Saturday, August 06, 2005

Fox's 95 Theses

Fox's Latest Heretical and Schismatic Methodology and Views

A Response by Scott Windsor

This is a response to Matthew Fox's "95 Theses or Articles of Faith for a Christianity for the Third Millenium" which he posted on his own blogsite, May 14, 2005.

Chapter V: 95 Theses or Articles of Faith for a Christianity for the Third Millennium
Like Luther, I present 95 theses or in my case, 95 faith observations drawn from my 64 years of living and practicing religion and spirituality. I trust I am not alone in recognizing these truths. For me they represent a return to our origins, a return to the spirit and the teaching of Jesus and his prophetic ancestors, and of the Christ which was a spirit that Jesus’ presence and teaching unleashed.
Like Luther, Fox represents his rebellion against the Church
in posting his "Articles of Faith..." at the Castle Church at Wittenburg (his plans to nail them to the door itself, like Luther, were thwarted 1) by the city council which told him he could only get "close" to the door and 2) by the fact that the door is no longer a wooden door, but a metal one!). Still, Fox was seeking the symbolism of a rebel (and later a schismatic heretic) in choosing this setting. Fox, in fact, seems to be quite proud of Luther.

So, let's get on with answering Fox's 95 Theses:

1. God is both Mother and Father.

In the literary Word of God, God is only identified as "Father, Son and Holy Spirit." If we delve into a more theological statement - God is without gender, and is Spirit. Fox's femanist agenda is quite transparent here.

2. At this time in history, God is more Mother than Father because the feminine is most missing and it is important to bring gender balance back.

The feminine is missing from what? Women can and do play an important role in the Church and in society as a whole. Fox is essentially belittling the roles women have played and continue to play in the Church and in the world. But back to the facts - God is genderless! God is not limited by human sexuality or emotionalism nor is God limited by Fox's attempt to engender such demarcation of the Supreme and Supernatural Being.

3. God is always new, always young and always “in the beginning.”

More accurately, God is always - period. God is without beginning and without end. God is eternal. Again, to limit God to "always the beginning" is to prevent God from being eternal.

4. God the Punitive Father is not a God worth honoring but a false god and an idol that serves empire-builders. The notion of a punitive, all-male God, is contrary to the full nature of the Godhead who is as much female and motherly as it is masculine and fatherly.

And this is yet another attempt at emotionalism. The fact is, our God is a Just God - but at the same time is a Gracious and Forgiving God. To paint the Catholic view of God as purely punitive is not an honest representation of the Catholic teaching on God. The "full nature of the Godhead" is not limited by the engenderizations of male OR female.

5. “All the names we give to God come from an understanding of ourselves.” (Eckhart) Thus people who worship a punitive father are themselves punitive.

  • Eckhart does not define God. No human could possibly define God.
  • We've already seen that God is not limited to human defined demarcations (such as punitive).
  • Catholicism does not limit God to merely a punitive God, but also a loving and forgiving God. Catholicism sees God as loving the world so much that God became incarnate and suffered and died as a human to redeem all of humanity - that whosoever believes this, shall not be damned in a purely punitive manner, but will be saved.
  • We could, perhaps, accept Fox's representation of those who worship such a god, but therein lies Fox's fatal flaw, he's constructed a straw man. Catholicism does not worship a punitive god, but God - in all divine qualities - both those we can know and label, and an infinite number that we cannot humanly understand.

6. Theism (the idea that God is ‘out there’ or above and beyond the universe) is false. All things are in God and God is in all things (panentheism).
That would not be an accurate definition of "theism." Let us look at definition provided by Merriam-Webster:

belief in the existence of a god or gods; specifically : belief in the existence of one God viewed as the creative source of man and the world who transcends yet is immanent in the world

So more accurately, not only does God transcend the world, God is immanently in the world. Fox has only presented half the truth and in doing so distorts the truth.

7. Everyone is born a mystic and a lover who experiences the unity of things and all are called to keep this mystic or lover of life alive.

