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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Good News! » » Eastern Orthodox, Coptics, and Catholics please? (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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funsway
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Under the theme of this Forum and specific Thread I believe we must distinguish the type of magical performance involved -- perhaps the "intended message" of the presentation.

A) Magic as entertainment. If there is no intended spiritual message, the fact that a magic effect is performed in a hall connected to a church would have a minimal requirement for any official approval.

B) Magic with a Spiritual message. The story and magic are combined to illustrate a general spiritual theme such as sanctity of marriage, honesty or even "what goes around, comes around." This should be based on an understanding of the intended audience and consistent with events on the Church Calendar. Thus, presentaions at Christmas time could be about the Three Wise Men, but not about Santa Claus. It would be prudent to "coordinate" your intended message with some level of occicialdome.

D) The Spiritual Message is the theme and magic only used as visual aids. Most Gospel magic falls into this category. For Catholics such messages should be cleared with a Church official -- not so much for permission, but for congruency of message and proper wording. However, if the theme of the presentation is the Sermon or Epistles presented that day and words taken directly from Liturgy I would not feel obligated to seek approval, but might prudently do so. It would certainly be alright to say, "We heard in today's Gospel the words XXXXXXXX, and these reminded me of an experience with my mother. I learned a lot of good thing in our kitchen while Mom prepared meals -- alwasy magical in a way. Let me domonstrate ..."

D) Magic to teach. If the purpose of the presentation is to teach a specific Spiritual message, the theme would have to be directed by the person in charge of the teaching. Thus, a Deacon in charge of a CCD class might delight in some magic to illustrate a particular message -- you being just an assitant to the class.

These catagories may not be inclusive, but hopefully illustrate that "magic" as a method of conveying a message is only incidently concerned with Church premisis or required permission, but that a performer desiring to have maximum impact on the intended audience would well coordinate with the Offcial in charge of the program.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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funsway
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Gospel Magic for Catholics. As a separate theme we could consider a known Gospel Magician performing for a Catholic audience. I know of several Catholic study groups that would be interested in better understanding how Gospel Messages are tought in this manner, just as they attempt to understand the the power of music and tent Revials on the public at large. They would wish to see exactly how such a performance is presented for a Protestant audience including any coordination of an "altar call."

If such a magician were asked to perform as part of a of an entertainment "Review" say as part of a fundraising event, the coordinating offical might offer specific restictions on "personal preaching" while supporting general spiritual messages. A Gospel Magician invited to participate in a Catholic events should never be expected to hide their spiritual calling, but should consider how best to present their message to the planned audience -- probably sticking to spiritual themes known to be common to self and Catholic teachings.

I have performed before Protestant groups at their church and have never received any negative feedback from any spiritual message conveyed. Properly done, no one should even ask what your "faith" is -- Christ being the message and theme above all else.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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ThePhilosopher
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I think funsway's distinction is important. A lot changes if you use the magic as an analogy and really teach, or if you include spiritual ideas. I worked a long time as a mentalist and don't think I could ever use the magic as a direct teaching tool, but I always try to leave a message, even if it is just saying something at the end.
- Nathan
Al Angello
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This is such an interesting thread. We have Eastern Catholics, Protestants, seminarians, and I believe my friend Jeff is Jewish. It's like John XXIII all over again. All that we are missing is the opinion of Father Photius who is a Russian Orthodox priest, and a life long magician. I will not voice my opinion here because all good Catholics are supposed to agree with the churches teachings.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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revmike
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Very interesting thread. I am an ELCA (Lutheran) Pastor, but I make it a point if I think there would be any questions to sit down with the Pastor or other party responsible for bringing me to the event. Generally speaking, I will talk about broad biblical truths that are pretty universal - I normally would only get into denominational polity questions and doctrine when engaged at a Lutheran Church.

M Reist
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Vlad_77
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Quote:
On 2010-09-11 09:09, Al Angello wrote:
This is such an interesting thread. We have Eastern Catholics, Protestants, seminarians, and I believe my friend Jeff is Jewish. It's like John XXIII all over again. All that we are missing is the opinion of Father Photius who is a Russian Orthodox priest, and a life long magician. I will not voice my opinion here because all good Catholics are supposed to agree with the churches teachings.


Al,

Thanks for joining in! As an Eastern Orthodox Christian I too would love it if Father Photius would chime in.

Everybody has been simply AMAZING in this thread. What is really cool is that while I had titled this thread to specifically get the views of those Churches in what Jaroslav Pelikan (former Lutheran who is a convert to Orthodoxy that wrote perhaps THE definitive work on the history of Christianity) would call the "Catholic Tradition", I am simply overjoyed with the spectrum of voices that have participated in this.

