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Topic: The Bible and magic
Message: Posted by: cafeinst (Mar 11, 2011 11:38AM)
I am an Orthodox Jew who has always been interested in magic. There are some Orthodox rabbis who say doing magic tricks is prohibited. My rabbi says as long as people know it's just tricks, it's OK. But I think all Orthodox rabbis will agree that convincing people that you have real magic powers with magic tricks is against Jewish Law.

I am wondering what Christian magicians have to say about this.
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Mar 11, 2011 12:15PM)
It's also against our Christian faith to allow others to believe that we have real supernatural powers. We take extra measures to assure that our audience is aware that what we do is just tricks. Or, as Mr. Laflin would say, "Surprises for the eyeses!"
Message: Posted by: Kif Anderson (Mar 11, 2011 12:31PM)
Cafinst -

Many of us meet with the same kind of opposition. You can find many such discussions on this and The Good News forums.

I think it has a lot to do with how the message is presented. If you stand up in front of a crowd waiving a magic wand and claim to have magical powers...yeah...that doesn't come over all that well in a religious setting. However, if it is an object lesson which helps illustrate a point, tell a story, then it can be very powerful.

A few years ago I stumbled upon a website that sells a couple of collection of magic tricks designed exclusively for the Jewish Community. You can find them at: http://www.loudini.com/judaic_magic.htm

I'm fascinated by some of the routining. I'm not as familiar as I should be about the traditions of the Jewish faith, which I see as part of the history of my faith.

I believe God gives us talents (God's gift to us), and when we choose to use those talents to glorify Him, (Our gifts to God) it pleases Him. But the key in gospel magic as I believe it would be in using magic to teach about the Jewish faith, is the glory for the lessons goes to God, not glory to ourselves.

The following are the advertised effects...which for the most part are just basic magic effects with a creative message. These are from the website I mentioned above. I hope that the routine descriptions do not come across disrespectful...that certainly isn't the intent of sharing them. It is just the creative thinking of others to help teach the messages.

Kif

Squeaky Latke Gets the Grease: This is a great trick to do when you serve latkes for that Hanukkah dinner. As you are about to try your first bite, let everyone know that you have been having problems with your recipe. Explain that it seems, that your lotkes squeak when you touch them with your finger. Sure enough, when you touch your potato pancake, it lets out a little squeak. But nobody else can get their lotkes to squeak. No skill required just an appetite.

Oil's Well That Ends Well: This trick uses a little brown jug that is filled with oil (actually water). The magician empties out the jug by turning it upside down. They set the jug on the table next to the menorah. They light one candle...then…surprise…the empty jug is full of oil again. You empty it out again, set it down and when you go back to it, the jug is full of oil again. You repeat this trick eight times between candle lightings. It is mind boggling and so easy to do.

Zig Zag Candle: Here, you take a candle from your menorah, and put it inside the candle box. Then instantly, the candle is broken into three parts. As soon as you say Hanukkah-dabra, you make the candle come back together again. The candle can be inspected before, during and after the trick. It is unbelievable! And requires no skill at all.

Star Vision Box: This trick features the Star of David. Instruct your spectator to secretly place a multi-colored star block into a plastic box. Cover the box with a lid. With the power of magic, you determine which color star appears face up in the box. It is easy to do! And you can repeat it for every night if you want. This trick is easy to do and fun to perform.

Nun of Your Business: When explaining what the letters mean on a dreidl, pull out this colorful trick. Show the letter gimmel and explain what it means. Instantly it turns into a hay when you give the dreidl card spin. Then say Hanukkah-dabra, and the hay turns back to gimmel. Everyone thinks they know how you do the trick, only to be wrong and totally surprised. Although your friends may think differently, there is no skill involved.

Destroyed and Restored Temple: Hand the spectator a card with a picture of the ark curtain that was destroyed inside The Temple. They rip it into four parts and keep one for in their hand. They put the remaining three parts back inside The Temple Case. The door to the case is closed and as soon as you say Hanukkah-dabra, and open the door, the picture card is restored.

Tzedakah Box: Tzedakah plays an important role in Judaism. Especially during Hanukkah when we exchange gifts. Fill the treasure box with Tzedakah each night of Hanukkah. The Tzedakah remains very safe inside this clever little box. Because, no one, unless they know the secret can get the Tzedakah out. Only the magician can open the box.

Eternal Light Bulb: Explain that Hanukkah is the festival of lights. To see if you are ready to light the menorah, you need to check the candles. Hold a light bulb in your hand, touch an unlit candle to the bulb, and the bulb begins to light up! The light turns on and off in your hand every time you touch a candle to it. And it only works for you. Watch with a smile when everyone wants to try their hand at the Eternal Light bulb. You will learn this effect in a flash.

Oil Vey!: Have you ever wondered where the oil was found in the destroyed Temple? This traditional “3-card monte” magic trick tells you exactly where. A fan of three cards is shown. A spectator removes the middle card and it appears to change to an “oil” card. It’s very easy to perform and you’ll learn it in minutes.

Dreidl-Dynamo: Predict the colors of two dreidls before a spectator even makes a choice! The magician writes a prediction of two colors on a piece of paper. The spectator makes a chain using dreidl domino cards. The two colors at the end of the chain match the prediction. The best part…you can repeat this trick! And the result is always different.

Wacky Wicks: Show the spectator three pieces of different length candle wicks (rope).After a few magic words and a little “Hanukkah-dabra,” all the ropes become the same length. It fools everyone. But a word of caution…you will need a little extra time to learn how to perform this powerful illusion. And it’s well worth the effort!

Temple Restorama: The window of the Temple is destroyed and restored instantly. Begin by having your friend draw a Hanukkah-like picture on a white card. Then, using a pencil, the magician penetrates the card and solid clear plastic “window” yet when the pencil is removed, there is a hole in the card BUT no hole in the window. Sounds impossible…but it’s very sneaky and easy to perform.

