lord is leading you to keep the title from your above post. Only you can make the final decision. Continue to be led by the Holy Spirit and you'll make the right decision.
Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Mar 2, 2008 02:52PM)
I have updated this 3 or 4 times trying to get the message just right, and there's no way for me to do it.

To equate the Son of God who was beaten, shamed, tortured and hung on a cross to die for the sins of all man kind...shed His blood for us....I couldn't even begin to imagine calling a DVD by that title.

In my opinion, that cheapens the work of Christ.
Message: Posted by: ibm_usa (Mar 2, 2008 08:03PM)
On 2008-03-02 15:52, Terry Owens wrote:
I have updated this 3 or 4 times trying to get the message just right, and there's no way for me to do it.

To equate the Son of God who was beaten, shamed, tortured and hung on a cross to die for the sins of all man kind...shed His blood for us....I couldn't even begin to imagine calling a DVD by that title.

In my opinion, that cheapens the work of Christ.

Message: Posted by: Tony Thomas (Mar 2, 2008 08:28PM)
On 2008-03-02 12:16, Tim David wrote:
In other words, if you apply "WWJD" to your coin magic, wouldn't it improve vastly???
Please don't make a DVD talking about Jesus doing coin magic and how he would have purpose for all his movements. At first I thought your DVD was going to be describing how to connect coin magic to the gospel. In which case, the title might have some validity.

But the more you describe how you will use it and relate the title, the worse the idea sounds. I agree with what the others have said, and I know you mean no disrespect to God, but I believe that disrespectful (however unintential) is what this dvd would be.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Mar 2, 2008 09:10PM)
On 2008-03-02 08:03, Terry Holley wrote:

Hi Payne:

So does that mean it is offensive or does that mean it is not offensive in your eyes?

In my eyes no more offensive than calling the book If Odin Did Coin Tricks or If Mithra Did Coin Tricks.

All deities are equal to me.
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Mar 2, 2008 09:14PM)
On 2008-03-02 22:10, Payne wrote:
All deities are equal to me.

Egotist! :D
Message: Posted by: Kipp Sherry (Mar 2, 2008 09:34PM)

I'd suggest staying away from it.

Other suggested titles:
"Utterly Amazing Custom Coins"
"Use Coins On Purpose"
"Coins - Tim's Way"
"Not Just Any Coin"

Until we appear again,
Kipp Sherry

Day 2
Message: Posted by: Bill Ligon (Mar 2, 2008 09:38PM)
Egotist? I would say Payne is rather the opposite.
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Mar 2, 2008 09:42PM)
Hi Bill. I just thought it was funny that you could take the "equal to me" remark a different way.
Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Mar 2, 2008 09:46PM)
Two points to consider:

Of course you know we are not to take the Lordís name ďin vain.Ē The Hebrew word means meaningless, empty of content. Many Christians are sensitive to this. Iíve tried to explain it to my children by telling them not to say the word God or Jesus, unless you are talking to Him (praying) or talking to someone about His wonder and greatness.

Also, The Apostle Paul talks about, when possible, not to offend our brothers and sisters, or anyone for that matter. It seems to me youíve seen a few already that are a bit offended.

Tim, I know you have prayed about this and you must obey what God is telling you to do. Regardless of what decisions we make in life, we will always be brothers and sisters in Christ. Which, of course, means to be loving and not to judge.
Message: Posted by: revlovejoy (Mar 2, 2008 09:59PM)
On 2008-03-02 15:52, Terry Owens wrote:
I have updated this 3 or 4 times trying to get the message just right, and there's no way for me to do it.

To equate the Son of God who was beaten, shamed, tortured and hung on a cross to die for the sins of all man kind...shed His blood for us....I couldn't even begin to imagine calling a DVD by that title.

In my opinion, that cheapens the work of Christ.

Terry, I am not trying to pick a fight, but as you just worded the above, and I can't say I disagree with it, I have to ask - couldn't you apply the same problem to comparing Wenk's PB&J to the doctrine of substitutionary atonement?
Message: Posted by: Tim David (Mar 2, 2008 10:14PM)
The mental image of Jesus doing coin tricks does seem a little absurd to me. Actually picturing Him doing anything that would take time away from His ministry seems silly to me.

But that's not the point. We all know that Jesus did not do coin tricks.

The point is that if you and I think about our coin magic with a mindset of "What would Jesus do IF He DID do coin tricks?"

