This story was updated on Saturday, April 28, 2018
All of the 13 original colonies had some form of state-sponsored religion, Dr. Stephen Flick with Christian Heritage Fellowship told an audience of school-age children Friday afternoon at the Crest Theater. From 1606 to 1830, eight of those 13 had official state churches.
Children from Central Kansas Christian Academy and several adults attended his afternoon talk, which was designed for students in fifth grade or older. Friday and Saturday evening, Flick spoke to a broader audience. His overall theme was “Reclaiming America’s Christian Heritage.”
“Dr. Flick was one of my professors in seminary,” said the Rev. Aaron Withrow, pastor at Foundry Methodist Church, one of several churches that sponsored the programs. Today, Flick heads a nondenominational ministry where his mission is to talk about “our true heritage and biblical roots.”
The founding fathers had a Christian worldview, Flick said. “It’s remarkable how theological our founding fathers were.”
Between 1775 and 1784, Congress issued 16 religious proclamations, such as the one in June 1775 that asked the states for a day of humiliation, fasting and prayer. Flick details the proclamations in his book, “When Congress asked America to Fast, Pray and Give Thanks to God: Spiritual Observances by Congress at the Beginning of America’s Federal Government.”
“Our founding fathers argued the world was ordered or arranged by an eternal God,” Flick said. “The founding fathers never believed nor advocated irreligion.”
Flick discussed the four “organic laws” or foundational principles of our nation:
• The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
• The Articles of Confederation of November 15, 1777
• Northwest Ordinance of July 13, 1787
• Constitution of September 17, 1787
Each of these documents gives its due to a creator or universal governor, and the authors understood this to be the God of Christianity, Flick said.
The Northwest Ordinance, for example, declares, “No person, demeaning himself in a peaceable and orderly manner, shall ever be molested on account of his mode of worship or religious sentiments, in the said territory. ... Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”
“Why we’re having trouble in the world today is because we’ve set aside things like these, the third organic law,” Flick said.
The title of his talk to the students was, “Can a True American be a True Darwinist?” Flick doesn’t think so.
When Withrow asked what they knew about Darwinism, the students were mostly quiet.
“I’m glad to hear that don’t know,” Flick said.
“Our nation has been wrestling with these facts and these issues for more than half a century,” Flick said. “Darwinism is a term that has come to express the idea of the godless origin of the universe. There isn’t a person here today that hasn’t been touched or influenced by Darwinism.”
President Woodrow Wilson proposed a move in that direction and the idea that the Constitution is a “living document” in “The New Freedom.”
“Living political constitutions must be Darwinian in structure and in practice. Society is a living organism and must obey the laws of life, not of mechanics; it must develop,” Wilson wrote.
In “What is Progress?” Wilson also wrote, “All that progressives ask or desire is permission — in an era when ‘development,’ ‘evolution,’ is the scientific word — to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle; all they ask is recognition of the fact that a nation is a living thing and not a machine.”
Darwin himself wrote that if his theory was correct, there should be many transitional forms in the fossil record.
“Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory. The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record,” Darwin wrote in “The Origin of Species” in 1859.
Although Darwinists claim many transitional fossils have been found since 1859, Flick quotes creationist Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis and its ministry Ark Encounter, a Noah’s Ark-themed park in Kentucky.
When archeologists find fossils, they also find evidence of human beings, Flick said, referring students to Ham’s website, answersingenesis.org.
Dinosaurs and Humans Together
A sample from the website he referred to: “There are many references to historical evidence of dinosaurs and man living together, such as the petroglyph in Natural Bridges, Utah, legends and stories of dragons in Europe, and use of the dragon motif by the Chinese. But one striking physical in Asia is the bas-relief picture of a dinosaur in the ruins of Angkor outside of Siem Reap, Cambodia.”
Christians shouldn’t believe in theistic evolution for the same reason atheists say they don’t believe in God, Flick suggested: “There is no evidence.”
About the speaker
According to the Christian Heritage Fellowship website, Flick earned his Ph.D. from Drew University in theology and church history. He spent 12 years as a seminary professor and has been a licensed minister for more than 30 years.
He and his wife Beth live near Knoxville, Tenn. He has authored numerous articles concerning America’s Christian heritage. Books he has written include, “When the United States Capitol was a Church” and “America’s Founding Fathers and the Bible: A Select Study of America’s Christian Origin.”
Sponsors for the programs in Great Bend were Foundry Methodist Church, Faith Community Church, Community Christian Church, First Assembly of God, Fellowship of Faith and Pawnee Rock Christian Church.
Dr. Flick also planned to attend services on Sunday, April 29, at Foundry Methodist Church, where he said he would be available to answer questions. Sunday school is at 9 a.m. and the worship service is at 10 a.m.