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.

Sumner's Incidents and Illustrations
Dr. Robert L. Sumner

HOW DOES THE BENJAMIN SPOCK/DEAR ABBY/DEMOCRAT CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLYWOMAN SALLY LIEBER’S "NO SPANKING" PHILOSOPHY REALLY WORK OUT? If Houston is any indication, not so hot! Assistant District Attorney Bill Hawkins reports "a significant jump" in petitions filed in juvenile court for "felonies and Class A & B misdemeanors" recently. From 12,522 cases in 2003 they have skyrocketed to 15,669 in 2006 – an increase of nearly 1,000 per year.

Some illustrations of what the "kids" are doing include: beating another kid to death with a hammer, stabbing with scissors, shoving others down the stairs, and putting three bullets in the back of a stepfather's head while he was sleeping (he survived, but still has one bullet in his head the doctors didn’t dare try to remove).

In fact, in Houston's Harris County during the past 2½ years, 1,831 young people were charged with assaulting their own parents or guardians. Kris Moore, a prosecutor of juveniles there for over a quarter-century, called it "scary," saying juvenile violence against parents is “escalating.” Now assaults against mothers and grandmothers are almost "ho, hum" in the courts.

Houston's answer? More prosecutors to handle the growing load in the courts. But, then, I guess a return to the biblical manner of discipline – which includes spanking – would be too passé for this generation of “child experts!”

WELL, HOW ABOUT THIS? A retired pastor in Iowa, Eldon Pals, a longtime friend of the editor, is now a member of the Calvary Baptist Church in Grinnell. On a night in late June, at about starting time for the midweek prayer service, two gentlemen came in, carrying Bibles, joined the singing, and followed the Bible study lesson in their own Bibles.

Pals went on to say that after the pastor invited them to introduce themselves and they did, he asked if they had prayer requests. The older gentleman requested prayer for our country, the troops, and the Middle East. When the group broke up into small units for prayer, the two joined two or three other men and had a season of prayer with them.

The elder gentleman was Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, running with a big pack for the top spot on the GOP ticket in 2008 and making a 27-stop campaign across Iowa in view of the early primaries there. The younger gentleman was Aaron Mercer, a 2001 Cedarville University graduate and currently 'Coalitions Director' for the candidate. Since they had no engagements that night, they looked up a good church with a prayer meeting and attended.

As Pals noted; "This is a heavy campaign season and candidates can be seen in many places. However, having a Presidential candidate visit a local church midweek prayer just because he was in town is a rather rare experience.” The next day the Senator addressed crowds on the courthouse lawn.

Another independent Baptist pastor in the area commented, “I met with him personally a week ago, and he gave a strong testimony of personal salvation and faith in Christ.”

Brownback, as you probably know, is strongly pro-life, pro-family and very conservative in his outlook. In fact, he calls himself the "all life" candidate because he is interested in protecting life at every level.

Will he get the nomination? Probably not. He is too decent, too moral, too conservative for a largely ungodly public.

HEY, ALL YOU BIBLE-BELIEVING HERETICS OUT THERE: it’s official now. All you folks who are not members of the Roman Catholic Church are heretics, usurpers, not members of the Body of Christ. Who said so? Why the Vicar of Christ on Earth (sic), Pope Benedict XVI, His Holiness, who rules the religious world from his throne in the Vatican, that’s who.

He okayed a document his church released in July, saying any church not part of his Roman ‘empire’ are defective, not true churches, and that his Roman Catholic Church offers the only true path to salvation. If you believe that, you might just as well toss out your Bible. Billing himself as a peacemaker, he is not always thus.

His name means “the blessed,” but he obviously isn’t too verbose on his blessing for us Bible believers. On the other hand, he offered “total and profound respect for all Muslims” (this was after he got caught with his crown down quoting a 14th-century Byzantine emperor and then “retracting” it), even going to Istanbul’s Blue Mosque and praying with the Grand Mufti!

Oh, by the way, this “perfect” church that has the “only true path to salvation,” just shelled out the largest settlement for sexual abuse by its priests against little boys in the history of mankind, a whopping $660,000,000. And that was just from one archdiocese, the one in Los Angeles, which didn’t even settle all the cases there! Then there is Boston, Chicagobut why go on?

PREACHERS HAVE LITTLE VALUE IN TENNESSEE. Remember Mary Winkler? She was the preacher’s wife in Selmer (TN) who unloaded a shotgun into her husband Matthew’s back while he lay sleeping. The media had described him as “a popular and charismatic 31-year-old preacher at a fundamentalist Christian church.”

She was found guilty in June and sentenced to “three years” in the slammer. The judge ordered that she must serve 210 days of that sentence (about two-thirds of one year), but ruled that she get credit for the 143 she languished in jail waiting for her trial. In short, that is a sentence of 67 days, slightly more than two months for the brutal, cowardly killing of her husband while he was sleeping. By the time you read this, she should be a free woman.

Like we said, preachers aren’t worth much in Tennessee! Nor, apparently, is life.

KIDS BEING GODLY WITHOUT GOD? Dale McGowan, a former professor at the Roman Catholic College of St. Catherine in St. Paul (MN), the largest Catholic college for women in the country, has written a book, Parenting Beyond Belief: On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids Without Religion. The thesis is that you can raise good kids totally apart from any religion. The tome is full, we understand, of quotes and quips from well-known atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

Dale is broadminded about it (his own kids have gone to a Lutheran pre-school and he is comfortable with them being exposed to religious ideas – the only ones he won’t tolerate relate to refusing to doubt “our way” could be wrong, and the teaching that Hell is real). His definition of religion is that it is something we use to explain things we don’t understand and to make us feel better.

