Christian gay millennial responds to expulsion from congregation

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So often it feels like those opposed to the full inclusion of all the baptized in the sacraments, rites, ministry and life in the Church are mindless of the fact that there are real people on the receiving end of their opposition. Real people with real feelings. Real people who are hurt by the judgements made against their lives.

One such person recently to feel the exclusion of his local congregation (General Baptist) was Dylan Suttles of Jonesboro AR. A few months ago he received a letter from the leadership of the Woods Chapel General Baptist Church in Brookland AR informing him that he was being removed from the membership role of the church for “embracing the homosexual lifestyle.” His situation went viral in a number of media formats as he mentions in the video. Well known, in-your-face & over-the-top gay YouTube personality, Davey Wavey, encouraged Dylan to tell his story and also to respond to Woods Chapel General Baptist Church.

Dylan’s photo is from Queerty.com

Expore other videos on Davey Wavey’s YouTube channel at your own risk!

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Bindy Snyder
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Bindy Snyder

The Episcopal Church welcomes you!

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Doug Simpson
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Doug Simpson

That depends on the particular diocese you're in these days it seems.

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Dr William A. Flint MDiv, PhD
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Dr William A. Flint MDiv, PhD

I have found in moving parish membership it is good to contact the previous parish to insure proper communications are confirmed.

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Jeff
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Jeff

Please follow the comment policy by posting in the future using your first & last names. - ed

The "gay agenda" being pushed onto the Church Body..lol
Sounds like the Church, has its own agenda.
Well I am glad you decided to be true to yourself. Keep the faith, and the Episcopal Church will show you Love

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Sean Storm
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Sean Storm

No matter what anyone says, or comments on, this was simply wrong of his church to do.

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Ernie Lee
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Ernie Lee

14 years ago I moved to a new city in the deep South and began attending a local Episcopal Church. After a heated Diocesan meeting, the bishop called for dialogue on the "gay issue” at each parish. My parish had it's dialogue the next Sunday. Immediately 10 people stood up to oppose the idea of GLBT inclusion. I got up thinking I was in the minority and introduced myself. I explained I was a member of an Episcopal church in another city and said I had just moved into the neighborhood to take a job at a local college. I went on to say I was an attorney and I had taught Sunday school in the past. I also said I was a godfather many times over, an Eagle Scout, a baseball fan, and I was gay. Only then did others, who had been cowed down before began to speak up and tell gut-wrenching stories of family members being discriminated against for being gay. Wanting to take a stand I spoke to the Rector and asked to join the parish and made a financial pledge mid-year. Six months later I realized my membership had never been transferred, all of my checks cashed, but I was not a member of the congregation. This was a painful reminder that different dioceses and different parishes still have prejudice even in the Episcopal Church USA. This was not as overt as to what happened to DylanFull inclusion means full inclusion.

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Jay Croft
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Jay Croft

Ernie, what was the rector's response to your discovery that your membership transfer had never been recorded?

If needed, you can call this to the attention of the bishop of your diocese.

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Eric Bonetti
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Eric Bonetti

Yes. The canons explicitly define membership; individual clergy may not alter these provisions.

If you do choose to complain, make sure you specifically say that want to file a formal disciplinary complaint. Otherwise, you may get the polite brushoff and suggestion that you discuss the matter with your senior warden.

BTW, my experience is that these sorts of behind the scenes, weasel-bite power plays are all too common within our parishes.

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Eric Bonetti
Member
Eric Bonetti

Tellingly, there also is no indication that the decision was made with any sort of due process, including Dylan's right to be heard. So, to the extent that there are two sides to every story, let's back up a bit. How did the church know what it claims to know? Even if expelling Dylan were the right thing to do -- which it is not -- the decision fails to comport with even basic standards of decency and fair play.

And let's not forget that there are plenty of similar antics to be found in TEC. I speak from painful experience on that matter.

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Rev. Bill Christy
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Rev. Bill Christy

In all honesty, I feel that we need to also hear from the General Baptist Church on this. We only have one side of the story here. In Christian Counseling, we know that there are two sides of the story and then there's the truth. This may not be a popular stance amongst those pushing an agenda, but if things are to get better, the truth is from where change will come!

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Helen Kromm
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Helen Kromm

In a sense, we have heard from the church, and the response has been complete silence, and a refusal to comment on the letter. Any number of sources have reached out for comment, and the stance of the church is to adamantly refuse any sort of comment.

The letter itself was poorly written, unsigned, but also very explicit as to why this course of action was taken. Directly quoted from the letter:

"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 clearly speaks for itself. Comment on the letter has been sought, and refused.

So I have to wonder what sort of "truth" you feel remains to be expressed.

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JC Fisher
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JC Fisher

It's funny, Rev. Bill. I was kind of with you on the "we also need to hear from" thing. There ARE two sides to any particular story.

...but then you had to drop the ten ton lead weight "not be a popular stance amongst those pushing an agenda" thing. And your nuance re "two sides to a story" was revealed to be so much hot air.

There are EITHER "two stories", OR there are "two agendas". Which is it, Rev.Bill?

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Nancy C Lea
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Nancy C Lea

Jesus' REAL followers are here for you, Dylan! I hope you find your way to a church (like the Episcopal Church) where every one of God's children are welcomed and included. Stand up proudly because you've done the right thing with dignity and respect!

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Deacon Jim Brown
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Deacon Jim Brown

Is there an Episcopal Church in Jonesboro?

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Evan J. Anderson
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Evan J. Anderson

Beautifully written, Dr. Flint, and thank you. Dylan, I hope that you have found a new denomination or parish, where you are loved unconditionally, the same way that God loves you. God bless you both.

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Dr. William A Flint, MDiv, PhD
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Dr. William A Flint, MDiv, PhD

Wow, that was powerful. Dylan, God did create you to be who you are and He loves you just the way you are. General Baptist, like so many churches, have placed the worship of the Bible over that of God. Theologically we call that idolatry. Idolatry is the worship of an idol or a physical object as a representation of a god, in this case a book. In all the Abrahamic religions idolatry is strongly forbidden.

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us in the Person of Jesus, the Incarnation of God. He fulfilled all the OLD and made all things NEW. No power on earth, in heaven or anywhere else can separate us from the Love of God. I rejoice that you, Dylan, stood up for Jesus's love. I stand with you against those who judge without seeing themselves in their judgement.

The sad story, is the one not told. The one where thousands of young men and women turn away from God because of the many churches like General Baptist. The truth is that God never turned away from them. It is our responsibility as the Body of Christ to let these young people know that God loves them and we offer them a place to worship God as He created them to be. Thanks be to God. The Episcopal Church made the right decision.

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