Monday, July 29, 2013

Spiritual Heroin and Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit: A Personal Testimony

This is going to be a difficult article to write. I have never before publicly shared this story. It will be misunderstood by some and misused by others. So, it is important that I begin by making some clarifying statements.
1. I have many friends, good friends, who hold to the continuation of the extraordinary spiritual gifts seen in the Word of God during the Apostolic Age of the Church. While I hold to a Cessationist theological construct, I do not determine friendships based on a person's agreement or disagreement with me on this issue. I used to determine friendships this way, many years ago, but God has allowed me to grow up and mature since then.

2. I do not question the genuineness of someone's faith in Jesus Christ because they hold a Non-Cessationist position regarding the continuation and application of spiritual gifts.

3. I will be critical in this article about what I believe are unbiblical behaviors I've seen with my own eyes. This does not mean I am mocking genuine Christians who believe all of the spiritual gifts are extant and functioning in the Church, today.

4. I hope this article/testimony will serve as an encouragement to all Christian, cessationists and non-cessationists. I hope this article/testimony will encourage my Christian brethren to turn to the Word of God and allow His Truth to be the final arbiter of whether or not what I experienced was of the Holy Spirit or another spirit, entirely.

5. I've wanted to write this article for years, but the time has not seemed right until now. Monitoring the back-and-forth between Pastor John MacArthur and Dr. Michael Brown, as well as some of the talk about the upcoming Strange Fire conference (which I am attending), serve as part of the motivation for this article/testimony.
"What's A Charismatic?"

I came to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, during the Fall of 1988. Mahria came to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ a month after the Lord saved me. The man who shared the gospel with me and took me under his wing was a sergeant with whom I worked in the County Jail. Sadly, in a year's time he would prove to be a false convert. He was an elder in a church. He had to explain to me what an elder was. He also said the church was a "charismatic church." I had no idea what that meant, either. My family and I began attending the church.

Mahria and I had both grown up in formal, liturgical churches. As a boy, I had been bored to death by the formality and darkness of Roman Catholic services in Latin. Mahria happily grew up in a typical Methodist Church.

Our first Sunday in church, after coming to faith in Christ, was a culture shock for both of us. The church met in a junior high school auditorium. We thought that must be what the elder meant by "charismatic." We sat in folding, metal chairs instead of pews. We thought that must be "charismatic." The worship team used guitars, drums, and a bass. There was no organ to be found. That was definitely "charismatic." And the people clapped and raised their hands as they sung contemporary songs. That surely was "charismatic."

Over time, the elder and our new friends at church, people we were growing to love as family, explained to us what "charismatic" meant. We were pointed to passages of Scriptures that talked about speaking in tongues, prophecy, words of knowledge, and healing. We were told the Holy Spirit continues to work through God's people in extraordinary ways by giving them spiritual gifts to serve the church and to reach people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was all a bit overwhelming. Mahria and I were new believers, reading the Bible for the first time, praying together for the first time, living as Christians for the first time.

We had no reason to doubt what we were being taught at church. Our pastor was a godly, faithful, loving, and kind man. He loved his wife and children very much. That was obvious to us. He loved the people in the church. That was obvious, too. In the aftermath of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, when I was working 12 hours every day with no days off and our home was in an uninhabitable condition, the pastor gave us a place to sleep in his home. This allowed me to work every day as a deputy sheriff knowing that my family was safe.

The pastor exposed us to verse-by-verse exposition of the Bible before we had any idea what expository teaching was. To this day, Mahria cherishes her notebooks filled with what she learned under our first pastor's teaching. He helped us to understand the Bible for the first time in our lives. And God used his Bible teaching to build in us a love and desire for God's Word.

"What's That Noise?"

Not long after we became members of the church, I was allowed to serve as one of the worship leaders. Ours was a small church (less than 200 people). So anyone with so much as a modicum of musical ability was encouraged to participate as part of the worship team. I could sing and hack away at a guitar, which gave me an opportunity to serve the church. I would serve as a worship leader in the church for eight years.

One Sunday morning, a morning when someone else was leading the congregation in singing, I was sitting with Mahria and our girls. By now, we had moved out of the junior high school auditorium and moved into our own rented space in a strip mall. As I tried to focus my attention on the Lord and sing praises to His name, I heard muffled laughter coming from different parts of the church. At first, I dismissed it as a lapse in judgment by those who were giggling, or maybe the immature carrying on of children in the congregation. Those things happen. But as worship continued, the laughter grew louder. It was no longer a simple lapse in judgment. It was rude. It was distracting. It was irreverent. To this day, I remember squeezing Mahria's hand and looking at her with an expression of frustration and concern. I could tell she shared my feelings.

By the time worship was over, I felt like I had been transported from a church into a chaotic comedy club.

The pastor stepped behind his pulpit and told the congregation there would be no sermon this morning. As soon as the pastor said he wasn't going to preach, my uneasiness with the morning service grew exponentially. Instead, he was going to turn his pulpit over to members of the congregation who spent the better part of the weekend at a conference at a church called "Anaheim Vineyard," pastored by a man, now deceased, named John Wimber. Before that day, I had never heard of either the church or the church's pastor.

One-by-one and couple-by-couple, elders and their wives and other leaders in the church stepped up to the pulpit to share what they experienced at the conference. I was shocked, sickened, and frightened by what I heard. They testified of what they called extraordinary moves of the Holy Spirit, but what they described sounded like a spirit of another kind to me. They described uncontrollable laughter, the feeling of physical drunkenness, people barking like dogs and quacking like ducks. Yes, quacking like ducks. One man described being thrown up against the wall by an unseen entity and being pinned to the wall. And as people shared their "testimonies," others in the congregation laughed. But they weren't laughing at what was being said. They were just laughing, as if they weren't really there--as if they were somewhere else entirely.

There were others in the congregation like me and Mahria--people who sat with their mouths agape, in a state of shock and unbelief. Part of the congregation was euphoric. Part of the congregation was appalled. A spirit had entered the church--a spirit of confusion, a spirit that separated the self-anointed spiritual "haves" from the "have nots," a spirit of disunity. It was not the Holy Spirit.

At the time of this Sunday morning debacle, I was leading and teaching one of the church's mid-week small groups. The people in my group shared my concerns and wanted to know what I planned to do about it. I tried talking to some of the people who "experienced" the conference. I was quickly and summarily dismissed as closed-minded. I was told that I had no right to judge whether or not what they had experienced was of God because I had not experienced it myself. I hadn't "been there."

I knew I had to do something. I had to say something. But what?

The Day I Was Escorted Out of Church

After conferring with a few of the men in my small group, I told the group I was going to stand up during a Sunday morning service and read Ezekiel 13. During our Sunday morning services there was a time when the pastor welcomed members of the congregation to share praises and prayer requests with the rest of the congregation. My plan was to wait for that time during the service. I would raise my hand and when called upon I would stand and read Ezekiel 13. My plan was to present no commentary of any kind. I would simply read the Word of God and see what kind of reaction I received. I completely underestimated the spirit at work in my church.

