Monday, November 19, 2007

Little Bear Wheeler

Friday night and Saturday morning, Jason and I, along with our friends the Bartons, went to S. Raleigh to hear Little Bear Wheeler of Mantle Ministries talk about the Pilgrims and the providential hand of God in bringing them to North America. Little Bear Wheeler is an evangelist, historian, and masterful storyteller, who dresses in authentic period costumes as he delivers his presentations. Friday night he dressed in Reformation garb as he traced the development of the Bible and of the body of believers known as "the church" over thousands of years, from Moses through the rise of the Roman Church to the early Reformers who often gave their lives to bring Scripture back to the common people. Saturday he continued in Pilgrim dress, teaching about the creation of the Church of England by King Henry VIII, which set the stage for the Separatists, whom we know as Pilgrims, to flee persecution in England, and ultimately sail to the New World. There were many fascinating facts and stories woven into the talks, and the morning culminated with a demonstration of fire making, with flint & steel, a bow drill, and hand drill, and a pump drill. That kept the little boys interested!

Now, do you know why the Pilgrims sailed to the New World? Most people would say it was to flee religious persecution in England, but that is only partly correct. The Pilgrims did flee England, but they went to Holland, and lived there for 10 years. The were not persecuted in Holland, but were welcomed, and settled into the community there. But the problem was that Dutch society was much more "liberal" than they were, and the Pilgrims saw that their children were being adversely affected by their peers and the surrounding culture in Holland. So the real reason that the Pilgrims came to North America was to rescue the hearts of their children from a culture that was pulling them away from God!

Recommended reading if you are interested in learning about the Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony from someone who was there: "Of Plymouth Plantation: Bradford's History of the Plymouth Settlement 1608-1650", published by Vision Forum. This is a reprint of a 1909 translation (into Modern English) of Governor William Bradford's original journal, which is considered the single most important source of information about the Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony.

1 comment:

Tony D said...

So what you're saying is, that the pilgrims DIDN'T come to the new world seeking religious tolerance, But rather that they came here seeking religious intolerance. Very interesting.