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RevJohn
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St. Francis is given credit for the quote: "Preach the Gospel at all times, if necessary use words."

On that note, I am wondering what effects you perform that, while you don't specifically name God, Christ, salvation message, etc, fall into the Christian realm anyway?

RevJohn
magicurt
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Disecto

Patter about a geat trick but without someone to put hand in it it is useless. Someone has to put faith in me for this to be any good. In life you must also put faith in others and in somethings you do not understand in order for things to work together.

You will also have tuff times in life and will need to put faith in something if you want to get through those times. It is important to have faith. So I challege you... when tuff times come be willing to put your hand in there(figuratively represented by hand chopper). So have a little faith.

This is at the end of a good moral show. So it plays well. Plus that is a stripped down version. Didn't want to go to long.

This gives me opportunity many times to talk after the show to individuals about what they put their faith in.

Curt

P.S. John I am working on booking a show in Northern Alberta, Canada. Which is a long way from Alabama. I thought hey maybe we could finally see Alaska. WRONG. Alberta is like half way to some of Alaska. You live a long way out brother.

Anyway one day maybe we can book a show up your way.
Chessmann
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I once had a fun debate with a friend about that saying. I have never agreed with it. While I understand the thought behind it, if the Gospel is not "told" to someone, they will not "know" what it is.

Of course, it is not necessary to say the Gospel with every trick :^)

I use the Crystal Silk Tube, where 3 silks go into the tube separately, and when you blow them out they are "knotted" together. This can be used to illustrate the Trinity, or about believers from different countries/cultures "uniting" to serve Christ together.
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
RevJohn
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Of course, you problably already know that St. Francis is getting at Jesus' words, in response to "When did we feed you? When did we see you?" And his response, (Paraphrase):"When you did it for the least of these... you did it to me."

A person at our church says that when we feed the homeless at the soup kitchen we aren't preaching the Gospel, because we haven't said a word about Christ. And of course, I disagree, saying we have said more about Christ then ten of my sermons (of course one could agree with that sometimes no matter what). Or the other way around... I have heard "preaching" come from some Christians that is anything but Gospel. It is dangerous and wrong. But still uses the name of Christ.

I got thinking about a time that I stopped and did a quick trick with no patter (coin through the table, and vanished the coin) at a local hospital as my wife and I were waiting for lab tests (during the pregnancy of our second child). 8 year old was sitting at a table in the little courtyard. Cast on his arm. Frown, or sad face. I stopped, showed him the coin, pushed it through the table, vanished it..

As I walked out my wife was teary eyed. I thought because of hormones and the pregnancy. She said that was the most powerful thing she had seen as it transformed the kids day. (And she is a typical magicians wife... doesn't really like to see much magic these days... LoL.)

Got me thinking about preaching the Gospel, or the love of Christ, in our effects.

John

Magicurt,

Actually, if you were looking to do a show in Juneau, start by booking one in Seattle.. then take a flight up from there.

Not sure what size of show you do, but if you came up here, we could possible work out a South-East Alaska tour (Sitka, Ketichan, Juneau, Wrangell and Petersburg). If it were through Churches, I have a connections. If it was planned accordingly, it could be done on the Ferry System (the Marine Highway) and you could book a show on that as well, which might take care of travel to each town.

John
magicurt
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John, That would be great. I have a show in Seattle on March 3,4, 2006. I would love to work it out.

We do various size shows. We are scheduled to do 2 shows 45-55 mins., 2 illusions. Both very evangalistic. P.M. and we can discuss details.

Hey I'm with you on "preaching". Walk and talk go together. But most often walk is more important than talk.
Chessmann
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Quote:
On 2005-11-12 16:30, RevJohn wrote:
Of course, you problably already know that St. Francis is getting at Jesus' words, in response to "When did we feed you? When did we see you?" And his response, (Paraphrase):"When you did it for the least of these... you did it to me."


Yes, but unfortunately when I have heard people say it, it has been minus the context.

Quote:
A person at our church says that when we feed the homeless at the soup kitchen we aren't preaching the Gospel, because we haven't said a word about Christ. And of course, I disagree, saying we have said more about Christ then ten of my sermons.


In some ways, definitely, but the people who are being fed also need to know to connect the good works with Christ. Don't get me wrong - I definitely believe 'both sides of the coin' are needed, and biblical. In the debate I had with my friend, he thought that doing good things for people was enough. My point was, if we truly believe what we say we do about salvation, how could he be content to stop there, and not communicate the information of the gospel if the opportunity was there.

One of the best ways of thinking about presenting the Gospel I ever heard was this:

Evangelism = Information + Invitation. Fortunately, God made it simple!

But it seems I have taken the topic off-track.

That said, the scriptures are a treasure-trove of ideas that can be applied to our craft. We can use magic to illustrate important biblical teachings, or stories. For example, the story of Joseph can be told using many effects that highlight the story along the way. This way, our audience will remember the stories better, as they will have "pegs" (the tricks) to hang their memories on.
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
BroDavid
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You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father Who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16 RSV)

If all you do is show Christ's Love, you never have to say his name, until asked why you do the things you do.

