When Jesus rescues a person, He often takes them, cleans them up and then puts them back in the world they were from so that they can bring the Gospel and connect in ways others can't. Enter Stephen Baldwin, armed with his Bible in one hand and the great commission in the other, to use the spotlight to promote the gospel of Jesus.
The actor-turned-evangelical has appeared in over 60 films and has featured on numerous television programmes. Stephen’s just completed Celebrity Big Brother, his third reality TV show.
He talks here about why he went into the Celebrity Big Brother house and sharing faith with celebrities.
Big Brother is designed to push contestants to their emotional limit, in the name of entertainment (of course). A Christian going into a reality TV show like Celebrity Big Brother is like Daniel in the Lion’s Den, so why did you go in?
Stephen: For me, going into Big Brother was something I was afraid to do as a Christian. I thought these people are going to tear me apart. In my spiritual connection to the Lord, there was never anything that said 'don’t go'. If an opportunity comes up, I’ll keep it in prayer. I just try to be hearing from the Lord as best I can. I felt the lord saying ‘I’m with you’. For me there are clear indications when something is not right. Then there’s these moments like Celebrity Big Brother when God says 'Do you trust me?'
To celebrate 21 years of sobriety, Big Brother decided to treat you with a tarts and vicars themed party, clearly set up to rile you. What was really going through your mind that night?
Stephen: I think it kind of backfired on Big Brother because I didn’t get it. I thought, if they are poking fun at me, it’s some kind of custom that I don’t understand. There are times when my lack of intelligence plays to my advantage!
When you’re in there it really is more stressful than people realise, so any reason to be cheered up is welcomed. Even though it was meant to wind me up, I didn’t let it bother me. I thought ‘hey, let’s just enjoy this nice little moment’.
Whilst taking part in ‘I’m a Celeb get me out of here- USA’, you baptised Spencer Pratt (The Hills) and we all witnessed you lead Alex Reid in a prayer to come into relationship with God. What is really going on with celebrities coming to faith then falling away? In your opinion, are they using Christianity in the pursuit of more column inches or is it a genuine openness to the Gospel.
You’re not going to like my answer. So many Christians get so wound up, trying to figure out what’s the best and most effective way to reach people. Alex asked a bunch of questions and eventually that lead up to me eventually saying to him ‘do you want to know God’. He said yes … so he was open to God. Alex Reid might not completely understand everything about all there is to know about Christianity but it’s not about that, it’s one step at a time. With regards to Spencer Pratt, even with what could be perceived as sarcasm, a lot is said in jest. I don’t know! Do I think, he’s a bit of a knuckle head? Yeah.
In the case of my own conversion, initially I prayed a prayer of salvation, I started this journey, I started to pray to God, I began to read the Bible, I absolutely did not believe that the transformation that has occurred, would ever have happened. So here’s the thing, Spencer Pratt may be laughing but in time … in God’s time, who knows … God always has the last laugh.
This interview was conducted by Selena Gray, Christian writer and 'Christian Gal in the City' blogger with a passion for faith and fashion. www.christiangalinthecity.blogspot.com