Monday, October 09, 2006

Livin' It with Stephen Baldwin

Salon has an interesting article up now about Stephen Baldwin and his Livin' It ministry. Most of the article is just a recap of his story and what his X-Games style skateboard-themed ministry is like. I got to hear Stephen speak live at the 2005 Contagious Church Conference at our church, so I already knew the background. Somewhere I even have one of his DVDs and get regular mailings from Luis Palau's ministry.

The hook that got me to read the article was Stephen's criticism of Bono in his new book Usual Suspect.

I just watched Bono a couple of months ago in a taped interview at the 2006 Leadership Summit and he blew me away. Bono talked about his faith and how much he doesn't want to be like Christians.

I even felt like Bono was holding back and I really wanted him to speak his mind. Bill Hybels wrapped up the interview by asking Bono if he had anything that he'd really like to say to 15,000 pastors and other leaders around the world. Bono actually looked intimidated and I swear he backed away from what he really wanted to say. I was so hoping that he'd just unload on them -- us.

So back to Stephen and his world view. He apparently criticizes Bono for not being a sold-out gospel-preaching evangelist instead of what he is, which is a rock star. Stephen apparently thinks it's a waste for Bono to campaign for debt relief for Africa. Maybe Baldwin's wife can read him some of the many biblical references about usury. Bono quoted an amazing statistic. Live Aid raised about $250 million, but the same African countries now owe over $250 billion. Their annual debt payments completely dwarf any money we spend on humanitarian aid.

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