Sunday morning came. The pastor asked if anyone had a prayer or praise they would like to share. I raised my hand. The pastor called on me. I said that I would like to read a passage of Scripture. The pastor smiled and told me to read. And so I read Ezekiel 13.
1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel, who are prophesying, and say to those who prophesy from their own hearts: ‘Hear the word of the Lord!’ 3 Thus says the Lord God, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! 4 Your prophets have been like jackals among ruins, O Israel. 5 You have not gone up into the breaches, or built up a wall for the house of Israel, that it might stand in battle in the day of the Lord. 6 They have seen false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘Declares the Lord,’ when the Lord has not sent them, and yet they expect him to fulfill their word. 7 Have you not seen a false vision and uttered a lying divination, whenever you have said, ‘Declares the Lord,’ although I have not spoken?”

8 Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Because you have uttered falsehood and seen lying visions, therefore behold, I am against you, declares the Lord God. 9 My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and who give lying divinations. They shall not be in the council of my people, nor be enrolled in the register of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord God. 10 Precisely because they have misled my people, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when the people build a wall, these prophets smear it with whitewash, 11 say to those who smear it with whitewash that it shall fall! There will be a deluge of rain, and you, O great hailstones, will fall, and a stormy wind break out. 12 And when the wall falls, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the coating with which you smeared it?’ 13 Therefore thus says the Lord God: I will make a stormy wind break out in my wrath, and there shall be a deluge of rain in my anger, and great hailstones in wrath to make a full end. 14 And I will break down the wall that you have smeared with whitewash, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you shall perish in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the Lord. 15 Thus will I spend my wrath upon the wall and upon those who have smeared it with whitewash, and I will say to you, The wall is no more, nor those who smeared it, 16 the prophets of Israel who prophesied concerning Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her, when there was no peace, declares the Lord God.

17 “And you, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who prophesy out of their own hearts. Prophesy against them 18 and say, Thus says the Lord God: Woe to the women who sew magic bands upon all wrists, and make veils for the heads of persons of every stature, in the hunt for souls! Will you hunt down souls belonging to my people and keep your own souls alive? 19 You have profaned me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, putting to death souls who should not die and keeping alive souls who should not live, by your lying to my people, who listen to lies.

20 “Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against your magic bands with which you hunt the souls like birds, and I will tear them from your arms, and I will let the souls whom you hunt go free, the souls like birds. 21 Your veils also I will tear off and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand as prey, and you shall know that I am the Lord. 22 Because you have disheartened the righteous falsely, although I have not grieved him, and you have encouraged the wicked, that he should not turn from his evil way to save his life, 23 therefore you shall no more see false visions nor practice divination. I will deliver my people out of your hand. And you shall know that I am the Lord.”
A low pitched murmuring and mumbling began the moment I started reading the passage. The more I read, the louder the noise became. Soon I could hear women weeping, which soon turned to wailing. Several men stood up, including the leading elder. There was fire in their eyes. They shouted and pointed their fingers at me. The leading elder bore his teeth at me as he rebuked me for reading Ezekiel 13. Moments later these same men, along with the pastor, escorted me from the worship area and into an adjacent classroom. I was admonished and rebuked for what I had done. I was told that I mishandled and misinterpreted the Scriptures. Keep in mind, I gave no interpretation. I simply read the text.

The following Sunday, the pastor publicly rebuked me from the pulpit. I sat there and took it. I was embarrassed, hurt, and confused. Could I trust anyone in the church, anymore?

A Big Mistake

After that Sunday morning verbal flogging, Mahria and I discussed leaving the church. I decided we should stay, but for the wrong reasons. I was going to try to effect change in the church, bring the church back to the Scriptures, and drive this false spirit from the church and the heart of her people. This was a big mistake.

A testimony to what kind of spiritual disarray the church was in at the time was that shortly after my upbraiding by the pastor during the church service, the pastor and the elders--the same men who had once escorted me out of the church for reading Ezekiel 13--asked me to serve as an elder in the church. Of course, I believed I was up to the task. I believed I was spiritually mature enough to serve as an elder. I also believed I would be in the perfect position to effect positive change in the church. I was wrong. I was as wrong as I had ever been about anything in my life.

Now, with the authority of an elder in the church, I became the church's spiritual watchdog. Elder meetings were contentious. I alone held the dissenting view regarding the "moves of the spirit" that were taking place in the church. I was quickly becoming a factious man in the church.

I often, to this day, wonder why the pastor and the elders asked me to serve as an elder. I can't help but think it was, in their mind, the best way to keep me in check, to keep an eye on me, and to woo me to their position regarding the alleged "move of the spirit" making its way through our church.

Spiritual Heroin

It seemed like this was all the church was talking about: the Toronto Airport Vineyard, the Anaheim Vineyard, the Kansas City Prophets, the Brownsville Revival, the Pensacola Outpouring, the Mott Auditorium meetings. Ours was the only small group in the church that was not directly affected by these things. Yet, it was often the topic of our conversations for the simple fact that everyone else in the church was talking about it, raving about it, gushing over it.

I remember Mahria and I meeting at a local park with a couple who were two of our closest friends. They, like so many others in the church, had been caught up in the spiritual confusion that had placed a strangle-hold on our church. I tried to reason with them from the Scriptures. I pleaded with them as their friend. The response was short and sharp. "You have no right to question what we're doing or what's happening because you haven't experienced it yourself!"

I sat, listened, and watched as my friends (especially the wife) broke down in tears and trembling as she described how important this "spiritual revival" was to her. I listened as she sincerely and emotionally shared with me how good it made her feel to travel to Anaheim and Pasadena so she could be "filled with the Holy Spirit." She described going once a week, then increasing to twice a week, then increasing to multiple trips each week to these centers of spirituality.

Over time, I noticed changes in her (and others) personality. She would go and "get filled" and return home on a spiritual high. Over the next few days or so she would talk about reading the Bible, deep times of prayer, an overall sense of closeness to the Lord, and happiness. Then she would crash. Her mood would change. What seemed like spiritual depression would set in. And she would begin to talk about needing to get "refilled." So off to Anaheim or Pasadena she would go to get her next spiritual fix.

Her next spiritual fix.

As I watched my friend's (and others) spiritual condition erode, I couldn't help but see the similarities between her and the heroin addicts I took off the streets. The alleged "filling of the Holy Spirit" was like a dirty needle being driven into the vein of her arm. It made her feel good for a moment, but the crash after the high left her wanting more, needing more. What started as a search for a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit, turned into an unbiblical habit. It was heartbreaking to watch.

By God's amazing grace, some of my friends who seemed hopelessly captivated by these false spiritual movements matured enough to see the frivolity, depravity, and blasphemy of them and got out. Sadly, others are still there, still addicted to the heroin-like spirit of the age, stunted in their spiritual growth, having no more love for and understanding of the Word and its truth than they did some-fifteen years ago, still hopping from one movement to "the next great thing," always in search of that increasingly elusive spiritual high. Again, my heart breaks for them.

"You Have to Experience It for Yourself"

Eventually I tired of the objection "You can't speak against what's happening because you haven't experienced it for yourself." So, one night my friend Steve and I made the drive down to Pasadena. There, on the campus of the U.S. Center for World Missions, we entered Mott Auditorium (now, sadly, the home of the Pasadena International House of Prayer).

