John Begly, a member of Fellowship of Christian Magicians, International, is one of the growing number of Christians who are using illusions along with words to spread gospel teachings.
"As Christians, we're to tell others about Christ," said Begly, who has been doing magic since 1979.
Begly feels that magic conveys the gospel message in a very unique way.
"I figured it would be the best way to get their attention," he says. "It's so visual. It's so versatile."
He first started it doing magic in grade school but it wasn’t until after his teacher introduced him to a founder of a Christian Magicians convention at Winona Lake that Begly got more serious in his magic.
The type of approach Begly takes to using magic to teach about God was dubbed “Illusions 2 Illustrate”.
One act he performs is used to illustrate the Trinity, a concept Begly admits to having difficulty understanding as a child. He uses three colored-scarves for the illustration: red represents God the father, white represents Jesus Christ, yellow represents the one he called comfort in the time of need.
Pulling a single scarf through the hole where he had just put in a red one, Begly would say, "He's God and he can do true miracles." After pulling through all three scarves, Begly would announce, "The great 3 in 1.”
Carolyn, Begly’s wife, helps the magician as he performs 80 to 100 times a year at churches, schools, banquets, birthday parties, picnics and reunions. Being a highly demanded performer, Begly once did 10 shows in 10 days around Mother's Day.
Even though he has been doing magic for 25 years, he still attends yearly magic workshops to refine his skill and get fresh ideas. The next FCM International Convention will be held at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana, on July 12-16.