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ianhutch
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I don't actually think that you haven't fooled them—it's just they're trying to think of how you actually DID do so & often think back to days when someone at school etc had a stripper or marked deck. There are so many times I've had people check a totally regular deck ( I rarely use anything else) for markings, taperings etc etc with comments such as "My granddad had a deck like this!" I just say, "It's a totally normal pack of cards." (provided I've switched it if it is an Invisible Deck!) & eventually they believe me.
Kif Anderson
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While magic is deception, lying seems to be simply lazy scripting.

"As you can see the silk has completely vanished" (lie) or
"That silken square of fabric that I place in here but a moment ago appears to have somehow completely vaporized in to thin air." (not lying)

"When I was traveling in the Orient, I saw this unusual item that does magical things. Let me show you." (lying...if you've never been to the Orient and that the thing is 'magical') or
"I am fascinated by many odd little things. This item, which some say has its roots in ancient China, is a quite interesting piece and I think you will agree with others that it does things that are very mysterious. Are you curious? Let me show you what I mean." (not lying...you are telling them the truth...provided when you've shown it to others...they thought it was magical or mysterious)

So I pose to you...which statements above make for better magic?

Should Magic be a puzzle "to be solved" when you tell them something has happened...the silk has vanished, the rabbit has appeared. Isn't it better when you suggest mystery, when you experience the wonderment with them...those moments become magic. Remember Doug Henning? He was a master at this. "It's About Wonder"

Now when you set up the "experience" and avoid "challenging them with puzzles" you find the audience reacts very differently to you. I becomes theater. They don't blurt out the answer to the puzzle...or at least not as often (they do carry baggage left with them from other performers and obnoxious uncles who have tricked them making them feel like they are not very smart because they are being tricked) When it is fun to experience the magic and not "he tricked me again" the art of illusion is a wonderful thing.

As for when they actually do blurt out a method, right or wrong, it is good to be ready with something to say. But the response needs to be kind, not a battle of one-up-man-ship.

If this is a constant problem, why not set it up from the start. "I'm so excited to be here. Now how many people here like to do magic tricks and show them to your friends? Wow a bunch of you. Me too. And you know if you have a magic trick, if you tell others how it is done, then it isn't magic to them anymore. And in my show today, there will be a lot of things that will seem magical. Now, if you figure it out, or think you figure it out, please, keep it magical for everyone else. If you know what is happening, then just smile really big...because then you are a part of the magic."

Also...blurting out reaction to what kid performers do a lot...sucker magic. These routines are developed to get kids to yell what you are doing...or they think you are doing. It is funny and you have it "under control." So how do they know when they see something happen later that they aren't supposed to blurt it out then? You created the pattern...don't be upset when it continues. I do Hip Hop Magician (Wolf Magic's version of Hippity Hop Rabbits) and also Die Box...and in neither does the routine get folks from the audience to yell out anything. The magic happens...and they experience it. It is again...back to not being lazy when developing routines.

I don't have a lot of answers for what to say mostly because I don't have that problem in my performances much at all. So rather than solve the issue of the audience, work on the issues of the performance.
We are not cisterns made for hoarding, we are channels made for sharing. - Billy Graham
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rsylvester
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As a journalist, I've interviewed magicians over the years. One of the most memorable quotes came from Teller, who said that when he was a kid learning magic taught him that "adults lie to you." So you see magic has its own lessons in morality.

I agree with the thought that as a performance art with characters and story lines, it's not a lie, any more than an actor playing Hamlet is lying by saying he is Hamlet. Otherwise, how would you justify putting on Christmas play -- gotta tell you, those Wise Men? The youth group in fake beards. People know magic is an illusion, unless you're trying to pass it off as real, and if you are, you're not coming to this section of the forum. Play your part. One of the first lessons I learned is never say, "I have a regular deck of cards." Just go with it. Is it a trick coin? I've known magicians who messed up and spent their gaffed coins by mistake. So why worry? Just "sleight of hand" would suffice. After all, even gaffed tricks require some rudimentary sleights. So that's true.
Mike Maturen
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This whole issue is one of the reasons I prefer the term "Illusionist" to "Magician" and "effect" over "trick".