This is relatively meaningless New Age babbling using catch phrases of "mystic" and "lover" but one could insert nearly any adjectives in there and come out with the same meaning. For example, it can be just as easily said, "Everyone is born a fisherman and a mechanic who experiences the unity of things and all are called to keep this fisherman and mechanic alive."

8. All are called to be prophets which is to interfere with injustice.

Prophecy is just one gift of the Holy Spirit, and not all are called to be prophets. That would be analogous to saying all are steering wheels which is to interfere with bad drivers - but if someone else is not called to be the motor, and another to be the wheels, etc., the steering wheel alone is powerless to do anything. Likewise, without Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord - the Body of Christ would be incomplete. As a body has many parts, each serving a purpose, so too is the Body of Christ - and we're not all called to be prophets.

9. Wisdom is Love of Life (See the Book of Wisdom: “This is wisdom: to love life” and Christ in John’s Gospel: “I have come that you may have life and have it in abundance.”)

No argument against this one.

10. God loves all of creation and science can help us more deeply penetrate and appreciate the mysteries and wisdom of God in creation. Science is no enemy of true religion.

Science and religion do not speak the same language. To try to force science into religion or religion into science defeats the purpose of one or the other.

11. Religion is not necessary but spirituality is.

True spirituality does not exist without True Religion.

12. “Jesus does not call us to a new religion but to life.” (Bonhoeffer) Spirituality is living life at a depth of newness and gratitude, courage and creativity, trust and letting go, compassion and justice.

Jesus calls us to follow Him! Jesus built His Church, thus if we truly follow Him, we follow His Church, and reject a "different gospel" being preached by anyone else.

And we should take time to recognize an inconsistency here. Earlier Fox claims that God is not punitive - yet here he recognizes "justice!" What is justice without punitiveness?

13. Spirituality and religion are not the same thing any more than education and learning, law and justice, or commerce and stewardship are the same thing.

No argument here.

14. Christians must distinguish between God (masculine and history, liberation and salvation) and Godhead (feminine and mystery, being and non-action).

This one is just silly. The Godhead is a reference to God.

15. Christians must distinguish between Jesus (an historical figure) and Christ (the experience of God-in-all-things).

This is a false statement. The "Christ" means He, Jesus, is the "Annointed." Fox is redefining terminology here, assumably to confuse and/or convince the simple-minded. "Jesus" is the name we call God the Son, and "Christ" defines Him as the Annointed One.

16. Christians must distinguish between Jesus and Paul.

Another statement of silliness. I know of no Christian who does not distinguish between Jesus the Christ and St. Paul the Apostle (one sent BY the Christ).

17. 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.

No argument here.

18. Ecojustice is a necessity for planetary survival and human ethics and without it we are crucifying the Christ all over again in the form of destruction of forests, waters, species, air and soil.

Again we see reference to "justice" here. Is Fox asserting that there must be punitive actions taken against those who destroy forests, waters, etc.? How unlike the god that Fox would like us to worship! The objective reader here is surely seeing Fox's inconsistency.

19. Sustainability is another word for justice, for what is just is sustainable and what is unjust is not.

Injustice sustains itself quite well in this world. God is just and fair, evil is unjust and unfair. While evil exists, injustice will be sustained.

20. A preferential option for the poor, as found in the base community movement, is far closer to the teaching and spirit of Jesus than is a preferential option for the rich and powerful as found in, for example, Opus Dei.

A preferential option of what? There is not enough information here to comment on one way or the other.

21. Economic Justice requires the work of creativity to birth a system of economics that is global, respectful of the health and wealth of the earth systems and that works for all.

Again with the "justice" aspect! Justice demands that when a crime is committed a penalty is incurred - in another word, "punitiveness."

22. Celebration and worship are key to human community and survival and such reminders of joy deserve new forms that speak in the language of the twenty-first century.

So celebrate and worship in other ways too! However, Jesus taught us how to pray. Jesus taught the Apostles how the Mass should be celebrated - let's not play with what Jesus established for His Church, but by all means - have other celebrations, times of worship and praise - but leave the Mass alone.

23. 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.

No argument against this, so long as you're refering to sexuality within the bonds of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Outside of Matrimony sexual intercourse is a sinful act and deserves to be recognized as such.

