Justin Bieber’s Faith and Challenges

Seventeen-year-old pop superstar Justin Bieber this week released a new holiday CD called “Under the Mistletoe.” He also set a new YouTube record, becoming the first person to have two billion views on his music channel. He has more than 14 million followers on Twitter and more than 30 million on Facebook.

The release of the new CD came amid news of a paternity suit filed by a 20-year-old woman who claimed Bieber had fathered her three-month-old baby. Bieber’s lawyers said the allegations were “malicious, defamatory and demonstrably false.”

Bieber is an evangelical Christian who has been outspoken about his faith. Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly Managing Editor Kim Lawton talked about the role of faith in Bieber’s life with Cathleen Falsani, author of the new book, Belieber!: Fame, Faith and the Heart of Justin Bieber (Worthy, Sept. 2011).

 

  • Anthony F. Shaker, PhD

    What you say is interesting, Justin, but let’s not mince words. To be honest with you, I am revising my view of certain modern “Christian” movements.

    There is no doubt that Christianity enjoys a rich and varied tradition, and we ought to celebrate that. My concern is with Christian fundamentalism in America. Fundamentalism cuts across denominations, every one of which has inspired a fundamentalist strain that actively militates for a return to an earlier, more pristine imaginary period.

    The idea of spiritual return itself is common to all of the world’s major religious traditions: Christianity: Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. In modern times, sadly, this fertile force has too often taken the militaristic form of fundamentalism.

    What troubles me about American Christian beliefs, in particular, is the utter foreignness of the “return” to which they aspire. Evangelicals, Pentacostals, Born Agains, etc., have:

    1. Built a vengeful and literally apocalyptic view of history that can only end in wholesale massacre and ruin
    2. Center their ideology on the fictitious tribal accounts of the Old Testament
    3. Falsely identify Judaism (Christianity’s sister religion) with the ancient Israelites and as the most “authentic” source of Christianity
    4. Adopted a purely racial interpretation of modern history and politics based on the concept of “Chosen People,” in effect putting a historically marginal racial group at the center of world history
    5. Impose their racial ideology on the rest of the world through legal government institutions and in international agencies, and are bent on modifying the US Constitution to reflect their views
    6. Feel justified in punishing those who do not share their ideology, even non-Americans.
    7. Embody modern Zionist dogma complete with the anti-Semitism of Europe’s long record of Christian Zionists

    From this perspective it would appear that Anglo-Saxon Christianity, as a whole, has been an unmitigated disaster, evolving into something that is distinctly not Christian. But life never follows a straight course. We can still fix this.

    I have never in seen a person so distraught about her faith community than my grandmother. She passed away a few years ago at 99. Deeply pious, she couldn’t stand the sight of Old Testament fanatics. “They’ve all gone mad,” she would say.

    We have forgotten who the Whore that Jesus denounced was? Jesus rejected the racial-priestly practices and institutions in which he was born. My “return” is definitely not there. I am a slave to no one!

  • Frank

    Good Lord……who the heck cares about Justin Bieber’s faith???? What a waste of a story!!!!

  • Evelyn Vance

    MANY of us care about the character of “superstars” who make our young people starry-eyed. It is good to hear of the positive values of this young man who is the heartthrob of several girls I know.

  • Tony

    Frank;

    If you don’t care about Justin Bieber’s faith and call it a “waste”-then why are you “wasting” your “valuable” time watching the story? How foolish on your part. This is a fascinating story of a celebrity who has an unusual yet positive belief-an evangelical Christian in Hollywood is very refreshing. He may make mistakes-Christians aren’t perfect-but he appears to be well-grounded.

  • JDE

    @Tony: “This is a fascinating story of a celebrity who has an unusual yet positive belief-an evangelical Christian in Hollywood is very refreshing. He may make mistakes-Christians aren’t perfect-but he appears to be well-grounded.”

    Right – because he believes the same things you do, and says what you want to hear. If he were a devout Muslim, would you be as enthusiastic?

    This story reflects the illness of celebrity-obsession that’s overtaken our culture. I agree with Frank. Who cares?

  • Chaplain Paul Slater

    What a refreshing interview. Understand that I am of a generation that asks “Who is Justin Bieber?”. My interest is from recent news stories here in San Diego. My prayer for Justin is that Cathleen Falsani’s hopes are fulfilled for him that he stay grounded in his personal faith. Come to think of it, I have a new responsibility now and that is to pray for Justin.

  • Bryson Bryan

    My 7 year old son is a fan of Justin’s and as a young Christian himself, he was very interested in knowing about Justin’s faith. I was thrilled to learn of Justin’s faith. Glad to know Justin is not afraid to speak his Christian faith. He is someone that my son can truly look up to while he enjoys listening to his music. We need more Christian role models who are in the main stream. While he isn’t perfect, his faith in Christ will see him through the hard times that he will face, just like the rest of us who are believers.

  • Gerda Leithgöb

    For many years I have prayed for the salvation of celebraties and I praise the Lord for Justin – BUT because he is human and young many unsaved would like him to fall into gross sin, BUT that is where grandmothers like me, are praying constantly for him to be an example for the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ right in Hollywood. God loves the sinner and the blood of Jesus will “speak” for Justin. Let’s PRAY FOR HIM AND SELENA and trust the Lord to protect HIM against pride and fame!!!