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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Good News! » » Gospel magic vs. Christian illusionist (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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wassabi_87
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Personally I would present myself as a Christian illusionist, not only because it is one of the technically proper names, but I'm not always doing magic to present the gospel. So, I'm always a Christian but not always doing gospel magic.
bike during the day,
do magic at night,
and very early the next morning,
homework.
Tony Thomas
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I am resurecting an old post (very old) because I am curious if in the last four years there has been a significant change in attitude about this issue. The issue in this post was Gospel Magic vs. Christian Illusionist.

Personally, I have decided to go with "Family and Kids Show Magician". I am doing character assemblies in schools as well as church events, and think the Christian Illusionist title will be a large obsticle for public school principles to overcome.

I still perceive some resistance to the word magician in Christian circles, however in my church it is not significant. Only one person thus far has approached me in my large 2,500 (regular attendance) evangelical congregation that was bothered by using "magic" in the church. One other has encouraged me to use the word Illusion instead of magic.

I try to soften the magician word by couching it with the words "family and kids show". I think it's hard to associate demonic with family and kids show. But really, I think "Family and Kids Show Magician" most accurately describes what I do for both Christian and secular audiences.

Have y'all seen a shift in attitude regarding the word "magic" in the church?
From the Encouraging Magic of...

Tony Thomas

www.magictonythomas.com
Will L.
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I thought the root word for magic was magi.
Todays The Day.
Terry Owens
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Tony, what you need to do is seperate the two. If you're doing schools shows and other programs outside of a church enviroment, you do want to bill yourself as a Family and Kids Show Magician. So that would be one side of your business.

The other side of it is the ministry side which you could bill yourself as a Christian Entertainer or Christian Illusionist. I highly recommend that the two be seperate and even in advertising, two seperate websites and so forth... you need to not associate one with the other because it could hurt potential clients who would not book a Christian Illusionist thinking that you're going to be preaching at their audience, and on the other hand, if you advertise as you're doing, churches won't book you thinking that you are just an entertainer and not ministry oriented.

That's why I have two seperate domains, neither points to the other. One of the biggest problems guys have with their websites, they try to put everything under one umbrella, where it's best to seperate out each element like I suggested.

Be blessed
FriarShaun
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I prefer "Christian practitioner of the occultic arts" I think is sounds friendlier.
Tony Thomas
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Hey Terry,

I think your advise is solid. I have just finished my first website and I am trying to market to both Christian and secular audiences. I agree that it would be much easire to seperate the two. I'll probably get there soon.
From the Encouraging Magic of...

Tony Thomas

www.magictonythomas.com
Terry Owens
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I think the friar has been drinking too much juice. Smile
MindMyst
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It seems to me that Friar Shawn actually isn't drinkin' too much juice.
See, from my perspective, his is the most honest presentation of all
that I've read in this thread.

After all... we do put "the work" into the performances, otherwise such
would fail to astonish. And, here at the Café' "the work" is the antithesis
of honest. And, don't we keep "the work" secret? Yes we do.

And, doesn't "occult" mean "secret?" Yes it does. So, Friar Shawn
proposes to tell the spectators that he will astonish them (art) through
the use of secret (occult) methods (practise...inserting "the work").
And he bills himself
in this way. So, the specs know up front what their challenge will be.

At least he can sleep at night, knowing that he didn't sidestep his way
around putting "the work" into his brochure in order to get the job.


Joe Miller
The Truth Will Set Your Fee
http://mindmyst.blogspot.com/
Terry Owens
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If you don't want bookings in a church, you can call it anything you want...it's a free country.

If you're looking to partner with Evangelical churches then any one with a little business sense would know that would not be the thing to call what you did.

If you're in it to amuse yourself, perform in front of a mirror. If you want to entertain, or reach people, then you become sensitive to what might or might not work.
Joe Marotta
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I think Friar may have been speaking tongue in cheek, but that's just my guess. FriarShaun, can you confirm please? I don't want to put words in your mouth.
John Long
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From my experience, I have notice

1) Those from pentacostal/charismatic backgrounds seem much more likely to wonder what I mean when I say I do "magic", and overall, they seem more resistant to what I do as a magician.

2) In the non charismatic evangelical realm, the older Christians seem to be more likely to think levitation (e.g.; Balduci) is satanic, but comfortable calling the rest of the magic that we do as slight of hand.

