What does the Bible say about magic tricks?Christians should hold fast to that which is true and avoid deception. Certainly we should avoid people using evil spirits to deceive, but even slight of hand can lead in the wrong direction.
Why did Christian magic survive despite the Bible?
To be more precise, my thesis is that Christian magic, despite the fact that the biblical authors and the Church Fathers spoke out against it, survived nonetheless among Christians partially because Christians actually used biblical passages in their magic.
Do Jews and Christians believe in magic?
Despite all of this, pagans, Jews, and Christians alike held magic in common in that they believed in its existence. In the case of Christians, their two most influential sources, namely the Bible and the Church Fathers, spoke out vehemently against magic and its use.
Can a Christian use trickery to present the truth?
Another objection is that it is not right for the Christian to use trickery in presenting the truth. No matter how you slice it, magic involves deceit (illusion). Of course some “Gospel magicians” try to get around this objection by never actually saying their hand is empty when it isn’t, but they say, “my hand looks empty.”
Are magicians separated from religion?
In general, magicians and magic were able to separate themselves from religion at times like an estranged spouse, but were never able to fully divorce from it. Magic was the power that magicians used to perform rituals, rites, spells, charms, and potions.
What does ventriloquism mean?
Etymologically, the word “ventriloquism” means “belly-talking.” As used in the Old Testament, the word refers to fortune telling by means of reading the entrails of slain animals, or demon possession, wherein an evil spirit spoke through a human mouthpiece. Modern ventriloquists create the illusion that their voices come from another source, using this to entertain. Spectators unable to explain this skill misnamed the illusion “belly-talking.” Again, the Biblical prohibition has reference to one meaning of this word, but does not prohibit the animation of puppets as is done in the modern entertainment medium. The first thing we must be sure of when dealing with Biblical prohibitions is that we understand what the Bible is in fact saying, so that we do not misapply the truth because of a confusion in vocabulary.
What is the first part of the argument about Jesus’ use of parables?
The first part of the argument comes from Jesus’ own use of parables–visual aids. Matthew 13:34 indicates that in Jesus’ teaching, He always used object lessons. Sleight of hand and illusion provide a way of presenting some very powerful spiritual messages in a visual way.
What does magic mean in the Bible?
There may be confusion due to the fact that certain words have two meanings. “Magic” has the meaning of witchcraft or sorcery , but the word also means sleight of hand and illusion, the surprising, fascinating and entertaining performance. Obviously the Bible is talking about the first of these meanings and not the second.
What is the nature of drama?
Something to bear in mind is the nature of drama. We are not “deceived” by the actor who is playing a part, and in fact we say that he played his part well. In drama we suspend what we know to be true rationally and enter into imagination and “believe” the story. But when it’s over, we don’t actually believe that we saw the real person being portrayed. Howard Thurston, a famous magician of a century ago, said “A magician is actually an actor playing the part of a magician.”
What to do if you have reservations for a magician?
If you continue to have reservations, work them out. Talk to your local Christian magician. He will be happy to discuss them with you!
What did Moses use to bring down Jericho?
He could have dealt with people without using the miraculous, but with Moses He chose to use a bush that burned without being consumed; with Balaam He used a talking donkey; with Joshua He used a destructive trumpet blast to bring down the walls of Jericho, and with Belshazzar He wrote on the wall with a giant hand.
What does it mean when a dirty handkerchief turns into an egg?
When a dirty handkerchief–representing sin–is transformed into an egg, it makes a very striking illustration of the change God makes in a person’s life when he trusts Christ. Magic tricks have power to gain and maintain attention.
What did Yahweh command Aaron to do?
The battle continued as Yahweh commanded Aaron to stick his staff in the river at which time the water turned to blood and all the fish died. Once again though, the Egyptian magicians were able to mimic this feat.
Why was magic considered religious?
In other words, magic was for the ancient peoples of the Mediterranean the connection to the supernatural. The supernatural was by definition religious in its nature because the gods were the supernatural beings which the people worshiped.
Where did the word magician come from?
Fritz Graf provides the origin for the word magician from which the word magic consequently derives. He explains that the Greek word for magician is magos. The term originates with the Persians (in the pre-Christian era) for whom the magos or magoi were priests; they “form a secret Persian tribe or society, are responsible for the royal sacrifices, funeral rites, and for the divination and interpretation of dreams”. In other words, the Persian magoi were the “middle men” between the gods and the people.
