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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Fellowship of Christian Magicians! » » Examples of Really Bad Gospel Magic?? (34 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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MagicBus
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The context of a program is very important.

Most of the shows I do nowadays pretty much everyone in the audience already knows me- because I have been working in that same Sunday School program for years- or have worked in the VBS or Mega Sports Camp all week as a teacher or whatever- or have been called back to the same location for the umpteenth time, etc.. This takes most of the pressure off of me, the audience pretty much knows who I am, and I more often than not rely on magic stuff I have done for years so I don't screw the mechanics of it up. Rarely do I do a program now where a trick "didn't work". I am like a goofy uncle with something of interest to talk about, it is a fun time.

When it comes to doing a Gospel magic program for a large group of folks who have never seen you before- YOU MUST BE GOOD. Well practiced, using a good carefully thought out script, and knowing exactly what and why you are doing it. Pretty much every minute planned out in the smallest detail. Nothing to chance. I do not count myself in that elite group.

When I am performing in that type of new audience setting- I am almost always with someone else or cast of folks also performing who much better than myself- such as with MagicBob and SuZie. They are GOOD all the time. When I worked for the late John de Vries, his shows were super heavy on Gospel content and the retelling of exact Bible stories using props, yet he too had pretty much had every word completely memorized. John's shows were often more like listening to a preacher who used a lot of illustrations.

The point being, John de Vries took the time to have every routine completely worked out before ever using it, and often used items custom crafted for him alone.

Others GOOD all the time obviously are Barry Mitchell, Duane Laflin, Andre' Kole, Brad Brown and other FCMers who work on their craft seriously. It's hard work, not just promoting oneself without the talent to back it up.

If a performer is holding themselves out as a professional Gospel magician (not just a hobbyist like myself) for hiring out to just about any type of brand new audience, the performers MUST take the responsibility of knowing what they are doing out there. All of us have seen where that is not the case. I cringe when I see a performer's slick glossy promotional flyers, or custom fan T-Shirts even, but when watching the actual show it is clear nothing was planned out very well and the dialogue (including some sort of Gospel application thrown in at the end) is an unimaginative sounding mess.

It's like playing the piano- my church may accept my playing as I am and they will pretty much enjoy whatever tune I put out there. But I would not think in a heartbeat to hold myself out as a concert pianist for a group of strangers in another church- I am just not that good, period.

There is a place for both types of piano players or Gospel magicians- but it not good when basically an inexperienced hobbyist or partial pro "goes for it" and embarrasses all Gospel magicians everywhere by doing a cringe worthy program in front of an audience (perhaps even completely geared for the wrong age group) without really knowing how bad they look or come across for that particular group.

Just one last thing- my wife and I are in a huge outdoor Living Nativity each December, this year we had about 3,500 attend. My wife and my acting part as "The Innkeepers" is about three minutes long. THREE MINUTES. Yet we were completely costumed out for it, in front of our specially built Inn, and doing a professional scripted "routine" we practiced dozens of times times before doing it live, let alone the other times first performed in our group practice in front of the drama director and other actors. We then ended up doing our little Innkeeper skit live this year more than 90 times. We knew every line of course, but also knew every step or nuance of even where our arms were, what we were looking at, and every word inflection. That is the closest I have become to being a PROFESSIONAL, and it really felt good to do it right.

We as Gospel magicians, especially if holding oneself out to be a professional available to new audiences in a variety of settings, need to take our craft seriously and practice it as much as if we were the lead actor in a local community play. Do we do that? Let's hope so.
Sam Sandler
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Well said Magicbus

Drumorgan- my job is to offend as many people as I can! whether I am preaching Sunday morning or on the streets of NY or on stage for an audience that is a majority of unsaved people.
The Gospel is real and I don't have time to share cotton candy gospel-- I leave that to the likes of Joel Osteen.

my point is this- while some might find the gospel offensive - bummer we are called to make disciples we are called to unleash the truth of Gods love with every one.

there is a lost a dying world out there desperately searching for Joy, for love, for happiness, for SALVATION.

so sharing my testimony prior to sharing the Gospel (although I believe our testimony is part of the Gospel) people can relate to the things you have gone thru and it will get them thinking about their own lives.
we must also be aware WE don't SAVE ANYONE only God does that. we are called to share out testimony and share the gospel and plant that seed.
then let the Holy Spirit take over.

