Now here is a topic I never thought I would have a blog about. Nothing against Justin Bieber but I was never a fan, his antics did not interest me, and I did not really think we had much in common. Well those first two things still ring true, but the last one certainly has changed. Well not that fact that we have something in common, but the fact that I have chosen to recognize that that fact is true. It started almost two weeks ago with this interview with Complex Magazine. What he said made many heads turn, including mine. It had little to do with music or any saucy info about his next romance. Instead he gave an incredible response on what it means to be a Christian. In an interview that was never supposed to be about his faith, he opened up about what being a Christian is really about, a relationship with Christ. This shocked me. I never would have ascribed to being a Belieber so I was not in sync with the ins and outs of his life, but from what I saw, I would not have classified Justin as a brother in Christ. Yet after some research I realized he may be on the narrow path after all. Still many Christians are criticizing him because of his past. That got me thinking, can people tell I’m a Christian by the way I live? But even more so, do I have a right to look at Justin and judge? I mean after all, we are all just beggars telling other beggars where to find bread, right? Well I came up with 4 things to remember/realize when thinking about Justin and his Christian faith. Today I will talk about 2 of those.
First some of Justin’s quotes (but please seriously go read the full interview):
My faith has brought me to a whole other level. I love talking about my faith. I think that with Christians, they’ve left such a bad taste in people’s mouths. Just like, overly pushy with the subject, overly churchy and religious.
I’m not religious. I, personally, love Jesus and that was my salvation.
I’m gonna use my voice for a reason. I think that people, as soon as they start hearing me saying I’m a Christian, they’re like, “Whoa Justin, back up, take a step back.” Also, I do not want to shove this down anyone’s throat. I just wanna honestly live like Jesus. Not be Jesus—I could never—I don’t want that to come across weird. He created a pretty awesome template of how to love people and how to be gracious and kind. If you believe it, he died for our sins.
Sometimes when I don’t feel like doing something,… I remember, I’m pretty sure Jesus didn’t feel like going to the cross and dying so that we don’t have to feel what we should have to feel. What Jesus did when he came to the cross was basically say, “You don’t have to feel any of that stuff.” We could take out all of our insecurities, we could take away all of the hurt, all the pain, all the fear, all the trauma. That doesn’t need to be there. So all this healing that you’re trying to do, it’s unnecessary. We have the greatest healer of all and his name is Jesus Christ. And he really heals.
That’s the whole thing with religion that’s been throwing off the people. It’s not a “have to.” It should be just like a personal relationship. Like, “Hey, I love you because you first loved me.”
I think that’s a common misperception of Christians, that you’re being weak because you can’t handle it. None of us can handle this world, dude! It’s eating us alive.
1. Justin and I are the same
By earthly standards the above statement is not even close to being true. He has a lot of money, a big career, and thousands of girls screaming his name. I still need support from my parents, am trying to make it in the real world, and the only time a girl screams my name is when my mom is mad at me. But, by God’s standards we are pretty much equal. Why? When compared to Jesus we both fall pretty far short. Jesus is perfection and each and every person on earth is not (Romans 3:23). Therefore without Jesus we are all the exact same. We are sinners. This means we struggle. For him it is with fast cars, girls, and drugs, well at least that is what the media tells us. For many this is just so over the top. I mean look at him how can he be a Christian? Well because Jesus forgives sins and we all sin in different ways. If you read the article you can get a glimpse of how he was not always a follower of Christ. But somewhere along the lines things changed, just like with me. Heck, before I truly claimed Jesus as my own I was struggling to do the right things in my normal life. I could not imagine what I would have done if I had been in his shoes with that much fame, fortune, testosterone, an under developed frontal lobe, and no true relationship with Jesus. In truth, that sentence describes me, well minus the fame and fortune part. There was a time when I had too much testosterone, not enough brain cells, and not enough Jesus. I was going crazy and sinning. Maybe not like Justin but it was sinning just the same. Yet when I made Jesus mine I was cleansed, renewed, and changed. I went from sinner to saint. So why can’t this be for Justin as well? I say that it can be, and it is because Jesus died for me just like he died for Justin Bieber, despite the fact we will both sin again.
2. Jesus would hang out with people like us
When we take a good long look at the life of Jesus we can see a very important detail that is often overlooked: who the Son of God chose to hang out with. He did not hang around the synagogue and shoot the breeze with the Jewish leaders. Instead he went and ate with the lowest of the low. His group of twelve followers, his clique, was made up of men who were either commoners (fisherman), extremists (Jewish Nationalists), or a cheater and thief (a tax collector). Even beyond that, he went out of his way to spend time with men like Zacchaeus, a man who had cheated his neighbors and was seen as a common criminal (Luke 19:1-10), and a woman who was a consistent adulterer (John 4:1-26), the woman at the well, just to name two. But why? Why would the perfect Son of God hangout with the scum of the earth? It is simple, because He died for the sins of everyone, especially the scum, and he wanted to show them he loved them too. In Romans 5:21 Paul talks about where sin abounds grace abounds in proportion. Think about that. The more sin there is, the more grace there is. So heck yeah Jesus wants to go find those who others say are not worthy and let them know he loves them and died for them too. That is why Jesus would be in the bars, strip clubs, clubs, recording studios, and drug deals letting everyone know much He loves them and that He died for them. If it wasn’t for my parents perhaps where that is where He would have found me. Maybe one of those places is where he found Justin. Either way he sought us. He came to find us because we are that important. It does not matter what we did, why we did it, or for how long we did it. All that matters to Christ is that we opened our hearts to Him and we continually seek Him in everything that we do. Jesus would hangout with those who have their brokenness to lose and their souls to gain. For Jesus will forgive us of our past, and give us strength in the future.
How often do we forget where we came from? We were sinners in need of a savior. Only through Christ were we cleansed, are we being cleansed, and will we be cleansed in the future. That is what makes us saints. Yet too often we forget all of that. We look at those who are coming from where we came from and we fail to see ourselves. We fail to remember what that struggle felt like. Instead we try to distance ourselves from these dirty sinners. Wake up people! That was you and me. That is where we would be if we did not have Christ. So what if Justin Bieber has a DUI and you have never had so much as a parking ticket? We all sin differently, yet we can all come to the same savior. Not a single one of us has ever or will ever have a perfect day. So I say that instead of looking at Justin Bieber and criticizing his past we should love him and accept him just as Jesus would and already has. We love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19-21). Now, that being said, there are two other points I will address on this topic as well. These will kind of balance what I have said here today by thinking critically and applying what Justin said to life moving forward. But for today, let’s remember that every Christian has been where Justin is. We are all sinners in need of a savior, and there is no reason to look down upon someone who, by the standards we have created, is “more broken” than us.