Man on a Mission

Says Baldwin, "You have these young people who are edgy and culturally relevant who have had their lives impacted and transformed with their faith. Guys who were drug addicts and alcoholics and suicidal. Young people are the most ignored."

Like his brother Alec - a Saturday Night Live staple, recent Emmy winner for his starring role on the NBC comedy series 30 Rock and liberal blogger for the Huffington Post - for years Stephen wasn't exactly the sort of person you'd expect to dip a foot in the culture wars. But that was then.

In his book The Unusual Suspect Baldwin opened a long running feud with Bono of U2 about the nature and effectiveness of the rock star's attempts to bring debt relief to Africa. To Baldwin, unless Bono is also saving their souls, all his efforts are to no avail.

"I'm a Christian who, as a result of the experience I'm having, I suffer from something called 'holy discontent.' It just seems to me that the meaning of being a Christian is something that is so watered down now around the world," Baldwin feels.

"With a guy like Bono, with the platform that he has, it seems to me that according to what the Bible says - share Jesus Christ - he could take six or eight minutes at every show to do so."

Baldwin doesn't fault Bono for working to end Third World debt relief, but in his view caring for the poor and the homeless are pointless if their souls are not also saved.

"If they still don't know Jesus as their lord and savior all of those people are going to hell. Bono needs to share the gospel with them. That would be the appropriate thing for a true Christian to do."

The tension between the directives of the Bible and the compromises of living in a democracy are a perennial theme for born-again Christians. On his website, Baldwin underlines his own take on the issue with the - to some, chilling - statement: "There's no democracy in a kingdom," echoing John 3; 30.

"When someone is the servant of a king, then you do what the king would have you do and you don't ask questions," says Baldwin. "If you don't do as the king asks you are not part of the Kingdom. This is where the heart of a true Christian should be. My life is not my own."

For more on Stephen Baldwin, visit www.stephenbaldwin.com.

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