Hanukard Monte: You show your friends two cards -- one with a dreidl and the other with a menorah. One of the cards is placed behind your back. No matter how hard the spectator guesses, he or she cannot figure out which card is behind your back. You will learn it immediately and want to show everyone your new magical skills.

Menorah-Go-Round: A spectator chooses a word off of the Menorah-Go-Round card. With the help of a Hanukkah candle and a little magic, the magician reveals the selected word. It’s a mystery but very easy to do.

Vanishing Candles: Actually, this should be called the “Appearing Candles” because you make the candles appear EVEN THOUGH you can make them disappear. Show the drawer box empty, say “Hanukkah-dabra” and instantly Hanukkah candles appear! If you want, close the drawer again and the candles disappear. And you don’t even need to wear long sleeves to perform this one.

Hanukkah Gelt-o-meter: Get more for your Hanukkah gelt using the amazing Gelt-o-Meter. A penny covered by a magic block changes to a dime. This is self-working and can be learned instantly!

Vanishing Wine: When you get to the part of the seder when the door is opened for Elijah, pour some wine from Elijah's wine bottle or cup into a folded newspaper. Turn the newspaper upside down then open it up one page at a time showing Elijah's wine has vanished. Is Elijah at the table? Did he drink the wine? No--because you fold up the newspaper and pour the wine back into his cup. It is easy to do and a long sleeve shirt is not required.

Vanishing Afikomen: When you break the middle matzah...remind your guests that you found a new and quicker way to hide the the middle matzah. Proceed to wrapped it up in a napkin and watch everyones eyes when you open up the napkin and show that it instantly vanished into thin air. This trick adds a whole new element to the hunt for the Afikomen.

Seder Plate Prediction: After you discuss the meaning of each item on the Seder plate -- perform the Seder plate Prediction. Someone at your Seder table chooses one of three Seder plate items only to find that you predicted the item they were going to choose. It's a great way to keep the Seder moving with along in a fun and memorable way. It is amazing yet simple.

The Mystery of the Middle Matzah: After you discuss the meaning behind the middle matzah, you will want to do this three card monte effect. A fan of three normal playing cards is shown. A guest is asked to try and find the middle card. The middle card is pulled out by someone at the table and it appears to change to a matzah card. This too, is easy magic and requires no sleight of hand. No skill is required.

Who knows 63?: This trick is performed during the Seder when you ask the all important question Who knows one?. This trick is a great way to get guests laughing and amazed at the same time. A guest secretly selects a number between one and 63. Using six magic cards, you mysteriously find the number the guest chose. Requires no practice. And it comes with six other punny Passover jokes...for no extra charge.

Maror or Less: This trick works well when you discuss the meaning of the Hillel Sandwich. You show your guest two cards -- one with matzah on it and the other with a picture of maror. One of the cards is placed behind your back. No matter how hard the guest guesses, he or she cannot figure out which card is behind your back. No skill is required.

Floating Matzah: As you introduce the concept of matzoh during the Seder, explain that no yeast or leavening is used to make this unleavened bread. Discuss that once the matzah is made that it can never rise again. Then instantly, without warning, a piece of matzah next to your plate begins to RISE OFF OF THE TABLE. That’s right, the matzah begins to move up and down. And if you are daring, you can even break off a piece of matzah and get it to spin in midair! This trick is the most difficult to learn, but well worth the practice.

Slates of Elijah: Wouldn’t it be interesting if Elijah would leave a note when he visits your Seder? Well, now he can with Elijah’s Slates. You show two chalk boards blank on all sides. Then place them together next to Elijah’s cup. After you read the part in the Seder about Elijah, separate the slates to see a written message from him. No skill is required for this mysterious effect.

Escape from Bondage: There is no better way to discuss how God helped free the Israelites from bondage than with the popular chain escape that made Jewish magician Harry Houdini famous. The wrists of someone at the Seder table is shackled with a lock and chain, but instantly escapes. No skill is required, but please use discretion when performing this amazing feat.

Pick-A-Plague, any plague: Before this effect, the magician hands a prediction to a guest at the seder table. Then, 10 slips of paper are shown with one plague written on each. All 10 plagues are tossed into a clear plastic bag. Nine plagues are removed, one at a time by spectators, leaving one in the clear bag. The last plague is poured out on the table and opened by the spectator. This last plague matches the prediction that was presented at the very beginning. This will fool everyone, yet it is so easy to do.

AfikomANIA: Before anyone tries to find the afikomen, pass around a very magical brochure and see if anyone can find the afikomen inside – without ripping or tearing the paper. This puzzling effect will leave your audience amazed and confused during the big afikomen hunt. The principle is a combination of origami and a little magic. No skill is required...just a little patience.

The Matzah Ball Maker: Imagine being served a bowl of matzah ball soup without the matzah ball. When this happens during your Passover dinner, simply pull out your aluminum matzah ball maker pan. Show it empty. Place the cover on top of the pan and say a few magical words. Remove the cover and a steaming hot matzah ball instantly appears. Add it to your bowl of broth and smile as you take your first bite. The trick is self-working.
Message: Posted by: Sam Sandler (Mar 11, 2011 12:41PM)
As a Jew myself although a Messianic Jew who has discovered Jesus is indeed the Jewish Messiah but that's another discussion.

I have performed for many Synagogues and other Jewish organizations and I always make it abundantly clear what I do is a trick what god does is a miracle.

I have never really had any issues with a Rabbi having a problem with my show as I believe it has to do with my presentations in that I am making sure that the audience knows I am just a magician that's why I have all this equipment here.

oddly enough it is churches and Christians that I find much more Oppositions with. many pastors freak when I read some ones mind or cause something or some one to float in the air.

you will find it varies from place to place

sam
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Mar 11, 2011 09:15PM)
Kif, you never fail to amaze me! I admire your creativity, and especially your passion for God.
Message: Posted by: Greg Collett (Jun 26, 2012 01:30PM)
"zig zag menorah'... oy veh! that was funny and very creative. I agree, G-d gave us the ability and personality to entertain people. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with doing magic tricks to entertain. In fact, I think taking someones mind off their troubles or performing for sick children could be considered a mitzvah.
Message: Posted by: harris (Jun 27, 2012 07:01AM)
I also was raised in the old testament. I still love performing at synogogues and temples.

