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GlenD
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The computers do it... They hide it from us when we type or go over our posts briefly before "submitting" then whammo they become visible after we exit the Café.
The motivation is the part I don't get yet, I think maybe it's an effort to keek the humans humble or something.

But I liked your analogy above, that was good.

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!)
rossmacrae
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Quote:
On 2007-08-07 06:03, Steve Varro wrote:
Letting the child determine whether or not he is lost is not always the best course of action. Just as the mother above.

So, if I get this right ... "you poor childlike adult of another (or no) faith, I know you're a grown human being endowed by God with intelligence and the right to determine your own moral decisions, but since you didn't make a decision I agree with you're clearly much too naive to know you've made the wrong choice. Here, let me relieve you of that nasty [fill in the name of another faith's holy book] ... I'll give you a Chick tract and show you just how dumb you've been."

[*sigh*]

This kind of condescension is what makes so many people angry when you try to "share the good news" with that attitude.
Payne
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Quote:
On 2007-08-07 14:43, rossmacrae wrote:

This kind of condescension is what makes so many people angry when you try to "share the good news" with that attitude.



Bingo!

Good News delivered in this manner this is never good news.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Steve Varro
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Sorry Rossmacrae:

You got it wrong!

The Christians I know, would never go up to another and blatantly say something like ""you poor childlike adult of another (or no) faith, I know you're a grown human being endowed by God with intelligence and the right to determine your own moral decisions, but since you didn't make a decision I agree with you're clearly much too naive to know you've made the wrong choice. Here, let me relieve you of that nasty [fill in the name of another faith's holy book] ... I'll give you a Chick tract and show you just how dumb you've been." Like Paine said "The Good news delivered in this manner is never the good news."

Read my post again and you'll find that I was not "Sharing the Good news", just relating a story and making a comment. So your remark "This kind of condescension is what makes so many people angry when you try to "share the good news" with that attitude." seems a bit out of line.

On the other hand, if you feel I was "Sharing the Good News" in a condescending manner, you always have the option to avoid such abuse by going to other areas of the Café.

I was only pointing out that the statement of another reminded me of a story of a "lost" child.

Look around. It is not the Christian members here that are going into the other areas to "pound" their beliefs into others. Yet I find it interesting that those who do not believe as Christians do, come here to the Christian area of the forum and complain about what they fear we are doing, when they are doing exactly that.

My comments were not made or meant to be condescending. If you took it that way, you may want to ask yourself Why?
STILL In HIS service

Steve Varro

International President of FCM

Owner/Dock Haley Gospel Magic Co.
rossmacrae
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1) "On the other hand, if you feel I was "Sharing the Good News" in a condescending manner, you always have the option to avoid such abuse by going to other areas of the Café." Thank you so much for telling me I can go away if I disagree with you. I am a Christian, so please don't lump me in with the "those who do not believe as Christians do [who] come here to the Christian area of the forum and complain." True, 'thetruthteller' seems to be such a person, but you might want to hear his/her comment with gratitude (or at least respect) - people who already have a deeply considered faith (albeit not yours) get offended, and rightly so, when you tell them they're like a little child who doesn't know he's lost.

2) I didn't say you were condescending to me, I said that the story you told leads to a condescending attitude on the part of those who proselytize (with or without the use of magic to illustrate the message). And that's what is often so annoying about Gospel magic ... "I know you've just heard a fine sermon. Now, listen, cause I'm gonna make it reeeeal clear so you'll understand." I'm sorry if that's a distortion of the message you're sending ... but too often THAT'S HOW IT COMES ACROSS, and not just because the hearer 'rejects' the message or 'is too naive to get it.' Too often, it seems like you're talking to adults like they were children.

3) "If you took it that way, you may want to ask yourself Why?" Well ... because the point of that story carries exactly the attitude I described. It's the attitude in the minds of those who ring your doorbell uninvited, or shout on the street, to "share the news" that you're "lost" if you don't believe precisely as they do. And I think I'm in the vast majority of adults [including Christians and non-Christians) who are very annoyed when they tell me that my church is wrong and theirs is the true one, and then when I tell them (at least I don't slam the door in their face) that I already have a personal relationship with God, they go away thinking "the poor guy's too dumb to know he's lost."
Steve Varro
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Probably the biggest problem with the printed message is that it lacks emotion and sometime the wrong emotion is inserted by the reader.

First of all please know that I believe that you and any other member is welcome here. Sorry if you felt I was saying "go away if you don't believe as I do". That is not what I was saying.

Let me rephrase it. If someone does not like the smut on TV they have the option to change the channel. The same applies on the internet. One doesn't have to say where he feels abused.

