[quote=boppysbud]No OS you do not have a Bishop, you have a glorified minister you call a bishop and who isn’t.
The reason you do not have a bishop is Apostolic Succesion. To be a real bishop he has to have apostolic succesion. As I understand it Methodists make no claim to having AS. Methodist “bishops” are just higher administrative ministers, not a higher order of clergy. Their original “bishop” Asbury was “ordained” by John Wesley who was no bishop himself, only a preist.
Priests cannot ordain anyone certainly not bishops. A bishop has to be consecrated by a bishop.
I am not overly familiar with the military, but I know that a corporal cannot appoint a private to be general. Wesley “consecrating” Asbury a “bishop” follows the same principle.
I think it the height of bigotry to refer to anyone, even a U.M. bishop, as a “glorified minister.”
Your history is incorrect: Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke (an Anglican priest) were consecrated as the first bishops, under the Alexandrian Precedent of intention (which is of course controversial). And since the Catholic Church doesn’t recognize the Church of England’s orders as valid, you ought to render your own argument moot about Wesley being only a priest. In the eyes of the Catholic Church, Anglican priests aren’t even priests, are they?
You are correct that the general superintendency is an administrative and sheperding order, and you are correct that we have no claim to apostolic succession. We do claim an apostolic tradition and intention when compared to “free” traditions.
United Methodism and E.O./Catholicism, I believe, are the only traditions where only bishops have the power to ordain AND appoint clergy to parishes. Since I am a U.M. clergyman and am appointed, not hired, you can believe that I shall call him bishop.
Whether you believe in it or not, such a person who rises to such an office in the service of Christ and the Kingdom deserves a better designation than “glorified minister.” Even if he is only a “separated brother” in your eyes.
Actually… in the military, general staff are commissioned by a board consisting of military and civilians. So that’s probably not a very good example.
And I believe the first bishop of Christendom was given the keys by a Jewish carpenter.