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knibby
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Liverpool, England
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Hey everybody, I've recently got back into magic after a two year hiatus. When I used to do magic I used to perform at a few church fairs etc. doing things such as spongeballs, chop cups, a lot of card tricks , ambition card, card to wallet among other stuff. It always went down a storm. However, starting magic again I have been eager to move more towards mentalism. I am just wondering if Christians would object to a mind reading act (as I wish to start using church fairs for practice). And has anyone been in a situation were someone has objected to your magic because of their religion? I originally posted this in the 'tricks are on me section' and I was advised to post my concerns here to hear your thoughts.
Thanks,
Graeme.
Lyndel
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This info may be helpful to you: http://ricksmagic.com/whydomagic.html


Lyndel
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Terry Owens
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Richard Osterlind is a good Christian Brother...he's shared with me that his act has opened doors for him to share his faith. I also do mentalism in my programs...it all depends on presentation and what you're trying to portray yourself as.
mormonyoyoman
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I agree that saying you sold your soul for such and such powers (Don't laugh. Some mental magicians have done just that, and let's not forget the cute li'l devils on classic posters.) wouldn't endear anyone to a Christian's heart. There is, however, so much which can be positively shared by demonstrating mentalism effects, not the least of which is the power of one's mind. I'm working with a missionary now to help him develop some magic for gospel lessons, and I might just turn to mentalism to demonstrate a few difficult topics. You never know.

I can verify Richard Osterlind's strong faith and courage. He doesn't do gospel mentalism (Has the category ever been delineated?) he "just" shares the Word after the show with anyone who wants to talk. If working a non-scary act, we mentalists can be, with one show, someone our audiences want to get to know.

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knibby
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Thanks for your input, if I do go ahead with presenting a mind reading act at a local church fair I would , quite obviously explain that I perform illusions for entertainment purposes. But I was just making sure by asking a few christian magicians/mentalists so when it comes to it I don't anger anyone.
Thanks again,
Graeme.
Terry Holley
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Check out this link and go from there:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/searc......=5595464

Terry
Co-author with illusionist Andre' Kole of "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena."
brownsentertainment
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Another christian entertainment states that he simply does tricks for the eyes and puzzles for the mind.
Hushai
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After I did a Gospel Magic effect once, a lady said to me, "You know, magic is DECEPTION!" She said it as though that was an objection to Gospel Magic that disturbed her very much. It got me to thinking that "deception" is not entirely evil. Everything in creation has got to have some good purpose -- and the capacity for deception seems to be deeply engrained in nature and certainly in the human mind. While it can be used for evil, it also has its good uses. Theater is a kind of deception to which we willingly submit ourselves. When we read a work of fiction we are in a sense deceiving ourselves, pretending for the moment that what we are reading is real. Even the ability to read a map presupposes that we can deceive a part of our minds with another part: "Now, here's New Jersey, and Hoboken is right here..." (No, it's not! This is a piece of paper, not New Jersey, and that's a dot on the paper, not Hoboken!) Has anyone else ever thought about this aspect of the matter?
Terry Owens
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I don't look at it as deception...Magic is an art form, I help create mystery and entertainment and most of all I minister. 31 Saved this week in one of my programs. Just tell folks that you use special effects...lol
Terry Holley
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Quote:
On 2008-08-15 03:49, Hushai wrote:
After I did a Gospel Magic effect once, a lady said to me, "You know, magic is DECEPTION!" She said it as though that was an objection to Gospel Magic that disturbed her very much.... Has anyone else ever thought about this aspect of the matter?


I would have asked the lady if she used make-up (cosmetics).

Terry
Co-author with illusionist Andre' Kole of "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena."
Ed_Millis
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If this is a "church fair", is it for church members only? Or for the general public? If for the general public, as you would not be presenting any kind of gospel message but only general entertainment, I should think you wouldn't have any problem. If for church members, get the pastor's approval beforehand and you shouldn't have any problem.

Except from the overly-superstitious, and there is almost nothing you can ever do to satisfy them! (Maybe take them aside and make them feel very stupid by explaining some of the basic effects - but then they'll still claim you were deceiving people.)

Ed
MagicMatthews
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I think this is an important topic because some people are very naïve and tend to think that anything that they cannot explain must be supernatural. It is also important to be very clear on this to an audience as the practice of real magic or sorcery or divination or witchcraft, is condemned in the Bible. Leviticus 19:26, Deuteronomy 18:10, Deuteronomy 18:14, 2 Chronicles 33:6 2 Kings 17:17, 2 Kings 21:6, Acts 8:9, Acts 19:19.

I agree with Terry in calling it "Special Effects." Duane Laflin uses the terms "Mystery object lessons" and "Surprises for the eyeses."