Tony, the comment about having purpose for our "motions and movements" was an aside. I said [b]not only[/b] do we need a purpose for our motions and movements (most magicians already know that anyway), but shouldn't we also should have a deeper purpose for each of our effects? A purpose of striking a chord with our spectators? Possibly even moving them emotionally?

I will be clear on that distinction on the DVD (should my prayer and study continue to lead me this way.)

Personally, when I got my Temple Screen, I was bummed at the thought that having Buddha on there is perfectly okay, but if there were a cross or a picture of Jesus on the screens, then non-Christians would freak out in protest. (Unless it was specifically a prop for gospel magic.)

But I can't say I was offended.

Again, I don't want to get too far off topic...I was just curious.

Magicgeorge: I got it...and Yes, it was funny.
Message: Posted by: Kipp Sherry (Mar 2, 2008 11:01PM)

How about this. Instead of Jesus, use another modern day Christian icon, Rick Warren. He wrote a couple of books that are quite well known, "Purpose Driven Church" and "Purpose Driven Life".

Maybe you could call your DVD "Purpose Driven Coins".

I think that gets across what your trying to say.

Until we appear again,
Kipp Sherry

Day 2
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Mar 2, 2008 11:06PM)
Or, "Prosperity Coins" :)
Message: Posted by: Payne (Mar 2, 2008 11:46PM)
Hey, just throw caution and decorum to the wind and cash in on the DaVinci Code mania at the same time and call it Coin Tricks Jesus Jr. Would Do.
Message: Posted by: Tim David (Mar 3, 2008 08:10AM)

Glad to run into you again and thank you for submitting some alternatives.

I had considered "Purpose-Driven Coin Magic". :)

Or maybe "Coin Magic On Purpose"

As it stands now, I'm considering several alternative titles with an open mind.
Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Mar 3, 2008 08:13AM)
My Buddha comment was in referrence to Payne's comment, I was having a little fun with him. (Actually there is a temple screen with Satan on one side, Jesus on the other side, but it is sold as a Gospel prop.)

To RevLoveJoy: You're really straining at gnats son...you're not comparing apples to apples. A title of a DVD that has nothing to do with a Gospel presentation and calling it what is being proposed here is not the same as illustrating a biblical truth with a magic effect to children that's what we call an object lesson...which is what's done in churches and schools whenever magic is used to teach a truth.

I also agree with the earlier comment that the title is akin to using the Lord's name in vain, actually it was in one of my 3 revisions before I took it out.
Message: Posted by: Hearttau (Mar 3, 2008 08:14AM)

Just weighing in here. I think most Christians would think youíre implying Jesus preformed tricks, not miracles. Out of respect for Christians, you might want to seriously reconsider. You'll sell more DVDs for sure.

God bless,



Personally, I consider the title "Matrix God's Way" to be egotistical and offensive. I never looked at, or considered the effect because of the ill-conceived title.
Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Mar 3, 2008 08:30AM)
Tim, your not really making it clear what your intentions are for this DVD. Is it just outstanding coin effects that you are teaching or is it a DVD about using coin magic to illustrate biblical truths? From a pure marketing standpoint, your answer to that question would help you drive the title.

If it's Gospel driven, then I like the Purpose driven title concept. It certainly would not put off Gospel magicians in purchasing the DVD. If it is just another DVD of coin tricks, unless you're considered an expert in this field, probably will be a waste of time and money to do, and using your first proposed title certainly would be wrong, as most have expressed here.
Message: Posted by: Tim David (Mar 3, 2008 08:47AM)
I'm sorry Terry for not being clear.

It is a DVD of new coin magic....with no Gospel applications.

I agree it would be a waste of time if it were just a DVD of "my handlings" (My handling of the Matrix, or my handling of coins through table, or God forbid another 3-fly!) But in this case, I do have something new to bring to the magic community. New plots, new methods, new sleights, new applications, and an entire coin magic philosophy that makes it all possible.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Mar 3, 2008 09:41AM)
I'd wager if you asked your original question in the Coin or Street Magic sections of the Cafť that you'd get a completely differnt resopnce.

It's a litte slanted toward one way of thinking in here.
Message: Posted by: revlovejoy (Mar 3, 2008 12:02PM)
Terry, granted yes. Not apples to apples. I think we're all clearer that the intention here was to use a provocative title for its own sake. Your ministry obviously has a far different motive, one I do not question. But you raised the issue of cheapening the work of Christ. I think it is extremely relevant for this forum, though off topic for this thread, to address that very question: does anything we do cheapen the work of Christ? I have removed some routines I did early in this Gospel magic venture for that very reason.

