A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Little Churches Made of Ticky-Tacky

UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.


Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
(Colossians 2:6-8 ESV)

Ok, sarcasm warning. Sometimes it just flames up in me and it has to come out. Apologies in advance to anyone whose sensibilities are offended by the following parody of the present condition of the evangelical church:

Words and music by Malvina Reynolds; copyright 1962 Schroder Music Company, renewed 1990. Malvina and her husband were on their way from where they lived in Berkeley, through San Francisco and down the peninsula to La Honda where she was to sing at a meeting of the Friends’ Committee on Legislation (not the PTA, as Pete Seeger says in the documentary about Malvina, “Love It Like a Fool”). As she drove through Daly City, she said “Bud, take the wheel. I feel a song coming on.”

Now, could we not tweak these lyrics just a bit to apply to the plague of injustice in the church? This would be comical if it weren’t so true. Imagine yourself, for instance, driving through the southern United States (we’ve got ’em in the North too, but there are church buildings on every corner down South), and you see all of these big red brick with white trim buildings everywhere. I think that you too would feel a “song coming on.”  Click the song again and as it plays, sing along with the following revised lyrics:

Little churches on the hillside,
Little churches made of ticky tacky,
Little churches on the hillside,
Little churches all the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And the people in the churches
All were taught by famous authors,
Who put them in boxes
And they came out all the same,
And there’s pastors and elders,
And mega-church celebrities,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And they all play on the golf course
And drink their kool-aid dry,
And they all have pretty children
And the children go to school,
And the children go to summer camp
And then to the Christian college,
Where they are put in boxes
And they come out all the same.

And the boys go into business
And marry and raise a family
In boxes made of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.


  1. Wendell G

    And each one of those ticky-tacky churches have their own political structure and ways of abusing the pastor (among others). Just the faces are different as well as some of the doctrinal hot buttons!

    • Jeff Crippen

      Right Wendell. Maybe there is some way we can work “church pillars” into those lyrics!

      • Wendell G

        Very commonly heard words at many a country church, “My great-grandpappy built this church from the ground up with the sweat of his brow. How dare some upstart young preacher come in and change things? Over my dead body!” Yep, been there, heard that!

    • Yes indeed, but what’s similar in all of them is the gut feeling I get when I pay attention to how my body is responding to the vibe, the personal interactions, the looks in people’s eyes and the tones in their voices.

  2. Barnabasintraining

    Uh yup. The homogenization of the church.

  3. Little Chrissy

    Hehe… I’ll be humming this all day. 🙂 The problem out here in the “Bible Belt” is that the pastors of the boxes made of ticky-tacky are all buddies. If you take issue with one of them, they all defend each other. They really are “all just the same.”

  4. Katy

    YES! it’s the good ole boys network! since I moved south …i’m kinda surprised that in 2013 there are so many that still treat women like we’re birdbrains. I’m trying to build a house here and the building contractors are like a little boys club and they won’t give me the time of day. I finally had to find a man outside their little group who was willing to help me, it’s been such a battle. It’s truly still a man’s world. And the churches are the same as the building contractors here.
    You don’t dare “touch one of God’s annointed men!” – lol. LOOK I’M TOUCHING!!! 😉

    • Wendell G

      Have any of them called you “darlin'” yet?

      • Memphis Rayne

        I laughed at this song, its the theme song for a show off of HBO. So the parody is hysterycal, and SOOOO true. You can match them right up their with Mafia mentality, or drug cartels….power, money, stupidity they eat their own, they all look the same, walk their line, even if you cannot see it, or youll get executed.

        I went to a lighthouse tour once, the guy gave the children CLEAR instruction, “”DO NOT TOUCH THE GLASS CRYSTAL” I give the kids my stern mom look, say to them “”Do You BOTH understand?”” They say “”yes”” they were like 3 and 6yrs.
        So we proceed up the stairs with the tour…I help the kids up the last few steps from behind them, I grab my 3yr olds hand, and guess what was the first thing I did? I reached out with my finger and “”Touched” the crystal!!! Clear as day there was my fingerprint!!! I hushed my kids not to rat me out, I untinentionally left my mark lol

        haha “”LOOK!!! I am touching too!!” “”What you gonna do about it?”” lol
        They would most likely say with a tone, and a sinister grin “”its okay Darlin, just dont do it again””

      • katy

        haha not quite – I’ve been told to settle down, though. Because men can’t be rushed. Or asked too many questions.
        ;P I asked if I could pull my own building permit and I thought one of them was going to have a stroke. hee hee

  5. Pippa

    Y’all must live near me…a woman can be told to “settle down” for nothing more than taking care of her own business and own household.

  6. Julie Anne

    Wow – written by a pastor. Go Jeff! LOL 🙂

  7. sparrow

    The church I went to seemed different and good for many years. But years later I saw that the culture itself robbed each individual of any God given talents or individuality. The leaders led ~ and soon everyone questioned the motives of anyone behaving “differently”. They considered any difference as “calling attention to yourself” and rebuked you. That established a culture that anyone with any individuality was proud and arrogant. When trying to question this behavior, I was called proud and told that I lacked submission to authority. It is the Cold heartless, lacking love culture of SGMinistries. You can have yourselves.

    • Barnabasintraining

      It is the Cold heartless, lacking love culture of SGMinistries.

      As I was reading I was thinking “I wonder if Sparrow’s talking about SGM?” 😦

  8. Katy

    “and preach from famous authors”

    but not the women ones. The womens have to preach from Nancy DeMoss etc. 😉

    • Jeff Crippen

      Ha! That’s right, Katy.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Katy- You would be proud of me if you knew how much restraint I used in tweaking the ticky-tacky lyrics. It would have been really easy to insert actual “famous” names into the verses:):)

  9. Wendell G

    Hmm, might want to change the order so that the girls marry before they become housewives!

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