In this article I want to dispel the ignorance on the topic and also to answer some comments on my previous post. Many of you reacted when you read this part of the interview:
Question: “You mention same-sex relationships. Could you just briefly outline the Bible view on this subject?”
Colin: “This is a very big subject. I find that there seems to be two kinds of viewpoints, even amongst Christians. There is the legalistic approach, which is very moralistic with a heavy emphasis on the scriptures, which seems to condemn all forms of homosexuality out of hand. Then on the other hand there is the more liberal emphasis where people seem to suggest that it does not matter – homosexuality is as acceptable as heterosexuality. I actually think that the Bible is midway between these two viewpoints. First of all, the Scriptures honour same sex relationships and hold them in high esteem. In my book I mention Ruth and Naomi, and David and Jonathan. There is a particular place in God’s heart for strong and intimate covenant relationships between members of the same sex. However, it is my view that the Bible falls short of allowing these relationships to enter into an explicitly sexual area. I think that the display of affection and love between members of the same sex can have a real context in the plan of God. However, the Bible seems to steer us away from taking such relationships further into sexual acts.”
I made it quite clear in my answer that God honours same sex relationships as long as they are in line with God’s plan. It is very clear in the Bible that God, as I have already said, steers us away from taking such relationships further into sexual acts.
David and Jonathan’s story is an amazing example of a same sex relationship, between two men.
Looking at their relationship it is immediately evident that it was completely in line with God’s messianic purposes and the establishment of the Davidic dynasty. It paints a very positive picture of a same sex relationship- all the more so because this relationship was theologically significant. Again, it was about much more than two people being friends, sharing together and enjoying one another’s company- as great as it is. God blessed their friendship and out of that covenant revealed His kingdom to the world.
Just like Naomi and Ruth, the relationship between David and Jonathan was not a substitute for marriage. Marriage is God’s chief covenant of companionship, designed to be fruitful and produce multiplication, but it does not preclude the possibility of same sex friendships which can be so precious and important. It is really important that we all have close relationships with people of the same gender, where we can enjoy great fellowship before the Lord. Everyone should have that blessing.
“Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2 Saul took him that day, and would not let him go home to his father’s house anymore. 3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. 4 And Jonathan took off the robe that wason him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt.”
You will not find a more touching, more affirming, or a more blessed picture of a same sex relationship anywhere. I don’t think God could speak any louder or more clearly than this: He is saying that He honours and blesses committed same sex relationships which are submitted to His purpose and His will.
David and Jonathan obviously had a deep relationship.
First of all they were close friends and they had a love for one another that resulted in a covenant. Their love covenant caused each to put the other person first. As far as we can tell from Scripture, the two men were of a similar age and so effectively like brothers. Their relationship was very intense, and it was multi-generational. David and Jonathan’s relationship survived into future generations.
Finally David and Jonathan’s relationship served the purposes of God. It wasn’t selfish. Jonathan saved David’s life even though he knew it would prevent him from becoming king.
I wish in our modern culture we understood friendship, loyalty and love like that. We’d be much healthier as human beings, and much more of a witness for Jesus Christ if we had more David-Jonathan, or Naomi-Ruth type relationships.