Dear Sisters and Brothers.
There is a tension in the Church between being popular and prophetic, and in this way the Church reflects the world situation. We have seen how those who say what we want to hear have gained political power through being seen to be 'honest' and 'telling it as it is'. Unfortunately what we want to hear (and the 'we' here is society generally not you as an individual) tends to feed either our feelings of superiority or our feelings of inferiority. Therefore, to speak of those who have been powerless in terms that suggest that they have now gained too much power, and this could be women, migrants, people of different sexual orientation, people with varying abilities, or some other marginalized group, is both a statement of arrogant superiority and an act of those fearful of becoming inferior because of the rise of the voices of the marginalized. The catch-all term for this is 'political correctness' which is used as a derogatory term and yet to speak respectfully about any other person is, surely, an act of love, and so a Christian duty. Of course, we have discovered that we live in a 'post-truth' society, in which it does not seem to matter whether we are honest or lie, each will gain us popular support, so long as we say what people want to hear, which is so often at the expense of respect and understanding of others.
So what should we be doing in this society? Should we be seeking to be popular? Massaging the Christian Gospel so that it is comfortable to those who want to see the world as divided between them and us? Preaching a Gospel of the included few and the damned many? should we be seeking to be prophetic? Declaring the radical love of God in Christ, a babe in the manger and a man on a cross? Stating the need for constant repentance for everyone, "For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:22b-24 NRSV).
This quarter includes Easter, the ultimate expression of God's love in Christ, a self-sacrifice beyond our imagining, that " God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8 NRSV). This is the God we proclaim, one who died for all, without exception, and who will fulfil his purpose of love. Let us be a prophetic people as we come again to his cross and let us be bearers of God's resurrection life to a world in need of truth and hope.
Your brother in Christ,