Written By Leslie Koh, Singapore
You must know Bieber, the Canadian songwriter and singer.
Bieber, the pop star who is as well known for his controversial behavior as he is for his hits.
Bieber, the teen idol who probably has as many detractors as he has fans. (For the uninitiated, that’s “Beliebers” of the “Beebs”.)
But do you know Bieber, the believer?
Yes, you read that right. Justin Bieber is a Christian. The latest issue of Complex magazine quotes Bieber talking about his faith in God, his love for Jesus, and his keenness to share the gospel. “I, personally, love Jesus and that was my salvation,” he tells the interviewer. “I want to share what I’m going through and what I’m feeling . . . ”
Un-Beliebers, you’re probably looking really skeptical now. Bieber? You ask. The same guy who has had several run-ins with the authorities over reckless and drink driving, vandalism, and anger issues? (And let’s not even start on his music.)
Oh, yes. Whatever you may say or think about Bieber, he’s been fairly consistent about his Christian faith. As far back as 2010, he had spoken about his belief in God, saying that he prays and reads the Bible regularly. In the latest interview with Complex, he talks a little more about his belief and what it means to be a Christian.
Perhaps the hard part is for un-Beliebers to believe that Bieber is really a believer (sorry, couldn’t resist that). Some may wonder whether he is being a good role model for his millions of fans. After all, you might argue, the Beebs’ behavior and lifestyle might come across as somewhat controversial, at least to some.
But here’s something to consider. We were all sinners deserving of God’s wrath, but through His grace and mercy, we were forgiven, redeemed by Christ into His kingdom, and given the hope of salvation. We are, however, still far from perfect now. Indeed, we are all works-in-progress—undergoing God’s process of sanctification, which will take up our entire lives. Whether we’re a pop star or a normal person, God is working in us to make us more like Christ, day by day.
In the meantime, our old selves—the human nature that wants to sin—is at conflict with the Holy Spirit, who is working within us to transform us into Jesus’ likeness. As Paul has lamented, this means we sometimes do the things we know we shouldn’t, and don’t do the things we know we should (Romans 7:14–25).
“If we can understand that we’re all imperfect, let’s come to God and come for his help.” You know who said that? Yes, Bieber. He’s kind of spot on, isn’t he? In a way, we’re all on the same journey of faith and sanctification.
Here’s another thought. God desires that all men come to Him and be saved. That includes you, your friends . . . and pop stars. So perhaps we should learn to see the world from God’s eyes, and see people with God’s heart. Let’s rejoice when we hear of people turning to God, and pray that they may truly continue to seek to grow in their faith and see their lives transformed.
Whether you’re a Belieber or not, let’s cultivate the heart of a true Believer.