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.
3 thoughts on “Gospel Gimmicks: Salvation Rope Tricks”
I’ve never tried the rope tricks, but I’ll admit to using an object lesson for children’s church where you add different food coloring to a bowl of water. The colors turn the water a muddy brown representing sin. Then you add bleach (I think) which is supposed to turn the water clear again, signifying Jesus’ forgiveness. It didn’t clear up as well as the illustration said it would thus ruining my point.
I also did Resurrection Cookies with my kids where you tell the story of the crucifixion as you prepare each step, then put them in the stove and seal the stove with masking tape. In the morning, your pastry is supposed to have risen and be all puffy and empty like the empty tomb. Mine didn’t rise. I should never have attempted to illustrate Scriptural truth via cooking.
Those stories are funny! 😆
I am a professional magician that uses illusion to present the Gospel. (I left my IFB church when the pastor told me that he would only allow us to go to other IFB churches, give him a two week notice and give him veto power over our meetings.) We do an hour program, but only the last 15 minutes is message. I believe in earning the right to be heard. I don’t do many rope tricks,but I levitate my wife, stick swords through pastor’s necks etc…
You are right, it freaks out some fundies–especially levitation and card tricks.