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Justin Bieber takes ‘Billboard’ reporter to church


Justin Bieber in Oslo, Norway, October 29, 2015 Photo: NRK P3/Flickr

Justin Bieber in Oslo, Norway, October 29, 2015. He walked off the stage after singing just one song when people began grabbing at his hands and feet after he tried wiping up some spilled water. Justin later apologized on Instagram saying “I don’t always handle things the right way.” Photo: NRK P3/Flickr

I have been following Canadian pop star Justin Bieber’s faith journey over the past few months.  I believe Justin’s faith journey is sincere, but it is filled with foibles, like wearing a a Marilyn Manson t-shirt to Hillsong worship conference in Australia earlier this year.

But it is good for the church because we need to lighten up, not on sin, but on the persona that the church and its members are without sin and that somehow we have earned the right to cast the first stone when someone doesn’t immediately meet our expectations.

The latest story about the mega rock star involves Justin’s interview with a reporter from Billboard. Justin, 21, actually convinces reporter Chris Martin to join him at church.

The two end up at a service at the ballroom of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California where Judah Smith was a guest speaker. Smith pastors The City Church in Seattle, Washington.

Justin and the reporter sat in the front row. Though there were only about 400 people in attendance, one member of that congregation had 42.5 million Instagram followers and 69.4 million Tweeter followers.

Justin’s mom, Patti Mallette, introduced her son to Judah Smith when she had her seven-year old son listen to the pastor’s taped messages at bed time.

Justin first connected with Pastor Smith at age 16, when Patti brought him to one of her son’s concert. The pastor continues to impact Justin’s life five years later.

The reporter notes through the service that Justin had his eyes closed and never outwardly responded to the pastor’s call for a show of hands. But when the church band started playing John Mark McMillian’s song How He Loves Us at the end of the service, Justin locked arms with the reporter and swayed with the music.

Pastor Smith said:

“We [Justin and Smith] text almost daily, and it’s not just me sending him Bible verses anymore. He’ll send them to me along with encouraging thoughts or encouraging emoticon. I’m committed to helping him protecting him, but it’s fair to say we’re there for each other.”

Justin admitted in the interview that he still has questions such as how did all the animals fit in Noah’s ark, but that is what a faith journey is all about.

But in the interview Justin also said:

“Enough with the Justin Bieber Show. I want to veer away from the self-centered attitude…. I was in a weird place and felt it in my soul. I was so lost, and I’m like, ‘Let me try to revisit my faith.'”

Pattie had her famous son when she was 17 years old. When the father, Jeremy Bieber, left before Justin was born, Patti raised Justin on her own. They lived in low-income housing and she struggled with drug addiction. But Patti was a born again Christian and pushed through turning her son towards God and eventually music.

Patti encouraged Justin to enter talent contests. It was Justin’s YouTube video that caught the attention of another rock star Usher who began to mentor the future superstar.

And though Justin detoured from his faith for a bit, he seems on his way back.

In Psalm 68:5, God promises to be a Father to the Fatherless. If a single mother believes and prays, God will work in her children.

Patti is an encouragement to all mothers that they can have a major influence in their child’s life. Writing to a young pastor, the Apostle Paul had this to say about Timothy’s mother Eunice:

5 For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well. (2 Timothy 1:5 NASV)

Justin is releasing his first album in three years, entitled Purpose, on November 13. Several Middle Eastern nations nations actually banned the album’s release in their countries because the cover was considered too Christian. Justin is shirtless on the cover and you can see his tattoo of a Christian cross.

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