Christians need to be willing to stand on their convictions, from whatever platform they are on, and be heard fairly in the public square. But Christians have a long way to go in understanding the positions of others, and be able to empathise with where they are coming from. We need to be quick to listen and slow to speak – even with people who are outside of the faith.
Clarity is a great act of loving service to the other person. I am struck by how a powerful and effective evangelist who communicates with clarity can still win-through, despite a lack of local knowledge or cultural contextualization. Clarity has its own power that cuts across all sorts of divides.
The real effect of preaching happens in the long term. Congregations learn not just from particular expositions, but from our emphases, our inclinations, our tendencies and (heaven forbid!) our hobby-horses. And these are only revealed over time.