A couple of weeks ago I saw this video of a four year old boy named Kanon preaching. (RSS readers might need to click through the post)
After watching the video, a couple of thoughts came to mind.
This kid is adorable. I love his little Veggie Tales Bible case, and the way he inflects his words like a preacher, and the way he emphasizes words with his hands. It’s really cute. And I understand why his parents are proud of him. Every Christian parent wants to see their children grow up to serve the Lord, and in the case of Kanon, his parents obviously believe that God is working through him.
However, the video is also concerning to me for several reasons. First of all, he’s not really preaching. There were not any biblical truths in the words he said. In fact, I’m not even sure the things he was saying made sense at all. Preaching isn’t simply saying terms from the Bible, such as “Pentecost”, in a loud, preacher-like voice. It is declaring “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). It is exhorting, encouraging, rebuking, and proclaiming. It is heralding the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Kanon does a very good imitation of a Pentecostal preacher. He’s got the style and the passion. He’s cuter than a bucket full of puppies. And who knows, maybe someday God will use him to preach the Word of God. But preaching is more than just passion and style. It involves proclaiming the truth of God as revealed in the Bible for all to hear. So I don’t believe that Kanon is really preaching. I think that saying that he is preaching is actually harmful, because it tells the world that we don’t take preaching very seriously.
Also, Kanon’s parents and friends seem to be convinced that he is “anointed” by God to preach. I’m not so sure. It seems more likely to me that he is imitating his dad, who is also a Pentecostal preacher. That’s the thing that is tricky about kids who grow up in the church. I’m one of those kids. I grew up knowing the right things to say. I learned how to raise my hands in worship when I was young. I read my Bible from a young age. I learned by watching my parents.
But my life wasn’t really transformed until God got a hold on me and helped me understand the reality gospel. My life didn’t really bear the fruit of the Spirit until I was older. Now don’t get me wrong: I’m not commenting on whether Kanon is or is not a Christian. I really hope that he is, and I believe that children can be saved at a young age. But to put him up on a stage and declare that he is anointed by God to preach seems very premature.
Maybe someday Kanon will storm the world for Jesus. I really hope that happens. But let’s wait and see.