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SOUNDINGS – The Bible, The Truth and Michael Cohen

Earlier this week Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for illegal acts committed while in service to Donald Trump.  Until this week I’ve not given much thought to Michael Cohen and bear him no ill will, but I do think his story warrants attention as a cautionary tale, a case study, and how it demonstrates the truths of Scripture.
  • Jesus in Luke 12.2 “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.”
  • And 1 Corinthians 15.33 “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
  • And Proverbs 1.19 “Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors.”
  • And Proverbs 15.27 “Whoever is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household.”
  • 1 Corinthians 5.11 cautions against, even forbids, associating with those who are greedy, swindlers, and guilty of sexual immorality while claiming to be Christian.

Biblical principles are true regardless of whether or not a person believes the Bible, and work regardless of whether or not a person is a Christian, for better and for worse.  Cohen could have avoided a lot of trouble if he had heeded these truths earlier in his career, and they remain true even now for him and anyone else, let the reader understand.   The Bible is clear, beware of who you work for or throw your lot in with, beware of doing anything you would not want to be revealed, and beware of greed.

This week Cohen illustrated something else from the Bible, that most beautiful phrase from the story of the prodigal son, who finally “came to his senses” (Luke 15.17 NIV).

Cohen’s statement before the judge on Wednesday has this ring to it, and is worth reading in full.   It is a study of:

  • the long-term effects when a person who has at least a shred of goodness refuses to pay attention to conscience.  “Time and time again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds rather than to listen to my own inner voice and my moral compass.”
  • a person who, for selfishness and greed, chose the wrong path for many years with devastating consequences awakening to that fact with horror, and being suitably self-aware and penitent.  “I want to be clear. I blame myself for the conduct which has brought me here today, and it was my own weakness, and a blind loyalty to this man that led me to choose a path of darkness over light”.
  • metanoia – a transformative change of mind, in this case, admitting culpability, accepting punishment, and commitment to amendment of life.  “I am truly sorry, and I promise I will be better.”
  • the journey of coming out from the darkness and into the light.  “Your Honor, this may seem hard to believe, but today is one of the most meaningful days of my life.  The irony is today is the day I am getting my freedom back…”

Hopefully, while Cohen’s life is a study of many things and also proves the veracity of Scripture, it will also become a story of great redemption in the life of a man who has seen and walked into the light, even if he needed to be forced into it.