and all this goes back to what I said in my very first post "earning the right to be heard" with a polished professional well scripted show the audience will be more apt to listen to you when you share the Gospel. this is fact this is true.

this is why Andre Kole and toby travis and my self as well as others perform the majority of the show before sharing the gospel. we are establishing we have value and that we have knowledge of what we are doing.

put on the full armor and don't look back get out there and Unleash the Truth of Gods Love!

one thing I would also like to share-- I have been out for street witnessing many times and have been yelled at, spit at, threatened but that to me just means I am doing it right! there is power Just in His name - Jesus. I am not ashamed of the Gospel.

sam
sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
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drumorgan
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Sam, Amen. I wasn't saying the gospel was offensive so we could avoid it. I was saying it so we could embrace it. It is not US that saves, but HIM. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

And, we should work on our craft as if working for the Lord. We don't need to add to the offense by performing bad magic. Smile
Sam Sandler
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Right I was not disagreeing with you. your recent posts cleared up the issue I had with your first post.

thanks

on a side note I am a Messianic Jewish Believer. I have worked with Jews for Jesus several times both at their events as well as street witnessing.

this has been a pretty good thread so far.
sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
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drumorgan
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For me, too. Great to meet you. I spent a lot of time with Ray Comfort and the folks at Living Waters preaching in the streets and teaching others to do so. If you want a good way to get over your nerves about public speaking, try speaking about Jesus in public. If you can do that, then performing magic is easy compared to that. Smile
MagicBus
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Wow, I am a huge fan of Ray Comfort, have taught his evangelism course "The Way of the Master" three times at my home church. Ray loves magic, uses D'Lites to attract crowds in the evening and publishes tracts that sometimes have simple optical illusions or magic principles on them. I think I remember seeing on youtube? the late Dean Dill doing his fabulous coins across routine for Ray and Kirk Cameron.
GlenD
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Also it is not our job to convict people of their sin. In the right environment and at the right time when one is in a place where they may be ready to "hear" and be honest within themselves they are well aware of the sinful things in their own lives. I feel that when a testimony is shared or a personal account of how one came to the Lord and w hat He has done for them, then that is an opportunity where recognition of one's own issues can be acknowledged and after this testimonial then a clear account of Gods salvation answer to our own disconnect with Him can be heard and received (if their eyes, ears and hearts are open). Everything leads up to this moment of opportunity and God is marvelously able to use our feeble attempts regardless of how polished or raw they may be, if it is with love and sincerity then God can use it/us all for His glory.

Btw, someone previously mentioned that Jesus never did anything to impress anyone... I thought He did plenty! But it wasn't for the purposes of impressing others, it was always out of compassion and to exhibit the truth of who He was and is!

Glen
"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!)
drumorgan
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I would tend to agree that if we are hired to do a family-friendly magic show, our job would not be to "convict people of their sin", but if our goal is to present the gospel, that actually is the first part of it. People don't care anything about the "good news" without first understanding the bad news. I am still working out how to meld these two together, as you don't get called back to too many paid gigs if you break out the Law and show people their destination is hell unless they repent and trust Christ. Smile

Again, listening to http://www.hellsbestkeptsecret.com really helped put this in a clearer light for me. We are told so many times that sharing the gospel is the same as sharing our testimony/story and if we look at it Biblically, they are two very different things.
Danny Kazam
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Excellent posts katyannmarie and drumorgan.
Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.
harris
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For teachers from Paul

14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.

May the Holy Spirit continue to open the mysteries in scripture
In my years I have barely scratched the surface and look forward to truths revealed and to be lived and shared.

May the see Him and not my humor, stories , puppets and or other type Gospel Demonstrations.
One comment came after a nonGospel program

The birthday child's grandfather and I were chatting
He put his hand on my shoulder and said
"Thank you for your ministry"
The following minutes were the first time that afternoon The Lord or His words were specifically mentioned.


Love and prayers
Shalom.
Brother Harris aka Zvi Arey
Still too old to know it all
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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harris
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Being convicted in and out of church, happens to me as well as seeing I need Gods Grace.
Minimizing and seeing ourselves with blind "eyes" causes no change.
Romans 7

Romans 8 and a host of New and Old Testament passages make clear where my new life comes from.

1 to 1 conversations can help realize the truth of their status under law.

