Gimmicks For Jesus

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Mark Osgatharp, Jul 30, 2003.

  1. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    What do you think about crowd drawing gimmicks like the Power Team and Team Impact? I think they make a mockery of the gospel of Christ.

    A young man in our church told me that the Power Team came to their school a few years ago. He said they let on as if they were unable to perform one of their feats of strength and then asked the crowd to pray for them. After the prayer they were able to accomplish their feat.

    That is absolute dishonesty and fakery. Yet these men are popular performers in Baptist churches and are even allowed in public school assemblies. I don't even see how that can be legal seeing they claim to be evangelists.

    It makes me sick at heart to think that we think so little of Christ as to need such a low class act to draw people to Him. What's next, WWF for Jesus?

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  2. David Mark

    David Mark
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    When I am confused with news like this, I often lean on Paul's statement. It gives me strength.

    I tend to think: Only that which is done out of Love will have a real reward for the servant.

    The Gospel message, itself has its own power, not the messenger.

    Dave.
     
  3. ScottEmerson

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    How do you know this wasn't true?
     
  4. David Mark

    David Mark
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    Just reading that report gave me the willies and the creeps.

    [​IMG]

    Dave
     
  5. KenH

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    Actually, it's called the CWF, Christian Wrestling Federation - www.christianwrestling.com.
     
  6. Pete

    Pete
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    christianwrestling.com

    I looked at the site...and don't know wether to [​IMG] or [​IMG] or get the next plane to the states & join up :confused: :D

    Pete
     
  7. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    David,

    Paul said, "Christ sent me not to baptize but to preach the gospel; not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect."

    We can, and in fact do, rob the gospel message of it's power if we try to dress it in human wisdom. As Paul also said,

    "For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake."

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  8. dianetavegia

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    Some 'gimmick's' can be powerful tools. A young couple at our church have a ministry and go all over the U.S. The husband will juggle and do tricks and while he's telling a story he draws a picture. When he's finished, he flips the picture over and it changes. He can turn water into wine... etc.

    Here's his web site. He's called the Crazy Tie Guy. Nathan is an evangelist AND an international juggling champion. Nathan and his wife Kathy make an incredible juggling team. They will not only amaze your audience, they will share important messages in a way that makes an everlasting impact!

    Crazy Tie Guy .com click here!


    Nathan and Kathy are also going to home school their children! There's some neat things for kids on his web site, too.

    Diane
     
  9. KenH

    KenH
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    We had a "magician" come to our church for a weekend about 4 years ago.

    Sorry, but a gimmick is a gimmick is a gimmick. The ends do not justify the means when it comes to the proclamation of the Good News.
     
  10. Baptist Believer

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    How do you know this wasn't true? </font>[/QUOTE]Actually, I have to agree with Mark here.

    The tricks that the Power Team performs are essentially “strong man” tricks that date back to the old traveling carnivals and circuses. If you know a little bit about physics and know some of the secrets to the tricks, you can easily see that the Power Team act is more about giving a show than about feats of strength.

    For instance, I used to be impressed by them tearing telephone books in half. But a few years ago I happened to be watching a kid’s science show on Saturday morning (I think it was “Beakman’s World”) and they showed how the phonebook tearing act is done using regular phone books (not doctored). It is more a matter of pressure points causing stress on the paper and a rhythmic flexing of the book back and forth that causes the paper to tear. While a moderate amount of strength in your hands is required to apply pressure, a normal man who can give a firm handshake would have no problem doing it.

    Yet a few months after I saw how the trick was done, I noticed that the Power Team was on the local “Christian” television station. I watched a few minutes of the show to see their telephone book tearing act. They did it the same way as on the science show except they grunted, contorted their faces and asked the audience to pray that they would be able to succeed with their trick. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: By telling the crowd that they are seeing (in essence) God do miracles before their eyes, they are falsely giving themselves authority as “special” conduits of God’s truth and power. (Does it seem to be in the character of God for Him to do tricks at our bidding? :rolleyes: If I had to choose, I’d rather have God answer my prayers about family members and lost people I know rather than having some guy successfully tear a phone book!)

    Contrast that to a Christian man I know who is an illusionist. He uses his “magic” act to gain and audience and tells them up front that everything they are going to see in his act is an illusion. Then he ends the act and preaches gospel sermons based on variations of the theme of “illusions vs. reality”.

    Power Team tells you what they are doing is through the power of God while instead it is a trick. The Christian illusionist tells you what he is doing is a trick and then tells you about the dangers of deception and the truth and reality of God.

    I don’t have any problem using special or unusual abilities or talents to draw a crowd to hear the gospel. I do have a problem with being deceptive, misleading or distorting the gospel to make God into some sort of carnival sideshow miracle worker. :mad:
     
  11. dianetavegia

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    I tried to edit and my time had passed. I misled when I said Nathan does tricks. His tricks are with juggling and basket balls. NOT magic tricks. When I said he turns water into wine, it's the drawing.... He draws one part of the Bible story but flips it over and it looks like the moral of the story or the end of the parable, etc.

    I didn't mean to make it sound like he does things that are trickery.
    Diane
     
  12. David Mark

    David Mark
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    I understand fully. Nevertheless, there is no way for me to deal with such incredibly disappointing news from the field. I read it, I care much, and it threatens me/us. So I try to find peace. You site an extreme example, but there are many more subtle examples I can bring up that would exhaust my simple mind too. I've brought dishonor to God's name through my words and deeds. Preachers of the Gospel do it too, yet folks still get saved. I look to scripture for comfort.

    How does this stuff get corrected? Does God himself see it? Is he as shocked as you and I are? Why does he let it continue? He obviously lets it continue. I believe that God could, with a whisper topple any of us over from our secure perches. So what is going on? What is my attitude toward that disappointment supposed to be? I cannot go and rebuke that fellow or anyone else I know. Especially some folks on television.

    It's hard to forget such a unsettling report from the field. It will try to nag me to pieces. [​IMG]

    Additionally, I only believe the report on the surface, there is still some doubt to this fellows sincerity and methods and whether or not he preaches Christ and Christ alone as savior.

    At any rate, the report was terrible and discouraging.

    So I search for peace. [​IMG]

    Dave.
     
  13. Xingyi Warrior

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    Yeah I've seen the power team. I have to say that I was less than impressed. They seem to connect the "amazing" feats they perform with Gods power when it really only represents skills well within the ability of anyone who has pumped lots of iron. I am a Xingyichuan kung fu practitioner of 16 years. I can drive my hand through twice to three times as many boards and bricks as those beefcakes and can crush coconuts with my hands as well as break handcuffs apart when shackled. I stand 5'9" tall and weigh 180 lbs. All the feats that I can perform however, are not based upon mystical power - they are the result of grueling hours of training involving physical, and psychological discipline. Furthermore, they are all based on physics and natural law and can easily be explained. I wouldn't ever use these as demonstrated feats to win people to Christ. Maybe theres nothing wrong with it but I don't find it appropriate.
     
  14. Terry_Herrington

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    I have seen this "Power Team" and I must agree that, while they put on a good show for the kids, their manipulation of the truth is disconcerting.

    Kind of reminds me of Benny Hinn
     
  15. ScottEmerson

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    Thanks, BB. I have never seen them (but I have heard about them.) I am always wary when someone says "That can't be true" without explaining why.
     
  16. Jeffrey H

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    Stupid. Ridiculous. I think the same of the "christian" wrestling federation (CWF).

    Basically, these are guys are football players and wrestlers that couldn't make it in the NFL or WWF, so they are making a little money in the name of Jesus.
     

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