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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Good News! » » Is it ok for a Christian to hate Gospel Magic? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Terry Owens
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I don't agree with you Ross for a couple of reasons. First of all, it's poor presentation and cheap looking materials or equipment. That is what makes Gospel magic lame, or any other venue for that matter.

Second, those who do it full time, it's just like any other ministry, you need to be called, and you need to know what you're talking about. I think we forget about this as we share...if we stand before people and present the gospel message through illusion, we are held to a higher standard before God. Even the bible warns us not to be too quick to want to call yourself a teacher, but those who do gospel magic, that's exactly what we are, teachers and if we don't have a grasp of the material we are presenting, then the message won't be effective.

If you boil it down to it's finest element, whether you're doing school programs, anti drug shows, or sharing the gospel, they become an object lesson (supersized). Teaching a truth with a illustration. Not everyone learns exactly the same. Some do better reading and digging the information themselves, but as it's already been said, anytime you involve more of your senses then our teaching has become more effective.

When it comes to real ministry, a church is not just another gig for a magician. We will stand before God for how we handled His word.
Steven Conner
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Quote:
On 2007-07-09 20:39, rossmacrae wrote:
Quote:
On 2007-07-09 14:01, Steve Varro wrote:
As for as Jesus being the King of Hearts. To me He is the King of My Heart. As a Christian I am sure many others here can understand that concept. My heart and prayers are with anyone who does not understand that level of love and respect for Jesus.

I didn't say he wasn't. I'm saying that it's a fairly lame thing to waste 3 or 4 minutes on - it takes 3 words to say, and a couple dozen flashy moves to show with magic ... it,s much more about the magic than the message, and that's what makes a lot of gospel magic lame.


Ross, I too disagree that its about the magic. Let me offer another illustration. We have some great choirs and singers. If it was about the music, God doesn't need it for he has thousands of Angels who sing to him non-stop. Its really is about him and his message. We do a little sleight of hand and illusions, but God performs the real magic when he transforms lives. Its just a tool, that's all. Paul told us not to limit ourselves as long as it didn't change the Word. The magic should be good and well rehearsed. If God can use an ass, he can surely use a servant.
"The New York Papers," Mark Twain once said,"have long known that no large question is ever really settled until I have been consulted; it is the way they feel about it, and they show it by always sending to me when they get uneasy. "
revlovejoy
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FWIW I loathe 99% of contemporary Christian music. It's American style success theology that is an inch deep and a mile wide. I'm with Payne on this: in most performing arts, the vast majority is less than mediocre. Why should magic be any different?
Lash
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Wonderful post Terry. We do need to remember that we need a calling for any ministry and to put the time and effort into that ministry to make it as effective as we can. If we do that and we are truly called, then God will certainly do the rest. I also understand Rev Lovejoy. There are a lot of Christian music and performing artists in the secular realm as well that I don't care for. Many of them are not very good and probably shouldn't be performing. But that's the way the entertainment industry seems to be going nowadays. But also keep something else in mind: experience level. We may witness a bad magician or a not-so-polished singer in church. I've seen quite a few. But some of them may just be starting out and getting their feet wet as we all had to do at one time. There are many performers and ministers that I have seen in the church that were not very good when they first started out. Then you would see those same people a year or two later and it was as different as night and day. They had gone from below mediocre to sensational in some cases. That may be the case in some of these situations. So let's keep that in mind as well.

Jared
Terry Owens
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Right on Jared...I would hate to think I'm at the same level performing and preaching as I was when I first started out...that would be scary...(it's probably scary for some now...lol)
Tony Brent
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I have seen:

Children drag their parents to church because a magician was performing there.

I have seen:

Children and their parents life change for the better because they came to church,ONLY because they saw the magician performing there.

That's all the reason I need.

Tony Brent
Orlando, FL
Terry Owens
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And the church said...Amen!
Ron Reid
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Yes, indeed...Amen, brother Tony!

Ron
drkptrs1975
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Depends, more like a case by case thing.
mrunge
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As has been mentioned about everything in the world...some is good and some is bad. Same in magic and performers. Some are good and some are not. I don't think you can lump an entire segment of magic into being bad because of one (or a couple) of bad, or not your taste, performances.

There are a LOT of people who use magic in their ministry with great success (Terry, Photius, etc...) and can reach something inside of others because of it.

If it's your "cup of tea," then great. If not, well that's OK to. Not everything is meant for everyone.

Mark.
TheGreatNancini
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I do not particularly care for gospel magic because I have never seen it done well by anyone, even at an FCM convention I went to.

This said, I would not go so far as to say I hate it though, because I am sure I have just not seen the good ones and I know their out there!

Nanci
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GlenD
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My initial instincts to this thread were that it was to rile up all the gospel magicians. That may be true, maybe not. I wasnt going to post anything on it because of this (and I wonder if anyone else felt the same way) but I find myself keeping up with the responses here and decided to go ahead and chime in.
In self evaluating my own gospel magic endeavors it has occured to me that first of all I want my presentations (of any effect I perform) to be well practiced and done as good as I am capable. But secondly, is my motivation. Why am I trying to mix messages from the Bible with illusions and perform in this way? That leads to another definition of what succesful gospel magic is or what "was it done well" means. This isn't to be a cop out on having performance standards of excellence etc. but asking myself, what was accomplished? Am I having any impact on anyone spiritually? Has anyone been blessed or challenged in a significant way? etc etc etc. In my own case, I don't know. I have no way of keeping track and as of this point I do not do any follow up or anything of that nature. Correction, I do know of one family member who has completely turned there life around and and has been back on track with there personal walk with God. This due in part by attending a service where I was performing a few effects to help illustrate the message that the Pastor was giving on a Sunday morning service.
But I think it is important to keep in balance what constitutes succesful gospel magic.
Hope something there makes sense.