As to the "lying", I think folks can become TOO worried about these things. When we tell a story to sell our effect to the audience, we are creating a drama, or an illusion. It doesn't matter if the story is real or not...

If you are uncomfortable telling the story as though it really happened to YOU, then simply slightly change the patter to reflect, as one of the other posters recommended.

As an example, I do the snowstorm routine in my show. One of the best story lines I have ever heard with this (it is both touching and teaching) is done by a fantastic Singapore illusionist named Kiki Tay. You can search him on YouTube to see the effect. He tells the story from a first person point of view. I simply changed it to say "The story is told of a....."

.....and, yes, I DID get Kiki's permission to use his patter!
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Vlad_77
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Quote:
On 2011-03-04 03:48, ianhutch wrote:
As far as I can see, the Biblical principle behind the prohibition on lying is when it is for a malicious intent—bearing false witness etc. Otherwise why were the Hebrew midwives in Exodus & Rahab commended for using untruths to protect the innocent & God's people? In fact, did a man get robbed on the road to Jericho who was then helped by a Samaritan after a priest & Levite failed to do so? Surely, Jesus' parables are all tales rather than true events & we always accept them as such. I liked the description that Max Somerset gives of 'visual parables' when talking about his Gospel magic. We can make a rod for our own backs when we become too literal in our interpretation of the Bible.


AMEN Ian!! The Bible itself even teaches against the literal/self-interpretation of Scripture (St. Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch, and of course our Lord's admonition about the spirit of the law as opposed to the letter of the law.)

I will also offer this question: Were the people who lied to the Nazis about hiding Jewish and Roma people committing a sin? A literal interpretation would say YES, because false witness was borne. The spirit of the law which is itself Scriptural would say NO because, "That which you do unto the least of them, so to you do unto Me." The people who lied to protect the innocent against Nazi atrocities did so out of an act of love for their human brothers and sisters.

Guys, I am a Christian. I am a magician. People KNOW I am going to fool them. They KNOW that what I do is accomplished BY trickery. They KNOW there is no malicious sorcery at work.

Breathe guys, God loves you and you glorify Him when you use your skills to bring joy to others.

+In Christ,
Vlad
Dan Bernier
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I for one am breathing just fine, but thanks Vlad. Smile

I do have to say that we are now comparing apples to oranges.

Lying to save someone's life is much different that lying to fool someone. I believe that us Gospel magicians can perform magic without lying to our audience. I also think that we can answer someone truthfully when asked how we did something, or when someone approaches us with what they believe to be how we did something, and not reveal our methods.

In my opinion, Kif said it very well in his post.
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inaciolino
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My brothers, I thank God for this forum. I have learned a lot here. Not to mention it is an opportunity to practice English.

As we know, God created all things. However there is only one thing that was not created by God, the lie.

The devil is the father of lies. We must not lie in any event.

As servants of the Lord we have a commitment withn the truth. JESUS ​​is the truth. We must always tell the truth.

At about the effects that we execute, we can always choose not to discuss methods with our viewers.

I hope that helps. Stay with God. Peace.
Kif Anderson
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I want to add to my comment above. If you are on stage as yourself, and you are sharing a gospel message, then the effort to develop scripts that are "truthful" or perhaps aren't flat out lies at what you are doing, is important. Since this discussion is under The Good News forum, then I was presuming that it was about sharing the gospel through magic.

However, if you are on stage in character, then what you share is in that character. The man standing on stage in a play who claims to be the character he is playing is not lying...he is just playing the part.

Many folks believe that when they are on stage in character, it is okay to do things like pretend that magic wands have magical powers to make things happen, etc. I don't see anything wrong with that...when not played to an extreme that is. "Calling on the dark spirits" to make something happen...not so sure I'm crazy about that. We all need to decide what we want to accomplish, play a character, share the gospel, etc. and develop our scripts accordingly.

