You are probably wondering what in the world an early 70’s soul/disco song has to do with a Godly Wod, plenty let me explain. Don’t Rock the Boat is and idiom meaning do not do do say anything that could otherwise change a good or stable situation.
For some, actually far to many, “Christians”, have taken this to be their mantra of sorts. This question is, is it biblical?
First let me be clear I am not advocating anything here that is anti-biblical or no-peaceful. You can check my previous posts including Great Peace,and Daily Devotional – The Beatitudes by Thomas Watson Part LXIII to list just a couple.
What I am advocating is not being a Don’t Rock the Boat Christian! You know the type; ‘We have always done it this way, it won’t affect me so why get involved, I don’t want to offend anyone’ etc. etc. etc!
They are afraid to speak out on concerns and issues because they have been convinced by false teachings and flat out lies that Jesus would never offend anyone. HELLO, read the book Jesus offended an entire country and they crucified Him.
Again I am not advocating extreme revolution or any craziness here (including illegal activities) but I am saying, if our example is Christ (and the Apostles, READ Acts) they spoke out on issues and were not afraid to Rock the Boat.
That is what Paul is saying here in Chapter 12, it is all about dedicated service to God interacting in the world and how sometimes there will be trials and persecutions for that service. This is because some will not like the fact that you peacefully and lovingly point out their evil sinful ways. In other words you Rock the Boat.
If it be possible, – In the previous v.17 Paul says to act honorably with all people, a tall order when you deep down our human nature wants to punch someone’s lights out for treating you like garbage.
But here in our text he says, “If” because he (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) understood sometimes you need to stand up and fight.
As Christians we should always strive to live peacefully with EVERYONE!!! First and foremost with our brothers and sisters in Christ, then our family and neighbors vo-workers etc.
#1 If its possible: Will folks let you live peacefully, will they allow you to freely worship, provide for your family, obey God rather than man and so on.
#2 Doing all we can: to avoid unnecessary conflict; we should never be the instigators of conflict. AGAIN, this does not mean we sit back and avoid all controversy.
live peaceably with all men. – The goal is to live peacefully with all men (and women) but let us be realistic this is NOT POSSIBLE. So when is the appropriate time to disagree, argue or even fight it out?
I would say there are two main ingredients to that:
- You have to have biblical backing for your position: it does us no good to discuss, argue or otherwise engaged anyone if we cannot back up our positions biblically
- You need to be obeying God rather than man: Your argument needs to be because going against it disobeys the law of God. The bible is clear we are to obey the magistrates (Civil Authorities) GOD has appointed over us (Romans 13) to argue against, disobey or otherwise Rock the Boat means they have gone against God.
- We should make every attempt to live peacefully with everyone especially when pointing out errors.
- Jesus Rocked the Boat many times and a careful reading of scripture reveals He did so only in instances where the ruling class was breaking God’s Law.
- Jesus is our example, and if we call ourselves Christians we should follow His example.
- We should not be afraid of Rocking the Boat, for matters that go against God’s word.