24. Creativity is both humanity’s greatest gift and its most powerful weapon for evil and so it ought to be both encouraged and steered to humanity’s most God-like activity which all religions agree is: Compassion.

I don't know about "greatest give," but would not argue that it is not a useful tool/weapon for combatting evil.

25. There is a priesthood of all workers (all who are doing good work are midwives of grace and therefore priests) and this priesthood ought to be honored as sacred and workers should be instructed in spirituality in order to carry on their ministry effectively.

A priest is one who offers sacrifice - yet Fox does not elaborate on the sacrificial aspect of a priest's "work," so this is (again) rather meaningless.

26. Empire-building is incompatible with Jesus’ life and teaching and with Paul’s life and teaching and with the teaching of holy religions.

"Empire-building" has nothing to do with religion, or Jesus' and Paul's teaching and life - that's like saying apples are incompatible with oranges.

27. Ideology is not theology and ideology endangers the faith because it replaces thinking with obedience, and distracts from the responsibility of theology to adapt the wisdom of the past to today’s needs. Instead of theology it demands loyalty oaths to the past.

What Fox has just described here is an ideology of theology! It would seem that Fox, in an effort to come up with 95 different points, got lazy and really didn't think through what he's saying here!

28. Loyalty is not a sufficient criterion for ecclesial office—intelligence and proven conscience is.

No argument here. Intelligence and proven conscience will result in loyalty. Another one not real well thought out.

29. No matter how much the television media fawn over the pope and papacy because it makes good theater, the pope is not the church but has a ministry within the church. Papalolotry is a contemporary form of idolatry and must be resisted by all believers.

No Catholic would claim "the pope is the church," so again - there is no argument here, at least not against Catholicism. It's actually a good thing that the television media drew so much attention to the passing of His Holiness, John Paul II, and relatively little media attention has been given to Benedict XVI thus far.

30. Creating a church of Sycophants is not a holy thing. Sycophants (Webster’s dictionary defines them as “servile self-seeking flatterers”) are not spiritual people for their only virtue is obedience. A Society of Sycophants — sycophant clergy, sycophant seminarians, sycophant bishops, sycophant cardinals, sycophant religious orders of Opus Dei, Legioneers of Christ and Communion and Liberation, and the sycophant press--do not represent in any way the teachings or the person of the historical Jesus who chose to stand up to power rather than amassing it.

The etymology of sycophant comes from the Latin sycophanta slanderer, swindler, from Greek sykophantEs slanderer (source is also Webster's), so IF this were so, then Fox would have a point, but to say every single one of these men of God are self-serving and not seeking to serve God through His Church is in itself a sycophant statement! Fox, who at one time was one of these servants, has rejected his oath taken before God and the Church and become himself that which he now accuses the Church! Again, the accusation he makes here is itself a prime example of sycophantism!

31. Vows of pontifical secrecy are a certain way to corruption and cover-up in the church as in any human organization.

What "vows of secrecy" does Fox refer to here? The whole world was able to see the vows of Pope Benedict XVI on live television! Where's the alleged secrecy? All we have here is yet another straw man argument.

32. 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.

Baloney! This just shows that Fox doesn't know, or is flat out in rejection of the biblical teaching on this matter!

Rom 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Rom 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

Rom 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Rom 5:11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

Rom 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned--

Rom 5:13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

Rom 5:15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.

Clearly the Bible tells us here that through one man sin entered the world, which resulted in our mortality - Rom 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." So I repeat, Fox's proclamation that Original Sin is not biblical is flat out false.

33. The term “original wound” better describes the separation humans experience on leaving the womb and entering the world, a world that is often unjust and unwelcoming than does the term “original sin.”

Original Sin begins when life begins, not just when the living being comes forth from the womb. All of us have sin, and all of us are in need of the Redeemer and it is only through His selfless Sacrifice that we are redeemed. Without Original Sin, there is no need for a Redeemer! Fox, in his effort to come up with a catchy phrase as the title of a sycophant book (Original Blessing) has, in one felled swoop, rejected the entire purpose of Jesus, the Christ, coming into the world!

34. Fascism and the compulsion to control is not the path of peace or compassion and those who practice fascism are not fitting models for sainthood. The seizing of the apparatus of canonization to canonize fascists is a stain on the church.

And yet another straw man! Fox continues to build up these straw man arguments just so he can easily knock them down! He uses emotionally charged words, like "fascism," and falsely implies that it is a "model for sainthood," and then knocks it down. Well, certainly fascism is not a model for sainthood! Just another logical fallacy in Fox's argument, that's all we have here. It must be noted, he chooses such a word to post on this "Theses" which he posts in Germany. Germany still has a bit of a "black-eye" from what it allowed to happen in the 20th century, so I posit that this is yet another sycophant attempt to stir emotionalism, and truly not a valid argument at all.

35. The Spirit of Jesus and other prophets calls people to simple life styles in order that “the people may live.”

There is nothing in Church teaching which opposes "simple life styles," and I'd be rather curious to see where Fox is getting this teaching of "the Spirit of Jesus."

36. Dancing, whose root meaning in many indigenous cultures is the same as breath or spirit, is a very ancient and appropriate form in which to pray.

In some cultures, yes. Even in Jewish culture we have evidence of David dancing in praise of God, but though that too is our heritage, it is not part of our culture. Fox, who was a priest in the Latin Rite (Western culture) is not part of that culture either - but he embraces this culture of others. There is nothing really wrong with embracing other cultures, so long as those cultures do not detract from God. If it is something that can be added to our worship of God, then there is no problem here. Trying to force these cultures upon our existing rubrics without going through proper and respectful channels is wrong and truly was one of Fox's downfalls. Eastern Rites of the Church have long embraced the ethnicity of Eastern cultures.

37. To honor the ancestors and celebrate the communion of saints does not mean putting heroes on pedestals but rather honoring them by living out lives of imagination, courage and compassion in our own time, culture and historical moment as they did in theirs.

No argument here.

38. A diversity of interpretation of the Jesus event and the Christ experience is altogether expected and welcomed as it was in the earliest days of the church.

This is just more of Fox's sycophant catch phrases. "The Jesus Event" and "Christ Experience" are inventions of Fox, and not part of historic Christendom. These phrases are self-serving phrases to stir emotionalistic responses from those who "relate" to them. "The Jesus Event," as Fox calls it, would have to include ALL that Jesus went through from conception, birth and life through His death and resurrection. And again, this "Jesus Event" is made totally meaningless by Fox's rejection of Original Sin! We've already dismissed this "Christ Experience" notion as a misapplication of terminology. Christ means "annointed" - Jesus the Christ = Jesus the Annointed One. The relationship of Christ to Jesus is that Jesus is the One who is the One annointed to redeem the world. Again I repeat, without Original Sin, there is no need for the redemption of mankind, no need for one to be annointed as Redeemer - without Original Sin there is no "Christ."

39. Therefore unity of church does not mean conformity. There is unity in diversity. Coerced unity is not unity.

Conformity does not mean there is no diversity. Conformity to the will of God, "that we be One, as He and the Father are One," is the unity of the Catholic Church. To claim there is no diversity within the Catholic Church is to not know the Catholic Church!

40. The Holy Spirit is perfectly capable of working through participatory democracy in church structures and hierarchical modes of being can indeed interfere with the work of the Spirit.
This one just doesn't make any sense. Is the Holy Spirit capable of working in church structures, or are hierarchical modes of being interfering with the work of the Spirit? Which is Fox's point?

41. The body is an awe-filled sacred Temple of God and this does not mean it is untouchable but rather that all its dimensions, well named by the seven charkas, are as holy as the others.

There's a few different views of chakras, considering the body as the temple of God is not a thought unknown to the Judeo-Christian tradition, but the artificial naming of "chakras" is not. Chakras are part of the meditations of New Age mysticism, and have little bearing on reality. That being said, Fox's point here is that no part of the body is more or less holy than the others, and there really is no argument here.

42. Thus our connection with the earth (first chakra) is holy; and our sexuality (second chakra) is holy; and our moral outrage (third chakra) is holy; and our love that stands up to fear (fourth chakra) is holy; and our prophetic voice that speaks out is holy (fifth chakra); and our intuition and intelligence (sixth chakra) are holy; and our gifts we extend to the community of light beings and ancestors (seventh chakra) are holy.

