Last May, former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested for the rape of a hotel maid while on a business trip in New York. He has since been released from criminal responsibility as the prosecutor was not able to prove that a rape occurred because of problems with the testimony of the maid. But there seems to be no doubt that a tryst actually took place.
Now, Mr. Strauss-Kahn has allowed himself to be interviewed on French television. And while insisting that he has done nothing criminal, he does admit to an “error” and a “moral failure.” He went on to speak of how this had hurt his wife and ruined his chances to become the next president of France.
The whole idea of moral failure assumes that there is such a thing as morality, and one has to wonder what Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s concept of morals consists of. Since his public encounter with the law, not only have other women come out and accused him of the same thing, but he seems to have long had a reputation as a philanderer.
It is obvious that human beings have a built in sense of morality. Virtually everyone considers certain things right and other things wrong. Yet, much of the basis for moral thinking appears to have nothing to do with an objective foundation of any kind. Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s sense of having done something wrong seems to be based on the problems it has caused him with the public and with his wife. It has only risen to the level of being truly immoral based on the bad results it has had for him personally, not so much on the deed itself. Apparently he didn’t consider the moral issue anything to be concerned with before he was put in this position. It is like Bill Clinton all over again. For people with this mindset, morality is not objective, but is based on personal circumstances.
But, a biblical worldview has an entirely different foundation. Sexual immorality, or any other kind of immorality, has nothing to do specific “circumstances.” God has revealed his very character, and right and wrong are based on that character. Sexual immorality is not simply an “error,” it is a rejection of God himself. When we fail morally, we are rejecting the requirements of a holy God that we, too, present ourselves before him as holy.
When there is no sense of objective morality, which is the legacy of the influence of Naturalism in modern society, morals are considered subjective and only seen to be bad when they create a problem for the individual or society. This seems to be the attitude of Mr. Strauss-Kahn and those like him who indulge in sexually immoral acts as a part of their daily thinking and lifestyle.
A Christian worldview approach is to understand that God is a real person who wants to know us in a actual personal relationship. If we truly live in that relationship, our love for him motivates us to live life based on a morality that reflects his character – not out of fear or obligation, but out of our deep love for him.