By Andy Hale
Do you remember that incredible scene from 2008’s “The Dark Knight,” in which the Joker and Batman sit down from a rather heated conversation? For three minutes and twenty-four seconds, these paragon of opposing virtues sit across the table at an impasse. Batman used his fists and guile, while Joker wielded his craftiness and deception.
As you can imagine, there was no shared resolution at the end of the exchange. Well, that is unless you consider Batman falling into the Joker’s game.
Whether it be politics, theology, economics, sexuality, gender identity, or race, we all have developed a sense of the “other.” It’s the person that has the opposing perspective of ours. It’s the person we have a tendency to vilify no matter the content and character of their life detached from this particular issue.
We are at an impasse when it comes to conversations with others from a different perspective. We exchange fiery comments with, unfriend, and block them on social media. We tune them out and turn inward to our safe tribe of commonality. And we stare across no man’s land with disdain and virtue.
“We are wise to consider carefully how we might learn to live together well with those we find difficult. What makes for peace is the capacity to live with difference in such a way that bears fruit rather than arms. Difference and disagreement are guaranteed for human relationships,” said Michael T. McRay on the CBF Podcast.
We sat down with the storyteller and author to discuss creating space for meaningful and remarkable conversations with those we do not see eye-to-eye. Michael has created dialogue among rival across the world, some of those stories he shares in his new book, I Am Not Your Enemy: Stories to Transform a Divided World.
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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