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Tod Todson
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Understand, Vlad. My question points more towards Protestant churches though.

Owen seems to say that unless a Protestant church knows that you are part of their particular movement/denomination, then they'd rather leave the preaching to their own pastor; in other words "No thank you."

How then do folks market among the many thousands of denominations, knowing a person can only be a member of one denom at a time? Does claiming an "inter-denominational" ministry cover this problem, or are pastors still leery regardless?
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Dan Bernier
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Too many so-called Christians like to point out what they believe to be heresies within the protestant churches while blindly ignoring the long history of their own Churches heresies.

One important lesson I have learned is to stay away from theology, and doctrine differences. Stay within the grounds of preaching the Good News and being a witness for Christ. If you have a sincere desire, or feel called by God to evangelize, preach, or teach, do so without the use of magic. If God has truly called you, He will gift you with the tools to follow out His calling.

If you want to entertain people, and at the same time present the message of Christ, use your talents to point people to our Lord and Saviour.

I always make it my business to meet with the Pastor or church representative before doing a show. Churches are usually first and foremost booking you for the entertainment value and not neccesarily for teaching and preaching God's Word. We present the message of Christ in our magic just like any other Christian entertainer does. We are being witnesses for Christ while perfoming something we like to perform.

NOTE: Also, from my understanding and research St. Don Bosco never performed Gospel magic. He performed secular magic for children to lure them into church.
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ThePhilosopher
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Quote:
On 2011-03-24 15:35, Gospel Dan wrote:
One important lesson I have learned is to stay away from theology, and doctrine differences. Stay within the grounds of preaching the Good News and being a witness for Christ.


Gospel Dan, just a curiosity: what do you consider to be the "Good News" and what do you consider to be "Theology?" There are many churches that disagree on what the contents of the "Good News" is. Yes, there are elements that almost all Christians share in common, but I don't believe we can reduce Christianity to just those elements.
- Nathan
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The Good News is "Jesus".

We're entertainers for Christ. Who are we to take the place of the teachers and theologists? Keep the message simple and direct.

Stick to what Christians share in common. If you feel called by God to go around and teach one specific doctrine that other churches do not share or agree with in hopes of convincing them to except what you are preaching, then be very prepared for many confrontations, and very little opportunities to spread the Word of God.
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(Considering the other thread has magically disappeared, I thought I would repost my last comment I made on it before it was deleted and see what happens.)

The truth is that Christian values promote diversity, inclusion, and tolerance to a degree that today's social activists cannot or will not recognize. John 3:16. Perhaps this is the most recited verse in the Bible. Jesus said it as plainly and simply as He could. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Talk about inclusion! "Whosoever" is a huge word. It means that anyone who wants "in" just has to say the word. No one is left out.

Do I agree with every denominational doctrine? Nope. I can find errors and heresies in every organized religion and protestant churches in the western world. But, I can also tell you that there is no perfect church either. We are the church, and we are very much imperfect. We have polluted the Gospel of Christ with our own selfish pride.

Is there a denomination that has it all? Is there a church with the best members? Is there a church that God is completely pleased? Is there a church that does everything according to the word? If so please let me know so I can join.

There are so many organized religions and protestant doniminations that make it their purpose to tell you how perfect they are, but if that was the case shouldn't their church be full every Sunday from the perfect evangelism they present?

What I’m trying to get at is the body of Christ has imperfections, and just like many of us who are able to look beyond the imperfections of our brotheren, Christ does the same with his bride.

So, let us worship God, and let Him weed out those who do not know him.
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MagicMason
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Quote:
On 2011-03-25 10:45, ThePhilosopher wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-03-24 15:35, Gospel Dan wrote:
One important lesson I have learned is to stay away from theology, and doctrine differences. Stay within the grounds of preaching the Good News and being a witness for Christ.


