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daffydoug
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I have often pondered the possibility of putting together a Gospel magic show, but I have been hesitant because having been in a few churches in my life, I know how these minds think.

I suppose my hesitation has been because I feel it is impossible to put together
a show that will please the myriad of denominations that are out there. Surely, no matter how you try, there are going to be people offended because some detail of what you do or say will go against the grain of their specific doctrines. How can this be overcome?

I hope I'm wrong and that some of you can set me straight on this.

Daff
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Danny Kazam
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Find the common denominator. Don't try to proselytize. Your main focus should be to entertain while presenting the Good News. If you are in a church performing for Christians, it's a safe bet they will all have heard the message. Your job is simply to make that message entertaining. Otherwise, why would they hire an entertainer. Keep the message simple but straight forward.
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ChrisG
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I would ask is this program be a job or a ministry? If this is ministry I would suggest that you put together a program that fits with your church beliefs and book a few shows. Once you work that out you will find using bible stories and scripture there will be little problem going from one denomination to another. Respect is the key.

I would stay away from the churches whose teachings are so different from yours that you struggle with "will I offend". There are plenty of children's books out there that are used by all Christian denominations to base your patter on. Even when I do programs for adults I use basic children's stories. Also 80% of my program has no christian teaching, just good family fun.

Hope that helps

Chris
"Consensus is the negation of Leadership"

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DougTait
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Daff;
If you are a committed Christian who a personal relationship with Christ, a Gospel magic program that simply illustrates the truth of scripture will transcend most denominations. If a church group shows interest in having a magician perform for them, it indicates that they will accept the presentation of magic.

You seem to be painting all churches with a very broad brush ["I know how these minds think"] which is very unfair. I don't know how to take your comment that you have been in a few churches in you life literaly or not.

Please don't take offense, but if your desire is to increase your target audience by including churches but don't have the calling to spread the Gospel - Do Not attempt this. You will most likely fail. Your skill with manipulation of effects may be perfect, but if your message does not come form a Christ-committed heart, I can guarantee you will be seen as disengenuous and most importantly, you will be doing a terrible disservice to you audience and to the Author of the book.

I have seen a few non-committed magicians attempt this and it was very ugly for all concerned and also puts Gospel Magicians in a very bad light.

That's my advice, for what it's worth. If I have misjudged you motivation - disregard all above Smile

Best wishes,

(Not too daffy) Doug
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing."
daffydoug
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Actually, I appreciate the advice (any and all)

When I say I've been in several churches, I am not exagerating. Everything from Baptist to Catholic, to  Lutheran, Presbetarian, Assembly of God, Pentecostal, Church of Christ and more.  In other words, through the decades, I've been around.

When I say I have considered putting together a Gospel presentation, I'm saying I've had the idea for a loooooong time. 

The problem is that my experience around performing magic around churches (casual performances of things such as sponge balls, ropes, etc) has been the experience of being  judged, condemned for the use of EVIL magic, which they have likened to witch craft and devil posession. 

I can't explain to you how an innocent sponge ball routine or something equally inocuous (Proffesors nightmare) can be construed as witchcraft or occult, but you need to take my word for it, I've experienced it.

Or the time I used the needle through the balloon routine to illustrate my testimony, and they rose up and just about tossed me out of the church.

Or the time I was in the grocery store purchasing a deck of cards, and some people from
the church were there and saw me and said (loud enough for the whole store to hear) "Oh brother! You shouldn't be buying those brother!! Those are the devils tools!"

Or the one couple from a church I was attending who found out I performed magic and called me into their home to excoriate me and tell me " Brother, you need to give up this magic stuff! It's evil! We saw a demon sitting on your shoulder as you were walking down the street!"

Or the one church that started a bonfire and burned my magic books and effects.

I'm telling you, I've been through the mill. And what I've shared here is only the beginning. I've had many of these negative experiences around religious folk, so when I say I know how they think, I'm talking from personal experience.

But I've still not given up the idea of performing a gospel show. 