Payne, it's the gospel magic section. Your quick wit is wasted on the observation of bias. I believe the question was raised here not to find the best marketing slogan to reach a coin crowd, but to ask those who care about the matter, what level of offense might be possible if it were used.
Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Mar 3, 2008 12:44PM)
Thanks for the clarification Tim...

Based on that information, it seems that most agree here that it would not be a good idea to use that title. You've been given some good solid reasons from several here on why you shouldn't use that title. I could understand someone who wasn't a Christian coming up with a title like that, but it does cross the line, as many of us agree.

If you want blessed in your selling, I wouldn't go there.

Be blessed
Message: Posted by: Tim David (Mar 5, 2008 12:40PM)
Just to let everyone know, I've posted something in the coin tricks forum regarding this title (and other alternatives). My motive for posting the survey is almost completely unrelated to this discussion, but I thought the results from the survey might serve as some kind of "tie-breaker".

I appreciate everyone's feedback on this and I [b]really[/b] am prayerfully considering what each one of you have said. Thank you for your insights.

Ultimately, the Holy Spirit will lead in this. I will just have to be patient and quiet enough to hear!

Another thought...

"The Gospel of Coin Magic According To Tim David"

Whaddya think?
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Mar 5, 2008 09:20PM)
On 2008-03-05 21:46, Tim David wrote:
Another thought...

"The Gospel of Coin Magic According To Tim David"

Whaddya think?

I think you need to decide who your target audience is prior to naming the project.

Using the word "gospel" makes me think of "gospel" magic.

Do you think David Neighbors needs a catchy title to sell his stuff?

Message: Posted by: gobo (Mar 5, 2008 10:14PM)
Tim, I agree with Terry. Just my humble opinion, you mentioned that this Coin DVD has no gospel applications. From a business standpoint, using the word "Gospel" may cause you to lose some of your target market, based soley on their preconceived notion that this is probably a Gospel magic DVD. Consequently they'll move on to looking for something else. It would also save you the trouble of having to perhaps over-explain that it is not a gospel magic DVD, if the word "Gospel" is not in the title.
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Mar 5, 2008 11:17PM)
Tim: What is your motive for wanting to use a christian theme or name for a DVD that has nothing to do with Gospel magic? Being a christian you'd think that you would understand the problem with that. Are you really looking for advice, or just publicity? Sorry if I sound harsh, but you said in an earlier post that you don't care if you offend anyone, then in all do respect, why are you looking for our advice?

Off Topic: I've browsed through your website http://www.themagicteacher.com and would like for others to view it and give their opinions on it.
Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Mar 6, 2008 05:27AM)
Tim, do yourself a favor and knock it off with the Christian tie in to a secular product. I think your starting to believe your own press.

Why don't you call the DVD "TV Magic Coins", that seemed to have worked before with cards.
Message: Posted by: Tim David (Mar 6, 2008 09:26AM)
Dan, "Terry's", etc- I know I haven't been clear as to EXACTLY how I'm going to tie it in and the motives for doing so.

The advice I'm asking for isn't whether or not some titles will SELL better than others (that's what the post in the "Nothing Up My Sleeve" forum was for). Rather, I'm asking advice on whether or not it would be unethical from a Christian standpoint.

I was struggling to find an answer on my own so I thought that this would be a good place to reach out to. I should have provided more information - but in the end I've gotten the answer that I need.

Incidentally, I brought it up last night at my small church group and we discussed it for almost 30 minutes. Their knee-jerk reaction was similar to yours, but after hearing everything, they strongly encouraged me to use "If Jesus Did Coin Tricks..." as the title. This is a group of very strong Christians whom I respect and am close with.

Also, just for the record, I've received several Private Messages from people in favor of the title...for various reasons.

I'm not defending anything or saying that people don't have the right to be offended - but I do want to be clear that this is NOT a marketing ploy. Actually, I know the title "If Jesus Did Coin Tricks..." would probably bring in fewer sales. I'd even bet that some magic shops would refuse to sell it at all.

I'll keep everyone posted when a final decision is definitely made.
Message: Posted by: Kipp Sherry (Mar 6, 2008 06:09PM)

1) I think if you have to spend the first 30 minutes of your DVD explaining the title of the DVD, like it was with your small church group, then I wouldn't want to pay for the DVD and sit through that.

2) If it has no gospel correlation then you a) isolate purchases that could be made to non Christians, and b) disappoint the Christians who bought it thinking is was gospel magic.

