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Topic: Eastern Orthodox, Coptics, and Catholics please?
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Sep 4, 2010 03:36PM)
This is more of a "poll" than anything, and directed to my Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic sisters and brothers here.

As you know, Orthodox and Catholics resist the teaching of Holy Scripture by anyone who is not ordained (deacons, priest, and bishops). That being said, do you believe there IS a place for a modified approach to spreading the Good News in our ancient Churches that does not circumvent the authority of Apostolic Succession, the very cornerstone of our faiths, as opposed to Protestant Sola Scriptura? After all, prior to 1517, Sola Scriptura did not exist, and the very Book that is subject to the confusion rampant in Sola Scriptura was made canon by the Catholic Church. (Catholic in THIS sense INCLUDES The Eastern Orthodox, Coptics, and Roman Catholics).

To my Protestant friends: Please do not take this thread as a criticism of what you do as Gospel magicians. But, Gospel magic seems to be virtually a Protestant phenomenon, and I, as an Eastern Orthodox Christian, am seeking some dialog from those churches in the Catholic Christian part of the spectrum on this.

+In Christ,
Vlad

PS: I am not seeking a debate on Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide. This is a magic forum, not a theological forum. Thanks everyone! :)
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Sep 5, 2010 12:24AM)
Hi Vlad,

I don't think I can answer your question for you, but only because it gets into a theological debate about interpretation of a certain scripture that you refer to.

I do however, believe that all christians are called to the great commission. I also believe that all christians are disciples of Christ. The Apostles were told to go out and make disciples, and I believe the great commission is for all disciples.

No man, or his own laws will keep me from teaching, preaching, and witnessing for Jesus Christ.

I can't honestly believe that God would be upset with someone for teaching the Good news without being ordained by man.

Are we not all priests? Are we not all ordained by God to be witnesses and preach the Good News?

Or, like the cracker that I am, maybe I don't understand your question properly. (lol)
Message: Posted by: Wes Holly (Sep 5, 2010 08:39AM)
Vlad
Perhaps it's a perceptual thing? If I understand your question correctly, then the faiths you're referring to would object to a performer, who is not ordained in their faith, coming to their church event and teaching/edifying /make more clear, something that (as they see it) is only for the ordained in their faith to do.

Perhaps if you promote yourself as a Christian entertainer who performs a "clean comedy" show and then present routines that are based on biblical truths without pointing it out (like I would do), that would not incur the scrutiny of the hierarchy?

BTW, it's not just the faiths you list, I have been informed by local churches of all types that they are very reluctant to allow "outside people" to "teach" in their church. And I can see their point. If I come in and present a message that's slightly different, or even with different wording, than what they teach, eyebrows can get raised and arguments can ensue.

Anyway, I hope this reply does justice to the original post. I hope others chime in.


Wes Holly
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Sep 5, 2010 12:14PM)
Hi Dan and Wes,

Thanks for your input. You both pose interesting observations that address the fundamental differences between Christianity pre-Reformation and and post-Reformation in the West; there never was a reformation in the East.

Yes, as I had stated, we ARE all called with regard to the Great Commission. But, the understanding of the HOW is not the laws of a man or men. I tell as many people as I can about the One True God. But, to TEACH scriptural lessons is an entirely different thing in the view of ancient Christianity (this is supported by the Bible - the very book made canon by the ancient Church).

I do appreciate you both chiming in :) What I am trying to find out from those brothers and sisters of mine in the Orthodox/Coptic/Roman Catholic spectrum of Christianity is how they approach The Great Commission as performers while at the same time bearing in mind the cornerstone of Apostolic Succession.

I had mentioned in my initial post that Gospel magic seems to be, at least in my 20 years of professional experience in magic, almost exclusively a Protestant phenomenon. So, I am trying to use this more international forum to see if indeed there ARE those of the "Catholic" (katolikos) tradition who perform Gospel magic.

Dan, in a SENSE we are all "priests" in that as Christians we spread the The Good News. However, we are all NOT presbyters - and this word has a VERY specific meaning as you can readily read in Acts. So, for instance, Orthodox, Coptic, and Catholic Christians REJECT the Baptist notion of a priesthood of believers because not all believers are presbyters. The question that we of this part of the spectrum of Christianity ask is "can the person teaching claim to Apostolic Succession?"

There are in excess of 23,000 Protestant denominations world wide. EACH denomination claims it is inspired by the Holy Spirit, yet, EACH disagrees with each other on fundamental points. If we are to believe that Sola Scriptura is RIGHT, then how do we explain the following:

Lutherans believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
Baptists believe that communion is merely symbolic.

BOTH are Protestant, both adhere to Sola Scriptura (and Sola Fide, the other pillar of Protestantism) yet the Lutheran and the Baptist do NOT agree on the above.

Another example: Prior to 1517 AD in the Christian west, there were 73 canonical books of The Bible. After 1517, the number was reduced to 66. Sola Scriptura argues that all that needs to be known is to be found in the Scriptures ONLY. So, the question becomes this: "Did the Holy Spirit WRONGLY inspire the Church when it decided what books were canon?" Remember please my brothers and sisters in Christ that there were MANY heretical writings at the time that the Ante Nicene Fathers were fighting such as the "gospels" of Thomas, Mary Magdalene, and others. St. Paul's Epistles were written directly to the CHURCHES as guides. So how does one justify Luther's removal of seven canonical books?

St. Paul speaks DIRECTLY about the importance of oral Tradition (latin tradere, that which is transmitted). In the Second Letter to the Thessalonians, St. Paul is just as explicit: "So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2:15). We find as well that St. Paul NAMES pharoah's sorcerers, yet they are NOT named in the Old Testament.

2 Peter 3:15-16: "As our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, also wrote to you, speaking of these things as he does in all his letters. In them there are some things hard to understand, that the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, just as they do the other scriptures."

There is a reference to "all his letters" and, later, in verse 16, St. Peter seems to give them the same status as Scripture, with the phrase "as they do the other scriptures." That doesn't tell us how many letters Paul wrote, or even which ones they are. It is Tradition to consider the 14 epistles we have as inspired.

