- (Photo: Screengrab/YouTube.com)
Tony Miano, the street evangelist arrested in downtown Wimbledon earlier this month for his alleged hate speech against homosexuals, said he did not specifically single out the sin of homosexuality.
"I was expositing 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8, where the apostle Paul admonishes the Thessalonians to abstain from all forms of sexual immorality," Miano told Christian radio talk show host Frank Sontag during a segment on KKLA on Friday. "So I began to preach from that text by describing different kinds of sexual immorality, from addiction to romance novels to pornography, fornication, sex outside of marriage, lust of the heart, lust of the mind, lust of the eyes and homosexuality. So I spoke of many different kinds of sexual immorality."
"The officers that detained me specifically said that the concern was the use of 'homophobic hate speech,'" Miano, a retired deputy sheriff from Los Angeles County, Calif., said.
The violation officers cited was Public Order Act Section 5, for "using homophobic speech that could cause people anxiety, distress, alarm or insult," he explained in a YouTube video.
While spending seven hours in jail, he said police interrogated him about his faith in Jesus Christ, and was asked a series of questions.
"I was asked if I believe homosexuality is a sin. I was asked what portion of the Bible I was reading. I was asked that if a homosexual was hungry and walked up to me, would I give them something to eat," Miano recounted.
During the Frank Sontag Show, Miano was asked by a caller what the key was to outdoor evangelism.
"I bring every person that I talk to, to the foot of the cross by sharing the Gospel with them, and trust in the sovereignty of God to either save or not save that person," he said. "The only time we are ineffective, if we are sharing the Gospel biblically, is when we don't share the Gospel."
Miano began street evangelism eight years ago when he realized "that I love myself more than I love lost people. That really struck me as I began to weigh all the various excuses I've had over the years, all of my fears about going out and sharing the Gospel to lost people, and it all came down to the fact that I loved myself more than them."
"I was more concerned about me than where they would spend eternity. I was more concerned about what they thought of me instead of what they think of Christ. We first have to get over ourselves before we go out there and love other people," he explained. "There's nothing more loving we will do for another human being than explain to them that God's wrath abides upon them and that same God that will send them to hell is also the only that can save them from [one]self through faith in Jesus Christ."
When pressed by another caller about the possibility that his focus on preaching was too much on homosexuality, Miano said, "This idea that open air preachers only preach about homosexuality is fallacious. We talk about all forms of sin. We usually take people through the Ten Commandments. We explain to people that no liar, no thief, no fornicator, no blasphemer, no homosexual, will enter into the kingdom of God … I can assure you that I have offended more people by quoting Revelation 21:8 than I have by suggesting that homosexuality is a sin."