Changing the World#7. “Halloween – Motives where there are none.”

Changing the World#7. “Halloween – Motives where there are none.”

Each year in New Zealand, Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated on 5 November. It celebrates Guy Fawkes’ failed attempt to blow up the English parliament in 1605. Guy Fawkes, a Catholic, was found guilty of High treason and hung, drawn and quartered. Traditionally, Kiwis set off fireworks and burn a “Guy” in effigy on a bonfire.

In recent years Halloween has been introduced in New Zealand. Some retailers sell Halloween merchandise, and our TV stations show the various movies available, but I doubt that it has ever really taken hold here.

Unlike some of my brethren, Halloween is one of those subjects that I have had no opinion on either way. However, I do try to listen carefully to those who have strong feelings against it.

Contrary to the ungracious opinions of some, they are not “all the same.” Though they tend to be brethren of strong convictions, they do not all express their views in the same way.

Some say nothing and choose to stay away from any organised events associated with Christians, while others will speak their minds before staying away from any such events.

It is not my aim to discuss the evils attributed to Halloween celebrations. But there is a problem that I need to address. I will express it like this:

If a Christian went to a New Zealand village on Guy Fawkes Day 1965 and expressed strong opinions about the evils of celebrating Guy Fawkes Day, he would be thought to be joking. His attempts to point out the horror of burning a Catholic in effigy (not to mention little kids with fists full of fireworks trying to copy a man who tried to blow up parliament), would also be met with amusement.

My point being: The context of the 1965 Guy Fawkes celebrations was devoid of the political and religious overtones of its origin.

As far as I can tell, modern neighbourhood Halloween celebrations are also devoid of the evil overtones of its’ origin.

If we want to change the world, we must take care that we do not attribute motives to people and events that may not be there. It confuses people and may hinder the cause of Christ.

John Staiger


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