It's sort of like doing a magic trick that isn't very magical so you have to spend 10 minutes explaining what you did and why it was magical. Those kind of effects you throw out of your routine. So why do something like that with a DVD title?

But hey, it's your project.

Until we appear again,
Kipp Sherry

Day 6
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Mar 6, 2008 06:36PM)
After really thinking about this I have to say that you are absolutely free to use whatever title you want to use Tim. The fact is, it is your DVD. Many Christians may be offended by the idea of it, but how many Christians will actually hear about it? I agree with most others here, but agreeing with others here is only my personal opinion. I guess we are all free to voice our opinion about it because you did come and ask for our advice on it. However, like I said, in the end the decision is yours to make, dispite all the good advice you have received. As a brother in the Lord, I feel that I might have been out of line with my strong disaproval of what you want to name your DVD. The ultimate decision you make is between you and God. I wish you well, and may God bless you.
Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Mar 6, 2008 06:42PM)
Well said Dan!
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Mar 6, 2008 09:32PM)
On 2008-03-06 10:26, Tim David wrote:

I should have provided more information - but in the end I've gotten the answer that I need.

I'm interested to know what the answer is.

Also, just for the record, I've received several Private Messages from people in favor of the title...for various reasons.

I'm very interested in reading the reasons.

Now let me toss out a thought.

What do you all think about this title for a book on wine making?

"If Jesus Brewed Wine: Heavenly Recipes for Down To Earth Parties"

Message: Posted by: Tim David (Mar 6, 2008 09:40PM)
I hesitate to say this because I've come to this decision several times before and then things changed...but this time I'm fairly confident.

Regarding the title of my upcoming DVD...

"The Gospel of Coin Magic According to Tim David" is OUT
"If Jesus Did Coin Tricks..." is OUT

Kipp - One of the big reasons I've been leaning away from these titles is what I call "over-disclaimering". It certainly doesn't take a full 30-minutes to explain everything, but still...too much time wasted. Besides, I'm not good at walking on eggshells!

Dan - I appreciate you affirming that it is "between God and I". I believe that everything in life ultimately boils down to the fact that it's between you and God.

Things can get cloudy and temptations can get in the way, so we need to be constantly reminded of that.

Thanks everyone, for the help, input, and prayers.
Message: Posted by: MagicMattMan (Mar 6, 2008 11:42PM)
How about Tim David's "Nearly Miraculous" ?
Message: Posted by: Payne (Mar 7, 2008 12:17AM)
For an infinite being God doesn't seem to have much of a sense of humour. Or at least some of his followers don't seem to.
Message: Posted by: MagicMattMan (Mar 7, 2008 12:29AM)
God does has a sense of humor: Just take a look at the Playtpus!
Message: Posted by: Tim David (Mar 7, 2008 08:35AM)
Hehe...Never judge God based on some of his followers. Just like you can't judge magic based on some magicians.
Message: Posted by: The Great Danton (Mar 7, 2008 09:35AM)
Amen to that Tim!

Day 7
Message: Posted by: GlenD (Mar 7, 2008 09:55AM)
Just a gut reaction to another fine post from our friend, Payne...
Having a sense of humor and having no reverence for anything is the distinction or the balance where a lot of Christians are at with regards to comedy. Many many Christians have wonderful senses of humor but at the same time balance it with where the line is drawn. Jesus Christ, the Bible and Christs' death on the cross hold too much meaning and are just too great in scope for some to consider fair game from insults and ultimately disrespect.
That does'nt mean that we regulate it or make laws against that kind of comedy (although from a puritan perspective one could argue the case) but it also does not mean that Christians have to tolerate or find it funny either.
A couple of cents worth on the matter.
Peace out,

P.S. - Glad to hear of your decisions on the title of the dvd, Tim.
Message: Posted by: Hearttau (Mar 7, 2008 11:49AM)
GlenD summed it up beautifully. :thumbsup:
Message: Posted by: GlenD (Mar 7, 2008 12:04PM)
Thanks for the comment, Hearttau.

Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Mar 7, 2008 02:40PM)
1Co 5:9 I wrote to you in the letter not to associate intimately with fornicators;
1Co 5:10 yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then you must go out of the world.
1Co 5:11 But now I have written to you not to associate intimately, if any man called a brother and is either a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one not to eat.
1Co 5:12 For what is it to me to also judge those who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside?
1Co 5:13 But God judges those who are outside. Therefore put out from you the evil one.

I think sometimes as a Christian I am quick to judge those who donít believe in God, or have no relationship with Jesus Christ, and at the same time I am slow to judge my brother in the Lord who continues to live in sin.

