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‘LA Times’ reviewer says recent Justin Bieber concert reminded him of a church service


Los Angeles Staples Center photo Luca Zappa/Flickr

Did the Los Angeles Staples Center become a megachurch? Photo Luca Zappa/Flickr

LA Times concert reviewer Mikael Wood attended Justin Bieber’s recent concert held in Los Angeles on Friday, November 13th.

In his review Wood wrote:

“What the vaguely billed event at Staples Center felt most like was a church service.”

Wood went so far as to title one of his articles on the concert: Review how Justin Bieber turned Staples Center into a megachurch.

The sold out concert coincided with the release of Bieber’s latest CD “Purposes.”

I recently reported on the transformation taking place in Justin’s life which he attributes to a renewed relationship with Jesus Christ. A big part of this change also involves a friendship with Judah Smith, a pastor based in Seattle.

Justin Bieber with Judah Smith at LA concert.

Justin Bieber with Judah Smith at LA concert (Source unknown).

Smith was even at the concert on stage with Justin. Wood said the two sat on stools for part of the 90-minute performance where they discussed “the importance of maintaining a positive spirit and surrounding oneself with encouraging people…”

Wood said during this session “Bieber …. more or less preached.”

Wearing a black hoodie, Justin also took some pre-selected questions from the audience. When one girl asked Justin how he straightened out his life, Bieber credited God.

Woods said over all the concert “was firmly in keeping with the penitent tone of ‘Purpose,’ whose cover pictures a shirtless Bieber, head bent as though in prayer, with a cross painted on his rippled abdomen.”

A number of Muslim countries banned the CD because of its overtly Christian theme on the cover.

Songs from Bieber’s latest CD were featured in the concert. His latest album reflected a change in attitude as he actually speaks of God clearly in one song “Life is Worth Living” singing:

“God sent an Angel to help you out
He gave you direction, showed you how to read a map for the long journey ahead.”

I wrestled with whether or not to put up a video of the song, but decided to after my wife gave the ok:

It is obvious Justin is impacting young people. A number of commenters said they weren’t big Justin Bieber fans in the past but liked his new songs. Steph Yasay commenting on the video said:

“This is my perspective after watching the video:

The gun shot wound symbolizes thoughts of suicide. At the end of the video, she doesn’t have a gun shot wound. It’s because she realized that life’s worth living and suicide is not worth it.

The guy could’ve been an angel or her conscious.”

Some of the music on his latest CD also dealt with Bieber’s rocky past and one titled “Sorry” showed a penitence for his past mistakes. But the message was not the only thing that changed, so has Justin’s style which Wood said “makes the album interesting — what gives it its valuable tension — is the dramatic boost of grit and texture….”

At the end of the concert, Bieber brought a young hyperventilating girl on stage where he serenaded her. As Bieber touched her face, it was a typical Bieber performance except for one thing. Wood said, “it looked like a laying on of hands.”

The LA concert took place the night of the terrorist attack in Paris. At his performance at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois the following Monday, Bieber prayed for those attacked:

“God we come to you together right now humbly just asking just for your love for the loved ones that were lost in the tragedies in Northern Paris. We just ask you just be with the families and just give peace and all that in your name.ā€

A friend of Justin was killed in the attack.

I am not in any way suggesting Justin’s life is perfect and that he will be perfect going forward. Like the stock market, there will be ups and downs, but we need to ask one question — overall is his life trending up?

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for sharing the facts in this article. It was very informative and insightful. It is easy to become skeptical of celebrities who claim to be Christians. Are they legitimate or just using it as an advertising campaign? But we need to pray for Justin Bieber that his faith would become more and more evident in his life! Just as we pray it will in our own.

    Thank you for your insight into this topic! I recently wrote a post about Bieber and his new image on my blog if you would like to check it out: https://beautifulmedia.wordpress.com/2016/01/23/christian-response-to-justin-bieber/

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