He wants kids to think for themselves (a good idea), but he doesn’t want any spiritual guidance for them or influence, which is something spiritually akin to physically putting a new born out on the parking lot at the hospital and trusting it to provide for itself without outside influence!

As for not having to believe in God to be good (by human standards), he’s right. I have met people all over the country who have high standards, pious morals, live fine lives as upstanding citizens in the community, pay their debts, obey the law, and help their fellow man in many ways, both physically and monetarily.

It is only rarely, however, that I have been able to lead such a one to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. They are self-sufficient and think they do not need salvation (after all, they reason, they are not sinners like other people). Occasionally I have been able to win someone like that by pointing out the divine dictum, “there is none good but one, that is, God” (Mark 10:18), but usually they will not accept the Word of God, having already determined they are above it.

So, in short, McGowan is right: it is possible to raise moral children without religion and they can have useful lives during their brief earthly lifespan, which is like the “… flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more” (Psalm 103:15, 16). Alas, when that brief lifespan is over, they enter immediately into that Hell he doesn’t believe in – and they are there, the Lord Jesus Christ said, for all eternity. [See Silver’s lessons “Will Hell be Vacated” in our Bible Study Corner!]

ONE TAX I DON’T HAVE TO PAY! The non-profit, non-partisan Tax Foundation released a new report showing that lotteries are, in reality, a tax on the poor, an excuse for politicians to have more money to throw around while claiming to keep taxes low. Approximately a third of all lottery receipts go into legislative treasuries for the powers that be to blow on pet projects. The Foundation reported: "The only difference between the lottery tax and sales or excise taxes [on alcohol, tobacco and other goods] is that the lottery tax is built into the price of the ticket, rather than reported separately." In short, you don’t know it is there.

For fiscal year 2005, the last available, the average American spent between $177 and $200 on his favorite lottery swindle, more than double what he spent on reading materials and movies combined. And, as we have noted many time previously, the bulk of this tax is paid by the poor, hoping to “strike it rich.”

Baptist Press, which reported this story, quoted two previous studies the Foundation cited:

In 1996, the National Gambling Impact Study Commission's report showed that lottery players with incomes under $10,000 spent almost three times as much on the lottery as did those who made more than $50,000.
 In 2005, a Newark Star-Ledger analysis found that in a study based on ZIP codes, "communities with average household income below $52,000" sold an average "of $250 of tickets per person annually." By comparison, that was more than double the amount for communities "with average incomes above $100,000." 
To compound the problem, since a big deal is made about how lotteries help education, because this is primarily a tax on the poor, they benefit the least since so few of them are able to attend college.
No, I don’t have to pay this tax because I don’t gamble, but I pity the folks who do! And someone is paying triple to finance the shares of my wife and I, who are in the “poor” bracket.

BOYS WILL BE BOYS, RIGHT? Two teens in West Palm Beach (FL), 14-year-old Avion Lawson and 16-year-old Nathan Walker, are being held without bail by authorities on “suspicion of armed sexual battery by multiple perpetrators, sexual performance by a child, armed home invasion and aggravated battery.” Since police disclosed their names, it means they will be tried, not as juveniles, but as adults.

And well they should!

According to the local authorities, after breaking into the home of a woman and her 12-year-old son – who believed the boys had a “flat tire” and were offering help, trying to befriend them – they “raped, sodomized and beat the woman.” Then they, at gunpoint, forced the pre-teen to have sex with his mother for their entertainment, and then they beat him and poured numerous household cleaning liquids into his eyes! Several other hoodlums were involved, but they hadn’t been arrested at this writing.

The father of the elder teen said, “My son has a good heart.” Yeah. Right. It sounds that way, doesn’t it?

HERE WE GO AGAIN! The American Psychological Association is at it again, appointing a committee of six (!) to look into homosexuality – but refusing to permit anyone to be on the committee who might have a religious thought (for example, it rejected Warren Throckmorton from the conservative Grove City College because he thinks psychologists should respect the religious views of clients). And the word is already out that the “committee” will propose a ban on “reparative therapy” (sometimes called “conversion therapy”), which seeks to “out” the Sodomite by “curing” him, saying such “suppression” is harmful (sic).

As Clinton Anderson, who directs the APA's Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Concerns Office, put it, "We cannot take into account what are fundamentally negative religious perceptions of homosexuality – they don't fit into our world view." In short, the committee has already decided what it will “find!”

Jack Drescher, who edits the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Psychotherapy and is one of the favored six on the committee, complained those trying to “out” Sodomites “want a rubber stamp of approval” on their form of therapy. Obviously, he favors a rubber stamp on his form.

Even more obviously, Sodomites have “come a long way, baby.” Up until the mid-1990 the APA called homosexual/lesbianism a mental illness. Now they are about to make it “main stream America!”

As we have noted many times in these pages, we do not have a high opinion of pyschiatry/pyschology. Psychotheraply is also called, correctly in our judgment, Psychobabbel. Frankly, we wish our Christian colleges and universities would quit peddling it.

DUNCAN M. McDONALD CAN NO LONGER VOTE IN SEATTLE. Jane K. Balogh registered her dog under that name after first listing her telephone number in the canine’s moniker. Seven months later, in the November elections, she returned Dunc’s absentee ballot writing VOID across it and with the image of a paw print on the signature. Believe it or not, the dumb dog got two more ballots in two more elections before the registration was cancelled.

Mama Balogh was trying to make the point that the new law made fraud too easy, especially for non-citizens to vote. It would appear she proved her point!