Nothing is so clear about the LCMS-WELS-ELS-ELDONA tradition as their obsession with "fellowship principles."
Someone highlighted that obsession when he, a stranger, began yammering at me about fellowship principles and exactly what I believed about that topic. This pastor from a former penal colony was the prosecutor and I was guilty until proven otherwise. I suggested he read some of my 17,000 posts or a few of my books, but that only made him more outraged.
I am on so many shun lists that I live in a paradise of non-Calvinists, non-OJists, non-Fulleroids. The people I know enjoy The Lutheran Hymnal, favor the KJV, love Luther, and know more New Testament Greek than the typical pastor. The rest were buying and selling Luther trinkets while our volunteers were publishing 11 volumes of Luther's Sermons, a fact they have never mentioned, in spite of such boastful names as LutherQuest and Christian (formerly) Lutheran News, and Steadfast Lutherans.
Those works-saints do not bother much with the concept of faith. They measure people by what they do and where they belong. In fact, being born in the right state and synod (Wisconsin State plus WELS) and attending the right high school (NW Prep, now Luther) confer automatic leadership status denied others. That means the most blatant false teaching, alcoholic felon can have a noble status far above the rest - for those outward accomplishments that have nothing to do with faith.
Don't let me start on family trees. Oh, you already have. I can feel so many thinking that in advance, that unspoken must be said. Certain people make their fathers, grandfathers, etc the reason why they deserve special treatment, better than being born forgiven - as they already claim - they are elevated long before birth, sharing in the accomplishments - but none of the sins - of the ancestors. If that were so, I could manage a farm with no trouble, because my grandfathers were outstanding in their fields, in agriculture.