Setting the record straight. Justin Bieber is clearing the air after rumors swirled that he’s studying to become the newest pastor of Hillsong Church in the wake of Carl Lentz‘s November 2020 firing.
The 26-year-old “Anyone” crooner took to his Instagram Stories on Monday, January 4, to deny his involvement with the popular Christian church. Four days earlier, the New York Post’s Page Six reported that Bieber was eyeing the leadership role after Lentz was axed for alleged “moral failures.”
“I’M NOT STUDYING TO BE A MINISTER OR ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE TO THAT. HAVE NO DESIRE FOR THAT,” the Canadian pop star wrote. “BTW HILLSONG IS NOT MY CHURCH. FOR CLARITY I AM A PART OF CHURCHOME.”
Churchome is a Christian-affiliated congregation with five locations in Washington and California. Other notable worshipers include Kourtney Kardashian, Ciara and her husband, Russell Wilson, and Bieber’s ex Selena Gomez. Though he vehemently denied attending Hillsong’s services, the “Baby” singer stated that faith isn’t bound to the church itself.
“Church is not a place. We are the church,” he wrote in a separate Instagram Story on Monday. “We don’t need a building to connect with god. God is with us wherever we are.”
Bieber’s statement comes two months after Hillsong Church Global Senior Pastor Brian Houston announced that Lentz was let go from the organization after demonstrating “leadership issues and breaches of trust.” The former pastor played an important role in the “Purpose” singer’s spiritual journey, even allowing Bieber to move in with him and his family in New Jersey before the pair reportedly had a falling out in 2018.
Shortly after Lentz’s exit made headlines, Justin’s wife, Hailey Bieber, unfollowed the religious leader on social media. Lentz eventually addressed the drama, admitting via Instagram that he was fired for cheating on his wife, Laura Lentz.
“When you accept the calling of being a pastor, you must live in such a way that it honors the mandate. That it honors the church, and that it honors God,” he explained in November 2020 alongside a photo of his family. “When that does not happen, a change needs to be made and has been made in this case to ensure that standard is upheld. … I was unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life and held accountable for that. This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions.”
The Virginia native apologized for “breaking the trust of many people” who had valued his teachings and concluded: “I now begin a journey of rebuilding trust with my wife, Laura and my children and taking real time to work on and heal my own life and seek out the help that I need. … I pray you can forgive me and that over time I can live a life where trust is earned again. We, the Lentz family, don’t know what this next chapter will look like, but we will walk into it together very hopeful and grateful for the grace of God.”
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