Kirk Cameron Hosts The National Bible Bee Game Show: In this episode, we talk with Kirk and discuss the importance of getting the word of God deep in our hearts so we can pull it up at any time, especially in the times we really need that encouragement. We also learn what the Bible Bee Game Show is and what drew Kirk Cameron to this production. Tune in now to hear all of this and more, right here on WallBuilders Live!

Air Date: 05/02/2017


Guests: Kirk Cameron, David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast.  However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers.  Additionally, names may be misspelled because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Welcome

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture, this is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about these hottest topics on policy, faith, and all kinds of things in the culture. Always doing it from Biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

We’re here with David Barton, America’s premiere historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker, pastor, and president of WallBuilders. And my name’s Rick Green.  I’m a former Texas state rep, national speaker, and author.

You can find out more about us and the organization and the projects we’re working on all at WallBuilders.com.  That’s WallBuilders.com. That comes from that Scripture and Nehemiah that says, “Arise and rebuild the walls that we may no longer be a reproach.” Check it out there, WallBuilders.com.

And then if you’re enjoying our program today, be sure to check out the radio website at WallBuildersLive.com. You can get our archived programs over the last few weeks and a list of all of our stations across the country.

And speaking of that, we want to welcome our Bott Radio family. Now in drive time on Bott Radio. A lot of you are hearing us for the first time over the last couple of weeks and we’re just thrilled to be a part of your family and for you to be listening.

So we’re here with David and Tim and later in the program, Kirk Cameron’s going to be with us. So depending on which generation you’re from then, you know him from Growing Pains or maybe you know for him from Fireproof. But he’s going to be with us to talk about the Bible Bee, so be sure and stay tuned later in the program for that.

And speaking of the Bible, David, Tim, the Bible used to be such a more important part of the American culture. It really permeated everything in the culture. But we’ve been running from it the last few decades. But used to, we ran to it in America.

The Founders Knew The Bible Better Than Most Americans Today

Tim:

Yeah, Rick, we really used to know the Bible and we promoted it a lot. Looking at early education it’s something that was definitely a highlighted. This was where we learned to read. If you look even back to the Founders of our nation, they were people that knew the Bible, they studied it.

Abraham Lincoln is a president who is kind of attributed with being the one who knew the Bible or at least quoted the Bible the most in his speeches. And Lincoln was a guy who arguably wasn’t a Christian for the majority of his life. There was a pastor at the end of his life who said that he talked with Lincoln and Lincoln gave his heart to Christ.

So at the end of his life arguably he might have been a Christian. But the majority of his life he wasn’t. And yet, this was a guy who knew the Bible so well, but it goes back to the fact that he grew up with this as the book he learned to read with. So, the Founding Fathers knew the Bible so well. The Bible so shaped and impacted culture. And yet, today, we’ve gone a very opposite direction.

George Barna, who is someone we have on the program fairly often, someone we’ve done a lot of work with, and dad, you coauthored a book with him here just in the last couple of years. George Barna came out with a new study and the research findings are quite interesting. Where he identified how little people actually know the Bible. Where not only know the Bible, by the way, but he looked at some of the application of that.

When you say, “know the Bible,” and sometimes people would go, “Oh, wait a second, I read the Bible but I don’t really know the Bible.”

Well, George Barna just asked some very basic Bible questions. And by basic I mean we’re talking, “Can you trust the word of God? Is a Satan a real being? It is the Holy Spirit part of the Trinity?” I mean, things that that should not be theological rocket science.”

And yet, for the majority of Americans, the majority of Christians, only 10 percent of Americans were able to answer all of those questions accurately. So Barna says that only 10% of Americans have a Biblical worldview. But what’s staggering is when he starts breaking down the categories, it’s only 4% of millennials.

Rick:

And Tim, by the way, 50%, well, 48% maybe, thought that they had a Biblical worldview. So only 10 percent did. But man five times that many thought they did.