Four the past several weeks, I've been attending a new church where I believe the Lord has lead me. And I seem to be pretty well accepted. But I haven't yet told them that I am a magician. (Or illusionist to soften the blow) 

You see, I don't quite know HOW to tell them, after all I've experienced in the past. I'm almost afraid of the condemnation or rejection that will follow. But on the other hand, I don't know if I can keep it a secret forever.
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Dougini
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I hear ya Daff'!

Been there, done that and got the T-shirt myself! I will probably never do Gospel magic again! I also have belonged to just about every denomination from Baptist to Catholic, to Lutheran, Presbyterian, First Assembly of God, Pentecostal, Church of Christ, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventist, Mormon...every one of them is flawed. Hey, that's expected...we're human. I know enough now, not to do magic for most of them.

I got a REAL bad taste in my mouth for religion. Yeah, I've gone through the "saved" experience, and I've also had some really bizarre experiences I won't relate here. I don't do "church". I find it unecessary and distracting. I know a lot of people who go because "they have to". They sit there and roll their eyes and can't wait for it to end. That's my experience.

And Daff', it's not just religious people...there are some that just plain flat out think magic is evil! They are really afraid of it! They can bring your show to a QUICK end! But yeah, this fanatical religious nonsense really torks me. A lot of these holy rollers don't even know The Truth! They're too busy sending you to Hell! Those are the ones you really have to be careful about.

Doug
Sam Sandler
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You know I was not going to comment but I read these types of post far to often and truthfully I am completely confused by them!

I have performed in every type of church you can imagine. I have performed my illusion show in the
Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in philly!!! as well as other catholic churches, baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, non denominational, assembly of God, and even Mennonite churches. Heck I just performed and preached the same day at a Mennonite church 2 weeks ago! I have performed for Jewish organizations both Jews for Jesus and non christian Jews from Orthodox to Lubovitch!

so what does that all mean!? it means the first thing I did before I started any ministry work was to seek God and find out where HE wants me to go.
problem solved!

look there are indeed people out there that will question whether you are using satanic powers to accomplish your tricks but that is just an opportunity to witness to them and unleash the truth of Gods love with them.
scripture tells us that we will be persecuted for the simple fact that we are spreading the good news. regardless whether it is thru magic or just preaching. But James tells us to "count it as PURE joy" when we face these trials and tribulations.

I do both. I preach in many churches as well as present my shows. some times its a family night some times it is an outreach program.

the sad reality is that there are too many Christians that are lost! we have lost the real meaning of having a relationship with God thru Jesus and the Holy Spirit. we are to quick to judge others. we are too worried about being judged.

how is it that I could have worked in all those situations and yet no one ever stoned me. its because I put God first and let the Holy spirit lead.
DO NOT TAKE THAT AS I AM SOME KIND OF SPECIAL GODLY SERVANT I do not mean that I am holier then thou. I am stating that the fact is I went to God and I let the Holy Spirit lead and when you do that you don't have to worry about the road He leads you down. He has a purpose for you and where He leads us is where He wants us. we just have to be willing to go there.

so the first thing I think you should do is if you are indeed a believer then go into you bedroom your living room somewhere where you can be alone and quiet and get on you hands and knees and seek the Lord. (and I actually mean physically getting on your knees! ASK HIM. where you should go. who you should pitch the show too. are you even supposed to have this show?

the Sheep will know the shepherds voice! Ask and it shall be given, knock and the door shall be open.

God is waiting for you to come to Him and seek Him for the answers you desire.

also keep in mind
Andre Kole
Harris the III
and many others besides myself an them perform regularly in churches all across the country and around the Globe.

praying for you my friend.

sam
sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
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Mike Maturen
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Most of the "magic is evil" nonsense comes as a knee-jerk reaction based in ignorance ( I KNOW I'm gonna get flamed now!). There are a few "out there" denominations that magic, music, theatre, make-up AND thinking any differently will all get you condemned to hell...all while the pastor is fat (read: gluttonous). This is NOT a slam against fat people...but rather a way to make a point about hypocrisy. I'M going to hell because I perform magic, while HE isn't...even though he is involved with one of the "seven deadly sins". Hmmmmm.

