“And there occurred such a sharp disagreement that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus.” (Acts 15:39, NASB95)
Disagreement between believers is always a serious and sad thing, but that does not mean that it is never necessary. If the Apostle Paul and his close friend Barnabus would part ways over their opinion concerning John Mark, then disagreements will occur in my life and yours as well.
Paul instructs us to "be at peace with all men," but he does not insist on peace at any cost. At times, principle should trump peace.
Should Paul have been so stubborn that he would not take John Mark along with him on the journey? The truth is that we do not have enough of the facts to know. Was Barnabus wrong to separate from Paul? Again, we do not know. I think that discussions that try to determine guilt in this situation make a false assumption, namely, guilt! Perhaps we must simply understand that sometimes people have such differing opinions that they will not be able to work together. When such is the case, let us simply describe the separation in matter-of-fact terms as the Bible does in this disagreement, and move on in our work of serving Jesus.
In His Grace,
Dr. Randy White
For more solid Biblical teaching, including a daily radio broadcast
from Dr. White, please visit Randy White Ministries.