What is the story of Joseph and the Pharaoh?
The story of Joseph of Egypt and the Pharaoh is the first major piece of religious propaganda against magic. In Genesis 41, the Pharaoh of Egypt has had a dream which disturbs him. In the morning he gathers all his magicians and wise men to him and asks them for the interpretation of the dream, but no one is able to explain it to him. Thus, the story begins with the failure of the magicians. They are unable to perform the interpretation of the dream as the Pharaoh desires. However, the chief butler tells the Pharaoh about Joseph and his ability to interpret dreams. The Pharaoh has him brought forth and he interprets the dream for the Pharaoh. The chapter does not only concentrate on the fact that Joseph was able to interpret the Pharaoh’s dream and prospered greatly because of it, but it also emphasizes the fact (by mentioning it twice ) that the magicians were unable to do so. Again the text asserts that magic is useless while one may do all things with the help of Yahweh.
Why did the Church Fathers use magic?
However, the use of magic among early Christians survived nonetheless in part because of the Bible itself. The authors of the Bible and the Church Fathers in their writings were often fueled by a sense of the need to protect their own religion from other religions and their practices creeping in on theirs. One way in which they combated this was to label it all as magic and thus as not actually coming from God, but rather being a cheap imitation typically aided by demons. However, common Christians who were not authors such as those of the canon or the Church Fathers did not have theological agendas. They were not worried about the battle between godly power and the power of demons or with the theological battles of divers Christian groups. Rather, they were preoccupied with their own troubles and they acted as they understood to practice their religion. For some, that meant that they participated in magic typically in the form of amulets in the hope that Christ would be with them and bless them and heal them.
What is the definition of magic?
Accordingly, the definition of magic which I will use throughout this discussion is twofold: first, magic is the attempted manipulation through prayers, charms, and spells to direct a supernatural being to perform one’s desires ; second, magic is the derogatory term used by rival factions within Christianity to slander one another.
Why did Saul die in 1 Chronicles 10:13?
1 Chronicles 10:13 partially contributes Saul’s death to his having called upon a witch and magic for help, “So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it.” All of these verses demonstrate that it was incorrect what Saul did from the point of view of the text.
What is the object of the magic of the elves?
In a letter which distinguishes between the so-called “magic” of the Elves and the magic of the Enemy, Tolkien reminds the reader that the Elven queen Galadriel has to correct a hobbit who confusedly uses the term "magic" for both the art of the Enemy and of the Elves, explaining that the object of Elvish magic is art and not power. The Elves do not seek “dominion” or a “tyrannous re-forming of Creation” (146).
What does Screwtape warn Wormwood about?
In letter four, Screwtape warns his demonic nephew Wormwood against allowing his patient to pray to God as God really is, rather than as the patient simply thinks God to be. So the solution to our magical confusion is to pray that God would show us what things really are, rather than what we simply think them to be.
What would happen if the books were science fiction instead of fantasy?
If the books were science fiction, instead of fantasy, some futuristic technology would be the tool used to accomplish something instead of a magic wand. 5. Tolkien distinguishes good "magic" from the magic of the Enemy.
What does Paul say about meat sacrificed to idols?
Paul’s rule of thumb: follow your conscience – if you believe eating meat sacrificed to idols violates your faith, then don’t. If you don’t believe idols are real, and therefore don’t associate meat sacrificed to idols with the demonic, then you are free to partake – as long as you don’t harm the conscience of someone else (I realize this is tricky stuff – sometimes both reading the Bible and living the life of faith are more like an intricate dance than driving along a one-way street).
Is magic a triangle in the Bible?
Defini ng “magic” in the Bible is not like defining a triangle. In spite of numerous appearances in the Bible (including the infamous Exodus 22:18, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”), there doesn’t seem to be any singular and consistent definition – it’s like readers are supposed to know what magic is without being told precisely.
Who would use the supernatural to dominate the free will of others?
Why do I recount this? To underscore an earlier point: those who would use the supernatural to dominate the free will of others are the evil magicians of Tolkien, Lewis, and J. K. Rowling. Like Uncle Andrew or Jadice in The Magician’s Nephew they consider themselves free from the moral laws that constrain humanity. This same concern for objective morality is an issue in Harry Potter.
What is the secret arts of Exodus?
The book of Exodus speaks of magicians practicing what is called "secret arts" ( Exodus 8:7 ), as they brought up frogs and thereby replicating God’s plague on the land of Egypt. Magic in this case was used in an attempt to mock God by mimicking the miracles God performed through Moses.
