Error #10 "Consumed" Indicates Mutual Love, Not Excessive Acts

One of the four key words James Brownson points to in his claim that Romans 1 only prohibits excessive acts is the word “consumed” in verse 27. Love and sexual appetites often are accompanied by passion. It is very difficult to see these terms as indicating that the central, the main emphasis, according to Dr. Brownson, in fact the only emphasis of these verses is on excessive self-destructive acts.

On the other hand, the text says they burned with their yearning (ορεξει) for one another (reference verse 27c). The passage does not say they burned with their desires for greater pleasure. That is what Brownson says it means.  This passage is objecting to the fact that they were passionate about other men. They were in love with, they were passionate “for one another.” These words very specifically identify the fact that it was a mutual love.  Yet, J. Brownson says it was not mutual. When Dr. Brownson advocates the church accept same-sex relationships, he is advocating what this passage explicitly prohibits. Self-destructive excess and out-of-control desire are very blurred, very gray. But, this passage does clearly teach that the men mutually loved one another. And that was wrong. This is labelled the serious error #10. Brownson ignores the phrase “for one another” which is more specific, it is clearer than consumed is excessive.

Error #11 Verse 27 Indicates They Had Mutual Love, It Was Not Excessive Acts

Verse 27c: “. . . with passion for one another . . .”  

Verse 27 says they burned or were consumed with “passion for one another.” This is reflexive – they mutually enjoyed it. That message is also contained in verse 24 where it says that they dishonored their bodies “among themselves.” This is the same thing (ref. Gagnon, page 234). Dr. Gagnon also points to verse 27, the en heautois, and he states that this could very well be intended in the reflexive sense.

So it is very possible that in three places in this passage there are references to the men being in love with each other, mutually enjoying the acts. This is not the picture of men only committing acts that are selfish and abusive. This is considered Serious Error #11.

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