During Pentecost week of 2005, Matthew Fox, former Dominican priest, nailed to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, 95 theses calling for a New Reformation within Christendom. Like Luther, this Anglican priest is highly critical of the way things are and wants the church to move in a new direction.
Fox calls the Catholic Church to task for its cover-up of pedophilia, its present-day emphasis on authoritarianism and obedience over conscience, and its scandalous canonization of a fascist admirer of Hitler (the founder of Opus Dei). He challenges Protestant churches to snap out of their apathy (what the Desert Fathers called acedia) and come into their true calling of a spiritual emphasis on justice and compassion.
Fox bases many of his 95 theses on the ideas and ideals of Creation Spirituality which blends the wisdom of western religion with the insights of science and indigenous cultures. It salutes the power of creativity and imagination and emphasizes the calling of all to be the sons and daughters of God. It honors panentheism, women's wisdom, the contributions of gays and lesbians to global cultures, the joy of dance and celebration, eco-justice, the need to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, and the daily practice of compassion as the best expression of spirituality. Here are a few of the 95 theses:
"Everyone is born a mystic and a lover who experiences the unity of things, and all are called to keep alive this mystic or lover of life."
"All are called to be prophets, which is to interfere with injustice."
"Jesus, not unlike many spiritual teachers, taught us that we are sons and daughters of God and are to act accordingly by becoming instruments of divine compassion."
"Eco-justice is a necessity for planetary survival and human ethics; without it we are crucifying the Christ all over again in the form of destruction of forests, waters, species, air, and soil."
" 'Joy is the human's noblest act' (Thomas Aquinas). Are our culture and its professions, education, and religion, promoting joy?"
"Sexuality is a sacred act and a spiritual experience, a theophany (revelation of the Divine), a mystical experience. It is holy and deserves to be honored as such."
"Original Sin is an ultimate expression of a Punitive Father God and is not a biblical teaching. But Original Blessing (goodness and grace) is biblical."
"God speaks today, as in the past, through all religions and all cultures and all faith traditions, none of which is perfect and an exclusive avenue to truth, but all of which can learn from each other."
"Since homosexuality is found among 464 species and in 8 percent of any given human population, it is altogether natural, for those who are born that way are a gift from God and nature to the greater community."
"The dark night of the soul descends on us all and the proper response is not addiction, such as shopping, alcohol, drugs, TV, sex or religion, but rather to be with the darkness and learn from it."