Only God can do the supernatural.

I just do sleight of hand and scientific magic.

There is a "magician" who tries to buy his way in. Peter had some not so kind words for him.

love brother Harris
aka "dr. laugh"
Message: Posted by: KC Cameron (Jul 1, 2012 03:52PM)
If real magic is "satanic" or wrong, then how can pretending to do magic be right? It seems to me that if G-d says it is bad, pretending to be bad can't be good. Not a bet I would want to take with the all powerful.
Message: Posted by: Philip Busk (Aug 30, 2012 09:45AM)
I think it's important, and pretty easy, to get the point accross that this is entertainment, not real miracles. We live in a world full of technological "miracles" and I think most adults understand the difference between magic as entertainment and the supernatural. Mentalism, working for kids, etc can be on a fine line though and probably deserves a comment that this is for fun, etc.

As a Christian I'm really more concerned with offending someone with cards. Cards imply gambling. I don't gamble with cards; well other than the gamble of not getting caught in a palm. But, I want to always be sensitive to people who are offended. Walking up to a table full of Baptists (and I am one) and doing a card trick can be a bad way to start a set. As far as God goes, I'm sure he knows I can't do miracles and as far as people go I'm sure I'll never be good enough to come accross as doing miracles.
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Aug 30, 2012 12:16PM)
[quote]
As a Christian I'm really more concerned with offending someone with cards. Cards imply gambling.
[/quote]
At my house, cards would more imply Spades (or "not another trick!!").
In my area, gambling is more associated with casinos and slot machines.

Personally, I would thing it rather arrogant for someone - even a good Christian - to see em with a deck of cards and immediately imply that was a gambler. Especially if it's known that I am a magician and am coming to you to entertain - as if cards aren't used for far more tricks than anything else??

How am I supposed to know if a person is of a certain persuasion that would make cards - or rubber bands, or sponge balls - offensive?
<end rant!>

[quote]
As far as God goes, I'm sure he knows I can't do miracles and as far as people go I'm sure I'll never be good enough to come accross as doing miracles.
[/quote]
I like this!! :)

I also personally maintain that, as long as I go to normal and reasonable lengths to present what I do as entertainment only and not with supernatural help, I can not do a blasted thing about what pops into other people's heads, and I refuse to carry that burden on myself that I walked just a bit too hard on the eggshells and they were lost!

I wouldn't even bother with a disclaimer or adjustments to a routine if I wasn't a Christian and concerned about how I appeared to others. I'd just go for it and do all I could to appear as "power-full" as possible. But I do care - both about what the unsaved may come away with should they ever connect me the magician with me the Christian, and what honest Christians who don't share my knowledge and point of view might have to deal with in their hearts. (Many years ago, I saw a world-class mentalist perform and had the opportunity to accuse him of working by demonic power. Then I saw an Abbott's catalogue and became at once educated and ashamed.)

Some have pressed me hard that "well, if it's just a trick, then tell me how you did it!" I think from now on I will simply offer to purchase them their very own copy of the trick, complete with intructions, so they will know that I'm not lying. $159.95, plush shipping and handling - about right for Magic for Dummies or 101 Easy Magic Tricks??

Ed
Message: Posted by: Philip Busk (Aug 30, 2012 06:04PM)
[quote]
At my house, cards would more imply Spades (or "not another trick!!").
[/quote]
Growing up it was Solitaire. My dad would say he won with only 5 cheats. or 6, 7, 10.
[quote]
In my area, gambling is more associated with casinos and slot machines.
[/quote]
I understand. I live in the south. Need I say more. But, to your point, there really is no way to tell what someone is predisposed to disliking. It's all about reading the audience right. One could just as easly walk up and pull little red bals out of thin air and then get that "hit the road" look. It's a lot better than it used to be around here as more people are exposed to decent magic.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Sep 1, 2012 08:35AM)
Does doing bizarre stuff like mind reading and the "horror genre" as entertainment go against the Bible and Christianity? No, I don't think so. There are many, I'm afraid, who would disagree with me on that. Spirits knocking, things flying off the shelf, levitating, and "whispering ghosts" is just too close to "real" for some folk. Even though they know it's just entertainment, I have taken them on a fantastic voyage into the unknown...

Am I wrong here, or is there justification for having a unique and emotional half-hour presentation? Again, not for churches, of course. But what if some people come away thinking it was all real, even though you stated in the beginning, this is all entertainment?

Doug
Message: Posted by: Carrie Sue (Sep 1, 2012 08:40AM)
I think there will always be those who think that what we do might be real. But we can only inform them that it is all illusion, and let Truth witness to Truth.

It's kind of like, "I know Harrison Ford's an actor, but he IS Indiana Jones!"

Carrie
Message: Posted by: Danny Kazam (Sep 1, 2012 10:40AM)
There is a great verse that I believe answers your question Dougini. First, allow me to state an opinion on the matter. I believe that I can on occassions rather than trying to find an answer to my question, try to find the answer I am looking for. God has an answer for eveything, but the problem is sometimes we don't like the answer so we think of excuses to convince ourselves it's okay.

The Christian ought to be so minded as becomes his heavenly calling, and his life and conversation ought to be worthy of the Gospel of Christ.
"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31

If it doesn't glorify God, then don't do it. If it lifts you up before your audience, don't do it. We are slaves first, and as slaves for God we should always be wanting to please our Master and not our desires to be the center of attention, or to get a standing ovation. As we move closer to God, the less we will want to lean on other things and the more we will lean on God.