I wasn't "lumping you" with anyone. So why as a Christian are you attacking another Christian. Satan is so happy when that happens.

I do wish to hear your comments (with respect) and in the same why I want my comments heard in respect, and not to be misinterpreted.

Let me expound on the lost child story. Just last week I was on a trip to North Carolina. One the way home an accident caused me to have to take a detour and go another direction. I looked at the map, made a few turns and thought I was heading the right direction. In reality I was lost. After one hour of "making good time" I stopped for gas and asked someone if I was heading the right direction. I found out that I was not, I had been lost. Not spiritually, but lost never the less. The story I told had nothing to do about being spiritually loss. And yet you were offended by it. Why? I never said or inferred that you were lost.

You keep putting words in the mouth of Gospel magicians.... "I know you've just heard a fine sermon. Now, listen, cause I'm gonna make it reeeeal clear so you'll understand." The goal of a Gospel magician is not to undermine the sermon or come across as condescending to the congregation. How sad when they do. We should never talk to other adults like they were children. Maybe the performers you were watching were doing a "children's story", then of course the message should be delivered as if to a child.

I have never rang a doorbell uninvited, never shouted in the streets, and while that may happen occasionally, be real and admit that the majority of christians do not behave that way. Believe it or not, most Christians are also offended by that type of activity.

If a lost child came to my front door crying that he was lost and wanted his mommy, I would say to him; "Why you poor ignorant child, let me show you the way because you are too stupid to find it without my help." Instead I would try to comfort the child and do everything in my power to reunite him to his mother. I wouldn't hand him a Chick Tract and send him on his way. That would be ridiculous!

We are in agreement about being annoyed when someone tells me my church is wrong and theirs is right. When you attack ones belief system all you do is allow a wall to be put up between you and in so doing you sever all communication opportunities.

Please don't "lump me" with those who you feel are wrong in proselytizing. First of all you do not know how or if I "proselytize". and I do not like my motives imputed anymore that you do. Especially when they are imputed wrongly.

Personally I believe it is important to live a lifestyle that cause people to come to you and say, "What is it about you that is different? Whatever it is I want to know more about it.", Rather than carry a big Bible to beat them over the head with. Jesus talked to many people, and if you'll notice He talked with people who came to Him. He didn't go into the streets and start brow beating the "sinners" He sat quietly as they can to Him with questions and concerns. This is how witnessing should be done, at least in my opinion. If I want to know more about your beliefs, I'll ask..... Respectfully. If you want to know more about my beliefs, I encourage you to ask me... respectfully. Doesn't that seem fair and reasonable?

A comment on your last statement.....
"when I tell them (at least I don't slam the door in their face) that I already have a personal relationship with God, they go away thinking "the poor guy's too dumb to know he's lost."

My personal opinion (and it's the only one I'm authorized to give) is that you are treating them in the same manner that you do not want to be treated. You are imputing their motive and reaction. They may be going away thinking; "Praise the Lord, that person has a relationship with God." Your comment to them was one of respect, and their reaction may also be one of respect.

Again, I didn't wish to start a verbal war with my little story of a lost child. If you were offended, I apologize, it was not shared to offend.
STILL In HIS service

Steve Varro

International President of FCM

Owner/Dock Haley Gospel Magic Co.
rossmacrae
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"So why as a Christian are you attacking another Christian. Satan is so happy when that happens."

So nobody can tell you how badly you're coming across, or Satan's happy?

"I do wish to hear your comments (with respect) and in the same why I want my comments heard in respect, and not to be misinterpreted."

It's a hard thing for many to understand - the message as spoken, with all its attached 'spin' and subtext, is not always (not even usually) identical to the message as received. There's static between the transmitter and receiver. That's why someone's wife asks 'how does this look on me?' and the husband says 'I like the blue dress better' and the wife runs away crying and shouting 'you think I'm fat!' - He didn't mean any such thing, and firmly believes he never said it - and she firmly believes that she heard it and yes he did say it.

Maybe YOU don't go collaring the unwilling, but there are plenty who do - and they start with the 'good news' but the hearer receives a 'bad impression.' And the attitude causing the static is often quite clearly consistent with that 'lost child' story - even if you use it to illustrate one point, it doesn't take much to get a different point from it. So if my comment doesn't apply to you, please forgive me - I think it is quite valid for others who take a different meaning from the same story.
GlenD
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This whole little "spat" or whatever is totally misguided. The way I read the initial analogy, was that it was just that... an analogy! Not something that anyone would go up to someone and say and not the adoption of any kind of condescending attitude either. Just simply a fitting comparison and I think it is on the mark. I mean it is true sometimes that when a person is lost, they don't know they are lost or at least not initially. Anyways, I don't feel it necessary to try to expand on it or put any words in anyones uuuu text message.
By the way, if these so called Christians that make a bit of a mess of things, after having shared the gospel (good news), as Ross says above... then hey, kudos to "them". At least they got off their butts and overcame their hang-ups and fears and actually obeyed one of the few commands asked of all who claim to believe and told somebody!

