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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Good News! » » Cards and the Gospel (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

dynamite
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Philippines
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Have been doing Gospel Magic for quite a time and always have this nagging question: Is it OK to use gambling cards (ordinary deck of cards) to present Gospel passages?

It seems a little uncomfortable every time I use cards, considering these items are for gambling (generally) and I'm using it in a venue which abhors gambling.

Any thoughts?

All the best!

Dynamite
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"Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, you can . . . Boldness has a genius, magic and power to it!"
eeesp
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Minnesota
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To make things worse the modern day deck of cards are a derivative of the Taro deck. Bummer.

Is it ok to ride a horse? It is used for gambling at times. How about eating meat that was offered to idols.

I don’t see a problem using them to illustrate Bible truths. I remember the Gospel told in a card story routine that had the audience spellbound. If I remember the message then I am sure most of the spectators also remember the message.
However.
You may want to check with the client. Some Christians are offended by them much as some are offended by the Harry Potter books. After all it is the goal to entertain audiance.

Personally I would stay away from them in Gospel magic if the audience is fairly large and may have members offended by them.

It gets worse. Some Christians are offended with magic all together.

To answer your question, I do card magic. You will have to decide for your self.


Smile
DougTait
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Sebring, FL
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Go here for a previous discussion on this subject:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=16
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing."
Payne
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Seattle
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Quote:
On 2003-09-04 23:31, eeesp wrote:
To make things worse the modern day deck of cards are a derivative of the Taro deck. Bummer.


Actually it's the other way round Tarot cards are a derivative of Playing cards as they made their first appearence in the early 15th century roughly a hundred years after the introduction of playing cards in Europe.

Contrary to popular belief they were not created for fortune telling and were not used for that purpose until the late 18th Century.

They were originally created for the game of Tarrochi, an ancient ancestor of Bridge.
On a side note, one of the reasons that playing cards have such a bad reputation is not only their use in gambling but also due to their immense popularity among the common classes from the 15th century on. More time, at least in England, was being spent playing cards than it was on archery practice. Numerous laws were passed prohibiting their use for this very reason.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Neale Bacon
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Burnaby BC Canada
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Just be careful which denomination. Some don't care about playing cards but others are dead set against them.

Be sensative to your audience, otherwise I have never found it a problem.

In my outreach shows where I want to put out a gospel message, I use cards because the public are familiar with them, and it's a good way to get the message out.
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BroDavid
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My best friend is a Pastor who does not even allow cards in his house!

We have talked at length at the Biblical issues behind his decision, and it is that he does not wish to condone something that is a possible struggle with some his flock. In other words he will not be a stumbling block to them, by appearing to accept/support cards and implicitly then, gambling.

Similarly, he will not permit beer or hard liquor in his home for the same reasons.

I respect his position.

Another Pastor friend of mine, has been learning all of the effects he can, including cards to use in his ministry. He doesn't see a problem, because he will not use the cards for any type of gambling.

And I equally respect his position.

So, it is far more than just a denominational issue, it is also a matter of knowing what the local leadership thinks of cards.

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Darkwing
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Nashville Tn
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I think this may fall back to "eating meat sacificed to idols" issue. Christians as a whole have always struggled with secular or social issues. Pray about it and let the Holy Sprit guide you in your decision.

Personally, I use cards in all of my presentations and don't see any problem with it.
Dalqvist
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Västerĺs, Sweden
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A good alternative to an ordinary deck of cards is the "number cards". This kind of card has the numbers 1 to 52 printed on the cards. It works fine for card tricks where you don't need to refer to the ordinary symbols and is also useful for mathematical tricks.
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brianmayo
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First, let me preface this with I am VERY MUCH a believer in respecting others beliefs, and being careful not to cause another to stumble. I say that so nobody misunderstands what I'm saying.

But this whole topic is very interesting to me--is it something many of you really see that much?

The reason I ask is I do know for a fact many churches are very conservative in their beliefs, and they don't believe it's right to own/use playing cards (and again, I would 100% support that for them). However, I would have never guessed those same churches would be 'ok' with having a magician perform, or that there could even be a Christian magician at all!

I have to admit one flaw I have is I sometimes get overly bent out of shape when people aren't consistent in their beliefs. Good examples of this are Christians I've known who believed smoking was wrong but would drink, believed it was wrong to listen to secular music but would go to the movies every weekend, etc. I want to clarify a couple things here though having said all that. First, I personally am not stating an opinion either way on any of those, I'm using the example to state if you believe the Lord is telling you this or that is wrong, you need to do what you believe the Lord is guiding you to do.

However, you should prayerfully consider it, and you should really analyze yourself and make sure you are being consistent in your beliefs. Guarding yourself from being hypocritical is a very tough challenge we all face.

I may not have that same view on real conservative stuff like some of what I've mentioned, but I will 100% support that Christian and will pray that the Lord will keep them from those things they feel are temptations and potential obstacles between them and God.

Now please don't get this wrong, I'm also not saying these Churches are not being consistent here, as frankly I've never really thought about it before now. However, I do bring up the point that at first blush that might be two positions that would be hard to justifiably maintain.