3) Those from more liberal churches, don't care.

Yet, certainly there is great variation within each group.
Breathtaking Magic;
Not Breath Taking
Theodore Lawton
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This is a great, informative thread. I'm just starting out in the Gospel magic arena, so this is giving me a lot of insight.

As of now I prefer Gospel Magician because it lets people know what you're about right off the bat. I can see why Christian Illusionist might be a better idea in the log run for more mass appeal to sensitive Christian audiences. This has given me food for thought and I really appreciate it. Glad the Lord led me to this wonderful site.

God bless-

Preston
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
Dan Bernier
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So the problem seems to be with the wording and not the act itself. If someone has a problem with the wording of what I call myself rather than a problem with what I do, then I'm a fraid it's not enough to justify me changing what I call myself. Magic is magic, no matter what you want to change it to to accomadate someone's hyprocrisy. I would be more concerned about someone having a problem with what I do and not what I call myself.

"*One last verse, in I Corinthians 8
Paul talks about the liberties of being a Christian, and being careful not to offend "The Weaker Brother" going so far as to say, that if his eating meat were to offend his Brother (other Christians) that he wouldn't eat meat. (In his words, till the world ends.)"

If someone had a problem with the word "meat" should we change it to something else? In the end, no matter what you call it, it's still meat. We have to be concerned about our weaker brothers, but I seriously don't think this is what Paul was getting at in the verses you provided. If people had a problem with what I do, then that should concern me. Enough at least to make sure I don't perform magic for that person. Having a problem with the wording and not having a problem with what I do sounds very hyprocritical to me.
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
Theodore Lawton
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I agree with you Dan, that it sounds very hypocritical. What you are doing is much more significant than what you are called. Problem is, there are a lot of hypocrites out there. Both in the church and out. I know I'm guilty at times myself. Another problem is people bicker over words and their meanings all the time.

As I am just starting out, it's nice to read this now, before I've committed to anything yet. I wouldn't suggest changing the title of what someone does unless the Lord is leading them, but I know the bible teaches me to act in love above all else. This will probably affect what I do decide to call myself, if I ever reach the point of performing professionally.

If the Lord has led you to call yourself a magician, then He will be at work in all that you do, and may use even the very argument over that word to reach out to people, break down barriers, etc. "Be strong and of good courage, for I am with you wherever you go," comes to mind. Same with calling yourself an Illusionist; if we are led by prayer and the Holy Spirit then we will be moving in the right direction even if we offend people sometimes. How many times have you unintentionally offended someone over something trivial? (To you) No matter what we do, someone will be offended.

You can't please everyone all the time.

Again, thanks and God bless

Preston-
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
Terry Owens
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But...though illusionist means one thing to us, illusion is exactly what we do...we are making something look like it's happening when it's really not. Thus it was an illusion...so that's why we can use it when it comes to churches.
CurtWaltermire
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I agree with Terry Owens with regards to being sensitive to the people you're trying to reach.

As much as it sounds like the use of the term "Christian Illusionist" is simply playing some sort of game of political correctness, I think it is simply just using wisdom to give yourself the best in-road to the hearts of the people you're trying to reach or are performing for. It doesn't mean that you have to change who you are or compromise your own standards. I think it goes along with what the Scripture says about "comforting the feebleminded." After all, it's really not about US, it's about THEM, isn't it? It's about THE MESSAGE, right?

I am not wanting to haggle about which term is correct to use when, but I am just pointing out the idea that the more we realize that what we do is for others, and not really about US, then should we not use every possible means at our disposal to do so?

There are people who will strive about words, and it is indeed of no REAL importance if what is being done doesn't change. As far as us illusionists/magicians are concerned, what difference does it make to us what we call ourselves if it helps us to do what we are trying to do? I heard a well-known porn-star say in an interview once (on one of those cable MTV channels, I believe) that she just likes "giving of herself to bring happiness and pleasure to people." Regardless of what she said, it didn't change the fact that she was an adulterer, fornicator, etc., and I venture to say that no one thought of her as more virtuous as a result of her choice of words, but rather laughed, as I did, at what she said. That is not the same type of hypocrisy here because we know that what we are doing is not a cover-up to something that is otherwise sinful, though some people erroneously perceive it to be.