How many times is magic mentioned in the Bible?
The word "magic" is actually used six times in the Bible, three times in the Old Testament and three times in the New Testament. However, the word, "magician (s)" is used 15 times. We know that the Egyptians worshiped many gods and that magic played an important part in the rituals of their high priests. It was through the deception of magic that …
Where did the supernatural powers come from?
Any supernatural power they may have had came from Satan ( 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 ). If not supernaturally inspired, they simply practiced their trade by optical illusion, sleight of hand, or the learned physical manipulation of things such as snakes.
Do Christians have to avoid the occult?
If, however, they are involved with the occult, clearly this is something Christians must avoid. The difficulty is in knowing which are associated with the occult and which are not. In any case, wisdom and discernment are needed whenever dealing with any form of magic or illusion.
What Is Magic?
While we all know what magic is when we see it, actually defining magic is difficult. Is magic simply a disruption of the natural order? If that’s the case, the question must be asked about what the natural order is. In addition, this definition would also seem to define many of God’s miracles as magic, which may very well make us uneasy.
What is the primary condemnation of magic in Deuteronomy 18?
In Deuteronomy 18, we find that one of the primary condemnations of magic is sandwiched between two passages concerning the provision of the Levites, and future prophets that the Lord will raise up. I don’t think that this is a coincidence.
What is magic in Harry Potter?
Magic is an incredibly broad term that is used to define a whole host of things, from the angelic magic used in Lord of the Rings, to the mismatched group of powers displayed in Harry Potter, to the more systematic and language-based magic utilized in The Inheritance Cycle. We even use it to describe the illusionary tricks a “magician” can do today. While we might use the same word to describe all of this, we’re really describing many different things with the term.
What are the three things that come to mind when you think of fantasy?
When you think of the fantasy genre, three things probably quickly come to mind: swords, elves, and magic. And it’s the latter that can become a problem for the Christian writer.
Is it permissible for a Christian writer to use magic in fiction?
In order then to understand when it is permissible for a Christian writer to use magic in fiction, it is necessary to understand the Biblical prohibition against magic and why God put it in place.
Do fantasy writers create magic?
Examining this question may require writers to think a bit more about their magic systems. A lot of the times, fantasy writers just create a magic system but don’t really explain how it works, or what it does. In my opinion, this lack of depth or explanation may be part of the reason that this can be a tricky question.
Does the Bible condemn magic?
Yes, the Bible does condemn magic. But it utilizes a different understanding of the term “magic” than we use today. The appropriateness of magic in fiction therefore depends on what kind of magic is particularly used in the book.
IS FANTASY BAD?
They are part of how God wired us. But just as anything else human, fantasy and imagination can be misused. Instead of images evoking death and darkness, consider God’s words in Phil. 4:8 that tell us to dwell on what is true, honorable, pure and lovely. Dwelling on ugly and bizarre images will break down and pervert our creativity and imagination. But dwelling on the lovely builds us up, lifts us up and enhances our imaginative capacities.
What is the practice of magick called?
Sorcery is the practice of magick (occult spelling; the supernatural thing as opposed to just stage tricks) C using spells, incantations or special rituals to manipulate or summon supernatural power. The term summon, by the way, is used in the occult and is repeated consistently on many cards in the "Magic" deck.
What is the term for communication with the dead?
Necromancy is communication with the dead through supernatural and/or occult techniques. One should consider the possible results of exposure to these images and terms: Desensitization to what is ugly, evil or repulsive. Desensitization to sorcery and the occult. An interest in or fascination with death.
What does 1 Corinthians 8:9-12 mean?
Christian players should read 1st Corinthians 8:9-12, which explains the principle of causing a weaker person to stumble because of your actions. Some people are drawn to the occult through games.
When was Magic C The Gathering created?
A card game created in 1993 has spread from coast to coast, selling a billion cards within 18 months. "Magic C The Gathering," sold by its Oregon makers, Wizards of the Coast, is described by them as a fantasy trading card game.
Who created the cards in Dungeons and Dragons?
The creator is mathematician and veteran Dungeons and Dragons player, Richard Garfield (The Washington Post Weekend, 5-27-95, p. 13). The cards are linked to one of five kinds of magic (magic here refers to sorcery, not tricks): red, blue, green, white or black. The players, representing sorcerers, use the cards to "kill …