War and Peace

War and Peace

Duncan Macleod

The First World War left many Bible Classes and Christian Endeavour societies short of members and leaders. The trend towards mixing boys and girls together was hastened, as was the lowering of ages. Involvement in adolescent-oriented groups generally did not appeal to young men returning from overseas service. Sadly, many of these adults struggled to find a place anywhere in the church.

A spin-off from the war experience was the development of camping by veterans. Crusader camps in many cases were led by ‘commandants’, organised by ‘adjutants’ and catered for by ‘quartermasters.’

The Second World War, 1939 – 1945, brought deeper challenges. Young people were torn between the ideals of patriotism and pacifism. Young adults were lost again. The post-war reconstruction struggled to rebuild a country with institutional faith at its base.

These tensions were even greater in the 1960s and 1970s when New Zealand’s involvement in the Vietnam war was being questioned by young adults.