Dr. Robert Sumner passed away in December 2016. The Biblical Evangelist newspaper is no longer being published and the ministry of Biblical Evangelism has ceased operation.

The remaining inventory of his books and gospel tracts was transferred to The Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles and may be ordered here.

Incidents and Illustrations
Dr. Robert L. Sumner

MAN’S BEST FRIEND? Don’t try telling Nicholas T. Galanis of Salt Lake City that his dog is his best friend. When deputy sheriffs tried to talk to him about some stolen property, he ran to his car, jumped in with his dog, and took off! His pet pit bull got tired of being tossed around while bouncing at high speed over a winding, bumpy, unpaved road. Pursuing deputies could see the animal being slammed into the window repeatedly and the dog became so agitated he bit his master in the face. The bite was so vicious it took off part of Galanis’ nose.

That ended the chase!

The bleeding suspect was taken by the Valley View Medical Center for treatment before being delivered to the Iron County Jail and being booked. The dog was deposited at a local animal shelter.

Like that pet dog, pet sins have a vicious bite!

LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE? This item is about neither dogs nor lying [as in sleeping], but offers the results about politicians and their “white lies,” according to a poll taken by the Washington Post. The survey concluded Democrats were more apt to lie because they like to “spare people’s feelings.”

The question the Post posed was: “In general, do you think white lies are good things, because they spare people’s feelings, or white lies are bad things, because the truth is always better?” The response found 64% thought white lies were bad, 31% said they were good, and the other 5% didn’t have a clue. This poll broke the results down in a way most others don’t, giving party affiliations. Those approving of the lying were 38% Democrats, 29% percent Republicans, and 31% Independents. Keep that in mind this Fall while listing to the candidates!

We need more in politics like the Father of our Country, who as a boy couldn’t tell a lie (“I cut down the cherry tree with my little hatchet”) and grew up to be an honest statesman (not a politician)!

THE HIGH COST OF LOW SPEAKING! The government is getting serious (finally) with perverts who break indecency standards on radio and television. A new law, signed by President Bush this summer, has increased the maximum fine tenfold, from $32,500 to a whopping $325,000 per violation. In the last 6 or so years, complaints to the FCC have gone from "hundreds per year to hundreds of thousands," perhaps because evil violators knew they would get off with a "slap on the wrist" fine (Bush called it "relatively painless for them") that would be less than the advertising revenue involved.

Tony Perkins, who heads the Family Research Council, praised the action, saying, "Hopefully, the media giants will hear the message loud and clear – the American people own the public airwaves and have a right to reclaim a greater sense of decency and control over the airwaves.” He added, “No longer will indecency fines be viewed as an irrelevant cost of doing business.”

The House of Representatives had originally passed a bill calling for fines up to $500,000, but settled for the lesser amount the Senate wanted in order to avoid the problems involved with trying to reach a compromise (something that happened earlier when both houses passed, with large majorities, such bills but couldn't work out differences). Thanks should be given, we suppose, to Michael Jackson's sister, Janet, for inspiring Congress to act. It was her stupidity during the 2004 Super Bowl show that upset Americans to where they were demanding some type of serious action against the sexual content and the obscene/profane language filling the airways during prime time.

AH, SIMPLICITY! A new book has been published with the theme "simple is in, complex is out," using the promotion of such advertisers as Southwest Airlines and Google to illustrate the point. We are glad the world is catching up! When your editor’s ministry was launched over 63 years ago, I determined to aim my preaching so the children could understand – and I've stayed with it! Welcome, world! I'm glad you are joining me!

Along that line, someone put into lawyer language the phrase in the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Here’s how it sounds in legalize: “We respectfully petition, request, and entreat that due and adequate provision be made, this day and the date hereinafter subscribed, for the satisfying of these petitioners’ nutritional requirements and for the organizing of such methods of allocation and distribution as may be deemed necessary and proper to assure the reception by and for said petitioners of such quantities of baked cereal products as shall, in the judgment of the aforesaid petitioners, constitute a sufficient supply thereof.”

How much better is our Lord’s seven words, “Give us this day our daily bread!”

