They say it because it has to be said and because it is true

This pattern of resistance is so clear and even so defeating for Jesus that he makes what sounds like one of his most unkind statements: ”Do not give to dogs what is holy, or throw your pearls before swine. They will trample them, then they will turn on you and tear you to pieces” (Matthew 7:6). We can save ourselves a lot of distress and accusation by knowing when, where, to whom, and how to talk about spiritually mature things. We had best offer what each one is ready to hear, and perhaps only stretching them a bit! Ken Wilbur says that most of us are only willing to call 5 percent of our present information into question at any one point – and again that is on a very good day. I guess prophets are those who do not care whether you are ready to hear their message. They say it because it has to be said and because it is true. 

If there is no wise authority capable of protecting them and validating them, most prophetic or wise people and all “early adopters” are almost always “torn to pieces.” Their wisdom sounds like dangerous foolishness, like most of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount to Christians, like Gandhi to Great Britain, like Martin Luther King Jr. to white America, like Nelson Mandela to Dutch Reformed South Africa, like Harriet Tubman to the Daughters of the American Revolution, like American nuns to the Catholic patriarchy. 

From “Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life” by Richard Rohr