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Christian Life

Q&A – Can Christians Be Magicians?

Question:

I have a question about magicians and what the Bible says about them. The boy who started my Christian club at school, his dad is a magician and he said it was his talent from God. But I’m confused. They seem like true Christians, but I thought we are not supposed to do magic? Can doing these tricks really be a gift from God?

Answer:

There’s a huge difference between a magician who performs tricks or illusions, like sawing a woman in half, and someone who’s involved in sorcery, witchcraft, or astrology.

A magician, like this boy’s father, performs illusions using sleight of hand to entertain people. Magicians and illusionists do not perform actual magic. They do not call on other powers or gods to help them. If this boy’s father is a Christian, then the only God he calls on is the King of Kings.

God can give people the gift of entertaining others through music, acting, playing professional sports, comedy, dance, and writing. I think it is probable God has given this boy’s father the gift of entertaining others through illusions or magic tricks.

When the Bible talks about sorcery or magic, it’s talking about acts that are performed by people who call on powers outside of God to complete their tasks. Take the story of King Saul and the witch of Endor in 1 Samuel 28. Saul says:

Seek for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.

Here, the word medium means someone who talks to the spirits of dead people or performs magic using the spirits of the dead.

Another example is found in Acts 16 when Paul and Silas were in Philippi.

It happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling (Acts 16:16).

The girl that Paul and Silas came across was possessed by a demonic spirit and the spirit was allowing her to tell people their futures so her owners could make a lot of money. Spoiler alert! Paul casts out the demon in verse 18.

Any time that we call on a power that is not Our Father in Heaven to accomplish something, it is idolatry and not illusion. Illusion is entertainment and can be a gift from God. Idolatry is giving anything more importance than we give to God.

What do you think? Is it okay to be a Christian who performs magic tricks or illusions?

May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word (2 Th. 2:16-17).

Written by Jenn Arman

Image: Digital Vision | Thinkstock

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10 Comments

  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by Drew White DDC on August 6, 2017 at 19:30

    I hate to rain a little bit on this parade, but I have something significant to share on this subject. I used to practice sleight of hand magic. I was seriously working hard to master it. I had a very large library of books and a lot of props. After practicing it for years, I got baptized and gave my life to Lord Jesus Christ. Immediately after coming up from the water, I felt water coming from out of my mouth from my stomach with the tongues of the holy spirit. Only three months later did I realize that scripture spoke about this: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+7:38&version=KJV. I constantly prayed after being baptized, and I was in the strong presence of God to see what in my life pleased him and what didn’t. Led by the power of the Holy Spirit, I became repulsed by magic tricks, and even though my mind wanted to pick them up, I couldn’t do it. My spirit seemed to scream whenever I got near it. I ended up throwing out over $1000 worth of sleight of hand magic books and materials. I learned a couple things about this. First off, abstain from all appearances of evil: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Thessalonians+5%3A22&version=KJV. Everything done by magicians could be done by sorcerers and many good meaning people cannot tell this apart. Many of the magic tricks have bad presentations. Two, Imagine if God did a real miracle through you, and later you did a sleight of hand magic trick. Would not people start to get confused? Lastly, if through God’s promises and words, we can prophecy, heal the sick, raise the dead, and do greater works than Jesus himself (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+14%3A12&version=KJV), then why do we need to vanish a coin? Let us put aside doing the impossible that hides the truth (even for fun), and pursue the impossible (Divine miracles) that screams and proclaims the truth, King and Lord Jesus Christ! I am pursuing the real miracle working power of god and a relationship with the holy spirit (sidroth.org; messengerinternational.org; thelastreformation.com). Few people loved sleight of hand magic more than I did and practiced it more than me. I don’t even miss it now that I gave it up. I am excited to pursue being a man of God, and doing what is right! https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+4%3A20&version=KJV. Glory be to God and to the name above all names Lord Jesus Christ!!!

  2. Project Inspired

    Posted by amanda1 on February 22, 2012 at 17:12

    My best friend’s dad is a famous magician and he performs at our Church for free a lot. 🙂

  3. Project Inspired

    Posted by Allison on February 5, 2012 at 10:37

    I think there’s nothing wrong with it, as long as they don’t make it sound like it IS magic. Because it’s not. It’s allusions. Nothing more, nothing less. This one Magician was a Christian, and he did a bible study at the end of every show!

  4. Project Inspired

    Posted by kelaiboo on February 2, 2012 at 23:35

    Thank you so much I always was confused about this :p

  5. Paris

    Posted by Paris on February 2, 2012 at 20:03

    I love magic tricks,but if God tells me in my spirit that it is sorcery, witchcraft, or astrology,I’ll take myself from that situation.

  6. Project Inspired

    Posted by kialinspired on February 2, 2012 at 17:50

    Exod. 7:10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. 11Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: 12Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as the LORD had said.

  7. Project Inspired

    Posted by JennaBel on February 2, 2012 at 16:15

    I ares, huge difference. You’re entertaining people with cute tricks that you learn. You’re not performing witchcraft or anything. It doesn’t require any “other force” aside from learning. I don’t think God would try angry over that.

  8. grace_smith15

    Posted by grace_smith15 on February 2, 2012 at 14:28

    I think it is okay, as long as they point out that it’s an illusion, not witchcraft. When I was in about 7th grade I went to a youth retreat where a Christian magician preformed, and it was really cool- he at the end of the shows he said “to God be the glory!” 🙂

  9. Project Inspired

    Posted by 1_artist on February 2, 2012 at 13:44

    Agreed, magicians are just creating illusions and entertaining us.