WHY WE HATE THE HOLLYWOOD MOVIE INDUSTRY. Jewish columnist Don Feder expressed it well: "Most movies present the world according to Hollywood (and the world became flesh – lots of flesh) – that the sex act is good in and of itself, that people should follow their feelings (which invariably will lead them to right conduct and happiness), that prayer is like throwing a penny in a wishing well, that God is within us, that God is love, that God makes no demands of us and that the followers of traditional religion are a bunch of uptight, puritanical, hypocritical killjoys."

Well put, Don; well put! So why doesn’t everyone hate Hollywood movies? Don’t they know what they stand for? And what excuse can ‘Christians’ have for supporting them?

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS RUNNING WILD: They say it takes all kinds of people to make a world, but some kinds we think we could do without very well, thank you. Take, for example, those morons (is that too strong a word) running the Division of Human Rights in New York that is threatening legal action against the Skate Time Rink in Accord, a tiny town in the Catskills just off U.S 209

What’s the problem? Well, it plays Christian music during a "Christian Skate Times" on Sunday afternoons. Playing Christian music at a set time Christians are present and appealing to Christians is illegal? Owners Len & Terry Bernardo have been threatened by the State agency because they are doing just that. Big brother says that is discriminating against non-Christians and must be stopped immediately – if not before! If that isn't the most bazaar thing you ever heard, it surely comes a close second to whatever is.

Oh, did we mention that Skate Time has special times for "tot skates”? Doesn’t that discriminate against grown ups? And it has "tween skates” time which surely discriminates against us senior citizens. And it has “family nights,” which obviously discriminates against singles and married folks with no children. And what about the “adult disco parties” it has from time to time? Big brother has no problem with any of those. It is just “Christian times” with “Christian music” that the Division of Human Rights is upset about.

Incidentally, no one is barred at that time; atheists are welcome, although they might be uncomfortable skating to “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” In that case, we suggest they go and skate with the tiny tots, where the music might be more adept to their mental bracket.

Perhaps Lou Sheldon of Traditional Values Coalition in Washington summed it up best: "These people are exercising basic constitutional rights on private property to the exclusion of no one and the state government is treating them like dangerous criminals," adding, "This is political correctness run amok." The owners, Len and Terry Bernardo, are being represented by the American Center for Law & Justice.

Since this is such a major problem with the Division of Human Rights, we suggest they file suits against the New York Yankees for having “senior nights,” offering discounts to folks of advanced years; the New York Knicks for having “school nights” and letting children in at special rates; the New York City Transit department for giving passes at a discounted rate to riders of certain ages – oh, the list is endless if they really are serious about violations of human rights.

If this sounds like sarcasm aimed at the ignorance of those involved, I succeeded.

HE WHO LAUGHS LAST, LAUGHS BEST! As everyone knows, the top academic students get to make speeches at graduation ceremonies, usually giving credit for their success to those they feel deserve it.

Valedictorian Brittany McComb of Foothill High in Clark County (NV) was just getting to her main credit line in her address when her microphone went dead. It was no accident! School administrators did it deliberately because they knew she was about to credit her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In spite of numerous Supreme Court verdicts that kids have the right of free speech at such events to say what they please (including the “G” references), school officials felt they know more about it than the United States Supreme Court.

Where did their wisdom come from? Why, the dear old patriotic, god-fearing ACLU, that's where! (You can go ahead and laugh; I meant it to be a hilarious statement!) The boys and girls at the ACLU and County School District called it "proselytizing." Which makes us wonder if they can even spell the word, say nothing of define it. The crowd obviously didn't think they did since the nearly 400 graduating seniors and their families started a loud jeering that went on for several minutes. (The ACLU and school bigwigs probably thought they were cheering them!)

The school administrators said an attorney advised them to do so! (Did they mention it was the ACLU legal beagle who so advised?) Oh, did we point out that Brittney said it was the first time in her school career (that earned her a 4.7 GPA) that she disobeyed authority?

But to get to the "last laugh" of my opening sentence. Instead of Brittany getting her testimony out to the relative handful at the ceremony – consisting in large part of friends and relatives, sort of “preaching to the choir” – she got to give it to the millions on CNN, Fox News and a host of other television outlets where she was interviewed!

