‘Holyland Heroes’

A new squad of superheroes has hit the streets. They're so tough they just might run RoboCop and the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers right out of town. What's so neat about these new action heroes is that they don't wear sleek jumpsuits or capes. And, they don't hang out in sewers like those pizza-loving Ninja turtles. No, these five new superheroes wear tunics and sandals. One of them carries a sickle-shaped sword. Another defeats an arrogant giant with a slingshot. A third faces down 10,000 enemies with the jawbone of an ass. Do these figures sound familiar? They ought to. Because these new superheroes being offered to our kids are lifted right out of the Old Testament. They're called "Holyland Heroes," and they're the brainchild of a Vermont toymaker who happens to be a Christian. David Pagani, president of New Ventures toy company, designed these Old Testament action figures. And he's matched all five with their biblical bad guys. For example, a youthful David faces down the fearsome Goliath. A long-haired Samson subdues a Philistine soldier. Judas Maccabeus defeats a Syrian warrior. Moses is matched with the stubborn Pharaoh of Egypt. And Joshua confounds a Canaanite soldier in contending for the Promised Land. Each set of figures comes with a booklet that gives kids the story from Scripture. Toy meister Pagani says that youngsters who have gotten a sneak preview of his creations love them. In an ironic twist, the biblical superheroes are having to contend with the only-too-modern notion that any use of force is wrong. Incredibly, some parents are saying that the Holyland Heroes are too "violent" to be good role models. Of course, this isn't what Scripture teaches. Romans 13, for example, makes clear that God ordains the use of the sword—of force—to restrain evildoers. He recognizes that we live in a fallen world in which some people aren't going to restrain themselves from wicked, even violent behavior. When we look up these stories of Joshua, David, Samson, and Moses, we discover that each one of the men used force only under the direction of Almighty God. And at God's obvious behest. Choosing toys is no trivial matter, and we parents need to be discerning in buying toys for our children. Toys reach a child's imagination and can powerfully influence the way kids think—particularly toys like these which can be used to teach powerful lessons from Scripture. Of course, we shouldn't provide kids with toys that glorify mere violence for the sake of violence. But that's not what the Holyland Heroes do. Rather, they're based squarely on the scriptural stories about men who responded to the evil around them as God led them to do, for the higher purpose of His kingdom, for their families and their country. So you might want to watch out for Holyland Heroes in your local toystore. With their swords and slingshots, these Holyland Heroes just might inspire your children to become courageous men and women of God themselves. And that's the lesson that RoboCop or Power Rangers, for all of their superpowers, can never do.


Chuck Colson


  • Facebook Icon in Gold
  • Twitter Icon in Gold
  • LinkedIn Icon in Gold

Sign up for the Daily Commentary