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Bato William
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I have found God in recent months - Hallelujah - but wonder if I should still do secular magic.

The reason for this is that while I have found the Lord, I have not found the denomination.

I am still searching for which faith to follow, and therefore I think that I should stick to what I've been doing - secular magic, unless I find Jesus Christ, Mohammad, or Moses as my God.

Any thoughts?

Bato William
You're nothing but a pack of cards! - Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)
funsway
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In whatever you do in life you carry a message from God. You can "walk the Gospel" in every interaction with another human being and the stone building you choose to pray in should be secondary. It is never the "words" or the "label" that matters -- it is who you are! Perhaps you have been called to do the Lord's work by using performance magic outside of the constraints of a specific doctrine - Hallejujuh! After you perform and someone asks, "From where comes your courage and presense and integrity and dedication? -- then you can begin to preach, and will be heard. Threat your spectators as if they also carry a message from God -- for they do!
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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tbaer
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Bato, you said you found God, you found the Lord, but are still searching which faith to follow unless you find Jesus Christ, Mohammad, or Moses as your God. I'm a little confused.
Ed_Millis
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You are who you are. And God is Who He is. You are a distinct person; I would know you if I met you and you made an impact on me. If you have met God, His distinct Person-hood has made and impact on you and you know Who He is.

Also, it's a friendship. If He's someone you want to be friends with, then you'll look Him up, keep inn touch, talk a lot, share deep things. And likewise He will also seek out you to share Himself with you.

In a friendship, you let others be who they are - after all, it's who and what they are that attracted you to them in the first place, right? At the same time, you will find a true friendship changing you, or rather prompting you to make changes. See, my friend is not like me (most especially true between me and Jesus!), and that means I will accomodate Him. I will change certain things that I thought were okay, but bug Him. I will make myself available to Him, even though it means I must push some other things aside. None of it is demanded by rules, but by something much higher - a great desire to know the other person very, very deeply. And it's all individual and personal - worked out between two friends.

We can share what our relationship with God loks like, but you're different from me, and your friendships look different. But He is a very real and distinct Person. Get to know Him, and it will all make sense.

Ed
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Just a little reminder, no faith that I am aware of claims Moses or Mohammed as "God" - In Islam, Mohammed is the prophet of God, but he is strictly human, not God.

In both Judaism and Christianity Moses is a prophet and one of the titans of both faiths, but again, just a man.

Jesus Christ, now as Christians we profess him to God as part of the Tinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Good luck on your faith journey - open your heart and your ears and let the Spirit guide you.
The magic is not in our sleights and illusions, but instead in our ability to bring love and joy.
Steve Varro
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Personally I see no reason to give up doing secular magic. This is however a personal thing. If you feel so convicted, then give it up.

I do primarily Gospel programs, but I also do good clean family type secular and comedy programs. The Bible says "A Merry Heart do good like a medicine" Proverbs 17:22. If I can bring a little joy and laughter into someone's life I feel I am doing a good thing.

A plumber who becomes a Christian, doesn't suddenly work on Church plumbing only. A Christian Insurance Salesman doesn't sell insurance only to Christians.

Hope this helps Bato, and may God bless you in your search.
STILL In HIS service

Steve Varro

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Owner/Dock Haley Gospel Magic Co.
Bato William
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God bless each and every one of you for your feedback; it is profoundly appreciated.

I would agree that my relationship with God is based on faith rather than going to a specific house of worship.

I will search for Him or Her for the rest of my life on this Earth.

Bato William
You're nothing but a pack of cards! - Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)
Bato William
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Quote:
On 2010-12-31 21:57, revmike wrote:
Just a little reminder, no faith that I am aware of claims Moses or Mohammed as "God" - In Islam, Mohammed is the prophet of God, but he is strictly human, not God.

In both Judaism and Christianity Moses is a prophet and one of the titans of both faiths, but again, just a man.

Jesus Christ, now as Christians we profess him to God as part of the Tinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Good luck on your faith journey - open your heart and your ears and let the Spirit guide you.

You're quite right, revmike, I was not thinking clearly when I wrote that.

And thank you for your good wishes. May God above give you a good and productive year in 2011.

Bato William
You're nothing but a pack of cards! - Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)
JoyJoy
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Short answer to your guestion: Nobody has to do Gospel magic.
A born again Christian can think about using Gospel magic or can be appointed to it (by Jesus).