I think we need to chill out and ease up here,seems to be more of a misunderstanding or miscommunication than anything.

God bless all of ya'.

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!)
Thetruthteller
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Quote:
On 2007-08-07 06:03, Steve Varro wrote:

I'm reminded of the small child who becomes seperated from his parent in a large mall. The mother, nearing panic, searches everywhere for the child, who is eventually reunited with their mother, much to her relief. Once reunited the child explains; "I wasn't lost, I knew where I was all the time!".



It is all relative. The child knew where he was at all times so in his eyes he was never lost. Just because he wasn't where his mother thought he should be simply doesn't provide us with enough evidence to claim he was lost. Perhaps he was where he needed to be and it was his mother who was in the wrong place.
davidemerson
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Paul said he was all things to all people. Paul said he was willing to do whatever was necessary so that "he might save some". Gospel Magic is a fabulous teaching tool. Our own ministry has seen 65 people saved in our past few shows. I could not have done that without the use of Gospel Magic!
peculiarone
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Glad to hear there are high quality performers doing Gospel Magic. My personal experience with it is that it was poorly performed. I once attended a Fellowship of Christian Magicians Europe meeting held at the Magic Circle in London. I was sitting at a table with some other Christian magicians. I did some basic simple card effects for them and they acted totally amazed. I just kept thinking that what I was doing was stuff they should know. They acted as if they had never seen this stuff before.

Keep up the Good News work.

Po
Terry Owens
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I'm easily amazed at card tricks because that is not my area of study not because I'm not a good performer. So you can't always draw those type of comparisons.
Kif Anderson
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I'm relatively new to the Café, and this is a quite interesting thread. It has certainly gone many directions, one at least that I don't quite understand why.
Nonetheless, I truly believe some of the best performers in magic are using it to share the Gospel. That does not mean to suggest that only the best do it, or that there are more really good performers doing gospel than secular, just that there are a lot of very talented folks out using their abilities for a greater purpose than the "tah dah." And yes there are some "beginners" out there. But even the best were there once.
Magically speaking however...I don't think the effect is the key. Ever. Secular or Gospel. It has to do with is the performance appealing to the audience? Does it engage them? If you can do that with a rope trick, terrific. If you can do it with large stage illusions, great. The basic audience cares less about how much they were fooled and more about how much they were entertained. The art is not in the trick, it is in the trickster. Sadly that doesn't seem to be the way some of the more popular magicians are going these days...and therefore it is turning a lot of people off to the idea of magic.
David Copperfield has done some pretty amazing things on a stage. But they were anything but boring. They were well written, dramatic, comedic, whatever. Yeah, you remembered that he flew, but it touched your heart because of what he said and how he presented it.
Jesus used stories to teach people, why? Well if you consider the fact He created us, it could be easily argued that He knew what worked best with us. He knew how we were "wired." People need the routine, the story, the words.
He would perform real miracles and people would be amazed, but He would warn them not to be impressed by miracles.
So for those who don't like Gospel magic, okay. But I suspect you've only seen those who do it ineffectively. Steve Varro and GlenD are a couple of folks I've personally seen perform and they are not "embarrassing magic" with their acts. They do a great job. I hope folks feel the same about what I do.
Honestly, I spend about 10% of my effort on the magic...10% on the message...and 80% of the time on making it appealing to the audience...compromising neither the magic nor the message in the process.
><> J
Kif Anderson
We are not cisterns made for hoarding, we are channels made for sharing. - Billy Graham
<BR>
<BR>Sharing the gospel with Comedy & Illusion www.ozandwilde.com
JohnWells
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Thank you fx4Christ for returning this sanctified contest to its point.
Steven Conner
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Quote:
On 2007-08-08 18:44, rossmacrae wrote:
"So why as a Christian are you attacking another Christian. Satan is so happy when that happens."

So nobody can tell you how badly you're coming across, or Satan's happy?

"I do wish to hear your comments (with respect) and in the same why I want my comments heard in respect, and not to be misinterpreted."

