The old Synodical Conference (LCMS, WELS, ELS) had several doctrinal problems uniting them:
1. Universal Objective Justification - This is the fraud that God declared the whole world free of sin when Jesus died on the cross, without faith, without the Word, without the Means of Grace.
2. Receptionism - The elements of Holy Communion are not the Body and Blood of Christ until the believers receive them. This should be known as the doctrine of the efficacy of the hands.
3. Legalism - Instead of teaching God's Law, which prepares us for the Gospel, legalism splits hairs about everything and ultimately teaches salvation through the law, abeit man-made law.
All three errors are the bitter fruit of denying the efficacy of the Word, which was central to Luther's doctrine, the Scriptures, and the Book of Concord. The generation of theologians following the Concordists also made the efficacy the Word central to their teaching.
Let's look at the current state of legalism in the old Synodical Conference, now united once again - Oh Happy Day - through its work with ELCA.
Partners of the old Synod Conference spent an inordinate amount of time defining what they could and could not get away with. Legalism is wonderful that way. The farther they can get away from the Scriptures, the happier they are. Soon they are quoting the previous generation of writers, who become Holy Writ.
The new mantra is Outside the Framework of Fellowship. If I were to be invited to speak to a WELS conference, the hissy-fits would never end. But if Leonard Sweet, a liberal Methodist minister, teaches the Word to WELS, the occasion is Outside the Framework of Fellowship.
Martin Marty, once condemned by WELS, can address their college and their evangelism conference (Florida) because it is Outside the Framework of Fellowship.
They can work with John Nunes as the new head of Lutheran World Relief, even though Nunes joined ELCA after leaving an enormous LCMS scandal (his homosexual LCMS then ELCA organist murdering and burning an older lady). LWR is not concerned with gathering old clothes for the Third World. LWR is also involved in Left-wing political activism, but that is Outside the Framework of Fellowship.
Soon someone will ask for Outside the Framework of Fellowship to be studied by WELS. They will knit their brows, pick the most ecumenical of their apostate clergy, add one posturing conservative, and produce a statement of rare and precious casuistry. Whenever someone objects after that, they will cite their study.
Milwaukee locutus est, causa finita est. St. Augustine of Waukesha
Translation:The Love Shack has spoken, the case is closed.