><> J
We are not cisterns made for hoarding, we are channels made for sharing. - Billy Graham
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<BR>Sharing the gospel with Comedy & Illusion www.ozandwilde.com
ianhutch
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As this discussion has progressed I think it's becoming clear to me that the word 'lie' is very similar in its usage to the word 'magic'. We find ourselves defending our art against those who confuse the Biblical words for sorcery & occult activities with our harmless effects, illusions or whatever we call them. I believe that the word 'lie' in its Biblical sense has to do with evil intent and not merely telling a fiction story either by word or action. If saying something which is not literal truth is a 'lie' then the Bible is littered with many examples of God's prophets and Jesus Himself telling such untruths. Nathan's challenge to David and Jesus' many parables were rarely prefaced with any disclaimer as to the fact that it was a parable & not literal truth. Every single work of fiction would also fall foul of being a 'lie' (I know there are now disclaimers about any similarity etc but that is to avoid libel actions) as would most films & TV dramas & soaps.

I think Vlad's warning against the excessively literal interpretation of the Bible is very right. Just to use a 'reductio ad absurdum', if we took every command of Paul's letters literally we would be greeting & reconciling many people who have been dead for (nearly) 2000 years! I think we are really straining at gnats here if we're not careful.
Dan Bernier
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Jesus is talking in parables. Parables are not lies. A parable is a brief allegory that is used to teach a moral lesson. I rebuke the notion that Jesus spoke untruths!

The conflicting and graded absolutists miss the truth of God's Word on lying. One is never permitted to lie, much less morally obligated to do so. The only moral obligation one is under with reference to lying is not to do it. This, and this alone, is the clear teaching of God's Word.

Vlad said, "I will also offer this question: Were the people who lied to the Nazis about hiding Jewish and Roma people committing a sin?

I will answer that from a biblical perspective. Yes, they were lying and lying is a sin. No one was morally obligated to answer the Nazis questions. They didn't have to say anything at all.

What Rahab did was wrong, and no where is her lying praised in scriptures. Neither Hebrews 11:31 nor James 2:25 commend Rahab for lying, she is instead commended for her faith in believing God.

Yes, some people in the Bible lied, but it should be made very clear that God never instructed them to. Just because we don't read of God's disapproval of them lying doesn't mean that God was okay with them lying.

I suppose though, that some people will interpretate scripture in such ways as to suit their lifestyles, rather than changing their lifestyles to be more like Christ.
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ianhutch
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I really thing we need to define what is a lie. The Hebrew midwives in Exodus 1 are very clearly commended & blessed by God for deceiving the King of Egypt (verses 15–21). As I said before, IF we decide that saying ANYTHING, in ANY circumstance which is not LITERAL truth is a lie, then we are forced to say that Jesus told lies. I don't think any of us, certainly not myself, would claim that Jesus told lies, so what DOES the Bible define as a lie? For anyone in Nazi Europe to refuse to answer a question about hiding Jews etc would have immediately condemned those they were concealing to death, so I really cannot accept that the Bible would condemn an untruth in those circumstances any more than the midwives were faulted for their deception. Another aspect is that I have heard people accuse others of lying by their actions when they deceive. If that were the case, then God very clearly told Joshua to lie in Joshua 8 when the Children of Israel lured the men of Ai out from the city by falsely pretending to run away as if in defeat. Lying or not?

I really don't think any of us are trying to interpret Scripture to suit our lifestyles, just trying to find out exactly what Scripture means by 'lying'. Many Christians would accuse the members of FCM of re-interpreting the word 'magic' in the same way.
Dan Bernier
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See, that's your interpretation though. You would have to back up what you are saying with solid biblical references. How do you get what you get from,

15And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah:

16And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.

17But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.

18And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive?

19And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them.

20Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty.

21And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses. KJV

NIV 15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.” 17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. 18 Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?”

19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.”

20 So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. 21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.

How do we know the midwives lied? The midwives may have told the truth. It may have been the case that the Hebrew women, fearing the commandment of the king, did not call for the midwives in a timely way. Also, one is not obligated to tell all he or she knows. Withholding information is not necessarily falsehood (Luke 23:9).

If you really want to believe that they lied, one must undertstand that they were rewarded for their works, not their words. They were blessed for refusing to murder the babies. All who are rewarded by God, in any age, are blessed in spite of their sins, based upon the gracious forgiveness of God.

