As I grew up I became a very good performer when it came to preaching a message, sharing my testimony, or revealing an insight from the “holy spirit.”
Do you want to see just how early indoctrination, training, and exposure to the mannerisms, cultures, and languages of religion starts? Check this out:
Wow, what do you think? Also check out an ABC News piece on the child preacher phenomenon.
Children are amazing imitators–frighteningly so. Notice how culturally-specific these emotional, “spirit-filled” sermons are? It’s a performance. That’s what preaching and prophesying and praying aloud in public are all about. Who could honestly say that while they are in front of a group they didn’t care at all about if the audience liked it or if they did a good job? I tried not to think about those things as a Christian, but I couldn’t help it–especially as a young person who most wants love, attention, and affirmation.
What most recognizable in the videos are the styles of preaching, but what’s even more important is the content of what they say. Do you think children teach Bible lessons that don’t conform to the beliefs of their own church or group? I doubt it. Do you think these kids can understand the serious doctrines and theologies they’re shouting about? I doubt many adults actually understand what they preach, much less a child who hasn’t developed critical thinking nor been educated.