Today I stumbled upon a controversial YouTube video of the 4-year-old Kanon Tipton from Mississippi that has been dubbed the ‘world’s youngest preacher’. Is this a dramatic sign that childhood is changing rapidly in recent times, or does a closer look learn that there is more than meets the eye?
Children have always and will always mimic adults around them. This is the main way through which they learn. From this perspective, it is not difficult to comprehend the case of preaching 4-year-old, which doesn’t make it less of a sad history however. If anything, this ‘pint-sized preacher’ is a sign of the times, not because of the fact that he is mimicking, but because of the fact what it is he is mimicking. As part of their learning curve, children aged 4 are only just considered capable to play with LEGO that contains slightly smaller pieces than a 3-year old is allowed to play with, so where does preaching in front of a congregation fit in? One YouTube user commented: “I’ve always said a preacher’s job could be done by a 4-year-old”. And indeed, either this display says something about the job of a preacher, or it says something about those being preached to. Either way, it is quite a telling story. Continue reading The Pint-sized Preacher, GI Joe, Jihad Joe and Hamas Mickey Mouse