THE PATRIOT QUOTED JOHN McCASLIN ABOUT BOB BYRD: "Does anybody find it rude that on the day that Senator Robert C. Byrd became the longest-serving senator in U.S. history he was named 'Porker of the Month' by Citizens Against Government Waste? We didn't think so. The West Virginia Democrat has sat on the Appropriations Committee since 1959, his first year in the Senate. He has served as chairman when his party was in power and currently he is the ranking member. In 1991, CAGW began tracking federal pork, and in those 15 years, West Virginia has received $2.95 billion in pork – ranked in the top four per capita for five years running. Not surprisingly, 33 projects in West Virginia bear Byrd's name, including the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, the Robert C. Byrd Highway and the Robert C. Byrd Hardwood Technologies Center. 'West Virginia has always had four friends: God Almighty, Sears Roebuck, Carter's liver pills and Robert C. Byrd,' or so the senator once boasted." 

HOLLYWOOD SAYS, "DON'T CLEAN UP OUR FILMS!" As a result of a suit by the Directors Guild of America, Senior U.S. District Court Judge Richard Matsch ruled that companies removing nudity, sex, violence and foul language from films must stop the practice immediately. Not only so, the offending companies – CleanFlicks, CleanFilms, Play It Clean Video and Family Flix – were ordered to turn over their edited films for destruction within five days of the ruling. Not involved was ClearPlay, which offers the original films with built in software to clean up the offensive material.

When we first wrote up this item we noted that copyright laws protect the studios. However, we later discovered that a requirement in purchasing the sanitized versions was proof the customer already owned a copy of the original – or was required to purchase it when he got the clean version. In essence, the studio was making money on the deal, not losing. Hollywood just doesn't want any family friendly, clean versions of their films out there!

The Hollywood hypocrisy in all this is seen when one realizes that the studios sanitize their own works when selling copies to airlines and television. And it is interesting that they didn't sue for loss of revenue. They were not losing, they were gaining! We also found it amusing that the editing companies don't even attempt to clean up some films because there wouldn't be anything left if they did!

For years the public has asked Hollywood to make more "family friendly" films and for just as long the brass in Tinsel Town has refused. Yet when a rare one is produced, it is a blockbuster at the theaters. Strange, isn't it? Unless, of course, you realize Hollywood had rather have indecencies than profits!

IS SAYING "THANK YOU, JESUS!" CONTEMPT OF COURT? Junior Stowers (a 47-year-old citizen of our 50th state) was booked on a misdemeanor charge of abusing a household member last January. Authorities said he hit his 15-year-old son with a broomstick, a charge that could result in a possible year in the slammer if found guilty.

When his trial came up in July, the son admitted he had lied and that it was his brother who had hit him with a car door. The brother testified that this was, indeed, what had happened.

When the "not guilty" verdict was announced, Stowers threw his hands up in the air (he is Assembly of God by denomination, an emotional group) and said, "Thank you, Jesus!"

Circuit Judge Patrick Border hit his gavel on the bench and called Showers "in contempt of court" for his evil "outburst" and ordered him locked in a holding cell. After letting him "sweat it out" for about six hours, Showers was brought back to court and the judge dropped the contempt charge on grounds that his attorney hadn't had time to tell him he didn't want an "outburst" from either side. (Evidently it was a lively trail!)

We agree with his attorney in the fiasco, Deputy Public Defender Susan Arnett, that he wasn't treated fairly. As she told the Honolulu Advertiser, "I don't think there's anything about saying 'Thank you, Jesus,' that rises to the level of contemptuous behavior in this case." Nor do we!

SOME "RIGHTS" ARE DEAD WRONG! Thanks to our Endangered Species Act, which many consider inane if not downright stupid, those little fellows on its many lists have more rights than you and I do. Baptist Press reported the case of James Galloway in Michigan, a man who killed a "Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake." He thought the reptile was a danger to a nearby child (then to himself). A jury found him guilty and socked it to him. Then there was the case of a North Carolina logger who was fined $95,000 for cutting down a tree where bald eagles nested (none was around at the time). I guess he was lucky; he could have also received a year in prison.

And how about the 1,400 farmers in Oregon who were denied water from Klamath Lake because it might disturb "sucker fish"? Denied the water, a number of farmers were wiped out. And how about the case in Arkansas where a judge, based on an environmentalist's suit, recently stopped a $320 million irrigation project because it might disturb the ivory-billed woodpecker (whom no one can prove even exists)!

Believe it or not, currently there are 407 animals and 598 plants on the federal Endangered Species list – all of whom have more rights than you and I do! Humbling, isn’t it?