Electing Bishops: Politics or Discernment

Hey all, I’m still blogging, but I just got back from Drew.  Since then, I’ve been swamped with a number of things that have prevented me from posting much lately.  Once I finish up about 50 pages of D.Min. stuff, I’ll be back to posting more frequently.

Until then, go check out Andrew Conard’s blog and enjoy the conversation on the politics of running for bishop.  I agree that we should aim for a higher level of discourse and discernment when electing bishops, but I also see the purpose of having easy access to the candidates writing, preaching, etc through personal websites.  It would be easy to see these pre-episcopal webpages as “vanity pages,” but I am inclined to think they’re the modern version of a printed handout.

I guess the question that we United Methodists need to wrestle with is whether or not campaigning is acceptable.  I’m gathering from Andrew’s post that he doesn’t think it is.  Amy Forbus weighs in over at the UM Reporter blog, and Jay Vorhees asks more questions at the MethoBlog.

So which is it?  Do we have a episcopacy based on politics or discernment?  I think the real question here is are these two things mutually exclusive?  I’m prone to think they aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, but I’m willing to hear other arguments.  Any takers?