Dylan Settles thought he was being a good Christian by going to church on Sunday, saying his prayers each night and listing God as his number one hero on his Facebook profile.But leaders of his church, the Woods Chapel General Baptist Church in Brookland, Arkansas, felt otherwise.Last weekend, church officials sent the twenty-year-old a nasty letter scolding him for “embracing the homosexual lifestyle” and forbidding him from ever again entering their holy establishment until he begs God for forgiveness.
“It has come to the attention, of the Church body, that you have made it known publicly, of your choice, to embrace the homosexual lifestyle,” the letter began, before going on to state that the church board voted to remove Settles from the church’s membership roles, thus kicking him out of the church.
“I was in awe,” Settles tells KARK 4-TV. “I was in so much shock, I couldn’t read the rest of it.”
The letter went on to say that Settles is free to return if and only if he abandons the “sinful lifestyle” he has “chosen” and “repents.”
Settles posted the letter on Facebook, where it has, so far, received more than 2,600 shares. As a result, he says some people have “thrown Bible verses at me,” but most have been supportive. He’s received over 300 friend requests and several other churches have extended invitations for him to join their congregations.
Settles isn’t sure which church he will join next, but he does know that he will never return to Woods Chapel.
“I don’t feel comfortable sitting at pew or sitting beside my parents when all I’m going to see is people pointing their fingers at me because of the lifestyle I chose,” he said, adding that he just wants to be happy.
So far, Woods Chapel General Baptist Church is not commenting on the matter.