With hesitancy and some trepidation, we found seats in the auditorium. "Manifestations" began soon after the highly repetitive worship choruses started. People of all ages (and I mean all ages) began to work themselves into a trance-like state. They rocked back and forth and side-to-side. Several people began to literally convulse under the influence of whatever spirit was in that place.

After the crowd was worked up into an apparent altered state of consciousness, a man took the stage and began to "preach." He never mentioned the Bible. He never mentioned Jesus. There was certainly no presentation of the gospel. He talked only about the manifestations of the spirit and he prophesied. Then another "prophet" took the stage and prophesied over the speaker and told him that God had given him the "eyes and the vision of Robert E. Lee." I looked at my friend Steve and asked, tongue-in-cheek, "He does realize Robert E. Lee lost the war, doesn't he?"

After the men on the stage were done prophesying, the leader made a call for all "counselors and catchers" to come to the stage because it was time for "floor time." Steve and I watched as children, teens, adults, and apparent homeless people made their way to the stage. The speaker than told the crowd if anyone wanted to be filled with the spirit and receive an anointing, then they should come forward. And come forward they did.

As expect, as I had seen Benny Hinn and others do many times, people were "slain in the spirit." The counselor standing in front of a person would push them on the forehead and then the person would fall into the catchers arms, who would then help the person make their way to the floor. Once on the floor, the people would writhe and convulse. Some would laugh uncontrollably. Others growled like dogs and demons. Some quacked like ducks. Others laid motionless, as if dead. This went on for a while.

Once things started to quiet down, the leader announced the service was over. Steve and I watched and listened as a group of high school-aged Asian kids gathered in a circle. I will never forget the pretty, young girl who, while talking about a homework assignment, periodically buckled over as if she were about to vomit and then would speak in a very low, gutteral, demonic-sounding voice.

Steve and I left the auditorium shaken and more convinced then ever, now that we had "experienced it for ourselves," that what our friends were under the influence of was not the Holy Spirit. They were under the influences of demonic spirits masquerading as angels of light.

We shared our "experiences" with our friends who were under self-induced captivity to these false spirits. Sadly, and expectantly at the time, our friends were not moved by our testimony. They simply blew us off as legalists who were blind to what God was doing. Such is the attitude of the heroin addict. They are always last (if ever) to see the problem of their own addiction.

My family and I would soon leave the church. While leaving the church was most certainly the right decision, the way I left the church was sinful. I wrote a long letter to the pastor and, late at night, when I knew no one would be at the church, I left the letter and my key to the church on the pastor's desk. It was a cowardly and hurtful way to leave the church--a congregation who was family to me. By God's grace, the pastor and I reconciled several years ago. While we don't see each other or communicate much these days, I love him as a friend and a brother in Christ. I do not, for a moment, question his love for the Lord or his salvation.

Things Have Gotten Worse

As the addiction progresses, heroin addicts need not only more heroin, but a higher grade of heroin to maintain the high and minimize the drug's crushing after-effects. Sadly, the same is true of those who follow these false spiritual movements. Spiritual addicts were once content with periodic doses of Benny Hinn, Marilyn Hickey, Paul and Jan Crouch, Ken and Gloria Copeland, Mike Bickle, and Rodney Howard-Brown. But instead of getting well, instead of entering into spiritual recovery, instead of breaking bad spiritual habits, these spiritual addicts have moved on to stronger more harmful spiritual drugs--people like Bill Johnson and Bethel Church, Todd Bentley, International House of Prayer, Jesus Culture, the New Apostolic Reformation (just 2,000 year old heretics and Gnostics dressed in nicer clothes), and others.

The only thing, the only One who can bring spiritual addicts out of bondage is the true Holy Spirit--the Third Person of the Godhead. Only the Holy Spirit can take a heart and mind that craves what is false and change it to love what is true. Only the Holy Spirit can so regenerate the heart of the spiritual addict, enabling them to come to genuine repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. While I don't question the salvation of my Christ-loving, Bible-believing, gospel-sharing, discerning Charismatic friends, I most certainly do question the salvation of spiritual addicts who seek the gift with no concern of who the giver might be. I do question the salvation of those who ignore what the Bible says about discerning every spirit and, instead, simply swallow whatever the latest spiritual snake oil salesman is selling. I do question the salvation of those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit by attributing to the Holy Spirit that which should rightly be attributed to Satan (i.e. the magical appearance of gold dust and gold teeth, fire tunnels, healing evangelism, treasure hunting, trips to heaven, swine anointing (I can't make this stuff up), toking the Holy Ghost, and other outrageous, man-centered, Holy-Spirit degrading, demonic, blasphemous activities).

My hope for those addicted to false spiritual movements is not their eternal demise. On the contrary: my hope and prayer is that the Holy Spirit will bring them to their senses and extend to them the most precious gifts--repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And may the Lord bless His Church and the world with yet another Great Awakening, true revival that brings true glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tony Miano - Week in Review

Cross Encounters Radio

"Takin' Youth Min to the Woodshed" Tony explains what's wrong with the "Candyman" mentality of most youth ministries and the sugar coated false conversions it generates. New segment aired "Bad Tweets", this one featured one by none other than Joyce Meyer herself. Update on "Should She Preach" and Tony answers a listener's question, "Can a person know they are not part of God’s Elect?" Listen to learn how you can help make "Take Up The Shield" available for readers all around the world.

"Are You Prepared for Persecution?" Chris 'Chat-Man' Hohnholz and Rich 'Wheels' Story discuss the changes in our current culture that indicate persecution of the faithful may be on the horizon. What should Christians do to be ready? Also, while persecution is coming from without, what about attacks within the body? Are Christians guilty of biting and devouring one another when we should be about preaching the gospel? Tune in to learn how we should treat on another when we differ on important doctrines.

If you have questions, comments, quips, complaints or suggestions for future episodes, please send them to      


Tony Miano has posted a new video in the V-Tract series. In this one titled, "Ryan Braun" Tony uses the admission of this Major League baseball player's use of PED's as a transition to the law and gospel.

Wimbledon and Calgary Updates

After returning from London and Sports Fan Outreach International's 'Wimbledon Outreach 2013' Tony didn't slow down. In less than a few days he was off to the  Calgary Stampede Outreach. You can view open air videos from the trip, plus the Baptism of Alysha St. John. Calgary Stampede 2013

Videos from London: 'The Futility of Self-Imposed Ignorance' 'Arrested for Hate Speech in Wimbledon' 'The Idol of Reputation' and Tony shares the testimony of his arrest and how he saw the Lord working during his time in jail, 'Tony Preaches at Woolwich Evangelical Church'

Transcript of Tony's arrest and his letter to Parliament can be found on this blog. The House of Lords talked about the letter during a debate regarding same sex marriage. You can view the discussion at the 4 hour 20 minute mark. 'Same-Sex Debate

Would you believe many of them wrote back to Tony? Read the Parliamentary Responses.

Tony Miano's arrest and interrogation have been picked up and covered by multiple international news and media outlets. Some of these include; Todd Starnes (Fox News Religion Correspondent), Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Cape Town, South Africa's Radio Tygerberg, Los Angeles California's KKLA's Intersection of Faith and Reason with Frank Sontag, Wretched TV on the NRB Network and Wretched Radio with Todd Friel.

Audios of preaching from 'Mission Wimbledon 2013' can be found on the Pulpit and Streets page at Sermon Audio under the series heading  Wimbledon Outreach.

Subscribe to the weekly Cross Encounters Newsletter and stay "In the Loop" of all that's happening. Subscribe Here 

Like and follow the ministry on Facebook and Twitter.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Christian: STOP Playing God's Defense Attorney!

No Christian should EVER play God's defense attorney in the blasphemous courtroom of the unsaved. When an unbeliever demands evidence for the existence of God or for the truth of His Word, evidence is not what they should be given.

While speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), a stern and uncompromising tone should be used as the Christian points out to the unbeliever that God's Word declares they do believe in God. They simply suppress the truth by their unrighteousness, for they love their sin and they love themselves more than they love the God they KNOW exists. This assertion should then be followed be declaring God's truth on the matter, Romans 1:18-19, as the authority by which the Christian has made the declaration.

All those--regardless of the depth of their scholastic abilities and debating prowess, regardless of their popularity in the evangelical, apologetic world--all those (pastor, street preacher, theologian, or layman) who believe it is a positive skill to prove the existence of God without referencing the truth of God's Word, in reality, show a lack of faith in the truth of God's Word. Likewise, those who believe it is necessary to prove the existence of God and the truth of His Word play the devil's advocate, not the Lord's advocate.

There is no evidence that demands a verdict. There is no case for Christ that must be made. God alone is the Judge, the Prosecuting Attorney, and the Jury. NO defense can ever be made against Him, and NO defense for unbelief will ever be sustained in His presence. God, His Word, and His Gospel are always positive assertions made by Christians, and they are assertions that must be made without compromise, without acquiescence, without apology, and without the slightest belief that such eternal truths could ever be lost in debate with sinful (Romans 3:23), God-hating (Romans 1:30), self-idolaters (2 Timothy 3:2).

No unbeliever ever has or ever will seek to "discover the God [their] heart is searching for," as one popular Christian apologist puts it; for the unregenerate heart never searches for God (Romans 3:11). The unregenerate human heart is deceitful above all else and desperately sick (Jeremiah 17:9). To help the unbeliever on some mythical, unbiblcal quest by providing them with evidences for belief in God is to merely assist them (Romans 1:32) on their hell-bent efforts to flee from the God they know exists (Proverbs 28:1).

No, Christian. Stop playing God's defense attorney in the blasphemous courtroom of the unredeemed. Instead, love the lost and love Jesus more than you love yourself and declare to the lost the truths they already know (Romans 1:19-23). Speak to them of the great mystery--a gospel for both Jew and Gentile alike (Ephesians 3:6; Ephesians 6:19). Trust in the power of the gospel to change and save lives (Romans 1:16)--a gospel that must be declared to be heard (Romans 10:14-17). Trust not in your own perceived ability to convince anyone to follow Christ. You have no such ability.

Don't let your well-intentioned efforts to prove God become a blasphemy against God.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Week in Review - Arrest, Wimbledon and Tony Miano

Cross Encounters Radio
"You're Doing it Wrong!" Chris and Rich covered an update from Tony's evangelism efforts in the UK. Friendship Evangelism is alive and well there and it seems the locals were making sure Tony knew about it.

"Arrested in Wimbledon" Tony stepped back in the host seat to share about his experiences at the Wimbledon Outreach. He discussed his arrest for preaching on sexual immorality and what Christians can expect in the future. Listeners sent in some really great questions during this episode. Click the link and check it out for yourself.

If you have questions, comments, quips, complaints or suggestions for future episodes, please send them to      


Tony began a new video series then called “V-Tracts.” These videos, each of which will be in the 5-minute range, are designed to present the law and gospel in a relatively short and succinct manner—much like a gospel tract. We hope this will help in your online evangelism efforts.

You can find all of them listed on Tony's YouTube Channel under the playlist V-Tracts

They are also available in Audio at the Pulpit and Streets Sermon Audio page.
Wimbledon Outreach 2013

Tony has returned from London and Sports Fan Outreach International's 'Wimbledon Outreach 2013'. He has not slowed one iota. Tony is now in Canada taking part in the Calgary Stampede Outreach

Videos from London: 'The Futility of Self-Imposed Ignorance' 'Arrested for Hate Speech in Wimbledon' 'The Idol of Reputation' and Tony shares the testimony of his arrest and how he saw the Lord working during his time in jail, 'Tony Preaches at Woolwich Evangelical Church'

Transcript of Tony's arrest and his letter to Parliament can be found on this blog. The House of Lords talked about the letter during a debate regarding same sex marriage. You can view the discussion at the 4 hour 20 minute mark. 'Same-Sex Debate'

The arrest and interrogation have been picked up and covered by multiple international news and media outlets. Some of these include; Daily Telegraph, Todd Starnes (Fox News Religion Correspondent) The O'Reilly Factor and CBN News. Subscribe to the weekly Cross Encounters Newsletter and stay in the loop of all that's happening. Subscribe Here 

Audios of preaching from 'Mission Wimbledon 2013' on the Pulpit and Streets page at Sermon Audio under the series heading  Wimbledon Outreach.

Video Journal postings from the trip. Mission Wimbledon 2013: Tony Miano Video Journal

Photo Journal pictures from Wimbledon 2013 .
Cross Encounters Photo Journal: Wimbledon Outreach 2013 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Be Imitators of Me, As I Am of Christ

"Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1).

A dear brother in Christ has asked me to address a potential issue that may arise with all of the talk about my arrest in Wimbledon--the possibility that other Christians will somehow be motivated to go out and get arrested for Jesus.

I never hit the streets with the intent of seeking conflict with authorities. My goal is always to do whatever I can to submit to the governing authorities without compromising either my faith in Jesus Christ or the truth of His Word. My allegiance is always, first and foremost, to Jesus Christ.

On July 1, 2013, on a street in Wimbledon, I did not choose to read and preach from 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 with the hope that someone would be so offended that they would call the police, with the police then placing me under arrest. I knew as I put on my amplifier and opened the Word of God that what I was preach would be provocative. I knew it could result in a police response and the potential of an arrest. But provocation, confrontation, and incarceration were never motivating factors for the street sermon I preached that day. I believe His Holy Spirit encouraged me and sovereignly directed me to preach the message I preached.

Prior to traveling to the UK, I spent time studying and preparing a number of open-air sermons, based on selected passages in the Word of God. 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 was not on the list. There were no incidents on the street that day, prior to me preaching the sermon that led to my arrest, that motivated me to turn to 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8. In other words, my sermon was not in response to a heckler's provocation, a passer-by's indecent act or gesture, or a prior negative contact with law enforcement. Shortly before it was my turn to preach, I flipped through the New Testament trying to decide what to preach. None of the remaining sermons on my prepared list seemed appropriate or timely at the moment. When I came upon 1 Thessalonians 4, I was moved to read the chapter. Seeing what Paul wrote to the Thessalonians regarding abstention from sexual immorality--all forms of sexual immorality, I chose to read and exposit the text in the open-air.