And as help for your life: Have a look at John 14, 6 or 1. John 5, 12 (like many similar other verses).
Start with reading John or Mark (better both) to get to know Jesus=God.
KerryJK
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I myself was a long time agnostic before finally being baptised two years ago, for similar reasons to you; I always felt there was something or somebody bigger guiding me, but I had to find a path that meant following God rather than a group of people. I found my current church through the woman who is now my Fiancee - it is a cross-denominational church where personal faith is placed above blind institutional dogma and questions are encouraged. There I came to know and love God as a Christian and was able to be baptised by full immersion, and later confirmed as an Anglican.

I took a break from magic during this time (aside from a couple of turns for the church youth group) mostly because my life was changing in so many ways - relocating to a new town, settling with my fiancee, sorting out work - that I had to go back to basics to find who I was. Now I'm getting back on the horse with a festival booked for next summer and some more shows in the pipeline.

I also had the dilemma of whether I needed to just do Gospel magic now. Through a long period of thought and prayer, this is what I concluded:

1) In anything concerning my faith, I will not make excuses or bargains in order to give myself permission to do something. I am not yet sufficiently studied or experienced to preach the word through magic or otherwise - if I do Gospel magic it must come from the word, not a tacked on bible theme to justify performing a particular effect. Such an approach would cheapen both the message and the art of magic.

2) There are those that strongly believe magic to be completely incompatible with Christian faith. I have researched and prayed about this as I have with everything else in my life and can respectfully disagree on a personal, spiritual and scriptural level, with the condition that I never describe anything I do as a miracle, do not engage in non-theatrical deception and do not use magic to glorify myself above others.
There are worse rules to live by.

3) I have a notebook in which I am preparing ideas for a future gospel show, but will wait on God to tell me when, if ever, I will be ready to perform this material. In the meantime, I allow Him to guide me in secular performance, testifying as and when the opportunity arises.
Angio333
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Bato,

In your search for God, I pray that you will find the one true God - Jesus Christ. He is the answer to the most important question of your life - Where will you go when you die? will it be Heaven or Hell?

Have you ever really thought about it? Most people spend far more time looking into things that will not matter in the end like our next car purchase instead of where we will spend eternity.

Death is real, and we all are part of the ultimate statistic, ten out of ten people die.

In order to go to Heaven we will have to be seen as righteous in the eyes of the almighty God. Righteous is defined as being morally good. This leads to another question, are you good enough to go to Heaven?

God will use his standard, the Ten Commandments, to see if we are good enough to go to Heaven. If we have violated them, we will be seen as guilty in the eyes of the almighty God.

How have you kept the Ten Commandments?

Let’s go through them and see how you would do.

The First Commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me”

There is more to this commandment than worshipping false gods such Allah, Buddha, or the various gods of the Hindus. It means that we must put God first in our lives. What is the most important thing to you? What do you spend the majority of your time thinking and talking about? Lebron James? The Cleveland Browns? Your job? Your favorite band? Your car? Your house? Your favorite movie star? Whatever you find yourself thinking and talking about the most is or is becoming your god. If you have not always put God first in your life, you will be guilty in the eyes of the almighty God.

The Second Commandment: “You shall not make yourself any graven image”

You do not have to bow down and worship a stone or wooden statue to violate this commandment. This commandment also refers to creating a god in your own mind. Do you believe in a god that would never send anyone to Hell? If so, you have just created a false god in your own mind. There is only one true God, who is the God of the Holy Bible. If you have created a god in your own mind, then you will guilty in the eyes of the almighty god.

The Third Commandment: “You shall not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain”
Have you ever used the name of God as a curse word? Yes, saying phrases such as Oh my G-O-D or using the name of our Lord Jesus Christ when you angry or excited counts. Using His name in that way is blasphemy and it violates God’s law. Even if you did it one time, you will be guilty of violating this commandment in the eyes of the almighty God.

The Fourth Commandment: “Remember to keep holy the Sabbath Day”
Do you set time aside to be with God ? Do you use every opportunity that you have everyday to bring glory to God in all that you do or do you pack your schedule with so many things that do not have time for God? If you do not put time aside for God, you will be guilty in the eyes of the almighty God.