That being said...I am NOT against organized religion. In fact, I am a zealous and committed member of (probably) one of the world's MOST organized religion: The Roman Catholic Church. I have NEVER been condemned by ANYONE in the Catholic Church for what I do. In fact, I perform at LEAST two shows per year for my local parish (including one this coming weekend for a four-parish dinner celebration). I have performed in the presence of the Bishop...and even used him as the "target" in one of my "sucker tricks".

I can say the same of almost ANY denomination I have ever been involved in. I have been many things over the decades...easiest now just to call myself a CatholiChariBaptiCostal. I have performed for Baptists, Brethren-In-Christ, Catholic, and a whole host of other denominations at official Church functions.

Only ONCE was I condemned by a Church for being involved with the Magical Performing Arts. I will not mention the denomination here because I do not want to start a flame war.

My philosophy for performing magic in Churches is fairly simple: I provide family-friendly entertainment WITHOUT an overtly religious theme. Even though I AM a preacher, and an ordained minister, I feel that it is NOT my ministry to preach in this sort of setting. That's what they pay their pastor for. I will at times throughout my show use and effect to illustrate a Christian Truth (such as the Professor's Nightmare to illustrate how, though we are all different, God sees us as equal in His eyes), I do not get overtly "preachy"...that's NOT what an audience is looking for.

My opinion, and ONLY my opinion...but it seems to work for me.
Mike Maturen
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daffydoug
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Man, it's great to get feedback that let's me know I'm not alone and not just imagining it.

Oh, I still go to church. I've found, or more accurately,the Lord LEAD me to a church in town, here, where I'm pretty at peace, so far.  BUT (and this is the biggie) I haven't yet revealed to them that I do magic. I've kept it under wraps so far, intentionally, because of reasons I mentioned.

When they find out, that will be the real test to determine whether I am to be, or not to be, to quote the Bard.

There have been times in the past when I merely MENTION the word "magic" and it's like I touched someone with an electric cattle prod!
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Danny Kazam
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Just because someone is fat doesn't mean they are a glutton. I mention that because you stated fat people and linked them to one of the seven deadly sins. Just thought iI would correct you by saying being fat is not a sin, nor is it a sign that someone is. Smile
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.
Stephon Johnson
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I find that the only "safe" biblical presentation is to use magic to illustrate a "parable". Basically using the scripture as the patter, and letting the effect mesh with the story simply as a visual. With parables, the Holy Spirit will prick the heart and consciences of those He draws to Himself, and the others will hear a nice story. Exactly the way parables have always been used.
If I am going to present something evangelistic in nature, I would do that as an open air performance and hand out tracts afterward. A good street witnessing trick is to make up 3D cash or Extreme burn to finish up with Million Dollar Bill tracts and give them away. PM me if interested in the patter for that.
I would either do as Mike mentioned and stick to "good family show" or just outline in your sales flyer what doctrines you will represent in your show (Trinity, Salvation by Grace Alone, Predestination etc...). What I could NOT live with, is doing a "watered down" fuzzy gospel show that doesn't present clear Theology and Doctrine, but just a "God loves You" universalism theme. Go True to your beliefs or go "non gospel", Hot or Cold. If it is "lukewarm" I will spew it out of my routine. Blessings!
WHAT IF you wake up tomorrow with ONLY the things that you THANK GOD for today?
Mike Maturen
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Agreed, Danny. But I have been at a few too many church potlucks in my day to be able to see the difference. LOL.

As an aside, the same could be said, then, of magicians. Too many followers of Christ (and they TEND to come from the same church background) are quick to judge what we do based on a WORD ("magic"). Just as a "fat person" is not always a glutton, a magician isn't always a follower of the devil Smile

I WILL agree, however, that sometimes we do ourselves more harm than good in the personas we take on when we perform.


Quote:
On 2013-05-28 09:52, Danny Kazam wrote:
Just because someone is fat doesn't mean they are a glutton. I mention that because you stated fat people and linked them to one of the seven deadly sins. Just thought iI would correct you by saying being fat is not a sin, nor is it a sign that someone is. Smile
Mike Maturen
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Mike Maturen
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Good use of the Scriptures in your analogy, Stephon! I preached a whole series one time on "lukewarm Christianity". One of the interesting things I found is that the word nicely translated as "spew" in the Scriptures is actually more accurately translated as "vomit".

