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Thetruthteller
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On 2005-04-22 19:46, MarkTripp wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

Mark Tripp


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jim


Hi Jim:

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

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=16

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

First response:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Terry

Second Response:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Terry

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

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

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

Terry
Co-author with illusionist Andre' Kole of "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena."
Mind Bullets
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Hi Terry,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks,

Terry

P.S. If you read this Mark, I am still interested in hearing more from you in regard to my martial arts question.
Co-author with illusionist Andre' Kole of "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena."
Mind Bullets
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Hi Terry,

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

By the way, I note that a lot of Christian Magicicans will do an effect that will apparently turn water into wine. Now are they wrong? After all, as far as I'm aware, Biblically speaking, there's only one man who could do that....
Good Thoughts.


Reuben Dunn


www.reubendunn.com
Terry Holley
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I thought I'd bring this back up to the top to see if anyone had anything else to add before it gets lost! Also, I'm still interested to hear a response to my question about the martial arts and Christianity.

Terry
Co-author with illusionist Andre' Kole of "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena."
Brian Turntime
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Mark:
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There is no question readings are divination and the Bible in numerous places condemns the practice. A simple search will turn up a great many. Anyone who says that readings of any kind are ok is simply not in line with the Bible.

Your Manichaean language is a key to your mindset. Is there really "no question" that readings are divination? Wouldn't that mean finding a person's card lost in the deck is also divination? Is that what you really think?

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

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

I strongly suggest you read a tract by musician Keith Green (RIP) called "For Prophets Only." It is a message to those who are trapped by the sin of pride. We need more zeal in the church, but that doesn't excuse accusatory zealotry.
------

Last night I stayed up late playing poker with Tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died. - Steven Wright
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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On a slight tangent, a quotation from a Biblical essay:

"there are instances of divination on record in the Scriptures by which God was pleased to make known his will. (1.) There was divination by lot, by which, when resorted to in matters of moment, and with solemnity, God intimated his will (Jos 7:13). The land of Canaan was divided by lot (Num 26:55, Num 26:56); Achan's guilt was detected (Jos 7:16), Saul was elected king (Sa1 10:20, Sa1 10:21), and Matthias chosen to the apostleship, by the solemn lot (Act 1:26). It was thus also that the scape-goat was determined (Lev 16:8). (2.) There was divination by dreams (Gen 20:6; Deu 13:1, Deu 13:3; Jdg 7:13, Jdg 7:15; Mat 1:20; Mat 2:12, Mat 2:13, Mat 2:19, Mat 2:22). This is illustrated in the history of Joseph (Gen 41:25) and of Daniel (Dan 2:27; Dan 4:19). (3.) By divine appointment there was also divination by the Urim and Thummim (Num 27:21), and by the ephod. (4.) God was pleased sometimes to vouchsafe direct vocal communications to men (Deu 34:10; Exo 3:4; Exo 4:3; Deu 4:14, Deu 4:15; Kg1 19:12). He also communed with men from above the mercy-seat (Exo 25:22), and at the door of the tabernacle (Exo 29:42, Exo 29:43). (5.) Through his prophets God revealed himself, and gave intimations of his will (Kg2 13:17; Jer 51:63, Jer 51:64)."
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
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On 2005-07-05 20:47, Dr_Stephen_Midnight wrote:
On a slight tangent, a quotation from a Biblical essay:

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



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

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

The Simon Magus story in Acts has a wonderful aside to it for magicians. Seeing the power of the Apostles he assumes they are performing tricks and ruses of extreem quality and offers to buy from them the secret. The first reported expectation of the sale of a magic trick in recorded history.
Bill Esborn

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Clifford the Red
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On 2005-07-06 10:08, Euangelion wrote:
The Simon Magus story in Acts has a wonderful aside to it for magicians. Seeing the power of the Apostles he assumes they are performing tricks and ruses of extreem quality and offers to buy from them the secret. The first reported expectation of the sale of a magic trick in recorded history.

At least he didn't try and pirate it!
"The universe is full of magical things, waiting for our wits to grow sharper." Eden Philpotts
Euangelion
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LOL. Very True.
Bill Esborn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

chucklmiller
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