Sword swallower Alex Magala says he has no children, wasn't born-again 10 years ago

Alex Magala, 34.
Alex Magala, 34. | Screenshot/Instagram/Alex Magala

While expressing appreciation for Pastor John Lindell's full-throated attempt at portraying him as a bonafide born-again Christian and family man, professional sword swallower Alex Magala, whose recent performance at James River Church's Stronger Men's Conference in Missouri was criticized as demonic by Pastor Mark Driscoll, says he has no kids and did not get saved 10 years ago.

In a new video posted on his Instagram page Friday, Magala, while noting that English is his third language, said that Lindell did not speak accurately about his faith or his family status.

"After watching a video yesterday from John Lindell, explaining and just defending me, I just wanted to clear some details. First of all, I have no kids. I have a family; I have no kids yet. So, that's number one," he said.  

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"And secondly, some sources say that I was saved by God around 10 years ago, which is not correct because I'm an Orthodox Christian," he continued  "Orthodox Christian means that I get through the ceremony of becoming a Christian as a baby. So pretty much all my family is an Orthodox Christian, and me as well"

Magala is an immigrant from Moldova in Eastern Europe, where most people identify culturally as Orthodox Christians, according to the Pew Research Center. In Eastern and Central Europe, most people who say they are Orthodox Christians say religion isn't important in their lives and don't attend church.

"Being Orthodox is not so much about checking off a list of dogmatic propositions as it is being tied to local and regional culture. Thus, it would not at all be uncommon for someone in Greece or Russia to identify as Orthodox and participate in major community celebrations tied to Christianity (Easter, Christmas, Theophany, etc.) but not actually believe in the teachings of the church or, possibly, even in God," George Demacopolous, a professor of theology at Fordham University, said in a 2017 interview

In his stern rebuke of Driscoll's controversial criticism of Magala, Lindell demanded that Driscoll, founding pastor of Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, repent for saying Magala had a "Jezebel" spirit.

Professional sword swallower and acrobat Alex Magala, 34, performs at the Stronger Men's Conference hosted by James River Church.
Professional sword swallower and acrobat Alex Magala, 34, performs at the Stronger Men's Conference hosted by James River Church. | Screenshot: Instagram/Alex Magala

Lindell insisted that Magala had been a born-again Christian for approximately 10 years and is a member of Mosaic Church in Los Angeles, California, led by Erwin McManus.

"While Alex was here, he participated in worship, and when he was taken to the airport, our James River Church host watched as Alex boldly shared his faith with an individual. Yes, Alex, like many Christians, has a past, but he has been made a new creation. He's been made a new creation through his faith in Jesus Christ," Lindell declared.

In his video on Friday, Magala's comments suggested a loose connection with Mosaic Church.

"I had no problem going to, attending a Baptist church in Los Angeles, Mosaic Church, with Pastor Erwin McManus primarily because my friends were going there, and just in general," he said, noting that "I found a lot of wisdom in Bible stories."

He also called McManus a great speaker.

"I owe no explanation to anyone about my faith in God [and] about what I'm doing about my past," he said.

But by his own admission, there doesn't appear to be an alignment in his understanding of what it means to be saved and the doctrine of the Pentecostal James River Church.

"I know my way of expressing my faith is different. And let me explain just like real quick … that's how I see it. When I perform, I swallow a sword and attempting a death-defying stunt, climbing on top of the pole, and then going upside down. The moment when I dropped down, that to me, is when I give my life to God. And the moment when I stopped one inch before hitting the ground, that's the moment when I get saved by God," Magala said  "God bless everybody.  And book my show."

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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