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September 29, 2021


Arbiters of Truth


you asked me

as have others, often

(occasionally with reason?)

“Who made you the arbiter of truth?”

(tongue in cheek,

Id like to answer “God!”

but dont

for fear of seeming sanctimonious

despite His command to test)


(all kidding aside

and overlooking your anger)

in asking this question

do you, do they

a) say that I am not

and could not be

an arbiter of truth

b) say that you are

and should be

the arbiter of truth

and I found a smile

alive behind my tears

I wept for our dissension

as I smiled at the irony



I would much more enjoy speaking to such people if they did not speak to me in a way that made it seem they did not care to hear what I had to say or evaluate the value of what I said.


In this case the person in question repeatedly encourages fellow believers to “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2) and “receive the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things [are] so” (Acts 17:11) yet who asked “who made you the arbiter of truth?” when I asked how they could defend a pastor who flouts public safety measures; who repeatedly refers to civil authorities as “Brown shirts,” “Nazis,” “Gestapo,” “Communists,” Fascists” and “Hyenas” and whos practice of our Faith appears not to follow the example set by Jesus, James, John, Peter and Paul.


And I wondered, how is this the proving of Gods will or the testing of another's teaching against the Bible? How does closing a door to another's thought help us learn anything?


Arbiters of Truth

A poem by Peter Rhebergen
Copyright 2021
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