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Dispute over ordination of non-celibate homosexuals is tip of iceberg

by Betsy Carlson, editor

December, 2007

photo of Betsy CarlsonThe Episcopal Church in America is being torn by disputes over ordination of a non-celibate bishop, much as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is dealing with controversy over rules and guidelines regarding ordination and ministry, especially the ones requiring ministers to remain celibate if they consider themselves to be homosexuals.

The real dispute in both denominations is over the authority of the Bible.

To view a short video in which The Rev. Dr. Kendall S. Harmon, an Episcopal theologian, gives a succinct presentation on the issues, go to and click on “The Iceberg, What’s Really at Stake.” In the video he discusses the dispute over homosexual behavior and shows that it’s just the tip of an iceberg with arguments about authority, Scripture and the Gospel of salvation and transformation that cannot be seen beneath the surface. This resource is provided by a group of lay persons whose web site is

Harmon received seminary training at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, and at Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, Ambridge, Pa. He served as assistant rector of the Church of the Holy Comforter, Sumter, S.C. Later, he earned his Doctor of Philosophy in 1993 from Oxford University, Oxford, England. Harmon was called to St Paul's Episcopal Church in Summerville, S.C., as theologian-in-residence, a position he held from 1996-2001.

Since January 2002, Harmon has served as canon theologian of the Diocese of South Carolina and editor of The Anglican Digest, one of the largest circulation publications in the Anglican Communion. He is also editor of the Jubilate Deo, the diocesan newspaper for the diocese of South Carolina, director of communications for the Diocese of South Carolina, and assistantrector of Christ/Saint Paul's Yonges Island, S. C. His weblog, TitusONENine is an excellent source of news and commentary on The Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion.