Sacraments as Sorcery

I don’t take ANY stock in, but I stumbled upon this little article that claims that because the Sacraments are ritualistic and that the Church believes that by saying a certain formula a specific response is automatically received, that that the Church practices sorcery.

How does one refute such outlandish claims?

I’d have to ask them to explain Exodus 12:7 and 12:22-23.

There’s nothing you can do with CARM except don’t look at it. I realize this is the un-Christ-like sinner in me, but I fantasize about punching Matt Slick in his pie-hole. And all his minions. Mea Culpa!! :blush:

There is a difference in the miracles of God and those methods used by people through the power of the enemy of mankind and God him self. We do not use these sanctioned rites in our own power or by the power of the devil or his minions. We invite God to intervene in the manner he has asked us to, by faith we obey and we are rewarded by God with divine intervention. This is not sorcery, and if they accuse us then they accuse God him self. The devil is the accuser and this is something they will have to answer for, not us.

[quote=CARM]Is this not what sorcery is? Isn’t it exerting control of spiritual forces through ritual(s) with the goal of effecting certain, precise results in the physical realm? Let me say it a different way. Sorcery is the attempt to control the physical realm by invoking a ritual that effects the spiritual realm–every time it is done.

Apparently, Jesus was a sorcerer, and the Old Testament requires sorcery. Good to know.

[quote=Wikipedia: Ordeal of the bitter water]A Sotah (Hebrew: סוטה‎) is a woman suspected of adultery who undergoes the ordeal of bitter water or ordeal of jealousy as described and prescribed in the Priestly Code, in the Book of Numbers, the fourth book of the Hebrew Bible.

[quote=Numbers 5:18-28 (ESV)]18 And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD and unbind the hair of the woman’s head and place in her hands the grain offering of remembrance, which is the grain offering of jealousy. And in his hand the priest shall have the water of bitterness that brings the curse. 19 Then the priest shall make her take an oath, saying, ‘If no man has lain with you, and if you have not turned aside to uncleanness while you were under your husband’s authority, be free from this water of bitterness that brings the curse. 20 But if you have gone astray, though you are under your husband’s authority, and if you have defiled yourself, and some man other than your husband has lain with you, 21 then’ (let the priest make the woman take the oath of the curse, and say to the woman) ‘the LORD make you a curse and an oath among your people, when the LORD makes your thigh fall away and your body swell. 22 May this water that brings the curse pass into your bowels and make your womb swell and your thigh fall away.’ And the woman shall say, ‘Amen, Amen.’ 23 "Then the priest shall write these curses in a book and wash them off into the water of bitterness. 24 And he shall make the woman drink the water of bitterness that brings the curse, and the water that brings the curse shall enter into her and cause bitter pain. 25 And the priest shall take the grain offering of jealousy out of the woman’s hand and shall wave the grain offering before the LORD and bring it to the altar. 26 And the priest shall take a handful of the grain offering, as its memorial portion, and burn it on the altar, and afterward shall make the woman drink the water. 27 And when he has made her drink the water, then, if she has defiled herself and has broken faith with her husband, the water that brings the curse shall enter into her and cause bitter pain, and her womb shall swell, and her thigh shall fall away, and the woman shall become a curse among her people. 28 But if the woman has not defiled herself and is clean, then she shall be free and shall conceive children.

Ask them what the “sinners prayer” is or why they end every single prayer with “in Jesus’ name we pray.” :shrug:

Very well said! :clapping:

Im so glad you agree my friend, and thank you.

How do I refute such claims? I don’t.

It is obvious to me if someone asked me personally these questions face to face, they aren’t interested in conversion or accurate information and are blaspheming God and His Sacraments, so I wouldn’t encourage that by responding as if these are legitimate questions. How’s that?



Just to add to the many good comments already posted.

Magic vs Sacraments and Sacramentals

Are the Sacraments like magic ?
NO! They are the opposite of magic.

      In magic you have a supernatural object such as          magic wand, lucky charm, or a genie in a magical lamp.  They are used          to bring about a change in the natural realm, e.g. to turn something          into gold, etc.

     With Sacramentals and sacramentals we have a          natural object such          as a holy relic, holy water, etc. and by faith in God and by His          application of grace a change is brought about not in the natural realm,          but in the supernatural realm.           Through them God brings about a supernatural blessing that cannot be          seen.

At the core of the Protestant objection is their refusal to accept how God chooses to work and apply graces through the physical things in the world.

Perhaps a discussion on relics will help.

Or how the Sacraments are based on the power of Christ’s Promises.


This just shows the extreme lengths anti-Catholics will resort to to come up with anything they think will damage the Church and further their own goals. I think that some of them sit around dreaming these things up.

This horrid screed really proves that CARM is distinctly Anti Catholic - for all the accusations that can be leveled at the Catholic Church about sorcery could also be leveled at us Lutherans - and I would say Anglicans and the Orthodox as well.

And yet… they don’t seem to accuse us of sorcery… just the Catholic church.


I’d highly recommend “dusting off your feet” in relation to CARM in general.

I believe the guy who runs the carm website claims he used to be a Catholic priest and taught at a Catholic seminary. It was very hard to find his bio online. The thing that makes me suspicious of his claims is that on his website he never says where he was ordained or what seminary he taught at.

I think only because our Church bodies are much smaller than the Roman Catholic Church do we go un-noticed.

Haven’t visited CARM in probably years, but if it’s still Matt Slick I recall he was a Calvinist (Presbyterian?), but had some problem with their traditionalists…as I recall…for believing in the gifts of the spirit or something like that.

Hello Duane.

You probably won’t find a bio that is plausible anywhere. I’ve heard the type before: former Catholic Insider now saved, reveals all the dark secrets of Catholicism to warn away the innocents from our cult! And it goes downhill from there usually.


How about sending him a bunch of Scott Hahn Tapes instead… :smiley:

That’s really an easy one… The problem is in his opening statement… “Sorcery is the manipulation of the spiritual realm (or occult natural laws) through rituals and words to obtain a specific result in the physical world. When a certain formula is performed and a certain result is automatically achieved, that is sorcery. Some call it magic.”

Yes, we do all that but our intent is to **obtain results in the spiritual world after our life on earth. **

Ask him if he ever recites the Lord’s Prayer in church. Then ask him why he’s reciting rote magical chants.

It’s good to read articles like this as a faithful Catholic. It gives you an idea of the oppositions arguments and arms you to respond with the truth of the Church. Just be very careful that your intention is to be armed, and not swayed. Fortunately, CARM is so outlandish, it’s not to difficult to see the error in every post he makes.

God bless!

Simple! Jesus doesn’t do sorcery, period.

Hrmm…but the Eucharist does bestow grace upon us on this earth in our fleshly bodies, no?

Slick Rick is just imputing nonsense on to the Church with cheap ad-hominem. No need to meet him point for point.

Protestants are masters of getting others into round-the-merry go round of theological rhetoric that is ultimately meaningless.

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