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Steve Brooks
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I feel this is a worthy subject to explore.

I've noticed that in gospel magic, whenever any type of "cards" are used, they are usually pictures of Jesus, the cross, the devil, etc. I understand why (I'm a Christian myself), but in regular magic, so many of our tricks involve playing cards!



I know that "some" Christians have a real problem with cards (the devil's play things?), but then again, some Christians have a problem with any kind of magic show.



Suggestions? Experiences? Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Scott F. Guinn
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I think the walls have really come down on this, except for the ultra-conservative fundamentalist churches. I always have a pack of cards on me and do stuff after church, at the men's retreat, etc. I've even done the card on ceiling as an object lesson on the rapture (caught up to meet Him in the air...)!
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Steve Varro
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While most churches are becoming more tolerant of playing cards there are a few that still have a problem with them. I do a back hand production of several cards in my opening routine and instead of regular playing cards I produce rook cards. When I get to the Rook card itself, I sometimes pause and say, "By the way, These are vegetarian playing cards" or "Christian approved playing cards" or something similar.



In the past all of the effects Dock Haley made used Aviator backs, but to be more sensitive to those with concerns about playing card, we are changing many of our card type effects to a more acceptable back. If the effect uses regular playing cards such as the King of Hearts trick, then we are staying with a regular playing card back. I know of some magicians who will cover the backs of their cards type effects with a solid color contact paper to avoid the "playing cards" look. Most importantly you must know and be sensitive to your audience. If you are not familiar with the denomination you are performing for, ask someone in advance what their feeling is about playing cards, then alter your program as to not be offensive to them.



In HIS service,

Steve Varro

International FCM President
STILL In HIS service

Steve Varro

International President of FCM

Owner/Dock Haley Gospel Magic Co.
Andrew
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I do relatively few card tricks, but if I plan on using them for a church show, I always ask if anyone will be offended.



Somewhere I heard the entire gospel told using cards to represent the major themes.

I don't remember the patter...perhaps someone

else out there does?



Andrew
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Scott F. Guinn
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That routine can be found in Hugard's Encycopedia of Card Tricks.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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RayBanks
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It's called "The Perpetual Almanac or Gentleman Soldier's Prayer Book" and it is in Chapter 18.



Not much magic but it is really a great story.

Smile
-------------
Pick a card, any card...No. not THAT one...THIS one

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JaquaiGul
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I am pastor of an "ultra conservative" fundamental Baptist church. I am also a magician who works with cards. In churches I never use playing cards. When I did magic at a Pizza Parlor I would find families that did not want their children handling or interacting with cards. It is enough for me that some weak believer may be encouraged to get into gambling by my example. As Steve V. says, all you need is another form of cards. I have used Steve's Alphabet cards, but I have also used baseball cards, Old Maid, Rook, and picture cards I have made myself. All in all they are as easy to work with and no one will be offended.
Steve Varro
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Greetings again:



I may have my wrist slapped for this by Steve Brooks, so I’ll apologize in advance. It’s just that I’m so excited about our newest product. It’s titled .... The Dock Haley Symbolic Deck. It’s a deck of 52 cards, 4 suits (Red, Gold, Green and Blue) each consisting of 13 cards. The deck is made up of Religious, Bible and Historical Symbols. We’re so pleased with it I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share it in this thread. Sorry Steve.



Love ya,

Steve Varro

Dock Haley Gospel Magic Co.
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Steve Varro

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Scott F. Guinn
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I don't mean to sound like a jerk, but even as a young kid in a VERY conservative Regular Baptist Church, I never understood why playing cards were evil but Rook cards, etc are fine--especially when the "substitute" had 4 suits of 13 cards each. I also have a couple of problems doctrinally with playing cards, or even gambling, being "evil."



I think a lot of people do exactly what Jesus condemned the Pharisees for--making the traditions and rules of men as important as God's Word.



Also, regarding the "weaker brother" argument, I agree and know that is Scriptural. However, I have had 80 year old deacons who've been believers since they were 4 or 5 tell me that my using playing cards is causing them to stumble. Surely a church leader who's been a believer for 75 years doesn't constitute a "weaker" brother!



