[by Dean Smith] Canadian pop star Justin Bieber comes from a Christian home. He has been in the news the past couple years for several altercations involving the police both in the US and Canada ranging from egging a neighbor’s house to racing down the streets of Miami.
But since then Justin seems to be sincerely trying to turn his life around and has turned to several Christian pastors for help. He recently became involved with Hillsong, a Pentecostal mega church originating out of Australia with branch churches around the world. It is perhaps most famous for its worship music with songs hitting gold and platinum level sales.
Justin started attending a branch church in New York city and was reportedly water baptized in a bathtub in June 2014 by New York Hillsong pastor Frank Houston. He has also become close friends with Pastor Joel Houston, grandson of the founder of Hillsong. Joel has taken on a mentor role in Justin’s life.
But there have been a few bumps in the road in Justin’s journey back to God.
Hillsong holds an annual music conference in Australia where between 20,000 to 30,000 people attend.
It was recently discovered that Justin attended this year’s five-day worship conference that started on June 29th ending July 3 in Sydney, Australia. He will be there only as a delegate. That was certainly welcome news.
However, now for the bump in the road.
The Daily Mail is reporting that on the last day of the conference, Justin wore a Marilyn Manson t-shirt. Brian Warner who now goes by the professional name Marilyn Manson chose the name by combining the names of Marilyn Munroe and notorious mass murderer Charles Manson. His Gothic music and concerts have distinctly anti-Christian theme and during one concert tore up a Bible. According to reports, Brian Warner actually attended a Christian school up to grade 10.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, the t-shirt Justin chose was from Manson’s Anti-Christ superstar collection. The front of the black shirt features Marilyn Manson’s name above an image of Jesus’ head wearing a crown of thorns with the words “See No truth, Hear No Truth, Speak No Truth” below. The words “Believe” and “Lie” are printed on the back in white.
According to one store that sells the shirt, it’s guaranteed to offend Christians.
While some Muslim extremists choose to murder those who create offending images of their prophet, it will be interesting to see how Christians react to Justin’s wardrobe choice. I am hoping we can turn the other cheek and not figuratively skewer him through social media.
It may be a sign that Justin is feeling a bit insecure about his spiritual journey, and as Christians we must forgive, accept and continue to pray for him.