Tim:

Well, yes, 50% according to his study, and you’re right it is roughly 50%, they thought they possessed a Biblical worldview. And as we had him on the program just a couple of weeks ago and he identified, “Those are actually going to be some of the harder people to reach because they think they’ve already got it figured out. They think they really know. But the fact is that they don’t know what the Bible says.”

Most People Read The Bible Through A Secular Lens

David:

Barna has this list of 20 theological beliefs. Simple things like you talked about, things like, “Is the Holy Spirit part of the Trinity?” But he also followed that up by having 20 questions on behavior, “Does your behavior match your belief?”

First off, you’ve got to know it, and by the way, everybody ought to go look at those 20 questions to see if you can pass them. You may think you have a Biblical worldview and find out that you really don’t know as much as you think you do.

But then when you get to the behavioral side, does your behavior match what the Bible teaches? That’s where it drops to 4 percent. Are you kidding? 96 percent? You know, back in the old days, you point out even Abraham Lincoln, or Ben Franklin, or Thomas Jefferson, or someone like that,  they could have answered most of those questions right and actually had the behavior that went with it.

Tim:

Not only could they answer those question correctly, one of those questions from Barna, and actually I have all 20 of those questions here in front of me, but one of the questions he starts with is, “Would you describe yourself as someone who believes people are basically good?” And so now we’re going to define right up front. Do you believe a Biblical approach that that man is a fallen sinful individual who needs God, or is it a humanistic perspective? –“No, I mean, I think people are basically good.”

David:

If you’re basically good, you don’t need a savior. And that’s a key starting point. You have Jeremiah 17:9 that, “Man is essentially wicked. That’s why he needs a savior.”

Tim:

It would be astounding to hear how many individuals who claim to be Christian got that one wrong. But that’s that’s kind of the culture we live in. We don’t know what the Bible says and rather, we look at what the Bible says through the lens of our moral relativism, or our secular humanistic position. And so we look, “Oh you know what, God loves us and God made us.” And we tend to think of things in a very secular mindset even looking at the Bible and religion instead of going, “Wait a second, what does the Bible actually say?”

David:

And that really comes from not knowing the Bible. If you know the Bible then these are very easy questions. So many people who think they have a Biblical worldview really don’t know what’s in the Bible. And as you point out to Tim, we used to know what was in the Bible.

Rick:

We used to know and we’re starting to learn again. It’s finding its place back. We’ve had several programs of the last couple of weeks beginning to talk about that. So later Kirk Cameron’s going to talk to us about the Bible Bee. We’ll be back in a moment with David and Tim Barton.

Moment From America’s History

This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. Today, there are numerous documented accounts of individual students being disciplined simply for bringing a Bible to school. Fisher Ames would have been appalled at this open hostility toward the Bible. Fisher Ames was the Founding Father who authored the House of Representative’s language for the First Amendment.

In his day, he vehemently objected to any attempt to minimize the Bible in schools. In fact, he declared, “Why should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a school book? Its morals are pure, its examples captivating and noble. The reverence for the sacred book that is thus early impressed last long and probably, if not impressed in infancy, never takes firm hold of the mind.”

Founding Father Fisher Ames, the man most responsible for the wording of the First Amendment, believed that the most important schoolbook was the Bible. For more information on God’s hand in American history contact WallBuilders at 1 800 8 REBUILD.

What Thomas Jefferson Did On The School Board

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuildersLive. Thanks for staying with us today. We’re back with David and Tim Barton talking about the Bible and its influence in America. Early on it had a lot more influence. As Tim said earlier, read by the Founding Fathers, studied by the Founding Fathers, and applied by them. But not just them, really the culture as a whole. It had a whole lot more influence.

David:

Well, let me take you to some of the things that came out of our history. Because I think it’ll surprise people. For example, when Thomas Jefferson was president of the United States his term as president as the first president to live in the White House for a full term.  And so Washington, D.C. is a brand new city. They have just built the White House, just built the Capitol, and they’re building the city. And so as part of building the city they, need a school system.

Well, the Constitution places all of D.C. government under the Congress. That’s the Congress and the president that run it. It’s not its own state, it’s a federal city. Which put the education system in D.C. under the federal government which put it under Thomas Jefferson.