In reading through the Pauline epistles, one finds that St. Paul repeatedly exhorts the preaching and safeguarding of what he taught. St. Paul writes that Timothy should "command and teach these things" (1 Tm 4:11) and guard what has been entrusted to him (see 1 Tm 6:20). He writes us to "hold fast to the true message which has been taught" (Ti 1:9), and "say what is consistent with sound doctrine" (Ti 2:1). Nowhere do we see the phrase "Scripture alone" used by St. Paul; nor does he tell Timothy to write everything down, or even that he himself has written everything down that is important.

I cite these as examples of the difference between the ancient notion of Apostolic Succession versus Sola Scriptura. The difference is such that in "Catholic" Christianity we are wary to say the least, about any teaching that would be counter to that which was handed down to this very day. I certainly can proclaim God and the statement of belief is The Nicene Creed. All of the Creed IS true. Yet, among SOME Baptist subdenominations, there is the hue and cry of "no creed." How can this be when a Baptist believes (fides) in:

God The Father, the Maker of all things
God The Son, The Lord Jesus Christ, the begotten of the Father
God The Holy Spirit, The Lord and the Giver of Life

The creed cannot be found at all in Scripture, yet all Christians believe those three statements. You will not find the word "Trinity", yet, it IS believed.

The only reason I have answered this in more depth is because the issues raised by Dan and Wes required a more detailed response.

+In Christ
Vlad
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Sep 6, 2010 11:51AM)
"But, to TEACH scriptural lessons is an entirely different thing in the view of ancient Christianity (this is supported by the Bible - the very book made canon by the ancient Church)" Is it?

Eph 4:11 "It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers."

I throw in this verse now, but I'll get back to it in a moment.

According to the Old Testament Priests were to be Levites. The Levites were formally set apart after the now-infamous incident with the golden calf idol that the Israelites made while Moses was away receiving The Ten Commandments from The Lord (Exodus chapter 32). The Levites did not take part in the idolatry, and actually killed 3,000 of those who were running wild, as ordered by Moses (Exodus 32:25-29).

After the incident was over, Moses said of the Levites, "Today you have ordained yourselves for the service of The Lord, each one at the cost of his son and of his brother, that he may bestow a blessing upon you this day." (Exodus 32:29). The Levites were natural allies of Moses because Moses himself was of the tribe of Levi (Exodus 2:1-2,10).

My question is when did this stop. When did Priests no longer need to be from the Levi tribe?

I believe it was through our Lord Jesus Christ. I believe the book of Hebrews goes into a detailed argument describing how Jesus took over the office held by the Levites.


1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.


1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

If I am reading this correctly, St. Peter was referring to all Christians as part of the new priesthood. St. John continued this theme in Revelation.

It is possible to interpret these passages as meaning all Christians are to become priests at the first resurrection, or that all Christians are already priests now, at least in some spiritual sense. Either way, I see no justification for a special priesthood within Christianity to act as intercessors between God and men or between Jesus and men.

All Christian are called to teach, but it's the word teacher that can be split to a couple of different meanings.

I would not just trust anyone to pastor our church, nor would I just trust anyone to teach scriptures. God makes the call, and God ordains those he calls with gifts to carry out the calling.

Today, I believe the qualifications to become a Pastor has changed drastically. Most denominations require that you go to Bible College and take the appropriate courses.

To become a Priest is also much different today. I'm not completely aquainted with the proceedures to become a Priest, but it's much different now than it was then.

in Acts 14:23, the Apostle Paul ordains elders (Presbyter) in the churches he founded.

The word presbyter derives from Greek (presbyteros), the comparative form of (presbus), "elder"

"But, to TEACH scriptural lessons is an entirely different thing in the view of ancient Christianity (this is supported by the Bible - the very book made canon by the ancient Church)" Tell that to all the Sunday School teachers in both Catholic and protestant churches. Tell that to all those who lead mid-week Bible Studies.

I know what you are saying Vlad. I agree with some of what you are saying. I would want my Priest or Pastor to be called by God so that they will have the gifts to carry out their purpose. I would also want them to be ordained so that I can feel assured that they have the support of the Church.

"That being said, do you believe there IS a place for a modified approach to spreading the Good News in our ancient Churches that does not circumvent the authority of Apostolic Succession?"

I will try to answer your question. Yes, I do believe there is a place. I believe there are already several ways that does not circumvent the authority of Apostolic Succession.

I think I strayed a bit off topic, but hopefully I was able to get it somewhat back on course.

I really appreciate you getting involved here at the Gospel magic forum Vlad. The question you posed put me on a bible learning journey the last couple of days.

Disclaimer: some of the info I posted came from Gills and other sources. I am the author of very little in the post.

God bless you Vlad!

Dan
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Sep 6, 2010 12:44PM)
After re-reading my post I don't think I really answered the question. :)

I was born and raised as a Catholic, and also served as an alter boy. By the time I was 13 a bad experience happened to me that turned me off of church, not God, but church.

Years later I believe God lead me back to church. This time it was a Pentecostal church where I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ.

Later, I became a member of the Baptist Church. That lasted a few years. When I got married I attended my wife's church which was a Lutheran Church. I was elected as an Elder, and then a Youth Pastor. I relinguished my role as Youth Paster when our youth group became more of a Boys & Girls club rather than a training ground for young disciples.

I now attend Rock Of The Valley(ACOP).

I'm obviously not qualified to answer your question properly, and I do apologize for trying to make the attempt. :)

Angelo Stagnaro is a Catholic who published, The Catechist's Magic Kit: 80 Simple Tricks for Teaching Catholicism to Kids. He would probally be more qualified to answer your question. I know he joined the MagicCafe, but I don't think he visits here anymore.

Once again, God bless!

Dan
Message: Posted by: ThePhilosopher (Sep 6, 2010 01:35PM)
Well, I think I am qualified to give the Catholic perspective since I am a seminarian studying to be a priest. I started at a seminary in Connecticut (USA) more than 5 years ago and then came to Rome to start philosophy and am currently working on my master's. (Yeah, we have a long time before we are ordained!) Before joining I worked full time as a mentalist. (I was also raised a non-denominational protestant and converted when I was a teenager)

Without trying to back it up with scripture (to avoid more huge posts) I will just state the Catholic position.

