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Mike Ince
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I read this verse on someone's blog as they were explaining what is wrong with sorcery. The sorcerer, according to the blogger, wants to take credit for doing things that only God can do.

Does this trip anyone else up? Even if I tell my audience what I'm doing is fake, and even if every single one of them believes it's fake, do people like magic because it tickles their desire to be like God?

For the past 6 years I've done mental magic and mindreading shows. Truth is, other than you only God knows your innermost thoughts. "For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God." (1 Corinthians 2:11)

God caused Christ to ascend. Magician's pretend to have that power. For entertainment. Does adding the phrase "for entertainment" change anything about our real motives to be respected for having powers we don't actually possess?
The secret of deception is in making the truth seem ridiculous.
Craig Logan
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It is cause for reflection, but I believe the same could be said about any art. We create things (songs, paintings, illusions, books, and videos) as entertainment and expression. For me, magic doesn't evoke a dark desire to become like God, it kindles a childlike sense of wonder that gets lost on the way to adulthood. It is always good to do a gut check, though, to determine our motives.
"A wizard is not to be made in a day." -Professor Hoffmann (Modern Magic)
Mike Ince
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Agreed. My gutchecks lead me to uncomfortable questions. Why should we use deception to create wonder when the universe is full of wonders? When we point to God's wonders He'll outshine us in every way. He invented the concept of wonder. Children lose their sense of wonder perhaps because they stop learning. Give an adult a telescope or a TV series on the universe (or on animal biology and behavior) and he'll feel wonder.

If we're really after creating wonder there are probably better ways to do it than magic. It's easier to give God the credit for the powerful, miraculous things He has done. I think of Louis Giglio's presentations. The linking rings can't follow that.

I'm also convinced there are far more effective and efficient ways to entertain and express a message.
The secret of deception is in making the truth seem ridiculous.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Http://fcm.org/usa/should-a-christian-do-magic/

One take above from the fellowship of Christian magicians.

I try to do all things for the glory of God.
This covers my Dr laughs program as well as things like
Taking out the trash or other daily things I get to do.


Pray and may the Holy Spirit guide you in discernment.

Love and prayers

Brother Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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music, magic and marvelous toys
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Terry Holley
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Mike,

Don't overthink it. Just my 2 cents. Feel free to leave the change.

Terry
Co-author with illusionist Andre' Kole of "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena."
Donald Dunphy
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I prefer to think of magic entertainment as being more about mystery. If someone told you spoilers from story (book, movie, etc.), wouldn't that wreck it? It's fine to create mystery, and it's fine to enjoy mystery. I'm not actually claiming that I have genuine supernatural powers... and when someone guesses at a sucker trick (or wants to understand how any magic trick or illusion works), it's pretty clear that they don't believe I have supernatural powers, either.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
randyburtis
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Ahhh, but if, say they think int he sucker trick it is done by method a, and then at the end of the trick it surprizes them, they then know the method they thought wasn't how it actually worked, so if they couldn't figure it out with their method maybe it means there is more to it than method....?So maybe a sucker effect actually CAN reinfirce that maybe it isn't done by natural means because their natual means idea was proven wrong...
Randy Burtis
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Donald Dunphy
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One natural means (method), doesn't mean the ONLY natural means (method).

Let's say you're reading a book (or watching a movie), and you think you know who the bad guy is. But it doesn't turn out to be who you suspect. Or the ending doesn't finish in the way you were guessing. The mystery is still valid (possibly even better / more enjoyable), even though you think you had it solved.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Stephon Johnson
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Mike,
I for one am with you 100% on the line of thinking you struggle with. I often think about what motivates us to want to do magic for each other, I mean the ROOT beginning, basic urge to do it? Like you, it makes me uncomfortable what I find when asking those questions. I think everyone will, IF they're honest with themselves. I can't help but be concerned that maybe I'm doing it because it makes me feel powerful or special, or frankly anything that makes it about ME and not God. It is a good, healthy and Godly thing to honestly examine and question your motives! I commend you, and join you! How many here could say that we would Sell all our magic/mentalist stuff tomorrow and walk away from it if we felt convicted of idolatry? Sobering!
WHAT IF you wake up tomorrow with ONLY the things that you THANK GOD for today?
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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My own experience is I come from a different place when I started to play Praise and Worship music in church and share my testimony through the arts.