Why do we want to entertain people? Are we submitting ourselves as slaves, or lifting ourselves up to be honored in one way or another? Do we stand in the way of God getting all the credit and glory? Does what we do lift up God, or lift ourselves up? I think when we ask ourselves some tough, but honest questions, God will make clear to us His Will. But, are we willing to listen?

I'm one of those guys who struggles in that department, but I keep trying.
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Sep 1, 2012 01:41PM)
The biggest problem that I see is that when you enter this business as a businessman, then you *must* "lift yourself up" before men. That's how we get repeat business from testimonials, that's why we put awards and laughing audiences on our web sites. We are in business to make them say how good we are.

I also think there's a bit of bad doctrine there. Yes, I am going into a show situation (birthday party, stage, walk-around) to serve these people the best entertainment I can provide.

But I don't think that's necessarily a situation in which God is going to be glorified. Unless I'm speaking the gospel, there may be nothing at all of God for an hour or more. Because I'm not there to preach - I'm there to work.

Okay - in the private recesses of my heart, God is glorified in the spritual realms as long as I stay humble, grateful, and holy. (See today's "My Utmost" for some excellent thoughts on holiness!) But in the earthly realm, I am presenting myself as a most excellent magician, worthy of your attention and accolades. And I see nothing wrong with that.

Ed
Message: Posted by: Danny Kazam (Sep 1, 2012 02:29PM)
I guess I was speaking just about performing Gospel magic, and when we are there to direct the attention onto Jesus Christ. I see what you are saying about Christians in the workplace. Being one myself, I understand that the job I'm doing may not exactly be glorifying God directly, but I do by my attitude and my integrity in the workplace, and my work ethics should try to reflect my honor and glory to God.

I see nothing wrong with a Christian competing in the workplace by means of advertising and promotion, but I don't think we have to lift ourselves up do we? Who are we lifting ourselves up above? Our competition? I don't think it would be a right thing to lift ourselves up above anyone, and I don't think it's neccessary to be successful in the workplace.

I see what you are saying because the example you give, "I am presenting myself as a most excellent magician, worthy of your attention and accolades" I too find nothing wrong with. It's when we have to lift ourselves up above our competition that pride becomes involved. We don't need to knock others down either to get a head.

I think you brought up a valid point. Thanks!
Message: Posted by: Sam Sandler (Sep 1, 2012 10:19PM)
If you want to get right down to it this is the old "christian" music discussion. in the 80s there was the whole is christian rock and roll ok?

well yes the music is ok and so is the magic!

just because the enemy uses some thing for evil does not mean God can use it for his glory. actually I think it all the better that we use it for His glory.

we are entertainers and the issue really is not whether we present ourselves as "magicians" that can do cool things the issue is that there are so many lost people in this world searching for the truth and sadly looking in all the wrong places.

as a christian magician I want to make sure I lead them down the path the leads to Messiah Jesus.

as I said before I make sure my audience always knows what I do is a trick what god does is a miracle.

the best advice I can offer any one is this - pray and seek God - ask Him what you should or should not be doing in your shows.

sam
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Sep 2, 2012 11:41AM)
You guys are fantastic! :)
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Sep 2, 2012 04:39PM)
As a Christian magician, I want to make sure I am Christian first and magician as a far distant second.

Personally, I find it so very easy to get caught up in a great presentation that I can stray very close to the edges. I am not my own; I do not get to do just whatever I feel like. My heart belongs to Jesus -- that means the rest of my life and decisions do too.

So there are effects and routines that are crazy good, but may take me or the audience too close to the edges. A routine may be presented as an ungodly, unholy effect, but I know the underlying method is common and adaptable to anything. What will it do to me to immerse myself in that unholy mess just to learn a new method? I must consider that, because I am His, not my own.

There are many things hell uses for evil that I do not believe can ever be made to glorify God - so I'd be careful tossing out statements like that without qualifications.

There's a lot more stuff that hell uses to blur the lines and give people tacit permission to open doors into unclean and forbidden territory. The unsaved can not be expected to discern that. It's up to me to look at a routine, the story line, the effect it has on the audience, and discern where it may take them and what permissions they will take away with them.

The ultimate question is not whether devils and hell fires awaits on the other side of that door, but whether I have just so blurred the lines that two years after opening that door, they can't tell if it's God or not. I'm not responsible for all of that - but I will walk and perform as if their soul depends on it.

And, at the end of it all, if I can pull back from my enjoyment of performing and thrill of presenting amazing stuff, and I'm satisfied that all is clean and well from my start to their finishing applause, then I will rock the house!

Ed
Message: Posted by: Danny Kazam (Sep 3, 2012 10:22AM)
[quote]
On 2012-09-01 23:19, Sam Sandler wrote:
If you want to get right down to it this is the old "christian" music discussion. in the 80s there was the whole is christian rock and roll ok?

well yes the music is ok and so is the magic!

sam
[/quote]

Can you provide scripture to back that statement up. I will present a scripture that I believe can answer such a question.

"All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any" (1 Corinthians 6:12)

I am a believer that rock music is not healthy spiritually, and when you take something unhealthy and mix it with something healthy, it doesn't make the unhealthy healthy, but rather the healthy unhealthy. Christian rock music is something I wouldn't be going around and saying is okay to listen to, nor is it wise to teach such things to our children.

God has a high tolerance level, but doesn't mean He approves of all we do just as long as we say it's in His name and Glory. Some Christians believe the same thing about Gospel Magic, and who are we to dispute what they feel. I have had a few Christians tell me that it's not because they think it's real, but because they believe God doesn't want us playing around with such things. And even though all things are lawful for me, not all things are benifical. They don't see any thing benifical about Gospel magic, and look at it as an unhealthy way to present the healthy message.