It is incorrect to say that God rewarded the midwives for lying. The Bible does not affirm that conclusion. The Lord blessed them for their refusal to kill baby boys and for their interest in obeying God rather than man.
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ianhutch
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Hi Dan,

Verses 20 & 21 make no sense unless the midwives had actually deceived the King. Verse 17 makes it very clear that they were in a position to carry out the king's command so their words WERE part of the whole behaviour which earned them God's approval & reward.
Dan Bernier
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As I stated previously, God is not the author of confusion. (I Cor. 14:33)

The Bible should be read and interpreted in a plain, literal manner, that is unless the context indicates differently, or a literal interpretation would not make any sense. To do otherwise makes it possible to argue a question mark after every statement in the Bible because everyone would have their own special way of interpreting the true meaning of words and statements. Therefore, any examination of the Scriptures will be much more fruitful if we use the definitions that are given to words in everyday life and in our word dictionaries.

I love this topic, but I'm afraid that a guy named Dave is going to come around and perform a magic trick and make this thread disappear. (lol)

I would love to get into this further with you ianhutch. I love it when topics like this comes up because it not only excersises my mind, but my faith as well.

However, I think I may have derailed another thread. Boy it's tough talking Gospel Magic without talking scriptures and theology.

I'm so glad that we can share back and fourth like this and both remain civil and respectful of each other. Thank you for that ianhutch. Please, if you wish to continue with this discussion I would be glad to share emails with you. If not, that's okay too.

United in Christ!
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ianhutch
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Hi Dan, I take it I've transgressed a rule of this forum then! Whoops sorry! It is refreshing to be able to discuss theology with the sadly unpleasant & threatening attitudes I've encountered at times. I'd be more than happy to continue in e-mails as I'm still learning after 50 years as a Christian! My website address is on my profile & the link to my e-mail is there.

Every blessing & must get out to Church now.

Ian
ianhutch
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Should be 'without' in the first line!!! Sorry!
Thom Bliss
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Of course lying is wrong. But not every falsehood is a lie. Lying is not merely saying things that are false; it is also being morally blameworthy for doing so.

So the question is not, is it ever okay to lie? The question is, when is it okay to advance a falsehood and when is it not?

A person who advances a scientific theory that eventually turns out to be false (such as Newton), is not lying. Actors playing roles are not lying. People who write novels are not lying (although some of those quoted on the back cover praising the novel might be). People who hid others from the Nazi but denied doing so, were not lying, as they were not being morally blameworthy for doing so (just the opposite).

Similarly with the Hebrew midwives in Egypt, etc. GospelDan asks, “How do we know the midwives lied? The midwives may have told the truth.” There is another alternative. The Bible clearly suggests that they told Pharaoh untruths. But they were not lying because their falsehoods were morally praiseworthy.

GospelDan, you say, “The Bible should be read and interpreted in a plain, literal manner, that is unless the context indicates differently, or a literal interpretation would not make any sense.” (But, oddly, you quote from the NIV, which not a very accurate translation.) I guess The Case of the Hebrew Midwives one of the cases where the literal interpretation does make any sense - to you! I gather that you are the supreme arbiter of what that literal interpretation is and when it is to followed and when it is not. Anybody who disagrees with you is accused of merely interpreting the words - but you know the truth. Well, at least nobody is accusing you of false modesty.

Thom
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Dan Bernier
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Unlike my brother ianhutch, I find your post Thom to be just plain offensive and arguementive. That's about as much time of day you'll get from me. Thanks for trying though.
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Thom Bliss
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Gospel Dan:

Oh, I’m the one that’s “just plain offensive and arguementive [sic!].”

And does your name calling make my analysis wrong?

“‘If you’re going to walk in the rain, don’t complain about getting wet!’”

Thom
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Arkadiy K
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Quote:
On 2011-02-25 17:17, Eric Caldwell wrote:
My friend asked me flat out if I stacked the deck for a trick I performed yesterday. Outside of saying, "I don't reveal secrets," what is there to say to such a blunt question?

Of course, like a 52-layer cake of magical sweetness. Smile
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