Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
How False Piety Subverts, and Often Completely Reverses, the Truth
03/25/2011 - James WhiteI think I have developed "follow the link clickitis," as have most other modern info-maniacs. You scan through topics in your RSS feeds, click on interesting topics, then click a link in the interesting article, and eventually you find yourself off in the wilderness somewhere twenty minutes later wondering how you got there in the first place. It was on one of these little journeys that I ran into this webpage. I think I got there because I saw Jimmy Akin mentioning something about a breaking scandal about this man. In any case, I have no interest in that (I honestly hope it is untrue, and I am tired of post-modernist secularists adopting the "if they are religious--any kind of religious--they are guilty until proven innocent" mantra). Instead, I have kept this page open in Chrome for a few days, looking for a few moments to comment on it. Then, yesterday, I happened to flip over to the local Immaculate Heart radio station and I heard a familiar voice--familiar in the sense that I have heard it before. And lo and behold, who was it? I had never heard the man identified before, but I happened to tune in at the end of a program so his name was given: John Corapi. Same fellow. Evidently he's quite big on that radio network.
In any case, when I read the summary of his teaching, I was struck by the reversal of biblical and simply Christian truth it represented. Note first the name of his order, "the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity." The Trinity is, in fact, most holy (because God is, by nature, holy); but the Trinity has no "Lady," capitalized L or otherwise. The Trinity is a divine and eternal truth about the nature of God, and the Trinity has not adopted, nor needed, a Lady, consort, mediatrix or anything else. But then note the first "pillar" of Corapi's teaching: "Love for and a relationship with the Blessed Virgin Mary which leads us into a vibrant and loving relationship with Jesus Christ." There is everything good about seeking to establish a "vibrant and loving relationship with Jesus Christ." But there is only one means of so doing: the Spirit of the living God applying the truth of the gospel, resulting in the renewing, growth, grounding, and sanctification of God's elect people. We are led into such a relationship by the work of the Spirit conforming the believer to the image of Christ. Mary has nothing to do with it. Mary, like any other godly example, can be used by God to encourage believers, but it is a reversal of the biblical and spiritual order to place love for her, let alone the utterly unbiblical concept of a relationship with a fellow believer who has gone on to be with her Savior, as the means that leads us to the fulfillment of God's purpose, that being a vibrant and loving relationship with Christ.
Having missed the reality of Christian teaching on the centrality of Christ through the exaltation of Mary to a position that is not only dishonoring to Christ, but dishonoring to the true, historical, believing, redeemed woman named Mary, Corapi's next "pillar" misses the centrality of Christ's finished and completed work through his promotion of Rome's gospel-destroying "the Mass as a propitiatory sacrifice" heresy. While there is great benefit in meditating upon the gospel, upon the entire revelation of God found in Scripture, and especially upon the cross of Jesus Christ, there is no benefit at all from sitting in front of a piece of bread that has been, allegedly, transformed into the body, soul, blood and divinity of Jesus Christ, so that you think you are literally in the presence of Christ. Such magical "theology," the result of many centuries of devolution from the truth, has nothing at all to do with the glorious truth that 1) Christ has died once for all, never to die again, His work completed; 2) He has entered into the Holy Place in heaven, there to appear in the presence of the Father in the place of all those who are called and united with Him, His High Priestly work not being a secondary addition to His sacrifice, but the fulfillment thereof; and 3) Christ is always present with His people by His Spirit. We do not need tabernacles and monstrances or celibate sacramental priests or any of this Christ-dishonoring, gospel-destroying tradition--the revelation given through Christ and His Apostles is sufficient, and down through the centuries His people have rejoiced in His presence with them by Word and by Spirit.
Of course, the final pillar makes perfect sense, given what has come before. Why does Corapi teach these things in direct opposition to divinely revealed truth in Scripture? Because Scripture is not his final authority. In fact, it is not his authority at all, for he has subjected himself to another authority, a separate one, that being the Pope and the Magisterium of the Roman Church.
Such summaries of Roman teaching are a constant reminder of the need to proclaim clearly and forcefully the gospel of God's free grace to those who have been bound by such error.