Cornerstone Reformed ChurchOne former churchgoer in Illinois received an unpleasant surprise in the mail after deciding to leave his church.

Pastor Burke Shade of the Cornerstone Reformed Church sent a letter to his former parishioner stating that he had been “excommunicated” from the fellowship of the church and handed “over to Satan and his kingdom.”

The letter went on to claim that the former parishioner was “no longer a Christian” and was “no longer part of the company of the saved.”

The letter is now going viral on Reddit.

So what prompted this disgraceful letter?  It seems like a clear cut case of “You can’t quit, you’re fired!”, but this wouldn’t be the first time the Pastor has gotten himself into hot water.

It seems Pastor Burke has had his fair share of problems in the past.

In the late 1990’s, Burke was accused of the following: erroneous views of baptism and of evangelization, spreading injurious reports against two of the church’s ruling elders, failure to be in subjection to lawful church authority, and “countenancing activity on the part of both some members and some officers of the congregation…that disrupted the peace of the church and divided it.”

You can check out the full text of the letter the former parishioner received in the mail below.  What do YOU think?  Is this the right message to be sending to a fellow Christian?

October 27, 2011

Dear [redacted]:

It is my sad duty to inform you that you will be excommunicated from the fellowship and membership of Cornerstone Reformed Church this coming Sunday.

We have repeatedly attempted to call you back to fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ, both personally and by letter. You have not responded to any of these appeals, but have steadfastly refused to listed to us and to worship on a regular basis with us. As a result of your non-attendance at worship services or any functions of this body (in violation of Hebrews 10.25, where Christians are commanded “not to forsake your own assembling together”), the Session, by action taken on October 27, is striking your name from the rolls of this church.

Jesus himself tells the church to discipline those who refuse to repent of their sins and listen to him through the church(Matthew 18.15-17). In obedience to his command, we are handing you over to Satan and his kingdom of darkness, in hopes that you will come to your senses, repent, and return.

By this excommunication, we are declaring that you are no longer a Christian, and that you are no longer a part of the company of the saved. Please turn away from your self-destructive path and turn back to Christ as your Lord and Savior. Should you desire to repent of your refusal to worship Jesus Christ, please contact us, so that you may be restored to Jesus Christ and this body.

In Christ’s name,

Pastor Shade
For the Session

Cornerstone Reformed Church Letter

[Top image via Picasa]