A Baldwin Brother's Journey to Jesus


His newfound prominence has brought Baldwin into conflict with big brothers Billy and Alec -- two of Hollywood's leading liberals. They are not big fans of the fact that Stephen is now a cultural advisor to the president, or that he was invited to speak at the 2004 Republican National Convention.

According to Stephen, there is no sibling rivalry -- at least, not on this issue.

"Look, you know, the Baldwin brothers are still more interested in who's going to win the football game after Thanksgiving dinner than whatever a particular religious or political point of view anyone has," Baldwin says. "Alec and Billy don't judge me and I don't judge them. It's about everybody doing their own thing and hopefully it'll all be for the glory of God."

Critics Calling

At the skate park in Houston, Baldwin takes the stage to preach.

"I've been around the world, hung out with movie stars," Baldwin says to the crowd, "and the experience I am having now … is so much more awesome and powerful and satisfying than anything I've ever experienced in Hollywood. And that's the truth."

He then called to the stage anyone who wanted to accept Jesus as their personal savior for the first time. Many of them were very young, and for this and other reasons, Baldwin is not without his critics.

Lauren Sandler, the author of a new book called "Righteous: Dispatches from the Evangelical Youth Movement," says Baldwin and others like him are leading young people toward a rigid worldview.

"These are people who talk about love, but when it comes down to it, they are absolutely anti-abortion, they are absolutely against gay marriage," Sandler says. "It's an absolute, straight-up us-against-them. It's you're either with us or you're against us ... not only are you a sinner, but you are working for the enemy -- the enemy being Satan."

Baldwin contends that his faith is strong, but his commitment to dogma is not.

"I'm somebody who believes that the Bible is true," Baldwin says. "The Bible says it's wrong to be a homosexual. Is it my place to judge that person about that? No. God is the judge, not me. It's my job to love that person, lift them up, share my experience with them, and then hopefully make whatever decision they want to make about their life. But again, that older regime of the Christian movement has handled that stuff the wrong way. And that's changing."

A Surprising Spark

Baldwin's new quest was spurred on, in part, by what may be a surprising spark: "Biodome."

Though the film was universally jeered by critics, the DVD has become a cult hit with young people. And since the movie has spurred people to join his church, Baldwin says, that must mean "Biodome" is part of God's plan.

"So many kids that come to these events that want to see Stephen Baldwin and what I'm doing in ministry -- it's directly as a result of their being a fan of that movie," Baldwin says. "So for me, having a spiritual life that I have today I say to myself got had a plan, God's using 'Biodome' for me to have a platform to preach his gospel."

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