Namaste to ALL,
Vlad
Al Angello
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And Vlad adds a Hindu greeting to top it all off. LOL
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Vlad_77
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And that greeting in the Hindi language ACCURATELY reflects the Truth in all beliefs:

"The Divine in me recognizes the Divine in you"

:)

Namaste, (and a special "Ciao" to my paesano, Al!!)

Vlad
Al Angello
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Vlad
Even though your name is the same as a vampire call me when you get to Philly.

Ciao
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Vlad_77
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Nice catch on that one Al!

I do an act based upon a very famous "Vlad" who Stoker borrowed for his fictitious count. But a sure way to honk off a Romanian is to associate Prince Vlad III to "Count Dracula"; it's almost as bad as sitting in a pub in Ireland and toasting Oliver Cromwell.

Ciao paesano, or, as Vlad would say: Să fie bine prietenul meu!

Vlad
funsway
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Well, Vlad -- someting to sink your teeth into

gotta

gonna get me some new religion!
Somethin' not so confusin' and cruel perverse.
Find some stories not about vengence and wrath
or killin' childern or whorin' and what's that word …
Idolatry.
Nope, Judaism ain't for me no how!

gotta get me a new view of things!
Tired of hearin' how I'm cursed sinful
even without doin' nothin', leastwise pretendin'
Sunday doin's should be different from other days…
Hypocrisy.
Christians be alright 'cept for the churches.

Took a look at Islam and Sufi.
Getting' a lot of press so must have sumpin'.
Same God -- different book -- multiple heavens.
Befriend strangers but hate yourself and women.
Impetuosity.
Arabic prayers too tough learnin' anyhoo.

shoulda got on with special prayin'!
I see you there, ya know, all ashimmer;
Within meditation that looks in so deep
and know how much I cry not to be so alone …
Contemplation!
'sides, I hate UT orange and shiny skull.

I kinda hanker to Pagan,
What with nurture growth 'stead of teachin' rules,
And sexuality bein' fine and Goddess types.
But Wiccanry Redes like 'nother circle trip.
Ritualization!
Any Path is fine if it sorta looks like yours.

could I just talk to You more direct?
Forget the altar, candles and awful singin'?
Would ya hear me if'n I'd just hunker down
here in the dirt sayin' "Father I'm home?"
Humanity?
Bein' you're God -- you'll prob'ly get it right.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Dougini
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Hello everyone!

I am a sort of "prodigal" or should I say a believer who made genuine commitments to Jesus but for whatever reason messed up, felt ashamed and rejected by the Christian community, causing me to walk away from the church.

As I have struggled through this painful time, I made mistakes creating judgmental attitudes from Christians and rejection from the church, yet God in His grace continued to chase after me. I had to become homeless, broke, and friendless, near suicide (oh, so close!) to realize God still loves me. I was at the top of a 26 story building, a second or two from free fall. God called to me. I went back down.

As I walk through a time of brokenness and repentance I have discovered God's love like never before, and I am now in the process of healing and being fully restored. I have a long way to go. My love for magic has been my only pastime. There IS a message here.

After reading this thread, I am overwhelmed with new respect for my fellow Café members! Magic is SO much more than tricks! The "Gypsy Thread" could easily be the story of my recent life. The Color Changing Silk (using a dye tube) could tell a story of "cleansing". My sister is a nun, who converted from Catholic to Russian Orthodox.

She has been my "Rock". She thinks magic is a blessing I can share with others. I don't know how to do that. I suppose I have many gifts. Would a Catholic or Orthodox Church allow me to perform with any sort of "message"? I would have to be very careful in that respect. I am also very shy, recently. My self esteem is at its LOWEST.

I would like to see what Father Photius has to say, as well! Thank you my friends, and thank you too, Vlad my friend, for starting this. I am learning...

Doug
Vlad_77
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Doug,

Your sister is RIGHT. You see, we GLORIFY God when we use our gifts! Magic is a blessing in that it brings joy to others. So, the "answer" of how to do that is simple: DO magic Smile

As to the message: among the Orthodox and Catholics, a "message" which is moral and proclaims the Good News is of course good - PROVIDED your interpretation is NOT self-interpretation of Scripture and Holy Tradition. That being said, it is for the presbytery (priests), and bishops to OFFICIALLY TEACH the Holy Gospel.

The reason I started this thread was to get the views of those who fall within what theologian Jaroslav Pelikan - may his memory be eternal - termed "the Catholic Tradition." I have found through this thread exciting discussion AND a confirmation of something that I had suspected and that is the observation and fact that "Gospel magic" is LARGELY a Protestant phenomenon. I believe Roman Catholic seminarian Br. Nathan expressed this far more eloquently earlier in this thread. (His name here is The Philosopher).

Your sister can teach you much about the beauty of Christianity. After all, she has devoted her very life to the faith in the most profound way! Smile

You are always in my prayers Doug!!

