A young gay man is going public about his Arkansas church's decision to kick him out for "choosing a sinful lifestyle."
Dylan Settles posted a letter he reportedly received from Woods Chapel General Baptist Church on Oct. 11 informing him that they had voted to "remove [his] name immediately from the church membership role."
Their reasoning? The fact that Settles had "made it known publicly, of [his] choice, to embrace the homosexual lifestyle." Settles then shared the letter on Facebook.
The letter reads,
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. While we understand the struggles we all face with sin, in our lives, we must also be aware of the consequences of our choices. As a Christian we must choose to serve and obey, in accordance with God's holy word, in order to remain a member in good standing of the church body. We as the church board at Wood's Chapel General Baptist Church, have with great sorrow, voted to remove your name immediately from the church membership role. 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.
If you would like to meet with any or all the church board, please contact your Pastor, or any of the board members, to appoint a time. We would very much like to council with you, and we will continue to pray for you and your family.
Expressed in the love of Jesus Christ,
Wood's Chapel General Baptist Church.
“I was in awe,” Settles told KARK 4-TV. “I was in so much shock, I couldn’t read the rest of it... 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."
Neither Settles nor Woods Chapel returned requests for comment at the time this story was published. In any case, it seems this church needs to be reminded of the little Bible passage they chose to include on the corner of all of their letters: "We love because He first loved us."
Because exile is sure a funny way to show that.
Also on HuffPost: