If you make moral assertions contrary to the expressed interests of those in power, expect punishment. Your office may be smaller, your prerogatives circumscribed, you calls suddenly not returned. You will feel persona non grata.
This is no small matter in a world where connections, the network amount to virtually everything. Do not enter into the moral assertion lightly. You will pay a price. The price you pay may be judged noble in private. This will not put beans on the table.
You may spend the long hours brooding over your exile. The seeming loss of ersatz relationships may trouble you.
In this era, however, you may find you do your best work when you no longer fear ostracism. Again, you may be considered noble in private and most people may be polite to you in public. You must more likely take solace, however, in your own conscience.
You may find more than balm in Gilead if you infect others, however few, with the Big Idea. I do not think, for instance, the current clamor for renewed evangelistic fervor will suffice if it is not accompanied with an equally clamorous call for honor and decency in the office of the minister (and the laity as well). You could bring me the word, unvarnished, the faith once delivered to the Fathers, but find I will not hear your presentation because so many of your fellows bring dishonor on the Word.
The Big Idea we need more than some trinkets sent out by post, or another conference no one will attend, is the answer to the question, "Why does the Word of God return without result?" The reason cannot be the inefficiency of the Message, so it must be the unsufficiency of the messenger. The Big Idea we most likely need grows from the moral assertion we make to call men to moral courage and energy.
It is inevitably unsatisfying to hold one's own conscience dear. The noble purpose is where we start, not where we are intended to finish. If we are right, right in heart, moral in thought and so able to transform institutions, we will not be happy until we have transformed those institutions, or, at least, offered them the opportunity to turn themselve aright. One person can be easily marginalized in this information age. One must find a means to to express his outrage over the infidelity of even the laurel wreathed brows. There must be a moral assertion; untimely, indiscreet, unwelcome, to lead us to the Big Idea. even if that Big Idea is unattainable.