Did God intend men or women to have committed same sex marriage partnerships?
Jonathan and David were intimate partners
Rick Brentlinger Answers -
That's an interesting question. First, God certainly knew that committed, same sex marriage partnerships would be part of the social fabric. Second, God certainly blesses committed, same sex marriage partnerships. Third, God never said anywhere in scripture that He will only bless a marital relationship exactly like the Adam and Eve model.
Scripture warns that "our love should not be hypocritical, that we should abhor that which is evil and cleave to that which is good."
Therefore, compassionate Christians seek to obey the spirit of what God said by "rejoicing with them that rejoice and weeping with them that weep"
Romans 12:15. It is our Christian duty to compassionately address the emotional and sexual needs of our gay brothers and lesbian sisters.
Consigning gay men and lesbians to a lifetime of celibacy and loneliness is not supported in the Bible. Is there anything in scripture which points us in a compassionate direction as we answer the question which basically asks: Can God bless two men or two women in committed, faithful, same sex partnership?
"If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?" -1 John 3:17, NIV
The verse speaks of material needs like food and clothing but what good does feeding and clothing a man do if his heart is broken and lonely and you ignore that need?
Is it possible that God intends non-gay Christians to deal as compassionately with gays and lesbians as they deal with divorced and remarried persons? Surely there are some honest Christians who will admit that scripture has no word of reproach, no breath of censure - none at all - for committed, faithful, same sex partnerships.
Instead, scripture limits its condemnation to same sex acts which are linked to idols and fertility goddess worship. Spirit-filled Christians can therefore, lovingly affirm, bless and welcome gays and lesbians and can affirm our committed partnerships without violating Scripture.
Some assert that God never intended men to marry men or women to marry women and therefore, God could never bless same sex marriages. Yet there are millions of blessed and happily partnered same sex couples around the world. What might a God-blessed same sex partnership look like?
Godly Same Sex Partnerships Are:
- Based on self-sacrificing love - Example of Crown Prince Jonathan renouncing his claim to the throne of Israel out of love for David, 1 Samuel 18:1-3; 19:2, 20:31, 23:17.
- Based on loyalty and trust - Example of Jonathan and David, whose loyalty to each other was so strong that both made a covenant to protect each other's family forever, 1 Samuel 20:42, 2 Samuel 9:1.
- Based on desire to spend their lives together - Example of David and Jonathan, who managed to steal time alone together in spite of busy lives and King Saul's violent opposition to their intimate partnership, 1 Samuel 20:30-31; 23:16-18.
- Based on God's evident affirmation and blessing - Example of Jonathan and David: God always contrasts J & D's obviously blessed partnership, 1 Samuel 18:1-3, 19:2, with David's sad and loveless marriage to Princess Michal, 2 Samuel 6:14-23, and David's stress-filled relationship with King Saul, who tried to kill David at least seven times.
- Based on God's providential leading in the lives of both men - Example of Paul and Luke, Paul and Barnabas, Paul and Silas, Paul and Timothy. I am not suggesting that Paul had intimate same sex partnerships with any of these men. Paul's honest testimony about himself was that he lived a celibate life, 1 Corinthians 7:7-8.
Nonetheless, we notice that God partnered these men together in ministry, based on their mutual love for God and their mutual desire to preach the gospel to people who never heard of Jesus.
- Based on God's clear statements in scripture -
"Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken." -Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
English Commentator John Gill sounds like he is describing a gay marriage although the idea would scandalize him
"Two are better than one…
The wise man takes occasion, from the solitariness of the covetous man before described (v. 8), to show in this and some following verses the preferableness and advantages of social life;
which, as it holds true in things natural and civil, so in things spiritual and religious; man is a sociable creature, was made to be so; and it was the judgment of God, which is according to truth, and who can never err, that it was not good for man to be alone, Genesis 2:18.
It is best to take a wife, or at least to have a friend or companion, more or less to converse with. Society is preferable to solitariness; conversation with a friend is better than to be always alone; the Targum is,
"two righteous men in a generation are better than one''
such may be helpful to each other in their counsels and comforts, and mutual aids and assistances in things temporal and spiritual. The Midrash interprets this of the study in the law together, and of two that trade together, which is better than studying or trading separately;
because they have a good reward for their labour;
the pleasure and profit they have in each other's company and conversation; in religious societies, though there is a labour in attendance on public worship, in praying and conferring together, in serving one another in love, and bearing one another's burdens,
yet they have a good reward in it all; they have the presence of Christ with them, for, where two or three are met together in his name, he is with them; and whatsoever two of them agree to ask in his name they have it; and if two of them converse together about spiritual things, it is much if he does not make a third with them;
besides they have a great deal of pleasure in each other's company, and much profit in their mutual instructions, advices, and reproofs; they sharpen each other's countenances, quicken and comfort each other's souls, establish one another in divine truth, and strengthen each other's hands and hearts." -The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible
- Based on God's principle that commitment is better than fornication - 1 Cor 7:2ff
"God never said anywhere in scripture that He will only bless a marital relationship exactly like the Adam and Eve model. The part of male-female complementarity that we disagree with is the unscriptural teaching that the Genesis account of the Creation of Adam and Eve gives scriptural warrant for the false Complementarian teaching that God intended to outlaw, forbid, prohibit, every other kind of marriage relationship, based on the Genesis account. That is reading into scripture something scripture assuredly does not say.David and Jonathan were probably an intimately partnered, same sex couple.Gay couples in the BibleWe've answered the question: Did God intend men or women to have committed same sex marriage partnerships? Click here to return to Gay Christian 101 Home Page.
In His eternal wisdom, our loving God makes about 5% of the human population gay and lesbian. We believe that scriptures like Matthew 19:11-12 and I Corinthians 7:1-9 indicate God's approval of gay and lesbian relationships which are within the Biblical moral framework - committed, faithful, noncultic."