So Justin Bieber has apologized for his outrageous behavior, as well he should. He has acted like the self-indulgent, undisciplined, spoiled rotten little punk that he is. But I wouldn’t equate his apology to any kind of spiritual awakening. Why should anyone assume repentance?
Justin has claimed to be a Christian in the past (before he figuratively flipped God the bird). What is the evidence of his, so called, unexpected act of faith? He attended a week-long Hillsong conference. That doesn’t mean that he is a Christian any more than watching fireworks on the 4th of July makes him a patriot. What did he say? Why should we assume a rebirth? How is anything in these news stories to be interpreted as a life-changing epiphany?
Hillsong senior pastor, Brian Houston, said, "No doubt he’d probably be the first to say he lost his way in a whole lot of ways and, yeah, I think he realizes that it's now-or-never time to try to build better foundations into his life."
Another pastor, Carl Lentz said, “(Bieber) just wants to make his heart right.”
But building a better foundation in one’s life or making your heart right doesn’t equate to real Christian conversion.
I want to see genuine repentance which will be evidenced by a radical change in his behavior. And I want to know what HE said. I want to hear HIS OWN TESTIMONY from his own lips. The testimony of a Christian must be IN HIS OWN WORDS. In a criminal trial, would you be satisfied to hear testimony of a witness as told by a third party? Of course not; a witness speaks for himself. I don’t care to hear about Justin’s “act of faith” from the media, his fans, his pastor, or even his own father. I want to hear his own testimony.
The news articles don’t reveal much but they’re all we have. So what, exactly, did he say?
"I've turned a lot of people off in the last few years, but I know I can still put out good music and turn everything all around."
"There was really no preparing me for this life. I was thrown into this at 12 years old. I didn't know what I was getting myself into. There were moments I am proud of. And there are moments I am disappointed with myself for. But the things I have done don't define who I am. I am (a) kind-hearted person who loves people. And through it all, I have lost some of my best qualities. For that, I'm sorry."
Bieber referred to the celebrity roast, just after his 21st birthday, as "a turning point" in his life. "I am looking forward to being someone you can all be proud of."
"Someone close to me once said, 'It's how you rise from a fall that truly defines you as a man.' I'm excited for that challenge. And I want to say thank you for taking this journey with me."
Justin’s own words seem to be sincere in a humanistic, self-improvement sort of way. He seems sincere in his determination to change and to try to do better for the sake of his popularity and his career. And I wish him well.
As for any genuine spiritual change in his nature as a result of any act of saving faith, I didn’t hear any of that. I really hope that he comes to trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ and His death on the cross as payment for his sin.
I will just continue to listen for it from his own lips and then I will wait to see the evidence.