Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Last night in Grow Group, we ventured into some interesting territory. Someone started things off, before we’d even officially begun the session, by saying she had heard for the first time just that morning the interpretation that says David and Jonathan were romantically involved.
We took a look at the story (in 1 Samuel 18 - 2 Samuel 1), and talked about the covenant established between the two, the deep love they felt for each other, the line “surpassing the love of women” that is a focal point of this interpretation, the kiss, the exchange of clothing, and so on. This wasn’t a deep reading; I just gave the group kind of a quick scan of the pertinent passages.
When I was done, I gave my opinion of the interpretation, which is that it is definitely possible from the clues that are given, but it is not specifically stated in any way that David and Jonathan’s relationship was romantic. So basically, we know that they loved each other very much, but the Bible never directly states that it is romantic love we are talking about.
This led another participant in the group to say that is what she thinks, too, and furthermore she just can’t believe that anyone would “accuse” David of such a relationship. In this statement she revealed her belief that being gay is something you would “accuse” someone of, as if it was wrong.
I was about to respond when another participant said it for me, “I don't believe being gay is something you ‘accuse’ someone of. It’s just how you are,” she said. I smiled inside!
And knowing she may have been somewhat uncertain about offering her belief, I spoke up in support. “That’s how I feel, as well. The interpretation that David and Jonathan were gay is not an accusation, it is just an idea of what their love may have been.”
Everybody seemed to be okay at this point, and we were able to move on into our discussion. The woman who had made the statement about “accusing” David and Jonathan of gayness kind of just nodded and said, “Oh, okay,” and the woman who had brought it up initially just said, “Yeah, I thought it was interesting and I had never heard it before this morning.”
The point being, nobody got all huffy and angry and bitter about anything. It wasn’t even tense. Everybody simply said what they believed and then we moved on. It was lovely!
I know that some of you who read this will comment with your own perspective on David and Jonathan, and on the whole homosexuality question. We may very well end up with a lengthy back and forth in which we fire our beliefs at one another like flaming arrows. I suppose that kind of thing is inevitable these days, though I am hopeful that it doesn’t need to be. Somebody must choose to be the first to stop hurting others.