Topic: Wintley Phipps…where are you and what are you doing. An Adventist Perspective?


Ecumenism is playing hide and seek on the corridors of other faiths and in the process forget’s or blurs your own faith-position. Especially on the Immortality of the Soul myth.

Case in point: SDA pastor Wintley Phipps in the video by Gaither in October 2021.


---Go to 50.59-55.48

Gaither, who’s songs are in our SDA hymnal, used famous Carribean Seventh Day Adventist singer and pastor Wintley Phipps to display an Afro-American poem written before 1938, “God down death” to introduce to Gaither’s pain stricken audience comfort that their loved ones who died is now with Jesus.

Question: Are we to bring Paul and Jesus and Solomon and David on the table here with Gaither’s video to ask Truth to speak to us? Or are we to just let eloquence and deep voices and fame carry on speaking non-biblical?


Gaither introduced Phipps as follows:

“I will never forget the eloquent word picture created for us by Wintley Phipps during a video-taping in New Orleans. Listen now and enjoy his compelling interpretation of James Wallen Johnson’s classic poem “Go down death”.


Poem Title: Go Down, Death by James Weldon Johnson - 1871-1938

 (A Funeral Sermon by an Afro-American)

Weep not, weep not,
She is not dead;
She's resting in the bosom of Jesus. [note: this is not biblical but a mistaken of a parable]
Heart-broken husband--weep no more;
Grief-stricken son--weep no more;
Left-lonesome daughter --weep no more;
She only just gone home. [note: no-one goes anywhere, says the Bible]

Day before yesterday morning,
God was looking down from his great, high heaven,
Looking down on all his children,
And his eye fell on Sister Caroline,
Tossing on her bed of pain.
And God's big heart was touched with pity,
With the everlasting pity.

And God sat back on his throne,
And he commanded that tall, bright angel standing at his right hand:
Call me Death! [note: God has conversation with death?]
And that tall, bright angel cried in a voice
That broke like a clap of thunder:
Call Death!--Call Death!
And the echo sounded down the streets of heaven
Till it reached away back to that shadowy place, [note: Death residing in heaven? What a myth!]
Where Death waits with his pale, white horses. [note: A misconcoction of prophetic data]

And Death heard the summons,
And he leaped on his fastest horse,
Pale as a sheet in the moonlight.
Up the golden street Death galloped,
And the hooves of his horses struck fire from the gold,
But they didn't make no sound.
Up Death rode to the Great White Throne,[note: Death appeared before God in heaven? Non-biblical, fictional]
And waited for God's command.

And God said: Go down, Death, go down,
Go down to Savannah, Georgia,
Down in Yamacraw,
And find Sister Caroline.
She's borne the burden and heat of the day,
She's labored long in my vineyard,
And she's tired--
She's weary--
Go down, Death, and bring her to me. [Note: Satan asked to bring souls/dead people to God? Un-biblical]

And Death didn't say a word,
But he loosed the reins on his pale, white horse,
And he clamped the spurs to his bloodless sides,
And out and down he rode,
Through heaven's pearly gates,
Past suns and moons and stars;
on Death rode,
Leaving the lightning's flash behind;
Straight down he came.

While we were watching round her bed,
She turned her eyes and looked away,
She saw what we couldn't see;
She saw Old Death.  She saw Old Death [note: Fictional and not biblical].
Coming like a falling star. [note: Correct allocation of Satan in the Bible].
But Death didn't frighten Sister Caroline;
He looked to her like a welcome friend.
And she whispered to us: I'm going home,
And she smiled and closed her eyes.

And Death took her up like a baby,
And she lay in his icy arms,
But she didn't feel no chill.
And death began to ride again--
Up beyond the evening star,
Into the glittering light of glory,
On to the Great White Throne.
And there he laid Sister Caroline [note: fictional and non-biblical. A myth misusing the parable of Jesus about Abraham and Lazarus]
On the loving breast of Jesus.

And Jesus took his own hand and wiped away her tears,
And he smoothed the furrows from her face,
And the angels sang a little song,
And Jesus rocked her in his arms,
And kept a-saying: Take your rest,
Take your rest. [note: This part is fine if we interpret it as the memory of the person’s DNA that is after death resting in the mind of God].

Weep not--weep not,
She is not dead;
She's resting in the bosom of Jesus. [note: resting in the grave down here not there says the Bible].


Source of Poem: From God's Trombones by James Weldon Johnson. Copyright © 1927 The Viking Press, Inc., renewed 1955 by Grace Nail Johnson. Used by permission of Viking Penguin, a division of Penguin Books USA Inc.


Final note: It is not ecumenism when a Seventh-day Adventist is asked to preach at an interfaith event. It is wrong when they cut-back on their truths. Afro-American preacher who died in September 2021, Charles Bradford said: “Don’t mix me up with pastors, clerics and mantles…I was called by God to preach a message for these times and I cannot cut back on it”. Sermon: “I wish I had a praying church” 2015 at Oakwood. Youtube.  


(Koot van Wyk wondering about Pastor Phipps’ Adventist mind on Sabbath 6th of November 2021)