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What does the Bible say about magic tricks?

Caller:  I’m curious about magicians and magic tricks.  I’m wondering if the Bible is clear on if that’s okay or if it’s not.  I know the word ‘magician’ has a different meaning than what I’m referring to….

Pastor Doug:  You’re talking about someone who uses slight of hand and deception for entertainment. 

Caller:  Right.  Illusions—that type of thing.

Pastor Doug:  Well, I will admit and first of all I’m not anybody’s example in these things I will admit that I’m always intrigued by how they do some of those things.  But everybody wants to know how they do that.  But in reality, I think that Christians should try to hold fast to that which is true.  Paul says in Phillippians, ‘Whatever things are true’.  So these—I’ve got a boy who’s in the Marines, you know, Daniel just headed back off, he’s in Iraq, he’s in Japan now, and he came back with one these Sadam Hussein decks of cards and he was showing me all these tricks, and I thought, How did he do that? 

But, you know, really, I think Christians should avoid deception and the slight of hand.  I’ve actually met people who are Christian magicians and it seems like an oxymoron to me.  You know, the Bible is clear enough if you look in Deuteronomy 18:10 it says, ‘A charmer or consulter with familiar spirits or a wizard or necromancer, all that do these things are an abomination to the Lord’.  Of course, these were folks who were claiming to have supernatural power to do these things.  The ones who are doing the Houdini tricks and they say right up front ‘This is a trick’, well, I wouldn’t judge them as harshly, but I still think Christians should avoid being known for their deception. 

Caller:  Okay.

Pastor Doug:  Do you see what I’m saying? 

Co-Host:  I think there’s room to comment on what Hollywood is doing these days.  I mean, we’re bombarded with everything from Harry Potter to The Lord of the Rings to, you know, Pirates of the Caribbean to all of these other things that are coming out these days.

Pastor Doug:  We have a new book by Steve Wohlberg called “The Hidden Dangers of Harry Potter”.  You know our friend Steve.  He’s just come out with this book.  Matter of fact, I think he’s getting it printed with Destiny Books, a Christian publisher.  So, if you want to know more about Harry Potter, that’s the closest thing we have to the magic question, James. 

Caller:  Yeah, well, I’m down on Harry Potter already.



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