By Andy Hale
Over the last few years, we have all experienced it. There is this great chasm forming between them and us, between those who have the same political, social, economic, and religious views and those who do not.
I want to think that we’ve always played nicely together, but retrospect is still piously discolored. Instead, we seem to either be the givers or recipients of mistreatment, judgment, alienation, or rejection from our counterparts.
As the great New Zealander, Vincent O’Sullivan, put it, “If you are different from the rest of the flock, they bite you.”
It is a message we most likely do not want to hear; I certainly do not want to listen to it. But, this chasm can also be a form of rejecting the image of God in others.
“When we allow those differences to justify our hating others or treating them as less beloved by God than us—we are not just rejecting them,” said Layton Williams on the CBF Podcast.
Layton is the author of Holy Disunity: How What Separates Us Can Save Us. The book is a theological invitation to engage in conversation and a relationship with those with whom we disagree.
We sat down with the poet and writer to discuss how personal theological convictions and the dividing of her denominational tradition has formed her as a minister.
Layton has written for Sojourners and Religion Dispatches, focusing on intersections of faith, justice, politics, and culture with an emphasis on sexuality and gender.
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CBF’s podcast shares stories from across the Fellowship and innovative practices of those working to renew God’s world. The vision is to share ideas, stories, and innovations from ministers, authors, and practitioners.
Andy Hale created and hosts the podcast of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Hale is the senior pastor of University Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following eight years as the founding pastor of Mosaic Church of Clayton and five years as CBF’s church start specialist. Follow on Twitter @haleandy