It's a hard thing for many to understand - the message as spoken, with all its attached 'spin' and subtext, is not always (not even usually) identical to the message as received. There's static between the transmitter and receiver. That's why someone's wife asks 'how does this look on me?' and the husband says 'I like the blue dress better' and the wife runs away crying and shouting 'you think I'm fat!' - He didn't mean any such thing, and firmly believes he never said it - and she firmly believes that she heard it and yes he did say it.

Maybe YOU don't go collaring the unwilling, but there are plenty who do - and they start with the 'good news' but the hearer receives a 'bad impression.' And the attitude causing the static is often quite clearly consistent with that 'lost child' story - even if you use it to illustrate one point, it doesn't take much to get a different point from it. So if my comment doesn't apply to you, please forgive me - I think it is quite valid for others who take a different meaning from the same story.


Everyone can be offended by something but what is more important that we don't carry a chip on our shoulders. An aweful lot of people were offended by Jesus and what he taught, but that doesn't change the fact that he still loved us and to this very day wishes none to perish. I agree it doesn't matter what your denomination is or what church you attend, but the Truth for all religions is the same. There is ONLY one way to Heaven and that is through Jesus Christ. Its these kind of squirmishes that give the world the wrong impression. Sometimes the word Christian can have more than one meaning. I believe this is a great forum and we can learn much from each other.
"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. "
GlenD
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Well written reply, Kif and welcome to the Café! Thanks for the affirmation concerning my own magical efforts, also. I will never forget how you and Gene helped me out before my first gospel magic show. Taking the time to sit through and watch what was certainly some painfully amateurish put together routines. That was very helpful to me.
Glad to see you here but a word of caution... be careful, this place can be very addicting very fast.

See you later (hopefully at this months FCM meeting)

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!)
Terry Owens
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We should be secure enough in what we believe and what we do that those who don't have the same understanding of our ministries, do not intimidate us or cause us to lose track of why and for whom we do it for. They (the religous folks)persecuted Jesus...He said we will be persecuted too

If God has called you to do this and He's using you, the proof is in the pudding. If you are reaching people for Christ, that's what it's all about. You don't have to justify you're calling to anyone except God who will judge us by did we do what He called us to do.

Keep the faith!
Terry
Kif Anderson
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Drkptrs1975 wrote:
The only critics of Gospel Magic I ran into is that they call it a form of lying.

I think we need to be very careful in scripting our messages for effects when we are sharing the Gospel. The old advice,"Don't say 'the bag is empty'...let them think it" applies here not because it keeps them from figuring out that something may be in there...but the fact is something is in there and if, lets say for an example, a piece of the hidden silk is showing...someone will see it, say nothing, but possibly think, "This person isn't telling the truth." And if you lie about this...then what else are you lying about? Is the salvation thing just a deceiption too?

I agree with the arguement that most folks realize what they see is just entertainment, a means to the end. I also know that folks who have seen my show have never complained it was "anti-Christian" because I was trying to deceive people. That comes from scripting and focus in the show. Secular shows...theme is "I'm amazing." Gospel shows need to be..."God is amazing."

So when it comes to how to say something...better to say of a levitation..."I'm going to make this object appear to float in the air." I much prefer that to "Everything you are going to see to day is just an illusion...none of it is real" introduction so many feel they need to say...and then go on to say the bag is empty. And if you do feel the need to give that intro...be sure to say before you start giving the gospel message, "As I said before, the illusions I've been doing are just that illusions. But now I want to share with you something that is very real..."

><> J
Kif
We are not cisterns made for hoarding, we are channels made for sharing. - Billy Graham
<BR>
<BR>Sharing the gospel with Comedy & Illusion www.ozandwilde.com
Clifford the Red
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So how about those Red Sox!

My impression is that when doing the magic part, some Gospel Magicians ramble and try to "patter" which in any form of magic comes off terrible. I think the point is if you are going to do magic, be a professional and realize your words are more important than the dumb trick, so construct your words carefully, script them and evaluate them for impact. Magicians should hopefully elicit responses better than creating a desire to slit one's wrists. Bad magic isn't cute if you just slap on a gospel message, it's bad magic with an agenda.
"The universe is full of magical things, waiting for our wits to grow sharper." Eden Philpotts
JohnWells
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Cliff, you've hit the nail on the head. "Magic with an agenda". That (though I don't think I'd have been able to phrase it like that on my own) is the deeper reason that gospel magic, and really all forms of proselytizing (which I would consider to be different from evangelism), bother me. I just don't think that I can effectively meet someone where they are, which I consider necessary to evangelization, while I have my own agenda to push. Evangelization is not marketing a product, whether it be a Savior or the frequently more common better, faster you you get once your saved (God has a wonderful plan for your life-the bionic Christian), but healing the sick and binding up the broken hearted.
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