Paul encouraged the Corinthians to follow him only to the extent he followed Christ. In light of what happened to me in Wimbledon, I feel it necessary to exhort my Christian brethren to do the same.

If you find my arrest motivating you to take to the street, Bible in hand, hoping that you too will be so persecuted for your faith, then you are not imitating me.

If you find my arrest motivating you to intentionally place yourself in a position where you set up a confrontation with law enforcement, then you are not imitating me.

If you find my arrest motivating you to make a stand against real or perceived persecution for no other reason than to make a statement against such persecution, then you are not imitating me.

If you find my arrest motivating you to take to the street in the hope that the same thing will happen to you so you can draw attention to yourself or your ministry, then you are not imitating me.

If you find my arrest motivating you to do anything other than to imitate Jesus Christ, for His glory, then you are not imitating me.

At the same time.....

If you find my arrest motivating you to take a step of faith to be bold and courageous to proclaim the gospel in public, then imitate me as I imitate Christ.

If you find my arrest motivating you to biblically and respectfully take a stand against unjust laws that are intended to silence Christians and the proclamation of the gospel, then imitate me as I imitate Christ.

If you find my arrest motivating you to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Christ, then imitate me as I imitate Christ.

The apostle Paul wrote, "Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (2 Timothy 3:12). Therefore, there is absolutely no reason to seek persecution. Simply live a life glorifying to Christ and persecution will come at a time and in a manner that will bring Him the most glory.

There is a constant need for any Christian who proclaims the gospel on the streets (preaching, conversations, tract distribution) to seek through prayer and godly counsel the ability to discern when to obey governing authorities and when not to. In the vast majority of cases such a decision will be a matter of conscience and cannot be dictated by way of blanket statements. While, again, the goal of every Christian should be to submit to the governing authorities to the extent such submission is biblical, as time goes on more and more Christians will be faced with the decision of obeying Christ or obeying men. There is only one right answer in such situations. The Christian must obey Christ. The Christian must obey the Word of God. The Christian must be willing to deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Jesus Christ.

"Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ." Don't imitate me if I do not imitate Christ. And please don't use my arrest as an excuse to go your own way or to satisfy some sinful desire for self-serving persecution and attention. "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Great Spiritual Leaders

Great spiritual leaders recognize their human frailties, their ever-present ability to err and stumble, the reality that in their flesh they lack the requisite spiritual skills to measure up to the task set before them, and the real possibility of failure at any moment. However, they continue to move forward no matter how clumsy they may feel about the task, no matter how awkward they may appear to friend and foe alike, and no matter how others may respond to them doing what they know in their regenerated heart is right, noble, and biblical.

Great spiritual leaders never have to tell people they are in charge. Great spiritual leaders are one-part shepherd, one-part sheepdog, and one-part sheep. They know when to lead. They know when to serve. They know when to follow. And they are content in any of these positions.

Great spiritual leaders are first out of the trenches and last on the field of battle. They lead others in the charge and they cover the army's rear in the event of a necessary retreat. Great spiritual leaders take responsibility for the mistakes of their unit, whether the mistake was theirs or not.

Great spiritual leaders are not self-qualifying, self-appointed, or self-anointed. They are called by God, by His Church, and affirmed by his Christian brethren. They see God and the Body of Christ better served by others and not themselves.

I don't know why the Lord put this on my heart. I don't know why He would have me pen this definition of spiritual leadership. I can only conclude this. He wanted me to be well-aware that I am so far below this standard, He has now given me something clear and measurable to strive toward, for the glory of Jesus Christ my King.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Open-Air Preachers: It's Time to Go Home

The open-air preaching community--like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other social media platforms--is a pseudo-community at best. While some open-air preachers are influential over others, no open-air preacher, unless he is the pastor/elder of a church, has any biblical authority over other open-air preachers--and then, the pastor/elder open-air preacher's authority only extends to members of his own flock.

The open-air preaching community has morphed into an unbliblical sub-culture within the Body of Christ. None of our Academies, Societies, Ministries, and Organizations have a shred of biblical authority over the lives of other Christians. Yet we act as though they do. We assert the Church (under the headship of Jesus Christ) is our ultimate authority; yet, at the same time, we assert authority over the lives of others through our organizations or our individual popularity within the sub-culture.

I say, let's all go home.

Let's continue to work together, serve together, preach together, support each other, encourage one another, and hold each other accountable. But let's do so as any brother in Christ would do for another brother in Christ--exerting no more authority than that which is found when iron sharpens iron.

Let's go home. Let's go home to the only organization God has given us through which we can accomplish everything we want to accomplish by preaching the gospel in the open-air.

Let's go home before we make an even bigger mess within the Body of Christ than we already have.

Facebook is not our home. Twitter is not our home. Para-church ministries are not our homes. While I think para-church ministries will continue to have a God-honoring purpose (mission societies, etc), let's go home.

The Church is our home. The Bride of Christ, whether they preach in the open-air or not, is our forever family.

Let's continue to preach. Let's continue to fellowship with one another. Let's continue to serve together. But if we are going to travel to far-away places to preach the gospel, then let's attach ourselves to local churches in those areas. Let's stop going to different cities without the support of local churches in those cities.

Now granted, I got burned badly by a church in Wimbledon, but I still firmly believe the most biblically-consistent model for open-air preacher travel is to be sponsored not only by my own church, but to be sponsored by a church in the area to which I will travel. My upcoming trips to Calgary (Alberta, CAN), Portland (OR), Greenville (SC), and St. Louis (MO) all follow this model. And from here on out, I will only book open-air preaching trips that are sponsored by a host church.

To my friends in what has been dubbed as the open-air preaching community, it's time to go home--time to really go home--time to go home to the Church.

How this will look, when this will happen, how this will happen: I do not know.

But it's time to go home.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Tony's Letter to Parliment


I am writing to you because I was arrested on a London high street on Monday (1st July) for preaching from the Bible. I believe my arrest has great significance in light of the current passage of the Government's Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.

I was arrested under Section 5 of the Public Order Act for using "homophobic" language which was deemed offensive. The language I used was not homophobic, as I was not promoting fear or hatred of homosexuals. I was simply explaining a passage in the Bible which speaks of sexual immorality and that people should abstain from it (1 Thessalonians 4:1-12). I did not speak solely about homosexuality as a form of sexual immorality but also about any kind of sex outside of marriage between one man and one woman, as well as lustful thoughts. All of these are considered mainstream Christian positions and have been taught and believed by Christians for thousands of years.