The Fifth Commandment: “Honor your mother and father”
Have you always treated your mother and father with love and respect? How did you treat them when you were a teenager? You cannot use teenage rebellion as an excuse for violating this commandment. Even if you have only dishonored them one time, you would have violated this commandment and will be guilty in the eyes of the almighty God.

The Sixth Commandment: “You shall not kill”
Have you ever committed murder? You may say that I have never murdered anyone, so I have not violated the Sixth Commandment. It may surprise you, but this commandment applies to everyone and we all have violated it. For God judges what is in our hearts as well as our actions. The Bible teaches us that you have committed murder in your heart if you ever hated someone or have been angry with cause. If you have ever hated someone at sometime in your life or have ever been angry without cause, you will be guilty in the eyes of the almighty God.

The Seventh Commandment: “You shall not commit adultery”
Have you committed adultery? You may say that I have never cheated on my wife or husband. Or you may think that this commandment does not apply to you since you are not married, but it does. This commandment applies to everyone and we all are guilty of violating it. During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said:
“You have heard that it was said, you shall not commit adultery. But I say to you, that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
For God judges what is in our hearts as well as our actions. If you have ever lusted after someone who is not your spouse, you will be seen as guilty in the eyes of the almighty God.

The Eighth Commandment: “You shall not steal”
Have you ever stolen anything? Have you ever downloaded music without paying for it? Have you ever surfed the internet at work when you were supposed to have been working? Just like you only have to rape someone once to be a rapist, you only have to steal something once to be a thief. If you have ever stolen anything, you will be guilty in the eyes of the almighty God.

The Ninth Commandment: “You shall not lie”
Have you ever told a lie, even so called “white” lie? How many lies did you tell just today? What about in the past week? Just like it only takes one theft to be a thief, it only takes one lie for us to be seen as a liar. If you have ever lied, you will be guilty in the eyes of the almighty God.

The Tenth Commandment: “You shall not covet”
Have you ever coveted something? To covet means to desire wrongfully. Have you ever desired to have your friend’s car, clothing, TV, job, or even his wife? Coveting is not only a sin by itself, but it also leads to other sins such as stealing, lying and adultery. If you have ever coveted anything, you will be guilty in the eyes of the almighty God.

As you can see, we are all guilty of violating every one of the Ten Commandments. For we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. God must punish sin since he is just and Holy. We all deserve and will spend an eternity in Hell for our transgressions. However, that is not God’s will. God has given us a way to escape the wrath to come. The Bible says;

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

God sent his son Jesus, who was born of a virgin, to pay the penalty of sin for us. Jesus is fully God and fully man. While on Earth, Jesus lived a sinless life. He died a bloody and horrific death on the cross, was buried, and raised from the dead three days later. When he was crucified on the cross he took our sins upon himself and took the punishment that we deserve. In essence he paid our fine for us so that God can dismiss our case. Due to the Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we can spend eternity in Heaven.

In order for us to be granted the forgiveness of our sins and be able to spend eternity in Heaven, we must repent of our sins and believe in Jesus only. To repent means to turn away. If we are truly repenting of our sins we will turn away from our sinful behavior and the sin that we once loved will disgust us.

We must put all of our faith and trust in Jesus alone, for he is the only way. Without Jesus there is no salvation. For Jesus has said:

"For I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.”

Repent of your sins and believe in Jesus.

----------------------------------

Christianity is the one true religion. Run from any religion that follows anyone besides Jesus is the only way. Please PM me. I will try to help you find a good church in your area or talk about God with you.

-----------------------------------

I do not see a problem with you doing most secular magic as long as it is not promoting sinful behavior.
------------------------------------