GlenD
"A miracle is something that seems impossible but happens anyway" - Griffin

"Any future where you succeed, is one where you tell the truth." - Griffin (Griffin rocks!)
Justin Impossible
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Nicely said Mark! You should all check out Carl Andrews Christian magic. Most people or at least newer magicians know him for his table hopping cups and balls but his wife and him put together a show for people coming to Christ! Good Guy!
Peace
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A pretty assistant is the most effective form of misdirection.
PutASpellOnMe
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Where and how did God use the word Hate? I cross referenced it in a Strongs and am unable to find him saying he HATED anybody or anything.

Quote:
On 2007-07-09 04:41, JohnWells wrote:
God used the word "hate".
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Payne
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Quote:
On 2007-07-17 07:28, PutASpellOnMe wrote:

Where and how did God use the word Hate? I cross referenced it in a Strongs and am unable to find him saying he HATED anybody or anything.



So he had the Canaanites exterminated because he liked them? He may never have used the word hate but his actions certainly belays the fact that there were folks out there he really didn't care for. At least in the Old Testament.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Steven Conner
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Quote:
On 2007-07-17 11:28, Payne wrote:
Quote:
On 2007-07-17 07:28, PutASpellOnMe wrote:

Where and how did God use the word Hate? I cross referenced it in a Strongs and am unable to find him saying he HATED anybody or anything.



So he had the Canaanites exterminated because he liked them? He may never have used the word hate but his actions certainly belays the fact that there were folks out there he really didn't care for. At least in the Old Testament.


In Proverbs 6:16-19 God tells you what he hates. Actually Payne, God cares cares for everyone. That's why he sent his son to die for us so that we might Live.
"The New York Papers," Mark Twain once said,"have long known that no large question is ever really settled until I have been consulted; it is the way they feel about it, and they show it by always sending to me when they get uneasy. "
SSG
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My thoughts, for what they are worth:

I agree that gospel magicians, for the most part, are not as polished as their secular counterparts. It could be because they know they are performing for a largely specialized and "forgiving" audience that is just so happy to be presented with some wholesome entertainment.

I had the same philosophy 15 years ago when I involved myself with a Christian theatre company. They wrote bad plays and under-rehearsed them so that they came off clunky and amateurish. The big theatre reviewers would have crucified these guys, but they didn't care. They knew that their core audience was retirement homes and church groups, ALL of which lavished them with nothing but praise. Ergo, there was no motivation to improve - just be content in the fact that we're doing a halfbaked job in entertaining the elect.

There's another problem, or danger, with gospel magic in that it's being adopted by many so called "seeker sensitive" churches that are seeking to be relevant to the culture rather than preach the atoning message of Jesus Christ. Because of this, lots of gospel magicians think they can get away with just doing a show that teaches a few good morals, maybe adopts an Old Testament storyline (like Steve Varro's MISS THE BOAT trick*) and leaves the unchurched going away thinking "church people aren't all that bad" but without an idea that they are lost.

My prayer, and I hope your prayer too, is that we'll use gospel magic TO preach the gospel. Every gospel magic show should explain the problem of sin and justification by faith. Otherwise, it's just magic with a nice message.

---

* Comment was not intended as a swipe against Mr. Varro, who sells the MISS THE BOAT effect on his web site. It's a fine trick, as is his CROSS MADE THE DIFFERENCE, a fine way to visually illustrate justification by faith.
dbearden
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Everyone has a strong opinion on this, and I believe everyone to be sincere in how they view the topic of gospel magic. There are obviously many who practice gospel magic without having had the benefit of proper training or mentoring in the finer art of presentation, which is where I see the flaw of a lot of gospel magic. It is not so much what is done, but how it is presented. One of the benefits of attending conventions (local FCM events or the international conference) is to pick up ideas on presentation and putting a program together. For those of you new (or young) to gospel magic, don't let any of these things keep you from performing, but let the criticisms and comments help you to form ideas on performing this art.....After all, if the only birds that sang were the best warblers, then the trees would be very quiet indeed. Of course, if you are not the best "warbler," then what you do is keep working to improve yourself in all areas of performance....selection of effects/program content, patter, and presentation.
Terry Holley
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Quote:
On 2007-07-17 20:25, SSG wrote:
My thoughts, for what they are worth:

There's another problem, or danger, with gospel magic in that it's being adopted by many so called "seeker sensitive" churches that are seeking to be relevant to the culture rather than preach the atoning message of Jesus Christ.


That's quite an indictment! I'm interested to know how many "seeker sensitive" churches you have attended to see these presentations and make such a condemnatory statement?

Terry
Co-author with illusionist Andre' Kole of "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena."
SSG
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Terry:

Try this church link: http://www.godlovessex.com/

Is that the Christianity you're comfortable with?

That's what I mean about churches trying so hard to conform to the culture that they forget to preach the message. I've met far too many people who think of Jesus as "the solution to life's problems" or a "surefire way to help you succeed in life." What He is, first and foremost, is Lord and savior.
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