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