Gospel Dan, just a curiosity: what do you consider to be the "Good News" and what do you consider to be "Theology?" There are many churches that disagree on what the contents of the "Good News" is. Yes, there are elements that almost all Christians share in common, but I don't believe we can reduce Christianity to just those elements.

This is a pretty interesting thread. While we lived in the States I worked as a pastor with the Evangelical Free Church. We brought in a magician to perform. He was funny, entertaining and baffling. He also told his story of how came to faith in Christ. It was really well received. I myself have done magic (like colour changing ball to jumbo square) in messages as illustrations of what I was talking about.

In regard to the Gospel, I would be curious to know what Scriptures have helped those who have contributed in this thread to help you frame your understanding of the Gospel? I personally find what the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 to be a very helpful succinct summary of the gospel.

Mary - what I would say to your orginal question - I would show and tell the churches you are contacting what YOU do and ask them if they think it would contribute to the ministry of their church. I don't think you need to bother with words like "sacred" or "secualr". All truth is God's truth anyway. So is the ability to amuse and entertain.

Tom Mason
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MagicMason
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(sorry double post... not sure how to work the quotes and my own post!)

This is a pretty interesting thread. While we lived in the States I worked as a pastor with the Evangelical Free Church. We brought in a magician to perform. He was funny, entertaining and baffling. He also told his story of how came to faith in Christ. It was really well received. I myself have done magic (like colour changing ball to jumbo square) in messages as illustrations of what I was talking about.

In regard to the Gospel, I would be curious to know what Scriptures have helped those who have contributed in this thread to help you frame your understanding of the Gospel? I personally find what the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 to be a very helpful succinct summary of the gospel.

Mary - what I would say to your orginal question - I would show and tell the churches you are contacting what YOU do and ask them if they think it would contribute to the ministry of their church. I don't think you need to bother with words like "sacred" or "secualr". All truth is God's truth anyway. So is the ability to amuse and entertain.

Tom Mason
Vienna Austria
Arkadiy K
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Fantastic thread! I don't have anything to contribute except to say that I've learned a lot. Thank you all.
Tod Todson
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So, it sounds like some churches what entertainment only, and others want gospel. And that others do not care about denominational lines, and others do care. In other words, it's a zoo, and we're just as often behind the cages as are the animals Smile
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Vlad_77
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Quote:
On 2011-03-28 19:26, Tod Todson wrote:
So, it sounds like some churches what entertainment only, and others want gospel. And that others do not care about denominational lines, and others do care. In other words, it's a zoo, and we're just as often behind the cages as are the animals Smile


BRAVO!!
Thom Bliss
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Just off the top of my head, I’ve presented not just magic, but Gospel magic, for
Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Calvary Chapel, and Vineyard churches, and
the Salvation Army. I’m sure there are other churches I have performed for as well. Just
stick to the basics and don’t get caught up in theological issues or sectarian disputes.

I don’t think I’ve ever presented a purely “secular” show at a church, other than for talent
nights at my own church. However, I have seen magicians doing purely “secular” magic
at churches.

By the way, some church people don’t like the word “secular.” And some object to
“show.” So if you want to do a secular show without any messages, tell then that you
present a “fun program” of magic.

Family nights, church picnics, and meetings of fellowship groups might be good venues
for either a fun program of magic or Gospel magic.

Thom
.
.
Mike Maturen
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Quote:
On 2010-09-06 20:32, Cyberqat wrote:
"Usually the more "high church" you go, the more friendly these Churches will be toward magic. "

This is an odd thing to me I had to learn about Xtianity. In judaism generally the less traditional the 'liturgy', the more liberal the theology.

In xtians, its often the reverse. The most conservative and dogmatic congregations are the ones using video walls and power-point slide sets for their sermons. The ones that are "high church' and stick to very historic ways of doing things are often the most liberal about the *meaning* of what they do.


Depends on what you mean by "conservative". I define conservative as sticking very close to the original meaning and intent...such as a conservative politically would stick close to the constitution.