I believe Paul makes a very important point that all of us Christians need to seriously take to heart.
Message: Posted by: Hearttau (Mar 8, 2008 01:02PM)
I must too admit that I found two lines funny. The applause from the kitchen staff. And the cerebral palsy line because I have cerebral palsy. All the rest of it was completely unfunny to me. Atkinson went way too far, having his Jesus deny who he was. Truly tasteless. I would have found this slightly amusing if he had stuck to the magic show theme, without demeaning Jesusí character. If the palsy bit had Jesus heal the man it would have been funny and touching. Iím sure Jesus joked with his friends as anyone does. At times people did just seek a ďmagic showĒ Herod for one, and those others who simply came seeking signs and wonders. Jesus ignored or corrected those types of followers because they were not seeking the Kingdom of God for righteousness sake.

On the subject of magic, this was a very good example of how not to do Gospel magic. As we all know, we should never equate illusions with miracles. This monologue was a perfect example of why we should never go down that road. Payne, I have a sense of humor, I just donít agree with humorists who find demeaning the character of well-meaning or good people funny. Now, when it comes to Jesus and God, this is an entirely different category. As someone else just said, it is taking Godís Name in vain, or mocking God, if you will. As Gospel Dan said, God doesnít need us to defend Him, but because of my love for Him, I canít help but do that. There are plenty of ways to be funny about spiritual matters without being disrespectful to God. I say all this, by the way, because I have found it is very easy to be disrespectful to God, even without meaning to. Iíve committed this sin countless times, and Iím forever grateful to God that He does forgive me. This is why I try to do my best to advise others when they ask about mixing spiritual and secular matters. It isnít because Iím holier or better than anyone else, itís because I want to try to help them not to make the same mistakes I have.
Message: Posted by: GlenD (Mar 9, 2008 10:31AM)
A couple other points of clarification from my own perspective... As I understand it good comedy should be based on fact or truth. So I think for this reason a lot of the Mr Bean bit did'nt come across as funny to me.
I totally agree with the idea that God doesn't need us to defend Him. Choosing whether something is funny or not or perhaps not subjecting yourself to a particular type of comedy does not mean you have to go further by defending the one being made fun of, i.e. God. I love comedy and laughing and I find humor in many things but I do have a sense of reverence with things regarding my faith. But even if it is things other than my faith that might be the butt of someones joking, if they go too far or it becomes mean spirited or just a little too heavy, I will cease to find it funny. It is kind of like joking about the differences among people, whether race or weight, whatever. Okay, we can all acknowledge these differences and even make or take a joke about them until it crosses the line and comes across as racism or a hatred of some sort.
That's all I have to say about that.

Message: Posted by: revlovejoy (Mar 9, 2008 11:49AM)
I didn't find the Atkinson bit to be mocking of Jesus, but those who responded to him. Face it, right in the text of the Gospels themselves you have people following Jesus not because of his message, or his call to self-sacrifice for the good of others, but because they saw him do something amazing. Today those of us on the common lectionary read the raising of Lazarus in John 11. It was the demonstration of power that inspired many to believe. Nothing wrong with that per se, or he would not have used those tools, but even Jesus himself expresses frustration by saying "you believe because your bellies are full!" (no time right now to look up specific cite, sorry)

I can laugh at Atkinson because whatever his motivations, it certainly does bring out a truth in how many would approach Jesus.
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Mar 9, 2008 01:27PM)
What's more insulting? A guy who doesn't believe in God making jokes about Jesus Christ, or a Christian who professes to believe in God, and continues to live a sinful life?

(Wow, that just spoke to me in a very heavy way. I have some praying to do.)
Message: Posted by: FriarShaun (Mar 14, 2008 06:30PM)
Jesus did work with coins. I like the one where He has the exact tax amount pulled from the mouth of a fish randomly caught by a fishing method that doesn't work.

I also like the one where He uses a coin to counter bad theology. (Resisting obeying the law based on religion).