Lo and behold, Thomas Jefferson, while he is president of the United States, is also on the school board for Washington, D.C. Public Schools. They actually made him president of the school board and he said, “No, I think I got a bigger president job right now. Let me just help the school board.”

And so what he did was, as a member of the school board, he authored the plan of education for Washington, D.C. public schools. So the plan of education in public schools, Jefferson authored. Now, we consider Jefferson to be one of our least religious Founding Fathers.

But I want you to listen to the first report on education in Washington, D.C. Now that they’ve finished year two they come out with a report. Here’s what’s happening in our schools, this is the public report, and here’s what it says, “Fifty-five students have learned to read in the Old and New Testaments and all are able to spell words of three, four, and five syllables. Twenty-six are now learning to read Dr. Watts hymns and spell words of two syllables. Of 59 that did not know a single letter of the alphabet twenty of them can now read the Bible and they can spell words of three, four, and five syllables. Twenty-nine Read Dr. Watts hymns and spell words of two syllables. And ten can spell words of four and five letters.”

So, wait a minute, Washington, D.C. public schools are all learning to read out of the Bible? And Jefferson is the guy who did that?

Tim:

And by the way, a hymn book.

David:

Oh, and by the way, hymn book, that hymn book –Isaac Watts, he is the guy who is considered the greatest theological humanist in that era. And so he’s the guy, these are all hymns that came out in his hymn book. Am I a soldier of the Cross, Jesus Oh Rain, Oh God Our Help in Ages Past, Joy to the World, and At the Cross.  Those are all theologically deep hymns. Probably a lot of younger folks don’t know hymns anymore because we all sing worship courses, not hymns.

Older folks may know some of the hymns. But you are reading a hymn book as part of your reading text and it’s the content, the theological content. And that’s what Jefferson does.

And by the way, if that seems strange to you, about Jefferson. You ought to grab The Jefferson Lies Book. The Jefferson Lies, this is the kind of stuff you don’t know about Thomas Jefferson today. We’ve been told, “This guy’s a secularist.  He’s an atheist.” Or whatever. That’s nonsense, that’s not the case.

Tim:

And Jefferson, by the way, just speaking of the Jefferson Lies. Jefferson was the guy who for much of his life proclaimed himself to be a Christian. Certainly, later in his life, there were things he did that he disputed basic Biblical truth and theological truths. Things that really are not defensible positions. If you believe the Bible, you look at what he said and go, “Ok, that’s wrong.” And yet, in the midst of this, nobody argues that Jefferson was the least religious Founding Father.

And so, if this is the least religious Founding Father who is promoting the Bible. And in public school, by the way, also you point out in the book and in the footnote you document, it’s easy for people to look up and find for themselves what you’re saying.

Rick:

Yeah, in fact, it’s not just the Jefferson Lies, it’s actually decimating the Jefferson Lies. You destroy them and it’s all documented and you show these myths about him. Literally, the Left has used these myths to try to propagate their leftist philosophy and use him as their champion and it’s all a lie.

David:

It’s all lies. And so that’s why that book is so good. It was a New York Times bestseller. It came back in a second edition with a whole lot more content in it.  It will change your view of the way you’ve heard American history. But that’s Jefferson, so that’s one example.

Public School In 1816 Was Like Bible School

Let me take you to the state of New Jersey in 1816. Here’s the report from the public schools in New Jersey in 1816. It says, “All the scholars of the first and second classes.” We would call that first and second grade. “All the scholars of the first and second grade commit to memory portions of the New Testament or Psalms, a lesson of the Catechism, several hymns, and the text of the preceding Sabbath.”

So every kid in first and second grade in public schools in New Jersey is memorizing portions of the New Testament, Psalms, lessons out of the Catechism, several hymns, and the text the preceding Sunday. It says, “One of the scholars has committed to memory the book of John.” Now, we’re talking first and second grade, “Has committed to memory the book of John and the first 30 Psalms together with the hundred and nineteenth Psalm.” May I point out, that’s the longest Psalm in the Bible.

Tim:

That’s a lot of Bible verses that kids just memorized.

David:

And it says the majority the first and second graders have committed to memory the gospel by John. So first and second graders have memorized the book of John. It says, “In the third and fourth grades, one of the scholars of these classes has committed to memory the Westminster Larger Catechism to the commandments.” Which is, I think 168 questions or thereabouts on the Ten Commandments, Christ’s Sermon on the Mount, and ten chapters in John.

Let me jump you to 1892. These are the public schools in Pennsylvania. It says, and this is the teachers, “Let the selections for the week be, if possible, two in number, the first from the Bible or sacred song, and the second from the world of literature or prose or verse.  Say memorize the 19th Psalm and Lincoln’s speech at Gettysburg, or memorize Lead Kindly Light and Longfellow’s Psalm of Life, or memorize the 23rd Psalm and Lowell’s Once to Every Man or Nation, or memorize the 19th Psalm and Home Sweet Home or My Country Tis of Thee, or memorize the 13th chapter of Corinthians and The Last Rose of Summer.”

This is weekly memorization for public school kids. And we’re talking in Pennsylvania in 1892. We used to have a Biblical worldview because we actually knew the Bible and memorized the Bible and most Christians they have never read the Bible from cover to cover. Only 14 percent even read it on a daily basis which is why we have such a low percentage that have a Biblical worldview.

But contrast that with what we’re used to. And now we’re back to maybe a little deja vu. Here comes a national game show about a Bible Bee with kids memorizing great portions of the Bible. Which is what every public school kid used to do in previous generations. It’s hosted by one of our good friend and Hollywood stars Kirk Cameron.

Rick:

Kirk Cameron, a.k.a. Mike Seavers, for those of you there are as old as me or in my generation, and also Caleb in Fireproof, and lots of other places you’ve seen him. His work over the last few years with Bible-based programs and really bringing back the Bible to the forefront of the culture and frankly Christian apologetics has just been phenomenal. So, looking forward to having him with us when we return. Stay with us.  You’re listening to WallBuilders Live!

Constitution Alive

Have you ever wanted to learn more about the United States Constitution but just felt like, man, the classes are boring or it’s just that old language from 200 years ago or I don’t know where to start? People want to know. But it gets frustrating because you don’t know where to look for truth about the Constitution either.

Well, we’ve got a special program for you available now called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. It’s actually a teaching done on the Constitution at Independence Hall in the very room where the Constitution was framed. We take you both to Philadelphia, the Cradle of Liberty and Independence Hall and to the WallBuilders’ library where David Barton brings the history to life to teach the original intent of our Founding Fathers.

We call it the QuickStart guide to the Constitution because in just a few hours through these videos you will learn the Citizen’s Guide to America’s Constitution.  You’ll learn what you need to do to help save our Constitutional Republic. It’s fun! It’s entertaining! And it’s going to inspire you to do your part to preserve freedom for future generations. It’s called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. You can find out more information on our website now at WallBuilders.com.

Kirk Cameron Host Of The Bible Bee Game Show

Rick:

Welcome back.  Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live! Kirk Cameron is back with us. Always good to have you, Sir. Thanks for coming on.

Kirk:

Thank you, Rick. I need to speed up my listening skills. Because you talk so fast I have to listen quickly.

Rick:

That’s hanging out with Barton too much, you know? Just everybody ramps up their speed a little bit. Hey, man, you got a great new project, National Bible Bee Game Show. Over a million people watching it now on Tuesday nights on Facebook live. It just looks like you had a blast. I watched those episodes and thought, “Kirk’s having a good time doing this.”

Kirk:

I did have a good time. You know, I’ve heard of the National Spelling Bee. And for years I’ve been impressed at how in the world can kids remember these words I’ve never even heard of and how to spell them? They’re just mental Olympians.

Well, instead of just memorizing the words, how about we invest in young people who can memorize and recite the word. The word of God that informs who we are, why we’re here, where we’re going, and how to solve all the problems of the world.

