Back in October, we reported the story of Dylan Settles, a 20-year-old man who thought he was being a good Christian by going to church on Sundays and saying his prayers.
God was even listed as his number one hero on his Facebook page.
That’s why he was shattered when he received a thoroughly nasty letter from church officials, who scolded him for “embracing the homosexual lifestyle” and barring him from ever entering their church until he begged God for forgiveness.
Settles posted the letter in its entirety and it quickly went viral:
The letter chastises Settles for his “sinful lifestyle” and says he’ll only be allowed back in church if he “repents.”
In a new video, he discusses the letter and how the worldwide attention it received ultimately changed his life.
“The only ‘sin’ that I committed was coming out,” he says. ““I think that I’ve learned who I am… I am very comfortable with being out and holding my boyfriend’s hand or kissing in public. It doesn’t matter what other people think about you. There’s someone out there that loves you regardless.”
Settles decided to write his own letter and send it to the church:
It’s been a few months since receiving your letter and I have given it some thought. If there is one thing I have learned from your church it’s that where there’s love, there is God. I want to let you and your church body know that I am in a loving relationship with my boyfriend. When I hold his hand or look into his eyes, there’s not sin that I feel. It’s love. Looking at today’s world, it’s obvious that we need more love in whatever expression it takes. We shouldn’t condemn love, we should celebrate it. After reading your letter, I have come to the decision that I am not repenting to the church. I will not repent for being the person that God has created me to be.”
Watch Settles read both letters out loud: