Dominique Strauss-Kahn Scandal

In May, 2011, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, allegedly sexually assaulted a maid in the New York City hotel at which he was lodging.  DNA testing confirmed that at least part of the maid’s story was true.  However, due to credibility problems with the maid, the case was eventually dropped.

In September, 2011 CNN reported Strauss-Kahn, a married man, admitted to the liaison with the maid.  Rather than calling it adultery, he said what happened was a “moral weakness”.  He further described the event as “an error, a mistake -- a mistake concerning my wife, my children, my friends.”

Scripture calls what Strauss-Kahn did adultery, sin.  Scripture defines sin as “missing the goal or path of right and duty”, “to incur guilt, penalty”, “to miss the mark”, "to wander from the law of God, violate God’s law.”

Part of Strauss-Kahn’s confession is correct; namely, he did indeed exhibit moral weakness.  To say what he did was an “error” is also correct, for an error is “a deviation from accuracy or correctness.”  Even calling what he did a mistake is accurate, for this literally means “to take in error”, “an error in judgment caused by poor reasoning, carelessness, or insufficient knowledge.”

Now, I’m not picking on Dominique Strauss-Kahn.  Sin is a trait shared by all humans since the Fall of Adam.  However, while his admission of guilt may be technically accurate, the connotations of those words are not exactly the same as calling it sin.  The world does not like the term “sin”; it’s much too personal.  To say I made a mistake, or made an error has the connotation that it’s harmless, that no one is perfect.  And all of this is true, except that errors and mistakes typically don’t imply that eternal damnation awaits those who made the errors and mistakes.  There may be consequences in our human relationships, as his admission above shows, but errors and mistakes don’t imply consequences in our relationship with God.  It’s been well said that we ALL have a relationship with God.  We will either be blessed by His eternal presence or be cursed by His eternal damnation.

Sin, on the other hand, does imply damnation.  If anyone has broken God’s law, missed the mark, missed the path of right and duty, and if God is a holy and just God (and He is), then there must be punishment for the lawbreakers.  We’re all guilty of not calling our sins sin, because to do so acknowledges the existence of God, and the consequence of sin.

Thankfully, the Lord provides a way for us to be reconciled to Him.  It’s as simple as acknowledging that we are sinners and asking for His mercy.  James 4:6 tells us that “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”  Jesus demonstrated these attributes of God in the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14:

9 And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt:  10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  11 The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself:  ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people:  swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  12 I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’  13 But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’  14 I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Thanks be to God for pouring out His mercy on us who believe.  Let us pray for those who do not believe.  For it is in Christ alone that a person is justified.  If your relationship with God is defined by faith in His Son, then you will be blessed by God’s presence for all eternity.  If you do not believe, you are condemned for all eternity.  The first time Christ came into the world was not to judge it, but to save it.  John 3:16-21 makes this clear:

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.  18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.  20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.  21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.

Let’s pray for those who do not believe, and behave as those whose deeds may be seen as having been wrought in God.