Imagine what He could do with an okito box.
Message: Posted by: Lady D (Mar 25, 2008 02:41PM)
Are you mocking our Lord by calling him nothing but a magician? Don't you have any decency? I feel very sorry for you. Do you really think this is funny?
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Mar 26, 2008 12:30AM)
Owwwch, pretty harsh words without getting your facts. Perhaps you could of PMed him with your concerns and comments before lashing out on our brother in the Lord like that.
Message: Posted by: KurtK (Mar 27, 2008 12:43AM)
Heheh wow as soon as I saw this thread I thought to myself "Im not touching that with a 10 foot stick"
Message: Posted by: Hearttau (Mar 27, 2008 06:56AM)
Lady D,

I think the good friar was just trying to lighten the mood of the thread a bit. He said that Jesus worked with coins, not did magic with coins. Jesus did use coins to make His points now and again. If you read the thread again, you'll see that no one is saying Jesus was a magician.
Message: Posted by: bobser (Jul 17, 2008 01:29PM)
I think the questions I'd be asking myself is this: What do I gain and what do I lose by this title.
I'm not sure if I'd gain anything in this case but it looks like I'd have several challenges with it.
Maybe it's a youth thing. Youth likes to shock. But why not have a picture of your arse on the front of the DVD cover instead? That's be quite cool?
Message: Posted by: Mike Melito (Jul 18, 2008 09:15AM)
I talked to John Born before he left Kansas City for New York. I asked him where he came up with the name "Matrix God's Way" and his response didn't get as deep as this conversation. He's a regular poster in the Cafť and open to questions.

This whole discussion re-iterates my extreme dislike of going to sunday services.
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 28, 2008 03:23AM)
Gospel Dan, I hadn't thought about it until I saw your posts with several verses quoted, especially the post with a lot of fornication references. Have you posted Revelation 22:15: The unclean are shut out, and so are all who practise magic, all fornicators, all murderers, and those who worship idols, and every one who loves falsehood and tells lies.?

If so, what was your take on comparing magicians with murderers and such? I've heard people say that such and such doesn't really apply now, but I was brought up to believe that you either take the ENTIRE word of the Bible as it was written or none of it. You don't get to pick and choose what suits you. I've always wanted to get an opinion on that, but most people just go into that excuse about "interpreting it the wrong way", rather than deal with it head on. Maybe you can help?
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Jul 30, 2008 02:07PM)
Hi Jeff.

Let's see if I can answer your questions from a matter of my own opinion. First question, "What's my take on comparing magicians with murderers and such?".

2Ch 33:6

(ASV) He also made his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom; and he practised augury, and used enchantments, and practised sorcery, and dealt with them that had familiar spirits, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of Jehovah, to provoke him to anger.

(ESV) And he burned his sons as an offering in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, and used fortune-telling and omens and sorcery, and dealt with mediums and with wizards. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger.


(KJV) And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

(KJV+) And he1931 caused (853) his children1121 to pass5674 through the fire784 in the valley1516 of the son1121 of Hinnom:2011 also he observed times,6049 and used enchantments,5172 and used witchcraft,3784 and dealt with6213 a familiar spirit,178 and with wizards:3049 he wrought6213 much7235 evil7451 in the sight5869 of the LORD,3068 to provoke him to anger.3707

(LITV) And he made his sons to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and did magic and divined, and used sorcery, and used mediums and conjurers; he multiplied the doing of the evil in the eyes of Jehovah, to provoke Him to anger.

(MKJV) And he caused his sons to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom. He also practiced secret arts, and used fortune-telling, and used witchcraft, and dealt with mediums, and with soothsayers. He did much evil in the sight of Jehovah in order to provoke Him to anger.

I thought I would post my example scripture here in different Bible translations. There are other scriptures in the Bible that refer to witchcraft, but the biblical definition remains the same. I have been looking for the word, "magic" in the Bible, even different translations, but haven't found the word magic. I may have missed it, but my search has come up with nothing.

It's easy to see why God forbids the practice of witchcraft, but there is a huge difference between performing magic tricks and practicing witchcraft and sorcery. So, in answer to the question, I don't compare magicians with murderers and such. Some can still argue that even performing magic tricks is wrong because it uses deceit. But, the deceit isn't a secret. Those who enjoy watching magic know that they are being deceived, and the deceit that we use isn't to provoke God's anger, it's used to entertain. I've been asked how I can feel okay about performing magic as a christian because I have to lie and fool people. My answer is that I don't lie to anyone. Just because I don't tell them how the trick is done doesn't mean I'm lying, and when people watch me perform they are wanting and willing to be fooled in a fun and entertaining way.

To answer your other question, I take the Bible literal. God is not the author of confusion, and most personal interpretations only cause confusion, or theological debates that only raises more questions and man made answers. The Bible, nor Jesus ever tells us that we must interpretate what He says, or what scripture says. I must also make it clear that I don't worship the Bible. In otherwords, I don't make it the source of my faith. The source of my faith is God. So when someone wants to try and debunk the Bible to me to try and prove God doesn't exist, they miss the fact that I have a real personal relationship with God which proves more to me than words in a book. When someone asks me how do I really know God exists I don't need to quote scripture to them, I tell them because I have experienced God's love first hand and have a personal relationship with Him.