We could absolutely wear ourselves out trying to cover every imaginable base in order not to EVER offend ANYONE. Having realized that, should we then say "Well, people are going to be offended anyway, so I'm just going to be who I am and if people don't like it they can lump it?" I think not. Aren't we to "follow peace with all men?" Should we not at least do what we can do to put out any fires of offense that we see kindling? Sure people will still fight it, but what can you then do? I think that many a christian magician can learn not to take themselves so very seriously and realize just what it is they're trying to accomplish.

Do the best you can. Offend as few as you can. And be sure to give the glory to God and do it all as unto the Lord.

In Christ,

Curtis
http://www.CurtisMagic.com
Dan Bernier
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I understand what you're saying Curtis, but how far do we take that? If we change our title everytime someone has a problem with it, then what happens when someone has a problem with the word "illusionist"? What do we change it to them? I totally agree with being sensitive to others, but what about those who are offended by christians who perform magic?(There are many of them) Shouldn't we be sensitive to them as well and stop performing magic? Because like you said, it's not about us, it's about them and God right?
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
Terry Owens
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If they have that much trouble though, they wouldn't be booking us in the first place...The term Christian Illusionist pretty much spells out what we do and it is user friendly. There are pastors that might be open to having you, but knows that some in the church would have problems with "magician" but calling yourself an illusionist would make him/her more comfortable and opens the doors for booking.

What I would recomend is setting up a ministry title...for example I go by Total Family Ministries, that says nothing about magic, but yet when they book me, it's one of the main elements in my program. If you specialize in reaching children, you could call yourself a Children's Ministries specialist (which I actually held that position in North Carolina for our denomination and was supported by our denomination to do that), a Family Ministries Specialist or Children's Evangelist.

For every church, ministry and magician, there's a business side of it, so if you want bookings, then you need to be church friendly. If they ask what you do, and they start to balk at it, then you politely tell them that maybe you wouldn't be the right ministry to come. I've turned down churches, big churches, that I didn't think that my ministry would fit...

Bottom line, your ministry is not meant to be in every church, it's okay if they don't want you...it's more important to have a God appointment than just doing a show.
Dan Bernier
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I've also come to realize that it would also depend on geographics. If you lived in Saleem for example, I suppose calling yourself a christian magician probally wouldn't go over well.(lol)

Terry, Curtis, I'm not saying that I disagree with either of you, but I guess I have never faced the situation of someone having a problem with my title. I have yet to have someone express to me that they have a problem with my use of the totle "Gospel magician". I suppose that if enough people showed concern about it, I might contemplate changing it. Right now, the word "magic", or calling myself a Gospel magician seems to work for me. I have never even questioned it until I found this thread. However, I understand that because I don't perform my Gospel magic on a huge scale like others do, I may be prone to be bias on this situation.

I do think I raise a valid point when I ask how far do we go. Someone has a problem with the word "magic" so we change it, but when someone has a problem with christians using magic we just dust off our shoes and move on. The rule for changing the wording of our title should also apply to those who are against magic being performed by christians. I will be first to admit that I use magic in my Gospel presentations because it's fun, and I enjoy it. I guess I'm guilty of thinking about my needs and wants when it comes to using magic tricks to present the Gospel. However, I am very cautious about using material that may be offensive to some people, and I don't just do what I do because I enjoy magic, but because I love the Lord Jesus Christ and desire to serve Him.
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
CurtWaltermire
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Dan,

You do indeed raise a valid point when you ask the question "how far do we go?" and I don't claim to have any right answer to that question other than to say "only as far as necessary." There are going to be people who are absolutely insatiable, but I believe those are really few in number, frustrating though it is to encounter them. However, even though the same sorts of objections can be raised repeatedly by many different people, each person and situation, though similar to us, is different and must be handled differently.

In my last post I was only trying to warn against a stance that I believe could possibly cause us to harden our hearts towards people. There are those people who are contentious because of their pride, and others that raise objections out of ignorance and need to be educated or are truly waiting to be proven wrong. If I can do as the Bible says and "subvert the hearer" (i.e. get them to listen and accept what I'm telling them), then I'm accomplishing something and good is coming of it, and there is edification. Otherwise, I'm "striving about vain words to no profit." It is at that point that I have to make a decision as to which way to take it from there, even if it is unpleasant or awkward. We can't always please everyone, and it is even more unfortunate when it is people who we are supposed to be serving the Lord with!

Anyway, once again that's my $.02 for what its worth. God bless each of you.

Curtis
http://www.CurtisMagic.com
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