Q. I’m getting back into cinematography and for my new company I’m looking at some video equipment from a company called Blackmagic Design. Nothing about the company indicates that they are occult based, but the name is an odd one. This seems to be really good equipment at affordable prices. Should I worry about the name?
No, I don’t think you need to worry about the name.
For one thing, as you suspect, this company has no involvement with the occult. Blackmagic Design is the name that founder Grant Petty chose apparently to echo of the name of his former company, Digital Voodoo, after (in his own words) he “lost management control of the company and resigned.” And no occult connections seem to have been intended for that earlier name, either. Rather, the Internet was being described in its earlier days as “a kind of digital voodoo, a blur between technology and magic” (as this website for a different company of the same name explains), and the expression came to be used for any other advanced digital technology. In other words, the references to “magic” and “voodoo” are simply metaphors, and such they are harmless, as I explain in my post entitled “Should Christians read books and watch movies that have magic in them?”
Secondly, and more importantly, even if Blackmagic Design did have some occult connection–even if the founders, say, had sold their souls to the devil in order to become successful, or even if they put curses on every product on its way out the door–buying the equipment still couldn’t hurt you. An analogous case in the Bible is the Corinthians’ question to Paul about food offered to idols that was then sold in the marketplace. Citing the Scriptural principle that “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it,” Paul advises, “Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience.”
In other words, even though the meat had been offered to idols, it didn’t carry any spiritual power or effects with it. An innocent purchaser would be unharmed by any of its previous associations. In the same way, digital equipment, whatever its source, is simply a product of creation and culture by the time it comes into the hands of the end user, and it can be freely used by those who love and serve “God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.“
The one qualification, again on biblical grounds, would be not to use the equipment if this caused anyone to stumble. A new follower of Jesus, for example, might trying to break free from past occult involvement, and using equipment with the name Blackmagic might cause them to violate their conscience by doing something they felt was wrong. Even though this would not be absolutely wrong, they shouldn’t violate their conscience, and no one else should encourage them to do this.
But that is only an unlikely hypothetical situation. I think the only real concerns anyone should have when considering such equipment are quality and price. I do not have the expertise to advise you on those issues. But do I hope I’ve helped reassure you about the name.