Purpose and Benefits of the CrossAlone District

The CrossAlone District (LCMC)

Passing Luther’s torch to the next generation

Who is often named as the most influential leader of the past millennium? Martin Luther! His rediscovery of the truth of the gospel (salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone) led to practical, necessary consequences for church, faith, and life.

The CrossAlone District of LCMC is dedicated to lifting up Luther’s torch and passing it to the next generation. A key figure in this effort is Gerhard Forde (1927-2006). He was not only a world-class Lutheran scholar but also a beloved professor, colleague, and friend. He did not walk on water, yet he bequeathed to us an understanding of Luther which accounts for why the Reformation is what it is. [1]

This legacy grows dim under challenges from all sides. Missouri claims Luther for its way; the ELCA claims Luther for its way. And still others claim that what is decisive for today is the “older Luther” or a more “Catholic Luther.”

Forde was no stranger to these challenges. He taught that Luther’s legacy is not just a wax nose that can be twisted this way and that. To be sure, out of the massive collection of Luther’s writings one can find uncharacteristic sentences, even legalistic sermons. Nevertheless, there is real coherence between the young and the older Luther. There is a right way to understand Luther, and there are many ways to distort Luther’s legacy.

Congregations may join a district by a simple majority vote of either the church council or the congregation. We want you to join us. Some common questions:

1. Can we belong to more than one district in LCMC? Yes. Congregations can belong to as many districts as they wish. Districts have no political power in LCMC; they are principally gatherings for fellowship and support. Most districts are geographical. A few, like the CrossAlone District, have a particular focus.

2.  Are there financial costs or legal ties? No. Belonging to the CrossAlone District means joining a conversation for the sake of the gospel. There are no dues, legal ties, nor requirements about attending gatherings.

3.  How does belonging to the CrossAlone District benefit us? The chief benefits for belonging are threefold: 1) Individuals and congregations who belong to the District are invited to all gatherings and seminars; 2) Contacts and help for finding calls and congregations seeking pastors; and 3) Member congregations receive 25 free copies of every issue of The Lutheran Hedgehog.

“The cross alone is our theology.” Martin Luther


[1] Forde was a key American scholar in the 20th century Luther Renaissance, a world-wide rediscovery of Luther and his significance. His view of Luther and the Reformation is shared by many key scholars, including, but not limited to: Oswald Bayer, Gerhard Ebeling, Leif Grane, Hans Iwand, Bernard Lohse, Inge Lønning, Heiko Oberman, Lauri Haikola, Gustaf Wingren, Walter von Loewenich, and Dorothea Wendebourg.