H. F. Sharp
A friend of mine sermon preached by inconsistencies and sent me a copy of a bro. Fenter Northern of Belleville. Illinois. Brother Northern at one time was a close friend of mine but now, I suppose, he counts me as an enemy. Yet, with all of the help I attempted to give him' he has never one time come to me trying to teach me what he believes to be the truth. I wish to set forth some glaring misrepresentations not for the purpose of doing him harm, but, with the hope he may yet see there are those with whom he differs who have enough love for the cause of Christ to try and help him.
In his introductory statement he says. "In the '40s the church in Steele. Missouri was not plagued with any issue concerning the support of our orphan homes. However, we had a very able young man as a preacher by the name of H. F. Sharp, who, during his latter period of stay with the Steele congregation began to sow the seeds of "anti church supported orphan homes." Now bro. Northern where did you learn this? You were not there during my '`latter stay" and if you thought this, why did you never come to me with this? I opposed the church supporting the homes out of it's treasury such as the Southern Christian Home at Morrilton, Arkansas before I came to Steele, Missouri. Brother C. R. Nichol, one of my closest friends, taught me the truth about this in a meeting in Nashville, Arkansas before I moved to Steele, Missouri. I can present the facts here and establish them to be the truth by the elders at Steele and by Gilbert Copeland who was the preacher at Nashville. Arkansas when I had this study with the late C. R. Nichol. Will you correct this error?
Also you stated that these preachers are zealous to recruit preachers to "their cause." Bro. Northern, this is the same kind of representation we receive at the hands of Baptist preachers when they say "your church."
I have no cause to support except the cause of Christ and I have never been aware of recruiting preachers to my cause. Did I recruit you to my cause? Did you not misrepresent here? Do you love the truth and-will you repent of your misrepresentations? Bro. Northern just how bold are you? Will you defend what you preach at the meetinghouse in Belleville? Will you affirm what you believe and are bold to preach? We await to see just how bold bro. Northern is. He may be just misrepresenting his boldness.
In the last paragraph he commends us to his sermon, but I, as Paul, "commend you to God and the word of His grace."
The Sermon and Some Questions
In his opening paragraph he states the church has a right to contribute to an orphan home, and then talks about scriptural authority to do so. If it is with scriptural authority, the church does not have a right, but a "must be done." Can a thing be a must and just have a right to do? But he says he could not change the minds of self-willed and wicked people if he were Christ or the apostles. Bro. Northern just classifies all who do not believe as he does as wicked and self-willed. He is bold...so bold he is now a judge. He may be as Agrippa stated to Paul. "So much learning has made you mad."
Brother Northern states that where the anti doctrine" has been left alone, the church has divided and even whole churches have been captured. Bro. Northern, are you ' anti" anything? Are you anti-dance, anti- drunkenness anti-adultery? You state how much you will be misrepresented, yet you bestow your hate ingloriously with the nasty term, at least to you, of "Anti." This answers the opponents' Just call them "anti"! "wicked," "self-willed." On what hath Caesar been feasting? I am reminded of the banty rooster.
Bro. Northern thinks 1 Tim. 4: 1-3 refers to those who make laws about not supporting the institutional homes. I believe brother Northern needs to study his Bible more than he needs to teach. He shows a lack of Bible knowledge and maybe he needs a degree in 15 Bible more than a Master's degree in something else.
Bro. Northern shows his lack of knowledge of the doctrine of premillennialism also. He says brethren wanted to give it the silent treatment. Bro. Northern you just don't remember such giants as Foy E. Wallace Jr., C. R. Nichol, R. L. Whiteside, and many others who fought the battles so that today you are able to preach to those who do not believe this doctrine, not because of what you have done, but because of such men as these, for whom you now have no use.
What Is the Orphan Home?
He does make it clear that the home is not in competition to the church and does not do the work of the church. Now, bro. Northern, can -the church contribute to that which is not the work of the church? How bold are you? Answer right out! He says the church cannot be the home and the home cannot be the church. Neither can the church be a gospel meeting nor a gospel meeting be the church, yet the church can have a gospel meeting and oversee that work. Now he tells us there is not a law for that kind of a home, yet he says it is scriptural. I would like to ask him, as W. Curtis Porter asked Mr. Bogard, " Can a thing be scriptural in name and not be mentioned in the Bible?" How Bold are you now? He says further, "When the church has done all it is supposed to do there still remains the work of the home." Now then, the church is not supposed to do the work of the home. That is not a work of the church. How can the church contribute to that which is not it's work? Where is the scriptural authority?
He tells us the institutional home is the home restored. Here are a few questions.
1. Is a home a divine arrangement where the parents are not Christians?
2. Can the church help the home of an atheist?
3. Can the church help the home of a Catholic?
4. Is there any difference in helping the home of orphans operated by the Baptist, Catholics, Masons, Christians, etc?
5. Do you believe there is scripture for the church helping anyone who is not a saint out if its treasury? If so, what scripture?
6. Was Abraham's home a divine arrangement?
7. If a Catholic should have a wreck in front of the church building and you were there, would you ask the church to help him?
8. Could they help them before they had a wreck?
Now come on bro. Northern, and let us see your boldness.
Does a child cease to be an orphan when the restored home takes him in? If not, then this is not the home restored, is it? Can the church help a child where the father has plenty of money? If the "home restored" argument is right, then can the church help the institutional home until the members of the board (their daddies according to bro. Northern) spend all they have to supply their need?
If you will just enlighten us on these questions, Bro Northern, maybe we will know more of what you believe and are bold to defend and preach.
Truth Magazine VII: 9, pp. 15-16