In Christianity, a conservative, in my mind, sticks close to the teachings of the early church, the ones that learned directly from the Apostles.

With that definition, it is precisely the "high Church" groups that ARE the conservatives.
Mike Maturen
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Quote:
On 2011-03-26 16:03, MagicMason wrote:
(sorry double post... not sure how to work the quotes and my own post!)

This is a pretty interesting thread. While we lived in the States I worked as a pastor with the Evangelical Free Church. We brought in a magician to perform. He was funny, entertaining and baffling. He also told his story of how came to faith in Christ. It was really well received. I myself have done magic (like colour changing ball to jumbo square) in messages as illustrations of what I was talking about.

In regard to the Gospel, I would be curious to know what Scriptures have helped those who have contributed in this thread to help you frame your understanding of the Gospel? I personally find what the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 to be a very helpful succinct summary of the gospel.

Mary - what I would say to your orginal question - I would show and tell the churches you are contacting what YOU do and ask them if they think it would contribute to the ministry of their church. I don't think you need to bother with words like "sacred" or "secualr". All truth is God's truth anyway. So is the ability to amuse and entertain.

Tom Mason
Vienna Austria


A great big HUGE AMEN!
Mike Maturen
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Quote:
On 2011-03-24 15:35, Gospel Dan wrote:
Too many so-called Christians like to point out what they believe to be heresies within the protestant churches while blindly ignoring the long history of their own Churches heresies.

One important lesson I have learned is to stay away from theology, and doctrine differences. Stay within the grounds of preaching the Good News and being a witness for Christ. If you have a sincere desire, or feel called by God to evangelize, preach, or teach, do so without the use of magic. If God has truly called you, He will gift you with the tools to follow out His calling.

If you want to entertain people, and at the same time present the message of Christ, use your talents to point people to our Lord and Saviour.

I always make it my business to meet with the Pastor or church representative before doing a show. Churches are usually first and foremost booking you for the entertainment value and not neccesarily for teaching and preaching God's Word. We present the message of Christ in our magic just like any other Christian entertainer does. We are being witnesses for Christ while perfoming something we like to perform.

NOTE: Also, from my understanding and research St. Don Bosco never performed Gospel magic. He performed secular magic for children to lure them into church.


Let's watch our terminology here, Dan. St. John (Don) Bosco did not do "secular magic for children to LURE them into church".

He did secular magic to teach the children the catechism (teachings) of the Church. Isn't this the VERY definition of "gospel magic"?

Let's not let our denominational prejudices creep in here. Let's not forget that Christ's last pastoral prayer before He died was that we would ALL be as ONE.
Mike Maturen
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Mike Maturen
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Quote:
On 2010-09-23 21:59, Vlad_77 wrote:
Robin,

You are asking two questions as opposed to trying to make a correlation between Christianity and non-Trinitarian Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Islam, Oneness Pentecostals).

So, to answer your point about Trinitarianism: You cannot be a Christian - Eastern or Western unless you ARE Trinitarian. If one states for example that the believes in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, that ALONE does not make the person a Trinitarian and therefore not a Christian. A perfect example is the Jehovah's Witnesses. The JWs deny the Divinity of Christ; they reject the Christian beliefge that Christ is God Incarnate and that the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Consubtantial Trinity. JWs believe that Jesus is a CREATED being. This is an ancient heresy called Arianism, and thus is not Christian. Arianism exists in other faiths as well but JWs are the strongest example for illustrative purposes.

As to Universal Salvation: since you are Unitarian Universalist, I would need first to have a clear understanding of the universalist part. I think then we could engage in more meaningful discourse.

That being said, it has always, ALWAYS been the belief of ancient Christianity that while we know where the Church IS, we do not know where it is NOT.