My conclusion is that we are all wrong, but because God loves us so much He tolerates us. And yes, God can use us regardless of what we do, but that never makes what we are doing right.
Message: Posted by: davidandstuff (Sep 3, 2012 12:05PM)
It is nice to see some scripture being used in this thread. It is also interesting to see the classic pattern of western thinking triumphing. We must be very careful to avoid believing that personal convictions equal righteousness. By holding to this standard we make others a slave to every whimsical feeling we have for or against a certain thing. Are all called to organic farming, natural birthing, gospel magic, and light acoustic worship music? Certainly not. The vast majority of the New Testament (and some scholars might argue the entire bible) was largely written to combat heresy. They were not blessed with a sacred text in every home as we are and thus having men and women of God writing inspired words and reading them aloud over and over again would be very essential to their faith. Paul spent most of his writings combating heresies and thereby encouraging appropriate knowledge about the Lord and His Kingdom. It is certainly true that his original audience was vey different from us (1st century eastern culture verses 20th/21st century western-american culture). This is all to say that we must be careful to use the knowledge of scripture wisely because we have a responsibility to teach appropriate knowledge and wisdom from these texts and not throw half-scriptures around to prove ourselves right.
All this being said, we come back to the classic pattern that personal convictions will equal righteousness. It is true that the Spirit (or Helper, Jhn 14) brings convictions and wisdom, but does that then directly lead to righteousness? Yes. Obedience has always been the desire of the Lord (see the entire bible ;-) ). Here is the trick (pun intended), do those personal convictions lead to righteousness for others? Maybe, but maybe not. If one feels like they should never drink alcohol and I partake am I less righteous? Is she more righteous? As silly as this argument goes it is this realm of discussion we bring ourselves in when we begin to banter about how we ought to live this Christian life. We naturally bring our personal opinions and convictions into the discussion and expect, or desire, that others follow along because, darn it, "We have heard from the Lord." When others do not cave easily we then bring our favorite eisegesis (proof-texting) to convince others that we have a word from the Lord. Sometimes we may be accurate and lovingly desiring to "speak truth in love" or "restore a person with a spirit of gentleness" (Ephesians 4, Gal 6). Other times we may just want to push our convictions on others because when we share convictions we feel comfortable and safe in our faith.

There are a lot of words in the last paragraph but the point comes to this: What does Paul do with church arguments and disagreements that do not have a specific sin involved? He tends to remind them of the importance of living together without being a stumble for each other and also points them back to Christ’s example. When Paul deals with such things in his letter to the Corinth folk he simply points out that leading others into sin with our freedom is bad and we ought to remember Christ and live like Him (1 corinth 8, 10).

We need Christ, We need the word (bible), and we need each other (the Body/Church). The combination should lead to faith working itself out through love (Galatians 5:6). Lets be wise in how we communicate our convictions and wiser in how we hear others convictions.

disclaimer: this is NOT an argument for spiritual relativism in any form... nor pluralism... or polygamy... or the like. ;-)
Message: Posted by: Sam Sandler (Sep 3, 2012 02:00PM)
Danny- say what?!?

seriously are you saying that christian music is not healthy!!! oh boy.

well I don't want to argue and you can believe what you will but the bible is filled with stories of singers and music and how important that was to god.
heck He told Jehoshaphat to put the singers FIRST!

any way music once played a huge part of my life. god spoke to me thru music many many times and the Holy spirit lead me to certain concerts and cds to buy.
sorry but music, magic, or what ever is not inherently evil. some use it for good some for bad.

I will not worry as I know that when I get to heaven God will be asking me to headline one of the nights for every one with my show! God loves to watch my show! that's why he gave me this skill of being an entertainer and using magic to be that vehicle to earn the right to be heard and unleash the truth of his love.

all that being said I will say this.
you MUST seek God and ask the Holy spirit if it is right for you. Only God knows the plans he has for us and unless we ask we will never know his purpose.

sam,
Message: Posted by: Danny Kazam (Sep 4, 2012 08:50AM)
You are seriously mis-quoting me and putting words in my mouth I never said. I never said Christian music is not healthy. I said Christian rock music is not healthy, and I can give you many examples as to why. We can agree to disagree, but don't take me out of context, and then become sarcastic about it.

As far as God asking you to headline one of the nights for every one of your shows, remember, pride comes before the fall. I thank God He has never had to lead me to buy something or attend a concert to be fed with his Word. I can honestly say that God has never lead me to buy a c.d, or buy a ticket for a concert. When God wants to speak to me, He has His many ways, but I am grateful I have not had to buy something to grow closer to God.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Sep 7, 2012 04:02PM)
Rock music has had its enemies ever since it first appeared on the scene. I was a rock music DJ. For almost 40 years! I got tossed out of two churches for my choice of career. It was a freaking JOB, for crying out loud! I had no control over what was played. It was [b][i]all rock music![/b][/i] I never got "satanic", or "of the devil" like I WAS ACCUSED OF!

I also smoked cannabis for 30+ years...boy, you should have heard the judgement! Now it's been proven to cure all kinds of ills including some forms of cancer! Look how many states have legalized it! OOPS! Guess the naysayers were wrong! The problem with the Bible is it's TOO big! The basic message is buried in all kinds of stuff...

The message is this: #1. Put God FIRST in your life, [b][i]in all things.[/b][/i] #2. Treat your fellow man, the way YOU want to be treated! Follow that, and the rest of the Bible...well, it's good reading anyway! :)

Let's stop all the, "Christian Rock music is bad..." and whether going to a rock concert will send you to hell. We need to start ACTING like the basic message says. If we follow those two rules, all ten commandments are covered! I think Yeshua knew what He was talking about! Too many opinions out there have NOTHING to do with salvation! Eat what you like, smoke what you like, drink what you like. Who cares? YOU? Why???

However, if it "makes a brother stumble", do not do it around him! We all make our own choices. We have NO right telling another person that his taste in music, food, or the like is wrong! I cannot stand traditional Gospel music. That's just me though. I will never tell you that you are wrong for liking it.