Yes I was full of Ego
E. Edging
G. God
O. Out

Going from the flesh to Holy Spirit filled (see Romans 7 & 8)

In the past I was more comfortable on the stage it was the off time that was difficult.
I share my love for The Lord in many ways not the arts discussed here.

Isn't it good to continue to question our motives. Not just the surface ones which are "prettier" than the ones below?

I also would say yes.

Love brother Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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randyburtis
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Going to a Scooby Doo concept, in solving their mysteries they were looking for natural means to resolve what appeared to be supernatural means, and they would find a natural means for it, but often they would close with a subtle"one off" type thing tht would still at times leave a hint the supernatural could still be a potential out there.

Using a televangelist example, where supernatural/spiritual display presented as authentic, and then later proven to be fake/natural method,people will STILL follow and attribute spiritual influence to this person.

Now we argue in the later cases folks need to look at the evidence and connect the dots, and we can't really be held responsible for their obviously blind decision, in the Scooby example, there is evidence presented but if there is hint(and our hint is we only say it is natural means we never reveal the method, so despite our words and even heart- there is room for assumptions and interpretations), does that mean there is level of responsibility we still carry?

(Enjoying playing the part of the other side on this as I am on Donalds side on this in reality)
Randy Burtis
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harris
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Harris Deutsch
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I take my God very serious and with reverence, while taking myself lightly.
Though I wouldn't use another's line. Someone (perhaps it was Harry Anderson) used to say. IT'S A TRICK!

Been back in the Bible more than reading and posting on the Café.

Love
brother Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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Mike Ince
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Quote:
On Apr 3, 2014, Terry Holley wrote:
Mike,

Don't overthink it. Just my 2 cents. Feel free to leave the change.

Terry


I wish I could let it go. I'm afraid, though, that nagging doubts would cripple me for the rest of my performances. "Anything that does not come from faith is sin," therefore I have to come to peace with this. I'm grateful for prayers, thoughts, and challenging perspectives. God can lead me through the briar patch of scrupulosity.

There is a deep ethical dilemma for the mindreading entertainer; even if he gives a clear verbal disclaimer that his abilities aren't real (something most mentalists aren't willing to do), if he’s skilled and performs convincing mindreading many audience members choose to believe the mindreading they experience, not the disclaimer they hear. The late mentalist David Hoy often opened his performances by saying, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I am a psychic… and a fake!” He is said to have spoken with a woman after a show who told him, “I know you had to give that disclaimer for legal reasons, but can you help me? I've lost my dog. Please help me find him.” This is a common scenario for mentalists.

If you do your job right as magician or mentalist and perform effects that seem impossible to explain, no disclaimer you give can keep certain audience members from believing what you're doing is real. Mentalists face the issue more often.

This is the reason I don't take questions about the future in my shows. I don't know the future, God does. Don't ask me about the future, ask Him. If He doesn't answer, He doesn't want to tell you at the moment and there's nothing you can do to find out. Live by principle and leave the future to God.

A scrupulous performer can always choose to perform unconvincingly with brightly painted props covered in decals of rabbits and genies in turbans. I don't like the sound of that. The furthest I've gone is to tell the audience it isn't real, use an eyebrow pencil to create a mustache while I talk to the audience about the flim-flam artists of Spiritualism's history. And STILL I had a lady ask, "How long have you had your gift?"

A big ethical obstacle for me at the moment is this: why pretend to have godlike abilities? Why do audiences enjoy seeing someone pretend to have those abilities? Is it because they imagine possessing the powers faked by the performer? If so, is that reflective of the human desire to be like God?

I have enjoyed performing magic and befriending magicians for over 24 years. At the moment I'm not sure I could take a gig if somebody said, "Mike, we'll pay you $5,000 to come perform at our church," or, "Mike, how about $500 for speaking at a ladies' luncheon?" I've stopped advertising my ebook because I'm not sure I should help anyone else to perform the effects inside of it. And I really, really need money right now. I'm basically unemployed without unemployment benefits. God is providing.

