Despite being a very believable rumor, Justin Bieber will not be the next hipster pastor at Hillsong Church. Last week, Page Six reported that the pop star was training to be a “full-fledged” minister, in order to fill the void left by his pal Carl Lentz. The famous religious leader, who helped Bieber get his life back on track after his bad-boy phase, was fired from the megachurch last November for “moral failures,” which included several secret extra-marital affairs.
According to the story, an unknown source claimed that Bieber was hoping to “restore order” to the church, which has been surrounded in controversy in recent months. Unfortunately for those who were hoping to worship under minister Biebs, the story isn’t true.
"I'm not studying to be a minister or anything even close to that. Have no desire for that. This is fake news," he wrote on Instagram in response to the story.
Bieber added that he isn’t even a part of Hillsong, but belongs to Churchome, another celebrity-endorsed church based in Los Angeles. Bieber actually has a long-standing relationship with its founder, pastor Judah Smith, another tatted-up religious leader. Smith is actually the one who introduced Bieber to Lentz. Apparently, many of Churchome’s celebrity congregants, which include Kourtney Kardashian and Selena Gomez, attend both churches.
This is Bieber’s first time responding to the drama surrounding Hillsong. The singer was associated with the Australian-based megachurch for years, often being spotted out and about with Lentz, who led its NYC campus. The pastor famously baptized Bieber in the bathtub of NBA player Tyson Chandler's home in 2015 and was once his spiritual confidant. While TMZ reported the duo had a falling out back in 2018, they were seen together as recently as last October, just weeks before Lentz was let go from Hillsong.
After the church revealed it was firing Lentz through a vague statement about moral failings in November, the pastor took to Instagram to address his departure sharing that he had been “unfaithful” in his marriage. Just days later, one of his mistresses shared the details about their fiery romance with the New York Post.
Bieber reportedly let the disgraced pastor briefly stay at his New York City apartment in the midst of his undoing. While Bieber didn’t publicly make a statement about his former mentor’s downfall, he and his wife Hailey unfollowed Lentz on Instagram. Now it seems Bieber is trying to further himself even more from the church, which is in the midst of its own reckoning. After several claims were made that the church’s leadership was exploitative and discriminatory, Hillsong said in a statement that it was appointing an outside legal firm to investigate its cultural issues.
Even though Bieber has made it clear he is not coming to save Lentz or Hillsong, we still aren’t convinced being a hypepriest isn’t in his future.