There are many thousands of Christians who believe that the 500th Anniversary of the revolt of Martin Luther is a compelling time to begin a new Reformation.
As an 87-year-old, who has but a few years left to take part in any revolution, I am one of them and I recognise that I can no longer sit on the sidelines and wring my hands.
So, I have made an irrevocable commitment to stop talking about reform and take blunt, decisive action, no matter what flack may hit me as the result.
Let me begin with a statement about my own faith as it is stronger now than at any time in my life –
I BELIEVE IN GOD
I AM A COMMITTED FOLLOWER OF JESUS OF NAZARETH WHO IS A MAN WORTH FOLLOWING
I WALK PURPOSEFULLY WITH JESUS ALONG THE PILGRIM WAY AS WE STRIVE TO CREATE A COMPASSIONATE SOCIETY BASED ON RACIAL, RELIGIOUS, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC EQUALITY
I believe that Churches are failed custodians and advocates of the Christian Faith. They are fast approaching their use-by date. As an Elder of 60 years’ service, I accept my share of the responsibility for allowing this to happen.
My faith is sustained by a rejection of the creeds and dogmas that Churches declare to be the basis of faith. This denial means that I do not accept the virgin birth, a physical resurrection or an ascension as elements of my faith. Nor do I seek forgiveness for my sins, or want to be saved from them, as this is an abdication of my responsibility as a human being to make right all that I do wrongly.
I do not believe that God decides who lives or dies or that there is life after death or the existence of heaven and hell. Nor do I accept that there is eternal life, as scientists agree that eternity means living for trillions of years.
But, I firmly and irrevocably believe in a spiritual power beyond myself, without which my life is pointless and will achieve only a tiny fraction of its potential.
Jesus of Nazareth leads me to this power.
As I strive to relate to God, I gladly accept that this gift can have meaning only if it is accepted in the company of fellow believers whose faith does not need to be propped by baseless trivia.
I am sustained in my spiritual journey by the excitement of constantly stepping forward into the unknown.
Everald is an Adjunct Professor at the QUT Centre for Future Environments, chair of the Longevity Innovation Hub, an Elder of the Uniting Church and Member of the Order of Australia.