I don't know if it is just my area, where people are pretty easygoing, or it is the way my wife and I present, but I have not really had much of a problem with this issue. However, I do remember one time I admit, that a young lady who was a very committed and active Christian saw me perform a simple cups & balls routine! Her reaction made me laugh at first because I thought she was joking, but then I got worried when she looked at me as if I was possessed. She was telling me that this was evil and of the Devil. I tried talking my way out of it saying, "It is just an illusion. There is a perfectly rational explanation for this. It is the oldest trick in the book!" LOL. She still never believed me and always seemed very distant to me after that.

This was years ago, and I think I'm a bit older and wiser now, and because of the way we present, we don't really get any objections.

But suppose we do get into the situation I described. Do we expose for the sake of someone's conscience? How do we avoid our liberty becoming a "stumbling block to those who are weak"?

1 Corinthians 8
"9 But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? 11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble."

Can we substitute "meat" and "food" for "magic"?
I'd be interested in what people think about this.
Don't get even... Get odd!
Donald Dunphy
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I think a great analogy for most people, is to ask them how a car works, or how a plane works, or how a computer works. Some people know and some people don't. However, it doesn't make it evil for those who can't explain it, just because you don't understand how it works. It's simply something you don't know, but there is the possibility of learning about it, if you want to study.

We go through much of life accepting puzzles and mysteries for what they are. Magic tricks should be no different than that.

I don't think it's necessary to tell them the secrets. It's much like spoiling a good book or a movie, by telling them whodunnit, or by skipping forward to the end yourself.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
MagicMatthews
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Thanks Donald, That's a good analogy.
Don't get even... Get odd!
Terry Holley
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Quote:
On 2008-08-15 18:09, MagicMatthews wrote:

How do we avoid our liberty becoming a "stumbling block to those who are weak"?

1 Corinthians 8
"9 But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? 11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble."

Can we substitute "meat" and "food" for "magic"?
I'd be interested in what people think about this.


If you substitute "magic" for "food" and "meat" and carry the idea through, this is what you have:

1 Corinthians 8
"9 But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge performing magic (tricks), will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to perform magic (tricks)? 11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if magic makes my brother stumble, I will never again perform magic, lest I make my brother stumble."

The idea of a stumbling block is that your involvement in a "certain something" will embolden someone who believes that "certain something" is wrong for them (sinful?) and then they participate in that "certain something."

So it's really about their participation in it, not about their likes and dislikes.

I've never come across anyone who was offended by my magic being tempted to perform it against their conscience, so I really don't believe my performing has ever been a stumbling block in the true biblical sense of the word. And I doubt that many of you have had the experience either.

Terry
Co-author with illusionist Andre' Kole of "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena."
MagicMatthews
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I must agree with you on this after reading into it, Terry, but what could you say then may be happening spiritually for the person who sees the Christian illusionist and calls it satanic? As I mentioned earlier, this has happened only once to me, and that was a long time ago.

By the way,
Quote:
I would have asked the lady if she used make-up (cosmetics).

Terry


That line's a classic. I wouldn't mind using that.
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Donald Dunphy
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Steve (MagicMatthews) -

Have you read this post?

There are also other resources out there that discuss whether "magic tricks" are evil.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
MagicMatthews
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Also on the FCM site. Probably if the Internet were around back then I would have referred this lady to it. That gets me thinking, I wonder if she thinks the Internet is evil? Haha.
Don't get even... Get odd!
Hushai
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Quote:
On 2008-08-15 11:45, Terry Holley wrote:
Quote:
On 2008-08-15 03:49, Hushai wrote:
After I did a Gospel Magic effect once, a lady said to me, "You know, magic is DECEPTION!" She said it as though that was an objection to Gospel Magic that disturbed her very much.... Has anyone else ever thought about this aspect of the matter?


I would have asked the lady if she used make-up (cosmetics).

Terry


Terry, that's great. I wish I had thought of that. Another example of deception in everyday life, one that a great many women engage in without a second thought.

Magic (the kind the Magic Café is all about) IS deception, without a doubt. We are not REALLY doing the things we SEEM to be doing, just deceiving the eyes and the mind into thinking (however momentarily)that we are doing it. There is a "trick" involved, and that means it's deception, even if our spectators know it's some kind of deception. But, my point is that that does not automatically make it evil, as that lady apparently assumed it did.
ChrisG
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As far as being ask about magic being deception, I ask the person if they watch TV. Is that deception or entertainment?

My opening includes the Russian Rings and I explain: A well known magician (Harlan Tarbell, in book one lesson one of the Tarbell course in magic) says "the art of a magician is to take you to a land of enchantment a fairyland of wonder" and another in his book "Greater Gospel Magic" (Duane Laflin) says "a Magician does special effects without the use of cameras".

This has helped answer the questions before they are ask.
"Consensus is the negation of Leadership"

M. Thatcher
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