Does God Change?

Dear Rev Cardy,

I'm sure you’re aware that God does not change but stays the same- yesterday, today and forever. God does not change, we change.

Tom [UK]

Dear Tom,

One thought you might like to consider: when two people are in love, and grow in love, the love will inevitably change them. You don’t stay the same when you are loved. If God and I are ‘lovers’ is it not possible that not only am I changed by the relationship but also God?



Harry Potter and Satanism

The following is an exchange with a person concerned about Harry Potter and Satanism. She inserts a lengthy dated quote from a pastor opposed to Harry Potter.

In the light of your recent sermon posted on the website about your lack of belief in Satan, I wonder what you make of this? Thanks, Rose.


With the latest mania of Harry Potter, we all need to be warned about the last days of witchcraft mention in 1 Tim 4:1. Christian parents or otherwise that let their children read and watch this garbage cannot blame them if they end up in the occult. This is the most evil thing I have laid my eyes on in 10 years... And no one seems to understand its threat. The Harry Potter books are THE NUMBER ONE selling children’s books in the nation today. Harry Potter is the creation of a former UK English teacher who promotes witchcraft and Satanism. Harry is a 13 year old wizard. Her creation openly blasphemes Jesus and God and promotes sorcery, seeking revenge upon anyone who upsets them by giving you examples of spells, rituals, and demonic powers. Let me give you a few quotes from some of the influenced readers themselves: "The Harry Potter books are cool, 'cause they teach you all about magic and how you can use it to control people and get revenge on your enemies," said Hartland, WI, 10 year old Craig Nowell, a recent convert to the New Satanic Order Of The Black Circle. "I want to learn the Cruciatus Curse, to make my muggle science teacher suffer for giving me a D." [A 'muggle' is an unbeliever of magic.] Or how about the REALLY young and innocent impressionable mind of a 6 year old when asked about her favourite character: "Hermione is my favourite, because she's smart and has a kitty," said 6 year old Jessica Lehman of Easley, SC. "Jesus died because He was weak and stupid." DOES THIS GET YOUR ATTENTION!! If not, how about a quote from a High Priest of Satanism: "Harry is an absolute godsend to our cause," said High Priest Egan of the First Church of Satan in Salem, MA. [Since 1995, open applicants to Satan worship has increased from around 100,000 to now...14 MILLION children and young adults!] Still not convinced? I will leave you with something to let you make up your own mind. A quote from the author herself, J. K.Rowling, describing the objections of Christian reviewers to her writings: "I think it's absolute rubbish to protest children's books on the grounds that they are luring children to Satan," Rowling told a London Times reporter in a July 17 interview. "People should be praising them for that! These books guide children to an understanding that the weak, idiotic Son Of God is a living hoax who will be humiliated when the rain of fire comes, ...while we, his faithful servants, laugh and cavort in victory."

Hi Rose,

I read the material above as you requested. Frankly I am very suspicious of the source. The author does not give specific references for his J.K. Rowling quote. Searching the net there is only one July 17th Times article on Harry Potter and it’s from 2005 and the quote above is not in it.

My family and I have read all the Harry Potter books and thoroughly enjoyed them. They promote values of loyalty, friendship, telling the truth, and breaking the rules for a greater good. I think these are biblical values. The books are set in a fantasy world of wizards and spells. There is no mention of Satan, the Devil, Jesus or God. Fantasy is a well-known genre that has wide popularity today. No doubt some will try to understand the books in a literal manner and indulge in potentially harmful practices like Satanism. To ban Harry Potter [or some similar draconian option] makes as much sense as banning the Bible because it promotes sexism, slavery, and homophobia.

Kind regards,


Questions from Isabelle - why is God there?

Dear Father Glynn,

Why is God there?

Love Isabelle.

Dear Isabelle,

I think we’ve talked earlier about the location of God – the ‘where’ question. We talked about God not just being ‘there’ but also ‘here’, and ‘in here’ and ‘over there’ and ‘far far away’. Again if we think of God like love there is no limit to where love might go or be.

But I think your question this time hinges on the word ‘why’. ‘Why does God exist?’ or, in my language, ‘Why does Love exist?’ There are a range of possible answers. Maybe it’s because we need God/Love. Maybe it’s because God/Love needs us. Maybe it’s because God/Love has always been and the real question is why we exist. Maybe it’s because loving and living and hoping and dreaming are knitted together and can’t be unraveled. Just like God and us.

Here’s hoping,


Life in the City - Known By Name

I am slowly getting to know my downtown neighbourhood and the patterns of those who live and work here.

As I habitually look at people’s faces, rather than the pavement or shop windows, I’ve noticed that I’m beginning to recognise my fellow inhabitants. There is that young Asian woman with the bright orange handbag. There’s the old guy who has probably spent the night in a bus shelter. There’s the bank employee who goes to the same coffee shop I usually frequent.

Auckland has some 1.5 million people. Downtown, as you might expect, is the most densely populated part of the city. Some 5,000 people live within 300 metres of the church. What I didn’t expect was to begin to recognise people, like you would at a village store.

There is some impressive community-builders downtown. Like the McGregor Brothers café in Wellesley Street. James and Tom offer a good product, and serve it with grace and finesse. Yet other cafés and restaurants do the same. The difference is they make the effort to learn their customers' names. When you consider that from 7 a.m. on there is a queue of coffee junkies lining up for a pre-work fix, learning names is no small feat.

Similarly there is the Tiki Boy café on Ponsonby Road. As I walk in the door there is always a holler: “Hiya Father Glynn”. Preston tells me that if he has served a person three coffees and doesn’t know their name he is failing in his job. Jene and Preston have also created their own café ethos. It’s a fun, joking, clowning atmosphere. While the McGregors offer fine china, the Tiki Boys offer stunts on bikes.

What I’ve noticed is that I will walk past, and drive past, other cafés that actually have better coffee and food in order to go somewhere where I’m known by name. And its not just where I am known but its where others names are announced too, and relationship encouraged. Its what in times past a local village pub might have offered. Or a church.