Thanks.
- C
zippy
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Bato,
Rev Mike is correct in what he said. I know Mike a little and what I know of him he would not steer you wrong. Good luck in your search and let be open. I do secular as well as gospel shows. As Eddie stated do good clean magic in the secular shows.
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Anglo333, that is one seriously HEAVY post!! That is the sort of condemnatory stuff I've seen in tracts given out by gloomy christians who stand on street corners & shout at passers-by. I just rejoice that our friend Bato wants a relationship with God, Who so wants relationship with all His created people that He died on the cross. None of us need such a detailed spelling out of what sin is; the Holy Spirit makes it very clear to each of us, but also points the way to release through repentance & delighting in the new life in Jesus. Christ sets us FREE!!!
Bato, God loves you & has a plan for your life (& an infinite number of other plans in case you blow that one–although the original is the best!) which may or may not involve secular magic. I've been a Christian for 50 years & a magician for 3 or so. I do use tricks sometimes at church, but do mainly secular stuff. Anglo333 is right though in warning against promoting sinful, destructive behaviour such as genuinely occult activity.
Be blessed & enjoy the wonderful life of a Christian through Jesus!
Kif Anderson
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Quote:
On 2011-01-04 20:13, ianhutch wrote:
Anglo333, that is one seriously HEAVY post!! That is the sort of condemnatory stuff I've seen in tracts given out by gloomy Christians who stand on street corners & shout at passers-by.


I think we all agree the answer about if Bato should stop doing secular magic in his search for true faith is "no" and that it is a choice...dare I say "calling" to be a gospel magician. As with Steve Varro, I do pretty much exclusively evangelical programs...but if we look to the early church, we will find that Paul, who wrote a large part of what we have come to know as the New Testament, was a tent maker.

However, the notion as put forth by Anglo333 that sharing the reality of sin is only for "gloomy Christians who stand on street corners & shout at passers-by" (and I admit there are those who fail to put forth the joy of being a Christian in their "evangelism") we need to realize that if people don't know they are sick...they don't know they need a cure. So while I agree it was a lot of information shared in that post, (and perhaps a bit over the top for for the topic) the information is not just put forth by "gloomy Christians."

So...trying to bring this back on topic as I've have followed this conversation down the rabbit hole so to speak...Bato you should continue to do your magic the best you can and you should seek out the truth who Jesus, Mohammad, and Moses are. I admittedly know very little about Mohammad...other than it follows the line of a different half-brother than the line we as Christians follow. (read the story of Abraham in Genesis for more information). And the ten commandments, that is just a list of proof (and reinforced with greater detail by Christ in Matthew's account of the Sermon on the mount found in chapters 5-7 of the book of Matthew) that we can't possibly be good enough to make it to Heaven. So Bato, I hope your post is truly sincere and that you are searching for the truth. I'm sure if you are faithful to the path you've written, you will find the truth...and that truth will set you free. And it will reveal to you what you should do with your talents.
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Dan Bernier
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Ianhutch,

I completely agree with you. There are several other ways of evangelizing than using someone elses method. Most do find this approach over the top. I think the reason Ray Comfort can present that message in that sytle is because God gave that message for Ray to evangelize. Others who try to imitate it only make it sound insincere, rehearsed, and less effective. Those who do a good job at it are only doing a great job at imitating Ray Comfort. Don't believe me, check out the youtube video's.

To take it a bit further, I believe that all true evangelists will be unique in their calling, and not need to resort to someone elses script. By the way, Ray Comfort using the law to convict is very biblical, however if you have truly been called by God to evangelize you'll have no desire to use Ray Comfort's script. God will gift you, and teach you what to say. Have we lost that faith in God's promise?

I also have met many Ray Comfort imitator's. One thing I found common with all of them, they lacked a true calling. They were doing what they wanted to do rather than waiting and listening to find out what God wanted them to do.

As the saying goes, "We have many eager workers, but very few of them are obedient and faithful enough to carry out the task God has appointed them to."
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
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I especially like the line about the plumber only working on church plumbing. I’m keeping that one! Smile

From my upbringing, I’m especially sensitive to that “doom-and-gloom” message, but the reality is that we do have to deal with sin. I stage direct and have even written a couple plays, one of them specifically about this subject. I spent much time in preparing the lines that would express the need to recognize our sinful nature, but without conveying condemnation. (We’re after conviction, not condemnation. And we know who the “accuser of the brethren” is!)

Quote:
“You know that there is sin in the world. This is a sin-filled world and we are born into it. There is only one future available to someone who hasn’t been forgiven of their sin. The Bible says the wages of sin is death. We are all destined to die, not just physically, but to be forever separated from God – our Creator. But God loved us so much and so desired that we should be with Him forever that he sent Jesus to die in our place – to pay the penalty for our sin, so that we wouldn’t have to, so that we could live eternally in the Grace and Blessing that God wanted for us from before the time we were even born. And all we have to do is believe.”