We believe everyone--without exception--is called to preach the Gospel. For some people that may mean testimony of life, for others it may be teaching youth (catechism or youth group), others it could be another type of ministry (what we refer to as apostolate). In a loose sense, anyone can "teach" or even preach, because we are all called to the great commission (as Gospel Dan noted).

Vlad's point in the beginning was about apostolic succession and the institutional Church. The issue the Catholic Church has with anyone who is going to teach is the fact that when someone say, "The Bible means this..." they are teaching in the name of the Church and in the name of Christ (which we is entirely valid). However, the concern is to make sure that what someone teaches as a Catholic truly represents the Church's understanding of what the apostles handed down to Her.

In other words, if you are teaching officially you need to have the Churches official permission to teach in Her name. A catechism teacher must be appointed by the pastor of the church, who in turn has authority from the bishop. Preaching during Mass is different, because it is the Church's official celebration. Only an ordained minister (i.e. one of the Church's official representatives) can teach in the name of the Church during Mass.

Those denominations that changed little after the Reformation (the split from the Catholic Church) tend to all be liturgical (similar to the way Jesus worshiped in the synagogue), and would also have the same discipline (but might not be able to explain or justify why since they don't have apostolic succession).

[As an aside, the concept of apostolic succession is very important to understand Catholics and Orthodox Christians. If there are any protestants who really want to know why we believe what we believe (and not debate) I would be happy to answer any questions. The first step to greater unity and dialogue is wanting to understand the other and not just prove them wrong. We might find that we agree on more that it first seemed.]

I believe Gospel magic is mostly protestant, because protestants tend--at least in modern times--to have more creativity in their evangelization effort. (Yes, you can quote me and tell everyone that a Catholic seminarian said that. We have to give credit where credit is due and learn from each other instead of... you get the point.) The fact that many denominations have "worship services" to replace liturgy also enables them a flexibility that other Christians do not have (I am not saying this is a good thing; just stating it as a fact). However, there can and should be times out of Mass where Catholics can get together for other types of fellowship. I have done magic in these environments (in fact I do A LOT MORE magic as a seminarian than I ever could have imagined).

I hope that sheds a little light on the question for both sides. Personally, I did not expect to find these types of topics at the Caf, but an very happy to see that people think about these sorts of things.

God bless!
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Sep 6, 2010 01:52PM)
Thanks for joining in Nathan. And, may I add beautifully said. Your input shines a light on the subject.

I can never stop learning, and I agree that we all have things we can learn from each other.

Blessing to you and your calling to be a Priest.
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Sep 6, 2010 02:55PM)
Father Nathan,

Thank you for your words!

To my Protestant sisters and brothers, I again must reiterate that I DO admire what you do in using magic as a medium for teaching The Good News. That being said, it is very meaningful to me as an Orthodox Catholic Christian to hear from those who speak from Tradition (note that Tradition here is in the Pauline sense, as opposed to "tradition" which is mere custom).

There are two Orthodox priests and at least one other Catholic priest here on the Caf. I hope they will catch wind of this thread.

I still do welcome the Protestant perspective in the spirit of understanding that Father Nathan so eloquently stated.

Dan, while I am happy you have found a spiritual home, I am saddened by the fact that you had a bad experience. But, do remember that the Church is of Christ's creation, and yes, there are those who try to corrupt Her, but, we have Christ's promise that the gates of darkness shall not prevail. The Truth as transmitted from The Apostles to the present day in unchangeable because that Truth is of God.

+In Christ,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 6, 2010 08:18PM)
For several years I was a member of the Community of Passionist Partners connected with the Retreat Center in Citrus Heights, CA. We were sancioned by the Passionist Preists and met regularly to discuss issues of Discernment, personal Mission, Contemplative Prayer, etc. No Priest or Deacon was present and our programs were in no way supervised by the Church. One member would present a program on a subject of interest to them, and many were Scripture based. Thus, we did instruct each other -- but not a laity in general. We often ended meetings with a Priest offering Mass, but also conducted our own ceremonies in which Concecrated Hosts were distributed without a Priest present. In several of the group discussions I used magic effects to illustrate a point.

So, the restictions on lay people teaching Scripture is not as firm as Vlad has presented. Our meetings were not held in the regular "sacred place" was often in a room that occasionally was used for Mass. It is simple -- if the Red Candle is lit signifying the presence of the Holy Spirit the sanctity of the room is respected. The fact that Mass is sometimes held in a room places no restriction on its use for other purposes. Many churches have only one room that is used for Mass, basketball and pot luck suppers. I would feel comfortable in performing magic in any room not currently sanctified. In such performances I would alwasy have a spiritual message that might be considered teaching Scripture.

One Priest here in Knoxville used to work for Jim Hensen and often used Muppet characterizations during Sermons. In fact, the only restiction on personal preaching I have ever heard is that once a person has announced they wish to study to become a Catholic that they are turned over to the approriate program -- but that is to insure continuity and uniformity of the preparation, and many of the CCD instructors are lay persons.
Message: Posted by: Cyberqat (Sep 6, 2010 08:33PM)
I have this feeling that at least Greek orthodox are a lot like the Epsicopals these days-- all over the place on a congregation by congregation basis.

A good friend who is Greek Orthodox likes to talk about his favorite priest who, when asking the couple he was counseling for marriage if they had slept together yet, and got the answer "no", followed up with the question "why not?"
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Sep 6, 2010 11:25PM)
[quote]
On 2010-09-06 21:33, Cyberqat wrote:
I have this feeling that at least Greek orthodox are a lot like the Epsicopals these days-- all over the place on a congregation by congregation basis.

A good friend who is Greek Orthodox likes to talk about his favorite priest who, when asking the couple he was counseling for marriage if they had slept together yet, and got the answer "no", followed up with the question "why not?"
[/quote]

Actually Cyberqat, as with ANY church, you are going to have PEOPLE who are not adhering to the tenets of the faith. That being said, Orthodoxy, unlike The Episcopalians is growing rapidly in the west (especially in the Bible belt as more and more evangelicals have become disenchanted with the evangelical movement.) and is quite whole. In addition, there is a VERY strong possibility that the Episcopal Church in the United States may be excommunicated by the more traditional Anglican Churches. The movement to have the Episcopal Church expelled from Anglicanism is coming from the VERY strict Anglican episcopate in Africa. One of the American Bishops who many have accused of helping to create the crises in the Episcopal Church was Bishop Shelby Spong.