We are judged on INTENT, folks. Food, music, smoking materials, Magic...it's all external! How we treat ONE ANOTHER...that is what we are judged on! If a person P's you off, do you forgive them? Do you hold a grudge? Bad-mouth them? It all comes back around, folks! Think of someone you have something against, and truly FORGIVE them! That is the first step. Be thankful to God every day! For every[b][i]thing.[/b][/i]

Doug
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Sep 7, 2012 06:48PM)
The "Put God first" encompasses a mighty big swath all by itself. Things like: "Be ye holy for I am holy". Which tells me that God does indeed draw lines for our actions, as well as for our intentions.

What the lines are and where - there's enough in the Bible to keep me busy without having to manufacture more or jump through anyone elses' hoops.

We will definitely be judged by much more than intentions. Words, honesty, what we refused to submit to, what we did on our own without His approval ..... I am not my own; I do not have the right to live by my own personal standards.

Ed
Message: Posted by: GlenD (Sep 28, 2012 11:38AM)
I still think K C Cameron poses a very thought provoking comment/question. IF all real magic is deemed satanic then why should we witness or proclaim the message with a "magic-light" imitation method of something satanic? I mean I am familiar with the majority of rebuttals to criticisms etc and I am a gospel magic performer but... Still something to think about. Havent heard a really good response to that, yet.

Glen
Message: Posted by: Sam Sandler (Sep 28, 2012 12:42PM)
Danny Kazam-as far as chirstian rock goes God has spoken to me many times thru white cross, petra and a host of other christian rock bands and thankful for their ministries.

as for the buying something to hear god maybe I was not clear in how I said that. yes may times god has led me to a concert or to buy a certain CD you see first I prayed and asked the Holy spirit what cds to buy and what concerts to go and then when god speaks and the holy spirit leads I obey.

and the comment about performing in heaven has nothing to do with pride but rather the fact that I know God loves me and gave me these awesome talents and He is excited to see his children glorify HIM thru those talents. I think I might be the opening act for Andre Kole! not sure as I don't have the tour schedule LOL


Glen-first when you say "real" magic what are you referring too? psychics?? there is no such thing no not one! fortune tellers- again don't exist.
if you are reffering to demonic things that the bible speaks of I think we are talking 2 different things. the bible is clear about contacting the dead or I should say attempting to contact the dead but at the same time the bible says nothing of what we do as entertainment.

I don't know that any one can give you the answer you are looking for but I think it is not as big of a deal as we tend to make it.

just my thoughts

sam
Message: Posted by: Danny Kazam (Sep 28, 2012 09:48PM)
Hi Sam,

First let me say that I am not in complete disagreement with you. What we differ in is in my opinion a minor in theology.

I only have one question. What has God taught you through White Cross, Petra, and a host of other Christian rock bands that God hasn't already taught us in His inspired scriptures? This is an honest question in hopes for me to understand more about what you have said and not a question to raise dispute. I am forever learning and growing, but things God has taught me in scripture has been chiseled in my heart.

The Bible doesn't directly talk about entertainment, but there are many scriptures which tell us how we should conduct ourselves. We are not our own, but have been bought and paid for by the blood of Christ. I am a wretched sinner who needs to continue to die from myself in order for me to live for Christ.

Glen, I don't know if I have the right answer, but let me give it a try. When witnessing for Christ, our words should not even be our own. If we are in the Spirit, the Spirit will find the words for us that will speak directly to the person's heart. We don't need to use magic or anything else other than the Holy Spirit and God's Holy Words. We choose to use material things because of our lack of faith. Yet, I still haven't met a man who can make a mountain move based on their faith alone, only because we are born with sin, and as long as we have sin in our lives faith can never be fully manifested through us.

I take the examples of the early disciples who used nothing but the Holy Spirit and God's inspired words. They didn't have to sing and dance first, nor did they have to entertain them first. That's because I believe they were great men of faith. And, why shouldn't they be. They walked with Christ, witnessed His miracles first hand. Us, on the other hand still struggle with doubt and are in great need of more faith. If we had half the faith the disciples had, we wouldn't be using anything but the Holy Spirit to lead us, and God's Word.

Does it mean we are terrible because we do? We are terrible regardless, but God loves us so much that he sent His only Son to pay the penalty of our sins. We are free in Christ as long as we are first dead to ourselves.
Message: Posted by: Sam Sandler (Sep 28, 2012 11:15PM)
Hi Danny -- I understand where you are coming from and appreciate the honest questions.

it is not so much what I learned as most of the times it was answers to questions I had or concerns about where I should be or go. and thru their music god spoke to me. God for many years spoke to me thru music. it was His way of communicating with me and yes He also communicated thru His word the bible and other ways as well. But music was some thing special.

I can tell you dozens of times that I needed to hear from god I needed a specific answer and after spending some times minutes on my knees and some time close to 30 or so minutes on my knees He would lead me to either turn the radio on (christian radio that is) or get a certain cd out and play it. and there would be a song that specifically delt with my very question. No not a coiencedence it was the spirit moving.

I believe the lord knows our hearts and he knew that for me I needed to hear the words thru music. yet some times it was just a small still voice other times it was thru the preacher at church.

since becoming profoundly deaf I no longer listen to music and at first I thought that meant God did not want to speak to me any more. I have learned that He now has a more intamite way to speak to me and lead me. even right now this very conversation on the Café is part of Gods dealing with me and some of the very questions I have been dealing with. then there you are asking a question forcing me to look to God for wisdom. he is using this moment to answer and remind me of several promises he has made to me that for some reason I seem to forget.

chirstians are like that though, God proves himself or does some thing for us and then time passes and we seem to forget what He has done. I don't like that but I am super happy and super thankful that He continues to chase after me and remind me how much he loves me and that the Holy Spirit is right here to help me any time I need guidence.

How awesome is our God!!

sam
Message: Posted by: GlenD (Sep 29, 2012 07:27PM)
I have also been around long enough to have gone through the Christian rock music debate and all the fuss etc. For those who are inspired to create the music and those that can be blessed from it, it isn't intended as some kind of new revelation on par with the divine Word. It's music. God gave us emotions and the ability to feel deeply and be reached through music and other art forms.