Hope this helps.

One more thought. Abraham was a friend of God. Moses was a servant of God. Jesus was the only person (including Buddha, Confucius, Mohammed, Ghandi, et al.) who claimed to be THE Son of God. If He wasn’t telling the truth, then He was either insane or a fraud. Not much middle ground Smile
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Vlad_77
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From the Eastern Orthodox Christian perspective (we are a minority here Smile )

There is no doom and gloom message in the Church founded by the Living God at Pentecost. And Bato, I do not do "gospel magic." Praise of course for those who do, but, I have found that for me - and indeed this is an ancient Christian perspective - that the gifts bestowed upon us by God GLORIFY him when we use them. I strive as a musician and a magician to carry myself in such a manner that I am glorifying Him. I am not qualified to "teach" the Gospel. I am as the Ethiopian who when asked by St. Phillip if he understood what he was reading when reading Scripture, the Ethiopian replied, "only if I am guided." And St. Phillip DID guide him! Smile

Blessed Augustine (St. Augustine in the Roman Church) said: "when we sing, we pray twice." I have ALWAYS loved that thought from Blessed Augustine.

You have God with you Bato, but you know, He has ALWAYS been with you even before time began. And smile at this: HE chose YOU! How COOL is that???!!!

As Christians there are dogmatic differences among Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant believers, but, we ALL agree that we are called to live as Christ-like as possible. Do not despair if you should stumble my friend. The way is narrow and rocky, BUT, Our Lord PROMISED us that the gates of darkness shall NOT prevail and that He shall be with us always. Take comfort in that my friend. God NEVER breaks promises - EVER.

The monks at the monastery on St. Athos in Greece have a saying that touched me deeply during my conversion: "We stumble, we fall, and we get back up and walk again."

+May The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, One God, grant unto you His great mercies.+

One last thing: Christ our True God told us that the three great virtues are faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love, for it is FROM love that all good things come. God is Perfect Love, and He has always loved you, has known the count of every hair on your head before time itself. Smile and glorify Him!!

+In Christ,
Vlad
mightydog
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I would say doing secular magic is not only not wrong but should be encouraged! Why? because doing only gospel music is reaching the already saved! The ones who need to hear the word are those who are not saved, (yet). And you will find them at a secular show not a gospel setting. Wasn't there something in the bible about Jesus being asked why he was with non believers and replied that he was there to save not those who already believed but those who did not?
Sorry if I mangled that.

mightydog
David
Illusion and magic is the same, if it was possible to achieve the impossible by genuine powers then it wouldn’t be impossible and therefore it wouldn’t be magic. That’s why magic is an art; the art of creating the illusion of the impossible.
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funsway
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Right on, mightydog. Many effects can be presented with a"spiritual" message without quoting scripture. When someone comes up after a show and say, "I was really moved by the power of your presentations. They really got me thinking about my life and problems I might solve. What is the source of your confidence and sense of togetherness?" Then you can start preaching!

Christ "preached" by telling stories and asking questions. It is difficult to improve on that. Magic is a way of telling a story -- one of hope and conquering adversity. To be a magician and not use that talent/knowledge everywhere would be a denial of who you are.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Dan Bernier
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Quote:
On 2011-01-18 14:51, mightydog wrote:
I would say doing secular magic is not only not wrong but should be encouraged! Why? because doing only gospel music is reaching the already saved! The ones who need to hear the word are those who are not saved, (yet). And you will find them at a secular show not a gospel setting. Wasn't there something in the bible about Jesus being asked why he was with non believers and replied that he was there to save not those who already believed but those who did not?
Sorry if I mangled that.

mightydog
David


I agee! That's what evangelizing is supposed to be about.

However, I just want to express my opinion that I believe there is nothing wrong with entertaining other Christians with a magic show that is Gospel related. Sometimes a church event opens doors for Christians to invite their friends and family to church where otherwise they would not ever step into a church. I'm also not talking about using the, "bait and hook" tactic by not letting them know it's a Gospel Magic show.

As far as preaching to the Choir, I say we need a lot more of it! I know for myself that I have still much to learn, and even more to improve on as a Christian. Dare I even say that some of the people who go to church are still in need of being saved.
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
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