Harris. Reader and Righter , not a Bible scholar
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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harris
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I hope we can be part of the solution.
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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Steve Varro
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Everytime I hear the story of "The FCM and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Really Bad Interpreters" It beomes more fabricated, and for that reason I choose not to discuss that, but instead to leave it in the past where it belongs. We can and have learned from some of the mistakes made during that time.

Sam, I really enjoyed our E-mails last night. I appreciate sharing my ideas and most importantly I appreciated reading your thoughts and ideas. We are only a few months away from our International FCM convention, so I am not sure these ideas can be implimented this year, but by next year we should be able to have something substantial to offer the deaf performers who wish to attend our Convention.

It appears that this thread has been derailed from Shouksmiths original intent, so I hope that we can get back to his question about what makes bad Gospel magic.

Personally I think most of the criteria on this subject is the same as what makes bad magic,period. The added difference is an understanding of the scriptures and a dedicated Christian lifestyle. These are a must as a Gospel performer

I think one of the things that makes the magic bad is the same in all areas. Lack of showmanship and communication skill. That and the fact that too many magicians buy a new trick and begin to perform it long before they have profected their routine.

I've said this before but I'll say it again. If there were three workshops being offered at a convention, one on "10 tricks with rubber bands", another on "tricks you can do with belly button lint", and a third on "showmanship and presentation". The one least attended, but most needed, would be the showmanship workshop. Those who take time to learn the fine art of showmanship and presentation will be the ones wo take their art to the next level, they are the ones who will be the next generation of headliners.

Thank you for your time.
STILL In HIS service

Steve Varro

International President of FCM

Owner/Dock Haley Gospel Magic Co.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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God qualifies who He chooses

Some hid, some said they were too young, one should not have been able to talk(a donkey)
Some use gospel illusions or
Puppetry

http://youtu.be/wxjm1_GtcB4
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Participation at the local level, brought me into closer relationships with brothers and sisters in Christ.

Prayers appreciated for my return to our City Union Mission

Change is possible.

Years ago, in my regular gig,
The hearing impaired/deaf sometimes fell through substance abuse treatment and
Support community


Our church provides ASL folks for every service
Pastor also does alter calls

Haven't been to any big FCM events
Regionally Bev Dowling and friends do a great regional one.

Let he who "has ears let him hear"

Contempt prior to investigation ....
Love and prayers
Harris
Still too old to know it all
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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MagicBus
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I am taking a hiatus from The Magic Café', time to do that again as I did last year. I was hoping for a change in how some folks (not most fortunately) post and behave here, I was wrong. If you enjoy bickering amongst each other on mostly non-magic related topics, knock yourself out.

See you in a few months, maybe this FCM Forum being posted on by non-FCMers will be more cordial by then. Enjoy.

Danny, for the record, I have asked 4 times in the history of The Magic Café' that threads be removed: twice where Christianity was being mocked and ridiculed, and twice in this thread (which neither one was removed):

1. Where the ADA law passed by Congress was being openly misrepresented by a poster. You may label this a "right"- I call this a falsehood- no one ever has the "right" to spread, accuse and judge others using patently incorrect legal information.

And 2. Where I was lectured God would judge me for sending deaf people to hell for not supporting paying for interpreters to come to the evening night magic programs and daily lectures in Nashville (apparently that will be the one and only exposure ever for these dear deaf folks to hear the Gospel). Please note, when the FCM did before provide interpreters, they were too personally criticized for not being good enough. Better also provide Chinese interpreters, Spanish interpreters, etc.- as there are many of those non-English speaking folks in the greater Nashville area as well.

Some of these negative comments are directed I suppose at a magician/fellow Christian/specific individual (me) that will be producing (including raising all the funds) for a weekly religious radio show beginning next month on a large secular radio here in Kalamazoo that was just awarded the 2014 "Michigan Association of Broadcasters" station of the year award. Deaf people can't hear obviously, so Ms. K may post again God will no doubt will continue to hold me personally responsible for sending more to hell while hundreds/thousands hear the radio message through these collective evangelistic efforts utilized by our home church. Come to think of it, my wife teaches a large kids Bible class for years, including for poor children, but she has never paid for an interpreter either! Add her name to the list of the judged as well. This, of course, is all nonsense.

Meanwhile, I assume Danny and Ms. K are constantly instead financing and promoting as many Gospel evangelistic outreaches as you both humanly can for the deaf- good for you!

