Return to Obedience

August 2nd, 2011
Photo © QuesterMark | Flickr | Used under Creative Commons license.

Judges 10:10-18

John Corapi enlisted in the US Army with the goal of becoming a Green Beret, but a training injury apparently ended that dream. Later he became an extremely successful real estate agent. Then he got involved in drugs and alcohol and ended up homeless. Corapi eventually had a conversion experience and returned to the Catholic faith of his youth. He enrolled in seminary and was ordained by Pope John Paul II in Rome. Fast forward twenty years: Father John Corapi has become a popular priest, preaching at many conferences and appearing often on the Catholic cable channel EWTN. Unfortunately, according to church officials, he has failed to maintain his new virtuous life. He has been removed from actively participating in ministry after allegations of “sexual activity with adult women, abuse of alcohol and drugs, improper sacramental practices, violation of his promise of poverty, and other wrongdoing.”1 Corapi denies these charges.

Mr. Corapi is not alone. If the allegations concerning him are true, he would not be the first person to return to old patterns of sin. The Israelites cried out to God because their corporate return to sin had brought about more pain and suffering. Sinful behavior can be very appealing, at the start; but when the consequences start rolling in---broken marriages, distant relationships, loss of trust---we begin to realize the folly of our choices. Israel knew what had to be done, “so they put away the foreign gods from among them and worshiped the LORD” (Judges 10:16). If you continue on into Chapter 11 of Judges, you will see that God raised up Jephthah as the next judge to deliver Israel from their enemies. God is faithful to his promises. We can trust God.

  1. What are your thoughts on John Corapi’s situation? Should a person who has been accused of this type of behavior be permitted to remain in active ministry while the charges are being investigated? Why, or why not?
  2. Why do you think God kept reminding the people how often he had delivered them? Does God still remind us of such things today? What role does the Bible play in this reminding?
  3. Have you witnessed how the sin of one or a few people can cause problems for a whole community? If so, what happened? Was there a change for the better eventually? How did people react to the change?
  4. Have you ever made a spiritual U-turn? What were the circumstances? Did you turn away from or back to God?

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