Namaste,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: savannamagic (Sep 7, 2010 01:22AM)
Dear Vlad,
I believe that you have missed something. As an Orthodox Christian, I attended Church School on Sunday morning. Bible stories were read and discussed with the young people by laity. There was no priest or deacon or bishop present. The materials were given to the teacher to be presented to the children.
Message: Posted by: ThePhilosopher (Sep 7, 2010 03:14AM)
I totally agree with Vlad: people are people. Even ordained ministers (that should be the official voice of the Church) get it wrong. There may be some Catholic priest that decides to do magic during the homily. Just because someone says, "my priest used to ..." doesn't mean that it is the official position of the Church.

savannamagic,
I imagine Catholics and Orthodox agree on this point. Like I said in my post:
"If you are teaching officially you need to have the Churches official permission to teach in Her name. A catechism teacher must be appointed by the pastor of the church, who in turn has authority from the bishop. Preaching during Mass is different, because it is the Church's official celebration. Only an ordained minister (i.e. one of the Church's official representatives) can teach in the name of the Church during Mass."
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Sep 7, 2010 10:08AM)
[quote]
On 2010-09-07 02:22, savannamagic wrote:
Dear Vlad,
I believe that you have missed something. As an Orthodox Christian, I attended Church School on Sunday morning. Bible stories were read and discussed with the young people by laity. There was no priest or deacon or bishop present. The materials were given to the teacher to be presented to the children.
[/quote]

Savannamagic,

Fr. Nathan hit it on the head. Yes, I DO know that laity teach Church School. What is taught however has to be approved by the priest. As you yourself wrote: "The materials were given to the teacher to be presented to the children."

What I am trying to point out in this thread is the fact that Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics would not DARE to interpret the Scriptures without guidance (See the many instances of preservation and Tradition in St. Paul, St. Peter, St. Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch for a just a few examples.) As you know, one of the reasons we dare not do so is, ironically, because sola scriptura is not scriptural. Personal interpretation of and teaching of scriptures can and does led to error. Our Church School teachers themselves are schooled by the priest. I remember as a Roman Catholic (I am a convert to Orthodoxy) that our classes in Catholic school that dealt with the faith were either taught by a priest, or the priest of the parish would provide the materials to the nun teaching it.

The point of this thread was "poll" the opinions of those Christians who adhere to Holy Tradition: Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholics, and Coptic Christians. Because of the notions of Holy Tradition and Apostolic Succession, we as Catholic Christians (The term Catholic is used here in the sense of "katolikos" or universal) reject PERSONAL interpretation of Holy Scripture. This is God's Law, not the law of man. *Smiling* I wish St. Ignatius, St. Clement of Rome, and St. Polycarp, three who received the faith DIRECTLY from the Apostles could somehow post here! ;) I think I am muddying the waters as opposed to finding answers among my Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Coptic sisters and brothers.

The question ultimately boils down to authority. Sola scriptura, it would seem, allows the phenomenon of teaching the Gospel through magic. Sola scriptura finds its genesis (pardon the pun) in Martin Luther. Therefore, it seems to follow that the VAST majority, if not virtually ALL Gospel magicians are from the Reformation body of churches whose OWN traditions rest on two pillars: Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide, both of these are Protestant doctrine.

So, my ORIGINAL question was how, as an Orthodox Catholic Christian, I can ADAPT and teach certain things about our faith but in such a way that I am not taking on the role that belongs to the deacon, priest, and bishop.

Thank you SO very much Savannahmagic for contributing :) Your point is certainly correct. However Church School teachers in an Orthodox Church on a Sunday, with materials provided to them, is really quite diferent from the magician who interprets Scripture on her/his own and uses magic to "preach."

+In Christ,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: Cyberqat (Sep 7, 2010 01:01PM)
[quote]In addition, there is a VERY strong possibility that the Episcopal Church in the United States may be excommunicated by the more traditional Anglican Churches.
[/quote]

Sorry to have to correct you Vlad, but what you state is impossible by canonical law.

This is a common misunderstanding about the World Wide Anglican Communion (WWAC). It is not like the Catholic church-- the Arch Bishop of Canterbury is not its controller. The WWAC is a collection of equals and all heads of all Anglican churches world wide have an equal right to a say. There is no voting process or any sort of constitution that provides any other process for "kicking someone out." Only you can decide if you are or aren't a member.

The most other members can say is "we don't like you and won't talk to you." Some of the Africans and Asians have done so. OTOH the Australian and Scottish churches have applaud thee actions of the Episcopal church.
Message: Posted by: Cyberqat (Sep 7, 2010 03:29PM)
Btw....

Shelby Spong for the most part was just a popularizer of the theological writing of Marcus Borg and some of his contemporaries. The Epsicopal church has room for a wide range of opinions, but Borg and Spong are pretty much in keeping with whats being taught in the more liberal Epsicopal seminaries today.

On the whole, Anglicanism is facing somehwat of a cross-roads, both inside of the Episcopal church and in the world wide communion. There *is* likely to be a split between traditionalists and those who feel that the word of god is an ongoing revelation and that the church should evolve as human understanding grows. But on the national level that split will likely be those who feel more traditional leaving the Episcopal church. (As some have already done.) On the international level its harder to gauge whether there will be any change in structure or whether it will continue to be informal shunning. If structure changes then, again, those that want to set rules for membership will have to leave and forma group which has such a provision because the WWAC does not and has no legal way to create such.
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Sep 7, 2010 03:52PM)
Cyberqat,

I will send you the links then for you to peruse about the movement by Conservative Anglican Bishops calling for the separation of the Episcopal Church. While it may be impossible by Anglican Canon Law, that has not stopped them before. The ordination of gays and women to the priesthood and bishopric was at one time ALSO forbidden by Anglican Canon Law. These practices have SEVERELY hampered Anglican efforts toward recognition of their sacraments and Holy Orders by both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches.

In fact, at a recent conference in Pittsburgh, PA, the talk of schism was rampant.

Please give me a few days to dig up the articles.

As for Spong, this information was given to me by VERY conservative Anglican priests, and, it seems they are NOT the minority.