Again, I'M NOT CONDEMNING, just really making some observations that I'm curious to read your reactions to.

Brian
GlenD
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I think picking and choosing what not to engage in is normal and is largely a result of one's upbringing and environment, etc. It also results from our own personal convictions as we get older or grow in our own spiritual journey.

With that picking and choosing comes the inconsistency issue (that I think most of us are guilty of). But the problem is when we begin pointing fingers at the other guy, when most of this stuff is personal choice and often boils down to spiritual maturity (I am not talking about crime or obvious illegal type of behavior).

We might look at someone who engages in something that we would not choose to do and then think ill towards him or her. But then someone may observe our position and speculate how we are being legalistic. Both of these situations are wrong in my opinion (and would be best served by spending time in prayer) and result from the old finger pointing attitude.

I am only speaking in the context of personal choices regarding socially acceptable and legal activities where the question of "is it a sin" is not clear or debatable.

As far as doing card tricks in a church gospel magic type of show, I would say that is a personal decision as a performer. If you go for it, there may be consequences and it may not turn out well.

I have borrowed an idea someone posted here a year or so ago about having a box of bicycle cards but stuffing it with credit cards. If I could find the thread I will post it again for everyone to get another chance to see. But basically you talk about how the cards in this box have been thought of negatively (some of my own adlibing follows). In fact some would go so far as to call them evil or possiblly sinful!?!?! "I agree"!!! The cards in this box have been responsible for many family break ups and divorces and YES they are evil. BUT, I bet some of you have one or more of these cards with you right now, this evening! I will suggest that every adult in this room has one or more of these cards on them right now! Just watch their faces as the challenge sinks in, priceless.

Ok, ok -- then eventually you dump and shake out all the credit cards from the box and it's a "gotcha". But it usually gets a good laugh and can be followed up with actual card tricks if you get a good feeling about the situation and the audience.

Let me know what some of you think about this idea of credit cards in the card box.

Thanks,

GlenD
"A miracle is something that seems impossible but happens anyway" - Griffin

"Any future where you succeed, is one where you tell the truth." - Griffin (Griffin rocks!)
Brian Lehr
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Edmonton, Canada
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I think the credit card in the card box idea is excellent. I think I'll use it someday.

I used to be a Pastor for ten years (in two Churches). When I first went to each of them, I asked what the "culture" of that particular Church was, in relation to "magic," "sleight of hand," "object lessons," and using playing cards with them.

In the first Church, I had to call all my magic "object lessons," but could use playing cards to help with the "lessons." In my second Church, I could do "magic," but could not use playing cards in Church.

Whenever I visit another Church with the expectation that I might perform some magic, I will always check with the senior leadership first, to see what their policy on playing cards is (ie: some may not mind cards at all, except inside the Church). So, when in Rome, do as the Romans...

Brian
GlenD
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I am glad that you like it Brian. I thought it was great and have used it successfully a couple of times.

I could not locate the original thread but I don't think it is necessary either (just wanted it understood that it wasn't my idea).

I agree with the idea of getting as much information as possible before performing (different questions for different venues).

GlenD
"A miracle is something that seems impossible but happens anyway" - Griffin

"Any future where you succeed, is one where you tell the truth." - Griffin (Griffin rocks!)
sdgiu
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The Boonies, NC
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Quote:
On 2003-09-04 22:30, dynamite wrote:
Have been doing Gospel Magic for quite a time and always have this nagging question: Is it OK to use gambling cards (ordinary deck of cards) to present Gospel passages?

It seems a little uncomfortable every time I use cards, considering these items are for gambling (generally) and I'm using it in a venue which abhors gambling.

Any thoughts?

All the best!

Dynamite
Smile Smile



Dynamite,

Sounds like you, not someone else has the problem with them, and this is fine. My Dad is a preacher, and I grew up with very strict teachings against cards also.

Do what makes you comfortable. If you aren't comfortable using them, for whatever reason, don't use them.

Get yourself a set of Rook, Old Maid, Crazy Eights, etc..., cards and try the tricks with them. If you find that you still aren't comfortable even using them, don't worry, there are many other tricks that use no cards at all, and they can be just as effective in getting across a Gospel message.

Godspeed

Steve Smile
zzz

Ps I now don't personally think there is anything inherently wrong with cards, It is, like anything else, all in how they are used.
Steven the Amusing
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San Francisco Bay Area
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Another thing to consider regarding cards and church:

Since some denominations and individuals may have shunned the use of cards, they as a consequence are not as familiar with them as you might expect.

Here in Silicon Valley - not just in a "sacred setting" - I find that fully 1/5 of the people I approach can not name the suits. This is sometimes due to language issues. E.g. one lady, a Russian Jew by birth, can only name the suits in Russian so saying "You chose the Queen of Spades" is rather meaningless to her.

I'm also often surprised how few young teens can't distinguish clubs and spades.

Humorous note: I offered a deck to a Hindu woman to "give them a cut" and she did - in exactly the fashion one does the Hindu shuffle. "Care to cut them again?" Yes, was her reply as she began to FURIOUSLY shuffle, hindu style. Smile Afterward there was *NO* chance that I was going to find her card using the key!
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