Again, New Age mysticism aside - these chakras are a bit strange sounding to Western culture, but we too could relate to different levels of spirituality and/or stages of life. Though I reject the tenents of the New Age Movement, this topic of chakras isn't a topic I would choose to do battle against.

43. The prejudice of rationalism and left-brain located in the head must be balanced by attention to the lower charkas as equal places for wisdom and truth and Spirit to act.

The application of imaginary chakras to the physical world is far-reaching, at best. Let's just say we need to let the Holy Spirit work in our lives. This is not something which is an objection against the Catholic Faith.

44. The central chakra, compassion, is the test of the health of all the others which are meant to serve it for “by their fruits you will know them” (Jesus).

Yes, by their fruits we will know them, and compassion plays a role in that. This is not something which is an objection against the Catholic Faith.

45. “Joy is the human’s noblest act.” (Aquinas) Is our culture and its professions, education and religion, promoting joy?

This is not something which is an objection against the Catholic Faith.

46. The human psyche is made for the cosmos and will not be satisfied until the two are re-united and awe, the beginning of wisdom, results from this reunion.

Humanity is made by and for the Creator. The cosmos is made by and for the Creator. Fox's statement here is totally contrary to Catholic teaching (this being an example of Fox's heretical teachings).

47. The four paths named in the creation spiritual tradition more fully name the mystical/prophetic spiritual journey of Jesus and the Jewish tradition than do the three paths of purgation, illumination and union which do not derive from the Jewish and Biblical tradition.

This thought does not seem fully developed, I'd have to know more about Fox is getting at here before further comment.

48. Thus it can be said that God is experienced in experiences of ecstasy, joy, wonder and delight (via positiva).

49. God is experienced in darkness, chaos, nothingness, suffering, silence and in learning to let go and let be (via negativa).

50. God is experienced in acts of creativity and co-creation (via creativa).

Experienced? The Creator has created everything that has an experience. God transcends experience.

51. All people are born creative. It is spirituality’s task to encourage holy imagination for all are born in the “image and likeness” of the Creative One and “the fierce power of imagination is a gift from God.” (Kaballah)

Some people are more creative than others. Being creative is what distinguishes us from the rest of the animal world. The Creator gave us the ability to reason and think and love. It is spirituality's task to get people to recognize and love the Creator.

52. If you can talk you can sing; if you can walk you can dance; if you can talk you are an artist. (African proverb and Native American saying)

Again, this is not something which is an objection against the Catholic Faith.

53. God is experienced in our struggle for justice, healing, compassion and celebration (via transformativa).

Experienced? The Creator has created everything that has an experience. God transcends experience.

54. The Holy Spirit works through all cultures and all spiritual traditions and blows “where it wills” and is not the exclusive domain of any one tradition and never has been.

God chose the Jewish people to be His Chosen people. Their culture was selected over the other cultures of the world because Abraham proved himself justified through his obedience to God. To say there never has ben one tradition over another is simply not true. To equate all spiritualities throughout the world to Catholicism is the heresy of Universalism.

55. 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.

56. Therefore Interfaith or Deep Ecumenism are a necessary part of spiritual praxis and awareness in our time.

Truth is not to be sacrificed for the sake of ecumenism. There is One God, the Lord God Almighty, and that God is a jealous God. The necessary awareness of our time is the need to recognize the One God who can and has redeemed the world.

57. Since the “number one obstacle to interfaith is a bad relationship with one’s own faith,” (the Dalai Lama) it is important that Christians know their own mystical and prophetic tradition, one that is larger than a religion of empire and its punitive father images of God.

The number one obstacle to interfaith is the fact that not all faiths teach the same thing.

58. The cosmos is God’s holy Temple and our holy home.

The body is the holy Temple of God, isn't it? I refer the reader back to Fox's point number 41.

59. Fourteen billion years of evolution and unfolding of the universe bespeak the intimate sacredness of all that is.

The wonders of nature, no matter how much time one puts upon it, bespeaks the intimate sacredness of all that is.

