Dylan Settles, 20, received a letter from his Arkansas church approximately three months after her came out as gay. The young man claims that the Woods Chapel General Baptist Church in Brookland, Arkansas, sent him a letter noting that he had “immediately” been removed from the church roll due to the fact he was openly embracing a “homosexual lifestyle.” The church board members note that they voted on the matter and determined that Settles was not fit to be a member of the church because he has yet to “turn from the sinful lifestyle” and repent.
The Daily Mail reports that a 20-year-old Arkansas resident had been an involved member of the Woods Chapel for six years. However, three months ago, Dylan Settles came out as gay and began living openly as a homosexual. As a result, the Woods Chapel board members decided that Settles was not fit to be a member of the church any longer. The board penned a letter to the gay man and sent it in the mail. The letter noted that the board members had voted to remove his name “immediately” from the church roll, as he had turned to a “sinful lifestyle” by embracing his homosexuality openly.
The church letter notes that though everyone struggles with sin, Dylan’s inaction to attempt to “turn away” from his sinful lifestyle and repent has led to their decision to remove him from the church roster.
“It is the desire of your church family, you would turn from the sinful lifestyle you have chosen, repent of the sins you have committed, and return to full fellowship with God and the church body.”
Dylan claims that the church’s response was shocking, and that he had spent six years fully serving the church while secretly struggling with his sexuality. However, Settles says he was living for other people and decided three months ago to “be happy” and openly embrace being homosexual.
“I was tired of living for somebody else… living for my parents or my friends or whoever. I kind of just chose to live for what I wanted and be happy.”
Dylan spoke with Arkansas Matters and says when he initially received the letter regarding his dismissal, he assumed it was a letter inviting him back to church, as he had been absent as he dealt with coming out to his friends and family. However, Settles says that he was “shocked” when he actually opened the letter and read that his membership had been revoked. Though he was shocked, he says he does understand where the church is coming from and that ultimately it is for the better, as he wouldn’t want to go sit in a pew with his family while other members pointed fingers at him for his homosexual lifestyle.
Though the church is asking Dylan to repent for his homosexual lifestyle before returning to church, his mother is more supportive. Dylan’s mother Paula Hardy says she fully supports her son and is planning to join a new church. Paula says that “God loves everyone” regardless of their sexual preference.
“I’m so proud of you son. You did good. I always love you, because you are my son. No matter what lifestyle you have, you’re still my son.”
Dylan claims he has received mostly positive support following the posting of the letter but says that he has received some backlash. Namely those he says that want to “throw Bible verses” at him. However, other churches have reached to Dylan and offered him a place to worship. Numerous church pastors have told Dylan that he is more than welcome in their church and that they hope to be able to worship with him.
What do you think about the church’s letter to Dylan Settles?
[Image Credit: Facebook / Dylan Settles / Google Street View]