Thank you for a great website and ministry. I also thank you for a place where we can come to get some help. So here is my question. I am talking to some homosexual men about gay theology. They are convinced that the relationship between Jonathon and David was a homosexual relationship.
Their basis for that is 1 Samuel 18:1-4, and 2 Samuel 1:26. I have tried appealing to context of these verses, the fact that both these men have wives and children, and the simple fact that even if this was true, it doesn't change God's law one iota. All to no avail. I have been attempting to do a word study on the word love, as it is used here, and in a heterosexual union, to see if there are any differences in usage, but my resources are limited, and I have not been able to pin anything down yet. I was wondering if you could help me at all in this area, and any other approach you think may be useful.
I am cognizant of the fact that no matter what I say, it may do no good, as it appears their minds are made up. However before I give up, I would like to cover as many of the bases as I can.
The burden of proof to make David and Jonathan's relationship more than friendship is on your gay friends. There is nothing in the text to indicate there was anything more than a godly, committed friendship between two men who deeply loved each other. You aren't missing anything by reading a translation because there's nothing hidden in the Hebrew.
However, there is also nothing you can do to dissuade them from reading what they want to find into what's not there. The heart's capacity for deception is far greater than we give ourselves credit for. You CAN say, "You are reading a gay relationship into the text but it's not there, and there's nothing I can say to make you change your mind because you want it so badly to be true. We'll both find out in the end, won't we? In the meantime, I am praying that God will show you the truth."
It's frustrating, I know. But you're right, and they're not, because they are caught in spiritual deception and what author Joe Dallas calls in his book of the same name "A Strong Delusion."
I hope this helps.