Published on January 24th, 2014 | by Nathaniel


Is Justin Bieber a Fake Christian?


It was just yesterday that Justin Bieber, JBiebs, the BieberMan- whichever you prefer, was released from a Miami county jail for allegedly drag racing, driving under the influence, driving with an expired license, and resisting arrest. According to reports, Justin had also consumed marijuana and prescription drugs. When pulled over and told to stop putting his hands in his pockets, the Head-Bielieber retorted obscenities at the police officer claiming he had no weapons. Justin later had a court appearance Thursday morning where he posted $2500 bail, but despite paying the fine, this issue doesn’t seem like it’s going to go away as media everywhere from CNN to TMZ to ABC News have chimed in to question, “What went wrong?”

Isn’t it easy to ask that question? To speculate? To point that “oh-so-accusatory” finger? When Justin first came on the scene, he garnered attention because he was outspoken about his Christian faith and his stance on premarital sex. In an 2011 interview with Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush, JBieb affirmed, “I’m a Christian so I definitely let people know that- I’m not like throwing it in their face, like ‘You gotta find Jesus,’ but you know, I’m down for Jesus […] I pray throughout the day and sometimes it’s hard because if I get caught up in what I’m doing, I try to remind myself why I’m here.”

But ever since Justin faced recent hurdles, including urinating on a picture of President Clinton in a nightclub, egging his neighbor’s house, and now getting arrested, many non-Christians and Christians alike, are labeling him a fake Christian.

Now, as believers (not Bieliebers), how are we supposed respond? Well, I for one, look at the context of Justin Bieber’s life. It’s easy to think, talented kid + money = no problems. But dig a little deeper; fame came at an early age for Justin, as did money. As such, he became financially independent of his parents, rather supporting them. And a big part of growing up as a child is acknowledging your dependence on someone who has experienced the realities of life and has a guiding hand. Think about it- as much fun as singing and performing for a crowd of thousands might look, it doesn’t diminish the fact that it’s work. Not just work, but hard, committed work.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not making light of Justin’s behavior, it’s definitely wrong- but we as a society have a strong tendency to define people, to characterize them by their struggles or wrong choices. Alcoholic. Murderer. Porn Addict. Druggie. Sexual Offender. The list goes on. Our experiences as human beings are an amalgamation of highs and lows, struggles and triumphs, flaws and giftings- so how can we turn and point the finger and label someone a “Fake Christian”? There’s a gradient scale to the experiences that we initiate and the choices we make- I don’t think it’s just white or black. And the truth? We all have the capacity to make bad decisions and dumb choices- and we have! And how would it feel to be defined by that? Defined by the fact that you had sex with someone you barely even knew? Defined by the fact that you habitually stole money from your parents? Defined by the fact that you cheated on your tax return?

While the media is questioning, “Should WE forgive Bieber?” we need to question how we can uplift our brothers and sisters when they stumble. It’s too easy to fall in line with entertainment gossip and characterize someone by their faults. Regardless of where Justin is at with his faith, it’s clear he’s being attacked spiritually and having a hard time keeping better company around him, people who can hold him accountable for his decisions. So rather than point the finger, let’s lift him and our neighbors up. Let’s pray for the youth of the world, who are grappling with how to transition into responsible adults. They need us. And we need them.

Galatians 6:1-2 “Brothers,if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Do you agree? How should we as believers approach this situation?

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