Therefore, if we are lukewarm in our belief, Jesus says, he will vomit us out of his mouth.

Brings the idea to a whole new light, no?


Quote:
On 2013-05-28 12:42, Stephon Johnson wrote:
I find that the only "safe" biblical presentation is to use magic to illustrate a "parable". Basically using the scripture as the patter, and letting the effect mesh with the story simply as a visual. With parables, the Holy Spirit will prick the heart and consciences of those He draws to Himself, and the others will hear a nice story. Exactly the way parables have always been used.
If I am going to present something evangelistic in nature, I would do that as an open air performance and hand out tracts afterward. A good street witnessing trick is to make up 3D cash or Extreme burn to finish up with Million Dollar Bill tracts and give them away. PM me if interested in the patter for that.
I would either do as Mike mentioned and stick to "good family show" or just outline in your sales flyer what doctrines you will represent in your show (Trinity, Salvation by Grace Alone, Predestination etc...). What I could NOT live with, is doing a "watered down" fuzzy gospel show that doesn't present clear Theology and Doctrine, but just a "God loves You" universalism theme. Go True to your beliefs or go "non gospel", Hot or Cold. If it is "lukewarm" I will spew it out of my routine. Blessings!
Mike Maturen
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mikematuren@gmail.com

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Ed_Millis
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Daff, I used to be one of those people!! I knew about tricks with cards and coins -- but that table thingy and how he knew what they were thinking .... Needless to say, I felt very, very ~stupid!~ when I came across an Abbott's catalog one day!!

To "reveal" your inclinations towards this "hobby", I'd suggest requesting a private audience with the pastor. Be prepared to both floor him and then show him, and then explain how nothing else is more magical than that. If you have his support, you can then refer any nay-sayers to him and let him back you up.

You say you feel God led you to this church. If so, then He will open doors for you - and close others. Bottom line, though, is that He is always good towards you (Romans 8:28). Some of the people you have to sit next to -- well, that may be a different story! (For that, I use Matt 18:15-17 and related verses.) But it also says that He puts us where He wants us. It might not always be the place _I_ would choose to put me. But then I have to ask myself two questions: (A) Who knows better - me or Him?, and (B) Who is Lord - me or Him?

I have turned down churches for the simple reason that I don't want to dance between the land mines. I have certain definite beliefs, and I can't see going into some place that I *know* believes completely different on some major issues - one or the other of us is just going to be waiting for the "Kaboom!" Having a performer and a pastor/priest/elder/etc holding their breath through an entire show is not good!

And then again, given the testimony of others, that seems to simply be how God is leading me right now. Next year might be different. And that's the great thing about all of this. It's a relationship, not conformance to a set of regulations. All four of my kids had different interests, but they were all my children and I supported them equally. I would expect no less from your Heavenly Father. It's all journey as long as we're down here, and there are changes of direction - up, down, and sideways - that we are expected to follow with trust and joy. Remember - Jesus said "easy yoke" and "light burden". If it starts getting heavy, there might be something wrong!

Ed
Stephon Johnson
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2 Tim 3:12: Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. (NKJVS)

Presenting the Gospel as entertainment is almost an oxymoron. The Gospel is, by nature, offensive and hated by the unsaved. And just looking to God for direction and open doors does NOT mean smooth sailing. Stephen was speaking precisely what God desired him to say, and He was martyred for it.
It has already been said to decide if you are doing business or ministry. Business necessitates that you provide what the customer pays for. Ministry means you speak the truth in and out of season, looking only to please and glorify the Master!
Thought provoking for sure! BLESSINGS!
WHAT IF you wake up tomorrow with ONLY the things that you THANK GOD for today?
daffydoug
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Ed, when you said " To "reveal" your inclinations towards this "hobby", I'd suggest requesting a private audience with the pastor. Be prepared to both floor him and then show him, and then explain how nothing else is more magical than that. If you have his support, you can then refer any nay-sayers to him and let him back you up. "
did you mean show him a magic effect in private, and then show him the secret so he can clearly see that no supernatural means are employed?
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
DougTait
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Daffy;
Wow! Like Sam Sandler, I am taken aback at your experiences with churches condeming you for practicing magic etc. I am 67 years old, have lived in 8 different states and three countries, have been a member of Congregational, Baptist, Brethren in Christ, Menonite, Methodist and Non-denominational churches and have never had a single person remark that magic was evil or of satan.

