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Gospel according to Stephen Baldwin

Actor explains the life change that led to book

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Stephen Baldwin explains how he came to write "The Unusual Suspect: My Calling to the New Hardcore Movement of Faith."

Stephen Baldwin explains how he came to write “The Unusual Suspect: My Calling to the New Hardcore Movement of Faith.”

Scripps Howard News Service

Actor Stephen Baldwin (youngest of the acting Baldwin brothers) has become an impassioned Christian after living the wild Hollywood lifestyle. In his New York Times best-selling book, "The Unusual Suspect: My Calling to the New Hardcore Movement of Faith" (September 2006), he explains how his life turned around.

Question:In the book, you are very chatty with God. Since you don't actually hear him, how do you know it is him?

Answer: Well, there are two responses to that. One can actually hear him; that is possible. There are people who have audibly heard a voice. Probably more relative to, I think, your question is there are thoughts that come into your mind. They can sometimes be discerned as thoughts that are not your own. Does that make any sense?

Question:But how do you know it's God?

Answer: I'll give you an example. Like if I've been praying to God to reveal something to me about a particular issue and then all of a sudden a total stranger on an airplane says to me, "Hey, guess what? This thing just happened in my life, and here's the solution that I came to about it." And it's totally, exactly parallel to what you've been praying about — that could be God.

Question:Do you think it is easier for you to embrace this new Christian life because you've already lived a worldly, sinful life?

Answer: Not really, because if the experience that I'm having is real, then it's one that's motivated by the spiritual realm. If you are representing the side of good, then the side of evil is warring against you that much more powerfully. So, no, it's harder to be doing what I'm doing than living in the world. See, most of the people living in the world don't even know that Satan is controlling their life.

Question:So, how can they be doing wrong if they don't know they are being controlled?

Answer: Well, this is where it starts to get into that gray area of free will and all of that. From my perspective, anybody that knows about God but chooses to live their life without him — then they are doing wrong and choosing to ignore it.

Question:OK, here's a question I know you've heard before. If Jesus is the true Savior, what happens to the souls of good Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc.?

Answer: Here's my answer to that question. All I can do is share with you the experience that I'm having. I am much more bold about expressing that experience, because it has been confirmed supernaturally for me, personally, that it is a real, genuine, tangible, authentic experience. The only reason I've been able to come into the experience is that I have been born again spiritually. Therefore I have the ability to perceive things from a spiritual perspective. So for most people when I talk like this, they can't understand it because they don't have that spiritual sensibility. What I've learned is that it is not my place to try to figure all that out. That's God's job. What God wants from Stephen is to seek him and connect with him.

Question:It has changed the roles you will do?

Answer: Yeah, very much so. I think I may be one of the few American actors that has shown their buttocks multiple times in feature films. I don't know who has the world record for that but ... (laughs). It's not only spiritual, but artistically and creatively as well, I'm looking for roles that are just more interesting for me.

Question:I know your brothers and sister support your new life, but do you follow the old adage: No discussion of religion or politics at the table?

Answer: Certainly, at any holiday meal, sure. I mean, we have enough common sense to just know that any type of a conversation like that could just escalate so quickly that we're killing each other (laughing). I mean that's the way it was when we were growing up.

Question:It feels as if you picked a really strict path for a guy who doesn't like rules.

Answer: Well, sure, my instinct is one that doesn't like them. It's for that reason I think I'm having the experience I'm having. God started to spiritually strengthen me, and the Holy Spirit is now functioning in my life in a way that allows me to have the discipline. But, hey, I'm still breaking the rules every day. An occasional cuss word slips out, and I get angry just like everybody else.