Who doesn’t love a good magic show? Giving the gospel through sleight of hand is a staple of many fundamentalist children’s outreach programs. Even adults will stop and watch someone perform a gospel presentation via an entertaining act of subterfuge and trickery.
The gospel rope tricks are some of the more popular gimmicks because they are inexpensive, quickly taught and have little risk of a spectator catching on fire. That’s always a something to look for in a magic act. The real risk here is that the trick will go very badly and the whole point will be lost. “Look boys and girls the three ropes are all…uh…well…they should have been the same…you’re all doomed.”
There’s another potential danger to gospel magic acts — they do not translate well into some more superstitious cultures. Missionaries who are a little too good at illusions may meet with charges of witchcraft. In these locations it may be better to stick with handing out Chick Tracts and fake money or run the risk of finding oneself in some very sticky situations indeed.