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Arkansas church kicks out member who came out as gay due to his 'homosexual lifestyle'

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  • Arkansas church kicks out member who came out as gay due to his 'homosexual lifestyle'

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    A Christian man has been kicked out of his Arkansas church after he came out as gay. Dylan Settles had been a member of the Woods Chapel General Baptist Church in Brookland for six years before he received a letter telling him he was no longer welcome due to his 'choice to embrace the homosexual lifestyle.' The 20-year-old only came out as gay three months ago after struggling to come to terms with sexuality privately for years. 'I was tired of living for somebody else ... living for my parents or my friends or whoever,' Settles told Arkansas Matters of his brave decision. 'I kind of just chose to live for what I wanted and be happy.' But after finally building up the courage to come out about his sexuality, he said he was 'shocked' and 'hurt' by his church's response. 'I was like in awe. I was in so much shock, I couldn't read like the rest of it,' he told the local news.

    The letter stated:

    '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.
    'While we understand the struggles we all face with sin in our lives, we must also be aware of the consequences of our choices.'
    Woods Chapel wrote that he must 'turn from the sinful lifestyle you have chosen' and 'repent of the sins you have committed' before he will be allowed to return.

    But Settles said on his Facebook page that they 'will never see my face in that church again.' '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 added. But Settles said on his Facebook page that they 'will never see my face in that church again.' '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 added.

    His mother, Paula Hardy, has shown her support for her son and is even planning to join a new church herself. She said on Facebook: '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. 'God loves everyone, no matter what kind or color or what sexual preference.'

    Settles admitted he'd had some backlash from people 'throwing Bible verses' but said most reactions had been overwhelmingly supportive. He said: 'I want to thank everyone for helping me share my story. I am truly thankful to have a community that has reach out to me of my time of grief.' Many have also denounced the actions of the church for discriminating against gay people.

    Dennis Gill said: 'Dylan, I feel saddened by the comments you are being given at this time. You DID NOT CHOOSE A LIFESTYLE - you chose to share the depth of God's love in your heart with another man - the only way your heart can!'

    Martin Blecha wrote: 'You were not kicked out, you were set free. Feel sorry for the folks who were not.'

    Winter Sterling said: 'Your church's behavior was completely unacceptable.

    'If they truly are following Christ, your sexual orientation shouldn't be enough to threaten their worldview. This isn't your fault - they're the ones that need to change. Stay strong, man!'

    Others spoke out to give their support for Settles on Facebook.

    Richard G. Roy said: 'You have a world of support and love for you, Dylan!' and Alfredo Estrada added: 'Dude we have your back!'

    Sandra Slaughter Dent wrote: 'We are here for you!!! Love you.'

    Paul Rumsey was one of many that invited Settles to join his more welcoming church.

    'We welcome you at Cathedral of Hope UCC in Dallas,' he wrote. 'You can openly worship with us online when you aren't in Dallas. We value all people.'

    Pastor Rick Hathcoat, pastor at Woods Chapel, has not responded to our requests for comment.

  • #2
    Originally posted by William View Post
    Settles admitted he'd had some backlash from people 'throwing Bible verses' but said most reactions had been overwhelmingly supportive.
    Bible verses "backlash"? Hello, church that is based on Bible verses

    The media has been militantly and universally pro-homosexual for a decade now, and the result is that now most Americans support SSM. And, like all supporters of perversion, they're intolerant and hateful of people with moral standards.
    Comment>

    • #3
      There is one point that isn't clear to me. Was he in fact living a gay lifestyle by being sexually involved with another man? If so this should have been grounds for his expulsion even before he came out. If he wasn't then the mere fact that he was gay shouldn't have been grounds for expulsion. There are gay people who choose to follow Christ rather than living a gay lifestyle. I once made a post about a book written by one of them:
      Washed and Waiting: the story of a gay Christian -Christforums
      Clyde Herrin's Blog
      Comment>

      • #4
        Arkansas church kicks out member who came out as gay due to his 'homosexual lifestyle'

        I'm not impressed by that nor is it startling news. I was kicked out of the Richardson Seventh-day Adventist church for my belief in Christ's substitutionary atonement.
        Comment>

        • #5
          Originally posted by theophilus View Post
          There is one point that isn't clear to me. Was he in fact living a gay lifestyle by being sexually involved with another man? If so this should have been grounds for his expulsion even before he came out. If he wasn't then the mere fact that he was gay shouldn't have been grounds for expulsion. There are gay people who choose to follow Christ rather than living a gay lifestyle. I once made a post about a book written by one of them:
          Washed and Waiting: the story of a gay Christian -Christforums
          Hi Theo,

          Would there be any question if someone said, embraced the drug lifestyle, or embraced the porn lifestyle? I think it obvious that the man embraced an alternative lifestyle other than a holy one, one committed to God in thought, speech, action, or deed. My main questions while reading the article centered around the appropriate steps the church took up to the point of dismissal which came across as rather impersonal. I have belonged to a church several years ago that if the elders got wind of your sin they were quickly on your trail and knocking on your door (it was personal). One particular woman was brought in front of the congregation and dismissed from membership (it was then made public). She had left her husband and family for an adulterous lifestyle, decided to move in with her new found lover, and yet remained in the church to teach a youth study. The pastors knocked, she wouldn't listen, repent and return to her home so they dismissed her. And before someone thinks the congregation was picking up stones, they were only told as the congregation to no longer associate with her. She was being shunned or excommunicated until further notice from eldership.

          I think our Presbyterian church may act like the Baptist church in the OP, BUT only after it was voted on. I'm rather new to the Presbyterian Government, so please do not hold me strictly to these words, but the difference is that I am confident that the man would have been dismissed from official/formal membership and prevented from returning to that status until repentance, but at the same time invited to church for the hearing of God's word. They have have done the same, because the letter says return to "full fellowship". There's really no doubt in my mind that that invitation would not stand (even an Arminian receives such treatment), unless that privilege were to be revoked due to evangelizing others towards the acceptance of an unbiblical view or lifestyle.

          God bless,
          William
          Comment>
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