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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Good News! » » A thought... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Missing_Link
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Hi guys & dolls,

I'd be interested to hear your opinion on this:

Do you (as a gospel magician) feel that it is appropriate to make a statement about your religious beliefs during a show that is _not_ specifically catering to a Christian audience? Would it be ok, in your opinion, to make references to the Bible? For example: if you were working tables at a restaurant, or even doing a conventional stage show?

I'm curious - I'm an athiest myself, but have performed a few times at festivals that are political in nature (eg at a anti-globalisation festival). I'd freely make an appropriate political comment during my act at a show like this, but would hesitate in other circumstances. I wonder if you feel the same applies to religion?

Cheers,

ML
Georgia Boy
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Your mouth will speak what your heart covets.

Those who are strong in their faith and excercise faith daily will not be able to help, but to speak of the things they hold close. But this is not indigenous to Gospel magicians; it holds true for everyone, everywhere. If you yourself work with magic a lot, haven't you found yourself talking to others about it; who do not share your affection?

Now, I'm not saying that you start quoting scripture as you're table hopping; but anyone who speaks to me long enough will soon enough realize my convictions.

I do always keep a "gospel item" on me; so that given the right instance, to someone who's willing and open-I am prepared. It is not, however, my style to be an in-your-face zealot. Bottom line, we are just people. You and I. Neither of us are divine in any way. Just as you would not start the "Monkey Bar" trick by saying, "Hey, speaking of monkeys, guess what I am..."; neither would I use Professor's Nightmare to explain the Trinity.... in a secular setting. Hope that helps, if you're still awake. Smile
BroDavid
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I am not a Gospel Magician. I am a Christian who uses illusion and effects to attract, entertain, and enlighten. You may not see the difference, but there is a difference.

No matter where I am, where I go, or what I do, I am still a Christian. I do not intend to separate myself from who I am, at any time.

However, if you are hired to do a job. You have an obligation to do that job to the best of your ability and in a manner acceptable to your boss.

If you have to be someone else in order to perform, then you have a decision to make. Do you perform and deny your beliefs? Or do you avoid that performance, and uphold your beliefs.

But it is generally not that cut and dried.

I know Gospel Magicians who do secular shows, but generally they do not completely expunge God and their beliefs from every part of their performance. (Hopefully it is such a part of themselves, that it can not be completley separated)

If I am performing on the street, there is no surpise that I talk about God, and a Relationship with Jesus Christ being the only way to God! And if I perform at a festival, etc, the message will ultimately be the same.

If someone wishes to pay me to perform, and insists that I don't talk about God, I don't take the job.

If they want me, let me go ahead, but just be sure that I don't offend anyone, I make sure they understand that The Gospel will be an offense to many. (The Bible even says so!) So I can't avoid offending some people. But I assure them that I won't offend - any more than is absolutely necessary Smile

On the other hand if I am paying my own way, I have no obligation to anyone but God, and myself. And so I make it plain; Jesus died on the Cross for our sins, so that we could take on His righteousness, and stand Holy and Blameless before God. We can't get there by being good, or better than sombody else. Only by faith in Jesus Christ! Sometimes it takes a little while to present the message and use magic to illustrate it. But that is who I am. And who I am, determines what I do.

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Payne
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In my medieval renaissance performances, I have a trick or two with a quasi religious theme. Since religion was a major focal point of life in the period, I felt that I had to at least give lip service to it. The effects I do are centered around relics and obscure saints, and do not go into dogma or any kind of preaching at all.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Shadow
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Akron, OH
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I too am a Christian Magician. I do shows for anybody who is willing to pay my price.
When I am working for a purely secular function, I may or may not make refference to God durring the show. However; I ALWAYS start the show with a disclaimer, stating that what I do is not Magic, but a performance of sleight of hand and misdirection. I close EVERY show with a statement like "To find real magic, look to the cross 2000 years ago. REAL MAGIC happened there."
No one has ever complained or been insulted, and I work for a number of corporations and private parties every year.

Just my 2 cents worth.
KingStardog
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Since I usually work for charity, I say and do as I please. Gospel magic and Biblical references, as well as the Path to Salvation, are not my primary focus in entertaining. I will probably never entertain for free. I will always work for a group or cause that can afford to hire professional entertainment. This being said; I will promote Jesus Christ, reference Scripture, might even stop performing effects, and talk one on one with the audience-as the Holy Spirit dictates.
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
magicsoup
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I once table hopped at a coffee shop that catered almost exclusively to homosexuals and lesbians. I did not mention that I was a Christian that night. I could not, with a clear conscience, condone that lifestyle (I don't mean that in a hateful way, Jesus loves them, I can do no less). So, I kept my conversation strictly to small talk. If I sell clothes, I'm not being paid to witness. I'm the same with my show. If people get the chance to get to know me, they will eventually find out what I believe. I will not endorse things I don't believe during a show.

With a show for a religious crowd, they might respect you more if you were honest with them. Many people who are not Christians and try to sound so, often just sound uncomfortable, and out of place. Keep in mind that there are two types of religious crowds. There are those who go to church as a religious duty, and the gospel really has no influence on their daily lives (it's ok to do whatever to whoever as long as you go to church on Sunday).

There are also those whose lives have been changed by their relationship with God through Jesus. With the first group do whatever you want, but be careful with the second. Chances are they'll see through your act, if you are not sincere. Christians tend to support Christian artists, if they find out you are not sincere-they will feel like they have been conned, and likely have nothing to do with you.

I think it would be better to be honest, and hopfully earn their respect. They may even feel challenged to convert you. If that's the case, they treat you very nice; because they want you to like them. Be yourself, and be respectful to their beliefs.
Chad C.
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I have yet to do a show without speaking about Jesus Christ and what He did for us on the cross. I have a few tricks in each show that I use to illustrate this, and I have used them at every children's show I've done. I have never had a complaint about it from any children or their parents, as was mentioned earlier, this is a part of who I am and when I do a show it is always a part of the show. God promises that His word will never return void, and I have witnessed this truth firsthand.

One of my first shows was for a relative of mine, and I found out later that there was a Jewish couple in attendance, and that they almost walked out when I began speaking of Jesus. Instead, they told the b-day girl's parents that they stayed because they were interested to hear how I would incorporate the tricks with the message. Afterwards they said they would be interested in talking more about what we believe. God has shown me that He can and will change lives and He uses His children as His tools.

God Bless,
Chad
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