Justin and Jesus, or "Leave It To Bieber"

I confess: I missed the Teen Choice Awards Sunday.

But an author working on a book about Justin Bieber (whose mother is Catholic and whose childhood reportedly included Catholic schooling in Canada) did see the show, and notes the following:

When Justin Bieber strode onto the stage of the Gibson Amphitheatre in Los Angeles on Sunday (Aug. 7) night to accept a Teen Choice Award, he thanked his fans profusely, then quickly turned his attention to something more eternal.

“I wanna say that anything is possible if you set your mind to it,” the Canadian superstar said, grasping the award’s blue-and-yellow surfboard that towered over him by several inches. “You gotta keep God first and always remember to keep family first.”

Then, pointing toward the crowd with a sweeping gesture, Bieber added, “Jesus loves every one of you!”

It’s hardly unusual for celebrities to give God a shout-out at award shows. In fact the phenomenon has become so ubiquitous that one critic wondered whether throwing out “God props” had jumped the shark.

But what young Bieber said is different. It wasn’t the rote “I want to thank Mylordandsaviorjesuschrist” that we’ve heard so many times from the awards podium, often uttered by artists collecting prizes for music or films that would be hard-stretched to conceive as honoring the Creator. (See: Plenty of hip-hop and rap artists.)

Bieber, who is never shy about talking about his Christian faith, went beyond the approved script for Hollywood expressions of faith, invoking the “J-word” and taking it several steps further by telling whoever was listening that they are, in fact, loved by Jesus — and not the less specific “God.”

Anyone who has paid attention to the Cinderella story that is Bieber’s warp-speed rise from obscurity in small-town Canada to the most popular teenager on the planet will know that in addition to being cute as a button and preternaturally talented, “the Biebs” is a bona fide
person of faith. In fact, he’s indicated that the name of the album he’s in the studio recording right now will be “Believe.”

Rarely does Bieber, who turned 17 in March, miss an opportunity to talk about his faith, whether in an interview with Rolling Stone, on numerous talk shows or even on the red carpet. He seems keenly aware of the blessings that have come his way and exactly where they have come from.

“All the blessings I have come to me from God,” Bieber told Rolling Stone in February, adding that he feels obliged to “plant little seeds” of faith with his fans. “I’m not going to tell them, ‘You need Jesus,’ but I will say at the end of my show, ‘God loves you.”‘

Read more.

Comments

  1. youngcanadianrcmale says:

    That’s great and all that the Bieb gave the shoutout to Jesus, but to me he’s being lukewarm about his faith if anything at all.

    If Bieber truly wanted to show his Christian, maybe Catholic faith:
    1) He would have not gotten a tattoo.
    2) He would have not done that video with the woman abuser Chris Brown.
    3) He wouldn’t have done the “Jesus loves everybody” thing. This to me is just exactly like the shout out to God mentioned in the article. He should have done something like “I offer up this success to my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who sacrificed himself on the cross for all of our sins.”
    4) He would be caught on camera actually going to Mass by the paparazzi, even “gasp” confession.
    5) Start looking things up about his faith. Uh Beebs, maybe you can spout a line of the Catechism of the Catholic Church at your next concert between songs.

    6) He’d drop the pop garbage/pseudo-rap music he makes and transfer into the Christian Pop / Catholic Pop Scene with artists like Critical Mass, Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, Billie Tarscio, Michael James Mette, etc.

    Yes this is quite pessimistic, but I do not sense a genuine proclamation of his Faith, if it is truly the Catholic faith, from him. His faith sounds more Mainline-Christian/Protestant/Evangelical if anything. He’s caught up too much in the secular music scene also vs. the start of his career. Furthermore the way his personal life and career are going (e.g. adapting more rap style clothing, tattoo, video with Chris Brown), I would bet his faith is gonna take a nosedive in the next few years or shorter unless he jumps shift or transfers to the Christian pop scene soon. Unless we pray for Justin.

  2. pagansister says:

    Hey! youngcanadianrcmale—he is 17! He is making many bucks—and hopefully will keep some of it for the future in case his popularity fades as he gets older. Why should he start singing Christian pop if he is making those bucks from the young fan base he appeals to right now? Maybe in the future he would consider that. BTW—what is wrong with a tattoo? Did you make all the right decisions at 17? I don’t think any 17 year old makes all the right decisions any more than us older (in my case) people do. I also suspect he has a manager/advisor who is directing his current direction in music. I most certainly haven’t paid him any attention, as he is definitely not in my range of music llikes—however I hope he handles the fame/fortune well and stays out of some of the pitfalls some of the younger singers fall into—drugs etc. Perhaps his faith will help him there or it may not.

  3. @youngcanadianrcmale: “Yes this is quite pessimistic, but I do not sense a genuine proclamation of his Faith, if it is truly the Catholic faith, from him.”

    Interesting. Are you willing to give us as intimate a look into your life so we can judge the quality of your faith? After all, it’s only fair, isn’t it? This is what the gospel writer means in Matthew 7 is it not when we are told:

    “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

    Given the boldness of your statement I trust that you are open to having your life examined this closely by fallen, fallible humans such as yourself, and having their judgments placed here for all to see.

  4. Never get too excited about faith coming from these folks. It often turns into something very bad in a short time frame. As others say, he is 17. I remember all the deal some made over Charlotte Church and she is quite a mess today.

    As to those who seem to think we as Christians are to shut up about sin and not point fingers, we are called to be a visible and moral example as best possible as sinner, but also to take our faith out to the world. In fact the religion of tolerance of all evil is about as far from Christian teaching as one can get. Hammering away at grave evil such as the holocaust of 54 million babies being butchered in the womb demands anyone with a conscience to scream out for this to end. To not do so would place the silent with the Germans who knew of the holocaust killing and chose not to protest and to do everything possible to stop it within Christian teaching. Some today even believe they can vote for those who support this holocaust. The same is true of those who are distorting the sacred long held belief that marriage is and should always remain between one man and one woman. It is hard to speak truth and to be tolerant of grave evil in today’s world. Those as here will go on the attack and even might pull a quote from the Bible to defend the evil for Satan uses everything he has to support evil and loves tolerance as his grand tool.

  5. @greta, as long as you are willing to apply the same standard of behavior to yourself that you wish to apply to others, you are on solid ground Biblically. Christians are indeed called to speak out against evil in the world…all evil, not just those that are currently “in vogue” with a certain political party or group (whether it be conservative or liberal).

    That is not what was happening here. Check out this statement from @youngcanadianrcmale in #1:

    “Yes this is quite pessimistic, but I do not sense a genuine proclamation of his Faith, if it is truly the Catholic faith, from him. His faith sounds more Mainline-Christian/Protestant/Evangelical if anything. He’s caught up too much in the secular music scene also vs. the start of his career. Furthermore the way his personal life and career are going (e.g. adapting more rap style clothing, tattoo, video with Chris Brown), I would bet his faith is gonna take a nosedive in the next few years or shorter unless he jumps shift or transfers to the Christian pop scene soon. Unless we pray for Justin.”

    That is judging the authenticity of someone’s faith based on partial and imperfect knowledge. According to the Bible it is sinful to do this, as such judgement is the purview of God himself and nobody else.

    Thus in Scripture, we read the passage in Matthew 7 that I quoted above. For those who make such judgments, God is telling them that they will likewise be judged using the same standard.

    Calling out evil is indeed part of the Biblical instructions to believers, as is the sharing of the faith. But let’s not forget the whole counsel of Scripture in our zeal to fulfill one passage of it.

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