After being questioned by police officers on the street, I was taken to the local police station and arrived there at 4:50PM. Here I was searched, my property was removed from me and my camera was booked as evidence. I was then photographed, a sample of my DNA was taken and my fingerprints were taken. I was placed in a cell with a toilet but no toilet paper. The investigating officer offered me a £90 ticket which would ensure my immediate release and an assurance that I would be able to return to the country (I am a US citizen). He told me my solicitor was on the way to the station and I said I would like to wait to talk to him before making a decision.
Later in the evening, I met my solicitor and with him present I was interviewed by the investigating officer. I was advised that the interview was being recorded and that I could refuse to answer questions but that this may be held against me in court. The investigator asked me to give my account of what happened before asking specific questions. He asked me, among other things, whether I believed homosexuality was a sin. He also asked me: "So if someone you knew as a homosexual came up to you and asked you for a favor, you'd quite happily offer them that favor would you?"

It was unnerving to be questioned about my Christian beliefs and I was made to feel that my thoughts could be held against me. The two final questions were: "Do you believe you are 100 per cent right in what you did today?" (I answered yes) and: "If you were to go back there tomorrow, would you do the same thing again?" to which I also answered yes.

After the interview my solicitor had a conversation with the investigating officer outside of my hearing. When my solicitor returned, he told me that the investigating officer said my answers to the last two questions left him no choice but to seek prosecution. I was then advised by my solicitor that I would likely spend up to 24 hours in jail and that I would go before the magistrate the following day. He also advised me that while the magistrate could allow me to return to the United States, he could order me to stay in the United Kingdom until the completion of the trial, which could be three to four months. After that I was escorted back to my cell. I was then given, upon request, a Bible to read - the very book whose teachings led to my arrest!

An hour or so later, the investigating officer entered my cell and told me the inspector had decided to release me with no further action. At midnight I was released from jail, after just over seven hours in custody. I asked the desk sergeant if I could donate Bibles to the station. He welcomed the offer and said I could leave them with the desk officer at the front of the station. My solicitor then drove me to my place of residence.

I felt I should write and inform you of these events, since it was very distressing to be arrested and interrogated for openly expressing my deeply held Christian beliefs. I began my message by assuring the people that mine was not a message of hate but of love.

I don't expect you to share my beliefs but think you will agree that I, and everybody else, should have the freedom to express those beliefs without fear of reprisals from the Government. My freedom was taken away from me simply because someone didn't like what I said. Now that your nation has begun down this slippery slope, where will it end? Will people one day be arrested for disagreeing with the political party in power? And what assurance will the people have that it will stop with speech? It did not stop with speech in 1930s Germany. Many of your countrymen sacrificed their lives to end the tyranny that began with the abandonment of free speech. Nations that do not learn from history are destined to repeat it.

For these reasons I urge you to do what you can to halt the Bill's progress before freedom of speech is not just shut down on the streets (as it was for me) but also in churches, universities, schools and homes.

Please be assured of my prayers for God's blessing on you in your important role as a public servant.
Yours sincerely

Tony Miano

Police Interrogation of Tony Miano (Transcript)

Tony Miano Interview with Police
Rough Draft of Transcription
Date of Interview: 1 July 2013
Date of Transcription: 4 July 2013

Tony Miano in Italics
Police Interviewer in Regular Script
Michael Phillips, solicitor for Mr. Miano italicized and capped by “LR:”


This interview is being tape recorded, and... [unclear] Wimbledon police station. And there are no other officers present. We are at Interview Room Three at Wimbledon Police Station... and I am interviewing... Could you please state your name and date of birth?

Anthony Edward Miano, date of birth is Feb 22, 1964.

Thank you very much, also present is?

LR: Michael Phillips, [unclear] legal representative.

Thank you very much. The date is the first of July, 2013 and the term is 21:08, so 9:08 in the evening. Okay. So, Tony this interview is being tape recorded so should this ever go to court one of the tapes will be sealed and it can be used in evidence should this ever get that far.


Okay, Brilliant. At the time of your arrest today, by PC Green, which was at 16:50, you were cautioned by him. Do you remember that? Do you remember him saying something along those lines? You’re under arrest and hence I’m cautioning you? Do you remember that?

You’ll have to define cautioning.

Basically what it means is he would have said something, I can repeat it to you, and you tell me if you recognize it. He would have said to you, you do not have to say anything but it may harm your defense if we later rely on this in court. Anything you do say may be given evidence.


Also I appreciate this isn’t your country of origin and you haven’t been arrested before by us. So I will explain caution to you, okay? The first part is, I’ll break it down into three parts, okay? The first part is you don’t have to say anything. Okay, that is your legal right in this country, you can sit here in silence if you want for this interview. I’m going to ask you some questions so if you do wish to take that right then I would appreciate it if you could just say no comment. The reason for that is at least I know one, you’ve at least understood the question and two, you’ve heard it.

I understand.

Okay. The second part is, should you not say anything here, and give a defense should this ever go to court, the court might, may draw its own conclusions, sorry, as to why you didn’t just tell me now. Okay?


And the last bit is, as I said to you in the beginning, this interview is being tape recorded. One of these tapes will be sealed, and should this ever go to court that seal will remain around it until the court and be opened in front of your legal representation and the criminal prosecution service, okay, and they can play it in court as evidence. Okay?

I understand.

Okay, happy to understand caution?

I do.

Brilliant. Are you happy? [directed to legal representation]

LR: I’m pleased.

Marvelous, alright. As I said to you earlier on, you were arrested by PC Green at 16:50 for a Section 5 Public Order Act with a homophobic aggravating factor. Okay? Do you want to tell me what you were doing outside Centre Court Shopping Center today at that time?

I was preaching the Gospel.

Okay. Were you by yourself?

I was with several friends, a few from the United States and a few from here in the London area.

Okay, and how long have you been preaching the Gospel for?

In totality?

I’m sorry, as in in this country, as in recently?

During this visit since June 22nd.

So since June 22nd, okay yeah. Sorry just to make you aware as well I will be making notes nothing to worry about just for my benefit later on.

I understand.

You’ve been here since June 22nd, is that right?


Okay, and you’ve been preaching the Gospel. Is there any specific part of the Gospel you were preaching?

All of it.

Okay, and you’re starting from the beginning and working your way through?

Yes, I will preach through different passages of Scripture. And part of proclaiming the Gospel is sharing the law of God, bringing people to a knowledge of their sin so that they will understand their need for a savior.

Okay. With regards to the group of people. Is it, would you, break it up into sections and do a bit each or would you do do the whole book and someone else would do the whole Gospel? Or does it how does it work?

Each person preaches basically until they’re done. They preach the Gospel message as they feel so lead to do. And then someone else would start from the beginning and preach their own message.

Okay, and obviously, one of the things that caused a scene was the cameras. Do you film there?


What’s the purpose of filming the preaching?

For our own protection, for one, just in case accusations are made against us.

Like this.

Like this, yes. Just in case there’s any type of physical assault against us, so that we can document that as well. Also for the edification of other Christians. We use these videos to train other Christians how to share the Gospel. So those are basically the reasons.

Okay. So if we talk about sort of the incident surrounding your arrest. Okay, do you remember specifically what happened when you were arrested? All of the events leading up to your arrest? Anything stand out as the reason why you think you were arrested? Not necessarily that you agree with why you were arrested I just want.

LR: [unclear] if you could just give the lead up to what happened?

