By Kelly Pelton (written 09 May 2023)

"The church has become feminized," you cry, alarmed
at moral compromise within the institution,
when, in truth, the church institutionalized
is prone to blaming females, a toxic solution.

Is feminine bad, misleading, or morally lax?
Say what you mean: The church is in moral decline.
Don't exploit male insecurity with your fear speech;
do not insult our half of God's design.

Compromise is a human act, not feminine;
compassion is a godly trait in both genders.
Compassionate compromise with the culture can happen despite
the women and men who for righteousness remain contenders.

Avoiding confrontation is human, not feminine;
men and women both have taken stands
to fight for reform - the cleansing of the church -
courageous in their righteous reprimands.

One unintended consequence of your blaming
the feminine for church moral degeneration:
Your daughters then perceive they're more defective,
and shame will be their constant heart's sensation.

If you're alarmed, inspect yourself, not females;
please own up to your role in church decay.
Female leadership is not the problem,
rather those who think we should not have a say.

Men and women partner with God's Spirit,
working side by side with influence equal, 
both a royal priesthood in Christ's body,
showing all the world a heavenly prequel.


by Kelly Pelton (written 10 April 2023)

It's creepy how your loving words defend unloving actions,
putting men in charge of women as though it is God's way,
getting people trusting you more than they trust themselves,
intimidating them from questioning the doctrine you say.

It's creepy like the Jim Crow south with white and smiling people,
creepy like the sister wives who followed Jeffs's plan,
creepy like the Branch Dividians nodding as their leader
had sex with all their wives and daughters - what a loving man.

It's creepy when the church tells women, "You can lead the children;"
the pseudo-magnanimity takes on a gracious tone.
They offer other avenues for serving with our talents,
still barring us from preaching; that's reserved for men alone.

"Our women, they get so much done;" the praise is condescending,
from influential grasshoppers to harder working ants.
"Don't act as if you're God-ordained to speak to men and women;
don't study Bible scholarship that says you get a chance."

Creepy churches can be cultish, calling those rebellious
who challenge unjust practices like female subjugation.
The creepy vibe exists not simply from committing evil
but telling folks the evil's good with zero hesitation.

Let's put an end to gaslighting with smooth religious language
and show the world the love of Christ in healthy, holy ways.
The creepy spectrum's not for us as His beloved children;
let's serve and lead together and discard the power plays


by Kelly Pelton (written 02 April 2023)

You dare insult the Good King's daughter,
placing her as secondary
in the church, ambitious brother,
as His justice you miscarry.

I must tell you He's impartial
but I cannot hold against you
this your sin of hoarding power 
even with the damage you do.

He did not protect Himself
or get revenge, and nor will I
if I am to resemble Him,
the Creator who came to die.

I'll walk with dignity and love
with scorn for gender lies you tell,
but holding you in prayer, my brother,
for I'll only wish you well.

We are royalty because 
of our adoption by the King.
Let's be the goodness, love, and light
as priests who now His praises sing.


by Kelly Pelton (written 27 Feb 2023)

Insecurity, the fear that I am less -
the fear my fear must indicate reality -
cannot be helped by others; we must confess to God
and ask, "What do I need from You, but more, from me?"

With insecurity, I hold back from myself
what I need most from me: respect and loyalty,
a high esteem of my own value, deeply rooted
in the God who sent the Christ to set me free.

The church's gender hierarchy is not the answer,
men, to all your fears of feeling like you're less;
you'll come to peace within as God enables you
to know your value with no urge to second-guess.


by Kelly Pelton (written 27 Feb 2023)

You have heard that it was said,
"Don't beat your kids or spouse,"
but I say, Don't disrespect
a single person in your house.

You have heard that it was said,
"You'd give your life for your wife,"
but I say, Give up controlling
her as deepest sacrifice.

You have heard that it was said,
"Men, at home, be servant-leaders,"
but I say, Just be the servants
and the caring interceders.

You have heard that it was said,
"You are your wife's authority,"
but I say, Share equal power 
as a top priority.

Jesus is the fount of blessing
in whose Spirit I am writing,
moving standards ever higher
as His power we're inviting.


by Kelly Pelton (written 12 Feb 2023)

If this world is a lab for learning to love,
teach one another to show respect
which is love in plain clothes, as the saying goes,
without it, our marriages slowly get wrecked.

There's nothing noble in suffering poor treatment
in Christian homes where we should know better;
let's show our children how to treat family
as treasured people, each a love letter

from God who wants us to teach one another.
He gives us power to stand up to pressure
and not be a victim or domestic martyr
but rather a Spirit-led family refresher.

Although by the world we be persecuted
for faithfully clinging to Christ above all,
let not our spouses be punitive, let not
our homes be unsafe or disheartening. Call

your spouse to accountability; let not
the undermining behaviors persist.
As families learn to live in God's love,
all unloving tactics we must resist.


by Kelly Pelton

The Christians in power who subjugate women
are by definition going to dismiss
those ladies who seek help with abusive husbands,
their cries disregarded; it's Judas's kiss

that betrays Christ's body, this fruit which is rooted
in "complementarian" gender hierarchy 
which demoted women, subduing their voices
with hermeneutical prooftext malarkey.

Where female pastors are mocked with contempt,
we should not be surprised that the women in need
are told to submit to their abusive husbands
and not be divisive. Our Lord is indeed

indignant His daughters are underclass people;
those voices forbidden to speak from the pulpit
are by definition less worthy of hearing,
with complementarianism the culprit.

Abuse has a spectrum, includes ridiculing,
dismissing and discounting, pushing aside,
it keeps women underfoot and disempowered,
intimidates them with harsh snubs that are snide.

The people of color or Jewish upbringing
or India outcasts have all heard a reason
for why they're excluded; with this, it's no different,
those greedy for power committing treason.

Inspired by the Christianity Today online article, “Grace Community Church Rejects Elder’s Calls to ‘Do Justice’ in Abuse Case” by Kate Shellnut, 10 February 2023.


by Kelly Pelton (written 03 Feb 2023)

You made a false assumption about me,
that I have difficulty trusting men,
that God, if I will give Him the opportunity,
will help me be a docile, yielding hen.

You fail to grasp the miracle God has done
with my distrust of women years ago,
 in freeing me from judging all by one
who gripped me in her toxic undertow.

Though neither men nor women deserve our trust,
I now trust females as much as I trust males,
which is to say, not much, but here I must
rejoice that, in me, equal trust prevails.


by Kelly Pelton (written 26 Nov 2022)

Before forgiveness, you must know the full extent of harm done,
to not deny or minimize the injuries or pain,
to make a clean ideological break from the abusive ones,
the religious culture denying its own injustice for worldly gain.

Before forgiveness, you'll resign from analyzing reasons
why Christian people buy into the lies and spread false teaching,
keeping women limited, committing spiritual treason,
fervent men defending gender bias in their preaching.

Before forgiveness, God will end your chronic second-guessing,
and then you'll say, "They're doing wrong; they know not what they do."
You'll hold acceptance in one hand with deep desire for blessing,
the other holding righteous vision, urging something new.


by Kelly Pelton (written 30 Dec 2022)

Chivalry is physical kindness, male to female,
the stronger helping meet the weaker's needs,
extending a hand to express equal value,
consideration shown by thoughtful deeds.

Chivalry does not seek control or domination 
but honors the ones whom society disempowers;
it accommodates those who need special concessions,
the physically frail upon whom this world glowers.

Chivalry's like godliness; God serves
His children though He's strong and they are weak.
The Lord is loving to all that He has made;
His richest blessings for them He'll always seek.