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?
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