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Old 03-15-2017, 10:49 PM   #1
JJ
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Default Paul and Barnabas' Sharp Dispute - Acts 14 Life Study

Regarding Paul and Barnabas’ sharp dispute over Mark:

I have come to think over many years of considering this account in Acts 14 that Witness Lee’s conclusions concerning it (See Life Study of Acts Message 43) miss the mark.

Perhaps this temporarily unpleasant time of contention among two very close co-workers is an example of God working all things for good to those who love Him and are called according to purpose.

Barnabas may have been showing "natural" favor to his own cousin, as Lee states. But, perhaps he saw the potential in Mark for him to learn from his mistake in leaving them during their first journey, while Paul was more focused on not wanting to repeat the experience of being abandoned by him.

In the long run, Barnabas, as a "son of encouragement", may actually have been right too (i.e had a good but different reason than Paul's also good more immediate reason). Mark obviously was later with Paul and in good fellowship with the churches as Paul later wrote to the Colossians about from prison in Rome - Colossians 4:10: “Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, sends you his greetings; and also Barnabas’s cousin Mark (about whom you received instructions; if he comes to you, welcome him)” and wrote one of the four Gospels. It is also noteworthy that Paul apparently did not write Barnabas off forever, or "quarantine him", but later wrote about him as a fellow apostle twice after this event in 1 Cor 9:6 “Or do only Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working?” and Galations 2 (the account where only Paul stood his ground in the matter of not requiring the gentiles to be circumcised).

Note that 1 Cor was written by Paul during in his three year stay in Ephesus recorded in Acts 19, so it seems that time may have healed any wounds from the event.
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:02 PM   #2
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Default Re: Paul and Barnabas' Sharp Dispute - Acts 14 Life Study

Lee's assertion that Paul's maturity in this situation was superior to Barnabas' should also be questioned, because Barnabas was actually the brother in Christ who had helped to bring Paul into the ministry early on (recall how the brothers feared him, but it was Barnabas that informed them about his bold proclaiming of Jesus. See Acts 9:27. And, the church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas, who was a good man and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith to Antioch, and on the way he went forth to Tarsus to search for Paul and bring him to Antioch Acts 11:22-26.
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Old 03-16-2017, 02:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: Paul and Barnabas' Sharp Dispute - Acts 14 Life Study

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Originally Posted by JJ View Post
Lee's assertion that Paul's maturity in this situation was superior to Barnabas' should also be questioned, because Barnabas was actually the brother in Christ who had helped to bring Paul into the ministry early on (recall how the brothers feared him, but it was Barnabas that informed them about his bold proclaiming of Jesus. See Acts 9:27. And, the church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas, who was a good man and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith to Antioch, and on the way he went forth to Tarsus to search for Paul and bring him to Antioch Acts 11:22-26.
During that Elders' Training of Feb '86, when some 400 brothers were strong-armed into signing that loyalty Pledge Letter to Witness Lee, he used the example of Barnabas to teach that Barnabas was finished because he did not submit to Paul. The message was loud and clear: submit to Witness Lee or your spiritual life and service was over.

This became the 8 part Elders' Training book series.

During this time, Lee spoke out strongly against nepotism in ministry, citing Watchman Nee's specific instructions to him about hiring family members in the ministry. At that time, most of us had no clue that Phillip Lee, his own son, was 2nd in command at LSM. Oh the deception and hypocrisy!
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Old 03-16-2017, 12:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Paul and Barnabas' Sharp Dispute - Acts 14 Life Study

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During that Elders' Training of Feb '86, when some 400 brothers were strong-armed into signing that loyalty Pledge Letter to Witness Lee, he used the example of Barnabas to teach that Barnabas was finished because he did not submit to Paul. The message was loud and clear: submit to Witness Lee or your spiritual life and service was over.

This became the 8 part Elders' Training book series.

During this time, Lee spoke out strongly against nepotism in ministry, citing Watchman Nee's specific instructions to him about hiring family members in the ministry. At that time, most of us had no clue that Phillip Lee, his own son, was 2nd in command at LSM. Oh the deception and hypocrisy!
Excellent thread JJ has started. In following up with what Ohio has stated, the LSM/LC track record places far too much emphasis on submission and too quick to write off brothers permanently.
To say submit implies do not question. Even if your conscience is bothered, you ignore your conscience and submit absolutely.
When one is asked to submit, the question needs to be asked why? What do you have to gain if I submit? What do you have to lose if I don't submit?
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Paul and Barnabas' Sharp Dispute - Acts 14 Life Study

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Lee's assertion that Paul's maturity in this situation was superior to Barnabas' should also be questioned, because Barnabas was actually the brother in Christ who had helped to bring Paul into the ministry early on (recall how the brothers feared him, but it was Barnabas that informed them about his bold proclaiming of Jesus. See Acts 9:27. And, the church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas, who was a good man and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith to Antioch, and on the way he went forth to Tarsus to search for Paul and bring him to Antioch Acts 11:22-26.
Disputes are inevitable, and in the LC, there exists a mindset that there can be no room for disagreement on anything. That presents a problem, because it ignores the obvious.

So LC members find themselves in a position where instead of working through things, or agreeing to disagree, once side must demonstrate an absolute submission to the other side. That act of submission is superficial and leads to problems being blown out of proportion.
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Old 03-17-2017, 05:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: Paul and Barnabas' Sharp Dispute - Acts 14 Life Study

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Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
Disputes are inevitable, and in the LC, there exists a mindset that there can be no room for disagreement on anything. That presents a problem, because it ignores the obvious.

So LC members find themselves in a position where instead of working through things, or agreeing to disagree, once side must demonstrate an absolute submission to the other side. That act of submission is superficial and leads to problems being blown out of proportion.
On Facebook, those I know from the local churches opinions are flowing. Once you're in the confines of the meeting hall...."we don't have opinions here." Oh really?
Submission is superficial and not absolute. It's passively getting along even when we don't agree.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Paul and Barnabas' Sharp Dispute - Acts 14 Life Study

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
During that Elders' Training of Feb '86, when some 400 brothers were strong-armed into signing that loyalty Pledge Letter to Witness Lee, he used the example of Barnabas to teach that Barnabas was finished because he did not submit to Paul. The message was loud and clear: submit to Witness Lee or your spiritual life and service was over.

This became the 8 part Elders' Training book series.

During this time, Lee spoke out strongly against nepotism in ministry, citing Watchman Nee's specific instructions to him about hiring family members in the ministry. At that time, most of us had no clue that Phillip Lee, his own son, was 2nd in command at LSM. Oh the deception and hypocrisy!
Thanks for adding these facts to heighten why this is an important topic. I remember how this incident and Lee's interpretation of it was used by Lee and his followers to strike fear into us about ever disagreeing with the MOTA. And I remember when Phillip Lee was running LSM, and thinking "this smells fishy", but being too young to know better.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:05 PM   #8
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Default Re: Paul and Barnabas' Sharp Dispute - Acts 14 Life Study

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Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
Disputes are inevitable, and in the LC, there exists a mindset that there can be no room for disagreement on anything. That presents a problem, because it ignores the obvious.

So LC members find themselves in a position where instead of working through things, or agreeing to disagree, once side must demonstrate an absolute submission to the other side. That act of submission is superficial and leads to problems being blown out of proportion.
Yes, disputes are inevitable, that's why the Lord gave us ways to get over them rather than pretending they don't exist or cutting each other out of the body.
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