I read Bishop Spong's principle works when I was making my way back to Christianity. I was considering the Anglican Church and wanted to read the works of some of their theologians, just as an Orthodox Christian would read Vladimir Lossky.

Spong treads VERY perilous paths.

To your other observation my friend: The Archbishop of Canterbury of course is NOT the head of the Anglican Church. He does serve however a function that hearkens back to the original five Holy Sees of Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem, in that each Patriarch held equal status, but that the Patriarch of Rome was given primacy of honor, or "first among equals". The Archbishop of Canterbury, while not having JURIDICAL power over the the other Anglican Archbishops nonetheless enjoys primacy of honor.

The Episcopal Church, which is the American body/expression of Anglicanism has been at odds with The Anglican Church. In fact, you will find MANY Anglicans who identify themselves as Anglo-Catholics. The Church of England was at its most "protestant" under Elizabeth the First. The Oxford movement of the 1890s marked the beginning of the movement BACK toward Catholic Christianity. TECHNICALLY, Anglicans are NOT Protestants; Reformation theology was not adopted until after Protestantism took hold in England after the death of Henry VIII. The Oxford Movement sought to reverse the Protestantism of the Church of England.

What complicates the matter historically are the "Roundheads". This group, responsible for the beheading of Charles I in 1649, led by Oliver Cromwell (a great way to get a good butt kicking in the Republic of Ireland is to toast Oliver Cromwell) are historically considered "low church" schismatics among the body of Anglicans.

There IS a problem when the head of a State is the head of a faith. A pity Henry VIII WASN'T granted that divorce ;)

Namaste,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: Cyberqat (Sep 7, 2010 05:43PM)
[quote]
On 2010-09-07 16:52, Vlad_77 wrote:
Cyberqat,

I will send you the links then for you to peruse about the movement by Conservative Anglican Bishops calling for the separation of the Episcopal Church.
[/quote]

They can call for whatever they want, but there is no way it can happen. Period. They can claim it has happened, but by the bylaws of the organization in question it is not possible.

The WWAC is a meeting of equals. No one can kick anyone out. That is its fundamental structure.

I wont correct you on your knowledge of the Eastern Orthodox. Trust me as a clergy-in-training spouse right dead in the middle of this controversy to know the details of our church.


[quote]
While it may be impossible by Anglican Canon Law, that has not stopped them before. The ordination of gays and women to the priesthood and bishopric was at one time ALSO forbidden by Anglican Canon Law.
[/quote]

Apple and Oranges. The Episcopal church can change cannonical law inside of its own church. There are provisions for that IN the cannonical law.

We arent talking about any one church here, we are talking about a loose federation of churches and that federation has no provision for such changes.

I am afraid you are getting confused by imposing your probably deep knowledge of Catholicism or maybe Eastern orthodoxy on someplace it doesn't apply. Every Anglican church is independent and has no duty to follow any other Anglican church's teachings or agenda-- even the CofE's. The WWAC is not some great over-arching control structure like the Vatican. Its much closer to a trade union for Anglican churches.

And the rules of that Union are that anyone who declares themselves a member IS a member. Period. The end.

[quote]
These practices have SEVERELY hampered Anglican efforts toward recognition of their sacraments and Holy Orders by both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches.
[/quote]

Again, "Anglican" is not a church any moren then "Lutheran" is a church. Anglican is an adjective that applies to MANY independent churches through out the world. In the US, the Episcopal are Anglican. In Brittan, the CofE is Anglican. In South Africa, it is the Anglican church of South Africa. But they are all as separate in authority as the ELC is from the Wisconsin Sinid.

[quote]
As for Spong, this information was given to me by VERY conservative Anglican priests, and, it seems they are NOT the minority.
[/quote]

As for minorities... I'd hesitate to count and Id suggest you do so as well. A great many clergy *I* know are sensitive enough to the pain change causes some people to tread gently and cautiously while supporting that change. They don't make much noise, but they are definitely there.

What ARE in the minority are the churches and diocese that have decided to actually leave over these issues.. though there have been some and we wish them well.

[quote]
I read Bishop Spong's principle works when I was making my way back to Christianity. I was considering the Anglican Church and wanted to read the works of some of their theologians, just as an Orthodox Christian would read Vladimir Lossky.

Spong treads VERY perilous paths.
[/quote]

He's not for you, that's fine. Though as I say if you really want to understand the concepts he discusses deeply you should read Marcus Borg... though I doubt you'ld like him any better.

As for judging what either says... didn't someone say "Judgement is mine sayeth the lord" and some similar things?

God is infinite. I am finite. I don't pretend to understand god's mind or will, except that I know ti is far bigger then anything I can conceive of and, when I start applying restrictions to it, I start making an idol of my own beliefs.

Best

JK
Message: Posted by: Cyberqat (Sep 7, 2010 07:06PM)
Actually I'm mixing my quotes. "Judge not lest ye be judged." is the more appropriate one in this case. (the other is "Vengence is mine..." which is a similar sentiment but less appropriate to this particular instance.)

And one other in this case correct but slightly confusing use of terminology there I shoudl clear up... when I say...

"What ARE in the minority are the churches and diocese that have decided to actually leave over these issues.. though there have been some and we wish them well. "

It would have been clearer to say "... parishes and diocese..." to distinguish from my use of "church' further up to refer to the National Church.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 8, 2010 06:35AM)
Under the theme of this Forum and specific Thread I believe we must distinguish the type of magical performance involved -- perhaps the "intended message" of the presentation.

A) Magic as entertainment. If there is no intended spiritual message, the fact that a magic effect is performed in a hall connected to a church would have a minimal requirement for any official approval.

B) Magic with a Spiritual message. The story and magic are combined to illustrate a general spiritual theme such as sanctity of marriage, honesty or even "what goes around, comes around." This should be based on an understanding of the intended audience and consistent with events on the Church Calendar. Thus, presentaions at Christmas time could be about the Three Wise Men, but not about Santa Claus. It would be prudent to "coordinate" your intended message with some level of occicialdome.

