It has been quite a while since I have had to decide on what topic to write my article about. It seems lately that there is constantly some pressing topic that is circling in the Bible Quiz world. Last it was challenging, now it is the difference between declining, rising, and rebuilding. So much has been said about this very topic by Ron and the message board dwellers, that I could easily be accused of beating a dead dog with this article. But being provoked by an email from a viewer, I must take the risk and pull out my Louisville Slugger. Since it is certainly not tasteful to attach these comments to their author, I will refrain from sharing that information. But I will give you a small clip from the email.

“I believe that it is unnecessary and certainly ignorant to quarrel over an opinion of whether one team is on the decline or the rise. Why must something like Bible Quiz be taken and discussed as if it were college athletics. Why doesn’t the impact that the Word of God is having on kid’s lives be in discussion instead of telling the same kids that their teams are on the decline. ”

First, I want to make it clear that there is some truth in the previous comment. Not much, but certainly some. I don’t want to make this an article where I solely stand by Ron and his article, but I do want to protect the excitement that has been buzzing around the website lately. Mr. Marriott made a great post on the message board. He mentioned that no matter how Ron’s article was accepted by each individual quizzer, it was good in the fact that it would motivate them to prove him wrong and it started some excitement months before the “real quizzing starts”. That is the truth.

Now this is the problem that I have with the email. Some would like to think that the memorization of the Word should be the thing that motivates quizzers to study. Well, to be honest, that should motivate quizzers to study. But let’s put things into perspective. There are millions of programs across the globe that have children learning Bible Verses. Prizes are awarded; gifts are given to the “best quoter”; and that feeling of accomplishment is achieved on the individual level. But there is nothing—NOTHING— that can match the feeling of winning the National Championship of Bible Quiz (which may be AACS to some and SCQANIT to others). I will be the first to testify of this fact. As a child, there was very little adrenaline flowing when I quoted my verses to my Sunday school teacher. I was the pastor’s son and very good at it. I learned the bare minimum (that meaning one verse more than the next kid) and perfected them. I knew that I could get away with as little as possible. But if Jeremy Barker thought that learning the cross references in the middle of his Bible would help his team win this year’s championship, he would easily manage to get the job done. But Bible Quiz is no Sunday School class. When we sat deadlocked for the national championship with Old Paths in April of 2003, I would’ve have given money to go back a few months and learn more verses. Then as Brant sealed our National Championship with (of all verses) John 3:16, we all leaped out of those chairs and went crazy. In retrospect, I found it intriguing that the most popular Sunday School verse ever was the verse that won our National Championship. So to the question on the importance of memorization: of course it is the most important thing. But to say that the competition and the discussion of the excitement of the competition is ignorant is ABSURD!! How many high schoolers travel across the nation to compete in something. Football teams? Nope. All the athletics are bound by their states. Yes, there are other activities that visit Bob Jones once a year. But we are talking about multiple 1000 mile trips for some teams every year. They could be memorizing verses at their homes and saving money, but the thrill and excitement of Bible Quiz is worth the trouble. That being said, why wouldn’t someone want to talk about it. We write about Bible Quiz because we are excited about it. Ron isn’t in High School Bible Quiz anymore; I am not quizzing anymore. But the excitement that lingers in our hearts from it leads us into articles like Ron’s previous set.

Finally, not to be too harsh, but what does it matter as long as it IS ENCOURAGING QUIZZERS TO MEMORIZE GOD’S WORD. Parents, coaches, quizzers, etc., should be thankful that some old guy’s craziness to be involved in Bible Quiz is helping quizzers want to learn God’s word.

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