Now, adding in the ancient Christian concept of "theosis" that to this day is central to Orthodox Christian belief, and the discussion become even more complex. I should hasten to add that among WELL READ Roman Catholics, the concept of theosis is understood, but, for the most part, the Christology of Eastern Christianity more informs theosis. In the West one finds a much stronger focus on salvation. Yes, we Eastern Orthodox believe in salvation, an we believe we work out our salvation and that it is ours to lose or gain because we are given the gift of free will. But, theosis goes beyond even salvation.

I should also hasten to add if I may that among certain Protestant denominations, there are two aspects of belief that are firmly rooted NOT in the Ante-Nicean Fathers - the men who received their faith DIRECTLY from the Apostles, but rather, from the "authority" of the Reformers such as Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli. The first aspect is the notion of "once saved, always saved." Ironically, there is no Scriptural evidence of this and it was NEVER believed until after the teachings of later radical reformers. So, the "altar calls" that one observes among fundamentalists and evangelicals are emblematic of that MUCH later belief that is the product of the Reformation, which, again ironically, eschewed the writings of the Ante-Nicean Fathers, while at the same time claiming to be "Scriptural." Sts. Ignatius, Polycarp, and Clement of Rome would decry such a notion. And their authority rests in the Apostles, DIRECTLY. (Ultimately, GOD is the authority, but what I speak of here is Tradition (that which is transmitted) from the words of God Incarnate, to His Apostles, to their disciples and on through the ages. The Reformers didn't "get" the lesson of the Ethiopian eunuch and St. Philip when St. Philip asks the Ethiopian who is reading Scripture (Old Testament obviously) if he understood what he was reading. The Ethiopian replied, "only if I am guided." And St. Philip guided him.

The second is the notion of Christ as "personal savior." This too is a product of Reformation thought as opposed to ancient Christian doxology. The misunderstanding ultimately led to the placing of the personal savior ABOVE the community of believers. Scripture tells us QUITE clearly that the pillar of truth is the CHURCH.
So, salvation that is gotten by means of a personal savior in addition to the notion of once saved always saved presents serious problems both in terms of how "salvation" is ultimately defined, and from what authority that the definition derives. It is not so much that the Reformers were consciously in error. Rather, they had no exposure to the writing of th Fathers that CLARIFIED, but did not ADD to the teachings transmitted. So, the Orthodox would say we derive our understanding straight from God through His apostles and in succession UNBROKEN. THAT is central to the faith. This is not so with Protestantism, especially as evidenced by the fact that there are 23,000 distinct Protestant denonimations globally. Doug mentioned the Baptists. There are 79 DISTINCT Baptist sub-denominations within the rubric of "Baptist" that run the gamut from conservative to liberal.

Ultimately, ONLY GOD knows who shall be saved. It is not for the Church to judge. The Church, founded by God Incarnate, teaches and guides. She does not judge except in terms of whether the believer adheres to the non-negotiable Truths contained in the Nicene Creed. Any denial of ANY point of the Creed places one outside the body of Christianity. Yet, we do NOT say that these people are going to suffer eternal ***ation. How arrogant and immoral to think that six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust were consigned to ***ation because they were not Christian.

Vlad


AMEN, Vlad! As a "well-read" Roman Catholic. I agree with your words 100%!!!!!!
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Dan Bernier
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Quote:

Let's watch our terminology here, Dan. St. John (Don) Bosco did not do "secular magic for children to LURE them into church".

He did secular magic to teach the children the catechism (teachings) of the Church. Isn't this the VERY definition of "gospel magic"?

Let's not let our denominational prejudices creep in here. Let's not forget that Christ's last pastoral prayer before He died was that we would ALL be as ONE.


If you disagree with me, please lead me to your source that says Bosco performed Gospel magic for children, or that he taught catechism using magic. I have read plenty on him, but never once did I ever read that he performed Gospel magic. I, perhaps have missed it. "While Bosco had been popularly known as the patron saint of illusionists, on 30 January 2002, Silvio Mantelli petitioned Pope John Paul II to formally declare St. John Bosco the Patron of Stage Magicians.[32] Catholic stage magicians who practice Gospel Magic venerate Bosco by offering free magic shows to underprivileged children on his feast day."

