Alrighty gang, our judgment on last week’s Bad Theology post was considered not harsh enough for some readers (though one defended the picture), and I pledged I’d condemn with greater vigor from here on out.
Later, I found myself saying, “Meh. I’ll do what I want.”
In any case, I want you to know it’s not that I’m waffling on this week’s entry. It’s more that I’m not sure how I stand on it.
Is it bad theology, or is it just bad parenting? See for yourself:
Kids love to play make believe, but when they play with The Full Armor of God costume set, they’re learning something they’ll remember forever! As children role-play the adventure of being one of God’s young warriors, they’re memorizing the biblical principles of the spiritual armor described in Ephesians 6:13-18. Safe and fun for young children to play as they learn about important Bible principles that will guide them through life. Recommended for ages 3 years and older.
This multi-piece set includes:
- Helmet of Salvation with movable visor
- Breastplate of Righteousness with adjustable straps
- “Shin Guards” of Peace that adjust to fit
- Belt of Truth with adjustable Velcro closure
- Spirit-of-the-Word Sword–the right size for little hands
- Shield of Faith has easy-to-grip handle
- Faith Parenting Guide with suggested activities and Scriptures
Honest and truly, this is an actual toy marketed and sold for children, ages 3 and up.
THREE YEARS OLD!
You know what my kids played with when they were three years old? Winnie the Pooh.
Not once did I think of sending them out to play dressed like little Crusaders. *shudder*
As for the Bible verses referred to in the description, they’re quite popular with people big on the concept of “Spiritual Warfare.”
Ever hear of it? Spend a little time with Google and you’ll come across some strange, scary stuff. Stories of people convinced they fought off demons, battled an invisible war, felt surrounded by a ‘presence’ of intense evil.
I’m fairly certain that’s not the theology behind this costume. I’m sure the thinking was, “Hey, these are the kinds of toys kids like. Let’s put religious meaning behind it!”
And that’s exactly what bothers me about it (besides the obvious Crusader look, of course). How much symbolism and metaphor can children understand? I mean, heck, there are adults taking this stuff literally. What’s a child to make of it?
And do parents really think that because it has a cross on it, the kids will play nicer than they would with, say, a light saber?
“Tommy! Stop trying to lop your sister’s head off with the Spirit-of-the-Word sword!”
Listen, I’m going to let you guys argue it out as to whether this qualifies as Bad Theology or not. Mostly, I think it’s just a bad move, parent-wise.
So to honor that, I’m adding a subcategory to our Bad Theology series: Truth is Stranger Than Fiction, with its own rating system.
The full Armor of God Costume Set earns itself:
Until next week,
Vaya con Dios