Justin Bieber is one of the most controversial pop stars of the last decade. The 25-year-old Canadian singer, songwriter and actor was discovered at age 13, and within one decade, he had signed record labels, received Grammy awards, sold over 105 million records in the United States alone, became one of the best-selling music artists in the world, got arrested by the police, married, and became a Christian.
Yet, many sceptics still doubt whether he is a genuine Christian. Perhaps, it is because the pop star has had several run-ins with the law around the world. In 2012, he was accused of reckless driving in the United States. In 2013, he was charged with vandalism in Brazil. In 2014, also in the US, he confessed to smoking marijuana, taking prescription drugs, and driving under the influence (DU). In 2017, the Chinese government banned Justin Bieber from performing in China. A Chinese fan went to the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and asked for the reason for the government ban. The Bureau released a statement, explaining “Justin Bieber is a gifted singer, but he is also a controversial young foreign singer, and to maintain order in the Chinese market and purify the Chinese performance environment, we are not able to bring in such badly behaved entertainer.”
In spite of all these issues surrounding Bieber, he is still talking about Jesus and many of his fans are paying attention. It may be true that Bieber can attract more unbelievers to Christ today than many fulltime Christian evangelists.
Within the last few years, Bieber has described himself as a faithful Christian. He said he communicates with God via prayer, and that “He’s the reason I’m here.”
He reflected his faith in a music video with Brandon Burke, titled “#iPledge”, in which he talked about God’s forgiveness. On 9 January 2014, after a born again experience he was baptised by Pastor Carl Lentz of Hillsong Church, New York. Many of Bieber’s tattoos have religious significance including the medium-sized cross on his chest and a tiny cross under his eye. Bieber also covered up the “Son of God” text tattooed on his abdomen with a large design that features two angels, gothic arches, a skeleton and a serpent.
As a result, many unbelievers are becoming open to the Christian faith. However, many Christians still don’t believe he is a genuine Christian. The question is – What makes you a real Christian? Is it what you say or what you do?
Bieber’s Instagram handle says, “I love making music, creating art that gives people joy! I love following the plans God has for me! I love walking with Jesus as He leads me into green pastures! I love that Jesus gave his life so that l can now walk in freedom! I’m thankful that God loved me far before I did anything to earn or deserve it! Which is why I am honored to spend my life giving Him the RECOGNITION AND PRAISE HE DESERVES !! Thank you for loving me at my worst! YOU ARE A GOOD GOD !! Thank you Jesus!!” Who says Justin Bieber is not an undercover evangelist?