On my previous question, I almost agree with Sams' response but I guess I am still not sure what the Bible specifically means when we read the term "magician". I see other terms and titles and I think I understand what they mean but I don't see examples of what it means when the term magician is used (and it's never positive). There is the magicians in Egypt that were duplicating some of the things Moses was doing at the Lords instruction. Now either those were done (by the Egyptian magicians) by some little known scientific methods or... they were doing some kind of black magic of their own. Other references concerning the term magician do not have specific examples of what they do or what it means to be one. I honestly am not really hung up on this and am not presently conflicted over performing gospel magic but have just been thinking along this vein since the question was posed here by KC Cameron.

Glen
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Oct 1, 2012 05:38PM)
I'm thinking - my own opinion - that God loves to use the "languages" of the various people he contacts to speak to them. Sam was spoken to through music, and a certain style of music. Some hear God's message wonderfully through a magic show - and others (thinking of the tongues reference in Acts 2) think we are mad. (*Not* trying to opne up a "tongues" debate - simply using it as a metaphor.)

I think that was the essence behind Paul's "all things to all people": it is on us to speak _their_ language, rather than trying to force a natural mind to understand the things of God.

As far as "magician" - again, I think it has a different meaning in "today's language". And perhaps rather than getting into a clash of doctrines and Hebrew and "I'm right and you're wrong!", maybe we could actually use it as an opportunity to dialog and get closer to a bit of that unity Jesus prayed for.

Ed
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Oct 23, 2012 10:11PM)
[quote]
On 2012-09-29 20:27, GlenD wrote:
On my previous question, I almost agree with Sams' response but I guess I am still not sure what the Bible specifically means when we read the term "magician". I see other terms and titles and I think I understand what they mean but I don't see examples of what it means when the term magician is used (and it's never positive). There is the magicians in Egypt that were duplicating some of the things Moses was doing at the Lords instruction. Now either those were done (by the Egyptian magicians) by some little known scientific methods or... they were doing some kind of black magic of their own. Other references concerning the term magician do not have specific examples of what they do or what it means to be one.
Glen
[/quote]

I have noted this article before in other threads, but here it is again:

http://www.andrekoleministry.com/Magic_and_the_Bible.pdf

Terry
Message: Posted by: Preacherman (Oct 24, 2012 08:50AM)
This is a very interesting thread indeed. I do appreciate the candor and grace that is offered as this unfolds. I have a couple of pennies that I'd like to throw into the conversation...

Danny asked what could be learned from White Cross or Petra that couldn't be learned from God's Word? That isn't a direct quote, but I don't think I'm taking him out of context. The simple answer to that, nothing. The more complicated answer, everything. Quite simply, God has revealed Himself to us through His Word. I believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God. That being said, when I was a teenager (in the 80's), I had a tough time understanding the King James translation of the Scriptures. Petra (in particular) began to take some of the complexities of Scripture and put them in "plain English" - plain enough that a dumb kid from Missouri could start to see God more clearly.

Petra's song, Godpleaser, has been one of my very favorite songs since the very first time I heard it. The message of the song is the theme of my life - "Don't wanna be a manpleaser. I wanna be a Godpleaser. I just wanna have the wisdom to discern the two apart. Don't wanna be a manpleaser. I wanna be a Godpleaser.I just wanna do the things that please the Father's heart." It is not my life's theme because it is a Petra song, it is my life's theme because it draws me to the truth found in Scripture:

Colossians 3:17 "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

Colossians 3:23-24 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

Ephesians 5:1 "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."

did Petra teach me something that I couldn't have learned if I would've just read these (and other) vereses? No. But, I wasn't reading God's Word like I should've been and Petra pointed me to it.

I don't want to get judgmenal, but I will tell you that I don't think that all of the bands that mareket themselves as a "Christian" band are true to God's Word. We are told that we should test everything and hold on to that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

Now, to get to the point of magic. The article that Andre Kole has written is very good. It helped me settle some of the frustrations that I was dealing with. Glen asked a question about the use of the word magic in Scripture. I have studied what the Scriptures say (I don't propose that I'm an expert, but here are some observations) and found that the Greek words translated magician or sorcerer are words that clearly don't apply to "modern" magic that uses sleight of hand. The Greek words are magea or pharmekeia (this may not be an inclusive list). A magea (magician or sorcerer) is one that practices pharmekeia (sorcery). A sorcerer was a druggist, a poisoner, a giver of potions. Don't confuse this ancient use of pharmekeia with our modern phamacists - these ancient sorcerers would be best compared to modern day drug dealers. These were men and women who engaged in the selling of potions for the purpose of stimulating hallucinations and visions.

The modern magician cannot be directly compared with Simon the sorcerer (Acts 8) because there are two different meanings behind the words. While we might get some flack because of the confusion of the definitions, our English language is a language that is constantly evolving and the meanings of words are almost constantly in some form of flux. Just look a the changes in the meaning of the words fag and gay in my own lifetime.

If you employ some kind of potion or drug to induce your audience into an altered state - you have a problem.
If you are seeking the aid of spirits to give you wisdom or help you manipulate something - you have a problem.
If you are using sleight of hand, science, and gimmicks to make things look like something they are not, then you just need to be clear that there is an explantion for all the things that you do. I usually tell my congregation (yes, I occassionally use a "trick" as an object lesson in a message) that I could teach any of them to do what I'm about to do - there is nothing spiritual about the "trick" except the lesson that I'm hoping we learn from it.

I've used the Siberian Chain Escape to illustrate freedom from sin (John 8, Romans 6 and 8, 2 Peter 2). Most recently I used Andre Kole's three ball gospel illusion to show the barrier of sin removed from between God and man.