And they did that and now you’ve got the National Bible Bee Game Show airing live on Facebook all over the world. Young people are competing for a couple of hundred thousand dollars in cash prizes. It’s a brilliant idea and I got to host the whole thing.

Rick:

And you guys did an amazing job. As you know well, Christians in media today, we’ve really brought that forward big time to a much better quality than even 10 years ago. And this game show is a perfect example of that.

I mean, this is a stellar production quality.  The sets are amazing.  You and the Benham brothers and Hannah, just incredibly well done. I think people are shocked when they tune in they think, “I’m just going to watch a bunch of kids get up to recite scriptures, it’s going to be boring.” No, it’s really well done and really entertaining.

You and I were talking off air about just the power of hearing these kids recite God’s word. It’s not one little verse.  They’re quoting and reciting verse, after verse, after verse and you can tell they’ve got it in their heart not just their minds.

Inspiring Kids To Memorize Scripture

Kirk:

It’s true. This is not a case of young kids being chained to a Bible by their parents. Because you see the kids tell their story. Some of them come from the inner city, some of rural farmland, and they talk about their identity and calling that they feel God has placed on their life, what they want to do when they grow up, and God’s word is central to all of that and forms all of that.  

So you see kids passionately reciting Psalm 1:19 and how much they love God’s word, or answering trivia, and being very astute when it comes to how to apply God’s word to specific situations. And to put that all in a game show competition format and to air it all over the world, I think it’s awesome. That takes visionaries who invest in God’s kingdom and create ways that are relevant to our culture. That’s where we can start to see great things happen.

Rick:

It’s been a great impact not only on the students that have participated so far but even just a couple of days ago I was talking to someone at an event and they said, “Our kids did the Bible Bee competition a couple of years ago and then we kind of got away from it and got busy.”  And then they saw one of the episodes and it just reignited that passion. They were like, “Mom we got to do it again!” So now they’re going to get signed up.

And so it’s not just for the ones that we’ll see when we’re watching the program, it’s all the other young people it’s going to inspire to go memorize God’s word and get into this fun competition.

Kirk:

It is, I really encourage families to watch it together. Just go on Facebook and do a search on Facebook for the National Bible Bee Game Show and you can watch it live. It comes out once a week and if you miss the live airing you can watch it.  They keep playing it over and over on a continuous loop so that you can watch and you can interact on the comments pages.

I sat down with my kids and we watched it, gathered around the computer, or if you have an Apple TV and you can set it up on your screen or however you want to do that. It’s just a great thing to watch. You’ll be amazed, you’ll be impressed, and you’ll be inspired to really put the word at the center of your family’s devotional time.

The Future Of Entertainment And Technology

Rick:

It’s a unique way to do this, too. First time I’ve seen a television show, certainly this incredible production quality, released on Facebook. I mean, you literally go to Facebook and it’s a Facebook live feed and you watch the episode every Tuesday night you can watch it live as it’s played. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen that. And it’s worked really well. I mean, it’s something like over a million people now that this is reaching.

Kirk:

Yeah. And that’s the future of technology. I think everything is eventually merging into one platform. And Facebook is right there at the cutting edge of all of it. So instead of having a TV, network cable, you have satellite, and you have all these different things. I think it’s all going to merge into one and you’re starting to see that among visionary Christians who take God’s word and his truths and put it into a format that’s culturally relevant to get it out to the masses. And that’s what the National Bible Bee Game Show is doing.

You just watch it on your own. Watch it on your computer or throw it up on your TV. Wherever you have a device that connects to the internet, you can watch the Bible Bee Game Show just like you would an episode of The Office or whatever it is that you watch.

Rick:

The website BibleBee.org/gameshow or you can go, as Kirk was saying, to Facebook. We’ll have links for all that at WallBuilders.com to make it easy for you to jump right over there.

Kirk, before I let you go, I’ve got to ask you this. I mean, you’ve had some incredible projects the last few years. I know you get asked to do a ton of things.  Why this one? What made you say, “yes” to this project?