D) The Spiritual Message is the theme and magic only used as visual aids. Most Gospel magic falls into this category. For Catholics such messages should be cleared with a Church official -- not so much for permission, but for congruency of message and proper wording. However, if the theme of the presentation is the Sermon or Epistles presented that day and words taken directly from Liturgy I would not feel obligated to seek approval, but might prudently do so. It would certainly be alright to say, "We heard in today's Gospel the words XXXXXXXX, and these reminded me of an experience with my mother. I learned a lot of good thing in our kitchen while Mom prepared meals -- alwasy magical in a way. Let me domonstrate ..."

D) Magic to teach. If the purpose of the presentation is to teach a specific Spiritual message, the theme would have to be directed by the person in charge of the teaching. Thus, a Deacon in charge of a CCD class might delight in some magic to illustrate a particular message -- you being just an assitant to the class.

These catagories may not be inclusive, but hopefully illustrate that "magic" as a method of conveying a message is only incidently concerned with Church premisis or required permission, but that a performer desiring to have maximum impact on the intended audience would well coordinate with the Offcial in charge of the program.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 8, 2010 06:54AM)
Gospel Magic for Catholics. As a separate theme we could consider a known Gospel Magician performing for a Catholic audience. I know of several Catholic study groups that would be interested in better understanding how Gospel Messages are tought in this manner, just as they attempt to understand the the power of music and tent Revials on the public at large. They would wish to see exactly how such a performance is presented for a Protestant audience including any coordination of an "altar call."

If such a magician were asked to perform as part of a of an entertainment "Review" say as part of a fundraising event, the coordinating offical might offer specific restictions on "personal preaching" while supporting general spiritual messages. A Gospel Magician invited to participate in a Catholic events should never be expected to hide their spiritual calling, but should consider how best to present their message to the planned audience -- probably sticking to spiritual themes known to be common to self and Catholic teachings.

I have performed before Protestant groups at their church and have never received any negative feedback from any spiritual message conveyed. Properly done, no one should even ask what your "faith" is -- Christ being the message and theme above all else.
Message: Posted by: ThePhilosopher (Sep 10, 2010 03:21PM)
I think funsway's distinction is important. A lot changes if you use the magic as an analogy and really teach, or if you include spiritual ideas. I worked a long time as a mentalist and don't think I could ever use the magic as a direct teaching tool, but I always try to leave a message, even if it is just saying something at the end.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 11, 2010 08:09AM)
This is such an interesting thread. We have Eastern Catholics, Protestants, seminarians, and I believe my friend Jeff is Jewish. It's like John XXIII all over again. All that we are missing is the opinion of Father Photius who is a Russian Orthodox priest, and a life long magician. I will not voice my opinion here because all good Catholics are supposed to agree with the churches teachings.
Message: Posted by: revmike (Sep 11, 2010 08:24AM)
Very interesting thread. I am an ELCA (Lutheran) Pastor, but I make it a point if I think there would be any questions to sit down with the Pastor or other party responsible for bringing me to the event. Generally speaking, I will talk about broad biblical truths that are pretty universal - I normally would only get into denominational polity questions and doctrine when engaged at a Lutheran Church.

M Reist
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Sep 11, 2010 09:42AM)
[quote]
On 2010-09-11 09:09, Al Angello wrote:
This is such an interesting thread. We have Eastern Catholics, Protestants, seminarians, and I believe my friend Jeff is Jewish. It's like John XXIII all over again. All that we are missing is the opinion of Father Photius who is a Russian Orthodox priest, and a life long magician. I will not voice my opinion here because all good Catholics are supposed to agree with the churches teachings.
[/quote]

Al,

Thanks for joining in! As an Eastern Orthodox Christian I too would love it if Father Photius would chime in.

Everybody has been simply AMAZING in this thread. What is really cool is that while I had titled this thread to specifically get the views of those Churches in what Jaroslav Pelikan (former Lutheran who is a convert to Orthodoxy that wrote perhaps THE definitive work on the history of Christianity) would call the "Catholic Tradition", I am simply overjoyed with the spectrum of voices that have participated in this.

Namaste to ALL,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 11, 2010 11:05AM)
And Vlad adds a Hindu greeting to top it all off. LOL
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Sep 11, 2010 01:02PM)
And that greeting in the Hindi language ACCURATELY reflects the Truth in all beliefs:

"The Divine in me recognizes the Divine in you"

:)

Namaste, (and a special "Ciao" to my paesano, Al!!)

Vlad
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 11, 2010 01:42PM)
Vlad
Even though your name is the same as a vampire call me when you get to Philly.

Ciao
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Sep 11, 2010 03:28PM)
Nice catch on that one Al!

I do an act based upon a very famous "Vlad" who Stoker borrowed for his fictitious count. But a sure way to honk off a Romanian is to associate Prince Vlad III to "Count Dracula"; it's almost as bad as sitting in a pub in Ireland and toasting Oliver Cromwell.

Ciao paesano, or, as Vlad would say: Să fie bine prietenul meu!

Vlad
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 14, 2010 06:34AM)
Well, Vlad -- someting to sink your teeth into

gotta

gonna get me some new religion!
Somethin' not so confusin' and cruel perverse.
Find some stories not about vengence and wrath
or killin' childern or whorin' and what's that word
Idolatry.
Nope, Judaism ain't for me no how!

gotta get me a new view of things!
Tired of hearin' how I'm cursed sinful
even without doin' nothin', leastwise pretendin'
Sunday doin's should be different from other days
Hypocrisy.
Christians be alright 'cept for the churches.

Took a look at Islam and Sufi.
Getting' a lot of press so must have sumpin'.
Same God -- different book -- multiple heavens.
Befriend strangers but hate yourself and women.
Impetuosity.
Arabic prayers too tough learnin' anyhoo.

shoulda got on with special prayin'!
I see you there, ya know, all ashimmer;
Within meditation that looks in so deep
and know how much I cry not to be so alone
Contemplation!
'sides, I hate UT orange and shiny skull.

I kinda hanker to Pagan,
What with nurture growth 'stead of teachin' rules,
And sexuality bein' fine and Goddess types.
But Wiccanry Redes like 'nother circle trip.
Ritualization!
Any Path is fine if it sorta looks like yours.

could I just talk to You more direct?
Forget the altar, candles and awful singin'?
Would ya hear me if'n I'd just hunker down
here in the dirt sayin' "Father I'm home?"
Humanity?
Bein' you're God -- you'll prob'ly get it right.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Sep 23, 2010 06:52PM)
Hello everyone!

