(By CP Cartoonist Rod Anderson)
In a recent column about the magician Dynamo and his levitation in London, I wrote that "some magicians engage in illusion." Certainly Christian illusionists would fit into this category, or "Christian magicians" as some of these illusionists refer to themselves. They are attempting to do what other Christians attempt to do through puppets, or art, or drama, or rap music. They are attempting to entertain people through illusions and tricks as they also present the Gospel message of salvation.
A "Christian illusionist" has a Spirit within him, just like a Christian businessman or a Christian teacher. A Christian is someone who is born again. The moment a person is born again through faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within that person. (see 1 Cor. 6:19) The Bible does not teach that every unbeliever is demon-possessed, but it does teach that every believer in Jesus is indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
Christian illusionists are serious about reaching others for Christ. They want to reach those in their audience who don't know the Lord, and they want to reach their fellow magicians who do not yet know the Lord. That is one of their highest goals as Christians, even higher than their goal of entertaining people with illusions.
Christian illusionists do not dabble with sorcery or the occult. They are discerning as they seek the Lord in prayer and through His Word. Those illusionists who are more than just "professing Christians" are the ones who are born again on the inside. You will find "professing Christians" in every walk of life and every profession. Some of those who profess faith are saved, while others are not yet indwelt by the Holy Spirit through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
Christians will not all agree about what goes on today through the magic of every single magician who is not born again. In the Bible, there are examples in both the Old Testament and the New Testament of magicians who engaged in sorcery. This is a practice which Christian illusionists renounce as being of the devil. They flee this sort of evil just as they seek to flee from anything the Bible calls sinful.
Our Lord has gifted His people with many creative talents. While I was working in the inner-cities of Omaha, St. Louis, and Los Angeles in the 1980's, I was motivated to produce two Gospel rap albums in an effort to reach youth for Christ. It is one of many ways we as believers can use our God-given abilities to engage others around the message of salvation. To this day, I often use "freestyle rap" on the streets to connect with people in presenting the story of God's love in Christ. I make up the rhymes "off-the-cuff" as I rap, just as Christian illusionists make up all sorts of creative approaches to connect with people.
I applaud every believer who is using his or her gifts in creative ways to spread the message of God's love. We have a young man in our church, for example, who has a dynamic puppet ministry that connects with children in amazing ways. Others in our nation travel around lifting weights on "The Power Team" to evangelize those who will come and watch their entertaining program. There are so many ways to connect with people who need to know the Lord.
As we seek to reach those who do not yet see the love of Jesus and their need of His forgiveness, we can do so in unity and purpose. Heaven is going to be a creative place, and so we might as well start getting used to seeing plenty of creativity coming from God's people as they use their various talents to His glory!