Summary: Truth Sets you free!
"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
On July 4th we celebrate the birth of a free nation. Our founding fathers recognized that liberty could not be preserved unless we acknowledged our dependence upon God.
America is a Free Nation. We've sung about it this morning. How did we get our freedom and how can we preserve it? Are we in jeopardy of losing it? Does freedom have limits?
During the 1960's when there was a significant cultural shift. Free thinkers challenged the establishment. People thought that if there were any rules at all then there is no freedom. True Freedom, to them, meant no rules. No laws, no morals, no community standards - just freedom. They asked the question, "What would life be like if everybody did whatever they wanted to?" And everyone just did as they pleased. This lead to Free Love, Free Drugs, Free Sex - Free Everything! "If it feels good--do it," became the war cry.
Where does this philosophy lead? Today we reap the consequences of this "freedom" Now we have a higher rate of Divorce, Pornography, and Sexual Child Abuse. These in turn have led to higher spending of our Government in its social programs to help with the by-products of this new found freedom. Unfortunately, there is no indication that this trend will decline any time soon.
Suppose that we go into partnership and buy a rowboat, with each of us paying half the cost. Then we draw a line right down the middle to divide it up evenly. We get in and start rowing out to sea. Just as we get out of sight of land, I take out a drill and start making what I call "freedom" holes in the bottom of my end of the boat. When you scream that my "freedom" is sinking the boat, I respond by saying, "But I have a right to express myself on my end of the boat and you have no right to censor my creative expressions." The question is: When does my freedom become our funeral?
(From Fresh Illustrations, http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)
Today the climate has changed. We've added to the "no rules" mantra of the 60's, now we say, "no truth" too. The overall climate in today's postmodern world says that truth is relative and personal. What is truth for you, may not be truth for me. The final authority is subjectivity.
Pilate didn't know the truth, and because of it, he made a grave mistake. In John 18:38 (quickview)  Pilate asked, "What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all." (KJV) Though Pilate couldn't find a fault in Jesus, he bowed to the political pressure and surrendered Jesus to be crucified. Too bad that he didn't have a firm conviction about "the truth."
Hanging on the wall of our local Walgreens is an invitation to go to an Obon Festival sponsored by the Buddhists. We are a multi-cultural community. Christianity isn't the only game in town anymore, and other "truths" are being proclaimed.