The surprise was great when media reported that Justin Bieber wants to work as a pastor in the future. Meanwhile, the Canadian singer has denied. But even without studying theology, he brings the message of God's love to the people.
No, Justin Bieber does not want to become a pastor. Last week, the Canadian musician denied corresponding media reports. "PageSix", the tabloid page of the New York Post had previously reported that Justin Bieber is studying evangelical theology and wants to become a pastor of the evangelical "Hillsong Church". The pop star, who until recently had close ties to the church, is now clearly distancing himself.
The "Hillsong Church" was founded in Australia in the 1980s and is a so-called "megachurch". Their services are regularly attended by more than 5.000 worshippers at a time and are a veritable event with charismatic preachers and their own pop bands. Like many other free-church megachurches, Hillsong is active around the globe: not only in the U.S., but also in Germany, for example in Dusseldorf and Munich.
Megachurches: commerce instead of pastoral care?
Time and again, the large free churches come under criticism because, in the eyes of many believers, they focus too much on religious mass entertainment and commerce rather than on individual pastoral care and social added value for society. To increase their popularity, they also rely on support from prominent members.
So it is no coincidence that the "Hillsong Church" willingly helped Justin Bieber to get back on track when the superstar suffered from drug abuse. Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz became an important mentor to Justin Bieber, according to media reports – and probably the reason for his departure from the Australian megachurch.
In November, it had been revealed that the evangelical pastor had been fired for "moral misconduct". "Vanity Fair" reports of an extramarital affair that has disgraced the pastor. In addition, a 2018 letter had become public in which volunteers accused church employees of "sexually inappropriate behavior" and abusive relationships. Lentz and Justin Bieber broke up around the same time, he said.
Bieber: "Hillsong is not my church."
It is against this background that Justin Bieber's distancing from the "Hillsong Church" should be seen. On Instagram, he wrote, "Hillsong is not my church." Rather, he had turned to another megachurch, "Churchhome". Together with his wife, Bieber was baptized in August by a pastor of the megachurch. He has no desire to become a pastor himself, he said.
The singer nevertheless makes no secret of his faith in the social media. "The church is not a place," he writes. "God is with us wherever we go." He is grateful that God's love does not depend on the actions of men. If that were so, he would be "lost".
Even though Justin Bieber is unlikely to become a pastor, his messages about God's love reach over 157 million of his fans. One or the other megachurch might be green with envy.