60. All that is is holy and all that is is related for all being in our universe began as one being just before the fireball erupted.

Without saying it, Fox is espousing the "Big Bang Theory," as if that denies the Creator. If God so willed that the universe began with a "Big Bang," then it did.

61. Interconnectivity is not only a law of physics and of nature but also forms the basis of community and of compassion. Compassion is the working out of our shared interconnectivity both as to our shared joy and our shared suffering and struggle for justice.

Compromising the Truth for the sake of interconnectivity is not an honest approach to religion or spirituality.

62. The universe does not suffer from a shortage of grace and no religious institution is to see its task as rationing grace. Grace is abundant in God’s universe.

Certainly Grace is abundant, but that doesn't change the fact that the means of Grace is through the Sacraments which God gave His Church.

63. Creation, Incarnation and Resurrection are continuously happening on a cosmic as well as a personal scale. So too are Life, Death and Resurrection (regeneration and reincarnation) happening on a cosmic scale as well as a personal one.

Reincarnation is directly opposed to Scripture. Heb 9:27 "And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment."

64. Biophilia or Love of Life is everyone’s daily task.

Love of God is everyone's daily task.

65. Necrophilia or love of death is to be opposed in self and society in all its forms.

This is not something which is an objection against the Catholic Faith.

66. Evil can happen through every people, every nation, every tribe, and every individual human and so vigilance and self-criticism and institutional criticism are always called for.

This is not something which is an objection against the Catholic Faith.

67. Not all who call themselves “Christian” deserve that name just as “not all who say ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven” (Jesus).

This is not something which is an objection against the Catholic Faith.

68. Pedophilia is a terrible wrong but its cover-up by hierarchy is even more despicable.

This is not something which is an objection against the Catholic Faith.

69. Loyalty and obedience are never a greater virtue than conscience and justice.

This is not something which is an objection against the Catholic Faith.

70. Jesus said nothing about condoms, birth control or homosexuality.

Jesus is God, and God's Word explicitly condemns homosexuality in several places. Condoms and other forms of birth control as well as homosexuality are contrary to the nature of human sexuality as God created it. Going against nature is going against God.

71. A church that is more preoccupied with sexual wrongs than with wrongs of injustice is itself sick.

Sexual wrongs are wrongs of injustice. All "wrongs" are injustice.

72. 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 and is a gift from God and nature to the greater community.

Since clearly Fox goes against the Scriptures with this teaching, we must reject it as opposed to God's Word.

1Co 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,

1Co 6:10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

1Co 6:11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

1Ti 1:8 But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully,

1Ti 1:9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers

1Ti 1:10 and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,

1Ti 1:11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

73. Homophobia in any form is a serious sin against love of neighbor, a sin of ignorance of the richness and diversity of God’s creation as well as a sin of exclusion.

It is wrong to hate the sinner, but it is not wrong to hate the sin.

74. Racism, Sexism and militarism are also serious sins.

This is really three different points. Racism is always wrong, Sexism is wrong if unjustly applied, as is militarism. Men and women have their just place in the structure of the Church and society. Likewise, every country has the right and responsibility to defend itself, militarily if necessary.

75. Poverty for the many and luxury for the few is not right or sustainable.

At least 6000 years of human history proves Fox's statement wrong on this. It is very sustainable and has sustained itself. Poverty is not a sin, nor is it a crime against humanity - in fact it is even scriptural that the poor will find it easier to get into heaven than the rich. Fox just has this all wrong.

76. Consumerism is today’s version of gluttony and needs to be confronted by creating an economic system that works for all peoples and all earth’s creatures.

Some people don't really want to be part of a world economic system. Some like the simple life and don't like the hustle and bustle lifestyle of their opposite.

77. Seminaries as we know them, with their excessive emphasis on left-brain work, often kill and corrupt the mystical soul of the young instead of encouraging the mysticism and prophetic consciousness that is there. They should be replaced by wisdom schools.

Seminaries train priests to provide the Sacraments to God's People. A school of wisdom is fine, but it should not replace the seminary.

