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Louie Crew
377 S. Harrison Street, 12D
East Orange, NJ 07018

Phone: 973-395-1068 h


lcrew@andromeda.rutgers.edu

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Louie & Ernest Clay-Crew
Married February 2, 1974


12/21/1974
 
9/23/2009


The Guestbook of Louie Crew

The Guest Book of Louie Crew



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Charlotte, NC



Hello Mr. Crew,      I write to you again because you wrote something the 
yesterday that is the crux of the ECUSA "issue" and the Anglican communion 
as a whole.  You prefer to reference the scapegoating of homosexuals by 
the homophobes that roam the sacristies and pews of our beloved Church as 
to why we find ourselves in the current state of dysfunction.  However, an 
honest participant in this argument (the appropriate word) knows that the 
issue is much more than that of a gay bishop or priest; we are talking 
about an issue of salvation.   

You wrote:   

"Yet as yesterday's Gospel demonstrated, those spurned are sometimes 
resourceful in breaking in, even to the point of cutting holes in 
religious architecture.  Jesus receives them, heals them, and forgives 
them even when they don't ask for forgiveness or know that they need it.   
The religious establishment then and now - yea, the whole Anglican 
Communion -- is not pleased." I understand the mindset that brings about 
this logic, but I ask you one question.  If Jesus (and God for that 
matter) forgives me whether I ask for, want it, or even know that I need 
it, what on Earth do I need the Church for?  Why does anyone need to get 
up on Sunday, put on a tie, and throw their cash into the collection 
plate?  Why do I need serve my fellow man or evangelize the teachings of 
Christ?  I may be called to do such things, but, according to your line of 
logic, there are no consequences if I do not.  I don't even need to love 
my neighbor as myself.  How so very liberating, as in these times, I have 
struggled with this particular Levitican law.   

The issue at hand has no bearing on whether homosexuals are "fully 
included" in the life of the Church, rather, it has to do with changing 
the nature of God and God's message to suit your foibles.  Since you do 
not want homosexuality to be classified, at best a birth defect or at 
worst a horrible lifestyle choice, you and yours have worked tirelessly 
(30 plus years) to change the teaching of the Church so that sin is 
irrelevant and in your case, does not apply anymore.   Your views and that 
of the Church leadership is that Salvation is guaranteed regardless of how 
we live our lives.  This is where the "homophobes" take you to task and 
this is why the issue is more than simple disagreement.  Your side 
believes Salvation is a right and you wish to spread this message to the 
detriment of those who believe you.  I and other "homophobes" believe that 
Salvation is a gift, offered by God, through Jesus Christ and we can chose 
to accept it or not.  If we chose not to, we will reap the consequences.  

So to answer my own question, the reason I need the Church is so that I 
can come to understand, through sound theology, that God does NOT want me 
as I am.  I am separated from God as sinner.  Therefore God wants me to 
transform my life so that I am not the center; I am not the focus of my 
own ego.  He gave me Jesus as a model for my life and as a sacrifice 
because I will not achieve the transformation God seeks in me, hard as I 
may try.  But I will try.  

Finally, you state your primary ministry is not to gays and lesbians, but 
to the rest of us so that we can see how God's people can loving gays and 
lesbians and even forgive them without their asking or or even know they 
need it.  Well, I do not question that you have God's love, but you should 
not bank on the forgiveness of God's people getting you to the gates of 
heaven.  Frankly, our opinions do not really matter.   

With Christian love and forgiveness, 
Clay Seymour 
St. John's Church 
Charlotte, NC        


I responded:

   Thank you for sharing your views.

   I assure you that through the church God is constantly transforming my
   life, not as a condition for God's love, but as a consequence of it.

   Joy to all through your ministry.

   Louie Crew


***Original Message***   

Don, thank you for your poignant response to my question.   I agree with 
you that all sides in any divided community ought to bring to full and 
open discussion with one another not only their judgments but their 
metajudgments.

Our comfort level with both metajudgments and judgments is often directly 
related to whose ox they gore.

The chapter and wardens of the temple in Jerusalem could not have been 
pleased when the itinerate rabbi, out of Nazareth no less!, swung a whip 
at the ECW tacky tray bizarre or a bake sale of the Mothers Union.  The 
exchequers in the temple were generating revenue to offset the costs of 
operating the temple. They were pleased with their stewardship.  The 
reaction was immediate:  "The chief priests and the teachers of the law 
heard about this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared 
him because the whole crowd was amazed at his teachings"(Mark 11:18).

Rarely are those who carefully obey God's laws day and night comfortable 
with grace extended to prodigal younger brothers, tax collectors, 
prostitutes, thieves, lesbians, gays, and such.