Hiding God’s Word Deep In Our Hearts

Kirk:

I’m excited that people are putting God’s Word front and center in the media marketplace where it belongs. There’s nothing that is needed in our culture today than a return to God’s word and to his principles. If we want to fix the racial problems, if we want to fix the economic problems, if we want to find solutions to their religious problems, the marriage, and family problems, there’s only one place to look and that’s God’s deep well of eternal wisdom that’s found in the word.

And these are kids who are giving all of us adults and a lesson in learning God’s word where we hide it in our hearts and we can pull it up when the time is right when it’s needed, and that’s exactly what they are doing. I’m inspired and that’s why I’m a part of it.

Rick:

I love it. We know it doesn’t come back void. So even if you don’t win the competition you get all of that stored in your heart and it is going to be a blessing to these kids. And I believe, frankly, to our entire nation. Because the more young people that get this hidden in their heart, the more of a positive impact that will be on the culture in years to come.

Kirk, thanks for doing it and thanks for coming on and telling us about it! Folks can watch it Tuesday nights right there on Facebook. And as you said, it’s available if you missed episodes you can get them there as well. We’ll have easy links to get you there today WallBuildersLive.com. Kirk Cameron, really appreciate you, man. Thanks for coming on.

Kirk:

God bless you, Rick. Thanks for all that you guys do.  I appreciate you all and hope to see you again.

Rick:

Appreciate it. And stay with us, folks.  We’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.

Patriot Academy

Have you noticed the vacuum of leadership in America? It’s not just that we have a few bad leaders taking us away from our founding principles and leading us down a road of destruction. The real challenge is that we’re looking around for leaders of principle to step up and too often no one is there.

This is a generational Challenge.  And we must have a generational solution.  God is raising up a generation of young leaders with a passion for impacting the world around them. They’re crying out for the mentorship and leadership training they need. And we need to equip them for the purpose God has laid on their hearts.

Patriot Academy was created to meet that need. You, the listeners of Wallbuilders Live, have supported Patriot Academy over the years.  You have sent your children and grandchildren to the program and the results have been remarkable.

Patriot Academy graduates now serve in state capitals around America, in the halls of Congress, in business, in the film industry, in the pulpit, in every area of the culture. They’re leading effectively and impacting the world around them.

Patriot Academy is now expanding across the nation and now is your chance to experience this life-changing week that trains champions to change the world. Visit PatriotAcademy.com for dates and locations. Our core program is still for young leaders 16 to 25 years old, but we also now have a citizen track for adults. So visit the website today to learn more. Help us fill the void of leadership in America. Join us in training champions to change the world at PatriotAcademy.com.

A Resurgence Of The Bible

Rick:

Welcome back! Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Be sure and check out The Bible Bee Game Show and the competition so your kids can actually start memorizing now and this summer and go through the curriculum that they’ve got and be ready to go to the competition in fall.

Back with David and Tim. David, I remember you did the keynote at the competition the year before last. And you pointed out in that presentation all the different scientists and everything else in our in our history that discovered things, or the way our country was built, all based on being students of the Bible, and actually being immersed in the Bible. So we’d love to see a resurgence of our culture in so many positive ways by having a resurgence of the Bible.

David:

Yeah, it is really amazing to see how many discoveries have been made in science, and technology, and medicine, and education, scientific inventions, and etc, strictly from people who spent time in the Bible and saw a Bible verse or passage that really challenge them to dig deeper.

God is great in science.  He’s great in all the areas, so it’s not like the Bible doesn’t talk about these areas, it does. And it’s great that these kids are getting to ingest this word and to put God’s word in them.

You watch for good things coming years to come, but every one of them of us should be memorizing God’s word on a regular basis. If it’s not several chapters a week maybe just a verse or two every day or even a verse or two every week. Start putting God’s word in your heart.

Rick:

Well, folks, we covered a lot today and threw out a lot of websites as well, so be sure check out WallBuildersLive.com.  We’ll have links to all of those things right there to make it easy for you. Appreciate you joining us here on WallBuilders Live!