I had one individual that I worked with who was a Pentacostal remark that I shouldn't be doing "that stuff". After a Matthew 12 discussion about a house divided, satan casting out satan etc, he had no response, but still mantained magic was of the devil. I shook the dust off my feet and avoided the subject from then on as did he.

That said, I have no common ground with which to offer any advice or comment on how to proceed but wish you success in the future.

Doug
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing."
Ed_Millis
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Quote:
On 2013-05-28 19:00, daffydoug wrote:
Ed, when you said " To "reveal" your inclinations towards this "hobby", I'd suggest requesting a private audience with the pastor. Be prepared to both floor him and then show him, and then explain how nothing else is more magical than that. If you have his support, you can then refer any nay-sayers to him and let him back you up. "
did you mean show him a magic effect in private, and then show him the secret so he can clearly see that no supernatural means are employed?


Yes, that's my thoughts. For a couple of reasons.
-- As your pastor, he is responsible before God for the "care and feeding" of the flock he is shepherding. He needs to know what the "sheep" are eating, and if he's never had to face this before then he needs to be reassured that it is on the level and not "satanic".
-- Should some "fuddy" arise, then hopefully the pastor will rise in the authority of his office and the knowledge of the truth (which you have provided him) and defend you.
-- I have to make the assumption that this pastor feels the call and annointing to stand in his office and minister in the Spirit. If so, then a part of that annointing and office is a measure of wisdom and insight that God will give His annointed leaders. You need that.
-- Lastly, the Kingdom of God was not meant to be a disconnected group of people sitting next to each other every Sunday like rocks in a box. Rather, the Kingdom - and the churches that express it - are meant to be relational. "Iron sharpening iron", the "three-fold cord", and parts of the samd body come to mind. One aspect of this is opening your heart and making yourself vulnerable to someone you trust, so they can give their strength into the weak and wounded areas of your heart.

Sorry for the long post.
More like 4 1/2 cents!!
Ed
daffydoug
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  Posted: May 29, 2013 7:35am                          
Ed, 

Funny you should mention it. Because actually, I had toyed with that idea in my mind many times. I have imagined his face when he sees how simple it is, and learns how EASILY he was decieved. Or more accurately, when he sees how easily the human mind is deceived. 

That is of course, if he allows me to get through the effect in it's entirety without laying hands on me and casting the devil out. (Or throwing me out of his office) 

Doug...Doug envies you. You have had a very blessed life in that you haven't encountered the kind of people I have. I can't say that I have been so blessed. The anecdotes I've shared are real. And they are only the tip of the iceburg. I have had many more of these encounters. You haven't lived until you have pulled a coin or a sponge ball out of a child's ear and someone accuses you of being a witch doctor or even Satan himself. Or you haven't had the fun of doing professor's nightmare or a colorful balloon trick and they are ready to burn you at the stake or chase you through the streets like Frankenstein's monster. 

I could SEE if I had the appearance of Max Maven. But I've always come across as sweet, smiling, loveable Dougie. I'm just me. 

I've even been in churches who believe God doesn't approve the use of puppets or ventriloquism for ministry. 


I wish you could walk a mile in my shoes. 

Or rather, I would have preferred to walk many miles in YOUR shoes. becsuse you've had it easy. 
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
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Daffy Doug:

Based on my own personal experience with some of these folks, I would tend to guess that MOST of them come from one particular "brand" of Christianity. I would simply avoid them. They will NEVER change their minds about magic. Long story short, they are simply ignorant, they operate out of ignorance, and they take what the Pastor says and make it true without EVER checking it out for themselves.

In my opinion, these types are to be avoided, not coddled. All they do is end up dragging you down the path of weirdness.
Mike Maturen
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