Do the tricks teach something that isn't in the Bible? No. Do they help make something in the Bible come to life in way that might catch someone's attention and point them to Christ? Maybe. And I will do whatever I can to try to point people to Christ.

I usually carry around a simple, 3-card trick using two Aces and the King of Hearts. The king is sandwiched between the two aces, the cards are turned face down and the spectator either takes or holds (depending upon if there is a table) the middle card but doesn't look at it. I turn over the two cards that remain in my hand, the two aces and ask the spectator what card they hold, when they reply "the king of hearts" I tell them to turn over their card to make sure and they have a card with a portrait of Jesus (the true King of Hearts) on it.

Super simple. Great conversation starter - again it doesn't teach anything that isn't alreay in the Bible, but it does give me an opportunity to bring the Bible into the conversation.

Thanks for the thought provoking discourse. Thanks for being so gracious (even in disagreement). And, particularly to Kif, thanks for the great ideas for using more magic to help make Scripture and the truths found there come to life. Hope my thoughts have been worth at least 2 cents.

JD
Message: Posted by: Danny Kazam (Oct 24, 2012 12:01PM)
Well said! You are absolutely right when you say God will speak to us in many different ways. You make a very good point. When God wants to speak to us, nothing will keep Him short of it. The awesome thing is that we don't have to meet God where He's at. (Thank goodness for that eh!) God comes down and meets us where we're at. Man, that means so much to me because if it wasn't for God seeking me first, and meeting me where I was at, I don't know how my life would of turned out so far. kinda scary to think about it.

Great explaination on the difference between the word "magic, magician" defined by biblical definition and the same two words defined by most general population today. And especially thanks for taking the time to write a very good response.
Message: Posted by: harris (Oct 25, 2012 12:36PM)
Lately I have been reading more of Hurlburts stories on the Bible.

It was written back in the 30's(or 40's) and is easy to follow and doesn't stray from God's words.

I continue to share my love of the Lord through magic, music and yes even reading the Bible.

Ten years or so I got caught up reading the Left Behind series.
I finally put them down when I realized I needed to get back to the Bible instead of reading about it.

A combination still works.

God is good ..all the time..that is his nature.

There is another force that has a nature to lie and deceive us.
It can use all sorts of things like food, sweets, gambling..coveting to take us away from what is the true source.

love
brother Harris
aka dr. laugh
Message: Posted by: MikeHolbrook (Oct 25, 2012 07:32PM)
Thanks for all the postings in this thread. I have not run into anyone questioning the use of magic in ministry but I am sure it is just a matter of time.

Mike
Message: Posted by: guyactor (Oct 25, 2012 07:47PM)
[quote]
Ten years or so I got caught up reading the Left Behind series.

I finally put them down when I realized I needed to get back to the Bible instead of reading about it.

A combination still works.

[/quote]


Yes, they are interesting 'reads' but I know too many who make this thinking their religion.

Whatever He wants, will happen!

Before it all 'happens', I include some magic for illustration and clarification, especially to young children. Even so, the Word speaks for itself.
Message: Posted by: MSaber (May 17, 2018 06:44PM)
Yeah you definitely want to avoid misleading people into thinking you have supernatural powers. Because there is a realm of demonic magic out there, and you don't want people getting involved in the occult.
Message: Posted by: Melephin (Apr 29, 2019 09:23AM)
[quote]On Aug 30, 2012, Philip Busk wrote:
I think it's important, and pretty easy, to get the point accross that this is entertainment, not real miracles. We live in a world full of technological "miracles" and I think most adults understand the difference between magic as entertainment and the supernatural. Mentalism, working for kids, etc can be on a fine line though and probably deserves a comment that this is for fun, etc.

As a Christian I'm really more concerned with offending someone with cards. Cards imply gambling. I don't gamble with cards; well other than the gamble of not getting caught in a palm. But, I want to always be sensitive to people who are offended. Walking up to a table full of Baptists (and I am one) and doing a card trick can be a bad way to start a set. As far as God goes, I'm sure he knows I can't do miracles and as far as people go I'm sure I'll never be good enough to come accross as doing miracles. [/quote]

First of all, I don't think these days you won't find many people who actually think, what a magician does is true magic. Except you pretend to be a miracle worker and you have real superpowers (like Uri Geller did for years), but then I would not call you a magician.

As it comes to card tricks. Card magic does not need to have anything to do with gambling. There are a lot of other things you could do. For example, I like to do a lot of impromptu card tricks. If you let people shuffle the cards and talk about, that there are over 60 Million possibilities how a deck could be arranged and no one would believe that the cards would end up in complete order just by coincidence. And the universe ore even live, our DNA is even much more complex with much more possibilities. So how could any one believe, it just happened by coincidence. Then I present the deck in order - with the cards that's just me, with the universe, with live - it must have been god. Can't be coincidence.

I think you could do beautiful things with cards.
Message: Posted by: John Cowne (Nov 12, 2019 05:41PM)
[quote]On Sep 3, 2012, Danny Kazam wrote:
[quote]
On 2012-09-01 23:19, Sam Sandler wrote:
If you want to get right down to it this is the old "christian" music discussion. in the 80s there was the whole is christian rock and roll ok?

well yes the music is ok and so is the magic!

sam
[/quote]I know this is an old post, so don’t know if Danny is still there- or if he is the same Danny now( we all change - especially Christians, becoming more Christ-like. But I know I was spiritually challenged to be more like Jesus by several christian rock singers even back in the 70’s! I don’t think syncopation is evil. It actually exists in most music formsI’ I’m not a singer, but I pray my magical skills (nothing inate, for sure) will be used to direct some kids (and oldies) in my ministry to Him. I think 1 Cor 6:12 is applicable to ANY enterpirise that is not directed by serving Jesus in some way, because that means we act for a different master, even if it’s ourselves. I thank God for the ministries of Christian singers (whatever genre..check out Lecrae) and magicians. I’m not saying there are NO areas of entertainment that are inherently wrong, but rock music and legerdemain are not in my list.