In what will be a first for Facebook Live, this year’s Bible Bee competition will be broadcast on the social media network Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.
The broadcast is “groundbreaking,” said Emeal Zwayne, an executive for Living Waters and a spokesman for the competition that tests students’ knowledge of the Bible and their ability to memorize.
“Additionally,” he said, “it’s a perfect combination of entertainment and edification.”
There are 30 episodes, 10 each in three classes of competition, with top prizes of $100,000 at the senior level, $50,000 for the juniors and $10,000 for younger children. Total prizes will be $270,000.
Hosted by actor Kirk Cameron, Zwayne, Hanna Leary and the Benham brothers, it is now the “cutting edge” way to hear God’s word.
WND reported previously on the importance of the effort.
For example, when junior has just left for State University, do parents prefer him to remember the lines from “Revenge of the Nerds,” which include, “Nerds only think about sex,” or the biblical admonition “The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray” (Proverbs 12:26)?
The National Bible Bee is a summertime activity, a competition and a show.
Zwayne says people, students and adults both, can sign up for the program.
“The goal really is to encourage young people in their efforts to understand God’s Word and to inspire them to internalize it, and then to impact their lives,” he said.
Just like choosing between the Ten Commandments as a life standard or John Belushi’s on-screen utterings.
He pointed out just 16 percent of churchgoers read the Bible regularly, and 25 percent never read it.
Eighty percent say they are knowledgeable of the Bible, but fewer than half can name the first five books.
That all points to a “huge problem with biblical literacy” across America.
Thus, the goal to memorize, internalize and then live it out.
The broadcast on Facebook Live, at 8 p.m. Eastern Time Tuesday, will enable people not only to watch it live but also to view it later.
Some of the participants are memorizing up to 840 Bible verses over the course of 90 days.
An estimated 4,000 usually participate in the summer program, and then the numbers are whittled down to the finals, which are televised.
The Tuesday event also will feature a sneak peek of the new film “Heaven, How I Got Here: The Story of the Thief on the Cross,” a special one-man performance by actor Stephen Baldwin.
The 60-minute film is set 2,000 years after the thief’s death. It’s a compelling first-person account of the thief’s salvation at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion.
The thief never went to church, never made a contribution in the offering plate, never memorized a Bible verse and never served the poor.
“I have done many performances throughout my career but perhaps none has so personally impacted me as my role as the thief,” said Baldwin. “Pastor Colin Smith’s masterful story of the real-life struggles and thoughts of a man that ultimately found himself dying just a few feet from Jesus will leave viewers walking away considering their own life. If Jesus could save the thief just hours before he died, there is hope for anyone, no matter what their circumstances might be.”