How Justin Bieber got back into his faith after some bad behavior last year.
The young Canadian singer invited a magazine interviewer to his church. It is abundantly clear that he is importing mainstream media on the personal-now public- faith journey on his promotional tours.
Bieber, now 21 years old, has taken it upon himself for making a major personal brand overhaul. The previous two years were not kind to him after reports of Brazilian brothels, illegal monkeys, public urination, and even a petition to deport him from the U.S. He even spent a night inside the confines of a Florida jail.
In a recent interview with Billboard‘s Chris Martins, Bieber ended the interview by inviting the interviewer to join him at a church service. Judah Smith, a Pastor at The City Church in Seattle, was preaching at an event in a ballroom at the Beverly Wilshire hotel. Bieber occupied a seat in the front row with the reporter.
Justin Bieber is no stranger to religious discourse. He was introduced to God by his born-again Christian mother, Pattie Mallette, who is a fan of Smith. Bieber’s mother has always proclaimed that her son was raised a Christian. “When I was 7, she wouldn’t let me listen to anything but [Pastor] Judah’s tapes falling asleep,” says Bieber. Justin met Pastor-now-friend Judah Smith at 16. The two are now closer than Bieber is with his own mother. Their relationship has suffered because he’s ashamed of his wild actions. He asks for second chances and if it’s “too late to say sorry” in his single “Sorry.”
At 19, Bieber questioned a lot of the Bible’s claims. “I’d come and listen to [Smith] and try to hear him out. I had all these questions and things were not adding up. ‘Well, why is this, then? How did all those animals fit on Noah’s Ark, then?’ ” Now, he is more accepting and less inquisitive. “That’s what it’s all about — not questioning it.”
While Smith is committed to helping Bieber through rocky periods in his life, the relationship has also become reciprocal.
— John D. Ponder (@johnponder) November 9, 2015
“We text almost daily, and it’s not just me sending him Bible verses anymore,” says Smith. “He’ll send them to me, along with encouraging thoughts or an encouraging emoticon. I’m committed to helping him and protecting him, but it’s fair to say we’re there for each other.”
Bieber told Billboard that he starts every day with a prayer of gratitude. “Thank you so much for allowing me to wake up today; help me to enjoy each and every moment.”