Guest Author - Dennis Regling
Mention magic and different folks have different ideas.
A lot of Christians instantly think of the occult and those things forbidden by the Bible. They tend to lump anything with the "magic" tag into the same pile and reject it as satanic. Many well-meaning Christians become very suspicious when they learn that I do "Gospel Magic."
There are groups that believe they can cast spells and call up spirits and other crazy things on a para-normal level. These activities are condemned by the Bible. But this is only one area of activity that is referred to as magic. To be honest, unless you are involved in these things or a Christian, you probably don't think of these activities when the word "magic" is mentioned.
Most folks think of the stage magician. David Copperfield and Lance Burton, for example. They may think of the magician at the local restaurant doing close-up or the birthday clown doing silly tricks. Some people hear the word and think about some arrogant clod trying to trick them with his latest card trick. Not entertaining, but condescending.
Children may think of the magician they saw on television or they may think of the magic in cartoons.
Magic also includes though many other forms of performance art, including hypnosis, mentalism and psychic exhibitions. Sadly, some of these areas are used fraudulently, to trick the observer into believing the performer has some special ability. Resulting of course in empty wallets for the observer.
All these definitions and conceptions of magic are accurate in some way. However, as a performer, the real magic is not the tricks but the presentation and more important the suspension of disbelief of the observer.
All magic, whether it be the stage magician, the phony psychic (isn't that a redundant phrase?), the hypnotist or the so-called practitioner of the occult, depends on the observer setting aside the truth, either by choice or deception, to be effective.
As stage magicians, we know our audience doesn't really believe ladies can float or scarves can turn into doves. Our performance allows the audience to let their imaginations run free and enjoy not magic tricks, but magical moments where the unbelieveable and the impossible become possible.
The phony psychic must get their victim to believe the unproven. That someone can see into the future or contact the dead.
It is my hope as a performer that my presentation can not only entertain and inform, but leave a positive mental image of what "magic" is and ought to be. As magcians we should always behave in a manner that brings honor to our craft. As a Gospel magician, I also strive to bring glory to my Creator and Saviour. Not only to teach in magical and memorable ways, but also to expose deception and error.
What is magic? The word describes many things to many people. Please, drop me a line and let me know what it means to you. God bless.