Those that believe are defined by their various religious contexts and these contexts are defined by "holy books" and "holy people". Men always seem to like to follow the leader. The difference in a free society, is that one can choose which leader one will follow. That is key to understanding our political freedoms; Choice as an ultimate value for defining one's life.
Some think that since leaders are called to lead, then those who are to follow must do so without question, as "fate" is "God's will" and it shows deference to "God" and Others in whatever happens.
Such a sermon I heard recently, that admonished the believer to have personal faith and to do their disciplines in secret, not as the hypocrits do. The preacher admonished the flock that God knows and sees, so we don't have to perform or please others. We are only to please God. This is good advice to those that choose to believe, otherwise, people will continually be playing to those that have power, so they can get to the top. In the process, they step on another's toes, so to speak and disorder of all kinds occurs! It is human nature to pursue one's own interests and such as it should be, as long as it is done within the bounds of lawful behavior.
To those that believe, I have hope that you will not allow others to trample your life under their cloven hooves. I hope to see you resist those that are such "pigs". I don't believe in pacifism. I think that thinking that passive good with overcome agressive evil is hopelessly naive! But, I have watched and read about such "saints", but question if this is to be a norm for change? Certainly, those in power would want passivity as it concerns resistance, that way, they can continue in their abuse without any recrimnations. (Our country would have never had a war over taxation without representation, if that had been their perspective!)...
Passivity toward unjust circumstances speaks of character, because these have to practice "self-control" and humility and such character had Jesus, who represents the "ultimate Chrstian model". I don't respect scapegoating, sabatoging another's life, etc.And this is what actually happened according to the text. And those that believe in a historical Jesus must adhere to such religious practices and beliefs.
How can believers think that his life was the epitome of "morality", because he overcame evil with good? How did his life represent the "ideal" for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? It did because he was subservient to his "Father". Subservient and passive enough to face death on a cross, the Christian symbol!! But, one can only believe that Jesus' life was an "ideal", if they believe in a supernatural world to come where justice will be met out and all things restored and people will be rewarded accordingly. I wonder if the pastor meant that one should not seek to please "God"? No, because he said that this was man's purpose to "please God". But, I wonder then, if he meant we were to serve "God' unto death? That is the Christian belief? God wants our life sacrificed to "His Cause"! That sounds like an ogre to me!But, we are to love this demanding, controlling, and heartless God, because he loves us, personally. And the "sufferings of this present life will not be comparable to the glory that is to be revealed"!! That is Church "speak" for the abuses of Church power.
But, believers believe that anyone who "looses his life for My Sake and the Kingdom, will be rewarded in the life to come".. Believers believe in a coming Judgment Day and some believe it will come soon on May 21st, just as believers have always looked and hoped for. Continue to believe, then, and give up your lives for others to trample under their feet. This is your "lot" in life and where you, "Fit"!...And continue to believe that 'God" deems it as "good to and for you", because he loves you!!!