Sure, I was preaching from a passage of Scripture in 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4.

You have to let me write that down.


1 Thessalonian...

Chapter 4.

Thank you.

I believe the passage was verse 1 through I think verse 11 or 12.

Verse 1 through to 11/12.

In that passage of Scripture, the apostle Paul encourages the Thessalonians to abstain from all forms of sexual immorality. And to live a holy life, that is consistent with a life devoted to God and the holiness of God.

Okay, so you were preaching this chapter, or these verses from this chapter?


Okay, and then what happened?

And I was preaching about various forms of sexual immorality. Both homosexual and heterosexual, including fornication, which is sex prior to marriage.


And including adultery, not only the cheating on a spouse but also looking at someone with lust. For Jesus said whoever looks at a person to lust after them, that person has already committed adultery with that person in their heart. And that all forms of sexual immorality is sin in the eyes of God. Sin that God will judge, but sin that also God will forgive. Now, prior to being able to get to the good news of the Gospel, I was stopped. So I was still working my way through the law of God and the consequences of sin, before I, I was stopped before I could get to the good news of how someone could receive forgiveness for that sin and the free gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.

Okay. And you were stopped by? Do you remember who stopped you?

Well Officer Green, Constable Green. There were several officers with him, I didn’t get all their names. One officer was named Ed.

Yeah, that would be PC Green.

Okay, who else am I thinking of? Officer Green was the officer who brought me in?

Yeah, his name is Ed yeah.

Oh well there was another officer.

Yeah, it would be PC Bailey [unclear] I would imagine. But, prior to your arrest, do you remember anyone who may have made any comments to you taking exceptions as to your comment?


Okay, talk me through what happened in that instance.

Well, first there was an older gentleman who told me F off. I won’t say exactly what he said. But told me to F off as he was getting on the bus behind me. And then a woman, presumably, the woman who apparently called the police, she likewise told me to F off as she was walking into the mall and I don’t recall exactly what I said to her. But at one point I asked, I would love to dialogue with you about this.


And that’s when she walked into the mall and she came back down a short time later. It looked like she was filming with her phone [unclear]. And shortly after the police arrived.

Okay, the lady in question, I would make the assumption, I haven’t met her, but I would make the assumption, as you have, that she is the complainant in that instance. She, I won’t bore you, well I say bore you, but I won’t read [unclear] the whole statement because it just details the fact that she was there, at around today’s date outside Center Court Shopping Centre at around 2:30. Okay? She says that she was a pedestrian, so she was on foot. Okay, and she walked out of the shopping center exit near to Wimbledon train station. Is that in relation to where you were, do you feel?

That Wimbledon train station is over the hill from where we were. We were standing...

There is an entrance just by the center court entrance.

Oh there is? I wasn’t aware of that. The entrance I’ve always come out of...

The one at the top?

The one across the street from my favorite restaurant out here. [unclear restaurant name] I didn’t know there was one closer to the actual mall.

Okay well yea, I mean.

I just recall her walking down the hill in our direction, in my direction, and then walking towards the center court? [unclear] Yeah, she was walking toward that entrance.

And at about 2:30 the first time she recognized you, she thought nothing of it at the time. Her intention was to go out to try and obtain tickets for tennis.

At 2:30?

Yeah, she came back at half past four and this is when the incident occurred in your direction. She’s just detailing how the incident occurred. Sorry, it was at ten past four. She says that she walked back down to the entrance to centre court, which is the shopping centre, not center court tennis, and she noticed that what she described as a male who had originally been speaking about God on the microphone was now filming another male in a red t-shirt. Does that sound about right to you?

Well, my friend who [unclear], he was filming the preaching.

I mean your t-shirt is burgundy.

Yeah, it’s not a t-shirt but that was me.

She says again thinking nothing of it, she walked by. She got about five metres from the man in the red t-shirt and she heard him say, “homosexuality is a sin, we all know it’s wrong.” Did you say that?

Words to that effect, yes.

Okay, she says she was extremely offended by this, which caused her a lot of distress. She said the microphone the man was speaking into was attached to a loudspeaker and could be heard by a large captive audience. She said she mouthed, “f... you.”

I’m glad she admitted to that.

Yes, and she says, for the benefit of this we are going to say you are, was there anyone else wearing a red t-shirt?

No it was me.

Okay, so she says that you said this, and you said, “tell me to fuck off, will you come and have a discourse with me?”

I said words to that effect, that I would like to have a dialogue with you.


I wouldn’t have used the word discourse.

Okay. She says that she was with another person who was around [unclear], she saw that she was angry and took her by the arm and led her away. They apparently went to have a discussion about it. And she said due to the man making homophobic statements, saying homophobic statements in the public place, that she felt an offense had been committed and she called the police. While she was waiting for them to arrive, she said you said, “God wants the world to be ordered as one man and one woman, heterosexuality. Homosexuality, lesbianism, and fornication is wrong. God knows that, you know that. Will any man here man up and agree with me or that girl earlier?”

That’s not what I said.

That’s not what you said.

No, particularly at the end.


I did use the phrase, “man up.”

So you said, “man up.”

Right, but that is in reference to a man who had walked by and cursed at me. And I asked, in general, when will the men of this community, man up and stand by their convictions? Basically come and talk to me instead of just coming by and cursing me. I didn’t say when will people man up and agree with me. I didn’t say that.

So you just wanted to...

I wanted, men to instead of whispering as they’re walking by, to stop and to have a dialogue and to stand by their convictions and actually talk about it.

Okay. So basically as you said earlier, to spread God’s word in a sense. You wanted essentially to teach, well I can’t remember the exact words earlier on, but you know, preach the Gospel.


So, she also says that these, I can’t even pronounce it, vitriolic statements, again caused me alarm and distress. And she says, while this was happening, a man with a gray [unclear] started to film her reactions to the words. She said that she felt intimidated by that. And that’s basically, she just goes on to describe you. She says a white male, overweight.

He is, he’s working on it though.

Well, no. She actually says the red t-shirt. I wouldn’t suggest you’re overweight. [cordial laughter]

Oh, I am too. I need to lose some weight myself.

She says about late to mid 50s.

[unclear] Wow, close, that’s pretty much.

She’s a bit harsh. American accent and she said she’s never seen you before. And she said it last about 5-10 minutes. Okay, so I’ve read you the statement, what do you think about that? How do you feel about what she said?

I feel she was trying to intimidate us by filming us.


So it’s interesting that she said she was intimidated by being filmed. The camera was, I don’t recall how long the camera was actually on her because I was preaching, but I do distinctly recall her, her, filming me. And saying to her that I hope she will watch the video and listen to it and come to repentance and faith in Christ. Or words to that effect.

And what was your... I appreciate you saying this to me earlier. What was your sole intention by doing this today?

My sole intention, my faith, my Christian faith teaches me to love God with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. There is nothing more loving that I will ever do for another human being than to warn them of God’s wrath to come against sin and point them to the only one who could forgive their sin, and that’s Jesus Christ.


So my intent was to love people with the Gospel.

Okay, and you believe through, your, your religion, that homosexuality is a sin?

Yes, I do.

