As members of the one priesthood of all believers, called by the Holy Spirit to confess the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in its purity, we give thanks for God’s continual faithfulness and, by adopting this constitution, form this fellowship and association of congregations, uniting to carry out God’s mission in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Article 1 – Name and Incorporation
1.01. The name of this association shall be CrossAlone Lutheran District. The official abbreviation of this association shall be CALD. For the purpose of this constitution, CALD hereinafter may also be designated as “this District.”
1.02. CALD is incorporated and its Articles of Incorporation were filed under the laws of the State of Minnesota.
1.03. CALD shall be a non-geographical district of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) and subscribes to the constitution of LCMC.
Article 2 – Statement of Faith
2.01. Our “Call to Freedom,” and our “Charter of Freedom” show how law and gospel function in our present day world.
A. The Call to Freedom
For freedom Christ has set us free (Gal. 5:1).
We confess that Scripture shows us our need of a savior and the Savior we need.
We confess that our Savior is Jesus Christ, who through his death and resurrection has freed us from the law, sin, and death.
Because Jesus’ gift to us is Christian freedom, we claim our freedom from all added requirements for salvation, including a required church structure such as the historic episcopate, as well as any required rites, practices, or works. Our faith and life are based on his promise that “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Because Jesus’ gift to us is Christian freedom, we are free to serve others. As Luther taught us, we are perfectly free rulers of all, subject to none, and perfectly dutiful servants of all, subject to all.
Therefore our mission is to spread the good news that “if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed,” (John 8:36), and to proclaim his cosmic Lordship, as St. Paul writes: “Creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious freedom of the children of God” (Rom. 8:21).
To guide us in carrying out our mission we look to his Word alone, trusting in his promise: “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32).
B. Our Charter of Freedom
1. The Trinity: Our Great Heritage
Lutherans today, as in the Augsburg Confession, confess the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as found in the Nicene Creed and defined by the first four ecumenical councils. But by the time of the Reformation it had become clear that in spite of the preservation of the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity, God was not clearly known since the gospel had become obscured, for:
[T]o know God’s essence means to know ‘the most profound depths of his fatherly heart, and his sheer, unutterable love’ (Large Catechism II, 64). To know God’s love means to receive his gracious love. However, the love of God the Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier is not given through the demands of the law but through the gift of the Gospel. The triune God therefore is known only in the distinction of the law and Gospel, that is, by faith in the Gospel.
any doctrine of the Trinity which is not governed by the distinction between law and gospel, which is the Word of the cross.
2. The Cross: Where we begin
In Luther’s phrasing, “The cross alone is our theology” (cf 1 Cor 2:2). That is, through the death of his Son on the cross, the Triune God established his own righteousness. What does this mean? Looking at the problem of sin and death, the Lord dealt with it his own way – on the cross, he did this alone – without us, and it is finished. Jesus’ resurrection guarantees that his death on the cross is not defeat, but victory. It is the cross that reveals our need of the Savior and the Savior we need. The proclamation of the cross is the gospel.
Thus the gospel is “the power of God for salvation” (Rom 1:16). Through this Word alone we are saved. But what is this Word alone? First, the Word alone is Jesus Christ (John 1:1, 14). Second, the Word alone is the proclamation of the Word of the cross effecting salvation and creating faith (Rom 10:17; 1 Cor 1:18, 21). Third, the Holy Scripture inspired by God is the Word alone because it witnesses to Jesus Christ and testifies to the Word of the cross. The scriptural witness is the ultimate norm for all formulations of the gospel. A careful distinction must be drawn, however, between faith itself as trust in God’s promises, and those aspects of the faith of the Church which are responses to the divine promise through canon, creed, confession, teaching, and doctrinal formulations.
The gospel (the promise of God) does indeed have a specifiable ‘knowledge’ content. But the authority of this content, Lutherans believe, is established by its power to convict of sin and convince of grace through the work of the Holy Spirit.
The gospel, so to speak, establishes its own transcendence. Its truth becomes known and its authority acknowledged only upon being heard through the Word, received in the sacraments, and believed through the power of the Spirit.We exclude:
any teaching which diminishes the offense and folly of the cross (1 Cor 1:23) by the use of human reason or by appealing to tradition or experience.
Constitution – Part II