Who was right? Paul or Barnabas?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Rubato 1, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. Rubato 1

    Rubato 1
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    If 'only by pride cometh contention' who was right in the conflict sustained by Paul and Barnabas over the young John Mark?

    Was Barnabas right, shown by the future ministry of JM?

    Was Paul right, shown by the future ministry of Paul and Silas along with the 'increased coverage' of the Barnabas/JM team?

    Were both right? and if so, whose was the pride that caused the contention?
     
  2. webdog

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    Why not both wrong?
     
  3. Rubato 1

    Rubato 1
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    Webdog, you hit the nail on the head. I knew it as soon as I read your post.

    Incidentally, I substituted in a college class this morning and asked the students this question. What is interesting is that the above answer (whith which I sholeheartedly agree) was uniformly the answer among the married students! OTOH, none of the single students thought of it. I take it this is because the same is true in our marriages... It was interesting to see the difference of perspective.

    Thanks,
    R1
     
  4. webdog

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    Us married folk know! :laugh:

    Early in my marriage I thought like your single students did...that during a fight someone was right and someone was wrong. Marriage got a whole lot smoother when I came to the realization that during any fight, both sides are wrong (and that the man is allowed to apologize :))
     
  5. MNJacob

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    I believe that Paul acknowledges that he was wrong in II Timothy 4:11, when he asks that Timothy bring Mark with him, "because he is useful to me."

    Paul, without a doubt could be contentious, especially with believers, he was probably a Baptist. :)
     
  6. Alcott

    Alcott
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    Yeah, a Southern Baptist at that: "Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen" [Romans 15:33].
     
  7. canadyjd

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    :thumbs: :laugh: I resemble that remark. If momma an't happy...nobody is allowed to be happy.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  8. Amy.G

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    Well WD, you just haven't been married long enough. The longer you're married the more right your wife will be. :laugh:

    (I've been married 30 yrs. and I'm always right!) JK. maybe :D
     
  9. RevJWWhiteJr

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    Contention

    Proverbs 13:10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

    Yes, both Paul and Barnabas were wrong, but the lesson goes deeper than that. If one looks closely at the scripture we can determine why.
    (Acts 13:13 Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.) According to Paul, the writer of Acts (Luke) records that John Mark “went not with them to the work”, insinuating a failure to continue to be faithful in that work. Later John Mark rejoined the Paul and Barnabas ministry journey and the following ensued.

    Acts 15:36 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.
    37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.
    38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.
    39 And the contention (Only by pride cometh contention) was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;
    40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.

    No where in this passage does it state or imply in any way of either Paul or Barnabas consulting the Lord together or independently. The only actions mentioned are,
    1. Barnabas was determined to, 2. Paul thought not good., 3. They departed asunder one from the other.,
    4. Barnabas took Mark, 5. Paul chose Silas.
    Paul / Barnabas, Paul / Barnabas, Paul / Barnabas / They. No mention of seeking the will of the Lord is present.

    This is major mistake of a majority of the church today. It leads to many disputes as well as rips apart whole congregations. All power struggles, arguments, “sharp” disagreements that escalate into verbal confrontations, and all differences of opinion that lead to conflicts are not of God. The means by which we should settle these situations is before they arise, PRAY TOGETHER OVER THEM THEN, be in agreement with each other to put it to a vote. The majority rules, and the decision will be accepted by the minority. If you find yourself in the minority this time, understand and acknowledge that will not always be the case. Work together, even through things you are not in agreement with, provided they do not contradict The Word.

    God can make good come from our mistakes if we recognize them as such and turn it back over to him. That is why both Paul and Barnabas were later each successful in their ministries independently although it was not God’s will for them to separate from one another.

    Paul had to learn this lesson the Hard Way. We have no direct information concerning Paul’s thoughts toward John Mark, but it is clear (at best) he thought him not ready, not fully prepared, or even a quitter as he had left the work once before and returned to Jerusalem. That attitude by Paul would change later on in his life. He does not apologize for his actions of that day, but he does give the recognition that John Mark had redeemed himself in the eyes of Paul due to his faithfulness after this event. He writes to Timothy,

    2 Timothy 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee:
    for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

    Proverbs 13:10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
    Being well advised of God and seeking his guidance and his will, results in wisdom.

    These lessons actually fall with the subject of trespass. When we (each of us) from time to time, whether intentionally or accidentally offend our brothers and sisters in Christ.

    Matthew 18:15
    15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

    Luke 17:3-4
    3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. 4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

    Matthew 18:33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

    When there is contention between us as children of God, both are at fault. One for trespass, the other for not forgiving the trespasser.
     
    #9 RevJWWhiteJr, May 7, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2008
  10. donnA

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    LOL, we'll be 28 this year, and your right,LOL :laugh:
     
  11. Jon-Marc

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    The way I look at it is not who was right or wrong, but that two more men were added to the number of missionaries--Silas, and John Mark. Perhaps that was God's will in the first place. Paul and Barnabas were both experienced and could mentor another to be a missionary. If the experienced stay together and never take on new believers and mentor them, there will not be enough missionaries to meet the need.

    Barnabas was better able to deal with an inexperienced "Momma's boy" like John Mark is said to be, and Silas was someone with whom Paul could more easily work--as evidenced by the success of both pairs..
     
  12. donnA

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    How come either have to be wrong. God has a plan for each of us, we don't know what His plan for John Mark was at that time (left Paul). Prehaps He had other work for him, or prehaps John Mark had things to learn first. We really don't know.
     
  13. Rubato 1

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    True. And another lesson is: not to take sides when there is disagreement between mere men. Maybe both are in the wrong...

    Good post, Rev JWetc., and welcomg to the big BB.
     

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