First, let me say that I love his hair. That’s right … I’m talking about Justin Bieber.
I’ve avoided addressing this particular subject on the blog until now for several reasons:
- I don’t want to read a bunch of comments about how much you hate Justin Bieber.
- I don’t want to read a bunch of comments about how much you love Justin Bieber.
- I don’t want to referee an online war between those who hate and those who love Justin Bieber.
- I don’t want to contribute to Bieber Fever by talking about the Beebs on a website chocked full of girls.
But then I got an email from a sweet girl named Rebekah. She wrote:
“Hey! So I noticed that a lot of girls my age (17) and younger are freakin’ out over Justin Bieber. I used to like him but now I don’t … anyway, I think it might be helpful to have a blog about if his music is healthy for Christian girls or not. I mean, so many get wrapped up in his music and he sounds so true … but they fail to realize his major flaws! They look at the outward not at the heart, and it hurts me to see it. I just want to be able to give girls advice and help them. I know what it is to be addicted to music and to him. And I know how to be redeemed from it. Please consider this strongly and with prayer.”
Rebekah, I want you to know that I did consider your request strongly and with prayer. I was impressed by your concern for other girls your age and touched by your honesty and transparency. It is because of you that I am willing to ignore the reasons I listed above and tackle the topic of Justin Bieber.
If you’re looking for me to tell you that Bieber is bad news, it isn’t going to happen. Likewise, if you think I’m going to say everything he does is magic and admit I’m a “Belieber,” keep looking. As is often the case, when we put pop culture through the filter of God’s Word, we rarely find an answer that is black and white. Instead let’s look at some biblical principles together and see how they speak to girls on both sides of the Bieber fence.
1. What you listen to matters. In Philippians 4:8–9, the Bible tells us to fill our minds with whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. As with all musicians, make sure you pay close attention to Justin’s lyrics. Then ask yourself, Is this holy?
2. Keep Jesus on the throne of your heart. The big red flag I see when I think about young women’s response to Justin Bieber is that many of them adore him with a level of adoration that should be reserved for worshiping Jesus. It doesn’t matter if it’s Justin Bieber or your soccer team or your boyfriend or even a Christian band or musician—if something consumes more of your time, energy, thoughts, and adoration than Jesus, it is a danger to you. Here’s a quick reminder that the Beebs may be cool, but he is not the Famous One.
While we are on the subject, this principle doesn’t just apply to Justin Bieber. Our tendency to idolize celebrities (both Christian and non-Christian) is a real danger zone that we need to pay close attention to. Beyond Justin, think about the top five people or shows that captivate your attention right now.
First John 5:21 says, “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” Make sure you apply this principle to all of your entertainment choices.
(Note: For more on how to spot an idol, check out Tuesday’s post).
3. Jesus loves Justin Bieber. He died on the cross for him. If you don’t love Justin Bieber, I urge you to keep in mind how much God loves him. Ephesians 4:29 urges, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
4. Lust is a big deal. In Matthew 5:28, Jesus equated lust with adultery. If your fascination with Justin looks like boy craziness or if listening to his music stirs up romantic fantasies, you are swimming in dangerous waters.
5. Justin could be your brother in Christ. In an interview with the London Guardian, Justin said, “I pray two to three times a day. When I wake up I thank him for my blessings. I thank him for putting me in this position. And at the end of the day I get out my Bible. At home-school my tutor is Christian, so we go over Bible verses. It’s something that keeps me grounded.”
Certainly praying and reading his Bible won’t get Justin saved, that takes confession of sin and acknowledgment that Jesus Christ is Lord, but there seems to be some evidence that Justin has a personal relationship with Jesus. That doesn’t mean he’s perfect. He will fail, and his failures will be put under the media microscope. What should your response be? To pray for him.
James 5:16 tells us to pray for each other. Consider praying that if Justin is a Christian, God would use his platform to win many for the kingdom. Consider praying that if Justin does not yet know Jesus that he would have a radical encounter with truth and choose to be adopted into the family of God.
6. Listen to your parents (and let your parents listen to your iPod). Your mom and dad are your advocates, your first line of defense while your hormones are going crazy. Let them check out what you’re watching and listening to often and respectfully listen to their opinions.
Pop culture is full of landmines, girls. It’s hard to determine exactly which singer, song, or trend is wise and which are better to avoid. That’s why you’ve got to get in the habit of putting everything through the filter of God’s Word. The Justin Bieber’s of this world will inevitably come and go, but God’s Word will stand firm. What biblical principles can you give to Rebekah and others who are seeking to see Justin Bieber through the lens of their faith?