Sunday, August 24, 2008


Therrie and I went to a magic show the other night in Niagara Falls. We were with her sister and brother-in-law and we had a great time. We had no illusions about what to expect at the show. We expected to be entertained by being tricked into seeing something that wasn’t true.

I even had the dubious pleasure of being picked out from the audience to help with one of the feats of magic. The trick that was being performed had Greg Frewin (the magician) taking a live duck and having it magically re-appear into a bucket that I was holding. The crowd was awestruck, when sure enough, upon taking the bucket back from me, he opened the lid to find the duck that had disappeared from the stage. Since I had been guarding the bucket there was no possible way for some slight of hand to take place.

Of course, I knew all along how the trick was being done. The entire time that I had been holding the bucket, I could feel a ‘look a like’ duck squirming inside.

We paid $90 bucks each to have front and centre seats, knowing that we would be deceived during the entire performance. We tried our best to figure out the tricks but for the most part we could only applaud to how well we had been deceived. I was especially happy because at least I knew how the duck trick was done.

Lots of money went into the magician’s theatre. The seating was laid out to ensure that the audience’s attention was on the star. It was much nicer than church because we could get drinks during the show and there was even an intermission so we could have a potty break without interrupting anyone.

I didn’t expect to go back week after week to see the same kinds of tricks, so $90 for the night didn’t seem like a bad deal to me. For most of my Christian experience I had been paying $100-150 per week for a performance that hardly ever changed, at a theater that I was misled into calling, “church”.

I simply hadn’t taken Jesus’s words seriously enough.
Matthew 24: 4-5 Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,[a]' and will deceive many.

The trick that was played on me was that just because someone claims they are proclaiming Christ they could very well be deceiving many. I was so duped by the magic that for a time, I had even become one of the magicians for awhile.

What value did Jesus put on a building?
Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2"Do you see all these things?" he asked. "I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down." Matthew 24:1-2 (NIV)

What did Paul teach new converts about buildings?
Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16

What did Peter teach about buildings?
As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:4,5

What was Barnabas and Paul’s reaction to the crowd after the healing of a crippled man?
14But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: 15"Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. 16In the past, he let all nations go their own way. 17Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy." 18Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them. Acts 14: 14-18

Today, it seems that men/women who are used by God, put no effort into getting people to NOT put their trust in them. And Christians are more like the people of Lystra wanting to sacrifice to holy men who perform signs and wonders. (It didn’t take them long to be persuaded by a different religious mindset to stone Paul and leave him for dead.)

What is the difference between the magic show that I went to and the weakly ritual of going to church?
1. I knew I was going to be deceived at the magic show.
2. I only paid for the performance 1 time.
3. The magician never expected me to follow him week after week.

Why do Christians feel the need to erect a special building and follow a special man?

1 comment:

Jamie A. Grant said...

Oh, snap! Very cool comparison...