When Jesus healed someone He would usually tell them, "Go, and sin no more." Most of us believe that Jesus wasn't being literal because we have come to except it's impossible to not sin, but why would Jesus tell people to go and sin no more if He knew it was impossible? I've pondered this question many times but I always end up with the same conclusion. When I was a young boy and did something bad, my father would punish me and tell me to not do it again. I never questioned my father to see if he was being literal or not, I just made my darnest to not do it again.(Not out of scared fear, but out of love, respect and admoration for my father.)

Mat 18:3 and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.

When Jesus told the rich man that he had to sell everything he owned, give it to the poor and follow Him, the rich man was sad as we walked away. Jesus didn't go running back to him saying, "Hey, I didn't mean that literal, nor do I really expect you to sell everything you own and give it to the poor, just come and follow me."

I will end this now cause it's gotten long and so much can be said about this topic. I would like to say that too many people are coming to Christ for all the wrong reasons, and are being told lies right in church by those who are preaching and teaching. This is the kind of magic I believe that should be forbidden!

Okay, now that I've opened a can-o-worms...later!(lol):)
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 30, 2008 04:58PM)
Thank you for answering Dan. Whether I agree or disagree with any opinion, I am always appreciative when someone like you takes the time to actually discuss their viewpoint with me in a polite, respectful manner rather than assume I am trying to be disrespectful, or perhaps even mocking. I'll be the first to admit that sometimes I come off as harsh, but usually when I'm treated as though I am less of a person because I may not believe in the same thing someone else may. How boring would life be if we all believed the same thing and played by the same "book"?

I must say I am still confused on the issue of magic as it relates to the Bible. I was brought up Catholic and actually learned to read at a higher level after attending Sunday School. It encouraged me to study other cultures and languages, including wanting to get a better understanding of the origins of my native language. It also encouraged me to study different versions of the Bible and other religious writings, whether as a believer, a skeptic, or somewhere in-between.

My views in many things, including religion, may have changed since my days as a youth in in Sunday School, but my respect, love, caring and compassion for others, regardless of what or who they worship has never changed. As a child, I was told that magic was evil, and quite frankly, it wasn't until I got older and started thinking critically rather than just believing what I was told without question, that I was able to not only enjoy magic, but practice the art.

Thank you again for sharing your opinion with me.

Best wishes,


p.s. - Don't worry about the worms. That's often a good way to find the best apples.
Message: Posted by: brownsentertainment (Aug 12, 2008 05:16PM)
Perhaps "illusions" is a better term for the religious world. Also, didn't Jesus tell someone to go look in a fish's mouth and find a coin?
Message: Posted by: Mike Melito (Aug 13, 2008 09:45AM)
I realized last night that there really is a difference between Biblical Christianity and Modern Christianity.

Honestly if someone want to do a trick that Jesus would do, take advantage of situation in a library (other thread), etc. Go ahead. Knock yourself out. Say what you want when you want. God is going to judge every THOUGHT and INTENTION and reward (or punish) accordingly.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Aug 13, 2008 09:56AM)
Hi Mike -

I'd like to comment on something you said in your post.

You mentioned the concept of "reward" vs. "punishment".

It seems to me, from what I've read and learned about, that when it comes to unbelievers, that yes, there will be punishment upon judgement. And there will be no rewards.

However, for believers, it is different. Yes, they will be rewarded. In the case of things they did in the flesh, or contrary to God's plan, that is as wood and stubble and hay that will be burned away. It is not building up rewards, which are as gold and precious stones. See [url=http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%203:11-13&version=31]1 Corinthians 3:11-13.[/url]

However, it seems to me that it isn't Biblically accurate to believe that God punishes his children (Christians).

On earth, God "disciplines" his children, which is something different than "punishment". The purpose of discipline is to bring them back to the right way, much like a parent disciplines and corrects their own child.

And when we go before the judgement seat, because we are in Christ, Jesus receives and has already paid for all of the punishment we deserve for our sins. So, we will never receive punishment at that time, either.

Food for thought, about whether God's children can ever be "punished".