I do a lot of routines that don't give the whole Salvation message, but I rarely do anything, magic related or not, that doesn't include a mention of, or reference to God.

BroDavid
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Chessmann
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On 2005-11-13 16:58, BroDavid wrote:
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father Who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16 RSV)

If all you do is show Christ's Love, you never have to say his name, until asked why you do the things you do.

BroDavid



Romans 10:14-15

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" (NIV)

If we never say His name, how will they know whom to give glory to?

Quote:
I do a lot of routines that don't give the whole Salvation message, but I rarely do anything, magic related or not, that doesn't include a mention of, or reference to God.


I truly admire that.

But I am not sure if we are talking about during magic shows (as was the original post), or in general. My comments above are in the "in general" category.
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
RevJohn
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I don't know if I thought fully out where this thread could go, although I love the discussion that is happening.

First, I think we forget St. Francis' second part, "If necessary, use words." Many times I think we might be just words, and he reminds of the action part. But on the other hand there are times that words are necessary.

Perhaps the answer is "Yes, John... to do what we call Gospel magic, you need to mention the salvation message." But I guess a second question should be added, and that could be around the definition of Gospel, or Good News.

I wonder sometimes if we underestimate how God can work. That perhaps the kindness that is show as we perform for one person one to one touches a person in a special way. Perhaps that is Gospel for them. The good news that one need not be alone.

This discussion is in no way to say that we need not give the message of Christ, but rather ask the question, "In what other ways can this message be given?"

Thoughts that are bouncing around my head. Thanks for walking the path with me.

RevJohn
Chessmann
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John,

I am not sure that we underestimate what God can do (though this certainly does happen). He can take the smallest good deed and turn it into something wonderful that leads to a new believer (see below)! My point would be that since we don't know exactly what God is going to do there should be some 'urgency' to be sure that those who cross our path know what the simple message of the Gospel is.

I became a Christian at 27. At 19 (TESTIMONY ALERT!) an unknown person walked by me on our college campus, handed me a tract, said, "God bless you." and walked on. Never saw him again. I didn't read the tract, either. But the thing that stuck with me for the next 8 years was that he cared enough about a stranger to act, to do something good for someone he didn't know. Had he stopped and presented the Gospel to me, I would still have been impressed, and felt cared for, but God had not opened my heart at that time in my life.

Back to your last statment, John: "In what other ways can this message (the message of Christ) be given?"

I hope I follow you correctly, but how about parables - classic examples that do not state the message in plain language, but have the elements nevertheless. They would seem to meet your criteria above: "...while you don't specifically name God, Christ, salvation message, etc, fall into the Christian realm anyway?"

Do you do coin work? How about an effect using the parable of the lost coin?

Let me know if I am moving closer to or farther away from what you were thinking.
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
magicurt
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I truly believe that it is different for different people. God gives us all a diferent way to share. I may reach someone for Christ that would not listen to someone else (The preacher next door, etc.). Also, how we share when we share can be different.

The words we use are important but without the love of God in our actions they are useless. But the love of God in our actions are not useless expressed without words.

I share the Gospel plain and simple in my show. (Not in coorporate work or schools) But my statement for our ministry is simple.

We can not save anyone, only Christ can do that through His sacrifice.

We can not convict anyone, only the Holy Spirit can do that.

We can only share His message and we share His message in the manner he has given me to share it.

I think we may find we all have different ways of sharing the Word and we may all find that we are all right.

Curt
Chessmann
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Quote:
On 2005-11-13 22:24, magicurt wrote:

The words we use are important but without the love of God in our actions they are useless. But the love of God in our actions are not useless expressed without words.



Our words and actions can equally be made useless by what is in our hearts. Neither words nor actions have a monopoly on being better, with one exception: people are saved (trust in Christ) by the conviction of the Holy Spirit through the proclamation of the Gospel, which is done with words. Curt, I agree wholeheartedly that God uses different people to share in different ways. I simply stress the vital need for people to know what God requires from us in order to have eternal life. Our actions certainly back up our words, and can be extremely important (in many ways) in gaining someone's trust in order to be in a postion to do that. No disagreement there at all.

Sharing the Gospel is my vocation. I have to be careful - I see God do wonderful things and am sometimes tempted to think, "This is what everyone should be doing!" Someone else may be involved in a ministry that supplies food or clothing, see God to wonderful things and think, "This is what everyone should be doing!"

To put it in the words of someone I once heard speak on missions, "Any one type of ministry (evangelism, helps, etc....) is fine, but alone is an *incomplete* vision of fulfilling the Great Commission." My own chuch's mission trips and ministries are orphans, construction, VBS, and little or no evangelism. What they do is good, and biblical, but (I believe) an incomplete vision of ministry. Likewise, another church that does evangelism only also has an incomplete vision.
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
Chessmann
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Just for fun:

Ever heard of Dog and Cat Theology? Some Christians are like dogs and other Christians are like cats. For some, it is all about the master. For others, it is all about themselves....

A dog Christian looks its master and says: "You love me, you pet me, you feed me, you shelter me.....YOU must be God!

