Justin Bieber, it seems, is a contradiction.
Self-admittedly spiritual, the public image of the humble Stratford, Ontario boy who went to America and became a superstar has taken some knocks recently.
Highly sexualized “Believe” tour shows and bizarre headlines of late have led some to think the 19-year-old has fallen far from his professed Christian beliefs.
But, according to his friend and pastor Judah Smith, nothing could be further the truth.
In fact, Judah, 34 — author of Jesus Is which has been endorsed by Bieber and pastor of The City Church in Kirkland, Washington — says his famous friend’s faith which began in childhood, continues to this day.
Despite the “Boyfriend” singer’s exhaustive schedule and celebrity lifestyle, he makes a place for God in his life, says Smith.
“Justin and I share Scriptures on a regular basis and communicate,” the Pastor told E! News.“And I think you find a lot of comfort and clarity in the Scriptures.”
The pair met through Bieber’s mother, Patti Mallette, who found religion during a troubled adolescence in which she was sexually abused and turned to drugs and alcohol before an attempted suicide.
Smith says that when he eventually met up with Mallette, she revealed that she and Justin had attended a Christian conference he spoken at years ago and that she had bought some of his inspirational tapes.
“She got some of my tapes, literally tapes not CDs, and would play them as he [Justin]was going to sleep,” Smith recalls.
The pastor says that when he met the teenage Bieber years later “one of the first things Justin said was, ‘Do you remember meeting me?’ And I said, ‘Well, I don’t.’ He said, ‘Well, you’d put me to sleep at night.'”
It seems that early rearing from his mother and Smith’s subconscious teachings laid a firm groundwork for Bieber’s beliefs. In a recent Teen Vogue interview, he said:
“I think that’s part of the reason I’m here. Not just because I’m talented, but because God had a purpose for me to just help people. I’m spiritual … although I slept in [and missed] church yesterday. I haven’t been to church in so long, and I planned on going, and I slept in. I was upset. It’s all good. God forgives me.”
For some, the singer’s words may sit at odds with his on stage crotch-grabbing, past (and perhaps present) pot smoking, battery allegations and swag styling.
Yet, Bieber’s ongoing work to support the parents of Avalanna Routh, a young fan who died last year from an Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor and his recent efforts to raise awareness in Russell Simmons’ ‘End the War on Drugs campaign’ suggests that, on a core level, the boy may have left Stratford, but it never left the boy.