Vlad
funsway
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It would seem then that there is no problem with a Catholic doing Gospel Magic for Protestants -- using his gift to provide testament to the presence of Jesus in his life. Prudence would suggest you coordinate with the Pastor as to current themes of discussion -- especially with children.

I have also taught Ministers magic effects to use with a Gospel lesson.

This is not to say one should change their knowledge of Scripture to fit the audience -- only that the selection of Gospel passage can fit both personal beliefs/teachings and that of a Protestent audience.

Great thread, Vlad -- and I am kind of suprised at the silence of the experienced Gospel Magicians on this forum. Unfortunately, my experience suggests they don't read this thread rather than deciding not to offer views.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Vlad_77
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Thanks Funsway,

As you know, there ARE Protestant denominations who do NOT consider Catholics and Orthodox as Christian!! Considering that the Church "wrote the book" I find this strangely ironic.

There is a WONDERFUL refutation of Jack Chicks slanderous tract "Are Catholics Christians?" on YouTube by an EXCELLENT Catholic apologist. Let me know if you would like the link. It addresses Chick's lies, but, it ALSO addresses MANY misconceptions Reformationists have about ancient Christianity.

I am assuming here - I know, a very dangerous thing - that the title of this thread perhaps is causing many Gospel magicians to ignore it, which is cool. I have seen SO much writing on this by Protestants yet precious little if any from Roman Catholics and even LESS from Orthodox Christians.

Namaste,
Vlad
DelMagic
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Indeed, I doubt many are ignoring the thread. I think the reason many Gospel magicians have abstained from commenting is due to Vlad's title and his plainly stated purpose/audience with whom he wanted to dialog. If it was an open-ended thread, I am sure more of those with a different viewpoint would chime in. I know I desired to, but didn't have anything to offer from the viewpoint Vlad was looking for. I did find this to be a great thread though.
Vlad_77
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Thanks DelMagic!

There have been some excellent contributions from the Protestant spectrum of Christianity and certainly please feel free to chime in brother! At this point, it would be interesting to widen the dialog a bit. What I had suspected about gospel magic as largely a Protestant phenomenon seems to be true. That said, I DO find the subject fascinating from an academic point of view. At the core of Reformation theology are sola scriptura and sola fide - sola scriptura being the pillar that defines the other if you will. So, in teaching the gospel through magic, do Protestants find books or effects that for THEIR denomination would be acceptable but for another would NOT be?

I am developing another theory and perhaps this would be better suited in a new thread but, here goes:

Is there is a difference in tolerance or freedom of scriptural interpretation as one proceeds from highly liturgical denominations such as the Lutheran Church down to MUCH less liturgical churches such as the various Baptist and Pentecostal denominations. I SENSE that the more "high" a church is (and "high and "low" are historian's terms to distinguish between churches that hold to liturgical worship, creeds, etc., and those that do not - so, a sort of continnum) the more likely it will be that a minister is going to be more closely involved with what is taught in a gospel magic show.

Sola scriptura, as evidenced by the staggering amount Protestant denominations, seems itself to lead to different "interpretations" of scripture. So, for instance, how does the teaching of Mary differ between a high church and low church denomination and how much of that is based upon the guidance/involvement of an ordained minister.

Namaste,
Vlad
sthielman
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Just stumbled on this thread. It's discussing many of the same issues as were discussed in the The Catechist's Magic Kit thread that was heavily edited, then locked a few months ago. http://themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=346820&forum=16. Tone is a lot more civil this time round. The issues remain very important, since lots of people from various Christian denominations are interested in using magic as a vehicle for evangelism. I continue to appreciate that particular book, and very much appreciate the path breaking efforts of those in FCM.
Dan Bernier
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I have several hate emails from that certain author. I shared them with a Priest, who is also a friend of mine. He was shocked at the vulgar language, but more shocked at a lot of the comments someone who calls himself a Catholic made towards me and other protestants.

I had to threaten to post all his emails and expose him to get the guy to stop harassing me.

I have several friends and associates who are Catholics, and I personally believe that Catholics and Protestants are Christians. It's true that denominations do not share in all the same beliefs, but when it comes to evangelizing we should never be trying to evangelize those different denominational doctrines. Evangelizing is supposed to be about teaching others about Christ, not informing them about a certain denominations belief on baptism, the Trinity, purgatory, etc.

All Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died on the cross as a man for the forgiveness of man's sins to those who believe in Him.
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
Dan Bernier
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When we start taking those denominational differences and start trying to preach them through magic, we are bound to run into a lot of problems.

I believe that we all have similarities that we can all share and grow by. However, there will always be those who think that their church or denomination is better than all the rest.

All I got to say to those folks is read Revelations again. Smile
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
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