78. Inner work is required of us all. Therefore spiritual practices of meditation should be available to all and this helps in calming the reptilian brain. Silence or contemplation and learning to be still can and ought to be taught to all children and adults.

"Reptilian brain?" What evidence do we have of this in mammals? That being said, there is nothing stopping people from spiritual practices of meditation.

79. Outer work needs to flow from our inner work just as action flows from non-action and true action from being.

Action from non-action? That doesn't even make sense. The animate (living) from the inanimate (non-living) is impossible.

80. A wise test of right action is this: What is the effect of this action on people seven generations from today?

This is a purely hypothetical proposition. That being said, this is not an objection against the Catholic Faith (as Luther's 95 Theses was) so Fox is making his own statement relatively meaningless.

81. Another test of right action is this: Is what I am doing, is what we are doing, beautiful or not?

I repeat my response to #80.

82. Eros, the passion for living, is a virtue that combats acedia or the lack of energy to begin new things and is also expressed as depression, cynicism or sloth (also known as “couchpotatoitis”).

This is not something which is an objection against the Catholic Faith.

83. 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.

Following the teaching of St. John of the Cross on this would be much more preferred than to follow Fox's views.

84. The Dark Night of the Soul is a learning place of great depth. Stillness is required.

Again, follow St. John of the Cross, with guidance from your spiritual advisor, and leave Fox behind - if you want to save your soul.

85. Not only is there a Dark Night of the Soul but also a Dark Night of Society and a Dark Night of our Species.

Pure speculation on a theological thought, but not something based in fact.

86. Chaos is a friend and a teacher and an integral part or prelude to new birth. Therefore it is not to be feared or compulsively controlled.

Only God can bring order from chaos. New birth, under God, is a matter of order - not chaos.

87. Authentic science can and must be one of humanity’s sources of wisdom for it is a source of sacred awe, of childlike wonder, and of truth.

Science is not a source of wisdom, it is a source of knowledge - and sometimes flawed knowledge.

88. When science teaches that matter is “frozen light” (physicist David Bohm) it is freeing human thought from scapegoating flesh as something evil and instead reassuring us that all things are light. This same teaching is found in the Christian Gospels (Christ is the light in all things) and in Buddhist teaching (the Buddha nature is in all things). Therefore, flesh does not sin; it is our choices that are sometimes off center.

Fox makes a HUGE assumption here that "science teaches that matter is frozen light," when in fact "science" does not "teach" this - though some scientists may theorize about it. Science doesn't "teach" the unknown and unprovable, on the contrary - science teaches what is and can be known. Science allows for speculation but to say such speculation is science "teaching" is not an honest representation of true science.

89. The proper objects of the human heart are truth and justice (Aquinas) and all people have a right to these through healthy education and healthy government.

This is not something which is an objection against the Catholic Faith.

90. "God” is only one name for the Divine One and there are an infinite number of names for God and Godhead and still God “has no name and will never be given a name.” (Eckhart)

Jesus, the Christ, is God - and has a name. God Himself tells Moses to call Him "I am."

91. Three highways into the heart are silence and love and grief.

Pure theological and/or philosophical - but not a statement against Catholic teaching.

92. The grief in the human heart needs to be attended to by rituals and practices that, when practiced, will lessen anger and allow creativity to flow anew.

This is not something which is an objection against the Catholic Faith.

93. Two highways out of the heart are creativity and acts of justice and compassion.

Again, "justice" demands consequences - good or bad; reward or punitive. Fox continues to use this word "justice" seemingly without fully understanding the word.

94. Since angels learn exclusively by intuition, when we develop our powers of intuition we can expect to meet angels along the way.

This is yet another purely theological and/or philosophical statement and is not necessarily contrary to Catholic teaching.

95. True intelligence includes feeling, sensitivity, beauty, the gift of nourishment and humor which is a gift of the Spirit, paradox, being its sister.

This is yet another purely theological and/or philosophical statement and is not necessarily contrary to Catholic teaching.

posted by Matthew Fox @ 10:38 AM on May 14, 2005.

And this response is posted by Scott Windsor @ 10:30 PM on August 6, 2005.

This article can also be found at:

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