Justin Bieber Covers Complex, Can’t Stop Talking about God


Justin Bieber isn’t exactly a clean-cut, camera-ready poster child for the Christian faith. We’ve seen his various escapades on the news—whether they involve a yellow Lamborghini or a carton of eggs.

But Christians are missing out if they don’t read his new interview with Complex magazine. Not because Bieber offers the best guidelines for living a Christian life (he says he’s “not religious” and doesn’t seem to think going to church is a necessity), but because he is willing to illustrate through his own “broken” humanity how badly we need God.

It’s a picture of Christianity that can confuse someone who hasn’t explored Scripture. It’s too nuanced to translate nicely into a meme; these quotes aren’t an easy Facebook status or share.

But neither is the faith in its purest form. We’re lying to ourselves if we see Christianity as anything less than messy, strange and complicated. It’s a faith based on the belief that an all-powerful God came to Earth as a human and died an ignominious, agonizing death because he loved us. It’s a faith that tells us every terrible thing we’ve done can be forgiven. It’s an intricate, puzzling, often paradoxical proposition.

Dare I say … it’s a faith that can encompass a story as messy as Bieber’s.

My favorite quotes, via Complex:

On trusting in God rather than people

“I can’t lean on people. I got to lean on God. I gotta trust in him through all my situations. Then, hopefully, my other relationships will flourish around me. But if I’m gonna be so invested in you, if you die, or something happens to you, I’m gonna be so destroyed, I won’t be able to go on. If I can love you and know that I’m not who I am because you’re being nice to me, but that I love you and I think you’re an incredible person but you’re just as broken as I am on the inside. We’re all just trying to figure it out.”

On intelligent design

“I can just trust that God got this under control. That’s where I’m at. I’m the type of dude who always wants to figure it out. Science makes a lot of sense. Then I start thinking—wait, the ‘big bang.’ For a ‘big bang’ to create all this is more wild to think about than thinking about there being a God. Imagine putting a bunch of gold into a box, shaking up the box, and out comes a Rolex.”

On spiritual healing

“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.”

On the intimacy of true faith

“It’s like a girlfriend. If I have an awesome, bomb girlfriend, I’m gonna wanna show her off and go around and tell people my girl is the shit. I’m not gonna cheat on her because she’s the best. It’s like with God: The whole thing with religion is you present yourself holy and bring your offerings so that God can bless you, when the whole point of the relationship [should be], ‘No, I’m gonna do this because he loves me. I’m gonna do this because he’s amazing and not because [I] have to, [but] because [I] want to.’ 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.’”

On an imperfect world

“If we can understand that we’re all imperfect, let’s come to God and come for his help. You’re not weak by doing that. 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. But, man, I don’t wanna have to do it on my own. I know for sure my parents can’t give me all that I need. I know that my friends can’t give me all that I need. There’s something missing.”

Jordan Ecarma is a former journalist now living the millennial dream: getting paid for writing Facebook statuses (that is, digital PR). She watches her use of the f-word (“feminism”) around conservatives and the c-word (“conservatism”) around feminists. Find her under @JordanEcarma.


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1 Response

  1. Zada Sorrell says:

    Super sweet and really insightful for a spiritual — not religious– guy.

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