Yet as yesterday's Gospel demonstrated, those spurned are sometimes 
resourceful in breaking in, even to the point of cutting holes in 
religious architecture.  Jesus receives them, heals them, and forgives 
them even when they don't ask for forgiveness or know that they need it.   
The religious establishment then and now - yea, the whole Anglican 
Communion -- is not pleased.

(Surely the Bible must have left out what was really said.  Surely Jesus 
must have told the thief on the next cross, "Want me to remember YOU in 
paradise?  You must first repeat after me, 'I believe in God the father 
almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only son our 
lord........')

We risk moral paralysis if out of fear of being judgmental we cannot make 
judgments at all.  Moral paralysis sometimes leaves the bloodiest stage, 
as Hamlet demonstrated.

I believe the best test is to pray and mean it, "God, in forgiving me my 
misjudgments, use the same standards that I use in responding to the 
misjudgments of others"  (from Quean Lutibelle's version of the Lord's 
Prayer).

In any divided community, we all need one another.  We will not likely 
ever find a place where we all agree; but without any preliminaries we can 
move instantly into the holy space in which we all forgive one another.

Describing one of the characters in THE DUBLINERS, James Joyce said, "She 
made moral judgments the way some wield a meat cleaver."  The world 
everywhere is filled with refuges from such grace-less religion.  I often 
feel that my major gay ministry is not a ministry to lesbians and gays at 
all, but to the millions of others who think that God would not love them 
but might begin to question that view when they see God's people loving 
and forgiving me even when I don't ask for forgiveness and seem not to 
know that I need it.

The General Convention is right to insist that it acted in good faith in 
our decisions in 2003.  It would be terribly wrong if it concluded, 
'therefore you must all shut up, leave us alone, or we will cut off all 
engagement with you.'

Anglicans anywhere who disagree with us are right to insist that General 
Convention made a mistake in our decisions in 2003.  It would be terribly 
wrong if they concluded, therefore The Episcopal Church must be shut up, 
or we will cut off all engagement with them.

Far bigger than the "issues" which divide us is the commandment that we 
love one another.  It's easy to love those in basic agreement with us, but 
the real test is to love those who revile us or persecute or say all 
manner of evil against us falsely because of our faith's sake.

Even when that happens, we are bidden to rejoice and be exceedingly glad.

What a wondrous religion!  May God give us the will and the grace to 
practice it.

Lutibelle/Louie

Louie Crew
Chair of the Newark Deputation.  Member of Executive Council.

-----Original Message-----
From: Don Reed [mailto:dreed@wittenberg.edu]
Sent: Sunday, February 19, 2006 2:13 PM
To: bishopsdeputies@hobd.org
Subject: [HoB/D] Judgmentalism

Dear Louie,

At the conclusion of your description of your exchange with The Rev. Dr. 
Isaac Ihiasota, you pose the following question:

"Yet can we effectively argue against judgmentalism if we insist on using 
it?"

This seems to me an important question.  Please help me understand if the 
following two responses seem incorrect to you:

* First, from our side, the term "judgmentalism" might apply, but that is 
because folks on our side believe that something permissible is being 
condemned.  When something impermissible is being condemned, we don't use 
that term.  It is not "judgmentalism" to condemn greed and excessive 
consumption in the face of abject poverty.  It is crying our for justice. 
(At least I don't think we use "judgmentalism" that way.)

* Second, the term "judgmentalism" is itself judgmental -- which is not to 
say that it is inappropriately so.  However, we pass judgment when we use 
that term.  The difference is that we pass a meta-judgment when we use 
that term.  We pass judgment about the way others pass judgment.  We stand 
for allowing diversity of moral perspectives, and we pass judgment on 
those who do not.

A final question:  Is it useful for us to ask those who stand with the 
traditional teaching of the Church to recognize and discuss this very 
difference: the difference between judgment of conduct which is immoral 
from a privileged point of view and meta-judgment of judgment-behavior 
which itself seems to claim privilege...or has the list been through that 
too many times before?

Sincerely,

Don
L4, Southern Ohio


> ------------------------------
>
> Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2006 14:55:38 -0500
> To: "Bishops Deputies Discussion" <BishopsDeputies@hobd.org>
> From: "Louie Crew" <lcrew@andromeda.rutgers.edu>
> Cc: "\"Bishops of the Anglican Communion\""
<lcrew@andromeda.rutgers.edu>
> Subject: Re: "How much are we impeded in the Communion by different
cultural assumptions?  How might we move past them?"
>
..See
> http://www.andromeda.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/natter/msg00075.html....





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