If you're willing, join me in this prayer:
Answer me, Lord, because I'm doubtful and you require me to act in faith. Put my confusing thoughts to rest. Be glorified by my performances, by my words, by my thoughts.
If I can't perform a certain effect in good faith, or if I can't perform magic or mentalism at all with confidence, then make me willing to lay it aside. Amen.
The secret of deception is in making the truth seem ridiculous.
Regan
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Our talents come from God, it's up to us to use them for His glory. I know magic is an effective way to get a message across. I have seen things stick with people (kids and adults) for years. I am a singer, songwriter, and musician as well as a magician. God wants us to enjoy life and both music and magic help me to do that. I hope it brings joy to my audiences as well. I fell we should use the talents God has given us but to always God the glory!
Mister Mystery
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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I pray that you and I, get to know God better.

The cost of discipleship is great.


love and prayers

Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
Mike Ince
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To quote a brother from another thread, "Being good at something doesn't automatically qualify it as a God glorifying gift."

Could Simon the Sorcerer continue to perform his fake miracles after his conversion? He was good at it. Could have slapped a disclaimer on it saying, "for entertainment purposes only," but would it have been right?

The skills necessary to do magic can be used for other things. Our skills include public speaking, scriptwriting, problem-solving, stage movement, acting, etc.

Thanks for the replies.
The secret of deception is in making the truth seem ridiculous.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Though I still include gospel illusions, my church and other programs are

speaking, puppet/ventriloquism/ and music heavy.


Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
Jay Jennings
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Quote:
On Apr 9, 2014, Mike Ince wrote:
Our skills include public speaking, scriptwriting, problem-solving, stage movement, acting, etc.


Acting? You mean pretending to be somebody you are not? Isn't that deception?

If no, then how is performing magic any different? You're telling a story to get a point across (or as "relax and enjoy" entertainment).

You also said something earlier about us trying to have godlike abilities. The "ability" to bend a spoon, or know what is written on a folded piece of paper, is so far from the power of my God that it's not even in the same galaxy.

Is it even Supernatural?

Can you benchpress 800 pounds? No, and you don't know anybody who can. So when someone does it, do you assume it is a supernatural happening? No, it's someone who has developed their physical body to the point where they can do something that almost nobody else can.

So if a person can tell what somebody else is thinking, why does that have to be supernatural? Isn't it possible that person has just developed their mental abilities to the point where they can do something that almost nobody else can? You may say that's not possible, but you wouldn't be stating a fact. You'd be stating an opinion.


Jay
Regan
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Quote:
On Apr 9, 2014, Mike Ince wrote:
To quote a brother from another thread, "Being good at something doesn't automatically qualify it as a God glorifying gift."



Yes, I agree. But a talent is still a God-given gift. It is up to us to use it to glorify Him. Any talent, like many other of God's gifts that He allows us to use and enjoy can be used for good or bad. I used to play and write heavy metal music. I played in various hard rock/metal bands for many years. I was about as far away from God as one could get, but He was patient and merciful. I turned my life over to Christ and finally changed.

I cannot deny that I developed my talents during my metal daze, but I certainly was not glorifying God. Groups like Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, etc play mostly dark music with evil lyrics. They certainly are not using their musical talents for God, and whether they will admit it, or even know it or not, He gave it to them. On the other hand their are many Christian groups that do use their talents for God.

I just used music as an example because it seems a little easier to explain my thoughts with it, however to me it is basically the same with magic, or any talent or gift for that matter. The Bible says, "Every good and perfect gift comes from above, and cometh down from the Father..." He allows us to decide how we use His wonderful gifts. When we choose to use our talents for Him it not only glorifies Him but much good can come when we share our talents with others the way God intends for us to.

Just my thoughts. I completely respect your opinion on this, and if you are struggling with it you have to pray and make up your own mind. God will show you the way!
Mister Mystery
Craig Logan
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Agreed, prayer is the best option, but not just for Mike. We also need to pray for Mike that God gives him peace in what ever direction He leads. I appreciate the honesty, and will be praying for you brother.

Best,
Craig
"A wizard is not to be made in a day." -Professor Hoffmann (Modern Magic)
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