On the day that Pontius Pilate gave the order for Jesus Christ to be crucified, he asked this question: "What is Truth?" This question continues to be asked as the ages continue to roll down the corridor of eternity. At some point, every person has to deal with this question. Every time we opt to do something, whether it is as simple as going out the door to go to the store, or as complex as working our way through the maze of electrical circuits and wires to repair a color TV, we are acknowledging the fact that truth exists. Truth, by definition, is what exists in eternal, immutable existence. It is because things are true that we can walk through a doorway. It is because things are true that we can plot the flow of electricity through a myriad of components and discover which one is no longer working. And it is because things are true that we can learn.
This is important because we all have a date with Truth. In our future, either shortly, or in long years to come, we will face the reality that reality (Truth) is. And when we come to that date, we will be required to give some answers to the questions that Truth asks of us. We will be asked how we knew that we could walk through doors; we will be asked how we learned to do the difficult tasks that we learned to master in this world; and we will be asked whether we applied the same diligence in learning to the more critical questions of our relationship to God as we did to our vocational and recreational skills.
The fundamental question in religion is the question of authority--and we have all already made some decisions about that. Today I would like to challenge your thinking about the religious authority by which you live. First, what is the bottom line in your religious authority? Is it a religious organization (do you believe what you do because some church tells you that it is true?). Is it a feeling (do you believe what you do because it just feels right?). Is it tradition (do you believe what you do because that's how you were raised?). Is it a religious set of writings (do you believe what you do because some holy book teaches what you believe?). Or is it something else?
What does Truth require of us? What is the authority by which we are to decide what is true? The answer is simple: Truth requires that we listen to its voice and accept what it declares to be true. But where shall we find this voice of Truth in the midst of the siren voices of the Liar? After all, there have always been multiplied voices calling for us to believe them. Where do we find the voice of the Truth?
I would like to suggest this answer: the Truth is self-revealing. In other words, the Truth is not hard to find if we really want to find it. If we are satisfied with religious organizations, religious traditions, religious feelings, or religious interpretations of holy books, we will not likely ever find out what the truth is. Jesus said of Solomon that he was the wisest man who ever lived. Solomon said, "If you cry after knowledge and lift up your voice for understanding; if you seek for her as for silver and search for her as for hidden treasures, then you shall understand..." (Proverbs 2:3-5a).