I am a sort of "prodigal" or should I say a believer who made genuine commitments to Jesus but for whatever reason messed up, felt ashamed and rejected by the Christian community, causing me to walk away from the church.

As I have struggled through this painful time, I made mistakes creating judgmental attitudes from Christians and rejection from the church, yet God in His grace continued to chase after me. I had to become homeless, broke, and friendless, near suicide (oh, so close!) to realize God still loves me. I was at the top of a 26 story building, a second or two from free fall. God called to me. I went back down.

As I walk through a time of brokenness and repentance I have discovered God's love like never before, and I am now in the process of healing and being fully restored. I have a long way to go. My love for magic has been my only pastime. There IS a message here.

After reading this thread, I am overwhelmed with new respect for my fellow Caf members! Magic is SO much more than tricks! The "Gypsy Thread" could easily be the story of my recent life. The Color Changing Silk (using a dye tube) could tell a story of "cleansing". My sister is a nun, who converted from Catholic to Russian Orthodox.

She has been my "Rock". She thinks magic is a blessing I can share with others. I don't know how to do that. I suppose I have many gifts. Would a Catholic or Orthodox Church allow me to perform with any sort of "message"? I would have to be very careful in that respect. I am also very shy, recently. My self esteem is at its LOWEST.

I would like to see what Father Photius has to say, as well! Thank you my friends, and thank you too, Vlad my friend, for starting this. I am learning...

Doug
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Sep 23, 2010 09:10PM)
Doug,

Your sister is RIGHT. You see, we GLORIFY God when we use our gifts! Magic is a blessing in that it brings joy to others. So, the "answer" of how to do that is simple: DO magic :)

As to the message: among the Orthodox and Catholics, a "message" which is moral and proclaims the Good News is of course good - PROVIDED your interpretation is NOT self-interpretation of Scripture and Holy Tradition. That being said, it is for the presbytery (priests), and bishops to OFFICIALLY TEACH the Holy Gospel.

The reason I started this thread was to get the views of those who fall within what theologian Jaroslav Pelikan - may his memory be eternal - termed "the Catholic Tradition." I have found through this thread exciting discussion AND a confirmation of something that I had suspected and that is the observation and fact that "Gospel magic" is LARGELY a Protestant phenomenon. I believe Roman Catholic seminarian Br. Nathan expressed this far more eloquently earlier in this thread. (His name here is The Philosopher).

Your sister can teach you much about the beauty of Christianity. After all, she has devoted her very life to the faith in the most profound way! :)

You are always in my prayers Doug!!

Vlad
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 24, 2010 06:50AM)
It would seem then that there is no problem with a Catholic doing Gospel Magic for Protestants -- using his gift to provide testament to the presence of Jesus in his life. Prudence would suggest you coordinate with the Pastor as to current themes of discussion -- especially with children.

I have also taught Ministers magic effects to use with a Gospel lesson.

This is not to say one should change their knowledge of Scripture to fit the audience -- only that the selection of Gospel passage can fit both personal beliefs/teachings and that of a Protestent audience.

Great thread, Vlad -- and I am kind of suprised at the silence of the experienced Gospel Magicians on this forum. Unfortunately, my experience suggests they don't read this thread rather than deciding not to offer views.
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Sep 24, 2010 10:31AM)
Thanks Funsway,

As you know, there ARE Protestant denominations who do NOT consider Catholics and Orthodox as Christian!! Considering that the Church "wrote the book" I find this strangely ironic.

There is a WONDERFUL refutation of Jack Chicks slanderous tract "Are Catholics Christians?" on YouTube by an EXCELLENT Catholic apologist. Let me know if you would like the link. It addresses Chick's lies, but, it ALSO addresses MANY misconceptions Reformationists have about ancient Christianity.

I am assuming here - I know, a very dangerous thing - that the title of this thread perhaps is causing many Gospel magicians to ignore it, which is cool. I have seen SO much writing on this by Protestants yet precious little if any from Roman Catholics and even LESS from Orthodox Christians.

Namaste,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: DelMagic (Sep 27, 2010 05:50PM)
Indeed, I doubt many are ignoring the thread. I think the reason many Gospel magicians have abstained from commenting is due to Vlad's title and his plainly stated purpose/audience with whom he wanted to dialog. If it was an open-ended thread, I am sure more of those with a different viewpoint would chime in. I know I desired to, but didn't have anything to offer from the viewpoint Vlad was looking for. I did find this to be a great thread though.
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Sep 28, 2010 10:13AM)
Thanks DelMagic!

There have been some excellent contributions from the Protestant spectrum of Christianity and certainly please feel free to chime in brother! At this point, it would be interesting to widen the dialog a bit. What I had suspected about gospel magic as largely a Protestant phenomenon seems to be true. That said, I DO find the subject fascinating from an academic point of view. At the core of Reformation theology are sola scriptura and sola fide - sola scriptura being the pillar that defines the other if you will. So, in teaching the gospel through magic, do Protestants find books or effects that for THEIR denomination would be acceptable but for another would NOT be?

I am developing another theory and perhaps this would be better suited in a new thread but, here goes:

Is there is a difference in tolerance or freedom of scriptural interpretation as one proceeds from highly liturgical denominations such as the Lutheran Church down to MUCH less liturgical churches such as the various Baptist and Pentecostal denominations. I SENSE that the more "high" a church is (and "high and "low" are historian's terms to distinguish between churches that hold to liturgical worship, creeds, etc., and those that do not - so, a sort of continnum) the more likely it will be that a minister is going to be more closely involved with what is taught in a gospel magic show.

Sola scriptura, as evidenced by the staggering amount Protestant denominations, seems itself to lead to different "interpretations" of scripture. So, for instance, how does the teaching of Mary differ between a high church and low church denomination and how much of that is based upon the guidance/involvement of an ordained minister.