Just my opinion. Feel free to disagree.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Steve Brooks
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Wow Steve, sounds like a project your really proud of. I'm sure a lot of gospel performers will get a lot of use out of those! Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
yellowguy
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I do believe that alternative cards are a good way to get around the ’evilness’ of the regular deck. I personally use a deck of UNO cards. But I just recently came across a game called Phase 10 where the cards, while still being of the bridge size, do have the air cushion finish that Bicycles do.

I myself am a young man studying in Bible College to become a pastor in the Christian and Missionary alliance, So I understand the gripes that people have against playing cards. I’ve actually even been prayed over. But the only other alternative to buying an
"acceptable" deck of cards is to make your own. but I’m not sure if you’d want to bother with that.

Enjoy!
JaquaiGul
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I must agree with the Great Scott about those who claim to be offended just to pursue their crusade against cards or whatever. It is irritating, but doesn't change the fact that there are some truly weak people who are considering the Friday night gambling session and find out "cards are okay at my church." Since (1) we do not have to use regular cards, and (2) since some might really be caused to stumble, and (3) since Steve Varro has cards that can be seen and recognized at a greater distance than regular playing cards, we might as well plan to leave the regular playing cards alone. Smile



Besides, I find using the different kinds of cards helps me develop novel presentations.

Smile
atkinsod
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Interesting topic.



I can see that some would be upset at playing cards being used in church, as some don't even like magic shows in church. I suppose you have to approach each church and ask before performing.



You can certainly gamble with just about anything: dice, coins, sticks, and football games being other examples.



About the new Doc Haley deck: is one of the symbols used the image of Christ? This is just a pet peeve with me, but I'm uncomfortable with using a "Christ" card that has an image of Jesus as commonly portrayed in paintings and so forth. I'm not trying to be legalistic about it, but have developed a conviction that I shouldn't be using this. I have a Doc Haley Svengali deck, and have never used it...



Doug A.
Bernard Lightfingers
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I know some people from the church I go to who view any magic of any sort as work of the devil. My grandpa, who is the main pastor of the church, says playing cards mean gambling, and that's work of the devil, but he looks at some of my card tricks... Smile
There is no life without death...everything has a shadow
Steve Varro
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Greetings:



Doug asked about the new symbolic deck and wondered if it used the "image of Jesus" as one of the cards.



Unlike the Svengali deck which is a force type deck designed to always force the Christ Head card, the symbolic deck is like a regular deck of 52 cards. None of the 13 images is the image of Jesus. However a Christ head card is included in the deck as a 53rd card for those who want to use it as a social card for different tricks, but it is not needed to use the deck. A 54th card, a joker (money bag) is also included in the deck.



In HIS service,

Steve Varro

Dock Haley Gospel Magic Co.
STILL In HIS service

Steve Varro

International President of FCM

Owner/Dock Haley Gospel Magic Co.
MANDRAGORE
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Steve, it is funny that you start a thread about cards and the church. Let me tell you this story.

I was invited to speak in a Brethern (is that the way you spell it?) church and I took my cards out, and I can tell you that I won't be reinvited again by any member of that church.

I think that there are two things that I can take out of it.

1) When you perform with cards and especially for a church, check first to see if it is OK to use them.

2) Everybody has his/her own perception of how a Christian should live his/her life, I personally think that God gave me a gift and I have to use it, and fortunately this gift is linked with the use of cards. It is an akward thing... cards in a church, but who knows the ways of the Lord are...

By the way, do you know that the Brethern will be the first to go to heaven?

It is proved in the Bible, "The dead in Christ will rise first"

Sorry, that was a joke... no offense to anybody.

ben
BroDavid
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Ben, that last one deserves to be preceded by a pious drum roll, and followed by a stern rim shot! Smile Smile Smile Smile

Some folks tell me "You can't be a Christian." You have too much fun!

Oh Well! .................

Hey, Thanks for the laugh! I love to laugh. And in all of this, it is the true Christian who get the last laugh - so why wait to start?

I can't wait to perform in that Great disappearing act called "The Rapture".
There will be a whole bunch of folks standing around, totally amazed; asking; "How did they do that?"


Smile

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Scott F. Guinn
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You know why they didn't play cards on the ark? Because Noah sat on the deck!
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Steve Brooks
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Now that's funny.
Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
BroDavid
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Very Good Scott!

Hey Steve, where is "rim shot" icon???

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