I once read a great story that illustrated the concept of God "disciplining" his children. I think I read it in an entry in "The Daily Bread". There were two little boys, brothers, playing at a pond. The younger brother had a toy sailboat. He launched the boat. He was playing with it near the shore. It drifted out of his reach, and he became very upset. He started crying. He watched in horror as his older brother picked up some rocks and started throwing them at the boat. He couldn't understand why his brother was being so mean, trying to sink his boat. Then, through his tears, he realized that his older brother was actually throwing the rocks beyond the little boat. By doing so, he was creating waves and ripples which drove the boat back to shore, to be rescued. Likewise, God allows for discipline in our lives, for when we wander away from Him. It may seem like hardship and pain, but it has a purpose to drive us back into a right relationship with Him. It's up to us, how we respond to that.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Aug 13, 2008 11:38AM)
"God is going to judge every THOUGHT and INTENTION and reward (or punish) accordingly."

That just seems wrong. Everyone, without exception, who has the ability to think will think about good things and bad things, unless they live in a closet with nothing but a Bible (then again, the Bible is loaded with stories of fornication, violence, etc..., so you really can't get away from those thoughts). I find it hard to believe that a God who created people with the ability to think would turn around and punish them for using those thoughts that are impossible to avoid.

That certainly doesn't sound like the nice God I was brought up to love and not fear. But I suppose different folks have their own versions of God. Some are nice Gods, and apparently one of them wants to punish you for thinking. I guess it's up to the individual to decide which one they want to worship.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Aug 13, 2008 11:48AM)
Of course God is Holy, and as a part of that, has to punish sin. To think that we should merely love God, and not fear Him, is to ignore parts of the Bible.

Throughout the old testament there are constant examples of God punishing sin and wickedness.

He will punish not only for our actions, but also for our thoughts. You can't ignore the parts of Scripture that talk about this.

For example:

Matthew 5:27-29

"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
Message: Posted by: Mark005 (Aug 13, 2008 11:51AM)
On 2008-03-03 10:41, Payne wrote:
I'd wager if you asked your original question in the Coin or Street Magic sections of the Cafť that you'd get a completely differnt resopnce.

It's a litte slanted toward one way of thinking in here.

Might have something to do with why most of us are here...

...others, I have no clue.
Message: Posted by: Mark005 (Aug 13, 2008 11:55AM)
Now - hey here is an odd thought... lets turn this around to an on topic post for this forum!

If I wanted to do a coin trick to teach about Jesus?

My thought? Spellbound. Copper to Silver to Gold at the end...
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Aug 13, 2008 12:53PM)
"To think that we should merely love God, and not fear Him, is to ignore parts of the Bible."

Who doesn't ignore parts of the Bible? I don't know anyone who doesn't "pick and choose what parts they adhere to and what they don't. Some people justify it by saying it was from the "Old Testament", and therefore don't go out and stone their children to death for misbehaving, or some feel that if they interperate it in their own way, they won't be grouped with fornicators and murderers if they do magic, yet that is "ignoring part of the Bible".

If I ever meet a person (who would most likely be in prison) who doesn't ignore part of the Bible, that would be a true miracle.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Aug 13, 2008 02:36PM)
When people ignore the issues of sin and judgement, they also forget the reason that Jesus died. If God is good, without being Holy, and doesn't punish sin, then there is no purpose for Christ's death (his atoning sacrifice). The whole person of Christ becomes just a good teacher, or perhaps a lunatic, or perhaps a liar, and nothing more.

Christ's death was about more than just someone dying.

- Donald

P.S. You asked about "those who practice magic" as being condemned in the Bible. I researched this and other passages years ago, when I wrote my book, "The Bible, Christianity, and Magic: Two Essays." It's been a while since I read my own book, as I wrote it 14 years ago. A brief synopsis would be that much of the "magic" talked about in negative light, in the Bible, bears little resemblance to the "entertainment magic" that we present today. What we do is more akin to what they would call "juggling" in their time. There are different meanings for the same word, like many words. I'm not going to unpack it more on this thread, but if you are genuinely interested in understanding, you can do the research yourself. My book might help you to understand in an overview sort of way.
Message: Posted by: gbradburn (Aug 14, 2008 07:20PM)
I just waded through this entire thread. I found it interesting that the author started out asking for adivce to which he received a number of mostly critical response. He then proceeded to defend his original idea and discount the advice he was given. The thread went on and he seemed to change to a more "humble" attitude, thanking the responders for their advice and indicating he would prayerfully consider it.

Since then, the thread has evolved and taken on various different topics including some theological ones.

I felt like jumping in several times but held back to see where it would go. It's now "strayed" so far from it's original form that I wouldn't know what else to say beyond my summary/synopsis.

Still, it was a good read. :)