Sam Sandler I have seen perform several times, and I really enjoy his program, particularly even just yesterday (this is a true story) I had surgery on both my own ear drums. I am not totally deaf, but I too have had many issues in that regard. But no, I never relied on an FCM program alone to bring me to Christ. Back to Sam, you do a great job, you are the best, I really enjoyed you at the FCM convention I believe it was two years ago. Great job. I praise God today that my surgery was successful and can hear even better today with more improvement expected if the follow up medications work. Sam, you have courage and enthusiasm, an active Light as commanded- You (us as individuals) are the Light of the World!

Yet now Danny, you point out to me that my commenting on these hyper critical posts is more than what you consider "healthy spiritually". Really? You know enough about me to judge me in that unflattering way? I have broad shoulders, sticks and stones, blah, blah...

This is absurd, I feel like an idiot even having to "defend" myself, this is a classic example why the radio announcers I work with never, ever respond to public postings or negative comments made about them as it is a hopeless cause.

Meanwhile, I assume Danny and Ms. K will be sending in their generous thousands of dollars in checks to the FCM (oh wait, do either of you even pay the yearly minimum dues?) for all the trained interpreters needed- put your money where your mouth is (one quote provided by a person mentioned in one of the posts said the FCM would have to pony up about $10,000 each year). That's the price given to us she estimated for the FCM to resolve her issues, and using of course the interpreters she suggested. Go for it, send your multi-thousand dollar checks to the FCM headquarters, address is on the FCM web site. Just trying to be helpful, then you too can recruit the unsaved deaf audience to the these programs and hope that guys like MagicBob and Sam or elected performers such as Steve or Oz do a good job that evening (as I don't believe either one of you are on the evening programs scheduled, are you?). Better hope they live up to your Gospel expectations for the deaf, but what if they don't? We can expect more of the same kind loving fellowship interaction as witnessed above? Maybe my post will now get axed for "flaming", one can only hope so.

What an unhealthy train wreck some of these above posts are (in my personal self-imposed spiritually healthy judgment). I know some of you will completely disagree, maybe providing yet another reason so now you can comment again here how God will condemn me further to Hades. Oh goodie, can't wait for that.

I wish you all good providence, maybe I'll will trying posting again in May or so and hope I won't get scorched again. Or maybe not, enough is enough, who knows.

Meanwhile, I will keep my "sharing" with the local Michigan FCMers I run across, including at the upcoming well done, fun and instructive Creative Arts confab (which I don't think they provide interpreters at either). Add them to the list of those the previous poster can condemn as well. The list just keeps longer, doesn't it?

Best wishes, I hope you all (especially non-FCMers) try to get along better in the this specifically FCM headed "sandbox" without having to call outside the "hall monitor" (who I have no idea who it is, that person certainly has not responded to me). Smile
Sam Sandler
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THX for the kid words magicbus.

Praying for wisdom and for our leaders of the FCM. God is in control and already knows the answer. We just need to seek Him and listen to what He is saying.

Sam
sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
http://www.samsandler.com
http://www.deafinitelymagic.com
Danny Kazam
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My daughter is hearing impaired. Who I choose to donate is my business. And now that you've had her posts deleted I think it's unfair that you are still harping about it.

I also don't pay FCM fee's. What's your issue about that? Are you going to tell me I am not allowed to post here? That it's only intended for FCM members. I've heard you complain about non FCM members posting here. I do believe FCM has their own forum. This is the MagiCafe.
Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.
harris
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Happy 3:16 Day


Love and prayers



Brother Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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jamiedoyle
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I'm not a moderator here - I don't want to be... but I want this thread to get back on track with it's initial purpose of discussing Examples of Really Bad Gospel Magic.

I feel that I've presented really bad Gospel magic when I've either been unprepared or when I am trying to cram a message or point into a prop or routine simply because I happen to like the trick, prop or routine.

So I have to be purposeful in preparing. That of course means to be read up on the topic, prayed up in regard to how to minister on that topic, practiced-up so I can adequately present the message and the magic in a balanced fashion... and of course, making sure the entire routine is set-up properly.

For some of the readers of this thread, some of this stuff will be a no-brainer... but it's what causes me to present really good or really bad Gospel magic
Jamie Doyle

jamiedoyle.com
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