Namaste,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: sthielman (Sep 29, 2010 02:23PM)
Just stumbled on this thread. It's discussing many of the same issues as were discussed in the The Catechist's Magic Kit thread that was heavily edited, then locked a few months ago. http://themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=346820&forum=16. Tone is a lot more civil this time round. The issues remain very important, since lots of people from various Christian denominations are interested in using magic as a vehicle for evangelism. I continue to appreciate that particular book, and very much appreciate the path breaking efforts of those in FCM.
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Sep 29, 2010 04:33PM)
I have several hate emails from that certain author. I shared them with a Priest, who is also a friend of mine. He was shocked at the vulgar language, but more shocked at a lot of the comments someone who calls himself a Catholic made towards me and other protestants.

I had to threaten to post all his emails and expose him to get the guy to stop harassing me.

I have several friends and associates who are Catholics, and I personally believe that Catholics and Protestants are Christians. It's true that denominations do not share in all the same beliefs, but when it comes to evangelizing we should never be trying to evangelize those different denominational doctrines. Evangelizing is supposed to be about teaching others about Christ, not informing them about a certain denominations belief on baptism, the Trinity, purgatory, etc.

All Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died on the cross as a man for the forgiveness of man's sins to those who believe in Him.
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Sep 29, 2010 04:43PM)
When we start taking those denominational differences and start trying to preach them through magic, we are bound to run into a lot of problems.

I believe that we all have similarities that we can all share and grow by. However, there will always be those who think that their church or denomination is better than all the rest.

All I got to say to those folks is read Revelations again. :)
Message: Posted by: Kanawati (Sep 30, 2010 11:37PM)
I was baptised Greek Orthodox as an infant in Egypt, went to a Catholic school in Australia (and had my Catholic confirmation as a teenager), and was "born again" and baptised as an adult in a Baptist Church which I am still part of. Some years ago, a good friend of mine who happens to be a Catholic (and Charismatic) was appointed by his local Church parish to develop an evangelism strategy. He organized a weekend conference which included child minding. Knowing I was not Catholic, he asked me to do a show for the children and was OK with me adding a Gospel message. He caught a bit of my act and asked me on the spot if I could perform the same tricks for the adults again with a Gospel message. I recall doing a couple of tricks: a chain escape illustrating how sin binds us but how Jesus came to set us free, and a trick with a wonder box were I produced silks, each silk colour helping to explain the Gospel. My friend is not a priest (he has a theological degree), but there were priests there and I didn't receive any negative feedback. The performance was in a hall, not the actual church. At this conference I also had the opportunity to hear personal testimonies of Catholics who had discovered the grace and love of Jesus and had their lives transformed. The same powerful and inspiring testimonies that I have heard in other Protestant churches! Vlad's posts sent me on a journey to learn more about Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholicism, the early Christian church, and the writings of the early church fathers. It has only strengthened my respect for my sisters and brothers in Christ, irrespective of denomination. At this point in my life, I personally believe that God is much more concerned with "relationship" than with "right doctrine." The more I dig into theological and doctrinal issues (and I sometimes enjoy doing that!) the simpler the Gospel gets: I love you, you belong to Me, now go and love each other.
Vlad, I know I haven't addressed your question re: high and low churches, but the topic brought to mind my experience with Catholic evangelism and I was keen to share a bit of my journey.
God bless.
John
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Oct 1, 2010 02:33PM)
John,

Your post is simply wonderful and I am humbled and thankful you have shared it!!

+In Christ,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: sthielman (Oct 1, 2010 10:55PM)
Didn't know about those email, Gospel Dan. Gives me 2nd thoughts about recommending the book, actually.
Message: Posted by: DelMagic (Oct 1, 2010 11:09PM)
I don't have enough personal experience to know how what are commonly referred to as protestant denominations handle Gospel magicians. I have only witnessed one true Gospel magic show and that was just a few weeks ago. I have a pretty good idea how the performer was prescreened. Many teens from our church go to the Word of Life camp/island in Schroon Lake, NY each summer. This performer has done shows their for several years and I am fairly sure that the Pastor and other leaders in the church saw him there. After viewing his show and seeing what he taught, they felt comfortable enough with him to invite him to the church to perform in the Sunday School time.

Doctrinal differences do divide, and that isn't always a bad thing. When the division comes from style differences or secondary teaching, that can be very sad. But, when people really have substatial differences in beliefs, it makes sense to me that they separate and state plainly (without acrimony) why they separate.

I grew up Roman Catholic and only began to seriously read and study the Bible in my late teen years. In many teachings and doctrinal positions I still agree with the RC church. There are many that I now disagree with and critically that includes the teaching regarding who has eternal life. However, I cringe whenever I see/hear people in churches speak uncharitably towards Roman Catholics (due to my background) and even other faiths. That insensitivity can lead to a complete shutdown in communication and may leave visitors and guests with a sour taste in their mouth regarding you/your church.

We should reach out in love and kindly and faithfully present any doctrinal differences we have. There is no need to ignore them. (I am not saying anyone here said we should!) At work, I sit across from a RC friend and we often discuss differences in doctrine without any personal antagonism at all.

This board isn't about ironing out our theological differences so I wouldn't want to get into such things here. There are plenty of sites around that allow that and I have done much discussion on them. Here, I am trying to learn about using magic to enable me to present God's message and love in ways I have never done before. I am very encouraged by what I read here. I am glad that doctrinal differences, which I am sure exist, don't seem to hinder communication here.

Keep on talking fellow magi,
John
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Oct 2, 2010 01:26AM)
John,

Indeed doctrinal differences DO exist. It is a reality. That being said, as each of us are called to be as Christ-like as possible in our lives, I am again reminded of what believe in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and that is, "we know where the Church IS, but we do not know where it is not."

I find that a beautiful statement and best reflects our being in Christ.

Blessings,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: David Dayton (Nov 12, 2010 06:40PM)
Good conversation,

Can anyone please help me make contact with the Catholic Magicians Guild? I would like to join/start a chapter in Sacramento.

I would greatly appreciate it.


Thanks,

David
Message: Posted by: ageo (May 12, 2019 09:32PM)
I am a Catholic magician, and would like to revive this thread. I just discovered it today, but am quite interested in contributing and sharing with you guys in a friendly and constructive way.
A group of Spanish magicians, under the name of Don Bosco, is getting organized. Many of them write in English, and perhaps we can join them or viceversa, to advance together. On a future post, I will provide details about the group.

Alberto Lobo-Guerrero S.
Bogot, Colombia
ageo(at)logemin(dot)com