Again, if you have other credable information that clearly states Bosco performed Gospel magic, or taught catechism using magic I would love to know about it.

The Gospel is the proclamation of the redemption preached by Jesus and the Apostles, which is the central content of Christian revelation, and should have a part in our Gospel magic shows.

"Let's not let our denominational prejudices creep in here". Really? Are you blaming me for bring in denomination prejudices? Do you know what Church I even belong to?

"Let's not forget that Christ's last pastoral prayer before He died was that we would ALL be as ONE" Interresting that you end with that, then address Vlad's post the way you did.
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Mike Maturen
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Dan,

I was speaking about your prejudicial use of the term "LURE" as regards Bosco's use of magic...secular, gospel or otherwise. It is a loaded term.

Secondly, "gospel magic" had never even been heard of in Bosco's time...so of course he didn't present "gospel magic". He CREATED it by using a secular medium to teach a gospel message.

I will find the references and post them later.
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He watched in rapt attention when magicians performed seemingly impossible, preternatural effects. Being a precocious child, he reasoned some of them out and those he could not, he would beg magicians to teach him. With the knowledge he cobbled together, he was able to put on little magic shows free of charge for his friends. Even at that age, he would make sure that the poorest children in his neighborhood would be in attendance. Being devout, he would take the opportunity, in front of his impromptu congregation, to repeat the homily he heard at church on the previous Sunday.

As Don Bosco ("Don" is an Italian honorific equivalent to "Sir" or "Mr.") grew up, he chose to became a priest. He was ordained in 1841 and dedicated his priesthood ministry to teaching and working exclusively with the poor children and youth in the city of Turin. He served as chaplain for a hospice for wayward girls and feeding and clothing the poor was his main concerns. Once accomplished, he turned his attentions to their spiritual development.

He needed a way to get kids interested in coming to church, back in school and accepting the aid he was offering. He remembered his early success as a child with the impoverished children of his neighborhood and decided to use puzzles, gags, riddles and juggling. But it was the magic that caught the kids' attention the best. Stories that have come down from Don Bosco's contemporaries include some specific tricks he used. He was said to be especially good at tying three ropes together to form one seamless rope in order to explain the mystery of the Christian Trinity.

(excerpted from Catholics Online)
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As to my response to Vlad's post, I was simply "amen-ing" his correct interpretation of the definition of "Christian", that primarily being the acceptance of the Holy Trinity and the theology of the Nicene Creed.

What, if any, problem do you have with THAT?
Mike Maturen
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From Genii Magazine's "MagicPedia":

St. John Bosco
From MagicPedia
St. John Bosco

Born John Bosco
August 16 1815
Italy
Died January 31 1888

St. John Bosco (1815 - 1888) was born in Italy. His father, a farmer, died when John was only two years old. From a young age John entertained other boys with his acrobatics and magic shows, charging only a prayer for admission. He worked many different jobs (tailor, baker, shoemaker, tutor, and carpenter) to pay his way through college and the seminary in Tuin.
After becoming a priest he became known as "Father Bosco" or "Don Bosco". Also referred to as "Giovanni Bosco", which translates into John Bosco in English and Jean Bosco in French.

Pope Pius XI canonized John Bosco in 1934.

Don Bosco teaching spiritual values via magic may have been the birth of Gospel Magic (the tailoring of a magic performance so that it can be used to instruct children or adults on some aspect of Christian theology). Gospel Magicians now have several organizations including the Fellowship of Christian Magicians and the Catholic Magicians' Guild.

References
•http://www.irondequoitcatholic.org/index.php/St/JohnBosco
•http://www.ibmring21.org/bosco.html
•L'Escamoteur no. 1, Jan-Feb 1947.
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