How do you feel... Members of the public may feel?

[unclear interruption] LR: Can we just, I think it’s important just to say, to distinguish between homosexuality as an individual, and the sin itself. Would you be able to just distinguish between that. Is a homosexual person evil, they have...

No, a person who tells a lie, a person who steals, a person who harbors bitterness or resentment or hatred in their heart, a person who is discontent with what God has given them in their life and covets what other people have, a person who takes God’s name in vain, who is selfish, a person, if a person sins against God they face the same righteous judgement from God as any person committing any other sin.


LR: So what, just to recall the distinction between the act itself and person who has the inclination to do the act. So they’re not the same. You’re not saying that person is an evil person just because they have an inclination to be homosexual. For that reason alone.

I’m not sure I understand the question. The point is that all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That’s why when I was speaking out there today, I wasn’t speaking exclusively about homosexuality. I was speaking about fornication of any kind. Heterosexual fornication, heterosexual adultery, looking at a person with lust, whether or not you’re married, any form of sexual immorality is a sin before God.

Okay. Let me give you an example just for my benefit. You’ll have to excuse my ignorance regarding religion. You know... If two males walked past you holding hands, and in your view apparently homosexuals, would you consider them a sinner?


Okay, that is what I wanted to know. So in that sense of the word, in that respect, do you feel what you were doing today, preaching the gospel, making the comments about homosexuality being a sin, do you think that that could have upset people?

I think it could upset people because people love their sin. I think if someone walked by when I was talking about lying, and they had just lied, someone would be upset with that. I think if I was talking about hating another person and someone was harboring hatred in their heart towards someone else, they could be upset with that. That’s because people do not like to hear that they have sinned against a holy God.

Okay, the issue as well is that not everyone is religious, so not everyone would see homosexuality as a sin, would they?

I don’t think that’s relevant. Because God sees it as a sin.

No? Okay. [unclear]

We don’t determine... excuse me?

So you [unclear] are you offended by it because you are religious?

Am I offended by what?

By homosexuality.

Homoesexuals don’t do anything to me.


They offend God. Just as...

Okay. It doesn’t offend you.

Just as my sin offends God.

It doesn’t offend you?

No. I harbor no bitterness or resentment...


Toward homosexuals or...

That’s basically what I was getting at. You don’t have any, you don’t have any...

I don’t have any anger towards them.

And you never discriminate against them?


So if someone you knew as a homosexual came up to you and asked you for a favor, you'd quite happily offer them that favor would you?

The word of God tells me to love your neighbor as myself.


So if a homosexual walked up to me and said, I’m hungry and I need something to eat. I would walk them to the nearest restaurant, give them something to eat, and share the Gospel with them because I love them.

Okay, so. Tell me what you were doing today then. It’s apparent from this statement we have, that you have upset someone. Okay. She’s saying that what you said she found distressing, okay? Someone else has told you to “F off” as you put it. A gentleman, so whatever you were saying at that time people obviously found distressing I don’t know.

There’s also, according to the definition of terms we’re using, it’s kind of distressing to tell someone to F off, isn’t it?

Well I’d agree with you, a hundred percent. Because as far as I understand, swearing in a public place, isn’t acceptable, yeah?

I agree.

Yeah. Obviously I can only work with the information I’m given today.

Sure, I understand. I’m not looking for a pound of flesh from anyone.

No no no, I appreciate that.

I’m not looking for any retribution.

I can assure that if you had told me at the time that she had told you to F off the same thing would have happened to her. Because as far as I’m concerned, two wrongs don’t make a right.

I appreciate that.

The issue obviously as well, is, well, you know, I appreciate what you’re saying regarding your beliefs and the fact that you were preaching the Gospel. As I said to you earlier, not everyone is religious. Okay, so they don’t have an understanding as you, as you obviously as you do of the Gospel.


I certainly don’t. So, do you accept that what you were saying, is likely to upset some people.

No, I don’t accept that. Because I’ve also seen people with tears in their eyes come to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, realizing that they’ve sinned against God. Regardless, my understanding is that what the word of God says about the nature of man is that regardless of what a person expresses with their mouth, or with their demeanor, or with their body language, even if they would say that they were offended or insulted does not necessarily mean that’s the case. It could very well be that they’ve been convicted but their heart and they don’t want the preacher to see that.


And that’s always my hope.


My hope is that that lady will go home tonight and she will turn from her sin and put her trust in Jesus Christ the Lord for her salvation. That one day I will get to worship with her side by side in heaven.

Okay. And, last question I’ve got for you, is do you think what you did was acceptable in a public place...


With, I don’t know how many people walking past you during the day bearing in mind the tennis championships are on, do you feel that what you did, making the comments you made, is 100% acceptable in a public place?

Not only 100% acceptable, but commanded by God.


I’m commanded by God to love people and to proclaim the Gospel to as many people as I can for as long as I can.

Will you do this again tomorrow?

If I have the opportunity, yes.

Okay. Okay. I’m quite happy about, I’ve asked the questions I need to ask. This is your interview, so this is your opportunity to give your account of what happened today leading up to your arrest, anything else you wish to, you think’s relevant to the case. This is your opportunity to give it so I will offer you the opportunity now before I turn the tapes off. Is there anything else you would like to add?

I don’t think so, I think we’ve covered everything.

LR: Just a couple questions I had. What would you say to anybody that said you were trying to insult people.

I would say they’re wrong.

LR: And why would you say that?

The reason for being out there. The reason I flew all the way from Southern California to London, was to love people and share the Gospel with them. I hope to be used by God to see people come to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. There’s never intent to insult, there’s never any intent to inflame. Of course people aren’t going to agree with everything I say, just as I don't agree with everything other people say. But my intention, is, to love people as others loved me and shared the Gospel with me so that I could receive forgiveness of my sin and the free gift of eternal life. That’s why I came to London last year during the Olympics. That’s why I came this year to Wimbledon. And that’s why I hope I can come back as many times as possible. Because I love this country and I love the people of this country. And I don’t want to see anybody perish in their sin.

LR: And [unclear] just about the cultural context. Some people might want to say, well that’s America that’s more religious. This country is less religious. What would you have to say?

Well, certainly regarding the issue at hand there’s no difference between our two countries, culturally. I’m not uninformed as to where your country is regarding this issue because my country is in the same place. And the message I brought today, and the message I’ve brought about many different subjects are no different than the messages I preach to the people in my own country. Because the issues are all the same.

Okay, fair enough. Yeah, happy?

LR: Yeah.

Okay, as I’ve said, I’ve got nothing else to ask you. Obviously I’ve covered everything I need to cover. We’ll just establish that you don’t feel like you’ve done anything wrong. You’ve come over here, you’ve come to share your love of God. You’ve come to share, to preach the Gospel to people...

All people.

Yeah, certainly not going to say that it’s only certain people. And you know, you feel that what you’ve done is not necessarily upsetting people but in fact helping people. Would you agree with that?


So, I appreciate your views on it. Okay. Is there anything else you wish to say?

Not at this time.

Okay, brilliant. In that case, this interview is concluded at 21:34, on the first of July 2013.