A cat Christian looks at its master and says: "You love me, you pet me, you feed me, you shelter me.....*I* must be God!

Always see a lot of heads knod when they hear it.
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magicurt
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I absolutly agree it is all a matter of the heart. That really is thepoint here. I was assuming by the conversation we were discussing how we brought to action what God has done in our hearts.

Curt
Payne
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I really don't know if it is appropriate to preach the gospel at all times to all people. We had a guy at our last magic meeting present a gospel trick which went over like a lead balloon. You could actually feel people in the room bristle as the final message was given. If people want to get preached to they can go to church, they don't want to have to sit through this sort of thing at a magic meeting, or any place else for that matter.
I think it is better to lead people to the teachings of Christ through deeds and actions than through words alone.
It is far easier to simply say that you should love your neighbor as you love yourself than to actually practice the same.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Chessmann
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Payne,

I would assume that this person was really trying to preach to the gathering, or was he a guy who wanted practice doing his routine/gospel patter?
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
BroDavid
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Payne, I absolutely agree with you that we should not just talk it out, but also let our good deeds speak for us.

However, if we only preached to people who knew they wanted to hear, many - including me - would never have heard. And you certainly would not have found me in a Church pew waiting to be enlightened. I was offended by a number of people, including pastors, a secretary/assistant of mine at a company where I worked, and on and on. And then I heard it again, when I was ready, and the message spoke so clearly to my heart that I could not understand how I had ever missed it before. But the truth is that all of those others had built a platform for me to stand on, so when it had reached the height required, and my own ego had fallen from a covering of my eyes, to the depths necessary, that I finally saw the Truth.

So, when it comes to avoiding upsetting others, I go by the philosophy; (I have said it here before, so if it is redundant or you are offended Smile , I apologize in advance) "I never want to offend anyone, any more than is necessary."

I have done Christian illustrations through magic to a wide variety of people and groups, and I am sure some were offended. I remember at a Magic Conference a couple of years ago, that one of the headliner/lecturer's came by while I was talking to a couple of guys who were all showing each other different effects, and I had already shown something. But since I had met him earlier and talked with him, he asked me; what have you got? So I showed him a version of my "God is Everywhere" effect, where the cards are held in the specs hands and the point is that God is Everywhere. I finished, and he said, I can't believe it, this a magic convention and you are showing me a Gospel trick? And he walked away shaking his head muttering about Christian stuff being shown here....

However, he was the one who asked, and so that was what I showed him. Was he offended? I think so? Should I have avoided offending him? Why should I? I am called to preach the Gospel. I am not called to avoid offending people. And as long as I speak the Truth in Love, I believe that I am carrying out God's instruction through Christ's words telling us to "Go", and "Tell".

As for the message that was "Preached" at a magic meeting. I commend the individual for his conviction in presenting the Good News. The ones who are most offended are usually the ones who are closest to realizing that they can't do it (Life) alone, but are frantically holding on to their own egos and being god (note the small "g") is their own lives. I know! I was one of them until I was 46 years old. And the biggest relief I got was when I finally realized that I didn't need to be god in my own life any longer. Not only was it hard work, but I did a lousy job of it...So I am now always perfectly willing to let God be God.

So some were offended. So what! If just one of them is now a step closer to knowing God, through Jesus Christ, and I defy anyone to prove that one of them is not, then I would say the guy did his job. And I would hope he isn't seeking the praise of Men, but rather seeking the words of the The Father and longing to hear Him say; "Well done, my good and faithful servant!"

I do Christian magic at our IBM ring meeting all of the time. And apparently I have offended so many people that I was elected treasurer, and been nominated for vice President for the upcoming year.

Honor God, and He will honor you!

BroDavid
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Matthew Bennett
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I don't really mix magic with the message anymore. Of course, I always give the message. I just don't have ANY gospel routines that I like, or that work with who I am. I just let God use magic to open them up to hear what I have to say.

It is good to hear people on this thread saying that the words need to be said, and really good to hear Romans 10 quoted here. I am in agreement with this. The gospel needs to be told.

A good friend of mine, a magician, thinks that I should not preach the gospel, because different people believe different things, and I may offend somebody. This was my response:
If I truly believe what I am telling you that I believe, then it would be wrong for me to NOT tell you. If I believe that you need to put your faith in Christ, otherwise you will spend eternity seperated from him, if I believe that is TRUTH, then I MUST tell you, I MUST try to convince you. That is the only right thing to do.
Matthew A Bennett

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Payne
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Hey all I was saying is that it easier to get flies with honey than with vinegar or you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.
I'm pretty sure the guy was just trying out his routine and not trying to convert anyone. At least that's my hope.
I wasn't offended buy it as I've heard all this stuff before and I am pretty sure I will hear it all again in the future. I was just relating a story that added another point of perspective in this ongoing discussion.
Personally I think it is easier to lead through deeds and actions than words, but then that's just me. I haven't a gospel to preach so I have to lead through actions instead.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
BroDavid
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Payne, May I ask, (I have no intent to offend you with this question, and I am asking in honest curiosity)...

If you "haven't a gospel to preach" and "lead through actions instead."..........

Exactly where are you leading them?

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
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